Episode Twenty-Two: The New Coat Affair
Guy walked out of A.B.E.L. with a bloody lip, but he seemed fine everywhere else. After much prying, Steele told him that Nikolai would be fine, but he said nothing else. And A.B.E.L. wouldn’t let Guy see Nikolai. He headed back to see Cain and report his failure. He could see the night sky start to lighten as he approached the building. Inside, he found the building free of people, and only one security guard was inside. He passed by with a wave and took the elevator up. He found Cain sitting at his desk.
“Is it done?” Cain asked.
“Kuryakin’s house was bugged,” Guy said. “I didn’t even get close.”
Cain raised a brow. “You didn’t consider his home would be bugged?”
Guy shrugged. “I set off the alarm so he would come, but I didn’t think it’d set all of A.B.E.L. on my ass.”
“And did you say anything when they brought you in?”
“I just said it was a contract,” Guy said. “I didn’t say who. They didn’t let Kuryakin interrogate me. I’m assuming they’re moving him somewhere safe.”
Cain nodded, his face staying stiff. Guy couldn’t tell if Cain saw through him or not. Cain said, “I’ll just have to hire someone better then.”
“Who?” Guy asked.
Cain raised a brow. “Why do you ask?”
Guy shrugged. “I was just curious. I know people in the business.”
“Well, don’t be curious. You can leave anytime.”
Guy cleared his throat. “I’m going to clear out my storage unit.”
Cain leaned back in his chair, knitting his fingers together as his green eyes locked onto Guy. “So you’re retiring then.”
“Just disappearing,” Guy said.
“Without the money?” Cain asked. “You must really want out.”
Guy stiffened. “I already told you this was it. I don’t like being pulled into A.B.E.L., and I don’t like that they have me on radar now. I’m done.”
Cain’s smile turned thin. “Well, if you need the money, I’ll always have jobs for you.”
Guy nodded and said, “Thanks,” with what he hoped was the perfect amount of sarcasm.
The assassin then left Cain’s office, wishing he had taken more money from the briefcase in the first place. He wasn’t sure how long he could stretch out his last payment for. Guy felt his mind numbing to the point where he created a list of things to do.
Sell most of his weapons for money – and fast. Clean out the rest of his storage unit. Pack necessities into his satchel. Sell everything else at a pawn shop and thrift store. Check into a hotel. Sleep off the anxiety.
Guy felt as if he watched a stranger as he moved through the streets. He sold everything he could to Quint Ryland. Quint tried to pry information about what happened to Guy, but Guy simply thanked him for lending him his book. He said he would keep the book for a while longer, if that was all right.
“It’s fine,” Quint said, his hazel eyes widening in surprise. “Return it whenever you can, but don’t hesitate to keep in touch. If you need anything –”
“Quint, I’m tired of owing people for things,” Guy said, exhaling. “Just take it all. I trust you won’t screw me on this.”
Quint smiled weakly. “Guy, you’re forgetting that I owe you. Does this liquidation of your assets mean you didn’t kill Kuryakin?”
“Got caught before it could happen.”
“Convenient,” Quint said. He patted Guy’s shoulder and said, “I truly mean it when I say you have a place here if you need somewhere to stay – we even have tight lips here.”
“I just need to get away,” Guy said. “I’ll feel better after I’m away for a while.”
“Certainly,” Quint said. “Good luck.”
A few of Quint’s men followed Guy back to his storage unit and cleaned out what he pointed out. He kept only his Luger and some ammunition for it, deciding that he could repurchase any of his explosives. He sold some of his gadgets and rings to a pawn shop (he didn’t feel like arguing for a better deal) and then all the clothes he wasn’t wearing to a thrift store.
His satchel held his laptop, an extra pair of underwear, an extra pair of socks, his jump drive (with Nikolai’s murmurs back when he was only Mr. Wetsuit), Red’s boy short-style underwear, and his luger. He pinched the bridge of his nose as he flipped through the pictures of Steffie he kept in the armed briefcase. He looked at the picture he obtained through Nikolai – the one where he and Steffie ate ice cream together. He had burned the rest of the file, but couldn’t toss away the photograph.
He piled all the photos into a manila envelope and slipped a note inside of them. The note read, “Hold onto these for me.” He addressed the envelope to Danny Marlow and slid it into his satchel.
He went to a hotel and checked in, leaving the envelope at the front desk for them to mail. He dropped onto his bed and hugged a pillow to his chest. He felt numb, and his mind barely moved to decide what to do next.
Guy decided he would have felt better if he had just seen Nikolai, maybe just one word to know he was okay. He buried his face in the pillow, imagining that he was breathing into Nikolai’s chest. He would have to try to find Grier. No one else would be able to give him information regarding Nikolai’s whereabouts.
And even then, she might not tell him.
He flipped onto his back, feeling a loneliness wash over him. He frowned. He hated feeling lonely. He patted down his pockets and found the business card Magnus gave him. He stared at it. He thought it would feel nice sleeping between two bodies. He wanted Nikolai’s body to coil around him, trapping him, pulling him under the sheets.
Guy closed his eyes and balanced the business card on his forehead, his head throbbing. He patted down beside him to try to find the phone, but he found his hand touching flesh. He opened his eyes, finding two black* eyes watching him.
“Jesus,” he said. “Red.”
She smiled and sat down beside him. “I never thought I’d be able to sneak up on you, Guy Solo. Are you calling a polyamorous couple?”
Guy grinned. “I was planning on it, but if you propose something more interesting…” he traced his finger up Red’s leg.
Red took Guy’s hand in hers. “I don’t think you’d even be able to get it up right now.”
Guy frowned. He let his eyes trace over her form. Her stocking-clad legs were crossed one over the other, with thigh-high boots protecting them. He imagined unzipping the boots while he let his other finger trace up her skirt, and yet he didn’t feel a surge through him.
“What are you doing here?” Guy asked.
“Cain hired me to kill Kuryakin,” Red said. “I took the job and started following him, and somehow I stumbled onto you.” She pulled back her curtain of auburn hair and tucked it behind her ear. Red said, “I didn’t expect you to settle down.”
“I wouldn’t call it settling down.”
Red raised her brows. “A strong affection, then?”
Guy wanted to ask her if she saw Steffie, but he didn’t dare bring it up. If she didn’t know, he didn’t want to mention it. He said, “Sure, a strong affection.”
“So I turned down the job, Mr. Solo,” Red said, smirking. “I planned to go to you to warn you about Cain’s plans, but then I see you take the job. So I follow you and I see you warning him, and then I watch you get pulled in A.B.E.L. headquarters. I do wonder what you told them.”
“Everything,” Guy said. “Cain keeps telling me to retire, and today – or yesterday now, I suppose – he tried threatening me. I don’t like to be threatened by my friends. Is that what you’re planning to do, Red?”
“No,” Red said. “I followed your Mr. Kuryakin to the airport, and I know where he is. Would you like to know?”
Guy nodded and he sat up. “Yes.”
“Well, it’s very cold there.”
“I’m used to the cold,” Guy said. “What do you want for the information?”
“I want to buy you a winter coat,” Red said.
Guy loosely wrapped his arms around Red. “Are you trying to coax sexual favours out of me?” he asked.
Red grinned. “Hardly,” she said, rolling her eyes.
Guy pulled Red on top of him, and she straddled him, leaning against his chest. “Then what is it?” Guy asked, tracing his fingers down her back. “I know that it’s hard to find someone to screw when you’re an assassin. You always have to worry about a knife in the back.”
“It’s not a screw, Guy,” she said.
He nuzzled her, and he felt her fingers run through his hair as she nuzzled back. “What is it then?” he asked.
“You won’t like it.”
Guy frowned, resting his hands on her rear. She bit her thick bottom lip, and as Guy looked into her black eyes, he doubted his affections for Nikolai. “Tell me,” he said.
“I think you like Mr. Kuryakin more than you would admit.”
Guy blinked. He liked the simplicity of his and Red’s relationship. Even if they curled up together in bed, he knew he would wake up without her there in the morning. He liked her body pressed against his because they both knew it wouldn’t last. He kissed her neck and breathed in her hair.
Red continued, “Maybe it’s good for you to have someone.”
“Because I’m old,” Guy said against her neck.
“No,” Red said. “Because you seem to really like him, and if you’re willing to throw away your rapport with Cain for him, maybe it’s worth staying with him. Is he interested in a relationship?”
Guy scoffed. “It’s what he wants.”
“You could at least give it a try,” she replied. “Where’s the harm in that? You can always leave later if you want to.”
Guy frowned and released Red. He backed away, feeling her legs tighten around him.
“Don’t be like this,” she said. “Come on, Solo. I just want you to be happy.”
“I’ll drown with him,” Guy said. “He’ll suck me in with him and I’ll lose myself.”
“Then I won’t give you the address,” Red said. “You won’t even have to worry about it.”
Guy hesitated. He wanted to see Nikolai again, and he wasn’t sure Nikolai would seek him out – or if he even could. Red smiled a small smile, as if she slowly pried into his mind. Guy sighed. “What about us?” he asked.
“That’s up to you,” Red said. “You know my terms. Things can stay the same so long as Kuryakin doesn’t change things.”
“I fear he will,” Guy said. “He likes exclusivity.”
“And yet he doesn’t complain when you go out with a couple,” Red said.
“He won’t hear about it,” Guy said. He smiled and nuzzled Red. “Just like he won’t hear about us.” He flipped Red onto her back and kissed her, feeling her nails running through his hair again. Her legs twined around his, and when she broke the kiss, he kissed her neck. “You really turned down the job for me?” Guy asked.
“Yes,” she replied. “I figured if you liked him so much, you should be able to keep him.” Guy stared at her pale face and tried to read her. She always looked innocent and happy to him, sometimes with a hint of coyness. He supposed that’s why she was good at her job. She continued, “You’d do the same for me, wouldn’t you?”
Guy chuckled. “I’d never be able to tell how much you liked the guy. Besides, it’s not a fair comparison. I’m more strapped for cash than you are.”
“How bad is it?” she asked.
Guy sprawled out beside her. “I’m okay for now, but I’m going to be leeching off Quint Ryland soon. Supplies are expensive, hotels are expensive, clothes are expensive. I really wanted a bomber jacket, you know? One of those nice leather ones with the fur lining. I keep saving up for one, but more important things keep eating away my salary as fast as I’m getting it.”
“Like nicer hotels for a certain Russian.”
“Like giving a prostitute money for a blowjob,” Guy said.
Red laughed. “I’m glad I’m not that desperate.”
“You’re desperate enough to come to me when you want to get laid,” Guy said. “Am I still considered a joke?”
“I’ll put a word in with some of my clients. Some of them might be looking for someone cheap or someone to make a statement,” Red said. She turned her head to look at him, her hair curling across the sheets. Her face softened, her thin eyebrows knitting into a serious expression. She said, “You are not a joke, Guy Solo. You just specialize in different things.”
Guy smiled weakly at her. “Do you think I’m old?”
She wormed her way closer to him. “When I first met you, I thought you were old. I thought, ‘What’s a guy like this still working in the industry for?’ But then we screwed and now, a what? a decade later? And now you don’t seem old at all.” She rubbed his chest. “You’re experienced. That’s the word you should use.”
Guy kissed her again, letting his hand trace along the curve of her body. He felt her tongue flick against the back of his teeth. He pulled her close to kiss her deeper. His body throbbed as her body pressed against his. As their lips parted, Guy murmured, “You’re wonderful.”
She winked. “I know.” She sat up. “Let me take off my boots.”
Red scooted to the edge of the bed, unzipping her knee-high boots. Guy propped his head up with his hand and watched. He said, “Why did we never talk about being exclusive?”
“Because we don’t work together. We’d go months without seeing each other, and that’s fine with me. I like knowing there’s a person I can crash with if I need to, and I like to know someone out there isn’t trying to kill me,” Red said. She turned her head to face him and said, “You wouldn’t be able to go a week without screwing someone.”
“That’s true,” Guy said. “Good point.”
“So what’s this Kuryakin got that you like so much?”
Guy watched as she peeled off her stockings. He said, “I can’t put my finger on it. I like the sex. He’s a bit of a tight-ass, so he’s fun to unwind – kind of like you were when we first met.”
“So he’s attractive.”
“You noticed he’s attractive.”
Red laughed. “Yes, I noticed. I should have phrased it, ‘So you find him attractive?’”
“Yes, I find him very attractive,” Guy said, stretching out on the bed. “And he makes me feel safe. Kind of like when we’re together. Do you feel like that? I feel like when we’re together nothing could stop us.”
“I’m not that confident,” Red said, “but I know what you mean. Your plane won’t leave until tomorrow night, and I’ve got a job close by in the morning. Are you inviting me to stay the night, Mr. Solo?”
Guy said, “It might be my last day of freedom. Of course you can stay.”
Red peeled off her shirt, and Guy took a moment to appreciate the sight of her breasts balanced in a lacy, black bra. Red said, “What else do you like about him?”
“Well, he doesn’t have breasts,” Guy said, “which is disappointing. Come on, talking about this will ruin the mood.”
“I would have thought talking about your potential boyfriend would help,” Red said.
“Don’t call him that.”
“What?” Red asked. “Boyfriend?”
Guy watched as she pulled off her underwear from underneath her skirt. “Yes,” Guy said.
“What else do you like about Kuryakin then?” Red asked, folding her pair of boy-briefs on the nightstand.
“There’s just something about him that keeps drawing me back, you know?” Guy said. “I don’t understand it – not yet. But you’re right. I should give it a shot, if only to find out what that thing is that keeps dragging me back.”
Red straddled Guy again. “There’s no harm in feeling it out, anyway.”
Guy traced his hands along her thighs. He nuzzled her breasts and asked, “Do you ever think you’ll meet someone?”
“Maybe,” she said, rubbing the back of Guy’s head. “I don’t trust people as easily as you do. It might be harder for me. That and people in our profession have short lifespans. Not all of us can be like Guy Solo.”
Guy kissed her neck. “We certainly cannot.” He paused and loosely wrapped his arms around her waist. “I think what I meant to ask was, would you want to meet someone?”
“Of course,” she replied. “I really hope this isn’t all there is to life. Don’t get me wrong,” she gave Guy a half-smile, “if I died tomorrow and had the opportunity to look back on my life, I’d treasure our moments together. But I still think I would like to have someone, you know? Sort of a partner in crime.”
“Maybe we should have teamed up all those years ago.”
“Maybe,” she said. “I don’t think either of us would have been interested back then.”
Red softened. “I like being with you, and I would do a lot for you, but I don’t think we would work well together.”
“I’d probably spend all my time cleaning up after you,” Red said. “And I think I would worry too much about you. I think if I found someone, I’d want them to have a safe job – a job where I always knew where they were.”
Guy gave her a weak smile. “Why haven’t we talked about this before?”
“You were never interested in a relationship,” Red said. “I’m not wearing any underwear and we’re still talking. That doesn’t usually happen.”
“Sorry,” Guy said.
“Do you still feel like it?” Red asked.
Guy simply said, “You look beautiful.”
Red laughed. “Yeah, I don’t feel like it either.”
She crawled off of Guy and grabbed her underwear from the dresser. Guy hopped off the bed and peeled off his shirt. “It’s still late,” he said. “We can still sleep.”
“Sounds good to me,” Red said.
Red tossed her skirt on the floor and slid her underwear back on. Guy took off his jeans and socks before slipping under the covers, finding Red’s body still there. He wrapped his arms around her, pulling her close. He felt her shift against him, tucking her head beneath his and nuzzling into his chest.
“Hey Red?” Guy said.
“Yeah?” Red asked, her voice a whisper.
He felt her smile against him. “You’re welcome.”
Guy breathed in her hair again, feeling his eyelids grow heavy. The toils of the day finally hit him, and he felt relief that he would soon find himself in Nikolai’s arms again. He was too tired to argue with himself about it.
He awoke abruptly with sun glaring into his room. It was as if he never slept at all, and exhaustion still nipped at the corners of his body. He stretched on the bed, checking for Red. He could find no traces of her, as if his encounter with her had been a dream. The sheets beside him were cold.
As Guy gracefully stuffed his hands down his boxers to adjust himself, he found a slip of paper in the band of his boxers. He opened it. It read an address and the note, “But don’t leave without me. You still need a winter coat.” Red signed it.
Guy checked the hotel notepad, but no sign of her writing was on it. He leaned back on the bed, seeing a small suitcase of Red’s things in the corner of the hotel room. He got out of bed to rifle through it, and he eventually found what he was looking for.
Smiling to himself, Guy dropped back onto the bed, pulled the coffee table close, and unscrewed the lid. He stared at the red colour before putting a stroke of the polish onto his toenails.
Guy watched the news as he painted his toenails on the hotel room bed. He admired them absently as they dried, allowing one ear to absorb the television’s information. He half-expected the News Anchor to turn to him and say, “Don’t worry, Nikolai’s fine.”
But the news anchor didn’t, of course. That would be ridiculous.
So Guy let himself have a slow morning. He ordered room service, ate breakfast while watching a Soap, and then he went into the bathroom to relieve himself. He stared at himself in the mirror, inspecting his split lip. He worried for a moment that he was, perhaps, getting old like Cain thought. His body ached, but he told himself he just imagined it. He ran his hand along the rope burn on his wrist.
He dropped back onto the bed and picked up the business card Carson and Magnus gave him. He dialled their number, and listened to it ring. Their simple answering machine message surprised him – somehow he expected something more complex or at least heated. But he supposed he should have known the importance of keeping those sorts of things hidden from plain sight.
He left a short message: “Hey guys. I just wanted to say I had a great time yesterday, and I’ve decided to try what we discussed in the car. Thanks for your help.” And Guy hung up.
Guy wasn’t sure whether or not they’d actually understand the message, but he felt better just saying it to someone.
He was going to sweep Nikolai off of his feet and then toss him into bed and then feel their bodies grind together.
And then maybe they’d talk or something. He wasn’t sure about that part. It would all get sorted out eventually, he decided.
Guy stretched out on the bed and watched television until Red came back in. A black ball cap covered her hair that was tied into a loose ponytail, and red curls tumbled down the back of her leather jacket. “Cain has a few men outside,” she said. “Do you think he suspects something?”
Guy shrugged. “I don’t know why he would. He probably knows I’m running out of money, and he wants to pick up the pieces when I fall apart. He keeps trying to get me to join his Syndicate.”
Red cringed. “Come on, let’s get you out of here.”
“They didn’t recognize you?”
Red winked. “No one ever does. Come on, I got you a hat too.”
Guy sat up, and Red put a black cap on Guy and a pair of sunglasses. “God, you’re beautiful,” Guy said again, smiling into her eyes.
She smirked. “Do we have time for a tumble?” she asked.
“I haven’t showered yet,” Guy said, smelling a faint metallic smell on her. He ran his hands across the curves of her body, trying to feel a gun there. “We could kill two birds with one stone. Or three – I suppose you already killed a little bird this morning.”
Red cupped Guy’s cheeks, stroking his stubble with her thumbs. She pulled him in for a kiss, and Guy firmly gripped her ass to lift her gently. He felt himself throb against her body. As she pulled away from the kiss, Guy took off his sunglasses to wipe her nose print off of them with his shirt. “Shower,” she said. “Definitely a shower.”
Guy tossed his sunglasses onto the bed as Red did the same with her cap. She pulled down her hair as Guy set his hat on the bed, and then they quickly embraced again with a hurried kiss between them. Guy pulled off her jacket as she pulled his shirt over his head. Guy took off the shoulder holster over her teal sweater and then pulled her sweater over her head, watching the way her curls frizzed and clung to her face.
He kissed her neck, sliding his hand down the back of her pants to give her ass a squeeze. He felt her leg press against his stiffening cock as her teeth sunk into his ear. They parted, pulling off their pants as they made their way into the bathroom. Guy leaned over to turn on the shower, and Red asked, “Did you use my nail polish?”
Wiggling his toes, Guy asked, “Do you like my nails?”
“Jesus, you never change,” Red said. “That was good stuff, too, you know.”
“Well, Nikolai will like it,” Guy said.
Red rolled her eyes. “Somehow I doubt that.”
Guy turned around, and he hesitated as he saw Red standing naked before him. He asked, “Would you still have given me Kuryakin’s location if you thought I wouldn’t screw you again?”
Red softened. She approached him, tugging at Guy’s boxers as she pressed her breasts against his chest. She gave him a firm stare with her black eyes and said, “Yes. Don’t flatter yourself. I could live without a screw from you.”
Guy kissed her cheek, listening to the water hiss as she pulled off his boxers. He asked, “You really think Nikolai’s worth all this trouble?”
“Yes,” she said, forcing Guy’s leg up so he’d step out of his boxers. “Because you do.”
Guy watched Red toss aside his boxers. She returned to his jeans bunched on the floor, searching for a condom in one of the pockets. “So if the next time I saw you I said we couldn’t screw because Nikolai didn’t want me to, you’d be okay with it?”
“Of course I would,” Red said, ripping open the condom as she approached Guy again. “I wouldn’t believe it, but if that’s what you wanted, that’s what I’d do. Guy, this sounds like a lot of doubt.”
“I don’t know what to do,” Guy said.
Red sighed. “Listen,” she said. She held his cheeks, forcing Guy’s brown eyes to look at her. “There is no harm in trying to be in a relationship with him. You’ll never know what it’s like if you don’t at least give it a shot.”
Guy nodded. “I suppose you’re right.”
“Of course I’m right,” Red said. “Now, Guy Solo, this may be the last time you can screw me without feeling guilty or without feeling a big Russian punch you. I am pumped full of adrenaline, and I want to fuck you. Are you going to keep talking about this, or are we going to get down to business?”
Guy faked a sigh. “Business, I guess.”
Red laughed and pulled Guy into the shower with her. Guy closed the shower curtain behind them and embraced her quickly. He pried her mouth open with his own, sliding his tongue against hers. He didn’t see her gently set the condom on the ledge for the soap. Guy felt her body curve against his own, and he slid his hand between her legs, squeezing the inside of her thigh and feeling her nest of pubic hair against his hand.
She broke the kiss to nibble his ear, and he slid a finger into her, rubbing his thumb against her clit to feel her breath against him. Red reached over to turn the water hotter, digging polished nails into his back as he moved his thumb quicker. She kissed him again, and he smiled when she broke it with a gasp and a laugh. “God, I missed you,” she purred, her black eyes sleepily narrowing in contentment.
Guy grinned and kissed her neck, but she pushed him off of her and pulled his hand away. Red kneeled down in front of him, and Guy felt a shiver run through him as she gripped his legs. She licked the length of his shaft before kissing the head of it. Guy stroked Red’s hair and exhaled as Red took his erection into her mouth.
Digging her nails into Guy’s ass, Red started sucking harder, moving her mouth across his shaft and teasing it with her tongue. Guy unintentionally bucked into her mouth, feeling his legs weaken as she continued. Red slid her mouth off of him – Guy almost let out a whimper – and curled her hand around his cock. She gently jerked him off at the base of his erection as she sucked one of his testicles. Guy grasped onto the soap ledge to keep himself steady, feeling the condom against his fingers. He groaned, feeling himself throb in her mouth.
“Red, you’re going to have to stop if – ah – if you want me to be able perform the next part,” Guy said, gasping.
Red complied, but ran her tongue up his shaft before standing up in front of him, leaving him aching without her. He kissed her again, forcing her up against the shower wall as he did so. She flicked her tongue against the roof of his mouth and pried the condom out of his hand. He slid his finger back against of her, cupping her breast in the other hand. He kissed her neck as he teased her nipple between two fingers, gently pressing his thumb back against her clit.
Stifling a gasp, Red slid the condom onto Guy’s erection. She coiled her legs around his and held onto the soap ledge, trying to keep herself propped up. He gripped her ass to help keep her elevated and gently pressed into her. He kissed her again before his breaths quickened, and her nails dug into his back as she kissed him back. She purred against his lips, “You don’t need to go slow with me, Guy Solo.”
“Well, you do need to be loud with me, Red,” Guy replied, grinning and grunting as he started to pump quicker in and out of her.
He felt more of her weight against him as she moaned, nuzzling his ear as she did so. He wrapped his arm around her slick back, thrusting into her as he groaned into her red hair. Guy tried to keep up the quick pace, hearing his own breaths grow louder and his heart pound in his ears. Red’s moans increased, and she playfully bit his earlobe to suppress the moans.
“Oh fuck, Red,” Guy groaned, kissing Red’s neck.
He felt his legs weaken as hers tightened around his. Red moved against him, trying to push against his rhythm and keep the pace fast as Guy started to slow down. “Not yet, Solo,” she murmured. “Hold on for me.”
Guy kissed her as he tried to speed up, feeling her mouth groan against his own. He gasped as he felt himself start to peak, and he dug his nails into her ass, hoping he wouldn’t drop her on climax. His moans started to drown out Red’s as he pumped harder, slamming deep into her. He felt as if their two bodies melted together as her nipples dug into his chest. “Oh fuck,” Guy groaned. “Oh Jesus fuck.”
“Just a bit more,” Red gasped as she nuzzled him, watching him through her thick eyelashes.
Guy groaned against her moan as he came. He set her down quickly, peeled off his condom, and tossed it aside into the shower. Panting, Guy put her legs onto his shoulders, and he nuzzled her pussy as he felt her nails run through his salt and pepper hair. He teased her clit with his tongue and slipped two fingers into her, pumping and out of her slowly. He felt her soft pubic hair against his nose. He could hear the smile in her moan, and he felt her back arch in his hand as he moved his fingers and tongue quicker.
His body throbbed and ached as she moaned again in climax. He pulled his fingers out of her and licked them as he gently set her down. “Get up here and kiss me, Solo,” Red gasped.
Red’s arms coiled around Guy’s shoulders as he stood up, and he wrapped his arms around her, pulling her in for a kiss. He listened to the hiss of the shower and the sounds of their lips colliding. Guy pulled away, hearing her pant. Part of him wanted to forget about Nikolai and stay in the shower with her. “You make me want to rethink the whole boyfriend thing,” Guy murmured to her.
Laughing, Red replied, “I’m not long-term.”
“Even better,” Guy said, kissing her again.
Red playfully pushed him away. “Finish up your shower so you smell clean for your Russian,” she said. “I’ll be a few minutes getting ready.”
Guy playfully groped her rear as she slipped out of the shower. He took the hotel shampoo and spread it through his hair, washing under his arms with the hotel soap. “So, are you looking for someone serious then?” Guy asked, turning the shower to a colder temperature.
He heard the hiss of Red’s mousse. “I’ve been thinking about it,” Red said. “But it’s impossible to meet anyone. Even with people in coffee shops and bars, I can never be sure if they’re following me or not.”
“Have you thought of trying online dating?” Guy asked, trying to scrub Red’s lipstick ring off of his cock.
The silence told Guy Red just considered the suggestion. “I hadn’t thought of that,” she said. “It would probably be safer for me. And, I mean, if anyone finds me out, I can just make a new profile with a different company.”
“Looks like Guy Solo is good for something other than just a screw,” Guy said, laughing.
Red pulled the shower curtain across. “Were you joking?” she asked. “Or serious?”
“Serious,” Guy said.
“Good,” Red said, pointing a finger at him. She slid the shower curtain back across as she said, “I’m going to do it.”
“I didn’t know you were that desperate for a real relationship,” Guy said.
“There’s been a few close calls,” Red said. “And listening to you be wishy washy about Kuryakin, it makes me think that I’d like to have something to retire to, you know?”
“Why does everyone talk so much about retirement?” Guy asked as he turned off the shower.
“Because some of us plan to live that long,” Red said, tossing a towel at Guy as he stepped out. “And it looks like you are, too.”
Guy tried to picture himself growing old next to Nikolai, but he just pictured himself decomposing like a zombie and Nikolai’s hair turning a soft gray. He wondered what Nikolai was thinking when he chose an old man like himself.
“No, I’m not old,” Guy said. “I’m experienced.”
“That’s the spirit!” Red said, grinning. She added, “But I didn’t say you were old.”
“Sorry,” Guy said, realizing he had been talking to himself. “I wasn’t thinking.”
Guy and Red finished dressed and prepped up for the outdoors. Guy put on the ball cap and sunglasses again as Red tied her hair back and slipped her hat on as well. “Now we’ve got to buy you a coat before you caught this flight.”
“You don’t need to buy me a new coat, Red,” Guy said as he put on his socks.
“You need a new coat, it’s freezing up there,” she said. “Come on, we’ll go down the stairwell and out the back exit. Do you have everything?”
“Uh huh,” Guy said.
“Do you need anything from your storage unit?”
“Nope,” Guy said. “I already cleaned it out and sold what I didn’t need. Luckily, I still have a pair of your underwear.”
Red paused. “Did you steal my underwear?”
“You don’t remember?”
“I remember underwear going missing,” Red said. “I think they were my lucky pair.”
“Well, they’ve brought me luck,” Guy said. “Let’s go.”
Red dropped the subject as they quietly plodding through the stairwell. Guy felt his hand in her gloved one, and they casually walked out of the building together. Guy took a moment to admire the light dusting of snow littering the streets. He watched his breath curl from his mouth.
“Bomber jacket, right?” Red said, pulling her jacket tighter around her. “I think I saw one this morning, so I know where to go.”
They walked casually together as if they were just a couple, and Guy rubbed the back of her hand with his thumb, trying to leech off of some of her warm. She murmured to him, “A man came to me asking about your relationship with Quint Ryland.”
“Oh yeah?” he replied. “Today?”
“Grey hair? Blue eyes? Beard?”
She nodded again.
“Did he ask you to kill him?”
“Nope,” she said. “He seemed to just be feeling out the relationship. Should I turn it down if he asks about it?”
“Yes,” Guy said.
“Have you switched careers?” Red asked, smirking. “Are you saving everyone now?”
“Consider it saving you,” Guy said, tucking his nose into his thin jacket. “Ryland’s wife is cut-throat. If she finds you did it, she will hunt you down. Killing that man is suicide. Don’t get me wrong, I like the guy, but it would take a lot of money to make me risk it.”
“How much money?” Red asked.
“Enough for a plane and an island that I can hide on so she never finds me,” Guy said. “It’d need a lot of thick brush, and I’m not trying to make a metaphor for lots of women with nice thick pubic hair.”
“You don’t think I could get away with it?”
“Maybe,” he said. Red pulled him towards a store, and he followed as he said, “But she can be pretty determined and pretty stubborn. And if Ryland dies, she’s the only one managing her money. She would bankrupt his whole organization to find you.”
“I won’t take the job then,” Red said, opening the door. “Thanks.”
Guy walked in first, and he felt her playfully pat his bottom as he walked in the door. He glanced around the small shop, breathing in the smell of leather. Red and Guy took off their sunglasses and they looked around the shop.
When Red realized no one was coming to help them, she asked, “Any idea why this man would want to be rid of Ryland?”
“None,” Guy said. “The man’s pretty harmless. He just runs his business and leaves everyone alone. The only reason to kill him would be to try to take back that particular type of car industry, and I don’t think that it’s this man’s motive.”
“Why?” Red asked.
Guy started, “Well, he hired me to-”
“Can I help you two?” A petite salesclerk smiled at them.
Red said, “I called earlier about the bomber jacket. Do you still have it?”
The girl’s face lit up more, and she nodded. “I put it behind the counter for you. Give me a moment to retrieve it.”
Red glanced at Guy, but Guy shook his head. She held his hand again as they approached the counter. “Here,” the salesclerk said, handing Guy the jacket.
Guy ran his fingers over the soft leather. Deep brown. White fur lining that went up to cover the collar. He smiled.
“Try it on,” Red said.
Guy gave Red his satchel and jacket as he tried the new jacket on. He felt warmer in it, and when he looked at himself in the mirror, he saw himself as Red saw him: not old – experienced. He just needed an airplane to go with it.
“It’s perfect,” Guy said. “Not too snug or anything.”
“Can you move your arms okay?” Red asked.
Guy huffed. “Yes, mother.”
“Just try it for me, okay?” Red said, frowning.
Guy stretched in the jacket, feeling it tighten a bit around his stomach, but otherwise he could move freely. He understood Red’s concern – they needed to be able to move quickly, and bulky jackets weren’t exactly ideal for it.
“Can I wear it out?” Guy asked.
“Sure!” the salesclerk said.
Red cut off the tag for Guy and then handed it over to the salesclerk. Red said, “Wander off, I don’t want you to watch me pay for this.”
“Is it a lot?” Guy asked.
“Don’t worry about it,” Red said.
Guy stood near the front of the store and put on his sunglasses. He slung his satchel back over his shoulder, keeping his old jacket slung over his arm. When Red returned, they walked out the door. “They’re working commission,” Red said, laughing softly. “That’s why she was so happy when you bought something.”
“Thanks,” Guy said. “I really appreciate it.”
He took her hand back in his, and he felt her lean against him. “Come on, you’d do the same for me, and you gave me a leg-up when I first started.”
“Not that you needed it.”
“Sure I did,” Red said. “Besides, you just saved my life. I might’ve taken the Ryland job if he had offered it to me. What did you say you did for him?”
“I was just thinking there in the store. I blew up a major branch of E.V.E. – though I didn’t realize what it was at the time, of course, but after the fact I figured it out pretty fast,” Guy said. “So what kind of person shuts down E.V.E. and then moves to Ryland?”
“Someone who’s moving in,” Red said.
“Exactly,” Guy said.
“Well, it’ll be a lot of work for you,” Red said.
“No, it won’t,” Guy said. “It’ll mean moving Cain out. And I can’t kill him. Not after what he did for me.”
Red sighed. “Relationships complicate things too much,” she said. “Should I take care of that loose thread for you?”
“It’s all right,” Guy said. “It would probably be better if you didn’t. I mean, just because I don’t want to associate with him anymore, it doesn’t mean I don’t want him to be alive.”
Red said, “All right fine. I won’t kill him.” She gave Guy a mock pout.
Guy laughed and coiled his arm around Red’s back, and Red leaned into him.
The pair spent the rest of their day together in the airport bar, drinking little but laughing enough to give the illusion of intoxication. Red and Guy quietly discussed a way that Red could contact Guy about new clients. They decided on the same way Guy and Nikolai communicated, by leaving a message at one of Guy’s more trusted hotels. And then conversation moved back to lighter topics. Guy’s leg started to fidget as it grew nearer to his flight to see Nikolai. He knew he and Red didn’t have a future together romantically, but he couldn’t help but feel better about himself when the men who checked Red out noticed Guy’s arm around her.
So he felt good when the muffled voice announced his flight. He lifted Red as he hugged her goodbye. Her arms coiled around his neck, and she leaned her weight onto him. “Thanks for everything, Red,” Guy said, still holding her tight.
“Someone’s gotta take care of you,” Red said. “You’re doing a shit job of it yourself.”
“It’s part of my charm,” Guy said.
Red rolled her eyes before locking them back onto his. He felt her thumbs trace his cheekbones. He dove in for a kiss, feeling his chest grow lighter as she kissed back. He lifted her off the ground again in a hug, breathing her in.
Doubt nipped at the edges of his gut. If being with Nikolai meant throwing away every part of his relationship with Red – well, he wasn’t sure he could do it.
“Get out of here,” Red said, laughing.
Guy kissed her neck before leaving her and joining the line to get onto the plane. “Stay safe,” he shouted at her.
“I will,” she shouted in reply. “And I’ll be keeping tabs on you, so you can screw up as much as you usually do.”
He gave her the finger.
She winked and blew him a kiss.
And Guy stretched out on the plane, his thoughts swimming with Nikolai and Red. He adored his last moments of freedom with her, and he couldn’t wait to spend new moments with Nikolai.