Play My Game: Statues and Stone
by Blue Soaring
Four days had passed by now. I had just gotten home from the office when the call came through on the vidscreen. Thinking it was Heero, I answered it a bit too hastily. Gotta do something about that, Heero might start thinking he was getting to me. Yeah, he WAS getting to me, but he's not supposed to know that. Part of the game.
When Hilde's face appeared on the vid, I was a little disappointed. Then I remembered what I had asked her to do for me. Hilde had certain resources and connections that I didn't; i.e. I asked her to track something down about Heero.
I shot her my best grin. "Hey, Hil! How's life?"
She rolled her eyes. "Knock it off, Duo. You don't have to suck up anymore, remember? I already agreed to hunt down some info for you."
I laughed. Hilde always was one to get to the point. "And, any luck?"
A look of annoyance crossed her features. "Only if you call this 'luck'," she said sourly, moving away from the vid so I could see her computer screen. The words 'my way' were scrolling across it continually.
"Oooh . . ." I let out an explosive breath of air. "Guess not, huh?"
She shook her head. "Whoever Heero is, he's good at what he does. There's not a trace of him anywhere." Hilde's eyes narrowed. "Why are you so interested in him, anyway?"
I chuckled under my breath. "It's all part of a game, Hil."
Looking at me funny, she snorted. "I DON'T want to know, Duo. Forget I asked. I'll let you know if I find anything, but it doesn't look like I will."
"Okay, thanks Hil. Keep in touch, kay?"
"Yeah, yeah . . ." she replied, "later, Duo. End call."
The screen blinked and went black. Well, well. Just as I turned to walk away from the vid, another call came though. I answered it automatically.
Naturally, this time it was Heero, and he had the visual active. I stared at him for a moment, trying to gather my scattered wits. He really had me off balance.
"Follow the rules, Duo. We do this my way," he said quietly.
I opened and closed my mouth, doing a fair impression of a guppy. Finally, I collected myself. He REALLY had me off balance. "You took too long," I said simply.
He smiled then, and it was not a comforting smile. Not in the very least. "Now you have to wait longer."
I could play that way too. "But can you wait, Heero?" A flicker of something in his eyes then. Ahh, gotcha.
"Maybe. Maybe not. You'll just have to wait to find out." He laughed then, a very seductive sound, and the screen went blank again.
"Damn . . ." I muttered to myself. So much for that small victory. He had me right back to where I was before. Pretty soon, I'd be going crazy. He was driving me crazy. And I loved it.
Three days and counting since had Hilde called. And no word from Heero. Irrationally, I had begun to think that he'd wait forever before he acted. I finally came to terms with the idea that he had me, and probably had me right where he wanted me to be. I knew where I wanted him to be: right on top of me. I had a feeling that he wouldn't object to that. But how fucking long was he going to make me wait!? I briefly considered trying a search for him again, but after the last disastrous results, I abandoned that idea. If the sadistic bastard caught me at that again . . . well, lets just say that I didn't doubt for a moment he'd enjoy making me sweat even longer.
It didn't help that underneath my frustration, there was a feeling of contained eagerness. Anticipation. I replayed the events at the Black Sun bar that first night, and then the encounter at the Pyro over and over again in my mind. That didn't help to calm me down one ounce.
At the moment, I was pacing my living room floor. I'd put all that excess energy to good use; my portfolio was complete a week in advance and I'd attacked – with a vengeance - the tiny home gym I had put together upstairs. But, here I was, pacing. Waiting. Dammit, if he didn't contact me soon, or do SOMETHING, I was going to lose whatever was left of my mind. Dimly, the sound of a steady beeping intruded on my inner ranting. It took a second for it to register on my brain that it was the vidscreen. Amazingly enough, I resisted the urge to tear down the hallway and answer it. Once I had myself under some measure of control, and had what I hoped was a casual expression on my face, I answered the call.
Heero's face appeared on the screen. To my credit, I didn't scream for joy. I sat there, smiling slightly, and said, “Hello, Heero. I wasn't expecting you.” Amazingly enough, my voice came out steady.
“No?” Heero said, arching an eyebrow quizzically.
I kept my gaze steady, tapping one finger against my smiling lips. “No.”
He laughed then. It traveled over my skin and touched me like a simple laugh was never meant to. It raised goosebumps on my arms. “Eleven o'clock, Duo. Be ready.”
I let my confusion show on my face. “For?” I prompted.
His eyes were sparkling with laughter and something darker. “See you at eleven,” he whispered, ending the call.
I sat back, staring at the blank screen. What did he have planned now? I glanced up at the clock. Twenty to ten. I had about an hour and a half to get ready. The nervous anticipation I was feeling made my stomach twist. I made my way upstairs to dress. For what, I didn't know. But I sure as hell wanted to find out.
An hour or so later, I was critically assessing my appearance in the mirror. I had decided to rebraid my hair after I had dried it. I had no idea what Heero was up to, so braiding it had seemed for the best. Besides, I could always undo it later. I lined my eyes in a dark chocolate color, using eyeshadow instead of pencil. It was a trick I picked up from Hilde somewhere along the way. Shadow was a little harder to work with, but it produced a more dramatic effect; darker near the outside corner of my eyes. The only other makeup I used was a touch of flavored lip gloss. I didn't need strawberry flavor, but we all have our little quirks.
My outfit was taking the longest. Black is by far my best color, but I was torn between looking my usual best and wearing something different. In the end, I compromised. I picked out black straight-legged pants, made out of some unpronounceable material that shimmered almost silver when I walked. Surprisingly, they were comfortable and very soft. I ran my hands over my ass as I turned in the mirror, smoothing the cloth. The pants molded to my hips, and were cut lower in front, forming a blunted 'V'. They also dipped down far past my bellybutton, the edges of the material following the line of my hipbones. Ties crisscrossed over the skin left exposed by the pants. All in all, not bad.
A simple, somewhat tight, red tee under my favorite leather coat finished the look. I was tempted to wear more black, but red highlights my hair well. That, and the fact that I didn't want to overwhelm those wonderful attention-grabbing pants of mine. The tee was sleeveless and short, with buttons down the front. I left a few of the top buttons undone, exposing my collarbone, then stepped back for another look. Perfect.
I made my way downstairs. After slipping into my usual black boots, I tucked my wallet into my coat pocket. I looked one last time in the hall mirror before I noticed the headlights of a car pull up and stop just outside my house. The nervousness that had ruled my stomach for the past hour threatened to rise up again, but I managed to get myself under control by the time I was walking out the front door.
Well, holy shit. A black, small model limo was parked outside my house. Beside the driver's door stood a slim, black haired man. As I walked closer, I could see he was Asian, dressed in loose, white linen pants and an oriental style shirt of the same color that reached to the tops of his thighs. Three buttons were placed off center on his chest, fastening the shirt. The collar was high, also fastened with a smaller button. The suit was trimmed in gold, with a stylized red Chinese dragon covering the front and most of the back of the shirt. And no, I didn't whistle . . . not loud enough so he could hear me, anyway.
When I was about two feet away from him, he smiled at me, inclining his head slightly. “Ni hao(1), Mr. Maxwell,” he said, the words flowing off his tongue in a lilting rhythm. When he looked up, he fixed his penetrating, ebony-eyed gaze on mine. How many sexy men had I run into since I met Heero? Jesus . . . I was making a habit out of it. Good habit. “Mr. Yuy requested that I escort you to him. If it pleases you . . . .” he said, sweeping one arm out and leading me towards the back door of the limo. He opened it, motioning me inside. I hesitated a moment, then crawled right in. Damn right it pleased me.
The man closed the door behind me, and I glanced around. A bottle of wine was chilling in a stand next to me, with a crystal goblet and a pure white napkin placed beside it. I felt the limo pull smoothly out into the road.
“We will arrive in approximately fifteen minutes, Mr. Maxwell,” the Chinese man said, his voice coming from a small speaker just behind the car's door. “Please enjoy the refreshments. If there is anything you need, simply press the button beside the speaker and I will be able to hear you. I will be happy to assist you in any way.”
I looked down, seeing the small button he was referring to. I pressed the button and said, “Thank you, everything is fine,” as calmly as I could, given the circumstances.
“My pleasure, Mr. Maxwell,” came the reply.
I scooted away from the door, sizing up the bottle of wine. And I couldn't come up with a good reason to not 'enjoy the refreshments,' since Heero had gone to the trouble of supplying them. I poured myself a glass of the cool, red liquid and took and experimental sip. Very good. I sat back, savoring the sharp taste of the wine, and tried to gather my thoughts.
Heero had me unbalanced the entire time. No, not the entire time. Our first meeting, that night in the bar, I was in control of him then. Maybe it was time we went back to that little arrangement. I knew how I affected him, how he responded to my body. I think it was time I reminded him of just how I could affect him.
A short time later the limo slowed down, then stopped completely. The door opened and the driver said, “We're here, Mr. Maxwell.”
I stepped out of the limo and tried not to gawk. It wasn't that that house was huge or imposing, it was just that damn nice to look at. I glanced over my shoulder and saw a forest of trees hiding the house from the road.
“Well,” I said, turning back to the house. I looked at the driver, throwing him a smile. “Thanks for the ride.” I handed him the wine glass that, for some odd reason, I was still holding.
He accepted it, inclining his head again in acknowledgement of my thanks. “Mr. Yuy instructed me to inform you that he will meet you shortly. Please wait for him inside, in the first room at the top of the main staircase.”
“Ahh . . . thank you. Again.”
He nodded again, turning and making his way back to the driver's door. I watched him for a few moments, then turned back to the house. With a mental shrug, I climbed the stairs, glancing at the statues that stood at the top. Odd. Both were beautiful, life size, and male, but they weren't a matched set. The left was an angel, with doubled wings so well carved it looked like they would be soft to touch. The right was similar, but the wings were like a bats. I looked closer and saw that tiny fangs were carved in the mouth of the statue. Curious, I looked back at the angel. It also had fangs. I stepped back with a start. That was just a little weird, even for me.
I heard the sound of the limo pull away. The only thing for me to do now was to go inside. I walked between the fanged statues and through the doors when they swung open, my coat flowing out behind me in a sudden breath of wind.
And I was right back to gawking.
Author's Note: That ‘1’ would be one of the western spellings for ‘hello’ in Mandarin Chinese.