NOTE - "/Speech bracketed like this signifies Japanese./"

Chapter 11

"Who is he to you?" Eric's softly spoken question cut through the silence that had fallen once Shorter finished speaking.

"Huh?" Shorter said, before noticing Eric's gaze was locked firmly upon Smasher.

"He's not one of your boys," Eric continued. "He's not a brother, not family. You're not afraid of him. Yet you just looked the other way, letting him piss in your backyard until he dumped them somewhere you do fear. Even now, you just come to tell us the obvious, you ain't telling us what you know. So who is he, Smasher? What is he to you that you'd be so stupid as to come here with half truths?"

Eric stalked around Smasher, who nervously moved to keep Eric in sight while stammering denials. Shorter turned to Ash, noticed both him and that boy he'd called Aiden were smirking as they watched Eric. Speaking quietly so not to interrupt Eric, Shorter asked, "What's he doing?"

"Just watch," Ash responded, just as softly.

"You don't feel loyal to the ass," Eric continued. "Why protect him? What's his use to you?"

Shorter kept his silence and watched. As he watched, he began to see why so many said Eric may be more dangerous than Ash. It wasn't his words or his voice, though the softly spoken tone did send a chill down the back. Both the Lynx boys did that. It wasn't his actions were more threatening either, both moved with a graceful danger befitting their name. Both seemed to just know things too, like they could look through you and see everything you thought hidden about yourself. Eric might do that a bit more, or maybe just more obviously. But the main difference was the direction they attacked from. - Ash tended to use charm, to the point of projecting a sexuality that made his enemies want to do what he wanted. Eric projected fear into his enemies, making them afraid to do anything but what he wanted. It didn't make Eric anymore dangerous than Ash, they were both deadly.

Then Eric was finished. The boy turned from the corner where Smasher cowered and skipped over to the table and dropped into the seat beside Ash, looking as innocent and open as any child ever could.

"This'll be fun," Eric said, smiling joyously. He looked up at Ash. "He ain't afraid of the fucker. He's kinda worried about the fucker's family connections. Not that they're anyone, but the fucker's brother works for Dino. He's a Garvey."

Ash's eyes shown with a dark joy. Bill Garvey was the one that captured and presented them to Dino Golzine like a prize, though only after the bastard raped them both himself. There was no one the Lynx boys hated more than Bill Garvey and now they had the prefect chance to strike at him. They'd learned Bill Garvey had one brother, his older brother that raised him and he looked up to like no other. They'd known this brother was not under the protection of the Union Corse, but until now they hadn't known this brother had the same perversities.

"You take high ground, mon frere," Ash said. "I'll convince this 'nice cop Charlie' that he recruited me for bait."

Eric turned to Aiden. "Vintorez."

Aiden looked at him in confusion for a moment before understanding dawned. "Armalite."

"Vintorez is better."

"Armalite has an effective range of 460 meters, that's further than the Vintorez."

"On paper anyway."

Aiden shook his head. "You and Ash both have a strange interest in Russian armament. We actually have the Armalite. It'd take time to get a Vintorez."

Ash said something to Eric no one else could understand, causing the younger boy to glare at his brother.

"The Armalite will do," Eric said.

Aiden nodded. "I'll have it within the hour."

"Uh," Shorter said as Aiden left. "What was that about?"

"Just ordering a sniper rifle," Ash responded matter-of-fact. "You didn't think backup could be right there when we're playing with cops, did you?"

Shorter shrugged. "But who …" He drifted off as Ash and Eric gave him identical smirks. "Eric?"

"Of course. Wouldn't let anyone else aim a gun so close to my brother," Eric stated.

Ash said, "We shouldn't have any problems, with it being him. Just sweep the streets, keep everyone else off those blocks while we run it. Our boys will follow you for that, Shorter." Around them, Ash and Eric's boys nodded in understanding of the order. "Skip?"

"I'm good. Ax has it covered," Skipper responded, keeping his words carefully obscure since no one else knew of Griffin's existence.

"Good. They're yours, Shorter." Ash turned to Eric. "Street kid? Concerned citizen?"

Eric didn't respond right away. There were problems with either cover when it came to approaching the police. "The Deneke identity is clean."

Brian Deneke was the identity Eric had used to research a homeless shelter that had opened in their streets, checking if the place was sincere or if it was a front. The people had checked out, and 'Brian Deneke' spent enough time there that they would confirm the address to any police checks. Even though it was Eric they knew, the boys looked so much alike that anyone describing them would believe they were speaking of the same boy.

The shelter was also close enough to the edge of their territory that Deneke could easily know the victims and have reason to involve himself. As a fourteen year old (since Eric aged himself for the part) blond haired green eyed boy, he matched the victim profile so his reasoning could be self protection as well.

"You willing to give him up?" Ash questioned.

"If necessary," Eric said. "We learned what we needed."

Without another word, Ash headed out. Eric leaned back, watching Shorter set up patrols, making a few quiet suggestions while he waited for Aiden to return with the rifle.

888

Continued - Let me know what you think. Review.