There was little need to; there was nowhere to go. The cozy room was as efficient a prison as the walls of the Bastille.
His laugh was like bones dragging over the stone of a grave, hoarse and rasping at the back of his throat. “Of course. I must take nature into account.”
It was surely deliberate that his cutting smile bared the cruel slash of his eyeteeth for the first time. It was a sight fit to chill the blood-- the fangs of a wolf in the jaw of a man. They were too long, too thick, too pale, the gentleness of their curve doing little to cast doubt on their lethal purpose.
The boy would not have long to contemplate it. His host had begun a slow advance, his pace warily keeping himself between his guest and the door.
“What generous advice you give.” All traces of his prior fatigue had disappeared. The man was sharp as the edge of a knife, his voice a lazy purr. His eyes were half-concealed beneath his eyelids. “Regrettably, it makes little difference; you have already agreed to abide by the rules of my house.”
He had closed half the distance to the boy but now he halted, swaying softly on the spot. Had the boy been in enough brawls he might recognize the motion as his muscles tensed with the thoughtless ease of a predatory cat.
“And my rules dictate that if you take something from me, it is only fair I take something from you.”
The last word was nearly a snarl as he lunged forward with startling speed. His cane clattered to the floor, discarded. His hands sought to curl about the boy’s bruised throat that his borrowed clothes did little to protect, pinning him with his body against the wall he had so kindly cornered himself against.
Should he succeed, the boy would find his grip like iron bands around his neck, unyielding and indifferent to his struggling. Tariq pressed his cool body close. It was far too familiar, the possessive force he used to smother his protest.
“It will be easier for you,” There was already a hot pant growing in his throat that fluttered in the soft suggestion. “If you do not fight me.”