Cost of Protection, Part 4by Tiki
Quick Disclaimer: Voltron is the property of WEP
Lance blinked not quite believing what he was seeing. He took a closer look at the boy in front of him. He was dressed in a plain pair of jeans and a green T-shirt but it was the same kid from Club Doom. "Pidge?"
"What are you doing in this part of the city?" Pidge looked around nervously. He rubbed his hand against one arm. "I mean, it's not where you usually hang out."
"Huh?" Lance took a closer look at his surroundings. He was in an older part of the city. A few of the buildings were boarded up and had condemned signs. The buildings that didn't looked as if they were about to be condemned. Pidge was right, he didn't normally hang out here. "I was just riding around. What are you doing here?"
Pidge's nervousness became more noticeable. He shifted his weight from one foot to the other. "I...well,...umm..."
"What are you so nervous about Pidge?"
Pidge began to back away. "I have to go." He turned around and ran down the street.
Lance looked off in the direction Pidge had run off in. "That was strange." He walked over to his motorcycle and straightened it up. Sitting on the bike he pulled on his helmet. "I wonder why he ran off like that?"
Lance hurried to the president's office. Word was a couple of VIPs were coming for a visit today. Coran wanted everyone to make a good impression for them.
"Just my luck I'm running late." Lance stopped before the door and straightened out his suit. Putting on one of his best smiles he opened the door. Coran and Allura were already in there along with four other men. "Sorry I'm late everyone. I was detained."
Coran looked up at Lance. His eyes promised if anything went wrong the younger man would pay. He turned back to his guests. "This is the vice president of our research and development department, Lance Richards. Lance, this is Mr. Sven Van deRyst, his associate Mr. Luc Torrain and their assistants Aaron Franklin and Keith Hamilton."
The four men turned around to face Lance. The youngest man there, Keith, took the longest to turn around. Finally he turned and looked at Lance. He recognized him. It was Kay.
Sven had stood up and held a hand out to Lance. "I'm very pleased to meet you. I've heard so many things about you."
"All of it good, I hope." Lance shook his hand. This whole situation was getting weird. First Pidge warning him to stay away from Kay and the club. Talking about how they were Sven's property and how he didn't like to share. Now Sven was here and he was saying Kay was his assistant.
"Mr. Richards." Mr. Torrain stood up to shake Lance's hand as well. "I too have heard many things. We should not be so formal. Call me Lotor, I insist."
"Very well Lotor." Lance was having a hard time maintaining his composure. Something about this Lotor guy didn't sit right with him. Maybe it was the blond, nearly white hair or maybe it was his charm. He just got bad feelings from this guy.
"Now that everyone's here," Coran stepped from behind his desk, let's get down to business shall we? Mr. Van deRyst and Mr. Torrain have an interest in Arus Inc."
"What sort of an interest?" This whole situation was making Lance feel strange. Something just wasn't right about it. "I mean, Arus Inc is such a diversified company. Is there a specific area you're interested in?"
"A specific area? You could say that." Sven chuckled and sat back down. "Let my assistant explain. Keith?"
"Yes sir." Keith opened the portfolio on his lap and pulled out several papers. He handed these papers to Lance. "As you can see from these reports Mr. Van deRyst and Mr. Torrain have investments in several markets. Mostly in the entertainment and communication industry. They feel the time has come to branch out and diversify."
Lance glanced at the papers Kay had handed him. They were all legitimate companies. He even saw a report on Club Doom. He looked up. "So you're interested in investing in Arus Inc?
"Exactly." Sven turned to face Coran. "Your company is exactly the kind of thing we're looking for. Arus doesn't restrict itself to just one field."
"I'm glad you feel that way." Coran fairly beamed. Charm was oozing from the older man.
"Sven and I would be very interested in hearing more. Perhaps how your research department works?"
"Oh certainly," Coran looked up at Lance. "Why don't you give Mr. Hamilton and Mr. Franklin a brief tour while Allura and I talk to Mr. Van deRyst and Mr. Torrain."
Kay glanced over at Sven at Coran's suggestion. Only Lance noticed. Sven gave a small nod. Kay stood up. "A tour would be nice."
Maybe if I can get Kay alone I can get some sort of idea about what's going on. "Of course." He handed the papers back. "If you would follow me?" Lance lead them out of the president's office.
Throughout the tour Kay remained silent. Lance lead both young men through the building. Aaron was quite friendly and insisted that Lance called him Hunk. While Hunk was occupied chatting with one of the sales reps, Lance took a chance to talk to Kay.
"I never expected to see you here. So this is what you do when you're not dancing at the club," Lance whispered in his ear.
"You don't know me."
"Why don't you give me a chance? I can be a very nice guy."
Kay smiled briefly and chuckled. "Pidge was right. You really do have a death wish."
Lance smirked. "I aim to please."
Kay looked over to where Hunk was talking. He slowly shook his head from side to side. "I must be delusional to even consider this, but if you want to get to know me better come to Dante Park Friday at three." He stepped away from Lance as Hunk turned around.
Lance took Kay and Hunk back to Coran's office. Sven and Lotor were standing outside waiting. "Keith, Hunk there you are," Sven walked up to them. "Our business here is concluded. We do have other appointments today."
"It's been a pleasure dealing with you. Let me show you out." Coran lead Sven, Lotor, Hunk and Kay away.
The minute the men were on the elevator Allura started. "I have never seen such a display. Coran was sucking up to those two."
"I wonder why?" Lance had heard rumors but he didn't really pay attention to them. "Unless the rumor I heard was true."
"Oh nothing except our dear president went in over his head and if Arus doesn't come up with some serious cash soon, the company is toast."
"You can't be serious!" Allura stared off in the direction Coran had headed off in. "That old fool is about to lose my father's company! I'm going to have a little talk with him!" She stalked off searching for Coran.
"I have to remember not to get on her bad side." Lance headed back to his office. "Now I have to go deal with Voltron. I still like the sledgehammer idea."
Against all good sense Lance found himself in Dante Park at three o'clock on Friday. Do I ever think before I do these things? He looked around to see if he saw Kay.
Lance found him sitting on a bench near the lake. Kay had his head thrown back, a pair of dark sunglasses shielding his eyes. He didn't move as Lance sat down beside him. "I guess Pidge won the bet," he murmured.
Kay rolled his head to the side. He still didn't look at Lance. "Pidge and I had a bet on whether you would meet me here. Pidge said you would. I didn't believe him." He sighed. "So what do you want to know about me?"
Lance stared at Kay. It was kind of strange holding on a conversation with someone who wouldn't look at you. He decided to try to do something about it at least. "How about you take the glasses off first?"
"Not an option."
"Okay." Damn he's still freezing me out, Lance thought. He did say I could learn more about him though. He looked out at the lake. "Easy question first. How do you know Pidge?"
Kay smirked. "We're twins, couldn't you tell?"
"Listen I didn't come here to be jerked around. If you're not going to be serious," Lance stood up, "then I'm going to just leave."
"No wait." Kay's head came up. He placed a hand on Lance's arm. "I'm sorry. I'll answer your questions."
Lance sat back down slowly. "Well?"
Kay took a deep breath. "You could say I raised Pidge. I'm the brother he never had." He chuckled bitterly, "I can do nothing wrong in his eyes even when I majorly fuck up. Boy, did I fuck our lives up."
"What did you do? How did you become Sven's property?" Lance couldn't get his mind around the concept of owning another person. It felt wrong to him. Maybe if Kay told him how it happened he could understand.
Kay's teeth bit lightly into his bottom lip. "I was stupid and got in over my head." He ran a hand through his hair and laughed. "Pidge got involved because he tried to help me. Before I knew it Sven had us. Once he got us, he wasn't letting us go."
"What does he have on you? I'm getting the feeling you don't like him very much."
"I hate him but I can't walk away."
"What does he have on you?"
Kay adjusted the glasses on his face. "I can't tell you." He turned his face away from Lance. "Look just drop it. I don't care what happens to me anymore. I just want Pidge out."
"What if he doesn't want out?" Lance was getting a strange feeling about all this. Kay kept fiddling with those sunglasses and wouldn't look at him.
"He does but he won't leave me." The left side of his lips quirked upwards. "I'm a lost cause. He still won't abandon me even if it means he'll share my fate."
Lance had to smile at that. From the little he knew, that did sound like Pidge. "Quite a kid isn't he?" Kay nodded his head. Lance glanced at him. There was something not quite right here. He reached out, snatched the glasses off Kay's face and gasped. "What the hell?"
Kay smirked at him. "You like? It's how Sven controls me. He plans on having the same thing done to Pidge soon."