Title: Family Obligations, Chapter 11
Fandom: Celebrity RPS
Pairing: Orlando Bloom/Sean Bean
Challenge: AU Orlibean. Sean is hired to kidnap Orlando who he assumes is a spoiled rich kid who turns out to be anything but, when the ransom isn't paid the order comes down for Sean to kill him. It's a race against time to get them both to safety. Written for amygirl's request at the_challenger.
Summary: Sean's little brother has a taste for the ponies but no talent when it comes to choosing winners, and owes a local gangster a lot more money than he can come up with. Sean agrees to do an "easy job" in payment of the debt -- kidnapping a spoiled young punk named Bloom and hanging on to him while the gangster gets a ransom from the lad's family. It should've been a simple job, but then things started to get complicated.
Disclaimer: I don't own anyone you recognize. I know nothing about their social lives or sexual activities, more's the pity. This is fiction, period. It is done as a labor of love and I make no money from it.
Note: Banner by galor5! :D
Previous Chapters: One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten
Orlando'd practically cracked Sean's knuckles with the force of his grip, then he immediately let go and jumped up to his feet. He just stood there, quivering with tension, his arms wrapped around his middle and his gaze darting from door to window to window and back to door. The room was at the side of the house and Sean knew there'd be no view of the drive from there so his strongest impression was that the lad was looking for an escape hole.
While Sean watched, Orlando turned one way, then another, took a couple of steps, stopped, turned, rubbed his arms, turned, took three steps, stopped--
The lad jumped a good foot in the air then spun around to face Sean, his eyes huge and round. "What?!"
Sean moved across the room, grabbed him by the upper arms and gave him a sharp shake. "Settle, lad! You look like you're about to explode! Come on, now -- this should be a quiet little conversation, soon over. Not terribly pleasant, mayhap, but we'll get through it and then it'll be done, yeah?"
"I know! I know...." Orlando bit his lip and looked up into Sean's eyes as though searching for something. "I know it's nothing to be afraid of but that doesn't help." He looked away and added, "I'm sorry. I know I'm actingly like a complete twit but he just has this way of getting to me and I can't help it, I'm sorry."
"Don't be sorry -- buck up!" Sean gave him another sharp shake, then pulled him into a tight hug. "Come on, now, you can do this. Just look him in the eye and say what you have to say, right?"
"Right." Orlando nodded and Sean could feel the lad's nose ploughing through his hair. It made him wish they were somewhere else, somewhere far away and far awhen from all this rubbish, that they'd met somehow other -- in London maybe, when Sean was there at uni?
Except that when Sean was at uni, Orlando was still learning to walk.
Sean pushed him back and gave him a stern look while maintaining a tight grasp on his arms. "All right, then. Look now -- you can handle this. You can stand up straight and look him in the eye and know that he can't hurt you and that he doesn't deserve the satisfaction of seeing that he bothers you. He'll go along with what you want because it's in his own best interests. He might not like you and might not like the fact that you're his heir but it'd smear the family honor to have him go to prison for conspiracy to murder a lot more so he'll deal. You're the one carrying the biggest stick, so act like it!"
Orlando blinked, then glared, then nodded in a jerky sort of fashion but one which still managed to indicate that he'd reached some level of determination. Sean nodded in satisfaction and let him go, at which point Orlando, still looking determined, grabbed him by the upper arms, yanked him close and kissed him hard.
Sean's brain knew he should back off, that this was a really bad idea all on its own and even moreso now, when Orlando's da and probably Rosie were on their way. Not that it wouldn't likely do Lord Rasley some good to actually see his son fooling around with another man, heh, but it'd be a complication they didn't need at the moment.
Sean's brain wasn't actually in charge at that point, though, so instead of backing off, he wrapped his arms around Orlando, pulled him close and kissed back.
All Sean's blood rushed south, leaving his brain to throw up its hands and go for a tea break. He was vaguely aware that he shouldn't be doing this but the feel of a smoothly muscled back under his hands and a hot, seeking tongue in his mouth seemed reason enough to keep going for however long it lasted.
He pushed his hands up under Orlando's shirt, seeking bare skin. Orlando made a low, wanting noise into Sean's mouth and wriggled against him. Encouraged, Sean slid one hand up and down and the other back and forth. The shirt Orlando'd worn to the club and ever since was tight and silky and had warmed against his body; it was smooth against the back of Sean's hand as it rode slowly up Orlando's smooth back.
Sean felt a hardening cock press against his hip and he slid one hand down to Orlando's arse to pull him tighter. The response was hot and sexy -- passion and enthusiasm and Sean couldn't understand why those other sorry sods he'd seen the lad with hadn't appreciated it. How could anyone be where Sean was right then and not want to stay there, not want to have this for his own? Fucking this once and then tossing it away made no kind of sense. They were cracked, they had to be, purely mental! No man in his right mind would voluntarily give this up -- gorgeous and sweet and caring and hot as hell--
A short, intense sound, like a hollow bang, jolted Sean out of his passion-dazed cloud.
He pulled away from the kiss and looked quickly around out of reflex, listening hard. Orlando was doing the same and was blinking up out of a haze of his own.
"Car door," Orlando muttered. He yanked his shirt down and smoothed his hair back with shaking hands. "He's here."
"Hey." Sean took his shoulders again and gave him a gentle shake, drawing his attention back to Sean's face. "You're gonna be all right, hear? I won't say to relax, that'd be daft, but don't let it show. You've got a strength in you, I've seen it, so you let that carry you and don't let him see you're nervous. He's the bastard here an' you're in the right so look him in the eye and think how much you'll enjoy seeing him realize it's all fallen apart. Yeah?"
"Yeah." Orlando nodded and managed a crooked smile.
Sean stole a last quick kiss just 'cause it seemed like the thing to do, then backed off. He'd love to be right up there next to him, lending a snarl and a glare, but the lad needed to do this. He was over eighteen -- twenty-two actually, according to the info Sean'd dug up while planning the grab -- and it was more than time for him to stand up to his own da and say what was what. Respecting your parents was all fine and well but that assumed they respected you back and Orlando's parents pretty obviously didn't.
While they waited, Orlando stiff with tension and repeatedly clenching and unclenching his shaking hands, Sean more casual -- at least on the surface -- and leaning against the fireplace mantel, Sean thought about what might've been different in his own life if his parents had tried to regulate it the way Orlando's had his.
Although actually, they had, in a way. It'd always been assumed that Sean would go into his father's welding company. He'd read business at uni in London, with a minor in materials engineering, all so he'd be able to go back and help their little shop compete in a world where the big companies could sell anywhere and would cut you off at the knees if you let 'em.
The difference, though, was that he liked working in the shop. He liked making things out of metal and seeing something he'd built with his hands go out and be used as part of a machine or a building. Even doing repairs meant that other small businesses wouldn't have to strain for the money to replace something fixable, or that someone with a beloved old car or a classic iron staircase could keep it for a while longer.
They had a good crew of lads and Sean enjoyed working with them, too, and he'd moved into managing the shop over the last few years as his da had stepped aside a bit at a time. Maybe he had been guided at that but he hadn't been shoved against his will and that made all the difference, didn't it?
And while his parents might not be overjoyed at his tendancy toward the lads, neither were they apt to badger him over it, or disown him as he'd seen happen with some mates of his who'd swung that way. He was discreet and didn't flaunt boyfriends and they left him alone to live his personal life as he saw fit.
He'd always known he was lucky for that and then some, but realizing that Orlando's da would actually try to have him killed for it had made him that much more grateful for his own family.
All of which made him that much more determined to see this through and clean it all up. If Merriwether thought he could walk right in and wreck it all then Sean'd learn him different.
And just about then, Sean heard two sets of footsteps in the hall. He straightened up and watched the open doorway, looking forward to his first look at the man who'd made Orlando so miserable.
Rosie entered first, her eyes huge and frightened-looking. And just behind her, with a tight grip on her upper arm and a pistol in his free hand, Merriwether walked right in.
Orlando had felt the tension building... well, all day really, and moreso since the phone call from the gate, but in particular the last minute or so since he'd heard the car door slam. Sean's last-minute pep talk had helped and he'd psyched himself up to standing straight and cool in front of his father and looking him in the eye and not letting him get to him the way he always did. Years of sniping and sharp criticism and pointed reminders and bitter disappointment -- his own as well as his father's -- had conditioned him to withdrawing, to curling up inside and putting up a helpless, childishly defensive attitude. He hated it and he hated who he became when his father was in the room but he couldn't seem to help it; the grooves of habit were worn too deep.
Having Sean there made a difference, though, as did knowing that his father had gone beyond the pale with this whole kidnapping scheme. He still felt the urge to huddle, felt the sullen whining billowing up inside him, but he'd fought it down and stood straight and was ready to look the man in the eye just as Sean had said.
Then Rosie'd come in with some stranger and he'd been looking behind them, past them, out into the hall where he was sure his father was about to enter and the confusion had thrown him so hard he hadn't even noticed the gun at first.
Out of the corner of his eye he saw Sean moving away, a couple of big steps past the fireplace where he'd been standing and toward the corner, on the same wall as the door but several paces away. The look on Sean's face, the shocked, glowering hate made Orlando take a better look at the man with Rosie and that was when he'd noticed the gun because it'd swerved to point at Sean.
"Don't even think it, Bean," the newcomer snarled. He was only half a head taller than Rosie, with a ruddy, rough-hewn face which would never be called handsome but had a hard strength to it. He was stocky but softer around the edges than Sean was, as though he didn't do much physical work, nor get much other exercise. He gestured confidently with his gun, though, and Sean took a reluctant step, then another, back toward Orlando. He stopped closer to the center of the room but farther away from Orlando than he had been.
Orlando's racing mind first wondered why Sean had tried to move away in the first place -- he couldn't have been trying to hide there, even if Sean were the hiding sort -- but a moment later he realized that the man wanted to be able to cover the both of them with the one weapon and Sean had tried to prevent that.
"So how'd you get in, then?" Sean drawled, his arms crossed loosely over his chest and his head cocked in a sneer. His tone and stance was all familiar scorn and hatred and Orlando suddenly knew who this was. It had to be Merriwether. The boss himself had shown up to... to what? Nothing good, that was for sure, and maybe they'd been wrong and he hadn't gotten the word that the contract was off. Maybe he was here to finish it up himself, to kill Orlando and any possible witnesses and be done with it?
He felt a cold nausea build up in his gut. The man had a rough grip on Rosie which was clearly a threat. She looked terrified and it was all Orlando's fault for bringing his problems here. He'd been so sure they'd be safe but he'd been wrong and now what? Sorry wasn't going to make a damn bit of difference if this bastard ended up killing all three of them.
All four of them. Rosie had her free arm curled protectively around her pregnant belly.
"No bully-boys this time, then?" Sean asked, still sounding snarky. "Or, wait, they're all feeling a bit under t'weather after gettin' leathered good down at t'shop. Or had yeh heard about that yet? Tommy's lass and our mum took out one of 'em -- you might want t'move that lad into a desk job when he recovers."
"Shut it!" Merriwether barked. He glared at Sean and hauled Rosie farther into the room, up against the wall opposite the fireplace. "You two, next to each other." He waved his gun back and forth from Orlando to Sean, then pointed it at a spot in the center of the room between the sofas.
Orlando looked at Sean. He just stood where he was, staring hard but not moving. Orlando bit his lip but stayed where he was as well.
"Now, bugger it!" Merriwether glared at them both, then sneered and pressed the muzzle of his gun against Rosie's head.
Orlando felt his lips shaping Sean's name, but he didn't make a sound and still didn't move. Merriwether had to know that if he killed Rosie they'd both be on him a moment later.
Sean still didn't move. Orlando could feel his heart slamming against his chest and his stomach was twisting harder than ever. He'd never been this frightened before, not even when that other one, Donny, had been hovering over him and whispering about what Sean was going to do to him. He hadn't really believed him then because that was Sean and even while handcuffed and blindfolded he'd trusted Sean.
And he trusted him now but he wasn't the one who was in control here and Orlando was sure, just from looking Merriwether in the eye, that he was the sort of man who could kill someone to get what he wanted.
Then the sneer changed into a big grin and the gun moved down to poke into the side of Rosie's belly.
Next Chapter: Twelve