velvet mace


chapter 2.

Ed let Al pull him off to the library. It was their favorite spot in the entire rambling house. Their bedroom was too small, too bare, and too associated with Greed's punishments. The door there only locked on the outside. The library door had no locks. That was infinitely better.

The library was their true retreat, and everyone in the household seemed to respect that. Greed rarely visited it, the chimeras had no interest in the books. The only one who intruded with any regularity was Sloth, but she was kind enough to get what she wanted and leave quickly.

Ed closed the door and joined Al on the settee, throwing an arm automatically around his brother's shoulder.

"He doesn't look mean," said Al, nervously broaching the subject. "It may not be that bad."

Ed kissed Al's forehead. It was sweet of him to be concerned, but that wasn't Ed's main worry. "I hope he's mean enough. I'm not sure he's up to the task."

Sending Ed to Roy was part of Ed's punishment. A rather visceral reminder that Ed was Greed's to do with what he wanted, to hold on to or to offer up to someone else on a whim. Nothing of Ed belonged to himself. His talent, his mind, even his body was Greed's. So now he would have to have to perform the most intimate acts he was capable of with a man he'd met literally hours ago.

Ed's ears burned. He was not one of Greed's whores and being treated like one was humiliating. Still there was no way out of it. If Roy didn't ravish him satisfactorily, one of the chimeras would. And unlike Roy, they would feel it their job to make it unmistakably punishment. At least with Roy, Ed could hope to control the situation well enough to make it enjoyable for both of them.

And Roy wasn't a bad looker. Quite a good looker in fact. Maybe too good a looker. And the way Roy talked, so suave and self-assured. And smart. His remarks over the dinner table had been equal parts panache and insight. Greed had eaten it up and asked for more.

"I really don't think he understands what he's getting himself into," Ed said. "You saw how Greed looked at him."

Al nodded. "I wonder what his employer will think when he doesn't come back."

Ed shook his head. "I wonder what HE will think when he realizes Greed has hired him."

Al giggled. "I wonder if he'll think he can turn the job down."

Ed didn't find it funny. "We did." He stroked Al's hair. "Remember how we used to think all we had to do was work off our debt and he'd let us go. We were so stupid back then."

Al rested his head on Ed's shoulder. "I don't know. I prefer to think of us as innocent. It was nice back then. Hopeful." Al sighed.

Of course, they hadn't been able to work off their debt. There had never really been any debt in the first place. Greed had gotten his worth out of them many times over before they had even asked to leave.

Ed remembered all too vividly the way Greed had driven up to the graveyard in his large shiny car and found them kneeling by their mothers grave. The man had been slick, pretending to be there to look at another grave, and in the process inviting them to talk about their mother, themselves, their hopes, their dreams. Greed had known exactly what to say to put them at ease. Exactly what to say to get them excited. They thought they'd found a teacher who would help them bring back their mother. Someone who actually encouraged and approved of their dream.

Of course, that was a lie. Greed had no interest in helping them bring back their mother, but he did want them proficient in alchemy. So he hired them tutors, and when they exhausted what the hirelings knew, Greed began to teach them himself. Though Greed couldn't actually perform alchemy, he was very knowledgeable about it, especially when it came to the darker arrays and illegal symbols. Not long after he started teaching them, he began insisting that they work off the cost of their learning by producing arrays of questionable legality and even more iffy morality.

Greed had made a killing off of them.

Then, six months after they'd climbed into his car, Greed ran out of things to teach them. Not long after that, Ed had walked into Greed's office with a mix of trepidation and relief that this whole strange experience was over.

"Ah, Edward, you look like you have something important to say. What can I do for you, " Greed purred.

Ed had sucked in a breath and girded himself, finding it difficult to face down Greed, but determined to finally do it. "I came to thank you for teaching my brother and me. "

"It has been my delight," Greed said.

Ed looked into Greed's eyes and saw the predatory quality in them. It didn't matter, Greed wasn't going to intimidate him this time. "And," he continued, his voice a bit shrill and high in his own ears. "I wanted to say thank you and we are going to go now."

"Go where?" asked Greed, standing up. Ed noticed that his fingers had changed color, from flesh to black. It was the first time he'd seen this trick, and it scared him. But he was determined.

"Home," said Ed.

"You are home." Greed skirted the desk.

"I mean Rizembol, where we used to live."

"But what is the point in going there? There is NOTHING there. Don't you enjoy being here?"

"It's not that..."

"Haven't I given you a good place to live, good food, good company?"

"Of course."

"You wouldn't think to abandon me now, would you?" Greed towered over him.

Ed realized then that Greed wasn't going to let them walk out. But because he had to, he gave it one last try. "Sir, please, it's time for us to move on."

Greed had stroked the side of Ed's face with fingers that felt amazingly cold and hard. Ed shuddered. "You are so very young, not even eleven yet, " Greed said, pulling Ed into an embrace with arms like steel. "I would be quite remiss if I allowed you to leave now. You still need someone to care for you. When you are older, we can discuss this. But not now."

And for a while Ed had hoped that when he turned some magical age, fifteen, eighteen, sometime, Greed would finally let them go. He had no illusions of that anymore. Not when Greed spoke in a not so joking manner about finding Al and him wives, or what a good grandfather he would be to their children.

Ed wondered if he should clue Roy in on the situation. Or was Al right? Perhaps it was best just to let the man live in happy ignorance as long as possible.

A few hours later Dorchet came for them. "They've retired for the evening," the dog-chimera said. "You are expected."

Ed and Al knew better than to linger over their books. They followed Dorchet up the stairs to the sleeping area, passing Greed's rooms first. Al gave Ed one last hug and kiss. "Good luck," he whispered in Ed's ear.

"Don't worry. I'll be fine," Ed assured him. But despite that he felt his stomach tense when they arrived at the guest room Greed had given Roy. It was their best room. Greed was buttering the man up, hoping to lure him into saying yes to employment. Sucking in a breath he turned the knob and stepped in.

Roy was flipping through a book at the back of the enormous room. He looked up when Ed entered and casually waved him forward. "Come on in." Ed walked determinedly over to him, slipping his arms around the man's waist and snuggling his head into his shoulder. The man stiffened and backed away. "Ah..." The book fell out of his hands.

Ed stifled a laugh. Apparently he'd not expected Ed to get that physical that quickly. Perhaps he didn't think that Ed would want to touch him at all. The look of surprised alarm on the man's face was rather funny.

Ed closed the distance, taking advantage of the fact that Roy's hands were now empty to press himself between them and burrow against his chest. "Uh... listen," said Roy grabbing his shoulders in a firm grip. Ed hooked a hand around his neck and pulled him down. "Ah... Ed, this is..." Ed went up on his toes to touch his lips with his own.

The man actually shuddered, pushing him away. "Ed, no, wait!"

Ed waited. He'd been too quick, too aggressive. Did he want someone more submissive? Ah shit no, he was backing out. Ed's eyes narrowed. His fears were correct, Roy hadn't asked for him because he wanted him. It was some misguided attempt to save him from being given to Law. Great.

Roy seemed to gasp for breath. "Whoa, kid. Listen, I don't want to—"

"Fuck me?" supplied Ed.

Roy winced at the coarseness. "Yes. Listen, it's not that you aren't very... er... "

Ed crossed his arms in front of his chest. Here is where it came out. The whole "we can pretend we did and not," speech. Like that would work. If Dorchet didn't smell sex and sweat and ROY on him in the proper amounts, he would report it back to Greed. And Greed would simply assume that Ed had talked Roy out of screwing him, no matter what Roy or Ed might say. And then Greed would come up with a worse humiliation to make up for it.

But Roy said something else. "It's that I'm on duty."

Ed blinked. "On duty?"

"I'm Colonel Roy Mustang, a state Alchemist. I'm lending a hand in the investigation of Greed's enterprise. I believe you were our informant."

Ed gaped. Several emotions hit him in quick succession. First amazement and relief—the Military KNEW. They'd taken his letters seriously. They were investigating it. All that work hadn't fallen on deaf ears.

Then immediately following that realization, a sick, bitter humor took over. This is all they sent? ONE man? Against Greed? And oh, my what would Greed think when he figured it out? This poor man was toast. Ed had better make tonight pleasurable for him, because he would be in a whole lot of hurt soon.

And finally despair. Not even the military could help. Not even them. Greed was packing them off to Xing in a few days, and if this was all the military would do... send one lone man... it was hopeless. He was never getting free.

Roy seemed to pick up on his despair. "You have to trust me, Ed, I'll get you out of this."

Hah, you can't even get yourself out of this. But you don't know that yet, do you? "Are they going to do a raid?" Ed asked, holding out a wistful hope.

"No. I will need to report back that the arrays on the house are thought controlled. A raid would be deadly for my men, I take it."

Ed nodded. "Very." Roy had no idea. There were arrays EVERYWHERE, under tables, rugs, hidden behind pictures; the place was a veritable minefield. And should the soldiers survive the arrays, they would have to face the chimeras, who had shown often enough over the years that they could take on several men at once. And after that, was Greed himself. Invincible, immortal, deadly. Ed had seen Greed in action once—against the last client to take pity on him and his brother. Greed had allowed the man to fight back however he could, but it was all to no avail. And part of Ed and Al's punishment had been to watch Greed take the man slowly to pieces. It hadn't been pretty.

Ed guessed that with enough men the Military could overcome all Greed's defenses, and even if they couldn't KILL him, they could probably immobilize and contain him. But guessing at Roy's casual attitude, they weren't going to send sufficient numbers in. They would get creamed, and in the confusion Greed would take him and Al and the rest of the inner circle off somewhere else, and start anew.

But none of this made a difference in there here and now. "When do you go off duty," Ed asked, closing the distance again. Roy sidestepped him, out of range.

"I won't. And even if I did, you are too young for that, Ed. It would be unconscionable."

Too young, that was funny.

"I'm not a virgin," Ed reassured him. "I haven't been for years."

Roy's face blanched. "I'm truly sorry you were allowed to stay in this place as long as you were. If we'd known sooner we'd have shut this place long ago."

It was almost painful to hear Roy's confidence in the military. "Maybe," he took a step closer. Roy took a step back again. "Maybe not." Ed's mind worked. If he stepped just right, he could back the man right up onto the bed. And from there...

"We can free you and your brother much easier if you cooperate," said Roy. "Tell me about Greed, about the others in the house. Where are the arrays, how are they triggered. Tell me all about the other illegal set ups."

Ed sighed. Why bother? Still, Roy seemed to want this information a lot. Maybe as a game they could both get what they wanted. Roy could get the false sense of security in knowing something of what he was up against, and Ed would get his scent and seed in enough abundance to please Dorchet, and through him Greed.

"How about this," proposed Ed. "I tell you something if you let me touch you."

Roy was taken aback again. "Why do you.... you WANT to sleep with me?"

"Very much."

"You can't possibly, you don't even KNOW me."

You'll be family soon enough, thought Ed. Though chances were strong that after tonight Roy wouldn't be sleeping with him again. Not unless Ed really DID want it. In fact the next person to bed him would probably be Greed himself. After that, there were whores available if Roy ever wanted them.

That is, until his cover was blown, and what happened after that was anyone's guess. It depended on how Roy behaved, and how much Greed wanted him. It's best not to get too attached to this man, Ed thought.

Ed stepped closer again and watched Roy predictably back up a step. Ed continued pressing. Roy realized that he'd been maneuvered into a corner between the bed and the wall. All of a sudden he seemed to get irritated. "I'm almost twice your age."

"Greed's almost 400 years old," said Ed. "He fucked me when I was eleven."

"That's disgusting... and impossible."

"I'll tell you what he is, if you kiss me," Ed offered. He presented his most come-hither smile. He could see Roy's weak hold on his composure starting to crumble. Good.


"I'm not going to tell you ANYTHING if you don't," said Ed.

Roy's face seemed to solidify. "Then perhaps I need to find out on my own. Why don't you go back to your bed, child?"

No. This man's misplaced sense of propriety was going to be Ed's undoing. "I'll give you this, then. As soon as I leave this room Dorchet is going to check me. If I don't smell of your sweat and come, then I'm going to be punished severely."

Roy looked aghast. "Why didn't you just say that? We could fake—"

"No, we can't. Dorchet will know. He's part wolf, his sense of smell is fantastic. He will know what you've done to me. So, you aren't doing me any favors by being coy. And I'm offering to do this quid pro quo. I give you your information, and you give me your cooperation."

Roy still seemed to be hesitating.

"For Gods sake, man," said Ed annoyed. "Am I that ugly? Is it the automail? You are the first person to treat me like I was hideous."

Roy broke. "Tell me about Dorchet."

Ed smiled and closed in. This time Roy allowed him. Ed reached up and pulled on Roy's short course hair. Roy obligingly leaned down and Ed caught his lips. His shuddering breath tickled Ed's face. Ed brushed his lips, lightly, then more forcefully took them in, chewing the lower lip lightly, then sliding his tongue between the mans tight lips. Roy tasted like brandy, warm, sweet.

Roy attempted to pull away, but Ed held him there for a few more seconds. Then finally released him. "Dorchet's a chimera. A perfect human wolf hybrid. He's older than he looks, almost forty, but he doesn't seem to have aged since the operation. I don't know if that was deliberate or a side benefit or what. He's much stronger and faster than he looks, and he heals amazingly quickly. I don't know the details of how he was made, the notes were lost in the fire and it isn't high on Greed's priority list to figure it out."

Ed gently pushed on Roy moving him to sit down on the bed. Roy complied: "Greed, what is he?"

Ed climbed into Roy's lap, straddling his hips. He planted a series of kisses on Roy's throat and heard him moan. "You need to kiss me, too." Ed unhooked the buttons on his silk shirt and shrugged it off. He ran a finger down the side of his neck to his chest. "Kiss me here."

God, Roy's mouth was incredible. He may not be completely willing, but he was certainly able. Almost as good as Greed himself. Ed found Roy's hands and brought them up to his nipples. "Touch there," he murmured into the man's dark hair.

"Surely Dorchet won't be able to smell that," said Roy.

"No, but I like it." Roy hesitated, but then gently thumbed his nipples, teasing them with his soft fingers until they hardened. Ed bucked a little in Roy's lap feeling his groin become a bit heavier. This was turning out to not be nearly the punishment Greed had intended, and that was worthy of a soft chuckle, too.

"I'm glad you find this amusing," said Roy sounding a bit put off. "Tell me about Greed."

"He's a homunculus."

"A homunculus?"

"Yes, familiar with them?"

"Only very vaguely."

"Well, that's what you get when you try to bring someone back from the dead. I don't know most of his origins. I know he doesn't age, he can't be killed, he's massively strong, and he's at least three centuries old. I don't know why he calls himself Greed but it fits him. When he doesn't want to be injured he can put up his shield."


"It looks... dark. It's hard. Very hard." Ed shrugged. "You can't even hurt him when it's up, but he can sure hurt you. That's really all I know about him, except for such things as his favorite desert. I assume you aren't all that interested in that."

Roy sighed. "Can't be killed."

Ed kissed Roy again, wallowing in the flavor of the other. Again Roy responded, kissing back gently, then with more hunger. Ed could feel the man shift beneath him. One hand left his chest and on its own caressed his side and up his back, gently pressing into the kiss.

"I don't think you are a virgin, either, Roy," said Ed when they broke apart.


"Am I your first, you know, boy?"

Roy tensed, and Ed regretted his curiosity. "I've slept with men before. Not often, but a few times. Enough to satisfy curiosity. You are the first child I've contemplated bedding. I'm not sure I'm happy with the precedent."

"Don't think of me as a child then."

"But it's what you are," said Roy.

"No," said Ed coldly. "I'm not. My childhood died with my mother. Greed can call me his ward all he likes, but he isn't my father. He's my lover sometimes. My boss most days. But mostly he's my owner."

"I noticed. Was this enough to satisfy Dorchet?"

Ed hooked his fingers under Roy's white tank top. "Not hardly." Roy allowed him to remove it. Ed leaned forward, pushing until Roy collapsed backwards on the bed. He grinned, it felt good to have the other man pinned beneath him. He began mouthing Roy's nipples until he heard the man moan out, and gently stroke his hair.

Ed caught the desire implicit in the motion. He reached back and found the band at the bottom of his braid and pulled it free. He leaned down again and allowed Roy to run his hands through his hair to free it completely from the braid. There was heat in the man's eyes now, his reasons for fighting were either forgotten or rationalized away.


Ed allowed himself to slide down, running his tongue down the man's belly, enjoying the way the muscles tensed and twitched. Ed's feet touched the floor and continued down until he was kneeling, the man's legs to either side of his shoulders. He began unbuckling his pants. Roy sucked in a breath, then leaned up on his elbows. "Martel. What about her."

"Another chimera. Not as tough as Dorchet, but much more flexible. She's part snake. I don't know quite how she does it, but it's like she can uncoil herself and stretch. Anyway she was made by the same person as Dorchet. She used to be a soldier you know. All of them were. The military turned them into chimeras."

"Not possible."

It must be nice to be so innocent, Ed thought. He opened the man's pants and tugged them down past his hips. Once freed they slipped on their own to his ankles. Ed took a moment to relieve the man of his shoes and socks, then leaned back to enjoy the view.

"I feel somewhat at a disadvantage here," Roy said.

Ed snickered. "Sometimes Greed slips up. You aren't punishment at all."

"Er... that's nice.... AH!" Ed grabbed his semi-flaccid cock and guided it into his mouth. "Ah!" Roy curled up, hooking his legs into the side of the bed for leverage. Ed grabbed his knees to steady him. Roy held his head gently between his hands and began to guide his movements. Ed let him. He enjoyed the way the member firmed up in his mouth. Apparently the rumors about Xing men weren't entirely true. Either that or Roy was mixed blood, because Roy was almost as sizable as Greed. Greed would be pleased.

Ed laughed around Roy's cock. Then felt Roy's fingers tighten on his hair and pull him off. "Am I really that funny?"

"No, it's not that. I was just thinking that Greed is going to regret that I got you first. But it's his own fault."

Roy jerked straight. "Greed is going to WHAT?"

Ed kept stroking him, but he was growing flaccid again. "Oh, never mind, it isn't important."

But Roy went completely soft. Goddamn it. He was starting to annoy the shit out Ed. Sure he was no whore, but knew what it took to please. This guy was making him question his skills.

Roy pulled him up until he was sitting on the bed as well. "I want answers. You are holding something back from me. Something I need to know. What is so funny about this situation. Why is Greed foisting you off on me?" He frowned. "Or is it me off on you?"

Ed looked into Roy's dark eyes. There was anger there and more than a hint of shame.

Maybe Al was wrong. Maybe ignorance wasn't bliss. Something told Ed that this man would want to know.

"I think it might be us off on each other," said Ed. "Tell me, Roy, why'd you lead him on?"

"I don't know what you mean."

"You aren't planning on helping him move us to Xing. Why'd you negotiate that into your deal."

"It seemed to be what he wanted to hear," said Roy almost nonchalantly. "It really doesn't matter anyway. I report back tomorrow what I've seen here, and my part in this is done, at least until they are ready to raid the place. Which will honestly happen much sooner if you'd just tell me where the booby traps are."

He really DIDN'T have a clue, did he. Ed sighed, it was going to be hard to resurrect the mood, even in himself. Best get all this unpleasantness out quickly, give the man a little time to recover, then work on seducing him again. Perhaps he'd be more open to a comfort fuck anyway.

"You would have been smarter to have been boring, you know," Ed said regretfully. "Not sold yourself quite so hard."

Roy was frowning. "I'm not following you."

"Greed likes you, Roy. A lot. You are smart and useful and you appreciate the things he appreciates. You really hit it off with him. And you know what he does with things he likes, don't you?"

Realization was beginning to dawn on the man's face.

"He keeps them."