Greyson was skilled at acquiring most anything he needed by whatever means he could get away with, and what he needed was the top predator of New York City law to fight his damnedest for him. How better to ensure that than to change the game so it meant he would also have to fight for himself? Demitri Weiß was the best chance he had at getting out of this mess intact, and he certainly wasn’t going to risk it by trusting that he’d help out of the kindness of his miserable black heart. Should things go all-the-way wrong all he would really need was a reprieve long enough for him to vanish, and if anyone could make that happen it was the man sitting in front of him, expression still just as made up as the rest of him despite the sudden turn in the conversation.
Greyson kept his eyes deliberately on Demitri’s as the threat hung between them, not a hint of uncertainty coloring his features, not a shadow of remorse. This was not a cheeky bluff at a card game, he had more than enough information at his disposal to make the lawyer’s life exceedingly complicated should he attempt to pass the case to someone less capable. The evidence from the Sullivan incident was just the icing on the cake, and involving the vengeful senator would ensure there’d be no bribing his way out. Greyson could afford to be sure of himself as far this piece of the situation was concerned, he had no reason to worry his words wouldn’t be believed since he spoke only truth, and had yet to reveal the proverbial ace in the hole. But something still crawled along the back of his neck. A prickling of awareness, some sort of warning.
The lawyer’s calculating mask didn’t crack, but unless Greyson was mistaken the smile that formed on his lips was pinched at the edges. Or maybe that was just what he was hoping to see, some sign that his words were getting through, that this cold hearted snake felt weakness. If he felt it, Greyson could use it. The silence between them lasted seconds only but felt like longer, a wealth of hidden information somewhere just behind Demitri’s abnormal eyes. Their changeability was intriguing and disquieting at once, an unsettling combination he knew the man was aware of. On the streets, Greyson had stared into the jittery eyes of addicts driven insane by their poison of choice, waving guns and threatening blood, and hefelt like he could predict their responses more comfortably than he could this man's.
His words may have had no visible affect that Greyson could see for himself, but he was given an answer in typical rich-boy fashion, then things were all business. And positive news, too. “I knew you were a good bet." His tone was amused, maybe even a little impressed. This was by and far easier than he’d anticipated. The ugly business of blackmail could be painfully time consuming: the disbelief, the betrayal, the time spent convincing a target they did in fact have a reason to quake in their designer boots. He was grateful that though Demitri apparently was as frigid as he appeared, he was intelligent enough to do what needed to be done without having to talk it out.
Chair scraping the floor as he stood up to leave, the corrupt cop was nearly pleased enough to put the moment of wariness out of his mind as nothing more than a projection. Then he was interrupted reaching for the door when Demitri’s hand appeared between them—his long, slender fingers of course perfectly manicured, the yuppie—and Greyson regarded it briefly with suspicion. He considered rejecting the token, even if only on the grounds that it seemed a little too civil after the conversation they’d just had. But he knew you could tell a lot about a person from only a handshake; the pressure, the texture of their palm, little things that revealed more than the eye could. What the hell, he decided. “I look forward to getting the hell out of here,” he returned, raising his arm and taking the offered hand.
The grip tightened instantly, beyond civil, and didn’t release. He hadn’t been expecting it, knew his eyes widened for a second, then let himself react with instinct. His free hand came up to twist Demitri’s off, already envisioning the motion of twisting his arm behind his back and following through with a warning not to push his luck. But he was a little off his game, either from the fight earlier or the blow to his head the night before, and was yanked just slightly off balance enough to give the duplicitous lawyer the advantage.
His free hand changed course, to attack or keep himself upright, and he had a fistful of expensive suit when his back hit the wall with a thud. He winced at the impact, reminded of his bruises, and his injured hand protested the tight grip on the material a few inches below Demitri’s throat. Recovering from the jolt, his eyes opened to find that their faces were only inches apart. The atmosphere had gone from neutral to hostile in less than a fingersnap. Fury drowned pain. Adrenaline surged as Demitri’s own threats filled his ears, a fan to flame, stoking his anger until it worked through him like a virus. Along with it was an incessant chant in his head that the difference between one night and one week in jail depended on his actions now.
“Tell me, just who is going to listen to a cop killer on death row about some alleged wrong doings by your lawyer who couldn’t keep you out of the chamber?”
His arrogance was apparently bottomless. “You’d be amazed what resources I can dig up,” he managed through gritted teeth, trying to resist the urge to throw the smug son of a bitch backward into the table. His hand flexed at the thought, and this time he didn’t notice the pain. He wanted to erase pretty boy’s perfect face, see how well his entitled personality held up with a black eye or a broken nose. He could give him a split lip to match the one Greyson sported now, and his eyes, burning blue fire, dropped to Demitri’s mouth to picture it. His body ached to react to this extreme invasion of his space, to the depraved display of dominance as if he were someone that could be intimidated. Then he was free of the grip, and he somehow had the presence of mind to release his own hold as Demitri took a step back to put space between them.
Everything about Greyson’s intense glare said very clearly ‘a few feet of distance couldn’t save you,’ but apart from straightening and forcing his fisted hands to his sides, he stayed where he was. Even as it was explained to him just how completely his life was in the hands of his snake of a lawyer. When the guards were called to open the room and end the meeting, he couldn't avert his focus, hostility rolling off him in waves. Quickly,
he thought, before I’m up for a second murder charge.
When the footsteps approached the door from the other side, Demitri had already turned toward it, dismissing him. Now he wanted to shake his ego more than ever, give him a hint of what it was like to have things go to Hell beneath his very feet, experience a situation where money and fast talking wouldn't do him a bit of good. Folding his arms across his chest to keep them simply reaching out and clipping Demitri in the jaw, Greyson was surprised to hear how calm his voice sounded when he spoke. One last thing to make the man think very hard about how he wanted this partnership of theirs to be. “You don’t get it yet, and that’s fine… as long as you get me out of here,” he said as the key turned in the lock, tone vague, “I’ll try to avoid that needle until then.” It’s what was left unsaid that really mattered. You’re in for one Hell of an awakening.
Greyson said nothing else as the guards steered him back to his temporary prison.
The cowardly cellmates had been pretending to sleep when he’d come back, though he’d lost all concept of time. He knew only that it took ages for his temper to cool, longer still to stop imagining all of the possible responses he hadn’t said or done. He could picture perfectly Demitri’s face right in front of his own, his unusual eyes visible through the styled strands of his hair, believing he had the upper hand. Then he’d pictured himself ramming a fist into it. Greyson hadn’t had someone push him around in a situation where he had no choice but to allow it since his days in the training program. He didn’t enjoy nostalgia.
Eventually the other two men either made bail or were moved for their own comfort, and Greyson’s attitude levelled out enough to resume his analysis of his motions the last few weeks, retracing steps to find what had brought him here. He didn’t even know the dead cop, couldn’t picture a face, didn’t recognize the name. Antonio Frasco. He was a faceless man in his mind as he tried to figure out how they were going to convince anyone that he’d managed to purposely fire a gun through all that smoke, and somehow get through riot gear to a vital organ. Frustrated and bored in equal measure, he thumped his head back against the wall and gave up thinking about it when a migraine started beating behind his eyes. Exhausted, he crawled into one of the empty bunks and ignored the late afternoon buzz of guards getting ready to head home, staring absently at a crack on the wall. After a moment he closed his eyes, headache still grinding away.
He dropped into the dream without warning.
The field he stood in was endless, miles of waist high golden grass shifting in waves, glittering brilliantly where it caught the sun. It felt familiar, as if he’d been there before, but too long ago to know when or why. How did you forget a sea of gold?
Wind made it whisper and ebb, flowing like a tide, carrying the scent of something like summer. It was beautiful and perfect... and it felt completely wrong.
Long strands brushed against his palms as he turned in careful circles, trying to orient himself enough to learn which direction would lead him out. There was nothing, no indicator of where to go, only the powerful knowledge that he had to leave soon. Now
. With mounting anxiousness, he searched the sky and tried to ignore the sound of the wind through the grass, audible now even over his own pounding heart.
he realized. His body became very still, aware of everything. He couldn’t feel a breeze on his face, it didn’t move his hair or cool the damp heat rising on his skin. The grass was moving still, gentle waves becoming more agitated, and the sound was coming from something within it. Something he knew he didn’t want to see or have to face. He felt like a child when fear slid down his spine and he turned again on the spot; everything looked the same, going on forever. The sun wheeled overhead, spinning as the sound in the grass grew louder. It deafened him even as the whirlwind of light and color blinded, faster and faster until the sound was so loud he couldn’t hear his breath, until he couldn’t hear his own footsteps when he moved. Too loud. He felt himself yell something, then tried again when his voice was snatched away. The word “Stop” tasted desperate on his tongue.
Everything ceased and it felt like slamming full force into a wall, bringing him to his knees, silence ringing in his ears. When his eyes would focus again, a man impossibly stood before him, his shining, black dress shoes filling Greyson's line of sight. He leaned back to look up, knowing before he could meet the opalescent eyes who it was.
Demitri’s mouth curved in the same self-assured smile Greyson had seen before, and it filled him with dread.
Fight or flight instinct tore at him… and he chose fight, with fear and hate gripping his heart like fists. He ran at him and the two rolled as the cop tried to remember his training, to gain the upper hand. But his opponent was never where he thought he would be and seemed impossible to keep track of. The field was gone when he flipped free.
This alley was dark, a crying girl heard but not seen, and Demitri was in front of him again. Completely pristine while Greyson’s breath caught in his throat and his body complained at the energy already expended. Driven by rage, he dove and they both went down, and this time stayed down when his fingers circled Demitri's pale throat.
This was it, he’d won. He brought his face close to the man’s whose life was in his hands, literally gripped beneath the callous of his fingers. He wanted to watch him die, to see the life leave his eyes. Everything would be better, everything would be normal and safe and sane again. They were nose to nose, breath to breath, and Demitri’s hands lifted and curled lightly in the front of Greyson's shirt, gently drawing him down.
And Greyson let it happen, his grip going slack, his skin heating when Demitri's hands slid into his hair.. and his pulse jerked when their lips met hungrily.