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Disclaimer: Pretender characters are property of MTM, TNT, NBC, WB, Steve, Craig and all the others.

Dirty Little Secret

He’d been awed from the first time he’d laid eyes on him. The man was tall and handsome, in shape and well built to perfection. He hadn’t known who he was, or where the man had come from, only that there was something… about him. Maybe if he had known, it would have been better, would have been different. Maybe it would have changed things.

Probably not.

The man was the icon of that place; rules embodied in human form, broken and rearranged, and intentionally broken again. He was beauty and danger woven into sad, dark eyes so malicious at times, it gave him shivers.

He was terrified of the man- he held lives in his hands like marionettes, like finger puppets he could manipulate whenever, and for whatever cause, just or unjust. He made them dance merely for his amusement, and he’d been known to snap; he would cut the strings just because. He would cut off the cloth faces, just because. Because he could; because it was part of his power; because his power controlled him, and he could not control it.

He led by example.

It was that danger, that authority and malevolence he found so fascinating, and he was drawn to it. There was nothing he could do to avoid it, best he tried. There was something about the man…

He wad discreet, of course. No one would ever know of his thoughts, not even his closest friends; it would break her heart to tell her that secret.

He knew he wasn’t supposed to feel that way. By rights, he wasn’t supposed to feel at all, but they’d slipped over him, always lurking in the shadows. He did not partake in their soul-washing. Still, he kept his quiet, more afraid for his life then mockery.

He would never tell a soul.

No one would ever know.

It was wrong.

It was fucked.

But he couldn’t bring himself to care. He didn’t like other men, had been straight all his life. Yet there was something about this man he couldn’t ignore. Something- a combination of deadly beauty, power and suppressed sadness that made his stomach flutter with excitement when he was close. Excitement, and fear- unrestrained holy terror. This man could kill him in an instant; with a look and he’d be dead.

That particular gift ran in the family.

He thought of her again.

Mockery was one thing, his life another factor, but she was the real reason he’d never speak his secret. He felt ashamed; she loathed him more than her life itself and he found himself attracted.

He hated lying but it was better than the truth. He loved her, and refused to break her heart.

He shifted and looked at him again, almost expectantly.

“Is that all?” The man’s voice was smooth with curiosity and amused impatience. He was this man’s puppet and they both knew it.

For a few seconds, he stopped breathing.

He knew.

He had to know.

But the man just blinked and stared at him, waiting with growing irritation for a reply. He stuttered a response and nodded numbly, only to find he’d lost the man’s attention already.

With slumped shoulders and a deflated sigh, Broots slunk from the office.

“Have a good day, Mr. Lyle.”

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