Okay, so I've started this new fic as a companion piece to my other story Good Dogs Don't Bite. It's going to be a series of oneshots revolving around the characters from GDDB and their backstories. Largely this is just for me to play about with character development and write things that I never got to fit in to the main story (a lot of them will probably be set prior the beginning of GDDB, but a few will be in the usual timeline). Mostly these stories will be based on Adrian and his minions as I really enjoy writing them and am having trouble giving them as much screen time as I would like, but other characters (e.g. Cassy, Raze, Marah) will pop up as side characters and may eventually get their own stories as well. The oneshots will be a mixture of humour, drama, pointlessness and perviness (the latter largely caused by Adrian…)
This piece is written in the assumption that you have read GDDB and are familiar with the characters and events from it, however if you haven't you should still be able to pick up on what's going on. Similarly each chapter can be taken as a stand alone fic, so if there is one that doesn't appeal to you, you can just skip it without worrying about missing vital information.
This one is about Malachi's first day at Cain enterprises, and how he came to get the job, but I also have plans for chapters on: Adrian and Theo's first meeting, Cassy and Marah's first meeting, Raze's past, One each for how the other minions got recruited by Adrian, and why exactly Marah is so reluctant about having her friends over at her house, as well as a few others that I can't say just now or I'll give away spoilers from the main fic. That being said I am open to suggestions, so if there is anything you particularly want to see then let me know!
Anyway, enough babble. I hope you enjoy the first chapter!
Heaving an irritable sigh, Malachi swung the rucksack carrying all his worldly possessions onto his back and moved towards the front of the train as the automated voice rang out over the tannoy system, announcing his stop. Leaning against the door, the 21-year-old watched gloomily as the station rolled into view.
Well he was finally here.
"Home, sweet home," the raven muttered sarcastically under his breath as the train drew to a halt at a dingy, ill lit platform. Gathering together the tatters of his resolve, the youth glumly pushed the button and waited for the automatic door to open.
Stepping out onto the platform, Malachi slouched into the sparse crowd of people. He was a little surprised to see so many at such a late hour, but he supposed that with Edinburgh being a capital city the human traffic was non stop. Around him haggard people walked purposefully towards their destinations, heads bowed and gazes firmly averted from one another as they minded their own business. Or at least most of them did. One or two of them, women mostly, broke from their self imposed isolation to flash him admiring glances. Malachi glared in return. Under other circumstances he might have welcomed the attention, but as it was he was in far too bad a mood to care.
Quickening his pace, the raven strode towards the dirty steps that lead up onto Princes Street. Supposedly his new employer was sending someone to pick him up. Hopefully he wouldn't have to wait long. He was to tired and irritable to relish hanging around in the cold.
As he wearily set he booted foot on the first of the off colour grey stairs, a taunting voice dragged him from the depths of his thoughts as it called to him out of the darkness.
"Alright pal? Got any spare change?" Although the comment was innocent enough, something in the Glaswegian's tone made the hairs on the back of Malachi's neck stand up.
Freezing in place, the blue eyed man slowly flickered his gaze towards the speaker. To his left stood a kid around 15, his gangly frame clad in ill fitting, scruffy jeans and a grey T-shirt. The Burberry cap on his head cast a shadow over his face, hiding it from view.
"No, sorry mate," Malachi murmured in reply as he turned to resume climbing the stairs, idly hoping that the brat would know better than to pick a fight and doing his best to ignore the tingly sense of danger that was rippling down his spine.
"Well I think you do… pal," the youth sneered, his posture changing to a more threatening stance.
Well, so much for that then. Breathing an annoyed sigh, Malachi cut the boy his best 'don't fuck with me' glare.
"Look kid, you don't want to do this," he growled threateningly.
"Actually, I think I do," grinned the teenager as he tilted his hat back to expose his face at last. Long curved canines flashed in the dim light as the kid's smug features took on a predatory expression.
Malachi felt himself slightly stiffen at the sight. Vampire. Damn. Well that explained why his instincts were screaming at him. It also made things a little more complicated – a scrawny 15 year old boy may offer him no challenge, but vampires had an irritating tendency of being deceptively strong.
Malachi bit back a low curse as he assessed his opponent. He had forgotten how bloodsuckers lurked in cities like rats. He had clearly spent to long up in the highlands where normally common demons like these were virtually non-existent. At least the wild ones anyway.
Blue eyes narrowing coldly, Malachi watched as the vampire began to move teasingly towards him.
"You can run if you want," the demon sneered cockily. An icy smile split over the raven's face at the offer. Fortunately he was more than capable of taking care of a minor pest like this.
"I'm not going anywhere," the ex-soldier snorted disdainfully as he slid into a fighter's stance.
He allowed himself a fleeting moment to think longingly of the Desert Eagle(1) he had packed lovingly at the bottom of his rucksack, his one pride and joy. He never did feel quite right having a fight without its comforting weight by his side.
Shit, he knew he should have just risked travelling with it, laws be damned. Still, it's not like there was much he could do about it now. He comforted himself with the knowledge that it would only have been of limited use in this fight anyway.
Lost in his inner musings, the raven almost missed the first attack. Thankfully years of hand to hand combat training, drilled into him by heavy handed and gruff voiced instructors kicked in before he had to think. Ducking under the first swing, Malachi rammed his elbow into the demon's abdomen, followed swiftly by a powerful head but which shattered the kid's nose.
Ignoring the blood that spattered over his face, Malachi immediately leaped back, watching carefully as the youth careered backwards and hit the far wall with a loud crack. Letting out a loud roar of pain, the snarling vampire lunged towards him, sharp teeth snapping at his neck.
Malachi stood his ground until the last second, before stepping neatly to the side and helping his opponent crash face first into the wall behind him by grabbing the back of his neck and giving him a powerful shove onwards. The demon met the stone with a sickening thud before dropping to the floor unconscious.
Upper lip curling into a sneer, the former soldier stood looking down on his felled opponent, taking in the damage he'd wrought as he considered how best to finish him.
Loud clapping abruptly echoed around the stairwell, causing Malachi to whip round in the direction of the noise, immediately dropping back into a fighters crouch as his azure eyes scanned the gloom for new threats. His gaze finally halted on a shadowy figure standing halfway up the steps, someone who had obviously appeared during the duration of the fight.
The raven narrowed his eyes as the figure stepped forwards.
"Nice work," the blonde man congratulated him, his voice tinged with a soft Irish lilt as he showed his (thankfully human) teeth in a friendly grin. Malachi slowly allowed himself to straighten, but kept his muscles tensed as he wearily eyed the stranger.
The blonde was just over his height, with his short, messily spiked hair giving him the illusion of an extra inch on top of that. Malachi was slightly irritated to note that he was also broader than himself, meaning he probably carried a good few pounds of extra muscle.
'Still,' he mused to himself as his eyes flickered up to meet the man's strange mismatched gaze – with one bright blue eye and one dark brown glittering mischievously out of the blonde's face. 'I'm pretty sure I can take him.'
In the army he had always had the disadvantage of being slighter than everyone else. That coupled with his somewhat girlish looks had quickly made him an easy target. Fortunately he was also naturally quick and well balanced, meaning he had soon adapted to fighting larger, heavier opponents. By the time he had left everyone had known better than to bother him.
"Easy there, sweetheart," chuckled the stranger, holding up his hands to show he was unarmed. "I come in peace."
Malachi felt himself twitch in annoyance of the girlish pet name.
"Who are you?" he ground out suspiciously. The blonde's grin widened as he noted Malachi's irritation.
"Pete. And I'm guessing you're the kid I'm supposed to be meeting?"
The raven frowned in momentary confusion, before realisation dawned on him.
"You're from Cain Enterprises?"
"Bingo," the blonde man affirmed with a wink.
"And exactly how long have you been standing there?" Malachi inquired coolly.
Pete gave an unrepentant shrug before flashing him a playful smirk.
"Oh I arrived round about the time you head butted him. Nice, by the way."
"Any particular reason you just stood there instead of lending me a hand?" the ex-soldier snapped, causing a highly amused look to cover the other's face.
"You looked like you had it covered. Besides," drawled Pete as he turned to ascend the stairs, "if you couldn't take out a low ranking bloodsucker like that, you have no business even applying to Cain Enterprises. Now come on. I'm freezing my ass of here!"
Although he could see the logic in his companion's actions, the blonde's games still stung his pride. Aiming a dark scowl at the retreating figure before him, Malachi grudgingly followed Pete out into the street.
The drive to his new place of employment proved to be somewhat anticlimactic after the excitement at the train station. Still, as Malachi sat in the warmth of the car staring out of his window watching the darkened city passed by in a blur, he could not help but feel grateful for Pete's silence, allowing him time to mull over recent events.
It was hard to believe that it had been almost two months since he had been thrown out of the army. Guilty of insubordination, they told him. Personally he'd reckoned it was common sense. Okay so maybe taking orders and respecting the chain of command wasn't his strong suit, but then again his superior had been an absolute bastard.
Still, the dismissal stung. He had been in the army ever since he had dropped out of school at 16. Without it he felt strangely… directionless. Slowly Malachi's eyes flickered back over to gaze at him silent companion. That's probably why he was even here in the first place.
Gritting his teeth, Malachi seethed silently to himself as he finished ramming the last of his belongings into a large rucksack. He couldn't help but note that there was depressingly few of them. But then again that was to be expected. He had been in the army for five years now and when in the field material possessions were just an encumbrance.
Five years. Five years of his life of his life down the drain, just because he had the nerve to stand up to that idiot of an officer. It's not even as if he wasn't right, and the bastard knew it. Okay so maybe punching the guy hadn't been his smartest move, but still!
Snapping the pack shut and tightening the straps, Malachi swung the bag onto his back. He had already had the humiliation of being publically stripped of his rank, now all that was left for him was to sulk out into the night like some criminal. The raven's hands curled into fists at the thought.
Tossing his head back, Malachi began the long walk of shame that would lead him out of the barracks and through the drill area before he would finally be clear of the military ground. As he strode, people all around stopped what they were doing to watch him go. Those that he had known as friends nodded in respect as he moved, pity clouding their eyes, others glared at him, sneers twisting their faces. Gritting his teeth he continued to hold his head up high, refusing to acknowledge anyone.
He was only meters from the gates when the familiar gruff bark of his former drill sergeant startled him from his thoughts. Standing stiffly, the raven turned to watch as the large, dark skinned man jogged over to meet him.
"It's just Salvidore now, Drill sergeant," he responded coldly. "Or didn't you hear?"
"Oh I heard all right. Just couldn't keep your bloody trap shut could you?" snorted Sergeant Boothe in exasperation as he drew level with him. "That always was your problem."
Malachi narrowed his eyes at the larger man.
"You just stop me to gloat or you got something to say?" he all but snarled. It was no secret that the two of them were less than friendly with each other.
"Easy, boy," grunted the Drill sergeant as he eyed him thoughtfully. "I ain't here to pick a fight."
"Then what do you want?"
Boothe hesitated for a moment before sliding his hand into the pocket of his trousers and pulling out a slip of paper.
"Listen boy, you aren't made for this place. You're too mouthy and too rash. But that aside you're a damn good soldier. Don't let your skills go to waste."
Frowning in confusion, Malachi accepted the offered paper, opening it to find a hastily scrawled number. Glancing back up in surprise, he gazed quizzically at his old instructor.
"If you find yourself looking for a job give that number a ring. It belongs to an old contact of mine who works for a private firm. I already forwarded him your file and they're interested in meeting you."
Shock rippled through Malachi at Boothe's words. Why in the name of God would Boothe go to such trouble for him? Weren't they supposed to hate each other?
"Thank you," was all that he could think to say.
Boothe's lips twitched into a smile at the raven's dumbfound expression.
"Don't mention it boy."
With one last nod of farewell, the dark skinned man turned his back and walked back to his recruits.
Idly Malachi wondered if this was all some kind of sick joke. Maybe Boothe really had hated him after all. Maybe this was just a way of getting revenge for years of back chat and making his life hell.
The raven contemplated this for a moment.
Ah, what the hell. It's not exactly like he had anything to loose.
"So," he said at last, breaking the silence. "Was it you I talked to on the phone?"
Glancing over in surprise at his sudden desire to talk, Pete raised an amused eyebrow.
"Nah. That charmer would have been Nathan."
"He the boss then?" If anything, Pete's amusement only grew at the question.
"Who Nathan?" he laughed. "No he just deals with the academic side of things. Glorified pencil pusher, but don't let him hear you say that. Bastards got a tongue like a scorpion."
"I noticed," remarked Malachi dryly as he recalled the somewhat painful phone conversation, or interrogation, really. "So who's in charge then?"
"Adrian Morgan. Owner and founder."
"What's he like?"
Chuckling softly, Pete glanced over with a dark smirk.
"That, you're better off figuring out for yourself. Anyway, we're here so chances are you can make your mind up soon enough."
Turning his gaze back out of the window, Malachi was surprised to note that the garage that they were pulling into seemed to belong to a large Manor House.
Pete sniggered at Malachi's expression as he switched off the engine.
"I guess Nathan didn't tell you. Headquarters doubles as home. That way we're all close to hand for whenever Adrian wants one of us."
"Huh," muttered Malachi as he climbed out of the vehicle. It was an odd set up, but whatever. At least it would mean he didn't have to look for accommodation.
Malachi glanced over at the sound of the blonde's exclamation to find himself being scrutinised carefully. Confusion briefly rippled through him, until he recalled that this was the first time Pete had seen him under direct light.
"You really are a pretty little thing, aincha?" the blonde grinned playfully. "You sure you're a guy?"
"Need me to beat your ass to prove it to you?" Malachi sneered in return, earning him a laugh.
"Oh, touchy subject, eh Princess? Well, 'fraid you'll have to beat me later. Theo's expecting you."
Anger flaring at the dismissive retort and new nickname, Malachi almost missed the reference.
"Theo?" he asked with a frown, vowing to himself that he and Pete would revisit the argument later.
"Adrian's right hand man, and your immediate boss. Come on."
Theo heaved a sigh as he leafed painstakingly through the reports Nathan had passed onto him. Honestly, there were times he hated his job. Sure he had Nathan to deal with the bulk of the paperwork, but there were just some things that he had to deal with personally. Well actually that was really Adrian's job – him being the boss and all – but he had long since given up all hope of that happening. The last time he had given Adrian paperwork it had 'mysteriously' ended up in the bin. Covered in gasoline. And set on fire.
Needless to say it was much, much quicker and less hassle just to do it himself. Even if it was a massive pain in the ass.
He had just lifted a pen and been about to begin the tedious job of filling out the numerous forms before him, when he was startled from his task by a lazy knock to the door of his office. Without bothering to wait for a reply, the person on the other side of the door shoved it unceremoniously open.
Raising an eyebrow the brunette idly glanced over the boy that stood framed in the doorway. Loose kaki combat trousers hung low on lean hips, held in place by a sturdy leather belt. A plain black T-shirt covered his torso, with a scuffed leather jacket thrown over the top. The kid had a wry frame and his pretty, almost effeminate looking face was framed by long raven locks that hung down onto his narrow shoulders.
Sharp blue eyes met his own calm hazel ones as he silently assessed the newcomer. All in all he would say that the boy looked… unpromising. Thankfully the kid's record spoke for itself or else he would never have made it this far.
"Malachi Salvidore, I presume?" he asked, his deep rumbling voice drifting over to the raven.
"…Yeah, that's me. Theo right?" the brunette had to bite back an amused smile at the kid's dismissive tone. Well he had guts at any rate. Theo nodded.
"That's right, please take a seat."
Doing his best to ignore the nervous gurgling of his stomach and retain his cocky façade, Malachi plastered a smirk on his face and slowly ambled over the gestured chair. Lazily flopping down into it, the raven carefully studied the huge man that sat across the desk from him, taking in his heavily muscled frame and tattoo laden arms.
Under different circumstances he would have immediately dismissed this man as typical muscle for hire, all brawn and no brains, but the flash of intelligence he saw looking back at him in those hazel eyes warned him not to underestimate.
"You have an impressive record," Theo mused as he picked up the file that lay open in front of him and began to flick through it.
"Yeah, I know," the raven snorted as he continued to eye the large man.
"Thrown out of the army for insubordination?" The brunette's tone told Malachi an answer was expected.
"I'm not so good at following orders," he shrugged in a bored fashion. "That going to be a problem?"
A dark smile flickered briefly over Theo's face. He honestly couldn't tell if this kid was going to fit in splendidly… or if Adrian would just chew him up and spit him out.
"Hard to say," he answered at last, earning him a strange look from the boy. "Arian has his own way of doing things," he elaborated with a shrug of his own before leaning back in his chair and giving the raven a measuring glance.
"I'll be honest with you," he began, noting Malachi's wary glance with approval. So the kid wasn't as cocky as he made out? That boded well. Cockiness only worked if you have the smarts and skills to back it up. "We've had a lot of recruits over the last couple of years. None have actually made it."
"And?" drawled Malachi, his eyes l=glinting challengingly.
"And I could sit here and ask you question after question and still only have a vague idea whether or not you're what we're looking for. Or," Theo leaned forward, closer to the smaller male. "I could give you a chance, and just see what happens. So here's the deal, you have a week's probation. If your still here at the end of it, you've got the job."
Theo didn't bother to say whether or not he was still here at the end of the week would totally depend on how Adrian took to him. Or that most the other recruits hadn't even managed a day after meeting the boss. No need to scare the kid after all.
Oblivious to the other man's thoughts, Malachi gave a slow nod.
"Works for me."
"Good," grunted Theo as he climbed to his feet. "Now come on. You learn best around here by doing."
Raising an eyebrow but saying nothing, Malachi stood and followed the large man to the door he had entered through.
It opened out into the same large, meeting room he remembered from earlier, with one noticeable difference. Where the place had been deserted earlier when Pete had shoved him unceremoniously through the door with a vague gesture towards Theo's office, it now held an eclectic handful of people.
A slim redhead glanced up from where he sat at the large oval table, the dark eyes behind his narrow framed glasses showing only mild interest as they fell on Malachi.
"I assume that this is our new recruit," the man asked as he gave him a dismissive glance over.
"Sure is," grinned Pete as he sauntered over to stand next to Malachi, giving him a hearty slap on the shoulder.
The final occupant of the room – a bald mountain of a man (although Malachi noted that he was still a good few inches shorter than Theo) merely grunted in his direction before flopping into a seat next to the redhead, nursing a large steaming mug of coffee, and Malachi was willing to bet from his deathly pallor and bloodshot eyes, a massive hangover.
"So," smirked Pete as he threw a lazy arm around Malachi's neck, much to the latter's disgust. "What's the story? Is Princess here to stay or what?"
Eye's narrowing to venomous slits, Malachi opened his mouth to bite out a reply when Theo cut him off.
"I've given him a week's probation. For now you're to treat him like he's one of us."
Pete's grin widened.
"Fantastic!" he cooed, tuning his head to face the raven and affectionately ruffling his hair. Said raven's irritation increased tenfold. "Hear that Sweetheart?" the blonde continued, seemingly oblivious to the annoyance of his captive, "You're one of us!"
"Not quite yet."
The new voice drawled from the door that lead out into the hall, its sarcastic tone undershot with a steely current of command, causing all the eyes in the room to turn in the direction of the speaker. Malachi's eyed the tall blonde warily, taking in his faded jeans and dark t-shirt and relaxed posture as he leaned casually against the door frame Despite his seeming nonchalance, there was something about this guy that put Malachi's guard up. Something distinctly predatory about him. The newcomer returned the curious stare, his tawny eyes flickering over him with interest as he continued to speak in his velvety voice. "He has to get my say-so first."
"Adrian," Theo nodded a greeting at the blonde. "This is our new recruit, Malachi."
The company head made no indication that he had heard Theo's words as he continued to study the raven closely, a slight smirk playing on his lips.
Malachi eyes narrowed as the blonde continued to look him over, feeling much to like a piece of meat for comfort, but he remained silent nonetheless. Then as abrupt as his sudden appearance, Adrian turned his gaze back towards the other occupants of the room, ignoring his latest employee.
"Nathan, you have the information I asked for?" he asked lazily as he shoved himself off of the doorframe and strode into the room.
Slightly taken aback by the bizarre situation, Malachi hesitated as the others quickly moved to what were obviously their usual places around the large table, unsure what to do with himself.
"Yes," began the redhead, eyes dropping to scan the documents infront of him as he spoke, "it would seem that…"
"Wait a minute," Adrian cut the bespectacled man off, his amber eyes sliding back to settle on the still standing Malachi, causing the young raven to swear inwardly. "It seems we have a problem."
Rising smoothly from his seat, and slipping his hands into his pockets, Adrian turned to face the ex-soldier, his expression one of mock interest.
"Do we have a problem, boy?" he murmured in a falsely pleasant tone as he slowly wandered towards him, looking like nothing so much as a panther prowling towards its unsuspecting prey.
Gritting his teeth Malachi met Adrian's taunting gaze defiantly.
"No, sir," he shot back, his tone bordering on insolent. The other occupants of the room cast him a mixture of amused and curious glances.
"Good," sneered the blonde as he drew to a halt directly in front of him. "Then sit the fuck down and stay the fuck out of my way."
Malachi knew he should just bite his tongue and do what he was told. He really did. But after all Pete's earlier barbs about his looks and the dismissive attitudes of the others, his already non existent patience was in shreds.
"I've got a better idea," he spat, "why don't you go fuck yourself?"
Immediately everyone in the room froze, their faces static in shock as they stared at him incredulously.
Cursing his own loud mouth, but refusing to back down, Malachi kept his eyes glued on Adrian, all too aware of the suddenly tense atmosphere.
The blonde man stared silently at Malachi with an unreadable expression for a few seconds before his lips curled upwards, displaying his teeth in an eerie grin. Laughter tore out of his throat, the noise holding a decidedly manic edge to it as it increased in volume.
Malachi blinked. Of all the reactions he had been expecting, this was not one of them.
As his half crazed fit of amusement died down, Adrian turned his eyes back towards him, a playful glint glimmering in their tawny depths. A teasing smirk lingering on his face, the company owner resumed his prowl towards Malachi, never once letting his gaze drop.
Despite his bravado, the raven took a step back as his Boss drew close. Adrian's smirk widened as he took another step forwards, forcing the smaller man to retreat rather than allow the relatively small gap between their bodies to close.
Malachi glared heatedly at the blonde as his back bumped against the table. He kept telling himself that he wasn't scared of the man. It was true after all. If it came down to a fight he could hold his own. He knew that. God knows he had proven it enough in the army… but there was something about the blonde's gaze that unnerved him greatly. Something hungry about it…
His unease intensified as Adrian moved closer, the clothing of their bodies brushing against each other as they breathed. Eyes widening in shock, Malachi watched as the man leaned forwards, pinning him to the table by bracing one hand on either side of his lean hips.
Letting out a low chuckle at the fear that was rolling off his prey, the smirking blond brought his lips to Malachi's ear in a mockery of an intimate gesture.
"Looks like you might do after all," he murmured huskily, his hot breath tickling the younger man's cheeks, causing him to give a slight involuntary shudder. Adrian's lips curved into a cruel smirk before he abruptly pushed himself upright and strode towards the empty chair at the head of the table, his attention once again on his subordinates.
"Nathan?" Adrian ordered calmly as he lowered himself into his seat, leaving Malachi frozen in place, gaping stupidly after him.
What the hell had just happened?!
Feeling vaguely violated and more then a little freaked out, the raven glanced wildly round him, taking in the sedate scene as the employee's of Cain Enterprises (long since used to their boss's bizarre mood swings), returned to the meeting as though there had never been any disruptions.
Biting back a chuckle, Theo watched in amusement as the boy seemed to slowly get a hold of himself as the drone of voices began around him. Shooting Adrian a look that showed he thought the man stark raving mad (which to be fair, was a correct assumption), Malachi nervously moved to take a seat. One as far away from Adrian as possible. Smiling to himself, Theo leaned back in his chair.
If that little display hadn't got the kid running for the hills, maybe he had what it took to be part of the team after all.
Only time would tell.
'Welcome to Cain Enterprises, kid.'
(1) Desert Eagle - a powerful semi-automatic hand gun. For further info see wikipedia
Anyone who reads the main fic might wonder about Malachi's character in this story compared to his character in GDDB – basically here Malachi is younger and much more hot headed and unsure of himself, still very much the kid that Theo and the others see him as. However as the chapters ware on you'll probably see him begin to mature as he settles in (well, as much as Malachi has matured that is!)