[community profile] justprompts: Details

May. 9th, 2009 12:45 pm
fast_max: (Hide and seek)
[personal profile] fast_max
This may or may not be Max's fist job with Stephen, depending on whether Stephen says he was there or doesn't. ;)

The caravan was winding up along one side of the dune, and down the other, slow and steady, the dry wind sucking out moisture from them and replacing it with fine grains of sand that would lodge deep into the creases of clothes and bodies. Young green eyes seemed to casually, tiredly look out of the freckled face, and the last rider's drooping shoulders and wobbly riding often made the native guides look back to him in concern lest he fall behind and something happen to him.

And he had seemed so attentive about details, like safety, before they left.

I dream of rain
I dream of gardens in the desert sand
I wake in pain
I dream of love as time runs through my hand

It would be easy to daydream. About home. About places where water falls from the sky at times, and flowers bloom on fertile ground, rather than be burned off the shifting sands by the absolute sun. About places where gentle hands can run along your skin without the abrasive grit getting in-between.

But he didn't daydream. What he'd taken responsibility of was too important to afford losing oneself into what wasn't immediately there.

A life.

The results of a long and painful negotiation and the word given that something would reach its destination intact and certainly, as well.

His word.

~ * ~

At night, it's different, and it isn't. The dreams that came in the fierce chill were different; those who knew where he'd come from would find it hard to believe that he put those away, as well. Of bodies melding together in heat that scorches unlike the desert sun.

But rest was no safer than moving, when danger was unknown – for him, it usually was; and night was more dangerous yet. He slept just enough so his judgment and reactions stayed honed. When awake, he put away the longing and unexpended energy and eyes pierced the shadows. Even alluring ones.

I dream of fire
Those dreams are tied to a horse that will never tire
And in the flames
Her shadows play in the shape of a man's desire

He had been far from happy that the caravan included a group of local strangers, but the guides had insisted, and they were important – trustworthy as per his sources.

It was remarkable to see the remote group melding with the foreigners when the end of the day meant sharing chores. The forceful shyness of the women changed into almost flirting, tempting game as their savage-bred grace captured eyes, inspired fantasies.

Not many shared verbal language; yet some things were easy to communicate. Interest. Attraction. Even at times almost an offer for a kiss in the harsh dusk outside the firelight.

~ * ~

The youngest man's attention seemed appreciative, and she played with that, her sense of how to do it perfect and unerring. He could have been crawling at her feet, begging for recognition.

Instead, he did not miss the glints where there shouldn't have been any, nor the edges of tattoos, permanent then extended, accentuated with henna, showing from under her sleeves with some of her motions (even if those could set his blood aflame). He did not miss her gentle pulls for information, nor her focus shifting to the actual center of the group without losing her immediate prey's interest.

And as she turns
This way she moves in the logic of all my dreams
This fire burns
I realize that nothing's as it seems


His employer eyed him coolly. "I find her attractive, too, but I do not believe my interfering on your behalf will have much effect."

Max's eyebrows lifted slightly, and the green eyes focused on him as hadn't happened since before they'd started into the desert. "That is not what you're paying me for. Be wary of her," he looked at the stars starting to appear winking above them. "Probably tonight."

"They keep to their part of the camp after--"

He sighed and rose. "Tonight."

"What, no wisecracks as back home? No complaints of the desert? Pleasantly surprised, here."

~ * ~

The attack didn't come quite immediately before dawn, but it was cold enough. It was short, mostly because Max had security alerted and ready.

She'd come closest to her target.

"Parker. Well done."

"I'm good at what I do. I said so."

"You're also irritating and have the most unprofessional air to go with that young face of yours, too."

"You should've seen me a few years back."

"What next?"

"We go on. Still on the job until you're safe home."

The older man turned to his tent to pack, shaking his head. Max's green eyes returned to scanning perimeter.
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