If Ben justified himself, if he had to justify himself, he’d claim that he’d seen movement in the tent – that was only half-true. The other half was that he’d seen Widmore’s spy, Krycek, go in there with one of the Others, a young woman who’d been watching Alex all night over the campfire, getting warm and rosy with the heat. Ben had been in the thicket when he’d seen them slip into Krycek’s tent. Had it been Eloise, Ben would be facing a major dilemma – to tell Widmore right away or to come closer. If he were lying to himself, he’d tell himself that he’d go straight to Widmore and rub the bastard’s face in it. But that wasn’t true either.
He carefully crept down to the encampment, sliding in the tall grass on the slope. He slipped through the tents with the same quietude with which he’d lived with his father in the Dharma Initiative camp. He’d grown up but that kind of training didn’t wash out.
When Ben got to the tent, he peered in through a gap in the burlap. He could see the yellow glow of a lit hurricane lamp inside, illuminating Krycek’s temporary quarters. Sliding his foot to the left, he halted abruptly, the shapes of their bodies coming into view.
They were pressed together, her trousers discarded and Krycek’s around his thighs as he pressed her up against the thick main post in the center of the tent. Like animals rutting in the wild. Ben watched scornfully as Krycek laughed into her mouth, her dark hair in his fist as he thrust into her. Krycek’s groan seemed to run up Ben’s spine, raising the hair on his nape. The woman giggled and moaned, raking her nails up and down Krycek’s back, her calf tight against the small of Krycek’s back.
They were too far away for Ben to hear their conversation but he doubted strongly that it was intellectually stimulating. His gaze trailed over them, taking in the minute details of their coupling – the sheen of sweat on her thigh and the cording of Krycek’s smooth leg muscles, the way Krycek’s body tensed when he fucked her. The way Krycek’s fingers pressed into the flesh of her thigh, holding her leg up around his waist.
Ben’s lips curled, suddenly annoyed and envious. He’d like to… If he were… There was no way he’d finish those thoughts. Even thinking about it, his father’s dour face blossomed in his mind’s eye, disgusted, reprimanding. Ben swallowed back, his mouth suddenly dry and tacky. His chest was tight. It had to be the heat, nothing more. Nonetheless, his blue eyes tracked them, the hard, sharp movements of Krycek’s hips. Ben realized that his crotch was aching, his legs shaking beneath him. A few moments later, they separated, cleaning themselves up with not-unfriendly indifference, moving out of Ben’s line of sight.
Ben’s eyes sharpened, waiting watchfully for when the spy would return to lie down in bed. Everyone was early to bed, early to rise around there, spies included. There just wasn’t much to do on an island after dark (except to die, of course). A moment later, a hand fell on Ben’s shoulder. He started, jerking back to look at his attacker, but the man held him fast. The scent of musky cologne pervaded Ben’s space.
“You don’t learn lessons, do you?” Krycek asked. “I recognize you. You’re the kid from before.”
Ben wondered if he should struggle or be still. His muscles jumped under Krycek’s hands. “I thought I saw people fighting – I thought I’d make sure,” Ben lied. He was too nervous to be convincing. But the believability of Ben’s lies wasn’t in the style of telling but in the sheer volume – if he was talking, he was likely lying. And nobody disbelieved somebody all the time. “I had no idea you were in there. I’m sorry if you think I saw something I shouldn’t have—”
“I’ll bet you’re sorry. Sorry you didn’t get a ringside seat.” Krycek laughed, his fingers firm on the back of Ben’s neck.
The spy’s breath raised gooseflesh on the back of Ben’s neck. “I beg your pardon?”
“Can you do anything with it, or do you just like to watch?” Krycek asked. His voice was low and throaty and bizarrely, perversely exciting because this was the sum of Ben’s sexual encounters at twenty-three – awkward fumbling and humiliation. Krycek held him against the burlap, pressed to the back of the bureau inside. It was partly uncomfortable and the other part was pure, hungry distraction at being touched.
Ben’s face burned with color and indignation. “If you’d like to see, why don’t you let me go?” he snapped – he was aiming for elegance but his voice was verging dangerously close to a wail. His blue eyes widened as Krycek clapped a hand over his mouth. His eyes were as wide and round as his glasses.
“Is that what you want?” Krycek asked. Laughing lowly, his breath tickled Ben’s ear. “It didn’t look like that.” He turned the younger man around and his gaze passed over Ben’s features, amusement flickering on his handsome face.
Ben pulled his arm back toward his body but he had no real hope that he’d pull it away from Alex. His self-consciousness riled him up, prepared for Alex’s harsh rebuttal. He’d been considered an ugly little man all his life, why would he be surprised by the hooded expression of amusement on Alex’s face?
“Don’t ask for it if you can’t handle it.” Calling Ben’s bluff, Alex pressed an open palm to the front of Ben’s pants, chuckling as he felt the hard, rigid length of Ben’s member through the coarse fabric. He squeezed and Ben squeezed his eyes shut, the sound of his whimper distorted by Alex’s palm. “So it does work. Not bad.”
Ben narrowed his eyes furiously but his body felt like it was collapsing, his joints made of jelly. A self-perpetuated state of entropy. He breathed hard, shallow breaths through his nose, his body twitching into Krycek’s grasp. Krycek looked at him as though this was distantly amusing, borderline interesting, borderline something else. His hand was a separate entity, divesting Ben of self-control – the hand, wanton, coaxing from Ben the desires he didn’t dare admit to – while Alex’s eyes were crystal clear and haughty, refusing and belittled Ben. It built in Ben horrible yearning he could never get used to. He wanted everything. He wanted everything he’d always been too afraid to ask for. He wanted Alex Krycek face-down on the floor, bleeding Ben’s indignation, he wanted Alex holding him down, looking down into his face, he wanted something he couldn’t define without fear of repercussions. They could be two places at once – the Island could do that maybe, if only Ben could find the way.
Ben peered at Alex through his shuttered eyes and thought about all the ways he’d bend this man to his will. All too soon, he was shivering his climax, his cry muffled by Krycek’s hand. He moaned like a wounded animal, his fingertips twitching against the fabric of Krycek’s shirt.
“Ah, too bad,” Krycek murmured. “If you’d lasted, we could’ve had some real fun.” He wiped his hand on Ben’s shirt. “See you around, kid. If you’re still here.” His footsteps faded as he returned to camp, Ben’s sharp blue eyes on his back the whole way.