Heart Pangs - The Betrayal (Part 57/?)
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Summary: With time nearly up, Lux and Camille finally get the chance to make a move.
Contents: hunger; just some classic Lux hunger; starvation; (coughing up) blood; mentions of physical abuse; restraints; betrayal; vore - size difference, m/m, willing pred, unwilling prey, non-fatal
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A staggering pain wracks itself from deep inside Lux's core and tears its way outward, coursing through the rest of his body. He squeezes his eyes shut and grits his teeth, waiting for the spasm to pass. They seem to be lasting longer and longer each time. He's not sure how much more of this he can bear.
Two days. Two and a half full days without food. Nothing. Not a single bite has passed Lux's lips since he'd been dragged into... whatever dungeon this is supposed to be.
He had thought he'd been at his worst when on the run with Benji. He had thought things couldn't get any worse when he'd stooped to going to a Collector. He'd been wrong. This is so much worse. He's never been hungrier.
He'd been given no neutralizers to dull his stomach acids. He'd been given no meals to at least abate the hunger somewhat. He's left with raw, unabashed, and unending hunger. He's not sure how much longer he'll survive this.
What makes it worse is that every day, two prey come into his cell and stand before him, just out of reach. There is Epomis' leader himself, the only thing appetizing about him is the fact that Lux knows he'll at least fill his belly. But then there's Camille.
She's the only reason he's glad he's restrained. Despite the fact that he can't sit without his arms being pulled above his head nor can he stand fully without his wrists tugging him back down, despite the fact that this damn collar has rubbed his neck raw, he's glad there's at least something keeping him from shoving her down his throat.
Camille and her leader have only come down to his cell a few times. Their interrogations aren't really what Lux had expected. Aside from Camille's initial beating, most physical harm to Lux had been sporadic and inflamed. The majority of the questioning comes from the leader. His inquiries are always rapid-fire, in a fervor. They come across as unorganized, as if he is simply spewing out whatever comes to mind. From security procedures at the Facility to the location of the Supervisor's home, he wants to know it all.
However, he never seems to be expecting a real answer. He barely gives Lux an opportunity to say anything (not that Lux ever has anything to say) before snarling and giving Lux a swift punch or slap or kick. Normally, Lux wouldn't even find the leader fit for hiring as an extractor, but there's something showy about the whole thing, as if the interrogation isn't all that important. Just a formality. What really seems to bring him glee is entering Lux's cell and asking how he feels. Cruel pleasure sparks in the leader's eyes every time he comes downstairs and sees how much hungrier Lux has become.
And Camille stands by and watches it all. She barely moves, her arms folded tightly behind her back. Just her eyes follow the action. Every once in awhile she and Lux lock gazes. Just for a breath. Just enough to say what needs to be said. Lux wishes he could read her expression, but she keeps her face empty and detached.
Now he's here. Alone. Cold. Tired. Bored out of his mind.
He sits on the ground, arms pulled above his head at an awkward angle. His shoulder muscles are past strained. His head hangs, the edge of his collar cuts into his neck, and his eyes are closed. If he can just get a little rest, if he can just claim a few minutes of sleep and escape the endless demands of his stomach...
For the briefest of moments, the merciful oblivion of unconsciousness overwhelms him. There's nothing. No pain, no hunger, just an endless dark void. Somewhere, deep in the recesses of Lux's mind, he imagines just a little more relief. A scent. Something familiar and inviting. It fills him with warmth and longing, and it's so, so near to him. If he could just reach out and catch it. If he could just make it his...
But then the scent is right there. Right in front of him. It's real. Lux's stomach lurches. Adrenaline pulses through him. It's his.
He lunges forward with a snarl, reaching out for it. His shackles stop him just short of his prey. His shoulders wrench agonizingly out of place and force him to draw back.
Camille stares down at him with wide eyes.
Lux comes back to his senses.
"Camille!" he gasps. His throat is so dry, even that single word hurts to speak. This is the first time he's seen her alone since he's been taken captive.
"Felix," is all she says in response. She's clutching a plastic water bottle to her chest. Her eyes are round and dark circles paint the skin below them.
"I'm sorry," Lux apologizes. "I didn't realize it was you. You're just so... I'm so hungry, I'm sorry. I can't think clearly." Lux squeezes his eyes shut. Camille's scent is intoxicating and his head feels like it's spinning.
"It's fine," he hears her mutter. "Nothing happened. Here. I brought you some water."
Lux opens his eyes to find her unscrewing the cap.
"Drink," she urges as she raises it to his lips.
Camille tilts the bottle up and water fills Lux's mouth, pouring in a continuous stream. He swallows fast and precise, making sure not to lose a single drop. The entire bottle is empty within the minute.
Lux lets out a heaving sigh as Camille pulls the bottle away. He feels a little ill at having drunk so quickly, but it's not enough to outweigh the relief of finally having something in his belly.
"What's going on?" he asks, still catching his breath. "It's been days."
Camille screws the cap back on the empty water bottle. "I'm sorry, but you don't know how difficult it is to gain Arthur's trust, even if you think you already have it. Convincing him to give me free access to you without looking suspicious took a lot of tact. I'm not even sure if I completely managed it. Having less than a three day timeframe to work with didn't help either."
"It won't matter if he's suspicious," Lux tells her. "If this works, you won't have to worry about him ever again. If it doesn't, well, you'll have a lot more to worry about than just whether or not you've aroused his suspicions."
The glare Camille shoots him is both accusing and annoyed, "Yes, thank you. I am well aware."
Lux grits his teeth. He's asking a lot of her, he knows.
"Do you have everything?" he says instead, changing the subject.
She nods. "This evening. Tonight will be the night." She sets the water bottle on the ground and pulls something small and metallic from her pocket. "Hold still," she tells him as she cautiously approaches. "I'll get you ready."
Lux does as he's told, but it's harder than he expects. The moment Camille draws near, every instinct in him begs him to pounce, to seize this opportunity for food. He smothers that instinct and buries it deep.
Every muscle in his body is tight as a bow as Camille leans over and starts working on his shackles. He has to hold his breath when she accidentally brushes against his shoulder. Several tense moments pass while Camille fiddles with the shackles and Lux stays frozen in place. He lets out a long exhalation when Camille finally steps back.
"I've loosened them up," she tells him. "If you pull hard enough they should break."
Lux shifts to adjust his shoulders.
"But do not pull on them until it's time," Camille scolds.
"I'm not," Lux insists. "I was trying to get comfortable."
Camille narrows her eyes. "Well, don't. Don't even test your limits. Remember, if you break them too early, this whole thing will be ruined."
"I'm not going to break them early," Lux insists.
Lux twists his head to the side "What about this?" he asks, showing off the collar still locked tight around his throat.
Lux can see the conflict in Camille as she answers, "Yes, of course. I was doing that next. Of course."
Once more, Lux grows completely still as she draws close. She reaches down with her tool, grabs ahold of his collar with small, careful fingers, and begins working at it. Lux doesn't dare move an inch. Her face it right next to his. The scent of her hair washes over him. Every breath she exhales and every twitch of her fingers is a tantalizing whisper over his neck. Even when she finally pulls away, he has to stop himself from pressing forward to stay near to her.
They meet eyes.
"It should be unlocked now," she tells him. "Just remove it normally when the time comes."
Lux nods. He is suddenly acutely aware that, for all intents and purposes, he is free. He can break out of his bonds at a moment's notice. And he's so, so hungry. And Camille is right there, so small and defenseless. He swallows reflexively then flinches as his stomach twists angrily inside him.
Camille must notice something because she shifts her weight and clears her throat.
Lux blinks. He hadn't even realized the heavy silence that had fallen between them.
"Listen," Camille says, "when you do this, make sure you..." She grimaces. "He has a knife hidden—"
"I know," Lux interrupts. "I've seen." The image of Epomis' leader pulling a knife out to slit Benji's throat will forever be burned into his mind.
Camille's eyes widen but she doesn't question him further.
"Then good," she says. "Just don't mess anything up."
"I'll do my part if you do yours."
"Don't worry," she tells him. "I have it all ready to go."
She hesitates and Lux can see the way her face pales and she looks as though she's about to be sick.
"It'll be okay," he tells her. "You're doing the right thing."
Camille's expression hardens. "I know," she says. "Be ready for tonight." She doesn't wait for a reply before grabbing the empty water bottle then turning and exiting the cell.
Lux doesn't expect the strange surge of emotions that come over him as he watches her ascend the basement steps. Disappointment that he's just let his chance at a meal slip away. Relief that Camille managed to get away safe from him. And also, surprisingly, loneliness. He didn't realize how much his imprisonment had been affecting him before he'd been shown just a few minutes of kindness. He wonders, perhaps, if this is what it's like to be a prisoner at the Facility.
Hours pass and Lux's bonds become excruciating to deal with. Before, they had simply been uncomfortable on him. Of course, his shoulders had felt perpetually strained, but at least he could hang his weight on his chains if he ever needed to rest. Now he's afraid to even jostle them lest they break open.
The longer he waits, the more Lux wishes Camille had at least brought a snack with that bottle of water. His stomach feels as though it's tearing itself to shreds. This is somewhat confirmed when his abdominals contract, and he's sent into a coughing fit. The dry coughs wrack his body until Lux watches a small spray of crimson splatter across the floor.
He retracts in surprise. That's blood, he realizes. His stomach has started digesting itself. He needs to eat soon or he really will die down here.
Lux squeezes his eyes shut, the taste of copper still on his tongue. He has to take several calming breaths to quell the sudden panic within him. Soon. He'll be out of here soon.
It's a small mercy when Lux finally hears the basement door unlocking and opening. He tries not to look as relieved as he feels.
He is unsurprised when he sees the now familiar shoes of Epomis' leader descending the stairs. He's followed closely by Camille. Lux makes short eye contact with her. It's not a lot, but it's enough to see she's bone white. She's terrified. Lux hopes her leader hasn't noticed and wishes she didn't have to be here for this.
"You look unwell," the leader comments once he's in Lux's cell and standing right before him.
Lux licks his lips. "I've seen better days," he agrees.
The leader leans forward so his face is directly in front of Lux's. "I disagree," he murmurs. "I can't think of a better position for you to be in."
Lux clenches his jaw. He should do it. There isn't going to be a better time to do it. The leader is only inches from his grasp.
But there's this small burning desire in him to deliver some sort of final blow before he does anything else.
Lux flares his nose. "Do you know who you remind me of?"
"Is it any of the hundreds of prey you've carelessly consumed?"
Lux lets out a short laugh that quickly devolves into a cough.
"No," he says when he recovers, "I actually felt sorry for those prey, or at least, they looked somewhat appetizing."
He pauses to enjoy the look on the leader's face.
"No, actually, you remind me of my boss. Supervisor Bakula."
The leader's face pales. "I am nothing like—"
"And how would you know?" Lux interrupts. "Have you been working at his right hand for the past few years? Have you been subject to his subtle manipulations every day? Believe me, I know that man better than anyone, and the way you act, the way you treat people, you're one in the same."
A muscle twitches in the leader's neck. "You don't know anything," he spits at Lux.
Lux curls his mouth into a grin so cruel and wide that it stings his cheeks. "I know exactly what you are," he growls.
"You don't know anything!" The leader's last word is punctuated by a sharp backhand across Lux's face.
Lux doesn't hesitate. In one swift movement, he lunges. For a terrifying second, the shackles hold fast. And then they snap apart at his wrists. His shoulders scream at him in protest as he throws his arms forward to grab the leader. The force of it sends the leader sprawling onto his back. Lux lands heavily on top of the old prey, realizing for the first time the extent of his own weakness. He mostly has to rely on his body weight to hold the leader down.
The leader cries out in pain when he hits the ground and takes several moments to recover from the daze.
"How...?" he chokes out when he recovers somewhat. "How did you...?"
With one hand, Lux pins the old man by the sternum. With the other, Lux reaches up and presses at the clasp of his collar. It opens, and he tosses it aside.
"You don't command as much loyalty as you think you do," Lux says, leaning his face in close to the leader's. The man repulses him, but he's still prey. And Lux has never craved prey more.
The leader's eyes widen. His gaze slides from Lux over to where Camille must stand. Lux wouldn't know. He doesn't dare tear his attention from the man.
"Camille?" the old leader asks, voice small and shaking.
Lux waits for her to respond, but he only hears a quiet intake of breath and a shifting of clothes. He takes that to mean she had no words. So, to spare her further begging, he reaches out and grabs the leader by the chin. Gently but sternly, he turns the man's face back to him.
"You shouldn't have turned on her brother," Lux informs the man. "That was your fatal mistake."
The leader's face grows flush. He squirms against Lux's grasp but it does no good. Even in his weakened state, the old prey is no match for Lux.
"He's a traitor," the leader hisses. "He turned on us... on me. And Camille... my dear...." His last words come out as a groan. His eyes squeeze shut and a tear escapes. "Why did it have to be you?"
"Shut up," Lux tells him. He keeps one hand on the leader's chin while the other starts rummaging for where he knows a knife is hidden. "With the way you've treated her, I can't believe she didn't turn on you sooner." Lux's fingers close around something small and metallic. "Aha!" he murmurs as he pulls it out. His eyes widen as he takes in the knife. "You won't be needing that anymore," he says as he tosses it away.
The leader jerks sidewards, as if he has a chance at recovering the weapon.
"Please," he begs as Lux pats him down for anything else of note, "don't do this! Camille! Dear, I'm so sorry. I didn't realize how you really felt. If you could just call him off, we could talk about this—"
The leader is cut off by Lux jerking upwards on his shirt front.
"Don't speak to her," his breathes. Their faces are now so close that Lux can see the fine glimmer of sweat over the leader's forehead. Lux's fingers tremble from holding back. "She's not yours anymore," he goes on. "Nothing is yours. You've lost it all. This is your ending."
A shiver runs through the leader's body. "Please, don't," he whispers. "Anything but this."
Lux's heart flutters with glee. "You know, begging's never really worked on me, right?"
The leader's jaw clenches before he opens his mouth to say something more, but Lux realizes he's lost his patience. He's done waiting. It's time.
He moves so quickly, he surprises even himself. One moment he's looking into the leader of Epomis' eyes, and the next he strikes. His jaw stretches painfully wide as the leader's head is shoved inside, but he hardly notices. He barely even hears Camille's gasp. The only thing he can concentrate on is the absolute relief of having the taste of prey on his tongue once more.
Lux takes his first swallow and is so overwhelmed that has to brace himself on the floor with one hand. With the other, he holds the leader as still as possible. This becomes difficult when the shock finally seems to wear off and the prey begins fighting back in earnest.
Lux can hardly be bothered by the struggles. He can hardly be bothered to enjoy himself. All he wants is to be full again. All he wants is relief from this endless hunger.
He swallows and his ribs are stretched wide as his prey slides past his chest. He swallows and whimpers as his prey finally begins entering his stomach. Lux abandons holding the leader still in favor of putting a hand to his middle. He swallows once more and lets his eyes fall shut to better feel the way his belly grows full, to feel the skin grow tight and sensitive. It only takes one last swallow before the last of the leader is forced to curl up deep within his core.
Lux gasps for air as soon as his throat is clear. He falls forward, hunched over. One hand is pressed into the ground, supporting him, and the other clutches at the weight in his middle. There's only a moment of hesitation before Lux's prey fights back. And he fights back hard.
Lux grits his teeth and can't hold back a grunt of pain. Not only is Epomis' leader far stronger than he looks, but he seems to know quite literally every sensitive spot in a pred's stomach. Lux twitches as a particularly hard kick nearly shocks him into regurgitation. He swallows down the urge. Regurgitation now would be the worst possible outcome.
Yet, despite all the pain and discomfort, the relief of fullness is still nearly incomprehensible. And Lux's stomach is excited. It pulses with warmth and contracts in anticipation. It's been deprived of food for far too long, and now there's a perfectly fulfilling meal just waiting to be digested.
All of Lux's concentration goes into shutting down that impulse. Not yet. He needs the leader in one piece. He needs to bring him to the Supervisor alive.
"Camille!" Lux calls sharply as the leader's struggles send another shooting pain through him. He flexes his abdominals tight and digs his fingers into the skin of his belly. "Please. I need them!"
Blindly he reaches towards where he thinks she is. He senses her drawing near, dropping something small and plastic into his palm, then scurrying back. The nervous movement distracts Lux for the briefest of moments before his focus is abruptly drawn back to his stomach. He looks down at the bottle in his hand. His fingers shake as he opens it and pours three neutralizers out. He downs them all in a single gulp.
It's probably not enough to completely neutralize the acids, but he had never intended to make his stomach a comfortable place for the leader of Epomis.
It takes Lux several minutes to recompose himself. When his stomach finally begins to settle, he pushes himself to kneel back on his haunches. He immediately feels the weight of Camille's gaze upon him.
He looks over and his heart sinks.
Camille is frozen, hand over her mouth, eyes impossibly wide. Her face is sickly pale and she sways slightly on her feet. She's looking at Lux with what can only be described as horror. But it's not exactly Lux she's staring at.
Lux instinctively wraps a protective hand around his stomach. He hadn't wanted her here for this before, but seeing her now, he resents she had to witness any of that.
"Camille," he says, his voice coming out rougher than expected.
She doesn't move. Doesn't even blink.
"Camille!" Lux repeats, a little louder. "Hey! Look at me!"
Finally, she tears her gaze away. A tear escapes as she meets Lux's eyes.
"Listen, I know this feels wrong, but you're doing it for the right reasons, Camille," he tells her. "You're doing it for Benji."
Camille's hand falls slowly from her mouth. "After all Arthur's been through... and then I did this to him."
Lux grimaces. He has no idea what exactly the leader of Epomis has been through, and he doesn't really want to find out. So instead he says, "And what about what you’ve been through, what he's put you through? And I'm sure you're not the only one. I swear to you that you're doing the right thing."
Camille swallows and her eyes briefly drop back to Lux's middle.
Lux sighs. "Whatever you feel, you'll have to deal with it later. We're running out of time, and if we don't see this through, we lose everything."
Camille looks back up at Lux. They lock gazes.
"There's no turning back now."
Camille purses her lips. "Fine," she whispers.
Lux nods. "Do you have what I need?"
Camille reaches for her pocket, fumbling slightly with shaking fingers. She pulls out a key and tosses it to Lux. "It should be parked just around the bend."
Lux catches the key with a single hand. "Thank you." He pushes himself to standing, ignoring the way Camille shrinks back and instead concentrating on keeping his balance with the extra weight on his middle.
"You take care of everything on your end, and I'll take care everything on mine," Lux promises. "And when you get home tonight, your brother will be waiting for you."
The corner of Camille's mouth twitches upwards. "Don't let me down."
"I would never."
And Lux heads for the exit.