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He breathes. In, two three four. Out, two three four. He checks his wristwatch for the time again, and catches his vague reflection in the glass tupperware container sitting on the pantry shelf beside him. A blur of iron-pressed black against dimly lit dried goods.

And he waits.

He’s been in this position hundreds of times over the course of his career; a predator poised to strike upon their unassuming prey. And he’s always known the how, what, when. Right down to the steps needed to get from doorway to bedroom. The length of time to stretch for the light switch. How many heartbeats it takes a mark to realize they’re about to die when confronted with the barrel of a gun. Because he’s nothing if not meticulous. Every single job follows the same blueprint; one entry point, one double tap, one minute exit route. Simple and clean, like a passing shadow, leaving nothing for the local law enforcement to piece together.

Unfortunately, that blueprint doesn’t apply to the likes of Alec fucking Lightwood. Which is why he's here, now, silently venting five months of frustration at a box of raspberry poptarts.

He’s not the first hitman Magnus has been assigned to kill, but he’s spent the last five months proving to be the most difficult. See, Lightwood is irritating as hell. On the outside, he’s the epitome of a first year triggerman - slicked-back hair, black suit, shined shoes. A laughably cheap caricature of a serious, lucrative profession. Proof he’s watched one too many Bond films. During Magnus’ first attempt to kill him, he’d all but waltzed through the shiny marble lobby of the Ritz-Carlton like some sort of American playboy. As handsome and caucasian as he was, that meant Hong Kong’s tabloids were going to have a field day when he was inevitably found dead. For a job that requires you to blend into the scenery, Alec Lightwood stands out like a flashing neon sign. Messy to dispose of. Difficult to corner. Irritating.

On the inside, however, Alec Lightwood is a scruffy street kid a thousand feet tall, with no connections to his name or history to speak of. He just popped up on the scene one day seemingly out of nowhere, wild, brutal and utterly unpredictable, cutting a swathe through the contract industry. Which, as it turns out, pissed a bunch of powerful people off. Magnus would have liked to avoid being saddled with the responsibility of taking him out, because he likes his jobs quick, clean and efficient. But it’s his unwavering efficiency that landed him with it. Sure, a mark like Lightwood is exciting to chase if you’re into that sort of thing, but he’s also ten times harder to pin. Magnus had learned that the hard way when he’d eventually got him alone for the first time.

It wasn’t like he hadn’t done his homework. Lightwood had honed his craft through lower level kills and worked himself up to politicians in a very short sprint; both impressive and a sign he had something to prove. His weapon of choice was a Ruger MK II; flashy, lightweight, good for accuracy and showing off but not much else. Magnus had always preferred his own SIG Sauer P226 for its weight, because there was something deeply unnerving to him about a featherlight pistol. He knew some in the business that wanted a weapon that was an extension of their arm, something comfortable and non-disruptive. But Magnus didn’t like that. At the end of the day, feeling the weight of his gun kept his head where he knew it should be. Balanced. Conscious of the job. He feared the day his many years and many kills would start to take their toll, and it made it easier to sleep at night knowing he could put his gun down and the weight of all his misdeeds right along with it.

When it came to environments, Lightwood preferred to stay in the most glamourous suites, which meant a lot of crystal, artworks and a labyrinth of unnecessary furniture. All of which were prone to making a ton of noise if they happened to fall during a deadly scuffle. He also rented out the brightest and loudest cars he could find, the type to have every straight male in a one mile radius salivating profusely. Wherever Lightwood went, he made a concentrated effort to be noticed, and that went against every protocol in the book. It was as if he knew Magnus’ blueprint well enough to goad him with it, and then tear it in half while he watched.

But that hadn’t been the problem. As a professional, Magnus had silently tailed Lightwood as soon as his plane had landed at Hong Kong International. The kid had been hired by a Chinese CEO to take out a Russian tech competitor, so Magnus had canvassed his hotel suite, memorized the layout, the potential obstacles and all the reflective surfaces he could use or be caught in, and he’d waited in the ensuite until showtime.

He’d expected the fight. He’d made allowances for noise and chose the simplest escape route to compensate for anybody that might overhear the ruckus and alert the hotel’s staff. He may not have expected the bottle of champagne Lightwood had thrown at his head, and he may not have wanted to go through the glass coffee table, but those were all hazards of the job. Planned and prepared for. It had been a little more chaotic than his usual job, but nothing he hadn’t been extensively trained for.

So when Lightwood had used his brute strength and height to pin him to the wall, bleeding heavily from a cut on his eyebrow, and when they’d both raised their pistols, the cool barrels of their silencers pressed to each other’s temples; well, that was all par for the course. An impasse. Usually those scenarios went one of two ways. Either they’d warn each other off with threats or sworn honor and each try to gain the advantage. Or if they were crazy enough to tempt fate, they’d pull the trigger and hope for the best. Death was an unfortunate part of the menu when dealing with a fellow hitman. But that hadn’t been the problem either.

Lightwood had been ballsy enough to pull the trigger without hesitation, and Magnus had almost jumped out of his skin at the snapback of gunmetal clicking empty and bulletless against his head. Nothing out of the ordinary, all standard occupational hazards. But before Magnus could take his turn to squeeze the trigger, Lightwood - in his infinite wisdom - had yanked Magnus bodily against him and fit their mouths together. In a kiss.

Surprisingly, that had been part of his training too. The contract killer industry was a diverse one, full of all kinds of people using all manner of persuasion or distraction tactics to survive. So being kissed wasn’t the issue. The way his own knees had buckled when Lightwood stroked his tongue inside his mouth, and the way their bodies fit like perfect, adjoining puzzle pieces, and the way Lightwood’s growing pants bulge had Magnus panting and clambering and dropping his pistol just to put his hands in his hair when he kissed him back. That had been the fucking issue.

Once he’d regained enough sense of self to remember he had a bullet to put in Lightwood’s skull, the kid had ducked and fled, leaving Magnus no choice but to leave the scene before hotel security could catch him with his metaphorical pants down.

Sometimes, he can still remember the taste of Lightwood’s blood in his mouth. In, two three four. Out, two three four.



Two months later, they crossed paths again in Luxembourg.

Magnus’ mark at the time was travelling to meet German’s Foreign Affairs Minister with some highly coveted blackmail material, so he’d followed him to the Hotel Sofitel and booked himself a room right behind him at the reservation desk. Known for its peaceful ambience and promised privacy, the hotel’s sound-proofed walls and lack of cameras made it a popular rendezvous point for politicians and celebrities. An ideal fit for Magnus’ plans. It meant he could hit his mark, take a long, hot bath and have a decent night’s rest before anyone noticed a dead body. 

Magnus had scoped out his mark’s room while he was downstairs failing to entertain a woman half his age at the hotel bar, acquiring a pendrive of illegal property deeds in his search. Then he’d made sure his mark returned alone before he’d knocked him unconscious with a hard elbow, folded him into his bed all snuggly, and double tapped him in the head. It wasn’t completely necessary, but if a maid happened to meander on in, Ronald Carmichael’s corpse would look more like a late sleeper, and that could buy him hours, or even days to put distance between himself and the job. Regardless, he’d dropped the hotel’s provided Do Not Disturb sign on the door handle as he’d left.

While he’d greatly enjoyed his celebratory hot bath and the pressure of its water jets, it’d left him a little woozy on his feet as he’d switched the lights off and tumbled down between the sheets of his hotel bed. It had been reckless, a career flaw he still chides himself about, because he’d been so drained and pliant from his soak in the tub that he’d barely had the energy to reach for his gun on the nightstand. And by the time he realized it was missing, the telling click of the safety sliding back on his own SIG was already at his left ear. 

He’d dodged the first bullet by sheer luck, violently wrestling himself across the mattress with a surge of adrenaline. He’d grabbed the nearest thing in the dark - the television remote - and punted it across the bed at his shadowed assailant, taking the second of surprise to move before the next bullet hit the wall. The second in a fifteen round magazine.

He’d made a mad dash for this second pistol - because you didn’t live as long as he had without a back-up in place - though he’d been tackled against the door jab before he could get to it. His muscle memory kicked in, and he had kicked out, landing a foot to hard abdominals, a quick knee to the solar plexus. He’d sailed a fist past an ear, locking elbows with his attacker, and wrenched his own gun from mystery fingers before wrangling him into a headlock. Tall. Broad. The hint of good cologne on a warm body. Lightwood? It made him blush ashamedly now to think he would have recognized him sooner had he been tongue wrestling him instead.

His assailant had then began shunting them both back against the wall in an effort to jar himself free, and they’d both grunted on each impact like a couple of haggard animals. Near winded, Magnus had narrowly avoided a concussion through sheer force of will, and he’d coiled his legs around strong thighs, squeezing his bicep harder on the throat it was pressed to. The body in his arms quickly grew heavy against him, too quickly, that Magnus’ hold slipped when he tried to regrip, and then he’d been tumbled onto the bed and punched, a glance of knuckles high on his cheekbone. Whoever the hell it was, they were tiring far too early in the fight, so when Magnus managed to get the upper hand, he’d tapped the bedside lamp on to see what sort of fourth rate lackey had broken into his room.

It had been Lightwood after all - panting and wincing and sporting a couple of recent cuts on his face - and he’d hissed at the sudden brightness, fist swinging blind and loose toward Magnus’ jaw. Magnus had caught it in his hand with little to no effort and frowned upon him. Because Lightwood, who had barely enough steam to raise an arm, had been there to kill him.

Having a price on his head was old news. Magnus was exceptional and unstoppable when it came to his job, which cost other firms dearly whenever he beat one of their own to the mark. But he’d worked in the industry long enough that most feared and respected him enough to give him a wide berth. Alec Lightwood apparently hadn’t gotten the memo, and someone higher up was using that to get rid of him. No doubt that old, conniving Dieudonne bastard.

Following another failed attempt at a punch, Lightwood had enough humility to look embarrassed with himself. Magnus hadn’t quite known what to do with that either.

It’s been a long week,” the kid had muttered tentatively, patting his hands to Magnus’ spread thighs, “Truce?

What?” had been Magnus’ inelegant blurt of surprise.

I’ve been in too many timezones to deal with this right now. I just need some shut-eye. We can pick this back up tomorrow, yeah?

Again, Magnus had questioned what he’d heard, right up until Lightwood’s body had shifted sinuously beneath him, gently trying to move him elsewhere. Magnus had been too stunned to do anything but silently climb off him. This scenario wasn’t part of his blueprint. It wasn’t even part of the spectrum of the damn blueprint.

But Lightwood had then shimmied to one side of the bed and closed his eyes. Like he was actually about to sleep there, “Set the alarm for seven.”

Once Magnus had finished noiselessly stammering in disbelief, he’d snatched his gun from the floor and cocked it at him. Lightwood had simply peeled his eyes back open and waited, waited for the bullet aimed between his brows. He had looked tired and wrecked, dressed down in soft black jeans, a t-shirt and a bomber jacket; face on the mend and hands a mess of scraped knuckles like he’d spent the better part of a week having a fist fight with a logging truck. And call it assassin’s honor or stupidity or both, but Magnus hadn’t been in the mood to meet his death at the hands of a man that couldn’t protect himself. That Lightwood had come to kill him in such poor condition had made Magnus blindingly furious at the time, as well as offended and a little worried. Though certainly not for Lightwood’s sake.

Are you a live target right now? Were you followed?

Lightwood had simply waved him off like he was being the nuisance, murmuring a negative as he curled onto his side to press his face against the cool pillow, “Jesus, Bane. Either kill me or get in here. Pick one.”

And against all of his training - against a ten-year track record of professionalism - Magnus had slid the safety back onto his gun, set the alarm for 7am and rolled into bed beside him. He’d been still as a statue, heart pounding in confusion as Lightwood had curled up against his spine, snuggled his face into the warmth of Magnus’ nape and promptly fallen asleep. So much for a good night’s rest.

Christ, it still bothered him to think about. In, two three four. Out, two three four.

He remembers that he’d woken groggily to the sun shining in his face some hours later, after managing a few solid hours despite being strangled and spooned and enveloped by a 6’3” wall of hot muscle. Despite sleeping in the arms of a man who stood to be paid millions for murdering him. He lay there long enough to memorize the young, relaxed plains of Lightwood’s face, smooshed comically against Magnus’ shoulder. The thick curtain of dark lashes on his smooth skin. The unusual messiness of his hair. The small white scar slashing through his eyebrow, an everlasting mark made by Magnus’ own hand. The soft, innocent part of his plush lips. The quiet rattle of a snore high in his throat on each inhale, utterly obnoxious for the unexplainable ember of warmth it lit inside Magnus’ chest. He’d memorized it all with the clinical detachment of a professional, canvassing Lightwood’s features like he would a mark’s living space.

And what he’d found there had been mildly terrifying. Because there was something there on Lightwood’s stupid face - and in his sleepy rustling, and his possessive claim of Magnus’ right ankle, and in the hand rested gently over Magnus’ heart - that disarmed him more powerfully than all the years on the job could have possibly prepared him for. An active mark. One who wanted to see him dead. One that, had Magnus been in his right mind, should have been decomposing on the floor.

But that had only been the tip of the proverbial iceberg, because Lightwood had woken up moments later, taken one glance at the bedside clock and rolled himself on top of him.

Magnus had grabbed his gun from the nightstand and pressed it tight to Lightwood’s forehead, thumb hovering on the safety. His mark had paused in his straddling of him, long enough to glower, “‘s not seven yet.”

With their agreed code of honor locking them in another stalemate, Lightwood had shoved Magnus’ briefs down. He’d done little more than yelp, “What the fuck are you playing at?

And Lightwood had shrugged and took him in hand, “I’m horny. You’re packing wood. Consider it a thank you.”

Magnus unlatched the safety and pressed the silencer nozzle harder to Lightwood’s head, ready to blow his fucking brains out. But then Lightwood had taken his dick between his full lips and proceeded to blow his fucking brains out, and soon Magnus’ prized pistol was forgotten altogether.

It wasn’t like he’d needed it. It wasn’t that his personal life had been found lacking in any way. It wasn’t that he couldn’t see the distraction for what it clearly was. But he’d still lost himself that morning in the hot, wet depths of Alec Lightwood’s mouth with a bewildered, unbridled passion that seemed to surprise them both. And that left him with no reasonable excuses to reach for when it was over.

Lightwood had taken his time on him, testing rhythms and styles to see what best drove him mindless, and Magnus had helplessly quivered beneath him between hoarse instructions and pillow clutching, driving what he could of his hips to meet his mouth. Lightwood’s soft lips and their insane ability to kiss him silly had been heavenly on his swollen length, and the picture he made as he pulled his own dick from his pants and squirted his own load onto the bed sheets had hiked Magnus well onto the precipice of euphoria. He’d been so close that he could feel the weight in his balls pulse at the ready. 

That was when the alarm on the nightstand went off. 7am. Truce over.

Lightwood had let him go with a filthy little pop and immediately launched himself off the bed. Magnus scrambled for his pistol and pulled the trigger, the bullet hitting the door jab a nanosecond too slow. Then he’d given chase, chastising himself while he darted for the suite’s exit. But he hadn’t really stood a chance. He was learning Lightwood was a sprinter, fast and light on his feet in spite of his size, and he was long gone down the hall by the time Magnus reached the door. And Magnus wasn’t the careless type to let a bullet off in a public space. Cameras or no cameras.

So he’d stood there, breathless and full of fury, his dick hovering hard in the air, still wet with saliva and abandoned without release. And he watched his mark escape. Again.

This game of cat and mouse had gone on long enough. In, two three four. Out, two three four.

 

 

 

So now he waits. But not in Lightwood’s bathroom. Because the only way to beat him is to be unpredictable. Lightwood knows what to expect, which means he also knows what not to expect, which means Magnus has to hover somewhere in the unfamiliar in-between. Now all he has is his speed, his training and a deep, vengeful need to piss his mark off before he takes him out for good. Third time’s the charm.

Lightwood had kept busy in the last few months, leaving a trail of bodies across Europe and Central Asia. Gang leaders, political assistants, corporate CEOs. He’d even taken out a potential monetary ally to ISIL on behalf of the United States, which was as close to honest government work as a contract killer got. Magnus had spent months tracking Lightwood’s movements between his own jobs, fixating on where he spent his down time, where he liked to go, who he liked to see, what he liked to drink. He’d built a mental filing cabinet of all the things that made Alec Lightwood curious, and found no discernable pattern to any of it. He liked to visit gentlemen’s clubs, but also shop for expensive female lingerie, which could have meant any number of things. He ordered everything he ate or drank without sugar, but he always made loud, orgasmic noises over elaboratedly iced donuts. He spent hours talking on the phone as he walked in crowded parks and public places, smiling or laughing with whoever was on the other end, but then he’d wipe and dump the phone after each call before Magnus or someone else could get to it.

Alec Lightwood was a riddle without an answer, and Magnus - who needed answers like he needed oxygen - grew madder and wilder with each new question he posed.

Lightwood’s current mark had been residing under Interpol surveillance in a safehouse on the western outskirts of Paris. That was until Magnus had come by five minutes ago and taken him out himself. Now Lightwood’s current mark lay dead in the bedroom closet, stuffed alongside his equally dead security detail.

So now he waits for Alec Lightwood to come and do his job.

It's exactly 26 minutes later that Magnus feels a change in the house. A slide of leaves touching, a sign that the peace lily by the house’s garage entrance has been brushed by a sharp shift of air; a door closing. No click. He counts out the seconds it takes to walk the carpeted hall without leaving footfalls and leans his right ear against the slits of the pantry door. A small shuffle of fabric - pants, legs crossing paths - only noticeable because he's listening for it. Then stillness.

Magnus had turned on the television in the living room to hide the deathly silence, but for a house that should be crawling with agents, Lightwood now understands something's up. 

Magnus had actually caught him unaware. He feels a leap in his own chest; a rare excitement. He's finally going to get this guy.

The TV shuts off in the living room.

"Is that you, Bane?"

Fuck

Magnus glares at the container of macaroni opposite him.

"Hey, hey Clayton? If you can hear me, I'm here to rescue you from the bad guy hiding in your house. So why don't you come on out, hmm?"

What the fuck was he doing? Did Lightwood have no finesse at all? His bland distant hollering told Magnus he'd already worked his way to the other side of the house. Possibly the bedroom, where the corpse of his dead mark sat stacked inside the---

"Oh you're really gonna get it now, Bane."

---closet.

He hears Lightwood thundering down the hall, thumps of his shoes on the carpet. Then silence. Then he hears the slow scrape of what sounds like terracotta moving on polished wood - the potted plant in the foyer. Moments pass before he hears another noise - the tinkling of plastic rings on metal. Shower curtain. And Magnus quickly realizes that Lightwood is toying with him, feigning his own presence in multiple areas of the house in order to throw him off. And it's fucking working, because Magnus no longer knows where the hell he is.

Silence. Shit.

His instincts tell him to wait it out, not to take the bait. But his training tells him he's cornered himself in trying to be clever. If Lightwood decides to look in the pantry, he's done for.

Maybe if he gets caught, he can take a page out of Lightwood’s manifesto and offer to suck his dick instead. And that thought makes him shiver pathetically, affronted at the thought. When did his integrity as a contract killer land in the toilet? Why is the idea of swallowing Lightwood's junk down making his skin uncomfortably hot?

"So...what are you wearing, Bane?"

Magnus freezes, adrenaline exploding. Has he been made?

"That sexy work suit of yours? The black shirt you wore in Hong Kong with the sparkly embroidery? Ah, memories. Or maybe you're wearing nothing but those Calvin Klein tighty whities. In fact, I'd definitely prefer you wearing the tighty whities."

Magnus blushes furiously, more than ready to kill this son of a bitch. He quietly checks his pistol, then focuses and waits for whatever part of his wardrobe Lightwood waxes poetic about next. Focus.

"If I'm being honest here, it's---"

Hallway. Magnus barrels out of the pantry in a shower of assorted boxed cereals and sprints toward the hallway, where Lightwood's yammering is echoing off the wallpaper. He sees Lightwood twist to spot him as he darts past, misses the bullet that shatters the framed puzzle of a fruit bowl hanging on the wall. He makes the living room a second before Lightwood does, which gives him enough time to hurl the antique vase sitting by the piano. Lightwood yells in pain and surprise as it breaks on his raised elbow, and he flies back to hit the wall when Magnus shoots him through the shoulder.

Lightwood immediately retaliates with onetwothree bullets at Magnus' ankles, which forces him to move quickly, and then - with nothing else handy - he throws his gun at Magnus' head. It catches him off guard only briefly, but it's enough time for Lightwood to jump to his feet and spear tackle him onto the coffee table with a wild roar.

Lightwood cracks a solid right hook right across Magnus' nose that leaves him blinking back tears, and Lightwood wrestles him for his SIG Sauer, jerking Magnus' gun hand to the side when he pulls the trigger. He's dangerously pinned beneath Lightwood's weight, so Magnus jabs his free hand at his blood-soaked shoulder, thumb pressing on his bullet wound until he’s raging over it. After a bit of wriggling, he gets the end of his gun pressed to Lightwood's temple.

"What's the matter, Lighthouse?" He grunts, keeping the pressure with his thumb. Lightwood's face goes a delightfully veiny pink at the effort to downplay his pain, "Gonna try to suck my dick out of this one, too?"

Lightwood huffs a hoarse laugh, lips spraying spittle as they stretch into a smug smirk, "Why? So you can lie back and moan like you did last time?”

Magnus presses harder with his thumb, and Lightwood cries out, “Ah!

But then Lightwood gets his own back by shoving a hand behind him and grabbing Magnus’ crotch. Then it’s his turn to yell, “Ah! You fuckin’---

Lightwood manages a quick knock-and-duck before Magnus can squeeze off another bullet, and then his mouth is on his, hot and heavy. Magnus thinks about telling himself that it’s part of his plan, but it’s hard to ignore the way his insides switch on like a little electric heater, glowing and warm. He runs with it all the same, leaving bloody smears on his neck as his free hand goes into the back of Lightwood’s stiff, styled hair. He makes a point of messing it up on purpose, but soon he’s messing it up mindlessly, fingers scratching to the sensual tune of Lightwood’s searching tongue. He’s stunned momentarily when Lightwood yanks himself back onto his feet, and he resigns himself to the inevitable as Lightwood removes his suit jacket, panting. Sex? Sure. Why fight it now?

But Lightwood’s jacket goes around his head, and then Magnus is seeing stars from the punches that blast his face and jaw. They wrestle to the floor, sending couch cushions and books and half-drunk mugs of old coffee flying in the scuffle. Magnus aims his gun blindly and shoots, feels his arm jerked aside by a pair of hands, and then he really takes a page out of Lightwood’s manifesto because he strikes with his other hand, right at Lightwood’s junk.

Lightwood howls and folds in on himself, and Magnus uses the advantage to get his thighs around his neck. They’re both panting heavily - dazed, fuming, sore in both body and pride - but the order of the universe has finally righted itself. Magnus presses his SIG between Lightwood’s eyes. It’s done. Now’s his chance. One double-tap, and he can say Arriver-fucking-derci to this menace for good.

A myriad of emotions cross Lightwood’s gaze. There’s a lot of anger, but also amusement, curiosity. More surprisingly, defeat. Fear. Regret. Something wistful and desirous and sad that makes Magnus actually feel sorry for him. He doesn’t know what any of it means, but he has the unnerving, undeniable feeling that it’s directed at him. That he’s the focus of whatever it is Lightwood’s feeling.

The next second, it’s all but a distant memory. The expression Lightwood wears now is one Magnus is all too familiar with.

“Don’t do it.”

He only juts his chin daringly, arrogance firmly back in place as he pointedly ignores the gun pressed to his head and sneaks his long fingers toward Magnus’ belt buckle.

Don’t.”

He stares into Lightwood’s eyes as the slide and smack of leather and metal coming apart reaches his ears, and he starts sweating at the idea that very soon, Lightwood is going to know he’s won. Because Magnus is inconveniently aroused, by adrenaline and proximity and Lightwood’s pretty, stupid looking face, and the second he gets his hand on him, they’ll be right back to square one. They’re supposed to be killing each other.

Magnus presses his gun harder between his eyes, but they both know the threat is empty, and Lightwood pushes back against it just to get his mouth around the head of his dick.

The breath leaves Magnus’ chest with a withering woosh. “Fuu-uuu-uuck.”

Encouraged, Lightwood’s large hands slide around to his ass. Magnus waits restlessly to be thrown off or wrestled away, but those hands only bring him forward, clutching with no sign of letting go. Magnus hits the back of his throat and groans, loudly and embarrassingly, and somewhere in the silent standoff where Lightwood threatens to take his mouth away and Magnus threatens to shoot him for it, an agreement gets made. Lightwood grins his annoying, devilishly handsome grin and takes him back between his lips.

Magnus gives himself over with only half of his attention, drifting into the pleasure but valiantly trying to remain vigilant. Their history tells him he should stop this or use it to his advantage, but he doesn’t. He wants to come. He wants the full satisfaction of finishing the unfinished, and he can’t put Lightwood in the ground without knowing what it feels like to have the guy drink him down.

So he moves his hips in the cradle of Lightwood’s hands, fingers flexing anxiously around his gun while he rides the wave. Lightwood swallows him, panting heavily through his nose where it rests on his belly, and while Magnus is busy expecting the universe to interrupt them in some way, his orgasm trips him, fierce and fast, tearing through him like a gunshot to the stomach. He pauses amidst the quivering aftershocks just to make sure he hasn’t been shot.

Lightwood rests back with a sigh, making a big show of swallowing and licking those great lips of his, stretching the strain out of his neck like a cat rolling across sunny carpet. Magnus’ brain is telling him to lift his gun and end this, but all his energy has done a runner through the end of his dick. And Alec is giving him that look again. The yearning one.

“How much are they paying you?” Lightwood asks, far more reserved than Magnus has ever seen him. It’s not curiosity he hears in his voice, but careful suspicion.

When Magnus finally has his breath back, he answers, “900k. How much are they paying you?”

Lightwood’s eyes slide to the side thoughtfully, “They offered two-point-five.”

That price seems a little low. Whoever made the offer clearly isn’t expecting Lightwood to live long enough to accomplish it. And if by some miracle he does, he’ll be earning well below market price. It doesn’t sit right. Still, a fresh industry darling like Lightwood could do well with that cash. Magnus is so loaded from ten years on the job that 900k is practically pocket change. He knew that prior to taking this job, but now - now - the idea of earning it unsettles him. Because the second that money lands in his account, it’ll be proof that Alec Lightwood is no longer breathing. And he’ll be the weight Magnus needs to shake before he goes to sleep every night.

Hold up.

“Offered?”

Lightwood only meets his eyes briefly, but the hint of bashfulness is enough of an answer. No. No fucking way.

Magnus gapes, “You passed on the job.”

“No, I took the job,” Lightwood frowns at him like he’s silly, “But things didn’t add up. And then we met. And you threw that champagne flute at my head. And then that kiss…”

The kiss. Oh, he remembers. And now that he’s letting himself remember it without the dusty lens of denial or ego, it was a...shit, he doesn’t even have words for it. He’d put it all down to distraction tactics at the time, but Alec hadn’t been playing around. He’d poured himself into Magnus, raw and curious and excited. Devouring him like someone who had already seen the end of the story, but was hungry for all the juicy little details that built it. That kiss had taken some unknown piece of Magnus away and replaced it with something foreign, and he’s been spiralling ever since in his frenzy to figure out what the hell it is. He still doesn’t know what it is.

“Then why the fuck have you been trying to kill me?”

Lightwood rolls his eyes, “Oh please. It was a bit of fun. You're the one that fucking shot me!”

Another moment passes, and he realizes he’s still sitting on top of Lightwood with his soft, spent dick hanging out. So he climbs off and tucks himself back in, tentatively side-eyeing the man beside him as he fastens his belt. What’s the protocol now? Give Lightwood a head-start? Only seems like the polite thing to do. Quit his job and move to Hawaii? He’s never dumped a live mark, ever. The thought doesn’t bother him now as much as it used to, but something tells him his firm won’t be too happy about it.

He doesn’t know what to do here.

Meanwhile, Lightwood sits up with a wince, pressing a hand to his bleeding shoulder. Gunshot. Right. Fuck.

“So...you should probably finish your job and get the hell outta dodge,” Alec murmurs, beginning to look a little pale now, “The house has been live ground for too long. Someone’s bound to have called the cops.”

When Lightwood continues to sit there in the mess of broken china and strewn about books, Magnus realizes he’s expecting him to finish the job. Cross him off.

He would. But Magnus has never liked unfinished things.

He flicks the safety on his gun, slides it inside the holster at his chest and goes in search of a towel. It’s a clean exit wound, no bullet lodged inside. So when he returns, he folds it to hang across Lightwood’s shoulder and instructs him to apply pressure. Then, Magnus removes his own jacket and slides it around him to keep him warm. The soft, awed surprise on Lightwood’s douchey fucking face does pleasant things to Magnus’ chest.

“You started this,” Magnus tells him, gruff and unexpectedly shy, “And I’m the type to go a little nuts if I don’t see it through. So.”

He feels the blush immediately rise up his neck, and knowing it’s there only makes his blush more pronounced. It doesn’t help that Lightwood is smiling at him like he’s the cutest thing on the planet. Fuck. His reputation is so screwed. How did this happen?

“Just so we’re clear,” Lightwood shivers, because he may be slowly losing another pint of blood, but that’s doing nothing to dim the dopey smile on his face, “You’re not going to hold a gun to my head every time I give you a blowjob, right?”

Magnus shrugs, “Only if that’s what you’re into.”

When Lightwood’s smile gets a little too dopey, he gently brings him across the disaster of the living room and walks him out of the house and down the street to his parked vehicle. Everything about it is weird and uncomfortable, but there’s a fluttering in his belly that won’t quit and it’s not the worst feeling ever.

As Magnus helps him into the passenger seat, Lightwood blinks up at him, “Quick question while I bleed to death.”

“Hmm.”

“What’s your fetish for Mazdas?”

Magnus straps him in, “What. They’re efficient. And inconspicuous. No one is going to look twice at a Mazda 3. Unlike you and your boner for Bugattis.”

Lightwood grins, “You’ve been following me.

Magnus couldn’t even deny it, despite the fact that they both know Lightwood has been following him right back. Magnus cuts off his delighted laugh by shutting the door and getting in the driver’s side. He buckles himself in, turns the ignition over and adjusts the AC to get some heat circulating. Lightwood murmurs a soft little thank you and the flutter in Magnus’ belly intensifies.

Now that he has the space to think about it, things don’t add up on his end, either. Two of the best contractors in the industry, being hired to take each other out. He doesn’t even need to say it out loud to know something isn’t right.

He glances over at Lightwood, “You up for a team job?”

Lightwood swings his head around where it rests heavy on the headrest, “Can I stop bleeding first?”

“Sure.”

“Will we get to snuggle on this job?”

He’s obviously growing delirious, so Magnus humors him. Though it’s not much in the way of humor, because yeah. Alec Lightwood snuggling him? He’s okay with that. “Sure.”

The look he slides Magnus is a drowsy, loopy attempt at bedroom eyes, “Then count me in, stud.”

Magnus breathes. In, two three four. Out, two---and then he’s laughing; hoarse, tired guffaws bursting from his throat without hesitation. They surprise him more than anybody, because he can’t remember the last time he laughed. Lightwood chuckles with him, and that grin of his grows soft and gorgeous. Magnus’ belly starts flipping like an over-excited jack russell.

Yikes. He’s gonna have to get used to this.

The smile slides right off Alec’s face, “Seriously, though. I’m bleeding.”

Magnus punches the car into gear and away they go.