RR #27: Mano-A-Mano

Flynn Archer, Aiden Parker and Lyle Ashley Tate


Sunday 27th January, Mystery Island

In a life full of stupid things, this had to be the stupidest.

Flynn was trying very hard not to mutter under his breath, but he wanted to. In his mind was nothing but a litany of curse words, a Hollywood version of Tourettes, nothing but R rated words shading over to NC-17. Goddamn motherfucker – he never trusted Jude, and now he knew why.

Aiden was saying something behind him, probably of the soothing words variety, but he was too pissed off to listen. This had to be over as of yesterday. Enough stupid shit in his life! Couldn’t he have a normal life? Well, as normal as a life could get with your Dad murdered by the Russian mob and him wanted for theft … okay, so not a normal life at all. But not embroiled in this cloak and dagger shit again.

The words coming out of Flynn’s mouth were enough to make a sailor blush, but for some reason, Aiden was fine with it. His face didn’t color in the least when a particularly violent and descriptive curse rolled off his lover’s tongue. It… amused him. “Flynn, we’ll find him, okay? He’s around here, I’m sure,” was all he could really manage to get in.

Dante trotted by his side, oblivious to the other man’s anger, and occasionally darted forward to inspect something. “The cafeteria is right up ahead,” Aiden pointed out, catching up to Flynn and putting a hand on his shoulder.

“Fantastic. You don’t like violence, right? Might want to stay here.” He shrugged off Aiden’s hand and sprinted for the building. There was a door that would be wonderfully dramatic to slam through. He did like a dramatic entrance every now and again.

“Flynn!” Aiden swore and bolted after him. Violence or not, he wasn’t going to let him out of his sight again.

Flynn burst through the door, into a mostly empty, bland room. Sitting at an otherwise empty table, now looking up startled, was Jude. Goddamn it. “You sneaky motherfucker!” Flynn bellowed, stalking over to him with his hands balled into fists. “Why’d you sell us out, huh? What’d you get out of it?”

Lyle had forgotten Flynn had turned up. He hadn’t seen him yesterday. Quite why he was now here and having a go, he couldn’t work out. “Sell you out?”

Lyle set his cutlery aside, a bit peeved that his lunch was being interrupted but realising it was over for now. Quite the Prima Donna, Flynn would make enough of a scene, especially in front of his squeeze, that he was doubtless going to have to ask the cook to refresh his plate once the tiff was over.

“How long have you been Eidolon’s bitch? Was this the plan all along? Why the fuck us?” Flynn was just thinking this would make a beautiful table to flip over and bludgeon Jude with, but Aiden grabbed his arm from behind, slowing him down. Damn it, didn’t he tell him to wait outside?

“Hello, Mr. Parker.” Lyle smiled, ignoring Flynn.

“Just Aiden,” he said routinely, wondering why the formality with Flynn about to rip his throat out. “Flynn’s back,” he added with a weak laugh.

“Ignore me if you want, fuckhole, but then I’ll just tear your place apart looking for your thirty pieces of silver.” This smug prick needed his ass kicked up between his shoulder blades.

“If I understood your question I could try and answer it, Flynn. Welcome to Mystery Island, by the way.”

Flynn snorted derisively. “Mystery Island? What the fuck, is this Lost now? I ain’t the Korean guy or the fat guy. What about you? Who are you? I’m gonna guess Shannon. You look like you’d fuck your brother.”

“Erm…Sorry, I’ve never seen Lost. Never read Lord of the Rings either. My education is lacking.”

Flynn slammed his flattened palm on the end of the table, making the silverware around Lyle’s plate jump. “Answer the fucking question, you traitorous dickshit. What did you get out of selling us all to Eidolon?”

The temptation was to rise to his feet, but Lyle squashed it. Right now that would up the macho posturing, and meanwhile he could keep a table between him and Flynn. “Why don’t you get some food and we can see if we can sort this out while we eat?”

“Eat me! What does Eidolon want from us?”

Aiden wrapped his arms around Flynn’s waist from behind, holding him in place. He probably couldn’t hold him for long if he got really upset, but it would minimize damage at least. “Flynn,” he warned, glancing over his shoulder at Lyle. “I’d answer his questions.”

“That, I am still working out. Certainly it’s nothing to do with disaster relief or any ‘humanitarian mission’, as Pierce called it…” Lyle smiled at Aiden again, completely aware that it would wind Flynn up if he appeared to be hitting on Aiden. The guy was cute though, and deserved better.

“You mean you don’t know what we’re here for?” Aiden asked, uncomfortably resting his chin on Flynn’s shoulder.

“You know this prick probably sold you out to Vale, right?” Flynn told him, keeping his eyes on the smug blond bastard. “He knew he kidnapped you, and didn’t care. This seems to be a recurring theme with you, Jude.”

Aiden winced and stared at Lyle. “You knew? That whole time?”

“I had no idea. The first I heard about it was when Breslaw told me what had gone down. I’d been looking into Vale because of what was in Stan’s diary, but other than that I knew nothing.”

“Bullshit! You worked in that goddamn funeral home every fucking day. You mean to tell me Vale, the boss whose ass you kissed so rigorously, snuck something by you, you sneaky piece of shit. Flynn didn’t really know if Lyle knew, but it wouldn’t surprise him in the least. It took one liar to know another, and Lyle was just so full of lies, he could have given Flynn a run for his money.

“Okay, let’s just… let’s not talk about that now. What’s more important is finding out what we’re doing here, right?” Aiden said, diverting their attention from those horrible days.

Flynn tried hard not to snarl, but it was difficult. “Jude knows. You’re working with them, aren’t you? What the fuck are they planning to do with me?”

Lyle cast a glance toward the kitchen, hoping Aiden might get the hint, even if Flynn didn’t. They were not alone, nor in a place where they wouldn’t be interrupted. “I have no idea what anyone— except perhaps Mr Parker here— has plans on doing with you… Now, ask the nice lady in the kitchen and she’ll feed you, perhaps then we can talk.”

“Fuck you, you pompous butthole. Stop talking to me like I’m a child.” He was just going to keep being a smug bastard, huh? If he wouldn’t give him the info willingly, he could get it other ways. Did he actually think he could act like a prick and that would be the end of it?

Quite why Flynn was so set against him, so convinced he was a bad guy, Lyle had no real clue. Yes, he had worked for Vale, but only as an assistant mortician. He’d tried to save Flynn from an ass whupping when they first met in Vale’s office, but that was all. The rest had been threats and accusations from Flynn that made no sense to him. Apparently the kid was intent on keeping up the same pattern here too.

Almost on cue, at the mention of being fed, Aiden’s stomach growled loudly. He frowned, his nose wrinkling in embarrassment. “Flynn, let’s get something to eat, okay? Lyle’s not going anywhere.”

Flynn glanced back at Aiden with a scowl. Always playing peacemaker. How did those people get through life without being gutted like a trout? It was always a mystery to him. Must have been nice. Still, if Aiden was busy eating, maybe he could find out what Lyle was hiding, “That’s the problem, hon. None of us are going anywhere, and this fuck knows why. But we’re not good enough to know the truth.”

Aiden’s eyes flashed over to Lyle, regarding him curiously. He had seemed detached before the trip and after the news, if he remembered correctly. But then, maybe he didn’t remember correctly. Everything up until Flynn had come through the trees the other night had been a blur. Silently he pleaded for Lyle to tell them something, anything. Flynn’s last words, though, struck a chord with him. Flynn’s not telling the entire truth, either, about what happened while he was gone. I know it.

Lyle held his breath, hoping Flynn would listen to Aiden. Come on fellas, get the hint… The cook is Eidolon. Big Brother is watching you… “Truth is always subjective, Flynn. The most I can do is tell you what I know, which isn’t a lot. I’m not going to tell you anything, though, if you keep calling me names and threatening me with violence.”

“Oh, fuck you, princess. If you’re gonna act like a snobby piece of shit, you oughta be able to take what that gets you.” He carefully removed Aiden’s hands from him and turned to face him. “You want to have a bite to eat, why don’t you. Is there any place to clean up around here, or are we just pissing in the forest like dogs?”

“Over there.” Lyle gestured, indicating the nearest facilities, those attached to the gymnasium.

Flynn flashed him the finger, not looking at him, waiting for Aiden to answer.

“Umm, over there,” Aiden replied, pointing to where Lyle had gestured. He’d had no idea there was a bathroom there, but Lyle seemed to know the place better than the rest of them, so he figured it was the case.”

‘Kay.” Flynn kissed Aiden on the forehead. “You eat something, and if Jude makes any suspicious moves, nail his hand to the table with a fork. I’ll be back as soon as I can.” He then patted Aiden on the back, gave him a reassuring smile, and headed out the way he’d come in. Lyle wasn’t going to talk, huh? Fine. He could see what he was hiding in his quarters. Sneaky little bitch – two could play that game.

Aiden frowned as he left, shrugged faintly at Lyle as if to say “what can you do?” and headed to the kitchen. The woman Lyle had mentioned wasn’t there, but the food was, so he grabbed some for himself and made his way back to Lyle. “Mind if I join you?”

“Glad of your company. How are you holding up?”

“Better now that Flynn’s here.” He offered a smile before taking a bite of his food. “Now that I know he’s okay, it’s… bearable.”

“He’s got it wrong you know— Flynn I mean—I had no idea what Vale was doing. I’m sorry about what happened to you.”

“I… didn’t intend to accuse you. It’s still a sore topic.”

Lyle leaned across and patted Aiden’s hand reassuringly. “I understand Flynn being pissed, though not why he’s especially pissed with me, I really haven’t done anything. This is a damn odd set up.”

“It is. And Flynn… is generally pissed at everyone, I think.” He watched Lyle thoughtfully. “We didn’t really get to know each other much before we were brought here…” If Lyle really does know something, maybe I can get the information by being nice, Aiden thought. A different approach, since Flynn’s attitude hadn’t helped.

Lyle picked at his previously abandoned lunch. He still had his appetite, but the food had cooled now. “At least they have the kitchen sorted out here now. I was getting fed up with sandwiches. Good not to have to cook for ourselves too.”

“I didn’t know they brought anyone else in. I guess I’ve been in a fog since we got here.” Aiden took another bite, nodding agreement. “This is better than a sandwich. I’ll have to thank the cook when I meet him… her?”

“She’s not back there? Aggie, I think she’s called. Came in with the others yesterday.

“No, I didn’t see anyone. I got my own food.”

Were they unobserved then? Could they talk? And what to tell? How much? “We’ve not really had time to get together since they moved us,” Lyle closed his eyes a moment, then launched into it before he could think better of it,” I think they drugged us on the planes. They seem very keen to keep their secrets about this place and about who and what they are, these Eidolon people.”

“I wasn’t drugged. I didn’t eat or drink anything they offered. I guess you could say the last few months have made me a bit… untrusting.”

Months? Lyle had thought Aiden and Flynn were a new couple, especially given how clingy Aiden seemed. Dating Flynn would have made him untrusting too, if he wasn’t already that way inclined, though. “I’m trying to work it out; this isn’t a witness relocation, we’ve been stashed away completely out of sight, and I don’t understand why yet… They’ve asked me to do some stuff for them while we’re here, but I have no idea what plans they have for anyone else, or how long they intend to keep us here.” “

What do they want you to do?” Aiden hadn’t been asked anything, but then, he hadn’t exactly been around. And would he take anything they offered to begin with?

“They want me to help set up CCTV and stuff… get their computers networked. It’s what I used to do, a few lifetimes ago.” Lyle laughed at that. “They have plans for this place. People are crawling all over the complex now, fixing it up and making it shine. I guess you may have missed that, being all wrapped up in Flynn? Pierce has come too, throwing her weight around.”

“Maybe I should go back to hiding if she is here.” Aiden didn’t like the woman. “Are we going to have to stay in this place, or do we get to choose? Because I found one of those… huts… that could use some fixing up, but it’s private, and if I have to be here, I want privacy.”

“I asked Gideon about that, the pilot guy—he’s part of the security team now—but at the time the choices were limited. If you’ve found yourself somewhere you could ask for it to be fixed up for you, I think they’d do that.”

Aiden sighed in relief. “Great. That’s good.”

“Thanks for listening to me. I thought Flynn was going to push it, make a fight of it. I really can’t tell you anything more about these people.” Give me a couple of weeks and I’ll be able to give you their home phone numbers as well as their underwear sizes, but not yet.

“I think Flynn would have started a fight if he hadn’t left. Which… actually I probably should check on him. He’s most likely up to trouble.” Aiden smiled. I can only imagine what he’s doing right now…

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One Response to RR #27: Mano-A-Mano

  1. Pingback: In Absentia – by Andrea Speed » Blog Archive » The latest Redemption Reef chapter is up …

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