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    Laura S. Fox
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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Collateral - 18. Chapter 18

The biggest illusion of all.

Chapter Eighteen

It was a tad disappointing to wake up alone, but at least, he knew that he was going to be wrapped around the man again tonight, and the certainty of that thought was making him feel something, between a chuckle and something ticklish, right in the middle of his chest. His phone chimed from the nightstand, and he smiled as he read the message.

“Time to start cashing in your hard earned money from the construction site. The foreman has your paycheck, pick it up from him. Use your lunch break to go to the branch bank two blocks over from the site and open a bank account.”

A bank account. In his name. Jake Lopez. Klaus had clearly listened. He pushed his face into the pillow to stifle a laugh. And it was honest money, not whatever shady deal Diaz chose to get Jake involved in. Neither was it the “charity” that Klaus provided him to buy clothes and the other costs of daily living. This was money he had earned, worked hard for and he could not help it as his chest filled with pride.

He got up, dressed and was out the door in record time, barely touching breakfast, at the risk of facing Agnes’s disapproving looks. He could barely wait for the lunch break.

***

When he went to the trailer, Mr. Harrison, the foreman, had his paycheck as Klaus had said.

“Jake, this is your first month’s pay since you started here. It came in while Mr. Metzger was in Germany, and in all the activity since his return, I forgot to give it to you. He reminded me this morning. Since this is your first check, you should look at the stub to make sure all of your time is there. You can choose to keep getting paid monthly or every two weeks from now on. Most guys choose every two weeks.”

“Yes, two weeks sounds good, like the rest of the guys,” said Jake.

He went out of the trailer, heading towards the gate while opening the envelope. He studied the pay stub carefully, sure enough, every day he had worked since the first day was included. Klaus had paid him from the very start.

His words to Diaz about him working for free, Jake now understood, were to distract Diaz from becoming too suspicious and it fit with his brother’s opinion that Jake’s worth was not that much. He took a deep breath, held his head up and nearly marched towards the bank.

He had been excited all right to get here, but now he felt like the bull in a china shop, except actually, no, he felt more like a mouse, seeing that he seemed so little and everything so big around him. The bank employees, busy working behind their desks, seemed too preoccupied to ask him what he wanted. The guard, though, was eyeing him warily.

He frowned. Yes, maybe this place was too fancy-schmancy for the likes of him. But it was not like he could just walk away, tail between his legs, and tell Klaus that he hadn’t had the guts to do such a simple thing as opening a bank account. Well, simple for someone like Klaus. Not for someone like Jake, though, he had never been allowed one; Diaz had always controlled any money they had.

He pushed himself forward from where he had stood for what seemed like several minutes, and approached a clerk who didn’t look busy at the moment.

“Hi, I am here to open up a bank account,” Jake blurted out. The clerk looked him quickly up and down, but before he could speak, Jake swiftly added, “Mr. Metzger sent me …”

The clerk’s eyes widened, but he quickly tapped something on his keyboard.

“Right this way, Mr. Lopez,” the man stood up and invited him to follow.

Mr. Lopez? That sounded weird as fuck. But anyway, it was not like he could run out the door. So he followed the clerk.

He read a name on the door in passing, and ... branch manager? Why was he seeing the branch manager? Was he in trouble already? He surreptitiously smelled himself. He had washed his hands and face before he went to get his paycheck, and his clothes did have some dirt on them from the work of the morning, but he didn’t smell or anything.

“Mr. Lopez, welcome, please, take a seat,” the branch manager, a man in his late 50s, pointed to an empty chair, after a short moment of hesitation. “Mr. Metzger informed us that you would be coming in to open an account with us. It is our pleasure to do business with Mr. Metzger’s associates.”

No matter how much they look like street trash, Jake completed that phrase in his mind. He knew what that purse of lips and quick looks in his direction meant. He felt almost tempted to grab a pen or something from the man’s desk, just to see him jump. But that was not him. Not anymore. So he just waited for the man to do whatever he had to do.

“The message I have here says you have a paycheck to deposit; you need to open a savings account, with debit card access and set up an electronic deposit of your future paychecks, … does that sound correct?” the man asked.

“Yes, yes, that’s what I want,” Jake responded quickly. Damn, he thought, Klaus had this covered A to Z.

He supplied answers to the perfunctory questions, as the man began to talk and enter the information into the computer.

“Home address? Same address as the driver’s license you gave me here?” asked the manager.

Jake opened his mouth and then chose to shut it. He was going to leave with Klaus, and never to return home. Diaz’s home. So it was much better to tell him Klaus’s address instead. Yeah, much better.

Only he had no idea about what the address was.

“No, could you, please, give me a second?” he asked politely and fished out his phone.

The man threw him an odd look but said nothing. Should he call Klaus and ask him? No, maybe the guy was busy right now. As he browsed through the contact list, Jake was happy to see that all the important numbers had already been saved by Klaus, including one that said ‘Home’.

Agnes’s voice came through, as he turned slightly away from the manager.

“Metzger residence.”

“Hi, Agnes. It’s Jake, sorry to bother you,” he mumbled. “Agnes, I am at the bank, depositing my paycheck, could you, please, tell me our home address?”

The small pause on the other side made him feel stupid for a second. But Agnes began jabbering, and Jake could swear the old lady was suddenly extremely happy for some reason. Oh shit, what did he just say? He wanted to add something, to cover that fuck-up, but Agnes began enunciating the address in a very loud voice, so he chose to just shut up for a change.

After telling him the address, Agnes asked, “What would you like to have for dinner Jake?”

“Uhm, what? I mean, sorry. Whatever you want.”

“You must have a favorite food,” Agnes insisted.

The banker was looking at him, but showing no sign of impatience. Probably the guy was still trying to wrap his head around what someone like Jake Lopez could have in common with someone like Klaus Metzger.

“Everything you cook is my favorite food,” Jake replied quickly, and he thought honestly. “So, whatever you like.”

He had to move the phone away from his ear. Agnes was either having a weird seizure, or was ... expressing her happiness?! Was she laughing?!

“See you tonight,” he added quickly and smiled a bit after listening for a few seconds to a shower of unintelligible words, probably all German.

He told the branch manager the full address. If the guy recognized Klaus’s home address, he was professional and gave no indication. Jake signed the paperwork and his check. The manager summoned a clerk with a crook of his finger to take the documents, then turned back to Jake.

“It will be three days before we can have a debit card sent by courier to your home, Mr. Lopez. Do you need some cash to use before your card arrives?”

Jake thought for a few seconds.

“Yes, how about a $100.00, in twenties?”

Minutes later, with money in his pocket, his money, the manager was escorting him through the bank towards the door. With a strong handshake, the manager wished him a good day and thanked him again for his business. Jake turned towards the entrance and began to hurry to get back to work. But, just as he was focused on the door, he saw the security guard move towards the front door as well.

What was going on now? It felt like something was amiss.

Jake tensed up as both he and the guard arrived at the door at nearly the same time. But, the guard was a step ahead of him and quickly opened the door, so Jake could exit.

“Have a good day, Sir,” the guard said promptly as he ushered Jake through the door.

Jake walked into the sunshine nearly in a daze. What the fuck had just happened? He shook his head to clear it, and with a wide smile, suddenly realized that for the last 20 minutes he had been in Klaus Metzger’s everyday world. He would have to get used to that he thought, as he headed quickly back to the job site.

***

“You missed dinner,” Agnes said a bit reproachfully, but Klaus just smiled.

“I am sorry for that, Agnes. You know well that I cannot survive for too long without your cooking. Thompson brought me something while I finished up at the office. Did Jake have dinner?”

“Of course,” Agnes replied. “He was not home late and ate a hearty meal.”

Klaus smiled again, and, by the way, Agnes smiled back, he could see that he had not been missed that badly. Jake was starting to win over his staff, and he was happy with that.

“A hearty meal you say, what did he have?” Klaus inquired, he was curious as to what was behind Agnes’s smile.

“I grilled him a large ribeye steak, one of his favorites, to celebrate his first paycheck,” she stated somewhat proudly. “I also gave him a half glass of that cabernet you like so much, to go with it. He needs to get used to your business entertaining,” she stated flatly, looking somewhat downward.

“Thank you, Agnes, that was very kind of you. What would I do without you?” he asked.

“Don’t let me find out, now get out of my kitchen and go relax!” exclaimed Agnes and shooed him good-naturedly towards the door. Klaus laughed, bade her good night and headed upstairs.

The day had been too long, so he took the stairs two at a time, ignoring how much like a teenager he must have looked. When he pushed the door open to the bedroom, though, he chose to rein in his excitement. By the silence in the room, Jake was already asleep.

He turned up the dimmer on the room lights and smiled as he took in the handsome young man sprawled on the bed right across the middle. The faint glimmer of the chain running down Jake’s back made his dick twitch. Yes, the boy did nothing by half. Maybe he could teach him new tricks. For now, this one seemed to work wonders.

He climbed on the bed and gently traced a long line, following the leash, stopping between Jake’s buttocks.

“Hmm, surprise, surprise,” he said to himself.

His enthusiastic lover had even taken upon himself to pre-lube. Apparently, Klaus wasn’t the only one to think too many hours had gone with them being apart. Now, he could not let all that preparation go to waste. So he began to remove his clothes slowly, to make sure Jake remained asleep.

Jake shifted just a little as Klaus began to probe the muscled ass crack with his fingers. But even in his sleep, the young man began to yield, bucking his ass slightly upward, to allow Klaus’s fingers to go deeper.

Klaus moved his hand lower to cup Jake’s sack and suddenly felt the urge to just lean in and place his lips over his lover’s balls. Jake whimpered at the contact. Klaus showed no hesitation when he just engulfed the boy’s tight sack into his mouth.

“Mmm, Klaus?” Jake’s drowsy voice made him smile.

Try to smile. It was not exactly an easy thing to do with a full mouth. But he let go, somewhat reluctantly.

“Were you expecting someone else?” he joked.

“Yeah, the Tooth Fairy,” Jake snorted.

“Are you always lubing yourself for this particular imaginary character?”

“No,” Jake snickered. “Also for Santa and the elves.”

“I really need to put parental control on your phone. I believe you have been watching some kinky adult entertainment.”

Jake turned on his back and used both his hands to drag Klaus’s body over him. He wrapped his legs around Klaus’s waist.

“You know, I was just in the middle of a nice dream,” Jake said with a small, secretive smile.

“Did it involve Santa’s elves?” Klaus joked.

“No!” Jake scowled. “It involved this,” he added and pulled Klaus closer to kiss him.

It was amazing how the simple skin on skin contact and a kiss could ignite his inner fire, Klaus thought, as he kissed back.

“So ...will you fuck me?” Jake asked, as soon as they were both almost out of breath.

“You should be on top, though. I had a rough day,” Klaus smirked.

Jake’s eyes flashed with uncertainty, and Klaus caught too late the meaning of what he had just said. He pushed the rogue thought away. He made both of them roll over, to have Jake on top.

“Have you ever played cowboy?” he joked, to dispel the little tension in the air.

“Not with a dick in my ass,” Jake smiled.

“There’s a first time for everything,” Klaus laughed and grabbed Jake’s hips.

Jake was quick to act on directions, and that was one of his greatest assets. But Klaus could not stop himself from teasing a little, as Jake slowly began to impale himself on his lover’s cock.

“Aren’t you forgetting something?” he teased.

Jake threw him a questioning look, panting slightly.

“The leash,” Klaus opened one hand.

Jake was quick to obey, reaching for his neck to adjust the collar and get hold of the chain and then hand it to Klaus.

“Hmm, good boy,” then Klaus yanked the leash to cause Jake to fall forward and crash their chests together. “Yes, definitely better,” he emphasized his words with a short bucking of his hips that made Jake’s breath hitch in his chest.

He didn’t let go of the leash and used the other hand to steady Jake so he could pound into him from below.

“Fuck,” Jake groaned. “I thought I was supposed to ride you. Weren’t you tired or something?”

“What can I say?” Klaus dragged his lover closer by the leash. “You give me strength.”

Jake smiled in return. And Klaus watched, hungry for the play of emotions on the young man’s face, the small surprise, the wonder at what he felt, the satisfaction, the naked desire, growing with each thrust.

He knew he was getting closer. In this position, Jake’s ass was just squeezing tighter, and Klaus had gone an entire day without having his lover close.

“And now you ride,” he released the leash, allowing Jake to straighten up and use him as a sex toy.

“So frigging great,” Jake whimpered, seemingly just as affected. “I can feel you so deep in me.”

The chain was bouncing slightly against Jake’s taut muscles, as the young man increased his rhythm. And it would have been such a terrible lie to say that that display was not erotic and heightened his pleasure. Jake was pumping his cock fast, closer and closer to the edge. Now Klaus was the one in need of confirmations.

“Do you want me to come in your ass, Jake?”

“Yes, yes, yes,” the young man whispered his mantra in return.

“Do you want me to fill you good?”

“Yes, fuck, yes!” Jake’s words came out a strangled shout.

“Then let me see you come first, all over me. Come for me, Jake!”

Jake could no longer articulate words, as his hand began pumping harder. For Klaus, the warm droplets hitting him everywhere were the trigger he was waiting for, giving them both the satisfaction they needed.

***

Days were setting in a rhythm of their own. But both of them knew what had remained unsaid between them. Klaus could tell when Jake was nervous.

“Hitting the controls harder will not make you more effective at your game,” he commented as he continued his work at the computer.

“Sorry,” Jake mumbled. “I should just go to my room and let you work.”

“Stop chastising yourself. You are relieving me of my duty like this,” Klaus joked, closing the documents he had been working on for the last two hours. “I finished. So now I am quite prepared to learn what is eating at you.”

He turned the rotating chair and looked straight at Jake. Linking his fingers and setting his chin on them, he took in the young man’s tense posture.

“Jake,” he called softly. “I cannot help you if you do not talk. Is this about that scar? It is all right. I do not need to know if it causes you so much pain. I would like to learn everything about you, but I cannot stand you feeling so miserable.”

Jake’s response was a self-deprecating snort.

“I have to tell you about it, anyway,” he said.

“You do not have …”

“Yeah, I do. Otherwise, I’ll just be a fraud.”

Klaus chose to remain silent.

“What?” Jake spoke slowly. “Aren’t you going to tell me nothing would change your opinion or something? You know, like in the movies?”

“I do not need to say it. You already know it.”

“I do?” dark eyes shot back at him, the hurt in them almost too much to bear.

“Yes, Jake, you do,” Klaus replied shortly.

Jake wiped his hands on his jeans and looked away.

“That scar … I have had it since I was nine. I was with my parents. Diaz was away, somewhere with friends, on a vacation or something.”

Jake stopped for a few seconds and took a deep breath.

“We were in the car, coming back from another family my parents were friends with. And I … I was a total brat. I kept nagging my dad about some shitty action figure I wanted. My mom was getting annoyed with me, telling me to stop it and be quiet. But, I kept going on and on and on. And then, at some point, my father turned and told me that misbehaving will not make me a better son.”

Jake clenched his hands together nervously and stared at them, his lips set in a deep grim line.

“I yelled at him that I didn’t want to be a better son. All I wanted was the damn toy. To this day, I cannot stand superheroes,” he added with a small, anxious laugh. “My father seemed hurt as he looked at me. He … opened his mouth to say something more, and there was this big bright light from the front and …” Jake’s words got lost in a small choking sound.

Klaus chose to wait, doing nothing but look at the young man he had grown so fond of.

“I don’t remember much after that. It was like the air was pushed out of my lungs and there was this sharp pain out of nowhere. I was in the hospital when I woke up, days later. I had this arm all wrapped up. I heard the nurse saying something to another that I was a lucky kid to have kept it. And then, Diaz came. And he looked like hell. And he told me, when I asked about mom and dad, that they’re gone, and they’re never coming back. I didn’t get to be at the funeral. I didn’t get to see them one last time.”

Klaus stood up slowly and sat on the couch next to Jake. He moved with infinite care, taking the young man in his arms and pulling his head against his chest, letting him sob a little and express his pain. He didn’t say anything and just caressed Jake’s raven hair for minutes.

Jake eventually was able to continue.

“I guess Superman and the gang were not on duty that day,” he spoke. “I told Diaz that … I was the one responsible. All right, maybe not like this. Maybe I said I killed them. And that is why he hates me, even now.”

“Jake,” Klaus took the boy’s head in his hands and forced him to look up. “You did not kill your parents. It was an accident.”

“I shouldn’t have behaved like that,” Jake shook his head. “And Diaz said …”

“Fuck Diaz,” Klaus cut his lover’s words short. “He was hurt, naturally. At least, he was lucky he still had his little brother. That he was not left all alone in the world.”

“I think he would have rather been alone. There were many things he couldn’t do because of me.”

“And I have the very distinct feeling that you kept your brother out of serious trouble over the years especially because he could not do everything that he wanted to do.”

Maybe he was not the right person to deal with this sort of things. Human emotion usually made him feel awkward, but the boy in his arms deserved the effort. So he continued to hold Jake close, as close as he could, almost squeezing him, and wanting nothing more than to push away all that old pain.

***

Jake could not remember what he had expected, and what he had thought about how Klaus was going to react, but this was a surprise. He was trapped by that muscular body, almost impossible for him to move, while the man kept his blue gaze trained on him. The man began to kiss him slowly, but firmly, putting weight on every move, making Jake feel close to the point of being crushed, but weirdly secure, guarded against the world.

“You are to be loved, Jake,” Klaus cooed, once he allowed his lover the basic right to air.

Jake wanted to be able to say something, to protest, maybe, but his mouth was taken again, and this time the kiss deepened, becoming more passionate. Klaus slowly wiped the wetness at the corners of his eyes with the thumbs, and it almost made him want to cry for real, now.

He was not allowed. He could do nothing. He was almost powerless, but safe, as Klaus just continued to press him against the couch like he wanted to be a human shield. And the truth was he did feel protected. The usual anxiety always walking by his side throughout his entire life was now nothing but a soft low thrum at the back of his mind.

He should not have felt so good, seeing that he had just confessed to his crimes. But it felt like a huge weight had been lifted from his chest, and, while Klaus apparently had a mind of ensuring Jake’s staying alive only through mouth-to-mouth resuscitation techniques, he felt like he could finally, truly breathe.

Diaz had been a good brother if anyone was to ask him. Jake had forgiven him countless times for his usual outbursts because the good he did often outweighed the bad. But this? This was different. Klaus was not judging him. He was not asking Jake to fit a mold. And Jake felt free. And that had to count for something.

That night, Klaus took his time, making sure Jake was first in everything. And Jake could not help thinking that he had never been this close to someone else, in his entire life.

***

“Hey,” he called, lazily opening his eyes.

Klaus pulled him close.

“Hey,” the man replied with a small smile.

“Thank you,” Jake felt his throat getting tight.

“No need to mention it,” Klaus waved.

“Is it a bad moment to ask you about Hans?” Jake asked, almost regretting his words right away.

Was this insecurity ever going to be gone? Ever? It was like he just needed to check, to make sure that it was real, that nothing could come between him and Klaus.

“A deal is a deal,” Klaus said. “So ask away.”

“How did you two meet?”

“We have been friends since childhood. I can safely say we have known each other all our lives.”

“Strange. He doesn’t sound like you. He’s a bit like ... I don’t know, less ... stuck up.”

“Stuck up?” Klaus protested but grinned. “His family was a bit more unconventional. My parents were strict.”

“Strict? You always look like you are straight out of a box or something, though.”

“Let us say, for the sake of your lovely behind, that I take this as a compliment. Hans’s family was all fun and giggles if I can say so. I escaped to their house on a regular basis.”

“So, did you two, you know, find out you were ... gay, together?”

Jake wanted to know more about Klaus’s family, but now it was not the time. He was already prying too much. But it was not only his fault he felt so jealous. Klaus could trigger feelings of possessiveness just by looking at someone else. And that was a maddening thought.

“No. Hans was the first. He has always been carefree. He told me he was gay while we were talking about a video game that had just been released. I thought I heard wrong. Had him repeat that. We were 15, at that time.”

“Wow, so early,” Jake mumbled.

Who was he kidding? It had not been much different for him, either. It had been around that time when he had noticed for the first time that he would instead look at guys than girls. Only that he needed someone like Klaus to rock his world and make him admit it.

“I was rather disappointed with him. We had a fascinating plan at that time to marry the twins living on the same street, and have a joint wedding.”

“No shit. Do guys really plan such stuff? Here, you won’t catch one dead doing that,” Jake snorted.

“Well, the truth was I was the one with the plan. I needed predictability, and I needed my friend. For my 15-year old self, that sounded like a solid choice. The girls were from a good family, and they were close to home. Hans, I suppose, just played along.”

“And? What happened next?” Jake could not suppress his curiosity and shifted in his place, so he could look at Klaus and gauge every reaction.

“I did not speak to him for days. It felt so annoying not to have someone to talk to. He had always been there. And then, he just brought some guy home. His family, as I said, was open to this sort of things. It was not unusual to have their son bring a boyfriend home. My parents would have had a heart attack. I felt like I was losing my best friend.”

“And? Did you jump his bones or something? Because you were so frustrated and stuff?”

“No. Nothing of the kind. But I told him I forgave him. He shut the door in my face. And the worst part was that I could hear him laughing with the other guy through the damn door.”

“Wow,” Jake whispered. “Hans is something, isn’t he? But how did you two get together?”

“It happened much later when we were both grownups. During high school, I got used to him getting together with various guys. It felt strange to me, but he was my friend, so I grew accepting of the situation.”

“And how did you come to ... You know, discover you were gay?”

“That is another story, right?” Klaus smiled. “You wanted to know about Hans, did you not?”

“Okay,” Jake admitted.

Klaus ruffled his hair playfully.

“I was a late bloomer, I suppose. The occasional get-togethers with girls were pleasant, but I did not feel the need to engage in intercourse with them. But, when I was in business school, well, things changed there. I would not go into details right now, but I hooked up with a pretty guy, and, well, from there, I knew what I liked.”

“And what did Hans say when you told him?”

“He laughed, obviously. And told me that it was no wonder seeing that I enjoyed having a stick up my ass all the time. Something I believe someone else told me lately, too,” Klaus smiled, and Jake snickered.

“Yeah,” Jake buried his head into the crook of Klaus’s shoulder.

“We got together the first time more as a joke. None of us was tied in a relationship at the moment, and we thought it would be fun.”

“And was it?”

Klaus grimaced.

“At first, so it seemed. Fuck buddies, I believe this is the term. But we began fighting. Really fighting. As grownups, that can complicate things a great deal. Eventually, we grew so far apart that I started missing my friend, just like before. So we decided to split. And it was plenty of unpleasant. Because Hans told me he wanted more, while I only wanted less. I wanted my best friend back.”

“That must have been nasty for Hans.”

“And I have to admit that I just made things worse,” Klaus admitted. “A few times after breaking up, we still landed in the same bed, somehow. I am really glad he has now found someone. I was not that one. Not for him.”

“What kind of guy is Stephen, by the way?”

“I see Hans gushed over him to you, too,” Klaus smiled. “I think he might be the guy Hans has been looking for. They are insanely annoying. They just met, but they are already finishing each other sentences. I have no idea what sort of planet alignment happened the day they met, but it was a lucky one for both of them. They are on the same page all the time. It gets on one’s nerves; I must say,” Klaus spoke, but continued to smile. “All in all, they are perfect for one another.”

“Wow, that must be nice,” Jake spoke.

“Do not tell me this is not nice, too,” Klaus playfully grabbed his ass and pulled him closer.

“Nice? No,” Jake denied and laughed seeing his lover pouting. “It’s awesome. You know, exciting. Like a rollercoaster.”

“I think I do not like the comparison too much. Fun rides usually have an end, right?”

“Maybe not,” Jake teased and pressed his lips against Klaus’s. “Maybe it would be fun to be stuck on repeat.”

Trapped on the best ride in the world.

***

Klaus listened to his agent, his lips pursed, his fingers tapping methodically against the varnished wood. For two whole months, it had been quiet. He might have even let himself be fooled into thinking that everything was working just fine. No, he had never stopped thinking that could not be the case.

He looked out the window, as the man in front of him continued his observations. Outside, Jake was laying by the pool sunbathing, enjoying the last days of summer. His body had filled out with more muscle since he first came; between the hard work, regular meals and being away from an environment of constant worry and danger, the young man was growing up and becoming even more handsome, if that was possible. Typically, he would have contemplated the beautiful sight, and let his mind wander and relax for a bit. But now, the horizons were starting to get bleak.

Something he had expected. He had planned for such scenarios.

“Bellum omnium contra omnes?” he murmured, mostly to himself.

“Sir?” the man stopped and frowned, leaning forward.

“I suppose we should let these “city warlords” as they see themselves settle this between them,” he decided, the thrumming of his fingers against the desk finally brought to a halt. “It is the most efficient method. And when the king gets crowned, we can proceed to settle things once and for all. However, in the meantime, I want you to keep a close eye on the gang called The Outsiders, especially their leader, Diaz Lopez.”

“Do you favor them to be the dominant gang?” the agent asked, surprised.

Klaus snorted.

“Not exactly. However, I must honor a promise, so keep close tabs on Diaz when things begin to get rough. I care nothing for the rest. Hire extra men if you need to watch him,” Klaus concluded.

“Very well, but what happens when the restlessness affects some work sites?” the agent said.

“We can afford a few delays. I would not dirty my hands fighting with every one of them. And let them think they have control. This is, after all, the biggest illusion of them all.”

The man nodded, his face as expressionless as always.

TBC

Author’s note:
The translation of the Latin phrase Klaus uses is:
Bellum omnium contra omnes = the war of all against all
 
Thank you for reading! Let me know your thoughts because I always love to hear from you. Things are going to get tougher from here on out, for the two boys, so I hope you'll root for them :)
 
Also, since the gracious hosts now allow it, I will leave here my patreon page:
 
https://www.patreon.com/laurasfox
 
While I do offer my patrons extras and nice perks, just rest assured that I will post this story here, through the last chapter, without fail, as I will do with any story I will publish on GA. You are a lovely audience, and your comments, likes, and reactions always make my day. 
 
Until next time,
Hugs,
Laura.
Laura S. Fox
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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Finally the hans story! I like Diaz even less now! That first legitimate paycheck is always the best!

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16 minutes ago, Wesley8890 said:

Finally the hans story! I like Diaz even less now! That first legitimate paycheck is always the best!

 

He, he, Wes, I know you must have been curious ... ;)

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Klaus is now officially beyond smitten.  Jake is way beyond that.

Diaz and the gangs seem bound to make life challenging in the near future.

Klaus seems prepared to handle that...but what about Jake?

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The writing was so descriptive that I truly could see the pure joy on Jake's face when he got his first paycheck and then got his first bank account.  Sort of surprised that Jake would not know Klaus's address?  I would have thought he was street smart enough to get the basic in case he needed to make a quick get away, needed a cab, etc... 

 

You just knew that Diaz was going to be a problem.  My guess is that Klaus will end up having to save Diaz, probably from a bigger and more vicious gang leader, but we will see.  I do wonder how Jake will react when the excrement hits the fan.

 

Getting the back story on both Jake's scar and Hans was a bonus.  Always a good think to flesh out our idea of who everyone is.

 

Can't wait for the next one.

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2 hours ago, deville said:

Jake does appear to be wining more of Klaus’ staff to his side! It’s really sad that he has lived for so many years with the death of his parents weighing him down , and that Diaz capitalized on it is quite despicable , not that I would expect much less from Diaz. Klaus’ approach to the pending gang wars is quite brutal , but I suspect effective . 

 

Well said! Klaus does know that dealing with the gangs has to be brutal, or otherwise it would not be effective. You practically summarized the entire chapter in a few sentences :)

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1 hour ago, Daddydavek said:

Klaus is now officially beyond smitten.  Jake is way beyond that.

Diaz and the gangs seem bound to make life challenging in the near future.

Klaus seems prepared to handle that...but what about Jake?

 

Ah ... what about Jake? That, my dear reader, is the crux of the matter. You will see ;)

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19 minutes ago, centexhairysub said:

The writing was so descriptive that I truly could see the pure joy on Jake's face when he got his first paycheck and then got his first bank account.  Sort of surprised that Jake would not know Klaus's address?  I would have thought he was street smart enough to get the basic in case he needed to make a quick get away, needed a cab, etc... 

 

You just knew that Diaz was going to be a problem.  My guess is that Klaus will end up having to save Diaz, probably from a bigger and more vicious gang leader, but we will see.  I do wonder how Jake will react when the excrement hits the fan.

 

Getting the back story on both Jake's scar and Hans was a bonus.  Always a good think to flesh out our idea of who everyone is.

 

Can't wait for the next one.

 

He, he, it was just an endearing thing to have Jake ask for the address. Let's just say that he had his head wrapped up in other things to care about details ;)

 

As I replied to another commenter, Jake's reaction will be the most important element to the events that will unfold.

 

Thank you for liking the extras on Hans and Jake's scar. I always try to give all characters, even if secondary, enough flesh and blood to be more than just extras.

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Your heading for this chapter had me SCAY-ERD.  Thankfully, it referred to the wars between the gangs.

I love the progression between Klaus and Jake.  😍

To hear how Jake got the scar on his arm was heartbreaking and actually gave me a teeny, tiny bit of sympathy for Diaz-to be a kid going away on a trip leaving a whole family behind and to come back to only his brother had to be shocking. 😒

I get he needed to blame someone but he had to know it wasn't Jake's fault.  I think it speaks to some underlying resentment Diaz had toward Jake for him to glom onto that as wholeheartedly as he did, something beyond regular sibling rivalry.

 

Great set up for what's to come regarding the gang wars;  I still think Diaz won't be able to be saved and that his destruction won't come from Klaus.  

*raised eyebrow and twirling the mustache*. 😄

 

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38 minutes ago, FanLit said:

Your heading for this chapter had me SCAY-ERD.  Thankfully, it referred to the wars between the gangs.

I love the progression between Klaus and Jake.  😍

To hear how Jake got the scar on his arm was heartbreaking and actually gave me a teeny, tiny bit of sympathy for Diaz-to be a kid going away on a trip leaving a whole family behind and to come back to only his brother had to be shocking. 😒

I get he needed to blame someone but he had to know it wasn't Jake's fault.  I think it speaks to some underlying resentment Diaz had toward Jake for him to glom onto that as wholeheartedly as he did, something beyond regular sibling rivalry.

 

Great set up for what's to come regarding the gang wars;  I still think Diaz won't be able to be saved and that his destruction won't come from Klaus.  

*raised eyebrow and twirling the mustache*. 😄

 

 

Ah, sorry about scaring you. Yes, Diaz did have his fair share of suffering to deal with, and I am just so glad you noticed. Not that it excuses his behavior, but at least offers an explanation. As for what will happen to Diaz ... I think I will manage to surprise you ;)

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I normally don't like Klaus very much, and I am the first to criticize him, but he was a very good support to Jake this chapter. It was sad to hear their stories, but a good moment for Jake to grow, and gain some confidence and love.

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On 4/10/2018 at 3:19 AM, Sweetlion said:

I normally don't like Klaus very much, and I am the first to criticize him, but he was a very good support to Jake this chapter. It was sad to hear their stories, but a good moment for Jake to grow, and gain some confidence and love.

 Oh, I succeeded! I made you like Klaus! Now let me get my diary and write it down as a huge achievement! Just joking, sorry :)) couldn"t help it. But it was really nice to read your comment!

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31 minutes ago, Laura S. Fox said:

 Oh, I succeeded! I made you like Klaus! Now let me get my diary and write it down as a huge achievement! Just joking, sorry :)) couldn"t help it. But it was really nice to read your comment!

Lol, you didn't, I still remember the chapter when he was way, and I despise his personality. But he did well giving Jake emotional support and I acknowledge that :P

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On 4/10/2018 at 7:34 PM, Sweetlion said:

Lol, you didn't, I still remember the chapter when he was way, and I despise his personality. But he did well giving Jake emotional support and I acknowledge that :P

Ha, ha, you're even harder to bring down than Klaus himself :)) I must find your kriptonite!

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