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Many thanks to miladygrey for her wonderful help with this. (Special mention goes to cheights for a brain melting Keller muse bolstering.)
For ultraviolet730, who inspired this. (Although she may want to deny all knowledge of that. Heh.)
In The Red
Restlessly roaming around Emcity, Keller's gaze shifted to a nearby classroom. The blinds were closed. He spotted O'Reily's right hand butt buddy, Keller's new Irish bunkmate, leaving. It was enough of a sign of where the man was. Keller's gaze strayed back out to the quad, hand running over the cool metal rail of the second story. A lingering survey of the land, searching for a shock of dirty blonde hair for the thousandth time. He still couldn't catch it.
Keller continued forward, strolling to the classroom, half-hoping he'd find straight man O'Reily in a compromising position. The Mick's blushing boy had just left, after all.
He had the downwards press of the door handle and the sound of compressed air to imagine it.
Meaney, softer pale rosy-cheeked guy, bent over a desk, or maybe pressed up against a wall. O'Reily seemed like the type to pin someone with that lanky body and fuck 'em standing. Tight commanding grip on hip and neck as he thrust into that willing man. Laughing mouth.
The reality inside the room was the expected disappointment. Never as good as the imagination when it came to some people. Ryan was sprawled like sex, all right, wiry legs up over the desk, spread wide-open. But he was dressed, unflushed, and untouched. No tell tale rucked clothes, damp skin, or lick of the lips. He was all cool calculation, like he was getting off in a purely intellectual way, focused on whatever he was doing.
Ryan's gaze swept him as he walked in, looking up with his eyes, but staying focused on his lap, where his hands were. His arms showed the slip of vague movement.
Maybe he was doing something interesting after all.
Chris chased the tease of possibility with three steps, peering closer, only to catch another slice of dull reality. A flash of green. Paper. O'Reily was swiftly counting his stack.
He stopped soon after Chris walked in, smoothly shifting, tilting subtly upwards like he was cocking his hips. Those hands slipping into his waistband, probably. Tucking the money away from Chris's eyes.
"Whatcha got there, O'Reily?" Keller ignored the reality for the dirty version long enough to let bored provocation drip from his voice.
"My dick." Ryan answered sarcastically, absentminded and dismissive.
Disappointing. Dirty words, yeah, but they had no real push behind them, refusing to pick up the bait and play.
Mm. O'Reily forgot who he was dealing with.
Keller took another step closer, peering down, his smirk raising an eyebrow.
Close enough to remind Ryan, whose body language suddenly closed without moving position at all. The tiniest change in the muscle. Hint of tension in that usually liquid body. So slight. Not fear, really. Not quite. Wariness. Turning subtly to stone when he remembered who Keller was. What he liked to chase.
"Nothing that concerns you, K-boy." O'Reily grimaced, almost infinitesimally, a hard smirk gracing that face as he peeled back his shirt to flash the money tucked...right where a certain little trail of coarse hair would start, exposing flat stomach.
It would probably be firm underneath his fingertips. Warm skin and lithe muscle. Would there be a tremble even O'Reily couldn't hold back?
Keller's grin turned sharper, even as his survival sense backed him up a step. Ryan was calling his bluff, taking away his imagination and showing what he'd really been doing. But the Mick was doing it in the most teasing way possible, showing his balls. Drawing boundaries, always:
Won't back down. Not afraid of you. I know you want what you can't have.
Any warm body to fill the hole, really. Like a lanky rough straight boy. One who had been close to Beecher. Before Keller had ever gotten to him. Keller had never gotten the whole story there. Sometimes he hated that there had been a second he had missed of Toby, new and clinging to anyone that stepped close and played nice. That first year of Beecher thrown to the wolves, O'Reily owned a slice of it that Chris could never have.
O'Reily, cocky, dangerous, and with knees spread wide. So smartly cautious whenever Chris got close, while still never backing down.
Wonder what real tension in that body would be like. Pulled tight and ready to blow. Fight. Or fuck. Mmmm...the latter would be more fun, O'Reily wasn't much of a fighter. But fucking...that always spread open body was made for it. Picture it. Tense as a bow, ready to release. Trembling. Sweat slick...
"What's up, Keller?" O'Reily inquired, pointedly, when Chris's stare stayed too long, too deep. He'd dropped his shirt back down too long ago.
Chris took a few more steps away, wandering as much as he could in the small space. Returning to just his imagination for hints of slickness and skin. It'd be best to let Ryan think he was behaving. Chris knew the danger there. Wasn't worth the risk. Wasn't Toby.
Besides, if he behaved, O'Reily would relax that long frame again, completely, and Keller could make up much more amusing stories for what those again unseen hands were doing in that lap.
"Just checking in." Chris shrugged. He needed to keep close tabs on the Irishman if they were going to be tied together. He'd finished phase one of their plan. Or phase one in his mind. He had the feeling Ryan had things outlined more extravagantly. One through a fucking hundred. Ryan was probably on step thirty in his mind.
Chris grabbed a desk, dragging it across the floor, filling the room with the scrape. Phase one had helped release some excess energy. And created more of a different sort.
Ryan nodded vaguely. "I hear Shemin died messily. All cut to hell in the laundry room. Blood all over the whites." Slight reproach danced around his tone. Annoyance. Judgment. Not remorse, so much as a question of the necessity of the mess.
Drag the knife over every inch of skin. Had Beecher touched him here? Make it bleed. Take his breath so Beecher never could again. Right there in one of their stolen spots, the sliver of privacy and walls by the dryers.
O'Reily didn't understand. He moved quick and clean. Detached. Well...most of the time. The tangles and emotion that had landed sweet little brother behind bars proved that he wasn't unshakeable. He was needful and zealous too. Just not in this instance.
But that's why Ryan had him. They wanted to make a big splash. Depth charges.
Chris shrugged again, all confidence and just as smooth as his dance partner, leaning forward on his arms with a thoughtful hum. "Got their attention." He pinned that green gaze, knowing O'Reily had nothing to complain about. He'd done his job. Had his fun. All wrapped up in a pretty red bow.
"Yeah, thoroughly." O'Reily mixed that reproach with amusement. Like he was pleased despite himself. He had relaxed a little again, mind working behind those eyes. Going over his endless schemes, not watching Chris as closely. Turned inward, letting him observe.
Keller watched the pale tattooed hand, finger tapping lightly on the desk, unnoticed. Chris's eyes meandered over that frame again, following the paths of O'Reily's body. Across lean torso, down the other long arm. The other hand had disappeared back into that lap, resting out of sight.
Chris dragged his fingers over the cool desk in a lightly idle pattern, tilting his head and following that line of distraction. O'Reily was too uptight. All work and no play...
Hand playing out of sight. Rubbing worn material. Standard prison issue, just like the lonely hard-on lurking beneath that fabric. Any touch. Zipper pulled down fast in dirty habit. Dick as long and pale as that body, until the blood rushed there. Straining and damp-tipped. That rough hand stroking with the same skill that spent all day dancing and dealing. O'Reily's ever-present gaze half-hidden behind fluttering lids as his head tilted back. Pure instinct. Lips parting, throat stretched and vulnerable. Gasping...
The steady voice pulled Chris out of his far better inner visualization.
"Give things a few days to simmer. We've got to set some shit in place." O'Reily was all business, thoughtful and focused. Another kind of instinct and skill. It made him look comfortable in his skin. Strong and ready.
It half made Chris want to do something to shake him. Just a little. Speed that breath. Tug on the Irishman's capable control and try to make it break. Tension relief for both bodies.
Shiver of skin, face flushed from heat, teeth digging into reddened lip.
Chris's restlessness pulled him out of the desk, back to his feet with a long proud stretch. Energy trapped under his skin. Needed to move. Needed to get on with things. Do something.
Time to head back out of the small closed-off classroom. Before he got too antsy and too tempted to cross the wrong line. There were plenty of other people to encroach upon. To burn off a tiny bit of this energy. Browne, for instance. O'Reily wasn't an option for anything other than imagination.
Chris nodded and let his smirk show. "Yeah, soon. Good."
Maybe that blonde head he was constantly searching for would be back in sight when he left the classroom. Maybe Toby would be looking for him this time.
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