Final Fantasy - All Series Fan Fiction ❯ Trapped in Paradise(With Someone You Hate) ❯ Part V: Ensnared ( Chapter 5 )
[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
Part V: Ensnared
As with so many inconveniences in life, the phone just happened to ring at exactly the wrong time after being silent for nearly three days.
Reno cursed as he hurriedly rinsed the shampoo lather out of his hair. It was times like these he wondered why he wore his hair so long. Of course the thought of cutting it never lasted when he thought about how he was complimented for it and how long it had taken to grow his hair so far down his back. No way was he going to let all that effort go to waste.
Luckily, the phone was still ringing by the time he stumbled out of the shower and practically lunged to answer it.
“Yeah, who is this?” he gasped.
“Good afternoon, Reno,” Tseng's smooth, always polite tone sounded in his ear, “I trust I'm not interrupting anything.”
“Er…not exactly,” Reno replied, acutely aware that he was talking to his superior while naked and dripping wet. It was a little surreal and Reno had to bite his tongue to keep from laughing out loud or saying something stupid. Had Rufus been calling, Reno might've told him just how wet and nude he was just to be a tease, but Tseng was a bit more reserved and would not have been amused.
Reno cleared his throat, felt very proud of himself for curbing the impulse, and reached for a towel as he spoke. “So what's the score, Tseng? Do you know when I'm getting out of here?”
“The transport ship should be dispatched next week,” Tseng replied.
Reno sighed softly as he patted the large towel over his body. “That long, eh?”
“I'd imagined that you would be enjoying your little vacation,” Tseng sounded somewhat amused.
“Geez give me a little credit,” Reno rolled his eyes, “This ain't a fucking vacation to me and I'm not having a good time, trust me.”
Of course Reno was being just a trifle dishonest, but he didn't feel comfortable even hinting at what had been happening. Never mind the fact that Reno and Tseng just didn't have that kind of relationship. Now that he was on the phone with him, he felt a little guilt as well as a bit of anger. If he even hinted at what was going on, he was sure that he'd never hear the end of it, and yet he knew that any punishment received he'd definitely earned.
“Is the situation so dire? Are you in danger?”
Reno snorted, “Of course not. It's just….” He wished he were talking with Rude instead. Things were getting complicated. Reno had a lot of things in his head and was feeling a lot of strong emotions that just fucking confused him. He closed his eyes as he let the towel drop to the floor. “I'm really bored, Sir.”
“I'll be sure to remember that the next time you complain about being overworked,” Tseng remarked dryly.
“Yeah, yeah,” Reno muttered as he fumbled with his pants, “So I guess I shouldn't even ask about the possibility of getting a flight out, huh?”
“I'm sorry, Reno.”
“It's fine, yo. Don't worry about me. Cloud's bein' a real good sport about the situation, even let me crash at the beach house he has here.”
“Hmm,” Tseng intoned quietly, “Do be careful.”
“Understood,” Reno nodded even though he knew Tseng couldn't see him, “See ya some time next week.”
He ended the call, put the phone aside, and pulled on his pants with a low, frustrated sigh. What the hell was he doing? He sure hadn't been doing his job lately that was for damned sure. Rufus had told him to get to Cloud but he doubted that he'd meant for Reno to seduce him.
Of course he wasn't being entirely honest with himself. Reno had been using the excuse of Rufus's orders to get what he wanted. These days it hadn't been on his mind much, but he was starting to wonder what he'd tell Rufus when the time came.
Reno threw on his shirt, didn't bother buttoning it and quietly slipped into the adjoining bedroom. Cloud was still asleep and so he went to the kitchen to grab a beer from the fridge.
Okay, so he'd always kind of liked Cloud. Yet Reno hadn't imagined that he'd ever become so…fond of him. He seldom showed so much patience with any lover and he was beginning to really wonder what that meant.
Means I'm getting' in too deep, that's what, Reno thought as he went out to stand on the deck.
Thing was, Reno wasn't too bothered about what was happening in the here and now. For the past few days, he and Cloud had been doing little more than languish about in bed and fool around. Reno really had been enjoying his impromptu vacation, just as much as Tseng had implied.
It was after they got out of here that worried him. Would Cloud pretend it had never happened? He doubted it. Cloud didn't seem like that sort of asshole. It would get complicated once they got back to Edge even if Cloud didn't deny what had happened between them here. He and Cloud would have to sort some things out before the transport ship showed up.
One thing Reno was sure about: He had no intention of telling Cloud about Rufus's little assignment. It really wasn't that important. What did it matter how their involvement had come to be if there was sincere affection between them?
Reno chuckled ruefully as he sipped at his beer. No way was that going to fly with someone as sensitive and serious as Cloud. Best not to say a word on the matter….
Tseng ended the call and carefully placed the cell phone near the corner of Rufus's desk. He appeared utterly composed but Rufus could tell by the slight furrow to his brow and how deep his frown was that he was upset.
His dark eyes were handsome and intense as he spoke softly. There was nothing but respect in his tone but Rufus knew that Tseng's perpetual courtesy and polite demeanor could be quite deceptive.
“Will you please tell me what this is about, Sir?” Tseng asked, “I don't like lying to one of my Turks without knowing the reason why.”
“Shortly after Reno was stranded at Costa del Sol, I contacted him and instructed him to keep an eye on Cloud,” Rufus explained vaguely, hoping that would placate Tseng. Though he would do so if necessary, he really didn't want to explain all of his motives to the Turk.
“I see,” Tseng's frown only deepened, “but why are you prolonging Reno's stay there? Surely he could just as easily keep track of Cloud while in Edge.”
Rufus sighed softly. He should have known better than to try to keep something like this from Tseng. They had known each other for far too long and Rufus had always found it difficult to be deceptive with the man.
“Surely you've noticed Reno's…interest in Cloud,” Rufus broached carefully.
“Indeed,” Tseng nodded curtly, “I have also noticed Cloud's receptiveness toward Reno in the past. It is the reason I usually sent him to make contact with Cloud whenever you wanted to do business.”
Tseng was silent for a long time before he spoke very softly. The faintest flush of anger stained his cheeks. “Surely you don't intend for Reno to seduce Cloud.”
“Actually,” Rufus replied frankly, “I'm counting on it.”
“With all due respect, sir, Turks are not an escort or dating service at your disposal.”
“I never said that I was treating Reno as such. When I spoke to him, I made no suggestion that he should do any such thing.”
Tseng sighed wearily, “Do you think it's so wise to toy with them in this manner? If either Reno or Cloud—especially Cloud—were to find out, this little plot of yours could backfire and make more trouble than it was worth.”
Rufus smiled indulgently at Tseng, “Of course I have thought of that, but if you and I are the only ones who know, how will they find out? You weren't planning on telling Elena or perhaps Rude?”
“Certainly not,” Tseng snapped in a rare show of annoyance toward Rufus, “I merely wanted to ascertain that you were well aware of the consequences should this not pan out as you planned. To be perfectly frank, we simply do not have the manpower to combat Cloud and his comrades should they become a threat once more.”
“You worry too much, Tseng,” Rufus soothed the man, “Do you honestly think that Cloud would rally his comrades against us over such a liaison?”
“No, but he might become suspicious of the company and look for any reason to strike at us, no matter how small and insignificant it may be.”
Rufus sighed as he rubbed at his temple. Tseng did make some excellent points, but Rufus was convinced that this was relatively harmless compared to his former schemes.
He was a little bit surprised when Tseng finally relented with a low exhalation. The Turk closed his eyes and breathed deeply.
“Your desire for an alliance is understandable, of course,” Tseng was calm once more but there was something almost distant about his demeanor. Rufus knew that he had disappointed Tseng today, even if it was such a small thing. It somewhat irritated Rufus. No one was going to die; the worst that might happen was a miscommunication and maybe a few hurt feelings.
“I'm glad that we can see eye to eye on at least that much,” Rufus replied with cool politeness.
“I would like to address you personally,” Tseng straightened in his chair.
“Oh?” Rufus intoned softly, a little startled by Tseng's abrupt request.
“Sir…Rufus, I understand how you must feel but you mustn't be so reckless. I remember when you used to complain about your father's inappropriate abuses of power. Is this not the same sort of thing?”
Rufus could feel his jaw clench at the mere mention of his father and his temper rise at the vague implication that he was acting no differently. Yet Tseng went on and it only the lack of accusation or malice in his tone that saved him from Rufus's wrath.
“I only wish that you had spoken to me first,” Tseng shook his head, “but I trust that your instincts are clear enough in this matter and will keep your confidence.”
Rufus let out a breath that he'd been unaware that he'd been holding. His anger slowly ebbed away as he conceded to Tseng's viewpoint just a little bit.
“Thank you,” Rufus replied with complete sincerity, “It's during this time that I most appreciate our ability to be frank with one another.”
“Does this mean you will reconsider my earlier suggestion of dispatching the transport ship within three days?” Tseng asked in a voice full of polite curiosity.
Rufus could only smirk slightly, “Perhaps.”
Cloud woke up surrounded by the darkness of night. He rolled over languidly, seeking out the warm body he expected to be lying by his side. When he found the bed sheets cool and Reno gone, Cloud was jarred completely out of any lingering notions of slumber.
He was disturbed to find Reno missing from bed; he was even more disturbed by how much he'd been letting his guard down. To think that he'd become so comfortable with the Turk after only a few days!
Of course he knew that he wasn't in love with Reno, but he was becoming quite attached, that was for sure. Cloud had been thinking a lot. In the midst of kissing, before the pleasure became too intense, and in the middle of the night when he couldn't sleep, he would wonder why it had taken so long to feel this way again.
Maybe it was because Reno didn't walk on eggshells around him or treat him like an emotional breakdown waiting to happen. Reno hadn't known him back then, hadn't seen the ugliest, worst parts of him come to surface, and Cloud found that oddly comforting.
Most of all, Cloud wondered why they hadn't had sex yet. What was he so afraid of anyway? Reno knew that it had been a long time for him and probably wasn't expecting Cloud to be especially wonderful in bed.
Cloud closed his eyes as he thought of it, feeling as though he was closing in on something profound. Oh but he wanted to be good with Reno; he wanted to see what that pretty face looked like while caught up in the abandon of ecstasy. Cloud had imagined it too many times to count since their first kiss and was beginning to realize that he didn't want to just fantasize anymore.
His eyes opened slowly when he heard movement in the room, right near the door. Reno leaned against the door frame looking so damned good to Cloud that for a single, silent moment he could scarcely take a breath.
“Sorry…” Reno shrugged as though he'd known about Cloud's disturbance upon waking up alone, “Sometimes I get restless.”
Cloud got out of bed and went to him. He tangled his fingers in long, unbound hair as he kissed him. Reno tasted bittersweet with beer and nicotine; he tasted like decadence and all the secret, forbidden things that Cloud had been denying for far too long.
“Cloud…” Reno breathed against his lips. His voice sounded strange, strained with tension and desire, “We need to talk….”
“I don't want to talk anymore,” Cloud whispered as he slid his arms around Reno's narrow waist, “I'm sick of talking.”
“Okay,” Reno was carefully searching his face, as attentive and observant as ever, “What do you want to do?”
“I want you,” Cloud breathed. It was so hard to say the words and they felt heavy and awkward on his tongue, “I want to go to bed with you…but I'm not interested in sleeping.”
Cloud could tell by the easy, lazy grin that crossed his lips and the hungry look in his eyes that he completely understood.
“Hey,” he chuckled, “Well…talk is cheap anyway. It can wait.”
Cloud almost smiled, “I'm so glad you think so.”
Reno pulled him closer even as he backed Cloud into the bedroom. “Yeah…pretty soon I don't think it's even going to matter all that much.”
Cloud really didn't understand what Reno was talking about but also didn't feel like asking about it. It could wait. At the moment Cloud felt like they had all the time in the world.
To be continued….