Indulgence ©2007

By Jack Llawayllynn

Silentcrowstudio <>

Chapter 20: The Confrontation

Sin headed for the shower as soon as they returned home. Matt went to check for phone messages while Sin turned on the shower. When he entered the bathroom his face was pale and Sin frowned at him questioningly.

"What is it Matt?"

"Some guy left a message on the phone. He said there was a problem for Saturday and that you needed to call him right away about an urgent change in major plans. That could only be referring to one thing right? McKenna."

Sin nodded and turned the water off, striding for the phone quickly. He punched in the number and spoke softly with the person on the other end. Very slowly he lowered the phone back into its cradle.

"This isn't good," Sin growled and began to pace the bedroom. "McKenna is at the house now but has plans to fly out Saturday morning for Washington, ahead of schedule. We have to move our plans up a day. We have to kill him tomorrow."

Matt stood stunned, his mouth going dry as ashes. The more Sin spoke of killing McKenna the more real it became in Matt's mind. They had talked about it for months but it hadn't seemed real to him, just distant plans that might never come to fruition. Now though he knew it was all too real and that tomorrow they would kill a man. Matt had already killed one man and didn't feel the least regret for it but that man he had seen kill Trish. McKenna was someone he had never seen before and though he believed he was the mastermind behind Trish's death he had not personally seen the man commit a crime. Matt wondered if he would freeze up and be unable to do the deed if Sin failed to do it himself. Matt tried to swallow but the dryness of his mouth made his throat feel like it was full of sand. He turned back to the bathroom and drank water from the sink, scooping it up in his hands like a man just returning from a week in the desert. Sin followed him and turned the shower water on again then removed Matt's collar and laid it on the sink. This time Matt did not panic as badly but his eyes did linger on the collar a long time before he could make himself step into the shower with Sin.

"So what are we going to do? Is everything already in order or is this going to require a new plan?" Matt asked as he used a washcloth to soap up Sin's back. Sin tilted his head back and wetted his hair in the spray.

"Everything is already in position. I had my guys' hide several stocks of gasoline cans along our route so that neither we nor Estaban and Drift will have to stop at a gas station to fill up. I don't want our faces recognized by anyone along our route at all. Our main problem is that we haven't gone over the logistics with Estaban and Drift yet and that is a definite must. We'll have to go back to the shop tonight, get the bike and drive out to the cabin. Good thing Stan gave me a key to the shop before we left. He said he didn't want to have to jump every time I wanted to take my baby out."

"Sin, you can't possibly make that trip tonight! You're exhausted and I'm tired myself. How can you possibly hope to stay awake and alert enough for that long?" Matt asked, frowning as he massaged his fingers through Sin's soapy hair.

"There is no other choice Matt. It's set up and we won't get another chance like this. It's taken me weeks to time it just so. We do it tomorrow. Hurry up and finish your shower. We have a long way to go and a short time to get there. I'll call Estaban while you finish up in here."

Matt hurried through his own bathing but took care to dry his hair and neck thoroughly before buckling his collar back into place. By the time he entered the bedroom Sin was just saying goodbye to Estaban over the phone. As soon as he hung up he picked up the phone again and called a cab to take them to Stan's shop. Sin put the phone down again and turned to Matt.

"Dress in dark colors, in layers. Not so many that your jacket will be too tight but enough to keep you warm and bring a change of clothes, some clean jeans and shirt, socks, underwear and shoes. Everything. There's a brand new pair of gloves for you in your jacket pocket. Wear your regular ones until we reach McKenna's place then switch them out for the new ones."


"In case you get blood on your clothes Matt. If you do we'll have to ditch them in a river somewhere and you'll need something to put on. I'll do the same thing. . I've got a new pair of shoes for you too. After we leave McKenna's we'll ditch them and you can put your boots back on but don't put them on at all before we get there, you might pick up dirt or fibers from the cabin and leave them in the carpet at McKenna's." Sin turned away toward the closet and did not see Matt blanch and shiver.

After they had dressed Sin pulled out the box from the back of the closet and parceled out his remaining guns between the two of them, making sure that they were loaded, the safety on. Matt placed one at the small of his back and one in his jacket pocket just as Sin had done. Sin also equipped them both with a switch blade knife and a long strong piece of cord.

Matt fingered the cord and looked at Sin doubtfully. "What's this for?"

"It's a garrote, for strangling. We don't know where we'll corner him or what way we'll have to kill him. I'd prefer to do it as quietly as possible. His maid and the gardener have already left the property, in hiding from the immigration officers that they think are coming but his wife will be in the house. No need to alert her while we are there if we can help it." Sin's eyes were cold and hard as he spoke, his hands steady and his back straight but Matt's hands shook as he slipped the cord into his pocket and he could feel his shoulders slumping with uncertainty.

"Don't pussy out on me now Matt," Sin said darkly. "Just think about Trish, laid out on the cold sidewalk, declaring her love for you."

Matt's face darkened in fury at Sin for reminding him, for bringing that horrible memory back so vividly into his mind but his shoulders went back angrily and his hands hardened into fists. Sin nodded in approval and headed for the front door.

Sin pushed the motorcycle hard and they arrived at the cabin in record time, miraculously unseen and un-pursued by any traffic police. Drift met them at the door wearing only soft flannel pajama bottoms in green and black checkered pattern, looking young and sleepy and far too innocent to be staying up late to plan participation in a murder. Estaban was in the kitchen brewing up a huge pot of coffee. Sin strode in with his hands laden with papers from the saddle bags and dumped them on the kitchen table. Matt took a seat next to Sin, each accepting a steaming cup of coffee from Estaban.

"Okay, here's the layout of the house," Sin began. "Right here is a small cove in the wood line fronting the road. It's thickly covered in pine needles and won't take a tire track so pull in there, behind the screen of the trees and park your car. Matt and I will park the bike here, on the other side of the property in this cove. We'll meet up here, in McKenna's back garden behind these hedges, near the fountain. There are no fences so no need to worry about that. If something goes wrong just run, don't try to wait for me and Matt. And understand that we won't wait for either of you either. You have chosen to do this on your own so you are responsible for yourselves." Estaban and Drift nodded in understanding and listened while Sin detailed his plan step by step, making Matt, Estaban and Drift repeat it back to him so there were no mistakes or misunderstandings. "And if any one of you gets hurt do not, under any circumstances, allow a single drop of your blood to drip anywhere on the property. I don't care how you prevent it but prevent it you must. I don't care if your hand gets cut off, just don't let it hit the floor or bleed on anything. Make sure you have two bandanas on you to stanch any blood flow until you can get off the property. If you let your blood drip there is no one who can save you. Your DNA will go into the FBI database and you'll be hunted until the day you die or until they catch up with you." Sin's voice was cold and stern, his eyes holding the gaze of each one of them until each nodded in understanding and agreement. "There are stashes of gasoline, oil and water at these locations," Sin continued, pointing them out on a map spread out before them. "Don't stop for food. If you think you have to have it then carry it with you but Matt and I will fast and eat nothing. I suggest you do the same. If you need to gas up do not stop at a gas station, get the gas from a stash. We don't want anyone at all who can remember our faces on any part of the route there and back. Don't stop for any reason other than to gas up. Make sure you have a spare tire in good shape in the trunk Estaban. If you blow a tire you and Drift work together to get it fixed fast. This has to run precisely, we can't fuck up anywhere. Understood?" When they all nodded he leaned back in his chair. "You two have the weapons I told you to get last week?"

"Yeah, we have them," Drift said. "And the changes of clothes too. Everything is already packed in the car. We're ready to do this when you are."

"I'm ready to do it now," Estaban growled fiercely. "That dog fucker killed my cats."

"Okay, Matt and I will sleep here for tonight, what's left of it anyway. We're already dressed for the trip and we'll sleep in our clothes. You might want to go ahead and dress too so there are no delays in the morning. We can just get up and go. Tomorrow we head out at first light, it's a long drive." Sin yawned hugely and set off a series of yawns through the others. "Are you very sure you know the plans and have them memorized?"

"To the t." Estaban assured him.

"Good. Drift, take all these papers and throw them in the fireplace and burn them then stir the ashes to dust, carefully scrape them all into a dustpan and flush them down the toilet. I am going to bed." Sin slipped a finger under Matt's shirt, hooked it in Matt's collar ring and hauled him up to lead him to the guest bedroom. Suddenly Estaban rose to his feet in surprise.

"A collar!" he exclaimed, his voice half awe, half outrage.

"I told you Matt was the one," Sin said over his shoulder as he headed away. "Did you take me for a liar?"

Estaban sank back down in his chair, his face pale as he watched them go. Drift placed his hand on Estaban's back and began to rub slow circles. "Does it really bother you that much?" he asked Estaban.

Estaban twisted to look up at Drift and his eyes softened as he saw the worry and fear in Drift's face."No, it just really surprised me, took me off my guard." He reached up and touched Drift's face. "You came to me when I was heartbroken and you filled in the cracks and made me whole again. I wouldn't trade you for all the Matt's or Sin's in the world."

Drift grinned in relief and bent to kiss Estaban gently. "You know I love you. I tell you every day that I love you and I mean it more and more each time I say it. I don't want to lose you!"

"I love you too Drift. Now go burn those papers and let's go to bed. Tomorrow we go out for revenge and revenge is very tiresome work."

* * * *

Matt clung to Sin all the next day, perched tensely behind him on the motorcycle, shivers of fear and anticipation vibrating through him as they passed each mile marker, each state line sign. When they stopped for gas at one of the stashes Sin allowed Matt only enough time to piss against a tree and have a small amount of water from a single bottle left there with the gasoline before he hustled him back onto the bike. At their second stop Matt was shocked to see Sin dig a small baggie out of the saddle bag and lay out a line of powder on a small mirror from his pocket. Never before had Matt seen Sin use any type of drug other than nicotine and alcohol. Sin snorted the line, leaned his head back with his eyes closed and sat silently a moment. When he tilted his head back down his eyes bored into Matt's.

"I haven't had the sleep and rest that the rest of you have. I'm running low on energy. Don't for a second think that I need this to get the job done because my nerve has run low. I just don't want to slow down you or the others. What has to be done has to done quickly and I'm still feeling the drag of exhaustion."

Matt nodded uncomfortably. He had no doubt that what Sin said was true, he didn't need it for courage but it scared Matt to know Sin would be soaring high by the time they reached McKenna's. He was violent enough on alcohol, what might he be like on whatever it was he had just snorted? Matt wanted to ask exactly what had been in the baggie and then chose not to as a number of possibilities crossed his mind, decided he would rather just not know. Dusk was already descending and their destination was near. Sin shook his head violently, slinging his braid like the tail of a pissed off cat and then grinned. "Let's get it done. An end to the madness." Matt mounted behind him again held on tight but Sin kept the bike steady and carefully kept to the speed limit. Getting stopped for a ticket here would be absolute disaster. Matt wondered if Estaban was being as careful. Yes, he would be, he decided. Estaban was crafty and intelligent. Not only that, he would be taking special care with Drift riding along with him. There was no way Estaban would risk Drift any more than absolutely necessary.

When Sin finally eased the motorcycle into the grove just outside of McKenna's property Matt felt his muscles go weak with fear and anxiety. His hands shook violently as he dismounted, unbuckled his helmet and changed his shoes. Sin was calm, his face hard as he emerged from under his own helmet. He too changed his boots for sneakers then stood a long moment staring at Matt in the moonlight. Suddenly he grabbed Matt and kissed him hard, his tongue delving into Matt's mouth, tasting him deeply, almost desperately. Matt clung to Sin, returning the kiss, feeling the hard length of Sin's back with the palms of his hands. When Sin finally ended the kiss he clutched Matt's head, eye to eye with him.

"If I die, remember me always," Sin said in quiet tone, his voice low and melodious. "If you die I will follow. I don't know how you did it Matt but you have thrust a thorn through me and to remove it would kill me. I can't live without you and I won't even try."

Matt's breath caught in his throat and he swallowed hard, fighting tears and a momentary panic. His eyes fell, his emotions too intense to contain. If Sin were to die what would he do? He too would follow. Sin was as much a thorn in his own chest and its removal would bleed him dry. His eyes opened and he found Sin still staring at him, his eyes full of emotion, love. Matt clenched his jaw, resolve sweeping over him like a rip tide.

"There will only be one death tonight. I have your back Sin. I will always stand a step behind you ready to give my life for you. I love you."

Sin's teeth flashed in the moonlight and he kissed Matt again, a brief but hard meeting of lips and tongue. "Let's do this," he said as he released Matt and turned, striding quickly on silent feet through the brush. Matt suddenly realized that the fear had left him completely. He was focused now. His intentions stone cold and steady in his mind, protect Sin, kill McKenna. Nothing more.

When they reached the hedges near the fountain they stood in utter silence waiting for Estaban and Drift to catch up and join them. Through the leaves they could see the sliding glass door that lead from McKenna's office out onto the back patio. The office was dark. All the windows in the back of the house were off. Only a slight glow from around the corner told them that the front of the house was lit. Sin slid his new gloves from his pocket and pulled them on. Matt noticed a key taped to the back of Sin's left hand as Matt pulled on his own new pair of gloves. He put his regular gloves into the inner pocket of his jacket, shoving them under the two bandanas that were folded there.

Estaban and Drift came creeping up behind the hedge from the opposite direction and joined them in the eerie glow of moonlight.

"Matt and I will go in first. You and Drift guard the back, make sure there aren't any surprises. If we fail, it will be up to you two to finish the job," Sin said quietly. Estaban nodded in the darkness. He had wanted to be the one to go in with Sin but Sin had refused his request. It was wait outside and guard the door or be left behind. Estaban had frowned up at Sin as if to argue then had nodded reluctantly. "Can either of you imitate the call of a bird?"

"I can do a duck," Drift whispered sheepishly.

"A duck." Sin's voice was flat.

Drift shrugged uncomfortably. "It was the only thing my dad ever included me in, duck hunting. I learned to imitate his duck call whistle by the time I was five. He thought it was hilarious but took me hunting with him from that day on."

Sin smiled into the darkness and slapped Drift on the shoulder. "Well, there is a fountain here and I guess ducks might drop in from time to time so duck it is. If anyone approaches do your duck call alright?"

Drift nodded, looking embarrassed but pleased as well.

A light went on in the back of the house on the second story. "Come on, that will be the wife getting ready for bed. We need to hurry."

"The key goes to the door?" Matt asked as they eased through the hedge and around the fountain, keeping to the shadows as much as possible, avoiding the moon's wash of pale light.

"Yes," Sin said simply.

When they reached the door Sin reached out a hand and tested the door. It wasn't locked. The key was unnecessary. Very slowly Sin eased the door open and slipped inside. They both already knew the layout of the room. How Sin had been able to get that information Matt did not know but he had been careful to note and memorize every nook and cranny outlined by Sin's informant's papers. The office was large, full of heavy masculine furniture. A hulking gun cabinet stood near the desk, proudly displaying an impressive collection of weapons. Swords, axes and a mace adorned the walls. A tacky fake suit of armor stood in one corner, garishly decorated with a tartan over one shoulder. Matt slipped behind it quickly as they had planned, shaking his head at the ridiculous size of the thing. Sin waited until Matt was concealed in the corner before turning to ease the door shut and jumped when he found Estaban slipping in behind them. Sin snarled silently at the small man but didn't dare to speak. He slid the door almost closed, leaving only a small opening through which to hear a signal from Drift if someone approached from outside. Estaban slid his small lithe body into the concealing corner behind a heavy wardrobe. The plan had been for Sin to conceal himself in the folds of the heavy drapery that framed the sliding door but Matt was shocked to see Sin seat himself in a leather chair that sat near the desk, giving him a clear view of the door. And giving a clear view of him to anyone entering the room from the hall. Matt ground his teeth and tried to force his breathing to slow. Was Sin trying to commit suicide? Matt pulled one of his guns from his pocket and aimed it at the door, steadying one hand with the other, hoping that Estaban too could see the folly of Sin's actions.

All thoughts fled as footsteps approached in the hall and the door swung open. Light flared in the room and Matt heard a sudden sharp intact of breath as McKenna caught sight of Sin lounging in the chair, staring at him indolently. McKenna stood frozen in the doorway, gaping. He was a tall man, his hair salt and pepper and cut in a military flat top. His body showed all the makings of a strong man but he had let himself go, laziness and gluttony making him soft and pudgy around the middle, his jowls starting to sag. Matt felt a sudden shock of recognition but could not remember ever seeing the man before. Surely though he must have, either in the newspaper or on television. Senators were often in the news and hadn't Silverman said he had read several stories of McKenna's suspected corruption in office? Matt tightened his hold and waited for McKenna's next move. McKenna's next reaction though was not at all what any of them would or could have expected. Matt had a clear view of the man's face and when a genuine smile bloomed there Matt was flooded with confusion. From what he could see of Sin's profile he could tell that he too was unprepared for this reception.

"Michael!" McKenna boomed joyfully then flinched at the level of his own voice and hurried to shut the door behind him with a quiet click before striding across the room with his hand outstretched in welcome. Sin stood and took the man's hand as cool as if he had been invited there.

"McKenna," Sin said politely as he shook the man's hand. Matt noticed that Sin did not remove his left hand from his jacket pocket and Matt hoped that Sin had his own gun there and that it was pointed at the older man.

"God, I've been trying to track you down for years! Every time my private investigator thought he had a lead on you it seemed you would just disappear into thin air. You move around too much! My guy told me a while back that he had located you again but this time I was too busy with Senate business to get over to your city and see you personally. I never expected you to come to me! I'm glad you did though. So tell me, my boy, how did you find out? Have you been to see your mother? God Son, I hope you haven't been listening to that woman's tales of me! I'm sure she painted me as the devil himself! Sit, sit, I'll pour us some drinks."

Sin sank back down into his chair calmly but his eyes were wide and nearly wild as he watched McKenna walk away from him and open a liquor cabinet. McKenna returned with two glasses, sat down in his chair behind the desk and slid one of the glasses across to Sin. Sin picked it up and sipped at it. He was not surprised to taste very smooth, aged, expensive cognac.

"Honestly McKenna, I have no idea what you are talking about," Sin said flatly. "I came here to kill you."

McKenna sputtered into his drink, spraying some onto the dark mahogany of his desk and he whipped out a handkerchief to quickly wipe it up. "Kill me? What are you talking about? Surely your mother didn't tell you...well hell, she might have but really, you can't believe everything she says. Obviously you want to hear my side of the story or you would have already killed me."

Sin cocked his head to one side, studying the older man for a moment. "You really don't know why I'm here do you?"

McKenna stared back at him wide eyed. "I assumed it was because you had found out the truth."

"The only truth I know is that I have been hounded and tortured by you from the day I left the Synn house. I'm sick of being stalked and believe me, you will pay for each and every death you have left in your wake of revenge against me for Daniel." Sin sat the glass down on the desk, still mostly full. His eyes bored into McKenna's and the older man stared back, his face utter confusion.

"Michael, I swear, I have no idea what you are talking about! I never stalked you! What deaths are you talking about? I don't understand!"

"Do you really expect me to believe that you are not the one who has been hiring hit men to take out my friends? It wasn't you that killed my pets and those of my friends?"

McKenna shook his head, his face still utter confusion. Either he was a damn good actor or totally innocent. Matt's hands began to shake but he kept the gun trained on McKenna being careful to keep very still and not draw attention toward himself behind the suit of armor. He wondered how Estaban was taking this weird twist. He almost wished that Estaban would just step out and shoot the man and have it done with.

Sin leaned back in his chair and stretched his legs out lazily. "At Daniel's funeral you warned me that you would follow me and get revenge on all I loved. I've been running for years, watching people around me get hurt or die. I won't run anymore."

"My god Michael! I didn't mean what I said that day! I was hurting and angry and confused! I never followed through on that threat I assure you!"

Sin leaned forward and picked up his glass again, rolling it between his elegant hands, watching the liquid turn dark amber in the light. "If not you then who else would it have been?" Sin's voice was low and dark, dangerous.

"I have no idea! Michael, you are my only living child, why would I try to have you killed? You are my only son!"

The glass slipped from Sin's hands, hit the edge of his chair and shattered. Glass shards and expensive liquor spilled across the floor. "What the hell did you just say?" Sin demanded, his voice coming out choked and broken.

"Didn't you know? I mean, I just assumed you had found out somehow, that you had tracked down your mother and she had told you." McKenna shifted uncomfortably under Sin's glare. Even from Matt's hiding place he could see that all of the color had drained from Sin's face and that he was slipping into the immobility of shock.

"Enough!" Matt said as he stepped from behind the suit of armor, his gun leveled at McKenna's head.

"Don't believe his line of Star Wars bullshit Sin. He isn't your father. It's just another one of his tricks." Sin's head swiveled around to face Matt, his cheeks pasty, his eyes suddenly dull, the flesh underneath them smudged dark with fatigue and disbelief. Matt gave him a sarcastic grin and dropped his voice several octaves. "Luke, I am your father," Matt said, imitating Darth Vador's voice and ragged mechanized breathing. McKenna sat through it all with his eyes glued to the gun in Matt's unwavering hand, the dark hole of the barrel pointed straight between McKenna's eyes. Color flooded back into Sin's cheeks and he stood, pulling his own gun from his pocket. He too leveled it at McKenna's head.

"Matt's right, you've said enough. I don't think you need to do anymore talking, not ever again," Sin ground out.

McKenna's hands raised defensively, palms out. "Wait, wait! I can prove it!"

Sin shot Matt a confused look and sank back down into the chair, his gun lowered to his knee. Matt stepped closer to McKenna, his gun still steady.

"How?" Matt demanded.

"I have a photograph, here in my desk drawer. It's taped inside the drawer under the desk top. I have always kept it hidden. My wife Katherine would have a fit if she knew I had it. She can't bear even the slightest mention of Michael or his mother. Knowing I had a photograph of her still, well, let's just say she would have killed me long ago." McKenna began to lower a hand toward the drawer.

"No! Keep your hands up!" Matt demanded and strode around the desk, careful to keep his gun steady. He gestured for McKenna to slide away from the desk. McKenna rolled the chair back and Matt opened the drawer and groped underneath the desk top, his eyes never leaving McKenna. His fingers found the edge of a stiff piece of paper and he gently worked it free and held it out to Sin over the desk without looking at it. When Sin's fingers took it from Matt's he closed the drawer and eased his way back around the desk toward Sin, his eyes still never leaving McKenna's.

"Fuck!" Sin spat and Matt reached down with his free hand. Sin placed the photo back into Matt's fingers and Matt pulled it up, only glancing down at it for a second before returning his gaze to McKenna and slipping the photo into his back pocket. McKenna looked as if he were about to protest and demand the photo back but he seemed to change his mind and kept his mouth closed. The photo though was already burned into Matt's mind like a brand. It was in color but aged and yellowing. It showed a young couple holding hands. The man looked like a pale version of Sin, distorted and softer, but the Native American woman in the picture had Sin's high cheekbones and straight long nose. It was either one hell of a coincidence that Sin looked so much like McKenna had as a young man or McKenna was telling the truth. The gun dropped from Sin's limp hand and it thumped onto the carpet amid the glass shards. "So, what you are telling me...oh god, if you are telling the truth then Daniel was my brother?"

"Half brother," McKenna corrected him but he was still watching Matt.

"Half brother." Sin's voice was flat as he repeated the words.

"I assume this man here is your lover?" McKenna asked, his eyes never leaving the gun in Matt's hand.

"Yes," Sin said simply.

"Could you please ask him to put his gun away now? I must admit I am very near to pissing myself here." McKenna's eyes slanted toward Sin, his expression miserable.

"I don't think that's a good idea," Matt said darkly.

"You're making the man nervous Matt. Just back up a bit or something. Go stand by the door." Sin flipped a hand and Matt immediately obeyed but he went slowly, backing away and keeping the gun steadily pointed at McKenna's head. "That's the best you'll get McKenna. He isn't going to trust you. Not after all of the attacks. Especially since the murder of his ex girlfriend. We both blame you for that. Explain to me first how the hell you are my father and I ended up adopted by your neighbors, the Synns, then explain to me exactly why I am supposed to believe you are not the one who has been launching attacks against me all these years and if I believe you I won't kill you. Sound fair?"

McKenna nodded and swallowed loudly. He kept his gaze on Sin now as if trying to ignore the fact that there was still a gun pointed at his head. "I came from a wealthy family and as a young man, well, I liked to travel a lot, gamble a lot, party a lot. When I graduated college though my father demanded that I start working. I asked him to let me just travel a bit before I had to settle myself down and he agreed to let me and my buddy Grant go on a year long road trip. We just skipped from state to state, partying, taking in the sights and sleeping with every willing girl along the way. It was near the end of our trip that I met your mother in a shitty little bar out west. She lived in a nearby reservation and she and her sister were partying hard at the bar. They went back to the hotel with me and Grant and we...partied more there, if you know what I mean?" Sin nodded so McKenna continued. "I was rather smitten with your mother honestly, for the first month or so at least. We lingered there longer than we should have because Grant was rather smitten with her sister as well. I tried to break it to your mother easily, that we would have to leave soon but she didn't take it well at all and Grant didn't want to leave either so they convinced me to stay on several more weeks."

"You keep saying `your mother', doesn't the woman have a name?" Sin asked darkly but his shoulders were slumped, his hands limp in his lap.

"Daria," McKenna said quietly. "Her name is Daria."

"So you and Daria were sleeping together throughout the entire time you were there?"

McKenna nodded. "It was still okay to believe in free love back then and we did, as much of it as we could get. My dad started calling me at the hotel, reminding me of our deal, reminding me I was overdue to return. Finally I put my foot down and said we had to go. That was the very day your mother announced to me that she was pregnant. I was shocked and didn't know what to do but later that night I found out that her sister Robin had told Grant the very same thing, that she was pregnant too. Of course when we realized they were both running the same game we didn't believe either of them. Robin just got angry and stormed away when we confronted them but Daria kept insisting that she was telling the truth and that it was my responsibility to marry her. Now, like I said, we had all gone in with the understanding that what we had was a fling, free love and all that, like I said earlier and I told her that if she was pregnant then it was her own fault and her own problem."

Sin's face hardened but he just nodded for McKenna to continue. "When she continued to insist she was pregnant and that she couldn't afford a baby I told her to go get an abortion but that I wouldn't pay for it. Now keep in mind that I was convinced she was lying to me. Still she kept insisting that she couldn't raise a child, she was too young, she was too poor, she was too scared, on and on. So in the end I told her if she wouldn't get an abortion and she really did have a baby to call me and I'd come look at it, see if I thought it really was mine and if so then I would take the baby home with me." McKenna stopped a moment, his eyes shifting down to the desktop, lost in thought and memories.

"So how did I end up in foster care and then with the Synns?" Matt could hear the bleakness in Sin's voice and was alarmed by his decreasing confidence.

"She called me, some seven months later or so and said she was in labor. She said she couldn't afford to go to the hospital so she was at home with a midwife. I panicked. I didn't want my father to ever find out so I called another buddy of mine who was a pilot with his own small plane and asked him to get me out west pronto, which he did for an outrageous fee, seeing as he was supposed to be my friend." McKenna shook his head, seeming more distressed over the spent money than by any other part of his story. "She had a very long and difficult labor. I was actually there when you were born. I took one look at your face and knew you were mine. You looked exactly like my own baby pictures. I simply wrapped you in a blanket and left. I never even let her see you. It was what she had wanted anyway, for me to take you and I never heard from her again. At first I took you to a close friend who I could trust. His wife had just delivered their second child so she knew what care was needed. The next morning I started looking for an easily bribable child welfare worker. It didn't take long to find one. She agreed to place you in foster care but not to adopt you out to anyone and to keep me updated on your location at all times. That worked well for about two years and then one of the foster parents died. She transferred you to another home but they were later found to be unfit. By then you were four or five years old and started acting out, biting and spitting, talking hatefully. You were moved to another home, then yet another and my welfare worker retired. Somewhere along the way I lost track of you and that terrified me. I didn't want there to be any chance at all that anyone would find out about you. I had married Katherine immediately upon my return home and Daniel, of course, had been born, only eleven months after your own birth Michael. I didn't want to mess that up and I was afraid that the welfare worker might have left some sort of paper trail that would lead back to me eventually. It took me a couple of years but I was finally able to track her down in Florida and make it clear to her that she had let me down. It didn't take much persuasion to get her up off her ass and find you for me. It was her crackbrained idea to adopt you out to a family nearby to my own home so I could keep up with you more easily. I approached the Synns' next door because I knew they were childless and had wanted children at one time and they were devout Christians. I didn't like them much but that didn't matter. I just needed them to keep you under their thumbs. I paid them outrageous sums of money to take you on and keep you. Katherine though overheard me speaking on the phone one day and started to piece it all together. She confronted me and nagged me until I told her the truth. She in turn ran straight to my aunt and blabbed it all. Luckily my aunt never liked me much and kept it to herself."

"So, Katherine knew I was your son?" Sin asked, remembering how Daniel's mother had always hated him, remembering how he had wondered what he had ever done to her that had made her hate him so. Now he knew.

"She didn't like it, not one bit, let me tell you! Especially since you were really my firstborn son. She was worried about Daniel's inheritance. I assured her that since the Synns' had actually adopted you that you had no rights to any inheritance from me. She shut her mouth about it all finally but she could never stand the sight of you."

"And then when Daniel and I were caught together it was a double dose of disgusting shock for you. Not only did you have one gay son, but two, and guess what...they were having sex with each other because you never told them they were brothers!" Sin's voice rose from a quiet monotone to a teeth grinding hiss as he spoke.

McKenna nodded. "And then the next day Daniel shot himself. I have always wondered if Katherine told him that you were his brother."

"Daniel didn't shoot himself, you shot him!" Sin ground out between his teeth.

"What? Are you insane? I loved Daniel more than any other person alive! I didn't like it that he was gay, not one bit and at first I admit that I blamed you for that but I could hardly ever bring myself to spank the boy, more or less kill him! I would give up anything and everything in the world to have him back, believe me! Anything and everything!" McKenna's face had turned dark red and his hands were fists on the desktop before him. "Yes, I was hurt beyond healing by his death and yes, I said some awful things to you at his funeral but I didn't mean them! You don't know how much I came to regret those words over the years! I grieved Daniel a very long time but then the pain grew to be a little less and I remembered I still had a son, you. I started looking for you but every time I thought I had found you my investigator would call and say you'd disappeared again. Years it's been that I have been trying to track you down!"

"And all the killings?" Sin demanded with a growl.

"I don't know what you are talking about! What killings?" McKenna asked adamantly.

Sin began to recite his list, his friends, his pets, the notes left for him, all the way down to Trish's murder, the brutal slaughter of Estaban's cats, the attempt to have his friend's lover returned to abusive parents and the snapshots sent to Matt's parents.

"I didn't do any of that! I swear it!" McKenna said vehemently. "I was angry about Daniel's death, yes, and I spoke in anger and pain, but honest to god I never meant a word of it! I never sent anyone after you to hurt you!"

Matt heard a soft sound in the hall and quickly stepped back as the door swung open, concealing him behind it against the wall. He could not see who had entered but he could hear her voice very well.

"That would be my doing," a woman's voice said nastily.

"Katherine!" McKenna exclaimed as he leapt to his feet. Matt eased himself very carefully so that he could peer around the door. A woman in a satin blue housecoat stood between him and Sin, a gun in her hand.

"Sit!" she demanded as if talking to a dog and McKenna sat, heavily, nearly tipping his chair over.

"You? You've been sending assassins after my son's friends?"

Katherine ignored McKenna and slowly advanced on Sin, her gun aimed at his head and didn't stop until she was right next to him, the barrel pressed against Sin's temple. "Where is your friend? I know you didn't come here alone."

Before Matt could react or Sin could respond Estaban stepped out from behind the wardrobe.

"I'm here," he said simply.

Katherine grinned evilly. Matt could see her face a little now, a pinched and stingy face with a sour full lipped mouth. "Put your guns on the floor Estaban, I know you always carry two. Really, I was expecting Matt, not you. And you Michael, I'm sure you have another one as well. Just leave it in your pocket or wherever it is that you have it hidden but keep your hands on your knees where I can see them!"

"Do you really think I would endanger Matt like that?" Sin asked dryly as he placed his hands on his knees and tilted his head up arrogantly, ignoring her gun entirely.

"Oh, so you won't endanger your current lover but don't mind about your former lover, is that it?" Katherine asked in her hateful voice. Matt could see McKenna's eyes bug out at the sight of Estaban but was glad that Katherine's full attention was focused on Sin and Esty and that she didn't see McKenna's eyes dart from Estaban to Matt's hiding place behind the door.

Estaban slowly placed both of his guns on the floor and stood with exaggerated care. "I asked to come. You killed my cats you fucking crazy bitch."

Katherine laughed, loudly, like a braying mule. "No I didn't. You just thought I did. I like animals. I would never harm one or have one harmed."

"Fucking liar," Sin growled, still totally ignoring the gun pressed to his head.

Matt tensed in horror, terrified she would shoot Sin then and there but she only snickered. "No, I'm not lying. That filthy dog of yours was hit by a car. My guy just took advantage of its corpse and nailed it to the door."

"And my cat?" Sin demanded.

"Now, that wasn't my fault. I had to hire a new guy, the first one ended up in prison. He took it upon himself to kill your poor little cat. I was horrified when he told me what he had done. But then just recently I remembered that cat, how fast and how far you fled when you found it!" She laughed again, a vile sound. "So, I had my new guy reenact it with Estaban's cats."

"You just said you wouldn't harm an animal," Sin said, his voice hard.

"And no live animals were harmed. You see, I just had my guy buy a couple of dead cats from the shelter, ones of the right color. Really, I'm not a monster!"

"So what happened to my cats?" Estaban demanded hotly after Sin snorted sarcastically.

"Why, I ended up stuck with the nasty things. Really, I never realized how badly cats stink until I had those two brought here. I have the maid keep them downstairs at all times and run them off with a broom if they venture upstairs."

"You're a liar!" Estaban snarled, eyeing his guns on the floor wistfully.

"The next person who calls me a liar will die," Katherine snarled back. "Call your damn precious kitties if you don't believe me."

Estaban glared pure hatred at her.

"Well, go ahead, call them," Katherine insisted but when Estaban still remained silent and staring daggers she sighed and said, "Robert, you call them. You know they won't come to me."

McKenna shook his head in confusion but obediently called, "Kitty, kitty, here kitty." There was the sound like a pair of elephants coming down the hall, that weird over-loud noise made by normally silent creatures when they are hyper or excited and both of Estaban's cats shot into the office. Estaban made a strangled sound and dropped to his knees, calling for them.

"Careful there!" Katherine warned suddenly. "Kick those guns away further or I will have to shoot the cats. I won't like it but you will give me no choice."

Estaban quickly shoved the guns away across the carpet towards her with his foot then gathered up the two cats in his lap.

"Well, at least you'll get to say goodbye to them this time," Katherine said blandly. "After I kill you and Michael here I guess I'll send them on to the shelter. I've only liked having them here because every time I would see them I would think about how miserable Michael must be over his life falling to pieces around him but after he is dead it won't matter anymore. You shouldn't have come with him Estaban, it's too bad that your little boy pet will be left all alone in the world, where ever it is that you have him stashed away. He was to be the next on the list to die you know since the whole plan with his parents didn't work out."

Estaban pushed the cats away and rose slowly. He crossed the floor with even steps, watching her closely. When he was about six feet away she suddenly pulled the gun from Sin's temple and lowered it towards his crotch.

"Would you rather for Michael to die quickly or slowly?" she asked Estaban, cocking an eyebrow at him. "I hear it takes a while for a man to die after he's been shot in the genitals."

"Good god Katherine! What the hell has gotten into you?" McKenna demanded suddenly, his wits finally beginning to return to him. "Tell me none of this is true! Surely you haven't really been hiring men to stalk Michael and kill his friends!"

Katherine's head whipped around to face McKenna but her aim stayed true on Sin. "Yes! Yes I have! That detective you've had hunting Michael here, well, every time he finds him I pay him double if he gives me the information first and waits for Michael to move on before telling you where he was. For every year of pain that I have lived through I have tried to make it twice as painful for him! Daniel is dead because of him! My son died because your son corrupted him! He turned him into a monster, a beast!"

"Being gay is hardly the same thing as being a monster," McKenna said, trying to keep his voice calm but his eyes shone with terror every time he glanced at Sin and the gun trained on him.

"Oh, I could have come to terms with that eventually, in time," Katherine said venomously. "But to do it with his own half brother...!" She swallowed loudly as if trying not to gag.

"But Daniel didn't know Michael was his brother!" McKenna argued.

"Half brother! And, yes, yes he did know!" Katherine hissed. "He told me so! He told me he found a photograph of you with some Indian woman! He said it wasn't hard to figure it out."

"When? When did Daniel tell you that?" McKenna demanded hotly.

"That night, after we caught them...after they...I confronted Daniel, told him how wrong it was to have sex with a male. I told him I'd find him a girl, hire him one if he wanted me to and he laughed in my face! In my face Robert! He called me a fool, told me to let him lead his own life the way he wanted. Told me he was in love with Michael and didn't care if he was his half brother. I slapped him and he had the audacity to slap me back! I...I was so angry," Katherine's voice broke and she started to sob. "I...I went and got a gun out of the cabinet. I told him if he ever, ever hit me again I'd kill him. Then I told him that if he ever went anywhere near Michael again that I would kill Michael. That's when he spit in my face. My own son! Spit in my face!" Katherine began to sob, then to keen an eerie, soul-broken sound that set the teeth on edge in the mouth of every man in the room. Finally the keening broke off into hiccupping sobs once more. " shot him," she finished brokenly. "He wasn't...wasn't the boy I had...had raised. He...he was a monster! A monster to spit on his own mother!"

"You killed Daniel?" McKenna asked softly and when she simply stood and sobbed, pointing the gun at Sin. McKenna leapt up and roared the question again. "YOU killed Daniel?"

Katherine turned and the gun came around with her to point at McKenna. Matt was ready to kill her, he'd heard far more than enough but he couldn't risk it, the bullet could go straight through her into Sin, the angle was all wrong for him. He shivered in frustration, his finger on the trigger, waiting, watching.

"No, no, it wasn't my fault! It was his!" she pointed a finger back at Sin.

"They were just kids and besides, Michael had no idea that Daniel was his half brother."

"You expect me to believe that? If they were swapping sperm then they were swapping secrets! Daniel would have told him!" Katherine hissed.

"Daniel didn't tell him," McKenna said, leaning forward, his fists planted firmly on the desk. "Michael came here thinking he needed to kill me to save his friends, to end the torment. He didn't know about me, about Daniel, being family. He didn't know Katherine and he was little more than a child. How could you blame him? And for all these years too when you were the one who shot Daniel? You were the one who actually killed our son!"

Katherine suddenly pulled herself up, her shoulders going back, her chin raising high. "No Robert, you did. If you hadn't produced that worthless half-breed of a son then my son would still be alive!" Before anyone could react she pulled the trigger and shot McKenna in the chest. McKenna flew back and spun from the impact, falling across his chair. The chair rolled with him until it fetched up against the wall. McKenna lay across it facedown, unmoving. As Katherine spun on her heel toward Sin Estaban moved in like lightening, his hands lashing out in martial arts form to smash against her wrist. Her wrist broke with an audible sound and her gun flew from her hand but not before her fingers convulsed around the trigger. The bullet went wild and smashed through the sliding door leaving a momentary black hole before the glass shattered into a million square shards and collapsed, glass bouncing and tinkling across the floor. Sin sat in silent shock, staring at McKenna's still, bleeding body. With a snarl Katherine grabbed a dagger shaped letter opener from McKenna's desk with her left hand and plunged it downward toward Sin's head. Only Estaban's fast hands deflected her aim and her hand swung down short of his head down into his lap instead where the letter opener punched deeply into Sin's upper thigh. His head snapped back with a terrible hiss of pain and Estaban moved in again with feet and hands. In less than a second Katherine was lying on the floor in a pool of her own blood pouring from a broken nose and split lip. Matt flung himself from behind the door, tucking his gun away quickly and whipping the bandanas from his pocket. He stepped over Katherine to quickly wrap the bandanas around Sin's thigh. There was surprisingly little blood to be seen but Matt knew that if he tried to remove the dagger-like letter opener then the blood would gush. For now all he could do was wrap it tight and leave the letter opener in Sin's thigh until he could get him off of the property.

"You!" Katherine hissed up at Matt and Estaban put his small foot on her shoulder to prevent her from rising from the floor. His cats had darted into hiding after the first gunshot and he was keeping careful watch on the door to make sure that one did not slip out into the night and be lost. He had no intentions of leaving his cats behind.

"Shut up bitch," Matt growled down at her.

"You won't get away you know. I'll tell the police that you shot my husband. That you and his bastard of a son busted your way in here and tried to kill us both!"

Matt calmly pulled the cord from his pocket and shook it out, dangling it before her face like someone playing with a kitten. "You won't be telling anyone anything, my dear. I loved Trish once upon a time and you made me watch her die. I love Sin now and you've made me watch him bleed, both inside and out. Do you really think I'll leave here without killing you?"

Katherine opened her mouth to scream but Matt's foot caught her in the chin and sent her head rebounding from the floor. In a daze she attempted to rise but he stooped, wrapped the cord around her throat and hauled her to her feet with it. He positioned her right in front of Sin and pulled the cord tighter, then tighter still. All the while he watched Sin's face over the top of her head. Sin's jaw was set in hatred, his eyes flaring as he watched her flail in Matt's choking hold. Whatever pain he had felt from the stab wound he wasn't feeling it now.

"Ease off Matt," Sin said quietly.

"You don't mean to let her live?" Matt demanded through gnashing teeth.

"No, but I don't mean for you to be the one to kill her either. You already killed one man because of me. No need to have a woman's blood on your hands as well."

"I'm not letting go!" Matt ground out.

Estaban stood to the side, keeping one watchful eye on the door so his cats wouldn't escape into the night and one curious eye on Sin and Matt. Sin heaved himself up out of the chair and circled around behind Matt. Though Matt had not released his hold on the cord he had loosened it a little as soon as Sin had told him too. It seemed he always jumped to obey Sin these days. Still though Katherine was trying weakly to fight him, her hands clawing at the cord, her legs feebly trying to kick him. Sin reached out and grasped one side of the cord near her neck, keeping it tight but not fatally so. Slowly he used the other hand to unwrap that side of the cord from Matt's fist and wrapped it around his own. Matt could feel the woman's racing heartbeat through the cord wrapped around his leather gloved hand as if the cord itself were now a part of her. He braced his free hand on her back for more leverage, holding her away from them, tightening the tension of the cord. He looked over at Sin and found Sin staring at him coldly. Matt's mouth thinned into a grimace. Their eyes held, both more aware of the other than they had ever been before, as if their souls were joined together to complete this onerous task. Fire began to flare in Sin's eyes and Matt felt his own pulse begin to sped, a feeling of intense power flooding through his veins with each beat. Sin's eyes dropped to Matt's mouth as his tongue flicked out to lick his bottom lip, leaving it moist and shining.

Drift stepped softly into the room through the shattered door, glass crunching under his feet. He went to stand beside Estaban.

"I heard everything," Drift told Estaban quietly. "Let's get the cats and go. We don't need to stay and watch this."

"I need to stay and watch this," Estaban responded in a whisper. "I need to know she's dead."

"Esty, no, look at them! We need to leave. There is no doubt at all they will finish her off... eventually." Drift pulled at Estaban's sleeve but Estaban refused to budge. He was mesmerized by the sight of Matt and Sin, each with a fist wrapped in the cord, slowly strangling a murderess to death. They didn't even seem to be aware of the woman anymore, only of each other. They had their heads turned, staring into each other's eyes. Whenever the woman would cease to struggle they would loosen their hold and when she began to recover they would tighten it again. All the while they seemed only aware of each other. When Sin leaned in to kiss Matt's lips Drift turned away in disgust. "I'm going to try to find a box for the cats. That shit will give me nightmares if I keep watching it!" Estaban seemed to suddenly realize that he too would probably be haunted by the sight for the rest of his days, waking and sleeping and turned away to try to lure his cats out of hiding. Sin and Matt continued to kiss over their slow kill, dark passions, hatred, revenge, adrenaline, all flowing through them, passing between their wet lips, one to the other and back again. Katherine was slowly beginning to turn an unholy shade of blue, her feeble kicking growing slower and slower each time they allowed her to rouse. By the time Estaban and Drift had the cats safely stowed into an empty file box the woman still was not dead. Estaban swept Sin's gun from the floor and approached behind him just long enough to slip it into Sin's jacket pocket. He had already gathered his own guns and tucked them away. Sin didn't even seem to know that Estaban had touched him.

"Finish her!" Drift growled loudly, angrily. Matt and Sin did not lift their heads but they seemed to have heard him because they tightened their grips and pulled together until the cord began to cut into her throat. Drift swallowed down bile and darted out the door with the file box in his arms. Estaban looked back once more, reassured by the amount of blood pouring from the woman's throat to know she would be dead in moments if she wasn't already then followed Drift out into the night. Matt and Sin remained lip locked, sealing the bond of their shared murder between themselves. Finally Sin pulled away, his eyes searching Matt's. Matt's lips lifted in a wicked smile and Sin matched it. Had Drift and Estaban remained they would have sworn they were in the presence of demons, such was the dark delight of their grins. Together they unwound the cord from around their gloved fists and released their holds on the cord. Neither looked down at the nearly decapitated corpse that fell between them.


The ragged voice brought them both out of their euphoric stupor and they turned in unison toward McKenna. He had roused and pulled himself up into a seated position sometime after Estaban and Drift had left. Now he sat gurgling through blood with his every breath, blood staining his lips, watching them. Both Sin and Matt turned to hurry to him but he held up a hand weakly to stave them off.

"Stay back, don't get my blood on you!" McKenna warned. Matt and Sin both exchanged worried perusals, checking each other for any signs of Katherine's blood upon their clothing. There was none. They had not brought her in near to themselves to strangle her and none of her blood had touched them. McKenna coughed wetly and more blood poured down his chin. "She got what she deserved but it looks like the bitch has killed me after all, just as she wanted." He tried to laugh bitterly but it only caused him to choke on his blood once more.

Sin turned and reached for the telephone on the desk. "I'm calling 911."

"No!" McKenna and Matt said together.

"They won't get here in time, Son," McKenna wheezed out. "I just...just have a few things to say to you." He took a moment to try to catch some breath, seemed to rally for his last speech then continued. "I won't try to tell you I've been a good man in my life. I haven't. What they say about me in the papers is true. Katherine, she hasn't let me touch her since Daniel's death and ...well, there have been times when women in my employ, well, I just didn't always take no for an answer. I'll pay for it, I know I will. If people really have a soul then mine is on its way to hell already."

"Don't say that!" Sin hissed, deeply disturbed.

"It's true. I've done some really horrible things in my life. When I told you not to believe everything your mother might tell you, well, the truth is she will probably be the only one who can make you see how awful I've been throughout my life. I wish I could go back and change it but I can't. I don't know if you can find her but last I saw of her was on the Rosebud Reservation. Look for her there. Daria Silent Moon. She asked me to name you Michael and I did but she wanted a different middle name for you. I gave you the middle name Drake because it was my father's name and I wanted you to have at least something of me, I'm not sure why, maybe because you were my first born son. Katherine doesn't...didn't know it, but I changed my will several years ago. She thinks...thought...that I had made her nephew my heir. I didn't." McKenna coughed up blood again and his head began to sag but he fought the fatigue. "All of my family is dead except for my aunt, your great aunt. I only just recently found out where she lives. She's in your city. I think she may be looking for you. Her name is Sylvia Lancaster. Find her. She's a good woman but she will tell you the truth and say I was a bad man. I'm so sorry Michael. I wish I had done better by you."

Sin groaned and reached out a hand toward McKenna but Matt grabbed his wrist short of actually touching him. McKenna's eyes were sliding closed, he couldn't fight it any longer.

"There's...there's a key in the third drawer of the desk there. Use it to open the safe behind the painting of the lake. Take the money, all of it. Knock some furniture over. Make it look like a robbery. Do it quickly then go! Please! Hurry and go! I don't want this to come down on your head, Son. Katherine had no right, no right..." McKenna's voice trailed off and he slumped in the chair. Sin looked for a moment like he might try to rouse the man again but Matt jerked him away roughly, riffled the drawer, found the key and handed it to Sin.

"Get the money! Quick! I'll start trashing the room. Come on Sin! We can't stay here forever. It isn't likely anyone could have heard the gunshots way out here but we can't take anymore chances. Come on! Move it!" Matt gave Sin a shove then went tearing around the room, knocking pictures off the wall, flipping the wardrobe and gun case onto their sides, sending the heavy tacky armor clanking to the floor. He had the room trashed in moments and was glad to see that Sin was stuffing his jacket full of cash. Matt joined him and filled his pockets as well. What they couldn't carry they scattered over the room, mostly heavy coins and some jewelry. Sin hesitated again, turning toward McKenna but Matt hooked his arm and dragged him outside. They broke into a run together, Sin loping alongside Matt as if he were uninjured. Matt wondered if the drugs Sin had taken earlier were what kept him from feeling the dagger still stuck in his thigh. When they reached the motorcycle Matt flung himself aboard and fired it up even before he got his helmet on. Sin slipped Matt's helmet over his head and pulled on his own as Matt eased the bike out of the cove, through the small screen of trees and out onto the road. He was careful to keep to the speed limit. There would be no explaining away to the cops the wads of cash in their jackets and a knife-like letter opener sticking up out of Sin's thigh.

Matt's heart pounded the entire trip to reach the nearest stash of gasoline, nearly two hours away from McKenna's. He had to help Sin dismount from the bike, the pain in his thigh finally making itself known. Gritting his teeth against any pity in his heart Matt reached out and snatched the letter opener from Sin's thigh without warning, slapping his left hand over Sin's mouth as he did so. Sin yelped into Matt's palm but didn't scream as Matt had feared he might. Matt lifted his hand and leaned his forehead against Sin's.

"I didn't want to do it like that but we have a need for speed and we both have to change our clothes and ditch these. We'll cut you out of those pants if need be then I'll wrap your thigh back up best I can with your bandanas before you put on a clean pair."

"Matt," Sin said, his head rolling a little against Matt's as they stood together.

"Hmmm?" Matt asked when Sin didn't continue.

"I think I need to fuck you," Sin said quietly.

Matt laughed and lifted his head, giddiness rushing through him suddenly and with such force that his knees felt weak. Sin grabbed his jacket and jerked him in close, kissing him hard enough for their teeth to gnash. Matt tasted blood on his tongue and wondered if it was his lip that had split or Sin's. He didn't have long to contemplate the matter. Sin bore him down to the ground with his weight, pulling and tugging at Matt's jacket and gloves, trying to get them off him. Matt pulled away long enough to struggle free of all his leather while Sin did the same. They ripped the shirts from each other's backs, clawing and biting, rolling through the leaves. Sin finally got Matt's jeans down and pushed him face first into the dirt, pulling his hips up high with hardened hands and plunging into him without a single thought for lubricant. Matt ground his teeth and rocked back, his hand working furiously on his own cock. Sin came almost immediately, crying out much louder than he had when Matt had pulled the dagger free. Matt came right after Sin, spewing cum into the dirt and shuddering violently as Sin slide free of his ass. Matt braced himself on his hands, breathing heavily. Sin continued to kneel behind him for a moment then leaned forward, resting his head on Matt's back. Matt could feel vibrations start in Sin's chest and spread through his body until he was shuddering with sobs. Matt eased out from under him, flipped over and up onto his knees to face Sin. He could see that there were tears pouring down Sin's cheeks. Matt took Sin's face in his hands and licked the tears away.

"It's all too horrible Matt!" Sin said brokenly.

"I know, it's too much to take in all at one time. Don't try to Sin. Don't think about it! Not yet."

"My god, McKenna my father, Daniel my brother, and Sylvia! Sylvia is my great-aunt! When she was telling us about her great nephew and his boyfriend, Matt, she was talking about US to us and we didn't get it!"

"I know. She's sneaky that way. Come on Sin, we have to get that wound bandaged up and get back on the road. We have to get you home and cleaned up and let you get at least a little rest before you have to perform tomorrow night. It's a very long drive and you're bleeding like a stuck pig now."

Sin looked down at the steady dark stain flowing down his thigh. "Better bind it tight Matt. We can't have me passing out and falling off the back of the bike."

"I agree!" Matt responded vehemently and helped Sin to his feet. "Do you need to finish off the powder in the saddle bags?" Matt asked doubtfully and was relieved when Sin shook his head in the negative.

"Throw it out. I was hooked on that shit once and can't risk getting hooked on it again. I just did that small amount to keep my energy level up and good thing I did too, otherwise I wouldn't have been able to move as quickly as we needed after she stabbed me. It has nearly worn off now though. Help me get all this money out of my jacket and put it in the saddlebags. We need to hurry. This is probably going to be bad when the drug wears off entirely. We don't have time to clean it and can't risk going to a doctor. You'll have to take care of it when we get home."

"I'll take you to Miss Sylvia," Matt said softly.

"No! No way, not yet Matt, I just can't face her yet," Sin said, his head hanging. "I can't cope with her right now."

Matt nodded in understanding but he was not looking forward to doing the chore himself. It had already been one hell of a terrible night and pouring alcohol onto Sin's wound would not be easy but he knew it would have to be done as soon as possible. For now though he had to concentrate on getting Sin home without him falling off the motorcycle along the way and they had hours yet before they would reach the city. This, Matt knew, would be the day that would stick in his memory as the longest day of his life.