Kai took a sip of his red wine. The man before him spoke, but his sentences became more and more distant as Kai saw himself gazing off towards Max. His DL was smiling at Roy and Kai barely noticed his grip tightening around his fork handle. Since when were they close...why did he care? He spent days coaching himself, telling himself that he was in control of this situation. He knew that there was a lot more at stake if he didn't keep face, and after everything he had done, he figured seeing Max again would be easy. He honestly wished Max would've wasted away in jail...or had been killed overseas. Anything would've been better than him coming back into this life because the more he saw him, watching those lifeless eyes that just tore him apart light up for another man, the more...the more he...
"Kai." A firm voice called.
Kai snapped out of his daze, realizing his knuckles had gone white around the utensil: releasing his grip.
"I'm not." Kai tried to compose himself.
"It's the stray, isn't it?"
Kai felt his heart stop, as if the man before him was pulling his lifeline. He gazed into his eyes. They illuminated, like a viper, amongst his tanned skin: like they did when they were young. He yearned for blood.
"No." Kai blurted.
The man grinned, almost as if he was holding back from ripping out Max's throat. "Does he know?"
Kai felt his spine stiffen, the gleam in the man called Charles' eyes becoming more abundant. Charles Fu, his real name Darian Manor, was the son of one of the most notorious criminals in American history: Markus Manor. Markus had his reach deep within the government, able to sway the law away from his doorstep. As a token of Mr. Manor's thanks, debt, grievances, one-night stands, even your child's middle school bully went away. No questions asked. Too much power clung to the hearts of Washington, and due to the Manor's aid, they became the next generation of founding fathers. Even after a few years, the FBI dropped every case against the Manor family: their agents either wound up dead or Manor-backed individuals came into power and buried the evidence. After that, the brave souls disappeared.
When I was a boy, I didn't know anything of the Manor family except rumors I had overheard during my father's socials. It was during the senate race of 2007 that I had learned he sold his soul to the devil in order to bury the claims that he was unfaithful to my mother and had slept with women, some not even being of age. I knew these statements to be fact...witnessing the man I had grown to adore send my mother on errands just to satisfy a fleeting fancy. I hated him for it, but any objection would result in a beating and it was not long before his wills finally drove my family apart. It was then that I realized I was trapped in not only my father's web of lies, but the Manor's solitary confinement. That all started when I met Darian. He liked me in the way a cat likes a mouse. He even transferred to the same school just to be closer to me, a pill that was hard to swallow. An eye for an eye, a statement that bore deep into my soul. If either my father or I disobeyed the Manor's, we awaited a fate worse than death.
"No!" Kai almost jumped, his fists slamming down on the table. He was surprised by his own actions.
Max suddenly turned his attention to Kai, but Kai quietly sat straight: trying not to alarm his DL. Max decided not to budge, but Kai could feel his eyes latching onto him.
Darian chuckled, amused. "You still love him, don't you."
Kai heard the distaste in his words. He was searching. One wrong word...
"Don't be ugly, you know how much I hate jealous types." Kai sighed, regaining his character. "I've always loved you. I don't give a shit about Max. Just because he's here on my father's orders doesn't change a thing."
Darian folded his arms, entertained. However, he didn't entirely buy it. "What strong words, babe. Jealous..."
Darian licked his lips. "You love me, huh. Then prove it."
Kai looked at him, not budging. "I already agreed to marri..."
Darian quickly caught the back of Kai's head, bringing him forward to kiss him. Kai looked in shock but allowed the viper's tongue to penetrate his mouth. He felt his roughness slide across every inch, as he pressed against Darian's lips: inviting him for more. If he didn't reciprocate his advances, it was all for not. That simple gesture was enough for Darian to let go of his hold, staring into Kai's eyes. Kai remained calm. Even though he kissed the spawn of Satan, he couldn't say he wasn't aroused by it.
"Bring him to the Hanor tomorrow." Darian said, getting ready to leave.
Kai felt his heart pound in his chest. The Hanor...no. Why?
"Alone. Then we will see how much you desire your pup."