Rating: NC-17 (For later Chapters)
Chapter Word Count: 3630 (Total: >15,000 - WIP)
Summary: Dean Winchester is right-hand man to mafia boss Michael Di Angeles. Dean is unfailingly loyal to his boss and completely trustworthy… except maybe when it comes to Michael's blue-eyed lover.
Chapter One [...] Previous
Dean can't believe he ever thought this lifestyle was glamorous.
He grimaces as he uses a water bottle to swill the blood from his hands, drying them on a rag and tossing it in the tarp along with the body.
"What are you going to do with it?" Dean asks Uriel, watching him tuck the heavy canvas around the corpse and secure it with a roll of duct tape.
"Landfill," the other man grunts, eloquent as ever.
Michael looks on expressionlessly as the two men wrestle the stiff into the trunk of Uriel's car, the arduous task made more awkward by the leaden weight and early onset rigor mortis. Michael appears poised and impassive like always, but Dean gets the impression it's the kind of calm you see right before a hurricane hits.
"So, that was our only lead." Michael begins dryly once Uriel has finally managed to secure the lid.
Dean watches from the corner of his eye as Uriel visibly tenses, turning slowly to meet Michael's sharp gaze.
"We'll get the name another way." The large man mutters quietly, fingers clenched tightly at his sides and jaw set in rigid defensiveness.
He's screwed up. He knows it. Dean knows it. And Michael knows it.
"I believe we had only one lead Uriel. And he currently has a bullet lodged in his brain."
"He was just some hired gun," Uriel sneers, "He couldn't tell you anything worthwhile, he didn't even know who hired him."
"Well I'm glad you're so certain of that." Michael intones coolly, "But I would have rather liked to determine the man's usefulness for myself."
Dean struggles to keep the smirk from his face as he follows the exchange with barely disguised interest. There's never been any love lost between himself and Uriel- the smug prick has always spoken to him like shit, treating him like a lower class citizen for not being 'one of the family'. After years of biting his tongue because the guy is Michael's cousin, Dean can't deny he'd quite enjoy watching him get taken down a peg or two.
"Don't blame this on me Michael," Uriel puffs his chest out, standing upright and glaring challengingly at Michael. "You asked me to find the man who shot Virgil- I found him. How was I to know he was just a shooter with no idea who signed his paycheque?"
"That is irrelevant Uriel, and you know it. The point is, I expressly instructed you to hold this man in your custody until I arrived, and you disobeyed…"
"The man was obviously much stronger than I had anticipated; he broke free of his restraints and came at me. I did what I had to," Uriel spits.
Michael's eyes narrow dangerously, "I gave you an order…"
"And I was forced to ignore it, crying over it isn't going to change that." Uriel shakes his head in disgust, "I don't need to stand here listening to this."
Uriel begins to march to the front of his car, leaving Dean and Michael in his wake. Dean's eyes widen in astonishment and he looks to Michael questioningly. The man nods almost imperceptibly, and before Uriel has seen it coming, Dean has him face down on the hood of the car, arm twisted so far up his back the bone practically creaks.
"I don't think Mr Di Angeles was quite done talking to you." Dean hisses, ignoring the thrashes and cursing of the larger man. Uriel might have a good fifty pounds or more on Dean, but he is more than capable of applying the right amount of pressure in the right place to render him more or less helpless.
"Do not forget yourself Uriel," Michael murmurs softly, stepping close to the other man. "You may be family, but do not presume I will accept that kind of insolence from you any more than anyone else. You know me Uriel- you know what I am capable of."
Uriel stills at this, desisting from his struggles and remaining unresisting in Dean's hold. "Now I want you to listen to me very carefully," Michael continues, low and hypnotic. "Somebody hired that man, and I want to know who. Since our best chance of finding that person is sadly deceased, you're going to have to get a bit smarter… do you think you can manage that?"
Uriel lets out a low grunt, cheek pressed tight to the dusty paintwork of his car and nods his head awkwardly.
"Good." Michael carries on speaking in a calm, almost sing-song voice. "I want you to trace every move that man has made in the last month. I want telephone records, I want grocery receipts. I want to know every person he came into contact with… if he's fucked the neighbour's babysitter I want to know what positions and how many times- do you understand?"
"Yes." Uriel's mumbled reply is barely audible.
"I'm sorry, I didn't hear that." Michael indicates to Dean who hauls Uriel upright, releasing his arm and instead pressing a gun to his temple.
"Yes Michael." Uriel replies with a little more volume.
"Virgil's death has caused me a considerable amount of inconvenience Uriel… and I don't like to be inconvenienced." Michael moves so he is right in front of the other man, tall enough to look him squarely in the eye. "Whoever arranged that killing has been in contact with this man recently- he is the key. You follow our hit man's movements; they will lead you directly to the person responsible."
"Consider it done." Uriel utters lowly. Michael considers him for a moment before nodding slightly, indicating for Dean to stand down.
Dean releases the man and Uriel rolls his shoulders to speed the blood flow back to his arms. He turns and fixes Dean with a menacing glower, but Dean simply shrugs and grins back.
"Make sure it is." Michael begins to walk back to his own car, effectively dismissing the other man.
Just before he slides into the passenger seat, Michael pauses, hand on the doorframe and calls out as though on an afterthought,
"Oh, and Uriel?"
The other man stops and turns, "Yes Michael?"
Michael's lips curve into the honey sweet smile of a serpent eyeing its prey. His voice drops, but the quiet words carry easily across the space, chilling in their cheeriness. "You ever show me that kind of disrespect again; I'll make sure not even your pretty little wife recognises your face. Do you understand?"
Uriel's eyes widen slightly at the dual threat, throat working furiously.
"Of course, Michael."
"Excellent." Michael smiles benignly and slips into the car. "Let's go Dean."
"Something is happening here," Michael mutters fifteen minutes into their trip back from the warehouse. "Something is going on, and I don't like it."
Dean waits for him to elaborate, unsure what he is referring to, but the man lapses back into silence and he carries on driving.
Eventually when he speaks again, his words make Dean's blood freeze in his veins.
"I've always believed loyalty is something to be valued above all other things."
The words are softly spoken and Dean has no idea of their intent. Is Michael just talking in the abstract, or is this a build up to the revelation that he knows about the affair, and is about to kill Dean out here in the middle of nowhere? Michael turns to the other man, and he feels his gaze like a laser beam to the side of the head. "Wouldn't you agree Dean?"
He knows. Fuck… he knows.
Dean feels like he has swallowed a bucketful of ice, his gut clenches in panic, and he struggles to resist the urge to bail out of the moving car.
"Yes Sir," his voice comes out remarkably more composed that he feels, "Of course."
"Your father was always a loyal man," Michael redirects his gaze back out of the window. He is quiet for a moment and Dean risks a glimpse across. "And you Dean… you have always been loyal to me, have you not?"
The heart-stopping fear is back.
He hopes that word didn't sound as much like a question out loud as it did in his own head.
"Yes," Michael muses, "You have."
Dean holds his breath, waiting to see if there is more.
"Changes are coming, I feel," Michael continues ominously. "I will need people around me I can trust." He turns to face Dean again, waiting expectantly.
"You can trust me Sir."
The words burn Dean' throat on the way out and he feels like the world's biggest fraud saying them, though he knows as far as business is concerned they are true.
"I know Dean," Michael settles back into his seat, he smiles that paternal smile that always makes Dean cringe with unworthiness. "I trust you."
They are almost back at the house when Michael suddenly decides he wants to go to the club instead.
The club is one of the Di Angeles family's oldest and most steadfast businesses. Opened around the time of the prohibition and aptly named 'Heaven', it's been used over the years for laundering, trafficking, soliciting… it's been closed and reopened countless times, but now under Michael's clever administration, is practically legal and basically untouchable.
Built like fort Knox, it's a convenient place for Michael to use as a base to manage his empire.
Dean isn't quite sure what has Michael so riled, but it appears he is reading more into Virgil's death that Dean would have thought it warranted. As soon as they return from their meeting with Uriel, he is in contact with his higher ranking subordinates arranging a gathering for that night.
"Make sure we are not disturbed."
Dean receives the firm instruction when the small group of men have arrived and been ushered through to Michael's office. He nods and perches himself at the end of the bar, a spot which blocks the entrance to the backroom whilst offering a good view of all the exits.
"Looks like it's going to be a long night," Dean looks up as the young barman pushes a glass of whiskey across to him and nods towards the office.
"Hmm," Dean grunts non-committaly, taking a mouthful of the scotch and rolling it around his mouth. He recognises the guy as the driver who took Castiel and him to the theatre the previous week and smirks slightly, "Doing a spot of moonlighting are we Adam?"
The kid scowls. "When I started working for Mr Di Angeles, I thought it would be more exciting. So far I've driven his car, served at his club, and picked up his dry-cleaning."
"Been there, done that- all admirable tasks," Dean laughs lightly, recognising his own early enthusiasm in the guy's frustration. It reminds him of a simpler time, when all he had to concern himself with was following Michael's bidding- when he idea of disloyalty to Michael was a notion he would have laughed at.
He sighs resignedly, thinking of Di Angeles' earlier words on loyalty and wondering where they had stemmed from. Dean wants so badly to be the person his boss thinks he is- the person his father had brought him up to be. He would never have expected himself to be the dishonourable type… but that was before he knew the ache of deprivation that could prompt certain betrayal… before he had tasted the sweet reward waiting behind each act of indiscretion… before Castiel.
As though his thoughts have conjured up the other man's presence, Adam draws his attention from his brewing melancholy.
"Hey look, it's the little woman."
Dean looks up in confusion and follows Adam's line of sight until his eyes land on Castiel descending the stairs into the club.
His heart thumps unevenly when Castiel looks up and their gazes lock. His dark mood instantly evaporates and he feels suddenly lighter, a warm flush tingling in his chest as the other man's eyes crinkle and his lips twitch with a small smile.
Dean is watching Castiel approach when Adam's words suddenly register and he frowns, turning to fix the guy with a sharp glare.
"I'd watch what I say if I were you," he growls.
Adam looks a little taken back by Dean's sudden hostility, his brow creasing in confusion. Dean mentally shakes himself and struggles to straighten his expression. "I mean…well, you don't want Mr Di Angeles to hear you say things like that," he continues with a small shrug.
This seems to mollify him, and Adam smiles gratefully at Dean, "Oh… yeah man, sure thing."
Dean's eyes involuntarily return to Castiel, the other man sliding onto a stool further down the bar.
"Mr Novak," Dean nods in greeting, "Mr Di Angeles is in a meeting at the moment, is he expecting you?"
"Dean," Castiel inclines his head, "Michael said he would be here all evening and asked me to join him. If he's busy though I don't want to disturb him. I'll just wait here… if that's ok?"
Adam takes down one of the top-shelf bottles of whiskey, better than the stuff he'd poured for Dean, and prepares Castiel's drink. He takes it with a smile, and Dean finds himself staring helplessly at the fluid motion of Castiel's throat as he takes a deep swig.
"Sure," he sighs, wondering how long he can keep up this constant torture before one day he just snaps. "Why not?"
The first time Dean meets Castiel, he thinks he's a dick.
Ok, so his first thought is actually "Holy fuck he's hot"… but whatever- "What a dick" definitely features in there at some point.
Dean is cleaning glasses behind the bar in Heaven, when he looks up to find possibly the most beautiful guy he's ever seen heading towards him.
His eyes widen as they travel appreciatively over the dark fitted jeans and navy button-down, perfectly highlighting the guy's lean form- the open top buttons reveal a glimpse of creamy white skin, leading up to the elegant curve of his long neck. He looks around Dean's age, maybe a little older, the light dusting of stubble across the sharp jawline and tastefully mussed hair give the impression he's just left the bed of a lover. And his lips…damn…
In short- if Dean was a fifteen year old girl, he'd be swooning right now and pressing a damp cloth to his brow.
"Hey gorgeous," Dean musters his best 'come hither' smirk, blatantly looking the guy up and down as he takes a seat at the bar. "What can I do you for?"
Dean finds himself looking into a pair of startled blue eyes as the man meets his gaze.
The blush that heats his cheeks is just freaking adorable and Dean finds himself entranced by the slow creeping pink beneath his pale skin.
The guy's wide-eyed innocence is just too fucking perfect.
Oh man, this is too good. He's either a terrific actor or he actually has no clue just how hot he is. Dean's always had a thing for shy guys, there's just something about being the one to tease someone out of their shell.
"I'm Dean," Dean reaches over the bar, offering his hand. The man looks at it warily for a moment, head tilted in confusion before eventually grasping it.
"Castiel." He murmurs, glancing at Dean from beneath his eyelashes before looking immediately back down.
Dean raises an eyebrow at the unusual name, but does not comment.
"Well Castiel, what can I get for you?"
Castiel finds himself staring at the barman's mouth a little too intently, engrossed in the way his perfectly bowed lips curve around his name.
His cheeks redden anew when he realises he is gawping and the guy is waiting for an answer. He shakes his head a little, flustered, and indicates the first thing he spots behind the bar- the expensive whiskey Michael usually orders for him.
"A man who appreciates a good scotch… I like it," Dean smiles cheekily.
He turns to take the bottle down from the top shelf and Castiel's gaze is immediately drawn to smooth strip of skin revealed when he stretches. His breath hitches slightly and he feels an unfamiliar warmth swirling in his gut.
"You want me to start you a tab?" Dean presents him with his drink, propping his elbows on the bar and leaning forwards slightly.
Castiel takes a slow sip, buying a moment to compose himself.
"That won't be necessary."
"Well that's a pity Cas… I was hoping you were going to stick around a while, maybe we could get to know each other a little better…"
Castiel's eyes widen at the low seductive tone, his eyes flicking up to meet the green eyes twinkling back at him. It never ceases to amaze him when guys flirt with him, he can never understand what it is they find attractive.
He finds himself smiling a little at the shortening of his name before suddenly catching himself.
No. He needs to stop this right now. There's no such thing as harmless flirting where Michael is concerned.
The last time Michael judged someone to be showing Castiel more attention than was appropriate, Castiel had been forced to watch as the man was dragged outside and beaten to a bloody pulp by three of Michael's men. As far as he knows, the guy never walked again.
"I don't think so." He mutters, forcing his features back into his usual stoic expression and pulling himself upright.
Dean watches in surprise as the other man suddenly closes himself off, as if abruptly realising he has somewhere to be.
"Okaaay…" Dean frowns in confusion, staring at his profile. His lips twist slightly, unwilling to give up, and tries to open another avenue of conversation. "So, what brings you here tonight then?"
Castiel glances back to him, but the spark from before has completely disappeared.
"I'm here to see the owner."
Dean brightens a little, "Mr Di Angeles? Cool, are you working for him too?"
Castiel sighs and turns to look Dean directly in the eye.
"Actually I'm sleeping with him."
Dean almost chokes at the other man's unexpected words. His eyes widen in surprise and he stares open mouthed.
"You're the hooker?"
Dean regrets the words the instant they're out of his mouth. He doesn't mean to say them out loud, he's just so shocked. He'd thought the other guys were just pulling his leg when they told him Michael was gay and had a male prostitute living with him.
Castiel's expression instantly darkens and his knuckles whiten as he grips the edge of the bar.
"I see you have been listening to idle gossip like all the others… how refreshing. God forbid one of Michael's uneducated hicks could actually develop a thought for himself." He hisses.
"Hang on," Dean flushes at the insult, "I didn't mean…"
"Of course you did. You think I don't know what you all say behind my back?" Dean flounders a little in the face of the other man's quiet anger. "Rent boy, gigolo, hooker… I've heard it all before so you can save your breath."
"I'm sorry, I wasn't…"
"Oh I'm sure you're sorry…. scared I'm going to run to Michael and tell tales are you? Don't worry, you're not worth it."
Castiel gets to his feet and draws himself up to his full height, downing his drink and slamming the glass heavily on the bar.
"You don't know me Dean, you don't know anything about me. And I'm sick of having ignorant, small-minded gangster… wannabes looking down their noses at me."
Castiel fixes Dean with a final withering stare. "Please tell Michael the atmosphere in the club this evening was… distasteful, and I'll see him at home."
Dean watches gobsmacked as the man whirls around and stalks to the exit, head held high. He isn't completely certain what just happened, but he's pretty sure he didn't deserve that whole dressing-down for one little accidental comment.
He glances around furtively hoping no one had witnessed the incident. Embarrassment tightens his stomach and he huffs indignantly. It's not like he hadn't tried to apologise- it isn't his fault the guy was too stuck up to listen.
What a dick.
He ignores the little voice that points out how hurt Castiel had looked at his little slip up, and concentrates instead on glowering over his completely disproportional (in his opinion) chastisement.
At least if he can focus on what an ass Castiel was, it'll make it easier to forget his initial attraction.
Castiel manages to get all the way out of the club and on to the street before bursting into tears.
Adrenaline courses though his veins in the aftermath of the dispute, and he leans against a wall, pressing his face into trembling fingers.
Exploding like that is not something he's ever done before; conflict just isn't in his nature. But sometimes he just gets so tired of being judged by people who don't know anything about him.
Breathing deeply, he calms a little and laughs shakily at the thought of Dean's shocked expression- the barman hadn't known what hit him. He starts to feel a little guilty for berating the guy the way he did, to be fair he's heard a lot worse from some of Michael's other men.
He debates going back inside to apologise, but decides against it; he really doesn't feel like facing anyone just yet. He begins the long walk home, the cool night air settling his nerves and clearing his head and resolves to speak to Dean at the next possible opportunity and express his regret.
He tries to tell himself that he's not just looking for an opportunity to speak to the other man again.