When they arrived home, Darion grabbed Tolrek’s arm and hurried him into the house.
“Get your ass into the QikMed,” the negotiator ordered.
“I don’t need t—”
Tolrek found himself being mashed into the machine. Darion slammed the door to it and activated the healing cycle. He stood in front of it for a few minutes, arms crossed, the expression on his face uncompromising.
Running through Darion’s mind were a series of images. Most of them involved the merciless way Tolrek had gone after Jarrick. He was unnerved by the force his lover had shown and it raised many questions for him, ones he was not prepared to fully address.
As Darion paced, Tolrek stared at him unwaveringly, his eyes glinting with the anger he was feeling. He was ready for the confrontation that was likely, hoping that he could unload the rest of the supreme agitation he was feeling.
Tolrek had to wait almost an hour before he was able to unleash his anger. While the rebel stewed in the QikMed, Darion went to his study and contacted Ashrom via videophone to update him about the situation. There was silence for a few moments, after Ashrom learned what had happened. Inwardly, Darion flinched, expecting to be chastised.
“Did your nose and mouth get injured because of the fight?” Ashrom asked, noting the lacerations on his brother’s face.
“Yes,” Darion responded, quietly. “I tried to put a stop to it.”
He wished he’d gone into the QikMed before speaking with Ashrom. However, he’d been more concerned about making sure Tolrek’s injuries were healed.
“Well…I look forward to the footage!” Ashrom replied, laughing. “Keep me updated.”
Darion’s brow wrinkled in confusion and annoyance at his brother’s response. Ashrom, reading his younger sibling’s expression, only shrugged his shoulders.
“What did you expect? Your former lover and your current lover met. Of course, with their personalities, there would be a feud. Good luck. Goodbye.”
Darion shook his head as the connection ended. He sat for a long while, thinking about his next steps.
“Are you fully healed?” Darion asked, when he noted that Tolrek had come to find him.
“Yes,” Tolrek snapped.
“Alright…Now, I remember telling you that if you ever fought Jarrick, I would punish you severely,” Darion began quietly. “But I have to rethink that. If I give you what you deserve, I might seriously damage you.”
In his present fuming, antagonistic mindset, Tolrek couldn’t leave Darion’s perfectly sound decision alone.
“You’re not going to punish me!” he shouted. “What? Are you doing me a favor? How gracious of you, you damned—”
Tolrek was suddenly at Darion’s eye-level. The negotiator had picked up the rebel, shaking him several times. Darion appeared to be one rude comment away from throwing him.
“You would do well to control your mouth,” the negotiator said, his voice a low, dangerous, rumble. His arms shook, not from the strain of holding Tolrek but from the struggle to keep himself from hurting the rebel. “Surely, I have been quite indulgent.”
His speech was clipped and formal, stressing the amount of self-control it was taking not to thrash Tolrek.
Darion slowly set the rebel back on his feet. And then, without a word, he went into the QikMed, his mind heavy with thoughts. Tolrek waited for him. Though he was angry with Darion, he remained concerned for his wellbeing. Darion left the QikMed when the cycle ended and, remaining silent, he brushed past Tolrek and went to his study.
He poured himself a drink and sat at his desk, considering the repercussions of what had happened. He knew Beilon would be contacting him soon and the official would want solid answers. While properly replying to his superior was of great importance to him, something else was taking precedence.
He was disappointed and angry but, most of all, he was hurt. He couldn’t believe how blatantly and how publicly Tolrek had disrespected him. He understood that Tolrek was a rebel. He knew Jarrick was being incredibly difficult. And yet, he’d truly believed that Tolrek would maintain himself, if only for his sake.
The negotiator had gone through many steps to have Tolrek be with him. When Beilon had told him to go to Tildar and take Tolrek, he’d been ecstatic. He’d thought about all the places they could go and the things he could show him. Instead, he’d allowed Jarrick to be a wedge between them. Darion had believed that the rift was well on its way to being mended and then the fight had happened.
Darion sighed. He knew this would be more fodder for those who were against Tolrek and especially against him. He’d worked hard in his chosen field. He’d taken some knocks for how quickly he’d moved up but he’d made sure he was quite an asset. Now, so much of that could be undone. He saw his relationship and his career crumbling. He was thinking of how to resolve the conflicts when the house computer alerted him to the call he’d be dreading.
“Sir Beilon Warel is calling. Priority Level is Alpha 1,” the videophone system announced.
The negotiator could no longer put off addressing the matter. He thought that, at a minimum, he would be strongly reprimanded, if not worse. Darion reluctantly activated the communication console and stood at attention. Beilon’s austere expression greeted him.
“Navarr, are you incapable of handling your duties?” Beilon demanded.
“No Sir Warel, I—”
“Obviously that is the case. Are you aware of the footage that’s on Vaironian television?”
Darion wished that technology didn’t move so quickly sometimes.
“Yes; I deeply apologize for it happening.”
“I sent you to Tildar to keep him out of trouble. See that nothing like this happens again.”
The Vaironian official’s eyes bore in Darion, causing him to eventually avoid the gaze. Beilon’s anger was expected but the disappointment in his eyes hit Darion’s core.
“I can barely look at you, Darion,” Beilon told him, the words searing through the negotiator.
“I know, sir,” was Darion’s quiet, pained reply.
“And I’m not finished with you. Wait until you get back to Vaironia.”
Seeing the dejected expression on his protégé’s face, Beilon offered Darion a chance to redeem himself. He wanted Darion to dig deeper into Tolrek’s background. The way the fight had turned out did not sit well with the official.
“Did Jarrick Abires even use his full power?” Beilon asked.
“He might have held back but not by much.”
“Tolrek was able to do serious damage. Even for him, it’s impressive.”
Beilon rubbed his eyes; fatigue over the various high-level maneuverings he was handling now weighed on him. This was his most pressing concern because the two individuals involved played a role in other major issues, though they were not aware of it. He had hoped that Darion would be able to contain Tolrek. It was clear just how difficult that would be, especially since Beilon now realized he knew even less about the rebel than he’d believed.
“Has Tolrek been doing special training that would increase his abilities?” Beilon asked. He was trying to find the most logical explanation for how much strength the rebel had displayed.
“We both know Abires is quite adept at fighting. How do you explain what Tolrek did?”
“I don’t have an answer.”
“Then you’d better find one soon. In the meantime, get me Tolrek.”
Darion activated the intercom system, paging Tolrek to come to the study.
“Sir Warel wants to speak with you,” Darion said quietly. He didn’t bother to look Tolrek in the eye.
Tolrek stood straight at attention, knowing that Beilon was highly irate.
Beilon’s fuming became more intense the moment he saw the rebel’s face. He thought about the amount of effort he had invested in Tolrek. Having heard about Tolrek during the rebel’s training days, Beilon had kept an eye on his progress. He had worked to get Tolrek to the Academy, to support his military career, to help get him some leniency when he was sent to prison and to allow him to live with Darion.
Beilon had been careful to make sure that Tolrek remained unaware of the extent of his actions. He was actually unable to tell either Darion or Tolrek about his hand in the rebel’s life. He was under the directive that had been issued by each successive Prime Minister who had been provided the classified information on the rebel. Decades of being forced to remain quiet about his role in Tolrek’s life only made Beilon’s anger that much stronger.
“The least you can do is not end up on the galaxy news or plastered all over the galaxy-wide-web!” Beilon shouted.
“Yes, sir. I understand, sir.”
“Now, you have an account to settle on Tildar. Behadan Kyniska would like to speak with you. Naturally this will be at her convenience, not yours, you arrogant ass. I have authorized this meeting. If you disrespect her in the slightest fashion, I will throw you back in prison.”
“Yes, sir,” Tolrek responded, keeping his eyes lowered.
“I’m signing off.” Beilon gave a foul curse. “I can’t stand the sight of either of you.”
The screen went blank and the silence was heavy.
Tolrek waited, hoping Darion would say something to him. Instead of speaking, Darion dismissed him with a wave of his hand.
During the next few days, Darion avoided Tolrek. He was too angry to have a reasonable conversation. Tolrek did his best to stay out of the negotiator’s way. Darion left in the daytime and returned in the evening, only to shut himself off from Tolrek again. For a while, the rebel accepted it. But when he received almost a week of the same treatment, Tolrek thought Darion was being childish. And digging into him was the concern that Darion might have returned to seeing Jarrick.
“Open up; Naj misses you,” Darion heard outside his closed bedroom door.
Tolrek looked down at his Pet, who didn’t seem the least bit interested in helping him. She yawned and flicked her tail, then walked away. Undaunted, Tolrek kept on trying to coax Darion out of his room. The negotiator didn’t respond to the ploy. Then the rebel became more persistent. Darion had thought that his anger was almost gone until Tolrek began teasing him.
“How’s Jarrick?” Tolrek asked, laughing. “Did you kiss away his pain?”
Fuming, Darion finally opened the door. Caught by surprise, Tolrek stuttered. And then he went stumbling backwards and fell down. Darion had head-butted him.
“Shut up!” the negotiator shouted.
Tolrek stared up at him, even more surprised. The rebel flinched when he touched the bruised section of his forehead.
“Darion!” he complained.
“What’s the problem? After that fight, I know you can take a good hit. You deserve more.”
Tolrek bit back a reply, not wanting to further agitate Darion. Instead, he slowly stood, swaying a little at first.
“Are you alright?” Darion asked, feeling a twinge of guilt.
“Yes. Look, you know I’m sorry. I’m over my anger. Can’t you leave yours behind too? I really did try not to fight with Jarrick.”
“I understand all of that. It doesn’t excuse what you did. And of course, it just had to be recorded. Come here. Let me show you something.”
Darion led Tolrek to a console and accessed a video/audio sharing website that had interplanetary popularity. When he searched for Tolrek’s name and the words “Nielou Bazaar fight,” 3500 videos were available, including some with the fight set to music. Darion looked pointedly at Tolrek. Then he clicked on the most popular video. It had 4.5 billion views.
“That’s almost 2 million more than yesterday!” Tolrek exclaimed.
He chose one of his favorite videos, skipping towards the end of it where he was pounding Jarrick into the ground. It was set to rising classical music composed by Makdan. He thought that the orchestral composition was incredibly fitting. He had gained a new appreciation for Makdan’s work.
Darion watched incredulously as Tolrek enjoyed himself.
“You mean you’ve been checking these videos out?”
“You haven’t let me go to Tezza’s place. So, I’ve had some time on my hands and—”
“You’re unbelievable!” Darion cuffed him on the back of his head. “You’re completely missing the point.”
“He had it coming, D,” Tolrek complained. “He knows it. You know it. Even the ground I beat him into knows it.”
“You’re an absolute pain in the ass,” Darion groaned. “What the hell am I going to do with you?”
“Maybe you shouldn’t have neglected me,” Tolrek quipped. “It’s hard to be angry when you’ve been laid.”
“So it’s my fault you can’t control yourself?”
Tolrek turned completely towards Darion, glad that he was still sitting and the negotiator was standing. He breathed against his lover’s crotch, the heat of the air beginning to harden the negotiator.
“Darion, you’ve never really been in control.”
The dig found its mark and Darion’s fist clenched. Then, regaining composure, he smiled. Tolrek looked up at him, now suddenly wary. There had been a promise of trouble in Darion’s smile.
“Once again your mouth has worked faster than your brain. You obviously are in need of some discipline.”
“Will this be kinky?” Tolrek asked, feeling hopeful.
“Pleasing you is not a concern.”
“I’ll take whatever you give. You’re not going to break me.”
Thirty minutes later Darion was watching to see if Tolrek could live up to his words. The negotiator was calmly reading, as he lounged with a glass of sweet iced paljat juice next to him. Periodically, he looked for signs of Tolrek showing exhaustion and pain. For the past twenty minutes, Tolrek had been standing with his arms out, holding a five gallon bucket filled with rocks and water in each hand.
“You can’t be serious about this!” Tolrek exclaimed.
“I most certainly am. You’ve been acting like an unruly child. So, I’ll punish you the same way my parents did me.”
“Your parents actually made you do this?”
“Yes, especially during my rebellious teenage years.”
Darion laughed at some of his memories. He’d truly tested his parents’ creativity with punishments. He considered a few more techniques he could use on Tolrek, if they became necessary.
“This is ridiculous,” Tolrek complained. “But I can outlast it. You just watch me.”
“Uh huh. Let me know when you’ve had enough,” Darion said drily as he turned to the next page of his novel.
Even the novel he’d chosen had been part of Tolrek’s punishment. The title was Restraint by their favorite author/poet. The two main characters had extremely strong personalities, which only helped to fuel the centuries-long feud between their two families. Darion was currently at the section where one of the protagonists was wrestling with a surprising realization; he was falling in love with the one that was supposed to be his nemesis.
Darion had the novel on an electronic reading device but he’d chosen to pull out the worn paperback version. He’d wanted to make sure Tolrek could see the title.
“We both know you’re not really reading,” Tolrek told him in disgust.
“Actually, I’m now skipping to one of my favorite sex scenes. Hey, do you know the part where Ardo first took Lanier deep in his throat?”
“Of course I do! Page 247, third paragraph from the top.”
Darion grinned at Tolrek, the rebel’s response surprising and delighting him.
“You ass,” Tolrek seethed, realizing that he’d played into Darion’s hands. One bucket threatened to slip from his tired grasp.
“I think that’s a point for me,” the negotiator announced.
“You’re so annoying. Why don’t you go take an afternoon nap? Your age is starting to show. I think my antics are beginning to give you gray hair.”
Darion leveled a glare at him. Tolrek’s reaction was to make kissing faces at him.
“I was going to end your punishment soon but you can forget that now,” the negotiator informed him. “I’ll be inside having lunch.”
“Feed me. I’m starving.”
Darion returned inside and fixed a meal for himself and one for Naj.
“Why can’t he be as well-behaved as you?” Darion asked, as he gave the hettira her food. As if understanding that she was being complimented, Naj purred loudly and nuzzled his hand. Then she turned her attention to the delicacies he’d given her.
While in the middle of eating his lunch, Darion answered a call from Tezza. Her tone wasn’t a particularly happy one.
“Where’s my darling Toli?” she demanded. “I have new designs for him to review.”
“First, hello. Second, you’re calling him Toli? Anyway, he’s still grounded.”
Darion checked outside to see how Tolrek was doing. When the rebel realized he was being watched, he raised the buckets even higher, his stare defiant. Though he was annoyed by the attitude, Darion couldn’t help but to admire the way sweat was glistening on Tolrek’s naked body. Of course, Darion’s parents hadn’t made him stand outside naked but he didn’t think variations on the theme hurt anything. He adjusted his pants as his cock hardened.
“Pay attention!” he suddenly heard. Tezza had shouted in his ear.
“You’re not listening to me. I asked you already. Have you seen Jarrick since the fight?”
“He’s avoiding me.”
Darion had attempted to speak with Jarrick several times but had been coldly rebuffed. He’d sincerely hoped to make amends for what Tolrek had done. However, Jarrick wouldn’t take his calls. Going by his home and office had certainly not worked.
“What will you do?”
“What can I do, Tezz?”
Darion wondered if he should bother to reach out any longer to Jarrick. Then again, he had known Jarrick for almost all of his life. Jarrick had a special place in his heart, though their relationship had ended almost a decade ago. He supposed he owed his ex-lover more time to repair his pride.
“I‘m not sure if he’ll ever live down what happened,” Tezza said. “I can understand why this is difficult for him.”
“I can’t do anything about it until he gets in a better frame-of-mind. Besides, I can only handle one stubborn man at a time. Speaking of which, I need to see to Tolrek before he passes out.”
“Don’t punish him too much. Jarrick did kind of have it coming.”
“I know but I can’t just let Tolrek remain unchecked.”
“What else are you planning?” Tezza asked. She was eagerly prepared to make some suggestions.
“As if I’d tell you,” Darion teased. “And no, I don’t want to hear your ideas.”
“Oh, fine. I have to meet Ashrom anyway.”
“You know, he has always liked you, even when we were kids.”
“That’s true. It just took him three decades to admit it.”
“Well, some things you can’t rush…” Darion said, chuckling.
The two ended the phone call and Darion returned outside to find Tolrek in the same position. The rebel was flushed, sweating and breathing heavily but an arrogant expression remained on his face. The negotiator cursed under his breath.
“Get inside before you have a heat stroke.”
Thankful, Tolrek dropped the buckets.
“You wish,” he replied, as he walked by the negotiator, “Give up, I won.”
You wouldn’t say that, if you knew what else I’m planning, Darion thought.
He followed Tolrek and poured a glass of rich, purple cenibok juice. Purposefully, he turned away, pretending to momentarily be focused on something else.
Eager to sooth his parched throat, Tolrek reached for the glass.
“Hey! I didn’t pour that for you,” Darion told him. “You can get your own.”
“No.” Tolrek guzzled down the juice. He soon found his feet dangling in the air again.
“You would do well to listen to me.” Darion gave him a firm shake.
“You can’t just shake the hell out of me every time you’re annoyed.”
Taking a deep breath and nodding in agreement, Darion set Tolrek back on his feet and gently stroked his face.
“Did you like the juice?”
“Yes.” Tolrek licked his lips.
“I bought it just yesterday. It’s kind of difficult to get; the cenibok fruit takes such a long time to mature. Anyway, I’m glad you like it. Here, have some more. I don’t want to be selfish.”
Darion poured Tolrek another glass. He eagerly consumed it and Darion smiled. Tolrek became wary again, as this particular smile of the negotiator was cryptic. The rebel suspected that something was quite amiss.
“Love, maybe I’ve been rough on you,” Darion said. “I’m sure you understand why, but in the end, being angry is pointless.” He slid his tongue into Tolrek’s mouth, tasting the juice. It was quite sweet, the same as the plot he’d crafted.
“That’s more like it,” Tolrek murmured.
At Darion’s invitation, he finished off a third glass of juice. Then, Darion took his hand and led him to the bathroom of the master suite. He lavished attention on Tolrek, undressing him and then pampering him in the bath.
“I guess this means I’m forgiven,” Tolrek said, as Darion began to massage his body.
Unable to see the calculating smile on the negotiator’s face, Tolrek leaned back against Darion and relaxed completely. Naturally, he thought, it was difficult for Darion to be angry with him for too long. That was one of things the rebel liked about his lover.
When they finally left the bath, Darion meticulously removed the water from Tolrek’s body with a thick, fluffy towel. He kissed the rebel on his neck and then licked the edge of his ear. Tolrek groaned, eager for more attention.
“Let’s go to my room,” Darion told him. “That’s the best place to properly take care of you. I want to recreate some scenes from Restraint.”
After reclining on the negotiator’s bed, Tolrek was ready for Darion to feast on him. The negotiator went between the rebel’s legs and with no hesitation, slid the rebel’s thick cock deep into his throat. Darion peered at him, waiting…just waiting. He listened carefully to Tolrek’s breathing as it became more labored. He knew all the clues that told him when his lover was close to coming.
A teasing expression came into Darion’s eyes. Tolrek, though he was drowning in pleasure, suddenly felt unnerved.
“Why do you—” Tolrek wasn’t able to complete the question; he arched his back as his orgasm started. And, then, all of the sensations died. No thick, pearly fluids escaped his body. No streams of overwhelming pleasure rumbled through him. Tolrek gave a groan of frustration.
“What the hell?”
“Are you alright?” Darion asked.
“Yes,” Tolrek murmured, as a flush of embarrassment came to his face.
“Don’t worry. We can keep trying.”
Though his words were that of a concerned lover, there was a mischievous gleam in Darion’s eyes.
They tried. Four times. With each failure to come, Tolrek cursed, his string of expletives increasing in vulgarity. Finally, unable to contain himself, Darion began to laugh.
“What is it?” Tolrek demanded.
“Oh nothing.” Darion collapsed on his side, laughing harder.
“Well, I can’t come!” Tolrek shouted. “What the fuck is so hilarious?”
Darion composed himself enough to focus on Tolrek.
“Remember the juice you had?”
“I told you not to drink it, knowing that you would. It’s concentrated cenibok juice. It will keep you from coming for the next three days.”
“Darion! You evil prick.”
“Now, now, let’s not get rude.”
“What did you do to me?”
“Nothing that can’t be changed. It’s part of a formula we use for birth control. However, if you tweak it, you get the effects you’re now experiencing.”
“You know this is wrong.” Tolrek kicked Darion in his side, trying to knock him off the bed. That only served to further entertain the negotiator.
“Maybe. But tonight I’m going to toy with you anyway.”
The rebel looked towards the door. He thought about how much shame he’d feel over bolting.
“I will never let you live it down if you run, Tol.” Darion chuckled. “I am going to get my way.”
Tolrek pushed Darion onto his back, wanting to have some control in the situation.
“Oh no, everything will be going at my pace,” the negotiator said, changing their positions. “Stay.”
He reached for some sex oil, slowly squeezing it into his hand. He took his time, staring intently at Tolrek.
Tolrek was breathing hard. He wanted the pleasure but he knew it would only lead to more frustration. And yet, there was the matter of his pride. He didn’t want to beg Darion not to do what he was planning.
Darion smiled, knowing the thoughts that were going through the rebel’s head.
“Open your legs,” he ordered.
Tolrek acquiesced and Darion positioned himself between them. The negotiator began massaging the area under Tolrek’s cock, between his balls and hole. He knew this was one of the quickest ways to get Tolrek hard. Then he slide a finger inside the rebel and next another. With a lazy rhythm, he made the rebel continuously twitch, moan and shiver.
All of Darion’s attention should have resulted in Tolrek having one of the most intense and satisfying releases he’d ever had. He was eager. He needed it. But Darion was making sure that he couldn’t have it. He was forcing the rebel to linger just out of reach of his peak.
“More often than not, I do get what I want,” Darion whispered in Tolrek’s ear.
Replacing his fingers with his cock, Darion tortured Tolrek even more. The rebel’s eyes were shut tight and he bit down hard on his lip. It was maddening. He cursed when Darion came inside him. He should have been able to experience the same pleasure. It stung to know that he had truly been turned into a fuck-toy. And Darion’s next action did not help to reduce the embarrassment.
The negotiator pulled out of him. Then he squeezed the last few drops of come out of his cock. He smeared the liquid across Tolrek’s lips.
“Taste how good it was for me,” he said, his words laced with malicious satisfaction.
He stretched out onto his back, his body still humming with pleasure.
“Darion, you just can’t leave me like this,” Tolrek said, stroking his chest, “You must have the antidote for the drink. Can I please have it?”
“I didn’t poison you, so no ‘antidote’ is needed.”
“Keeping me from coming isn’t poisonous?” Tolrek shouted.
The negotiator didn’t answer. He just sighed with contentment. Then, he turned over on his side and switched off the light, leaving Tolrek feverish for release.