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18 October 2011 @ 05:34 am
FIC: The Kebab Killer, Chapter five, Part one – Market Place chatter  
Author: Osiris Brackhaus
Story Title: The Kebab Killer
Part: 6/10 (wip)
Rating: R
Configuration M/M
Warnings: violence, angst, borderline fairytale romance
Word Count: 1.800 / 25.000
Setting: 'Phoenix Empire' verse, see Phoenix Empire Timeline & Index
Characters: Sam/Yaden
Summary: At the produce market of Imperial City, Sam and Yaden encounter a Noble with preposterous claims…
Feedback: Yes, please!

The early morning produce market of Imperial City was one of the most colourful, exciting and plain chaotic sights in the whole empire.

Traders and customers from all over the Empire were milling among the stalls, slaves, commoners and nobles alike. Humans, aliens, demons and other less definable creatures were hawking wares from all the known worlds and then some more, voices calling in accented Imperial, others in Youh'Kai or rarer languages. All the offered goods were considered edible by one ore more races of the Empire, some were already prepared meals, others still looked suspiciously alive. The air was filled with a confusing amount of scents and smells, the bleating of carriage animals and the buzz of small gliders overhead.

It would have been a maddening experience even if Sam had slept more than three hours this night. But as things were, he felt pretty hungover despite not having had any significant amount of alcohol. So Sam had just put on his sunglasses and hoped no one would notice he was barely awake.

Most unfairly, Yaden appeared to be perfectly happy with a night as short as the last one. Some steps ahead of Sam, laughing with the merchant he was trying to haggle some lettuce from, he seemed cheerful and carefree as any other day, last night's events all but forgotten.

But Sam had some trouble getting over the things that had happened in the gallery, and the things Yaden had said later that night on the roof.
Sure, he was still convinced that whatever happened, they would manage to face things together. He knew in his heart that Yaden loved him as much as Sam loved him.
But now, in the unforgiving light of a crisp, late morning, Sam was no longer so absolutely sure they would manage to keep their lifes together, after all. Yaden was a psychic, and a strong one at that. And he was trained in combat, well-trained and undeniably a seasoned fighter. All that made him a one-in-a-million talent, and men like that were hardly allowed to run kebab-shacks somewhere in an irrelevant corner of the capital. Whether it would be the psions' guild, or the church or the Emperor, sooner or later Yaden would remember who he had been working for.

And they would come for him.

With a little luck, they wouldn't force him back into service. But they would try to get him back, no doubt about that. They would bribe him with money, adventures, anything. They would threaten Sam, and bribe or blackmail him to leave Yaden. Sooner or later, his status as a Ducal Crescent wouldn't be a sufficient protection any longer, and he would just end up dead in some dark alley or simply disappear for good.

Whatever would happen, it wasn't anything normal people could usually survive. At least not together.

The inevitability of the whole thing made Sam physically sick. But then again, maybe it was merely the fact that he hadn't eating anything today so far. He had just crawled out of bed when Yaden's alarm had rung, red-eyed and struggling to keep awake. Breakfast had been postponed until after the market, as they had already been running rather late.

But now, Sam found himself longing for something solid in his stomach. Comfort food in the most literal sense of the word. Casting a swift glance over at Yaden who still seemed to be amiably discussing today's prices, Sam decided it wouldn't harm if he got him some quick bite to eat.
They were at the place where all quality food of the capital came from, after all. So it didn't take him long to find something that smelled good, and he just followed his nose to a small stall that sold blob-on-a-stick, the unofficial signature snack of the capital. Most probably, one of the small, deep-fried molluscs would improve his mood significantly. Not a sure-fire-solution as Malicornian bacon, but still.

A little too rushed to properly pick his own blob from a barrel, Sam just ordered one of those already fried and a decent helping of hot spices and sweet-and-sour sauce. Nothing he'd usually eat for breakfast, but then again, unusual times called for unusual measures. All the time, he had carefully kept an eye out for Yaden's bundle of dreadlocks, making sure he had at least a rough idea where his lover was.

The first bite of his blob-on-a-stick was just as Sam had hoped – crisp and spicy on the outside, soft and juicy within. Prices here on the market were admittedly hefty, but the quality was impeccable.

Sam tried to catch up with Yaden who had apparently move on to the next stall, but then lost sight of his hair among the countless other heads after a few strides. It took him only a few moments to find Yaden again, but when he did, he felt his heart sinking despite the warm feeling of a blob in his belly.

Yaden was standing between two stalls, two large bags of groceries and meat next to him. He was obviously arguing with another man standing next to him, and guessing from his expression and rude gestures, he was just a blob-stick's width away from hitting him.

Most unfortunately, that man was a noble.

No one else would wear head-to-toe black in public if not a Dracon, and even though Sam couldn't see from where he was standing, he was sure there was a coiled red dragon proudly displayed somewhere on the man's chest.

With sudden urgency, Sam tried to reach Yaden before things got out of control. Raising your hand against a noble was a grave offence, and even though Sam was sure he would find ways to protect Yaden from the worst, it would not pass without a serious flogging. For a heartbeat, Sam regretted not putting on his uniform this morning. That would have helped tremendously now.

Advancing as swiftly as possible though the tightly packed shoppers, he sent a tiny prayer to whatever deity might have been listening that he wouldn't be too late.

And apparently, his prayers were answered.

A few meters before he reached the corner where he had seen Yaden threatening the noble, Sam all but bumped into his lover. A swift look showed him that the noble was still standing where he had been the whole time, watching them curiously.

“Let's go.” Yaden snapped, his voice deep and grumbling with barely contained anger. “I have everything we need.”

Nothing Sam wanted more than that.

“Who was that?” he asked while simultaneously taking one of the bags from Yaden. “Looked like a Dracon.”

“Fucking crazy asshole!” Yaden hissed, passing Sam and walking on, briskly, without even losing one step. “Shit fucking crazy!”


Instead of aggravating Yaden even more by insisting on a proper answer, Sam just looked over his shoulder, searching for the offending noble.
The Dracon was still looking at them, or rather, looking directly at Sam with his head slightly cocked and an odd expression that shifted between worried, exhausted and amused. There was nothing of the usual noble arrogance in his face, and even though they only looked at each other for a few seconds, Sam could have sworn the other man tried to give him a friendly smile.
That was rather distressing behaviour for a noble, indeed.

But right now, Sam had to concentrate on keeping up with his lover, who stomped across the market with little regard for the other shoppers and only marginally more for Sam. He was fuming with anger, and most obviously not in the mood to talk. Whatever had happened between the two of them, Sam would have to wait until they were back at the kebab-shack to get some answers.


“Now, who was that Dracon?”

For a long moment, Yaden didn't answer and instead concentrated on the long piece of meat he was intent on cutting to chops for tonight's menu. Using a butcher's cleaver, he hacked at the bones that still kept the pieces together, pausing between each chop.

“Yaden? What did he say? Are you in trouble?”

“No, I'm not, I mean, yes. Oh god, Sam, I don't know. I am sorry. I... I just need a moment.”

They had returned from the marked in silence, Yaden grim and worried, and Sam calm and increasingly worried, too. Only when Yaden had started working in the kitchen, with Sam sitting on the first steps of the stairs, the silence had become oppressive.

“He said he knows me,” Yaden explained finally.

“But – that's a good thing, isn't it?”

“He said he was my husband.”

Instantly, Sam was glad he was already sitting down. Of all the possible complications, this was one thing he had never even thought of. Never dared to think of.

“You are married?!” he asked, incredulous and half way hoping Yaden would deny everything.

But instead of giving a heart-felt denial, Yaden just looked up from his butchering job, smiling softly.

“Of all people, of course you would be the only one to overlook the real problem.” He actually sounded somewhat proud. “God, I love you so.“

It took Sam quite a moment to realize what 'the real problem' was.

“You are a noble?”

“Sam, please.” With emphasis, he hacked at the chops once more. “Do I look like a noble to you?”

“No, not really.” This all sounded just a little too weird in his ears. “You don't believe him, do you?”

“Of course not.”

“That... didn't sound as convinced as I hoped it would be.”

Instead of an answer, Yaden pointed at one of the market-bags with his cleaver.

“He gave me a bag of my 'secret spice rub'. Said I had to be running out of it by now.”

This all made so little sense that Sam felt his head spinning. Almost as if trying to prove Yaden wrong, he stood up and walked over to the counter where the bag was lying.
But sure enough, there was a smaller bag of spices inside, smelling just like the contents of the box Yaden always kept on the top shelf of his spice-rack. Even more disconcertingly, the bag was marked 'secret spice rub' in the same, neat handwriting that labelled all of Yaden's other spice boxes.
Sam put the spices back into the bag, a little too abruptly to make it look nonchalantly. It rather looked as if he was trying to hide unwanted evidence.

“I am sure there is a perfectly reasonable explanation for all of this,” Sam stated, half hoping, half trying to convince himself.

Yaden didn't even react, only continued to grimly butcher the meat in front of him.

idolme922idolme922 on October 18th, 2011 03:56 pm (UTC)
The plot thickens!! Husband? Oh my. Well, we have not just a hint but a flat out fact to deal with. Is polygamy permitted in the Phoenix Empire?

Can't wait to see what happens next. Thanks for a great update! :D
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on October 18th, 2011 06:17 pm (UTC)
Well, there is no law prohibiting polygamy. Among Nobles, each house has slightly different views, but in the end, it is simply a matter of how much trouble (read: spouses) you can handle.

Thanks for taking the time to read and comment!
peony_blackpeony_black on October 18th, 2011 06:39 pm (UTC)
Aw, poor Sam! As though the dark thoughts weren't enough ...

Have very much enjoyed this, thank you!
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on October 20th, 2011 07:35 am (UTC)
You're entirely welcome dear. Thanks for commenting.
triptyxtriptyx on October 24th, 2011 06:49 pm (UTC)

How? Who is the Dracon? Who is Yaden? Gahhhh this is so good! :D :D
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on October 25th, 2011 10:02 am (UTC)
Hehe. Being married to a Dracon takes a certain kind of courage, isn't it? But if you chose your spouses wisely, it can be a priceless asset.

On the other hand - poor Sam surely is hard pressed to see any good in this revelation.
BerthaBlueberthablue on October 25th, 2011 02:18 am (UTC)
Gahhhh, I want to know who the Dracon is, too!!! Yaden is so interesting! I do hope he and Sam get to stay together!
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on October 25th, 2011 10:03 am (UTC)
Well, the big revelation comes in the next chapter. And I am really glad you like Yaden, we'll be having a lot more of him in the stories to come.

Thanks for commenting!
hab318princess on October 29th, 2011 01:51 pm (UTC)
oh dear... oh dear... oh dear

poor boys!

great chapter
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on November 6th, 2011 07:06 pm (UTC)
He. Oh dear indeed.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment!