velvet mace


"Did you really think your sad little group of men could best me?" Greed asked the officer sitting cross-legged at his feet. "Fifteen men against me? Ridiculous. You couldn't even harm my chimeras."

Greed looked down at the man in the blue uniform and frowned. Carefully he drew the pointed tip of his boot up the side of Lt. Colonel Archer's leg to where the cavalry skirt crossed his thigh. Absentmindedly he pushed it back further, not that it revealed anything more than the starched pleat of his pants. Still it made the prisoner twitch and attempt to reposition himself away. A futile gesture, as he was hemmed in by crates, and wound about with rope.

Archer was a more docile prisoner than Alphonse, Greed noted. He wondered where that armored child and his brother had gone off to. Not that it would matter. He'd tracked them down once, it wouldn't be hard to track them down again. Archer's arrival was simply a kink in his grand plan.

"Still I suppose I'll have to leave my bar now. How inconvenient. When can expect the reinforcements to arrive?" Greed rubbed the tip of his boot against Archer's hip in a way that wasn't explicitly threatening – merely suggestive of violence, or perhaps something else, depending on how the man chose to interpret it.

Archer glanced up and Greed saw cold fire in his eyes and a faint blush to his cheeks. Nice.

"You've underestimated the persistence of the military," Archer growled. "You'll be buried no matter how far you run. I suggest you surrender to me now."

Greed chuckled dryly at the man's hopeless bravado. "And you overestimate the strength of the military. Send another 15, hell, send a hundred soldiers, and I will still walk out of here without a scratch. You've already seen proof of that."

There was just the slightest flicker of doubt in Archer's eyes, and Greed grinned wider. The man had watched Greed walk into the hail of bullets from his soldier's guns, only to have them bounce and deflect harmlessly off his hard shield. A minute later the bar looked like a charnel house, the blood of patrons and soldiers alike co-mingling on the ground. The only ones left standing were Greed and Archer.

Well and one other. Greed heard the door to the basement open, but didn't bother to turn around. "Tucker and the chimeras have finished packing up," said Kimbly. "The car is ready."

Archer's eyes snapped up and stared past Greed's shoulder at the gangly ex-state alchemist. "You betrayed me. I offered you your position back and you led us into a trap!"

Greed felt Kimbly's arm drape comfortably over his shoulder. He looked over and noted the smug grin on his face. "You thought I'd go back to the military after they stuck me in a cell for 6 years? After they tried to fuck me over alchemically? What kind of an idiot do you take me for?"

"Traitor," muttered Archer.

Kimbly snarled and tried to launch himself at officer, but the Sin held him easily back.

"On the contrary, he's quite faithful… to me." Greed wrapped an arm possessively around Kimbly, and gave him a brief squeeze. "We make a good team, don't we? I take what I want and you blow the rest up."

Archer swallowed, wrongly predicting which catagory he fell in. He closed his eyes, and Greed could see him steeling himself for Kimbly's deadly alchemy.

Greed let Kimbly go and went back to idly stroking Archer's thigh with his boot. Greed's eyes meandered over the splatter of blood on Archer's uniform. Not a drop of it belonged to the prisoner himself. Greed had been careful of that. After all, one didn't have a high ranking officer fall into one's lap every day, and Greed was not one to squander someone with that much potential.

It was time for the offer. "You are a good soldier, used to following orders, to the very letter from the look of it. You don't mind a little blood, and you aren't cowardly or suicidal. You are dastardly and sly. I can use someone like that."

Archer's eyes opened again and stared at Greed with equal parts surprise and desperate hope. "What do you want?"

"Will you be my dog?" asked Greed. "Will you swear yourself to me? Will you serve me the way you did the military?"

"Yes," said Archer without any hesitation. "I'll do anything you say. I'll be your dog. Just don't kill me."

"I won't kill you," promised Greed. He noted the distrust on the man's face. "Relax, Frank Archer, unlike my man here, I don't lie. Never had the need to."

Kimbly humphed. "I told you I knew his type. So long as he gets to be on the winning side, he's happy."

"I guess those reinforcements don't matter after all." Greed tapped the toe of his boot against the big muscle of Archer's thigh. His leg twitched reflexively and he attempted to pull into a tighter more protective ball. "Get up, Frank. We're leaving."

Greed turned away leaving Kimbly to manage his new employee, but at the door he turned around. He gave the disheveled and stunned ex-officer one more appraising look. Archer paled at the look of predatory satisfaction Greed didn't bother to disguise.

"Anything," Greed repeated. "When we get to our destination, I'll make sure to test that."