O'Reily looked over at the two grown men. Heads together, like a couple of school kids, arguing over whether to color the squirrel's eyes green or blue. He snorted. They might be full grown, but his brother and Peter had the minds of children. The were sprawled on the floor in front of the token Em City television. Their legs tangled together and bent at right angles, the boys were blissfully unaware of happenings in the maximum security prison around them. He was glad his brother had finally found someone his own age to play with.
Murphy walked over, "O'Reily, lets go."
"Can't." He nodded to the boys. Happy now that they decided squirrels had sparkly gold eyes. "Babysitting."
The officer followed his nod and noticed one of the inmates swatting and batting the boys' feet as they rocked within reach. He pointed, "Keller can watch them for you."
O'Reily shifted to get a better view of his brother and noticed the predator playing with the boys. He was reminded of a big cat playing with its prey before eating it. "No, I don't trust Keller."
"Suit yourself." Murphy walked away.
O'Reily moved closer to the kids and realized he had just chosen babysitting over sex. He sank down into a chair and put his head between his hands. "I never wanted children in the first place and now I have two." He whispered and hoped this friendship worked out the way Cyril wanted it. And Ryan ended up in the Wiseguy's good graces and with a larger share of the tit trade. Maybe some of the gambling funds, too.
He turned back to the double helix of his obligation. Keller was still batting their feet back and forth. The boys were ignoring him. Their legs swinging in the air in a rhythm counter to the large man's actions. Keller was different. Ever since Beecher's early parole he'd shut down. Playing with Cyril's and Peter's feet was the first human interaction O'Reily saw since he said goodbye to Toby.
Leaning forward in his chair, pawing the feet as they waved across his line of vision. Keller looked like a tiger ready to pounce. Ryan tilted his head and reexamined the situation. Not a tiger about to pounce on it's prey, but one playing with its cubs. The boys weren't demanding anything from Keller and were providing a distraction from the Hell of life in a Tobyless prison. Maybe he could trust Keller to watch them.
Sean looked good up there at the Em City desk. All tight and stiff. Something was up his ass. Murphy wouldn't dream of telling O'Reily his problems, so all his frustrations came out in sex. The tighter he was wound up the hotter the fire. Ryan loved Sean's bad days.
He laughed to himself. He wondered if anyone would believe the real nature of their relationship. Ryan wasn't prostituting himself to Murphy. He received nothing from the hack; no favors, no tits, nothing. The only thing he got from Sean was fucked. For Ryan that was all he needed. After he entered Oz life was reduced to one simple goal, survival. Murphy gave him part of what he needed to stay alive.
O'Reily felt the hunger every time he saw the C.O. or when he heard his voice. Truthfully, the addiction was so severe all Ryan had to hear was someone talking about the quiet man. Murphy held him and touched him in a way no other human did after Gloria soothed him when he was diagnosed. While in Sean's arms he could relax and not worry about watching over his and Cyril's survival. He didn't have to continuously plan. He could banally live.
Every second spent alone with the hack was an escape from Oz and the burdens of his responsibilities. O'Reily loved to let go and ride the waves of emotion and sensation Murphy stroked from his soul. He didn't have to think, he could just relax and exist. Murphy made him feel alive. It was a feeling he couldn't live without. He was addicted. Nothing new in his life, the addictions were always present. They just came in different forms. O'Reily rose, it was time to hire a babysitter.
Ryan returned to the Pod he shared with his brother. Still reeling from the encounter with Murphy. What the Fuck was the hack thinking? He couldn't stop Ryan O'Reily. Yeah, the sex was one thing, but this was business. He wasn't going to but the brakes on Cyril's friendship with Peter just because Murphy didn't want him indebted to the Wiseguys. Sean had no right to interfere in this part of his life. He needed to think this through. Figure out what to do next. He needed to pay the babysitter.
The babysitter saw him enter and started to take leave of his charges. "Peter, Cyril, Ryan's back. I'm going, so he can take care of you." He stood up and ruffled the boys' hair. Chris needed the casual affection and touch just as much as the boys did. O'Reily wasn't sure which one of the three took more reassurance from the gesture.
Cyril and Peter begged Chris to stay. They didn't care how they sounded, they had nothing to lose. No one expected them to act tough. Keller laughed and looked over at O'Reily. "If it's alright with your big brother."
O'Reily tried not to let his relief show. He still wasn't sure if he could trust Keller. Toby might've forgiven him, but O'Reily would never forget the duplicity the big man was capable of. He needed to think and didn't want to wait until Cyril finally feel asleep and gave Ryan his few stolen moments of peace. "Sure if you guys can keep it down."
"Chris brought a game. We'll play quiet. We promise. Right Peter?" Cyril said in the same scared voice they addressed their father in when Ryan and Cyril were little.
Ryan cringed. He never wanted to act like or even sound similar to Dad. Fuck, Murphy pissed him off more than he could allow in this hell hole. He had to think. He needed to figure out his next move. Something he thought he would never have to worry about with the intoxicating Officer. He glanced down at the two worried faces. "Sorry guys, I just got a headache. Play your game and do what Chris tells you to."
He pulled the older man aside, "Listen, I got to take care of something. Do you mind watching them?"
Keller narrowed his eyes and looked at O'Reily. As tall as Ryan was they stood nearly eye to eye. O'Reily was again reminded of a tiger. This one, pure predator and ready to devour his prey.
"Nah, I don't mind. O'Reily, I'm not doing this for you. I'm doing it for them." He looked at the two men huddled over the colorful square of cardboard. He smiled at them. When he turned back to O'Reily the casual smile transformed into a menacing grin. "Don't hurt them."
O'Reily restrained himself. He needed Keller at this point in time. He might need him in the future. Murphy was the one he had to deal with and he couldn't afford to lose control any more. He looked at his younger brother, stuck in a maximum security prison with the mind of a five year old. He had to stay in control. Fuck Murphy. Why did he have to start acting like a hack? He closed his eyes and tilted his head back against the door frame. Releasing a deep breath, "Thanks Keller."
He went in search of a quiet spot away from Em City's constant hum of distraction. He passed Schillinger, back in Em City as a permanent resident. More trouble to watch out for and plan against. A problem he shared with Keller. Maybe the tiger could be used for something more than babysitting. O'Reily shot Schillinger and his minions a gaze of pure contempt. He ducked into his favorite smoking alcove and thought.
He was going to have to put a stop to the encounters with the C.O. The pain the idea caused heralded the beginning of a gruesome withdrawal. With Schillinger back on the rise and the dissention he was brewing against the other groups, O'Reily was going to need the alliance of a powerful coalition. The traditional wizards of Oz were a good place to start. He couldn't risk his position and Cyril's welfare over something as easily acquired as sex.
Ryan felt the ache across his entire body. He and Sean didn't have time to do anything except argue. He licked his lips and tried to evoke the taste of his lover. The affair was over in O'Reily's mind and he suffered its loss. Ryan craved the salt and the heat of Sean's passion. He longed to feel Murphy filling his soul. He wished Cyril's mind would return to the way it was before the accident. Then Ryan could float on the waves of Murphy's desire and never have to worry about watching his back.
O'Reily laughed at himself. If wishes were house, he'd own all of Boardwalk. He smiled, remembering the man Cyril used to be. Peter Schibetta was the only other person in Oz who knew that man. Ryan wondered if Peter remembered what his playmate used to do for a living. Ryan wondered what Peter remembered about Cyril. He had to remember something or he never would have sought Cyril out in the first place.
He wondered how much of the deadly partnership either man remembered. He smiled and shook his head at Keller's over protectiveness. Should he tell Chris he was babysitting the most efficient hit team the East Coast Mafia ever produced? Would he ever tell any one? No, let everyone think they were just a pair of innocent children trapped in grown up bodies. Peter's Uncle Marty seemed to have forgotten, maybe he should too.
Ryan made his way back to his Pod. Cyril saw him and exclaimed, "Ryan, Ryan come here. Look we're winning. We beat Chris."
Over a hundred successful hits and the two of them were bouncing with excitement over a game of Shoots and Ladders. O'Reily had to laugh. What the fuck did Murphy think he was trying to protect his lover's younger brother from?
Continued in Candy From a Baby