"Parker needs a distraction. We've got two extra security guys behind the front desk and the odds are not good all three of them will keep their eyes facing front when she hits the ground floor."
Eliot and Sophie exchanged nearly identical expressions of disbelief as Nate's voice sounded in their ear-buds then turned together to glance around the nearly completely empty parkette. Tucked between the back of the office tower and the parking lot, it held the iron bench they were sitting on -- a pair of office drones sharing a late lunch -- as well as two scrawny trees and half a dozen pigeons squabbling over the bits of bread Eliot had been throwing them while they waited.
"We're a little short of things to distract with out here," Sophie murmured.
Eliot brushed his hair back off his face and measured the distance between the closest vehicle and the glass of the first floor. "I could hot wire a car and ram the building."
"A little drastic," Nate told them. "Especially as I already vetoed Parker's blow up the elevator shaft suggestion."
"I never get to have any fun," Parker sighed from inside the stalled north elevator.
"Think faster people!"
"There's a security camera overlooking the parking lot," Eliot said thoughtfully. "Does the image go back to the monitors on the desk?"
"Well, yeah…" Alec's tone filled in the dude, stupid question. subtext. "…but it's one of twenty-three sources rotating through six monitors."
"Can you make it the only source."
"I can but…"
"Set it up, but don't punch it in until I give the word." He grabbed Sophie's hand, tugged her up onto her feet, and pulled her toward the large, black Cadillac in the CEO's parking space. "I have an idea."
She tottered a bit on her heels as she hurried to keep up. "A little vandalism is unlikely to pull all three guards away from the desk," she pointed out, adjusting her sunglasses.
"That's why we're going to lock all three of them in place."
"We're going hypnotize them?" she asked, pointedly not glancing up at the camera as they arrived beside the glossy, black hood of the CEO's car.
"In a manner of speaking. Now, Hardison!"
Sophie's eyes widened as Eliot tugged her up against his chest, cupped his hands under her ass, and lifted her effortlessly up onto the hood of the car, tucking himself between her legs. "Oh, I get it," she said, as understanding dawned, "we're appealing to their baser…"
The rest of the sentence dribbled out her ears as one of his hands covered the back of her head, fingers threaded through her hair. The other hand tugged her blouse from the waistband of her skirt, and his mouth claimed hers.
Had anyone asked her opinion on Eliot's ability as a lover, Sophie would have told them that she expected he'd be as competent at sex as he was at any other physical activity. As it happened, it was a good thing no one had ever asked because Sophie hated to be wrong about people and "competent" came as close to describing Eliot in this instance as "predictable" came to describing Parker at any time.
Wrapping her legs around his hips and drawing that muscular body closer just meant she was giving one hundred percent to the con. Rubbing up against the remarkably well developed bulge in the front of his grey dress pants might possibly have taken it to a hundred and ten but they needed to be certain they'd captured the guards attention because if Parker didn't get clear of the building with the flash drive then the entire job would have…
"Oh my God!" She dropped her weight back onto her elbows, as Eliot slid the blouse off her shoulders and, blocking all but a tantalizing hint of what was going on from the camera with his own body, bent his mouth to suck at her nipples through the lace of her bra. Skirt bunched up around her hips, large, calloused hands up under the folded fabric caressing bare skin around the edge of silk panties, he rocked forward to the rhythm she'd set.
Falling back against the warm metal, she grabbed a handful of hair and pulled his mouth up to hers, fumbling between them with her other hand for his belt buckle.
"Parker?" Nate's voice sounded a little rough. "Talk to me. Where are you?"
"Did you get that? Parker's clear. Wrap it up and meet us at the van."
Sophie felt one very expensive shoe slide off her foot and fall to the pavement.
She dug her bare heel into the flexing muscles of Eliot's ass. "Coming…"
"You're running out of time, guys! IT traced the fault and has sent one of their people downstairs."
"I thought you were supposed to stall them," Eliot grunted as Alec, his upper body through a hole in the ceiling of the utility room, shifted his weight.
"I did stall them," Sophie snapped. "But you were supposed to have been finished three minutes ago."
"What's the hold up, Alec?"
Alec rolled his eyes at the impatience in Nate's voice. "Well for starters," he muttered, gaze flickering over the code filling the screen, "this system was designed by a chimp in serious need of some Ritalin. There's more wires in here than in Sophie's lingerie drawer."
"I'm going to pretend I didn't hear that."
"And for seconders," he continued as Eliot snickered in the room below, "the information we need is in a couple of hundred different places and this lot's a little shaky on the concept of sub-directories. We're talking Hunt for Red October here, people, I'm rummaging through the Atlantic trench for information that's running silent and deep. But…" He hit save, unclipped his input leads, and closed the briefcase holding his equipment. "…lucky for us all, I am Sean Connery and Scott Glenn all wrapped up in one much smarter package. Coming down."
"Hunt for Red October?" Eliot asked as Alec set the ceiling tiles back in place.
"Yeah, I got that, but Tom Clancy's not science fiction."
"I refuse to be confined by genre expectations."
Eliot stared at him for a long moment. "Okay then."
"Shall we?" Picking up the briefcase, he nodded toward the door.
"Too late!" Parker sounded almost gleeful. "He just stepped out on your floor."
"Why didn't you stop him at the elevator?" Eliot muttered.
"Well, I would have but he took the stairs and Nate wouldn't let me drop a block of C4 down the stairwell." The glee had turned to an audible pout. "I never get to have any fun."
"Enough about you." Alec ran a finger behind the collar of his Egyptian cotton shirt. No matter how much he might rock the look, he was not a suit and tie kind of guy. That probably slowed him down some; shaved a nano-second here or there off his time. "In a minute that dude's going to find the firm's newest hot young lawyer and a janitor locked in a maintenance room and there's going to be some questions asked!"
Eliot grinned. "Probably not."
"You can not beat him up!" Alec protested, grabbing Eliot's arm. "Dude's just some geek doing his job! Let me talk to him. Geek to geek."
"I'm not going to beat him up," Eliot sighed, and dropped to his knees, pulling free of Alec's grip. "And, somehow, I don't think a rousing chorus of these are not the droids you're looking for is going to cut it."
Alec's eyes widened as he stared down his body and watched Eliot push open the edges of the Armani suit jacket. "Uh…"
"See, that's…" And then he had a little trouble making his mouth work as in one smooth move Eliot had his matching Armani fly undone and calloused fingers wrapped around his dick. And his dick? Apparently happy to co-operate. More than happy. Enthusiastic even.
"Alec? Eliot? What's happening? Talk to me."
"Don't worry about it, Nate." Eliot eyes crinkled at the corners. "I'm handling it."
Firstly, Eliot had a sense of humour. Who knew? And second… that wasn't his hand. Well, not just his hand. Alec knew what hands felt like and they weren't so warm and wet and firm and licking and…
"Oh sweet Jesus!" He sagged back against the wall, briefcase falling from lax fingers, and tried to remember how to breathe. Never, not ever, had he gotten so hard so fast. The rush of blood south left him a little light-headed so he closed his eyes, snapping them open again as the door to the maintenance room creaked a protest.
He hadn't even heard the key in the lock but there was the IT guy, staring wide-eyed into the room.
First he looked at Alec and his brows went up then he dropped his gaze to Eliot and his eyes widened nearly enough to join his brows at his hairline.
Unable to stop himself, Alec looked down as well and forgot how to breathe again at the sight of broad shoulders stretching the janitor's shirt to the limit, at the glimmer of brilliant blue through gold tipped lashes, and finally at his dick sliding between Eliot's swollen, pink lips. Bucking forward into that tight heat was completely instinctive but Eliot only glanced up with as much of a smirk as he could manage -- given the whole having his mouth full thing and all -- and a bring it expression. He started to rock his hips, pushing in further, and Eliot hummed appreciatively.
He wouldn't have been able to look away except that the IT guy made a noise kind of like the little cleaning droid on the Death Star.
"I'll just… I mean there isn't any… Oh God…"
And the door slammed.
"He's heading for the stairs," Parker reported. "Moving fast."
"All right, as soon as the coast is clear I want you guys out of there. Alec? Your breathing sounds a bit weird. Are you having some kind of asthma attack…"
"Parker, Eliot -- the rent a cops are heading toward the van."
Eliot sighed and rested his head on the top curve of the steering wheel. "The van holding two cases of high explosive cleverly hidden out in plain sight? That van?"
"That would be the van," Alec agreed. "The van you and Parker are sitting in and I still don't get why you even need two cases of high explosives."
Sitting cross-legged in the passenger seat, Parker grinned. "They were on sale."
"Makes perfect sense to me," Sophie put in quietly.
Nate, with Sophie inside the building, murmured something about shoes then said a little louder, "You can't move the van; it has to be there when Hernandez looks out the window. And those rent-a-cops can't find the explosives for, well, for obvious reasons."
Parker frowned. "What reasons?"
"Reasons like we're parked behind a government building and things that go boom tend to make them nervous," Eliot told her. He checked the position of the advancing security guards in the side mirror and reached for the door handle. "I'm on it."
"No!" Alec's protest froze him in place. "They have to see Nate and Sophie come out the side door when they do their rounds or plausible deniability goes out the window. You can't deal with it."
"You never get to have any fun either," Parker told him, patting his arm sympathetically.
"All right, we can't move the van, I can't…" He sketched a set of air quotes. "…deal with it…"
"We'll just have to distract them," Parker said and waggled both brows suggestively when Eliot turned toward her. As realization dawned and those brilliant blue eyes widened, she grinned. "Rock, paper, scissors?"
He shook his head, half smiling, and lifted his right hand. "On three. One, two, three…" His eyes narrowed as he stared at Parker's up turned palm and spread fingers next to his rock. "What the hell is that?"
"C4; it beats everything." She squirmed out of her skirt -- part of the uniform of the day and she was more than happy to get rid of it because seriously, ruffles? she was not the ruffle type -- and dropped it over the back of the seat so it spread out over the upper of the two cases. Turning sideways, she poked Eliot with one sandaled foot. "Come on! Chop chop!"
"There's not a lot of room."
Parker rolled her eyes. Honestly, men. "I'm flexible and you're not exactly vertically gifted. We'll manage." Grabbing a handful of his hair, she tugged him forward and down.
As he licked up the inside of her left thigh, she squirmed and tried to guide him higher. His hair was softer than it looked and the silky strands sliding between her fingers distracted her for a moment until he pulled the edge of her panties aside with his teeth. When he exhaled a gust of warm air and followed it with the tip of his tongue, she gave a happy moan and closed her eyes.
A few moments later, a slight change of the light coming through her lids, popped them open again.
Staring through the driver's side window, the security guard could see Eliot's broad back, her bare legs up over his shoulders, and her expression. His eyes widened as he put the pieces together and the hand he'd raised to knock on the window dropped out of sight.
Parker released the fistful of Eliot's shirt she'd grabbed when he'd applied just a touch of teeth and waved the guard away mouthing, "Go away… oh my God!" Except the last bit hadn't so much been mouthed as screamed.
Alec's weary sigh came through loud and clear as the second guard took a look and the two of them backed up so fast they stumbled. "Okay, they're moving on. Do I even want to know what you two are doing?"
"No one's getting hit," Eliot murmured, the vibration adding another layer of sensation.
"And nothing's going to go boom," Parker added, shifting her hips forward as Eliot slid a hand under her ass.
He looked up through his hair and grinned. "Wanna bet?"
"I have to admit," Eliot said as he carefully set the last case of equipment on the pile, "you did a sweet job with the hotel manager. She's eating out of your hand."
"Yeah, well, if I can get out of this without her eating my hand, I'll be happy," Nate admitted.
"Ah come on, man…" Eliot's brows bounced up. "…what's so scary about having a beautiful woman want you?"
"Yes, Nate," Sophie purred in the earbuds. "What's so scary about having a beautiful woman want you?"
Nate tugged at his tuxedo jacket and shot Eliot a look that suggested he knew damned well the other man had been shilling for Sophie all along. He suspected bets of a sizable nature had been made between the two younger men and he was not going to play into their obsession with his love life. Or lack there of. Ignoring the question, he shook his head at the stack of equipment. "I'd feel better if Alec was setting this up."
Alec's sigh was so heavy it was almost tactile. "I told you, it's fool proof. Any idiot could do it."
"How convenient," Sophie murmured.
"And besides," Eliot added, throwing the tablecloth back over the room service trolley and retrieving the champagne bucket off the floor, "Hardison's busy in the casino playing Sophie's boy toy."
"Escort," Alec snorted. "And speaking of boys, I'm not taking any lip from a bell boy."
Eliot didn't react to the insult but then, Nate figured, given what Eliot brought to the team, he had to be pretty damned secure in his masculinity.
"They still called that? Bell boys?" Eliot wondered as he brushed a bit of dust off his burgundy vest, calluses against the raised Harrah's crest making soft a shoop shoop noise.
"Who cares?" Parker snapped. "What I want to know is, why am I a waitress again?"
Nate pushed a hand back through his hair. There were days when he felt like a kindergarten teacher. "Because it's the easiest way for you to relieve Mr. Bennet of his room key."
"And because Hardison looked like crap in the outfit," Eliot snickered.
"You know I can hear you, right?"
And speaking of hearing…
"Quiet!" Nate snapped and both men turned toward the bedroom door.
"Anthony? Are you decent?" Veronica Stellman's not at all dulcet tones filled the suite.
"Why does she have a key?" Eliot growled.
"She runs the hotel," Nate reminded him
"If she sees this," he waved at the stack of equipment. "We're screwed."
"I'll just go out there and…"
"Have you got someone in there with you, you naughty, naughty man?" Veronica's voice had picked up an edge.
The bedroom door handle started to turn. Nate doubted he could get to the door before she had it thrust open and he knew they had no time to hide the equipment, the room service table, and Eliot.
Eliot rolled his eyes, whipped his black leather belt out of the loops, tossed it to Nate and hissed, "Use it!" as he dropped his uniform trousers and the boxers under them ending up bent over the room service table, bare ass exposed.
Bare, muscular ass exposed.
Bare, muscular, tanned ass. Eliot had no tan lines, Nate realized and wondered how he'd managed that. The thought of Eliot spread out on a nude beach, naked, muscular body soaking up the sun made the collar of his shirt distinctly too tight.
As the door opened, he moved so that he wasn't blocking the view, folded the belt in half and brought it down across the two firm mounds of flesh with a sharp crack.
"Anthony are you… oh my."
As he brought the belt down again, raising another welt across the golden skin, and Eliot's breath caught and his back arched, Nate realized the man was a genius. There could have been an elephant in the room with them and there was no way in Hell Veronica would ever notice it. One small pile of electronic surveillance equipment -- essentially invisible.
He smiled broadly as he turned. Veronica's fingers were white around the door handle and her eyes so wide they looked to be in danger of popping out of her head. "Excuse me, Darlin'," he said, "I'll just be a minute. I ordered a '99 Cristal. Your boy here brought it up chilled. I didn't ask for ice."
Eyes locked on Eliot's ass as the belt landed a third time, Veronica licked scarlet lips as he moaned in what was clearly not pain. "Champagne is always," she began, broke off as the belt came down and Eliot moaned again.
"You go on now, Darlin'," Nate stroked the leather over the welts and Eliot gave a full body shiver. "I'll meet you downstairs when I'm done with this little bit of discipline. Unless…" He took a quick read of her reaction and held out the belt. "…it is your staff so if you'd like to help."
"No, no… that's… I mean, downstairs… meet you. Later. Right." Cheeks blazing, she backed quickly out of the room and closed the door. When Nate didn't hear her moving away, he brought the belt down again, this welt crossing two of the others.
Eliot spread his legs as far as he could given the manacles of cloth around his ankles. "Please… oh God, please…"
Veronica's whimper sounded distinctly through the bedroom door then her heels clicked a staccato pattern against the Brazilian hardwood and she all but slammed the outside door behind her.
Nate studied the pattern on Eliot's ass and thought about walking away. Danger of discovery was over. They didn't need to take this any further. Except… He swung the belt twice more. One. Two. No pause in between. Eliot's moans had become desperate. Tossing the belt on the bed, he moved forward until he could stroke the firm skin, feeling the raised lines of heat under his palm. He scratched at them with his fingernails and had to hold Eliot in place, gripping his hip with his other hand as the younger man writhed and begged inarticulately for more, exposed skin covered in a fine sheen of sweat and need rolling off him like smoke.
"It's okay," he said, and brought his palm down hard. "I've got you."
"You guys know how distracting that is?" Alec sighed.
"I just dumped a drink in a slot machine," Parker admitted.
"Hush, children," Sophie murmured. "Let the man work."
When Eliot walked into the conference room the rest of the team were all staring at the action on the screen.
"Oh yeah," he said, leaning over the back of one of the chairs, mug of tea clasped between two hands. "The Lipcott job. Guess he's never going to try that shit again."
Alec paused the playback and they all turned to look at him.
"What? That's the file his wife found on his hard drive right?"
Alec opened his mouth, closed it again, and Nate said, "That's not the file you were given to plant. What happened to that file?"
Eliot shook his head and snorted. "Damned thing got corrupted. I had to improvise."
"Improvise?" Sophie squeaked.
"Well, yeah. There was a webcam on his laptop and when I couldn't get the file Alec gave me to upload, I improvised."
Alec nodded toward the image filling the far wall of the room. "That's you improvising?"
"Look, it worked didn't it?" He took a swallow of tea and made a face. A perfect cup of Earl Grey had gotten cold. "You'd think you lot had never seen a guy masturbate before," he muttered heading back to the kitchen.
"Oh look! It says Saskatchewan! I never knew you could get that tattooed," Parker observed as the door closed.