Author: BleedtoBlue
see ch 1 for warings, notes, dislcaimer

A/N: Many thanks to Marasmine for her help and encouragement and for being a good friend.

Thief and a Liar + Chapter 3

Quatre Winner wasn’t exactly a friend but he was more than a business acquaintance, and Zechs had long thought he’d like to have Quatre as a real friend. So, although Zechs hated parties he felt he couldn’t turn down the invitation; which resulted in finding himself in a limo from the airport on the way to the huge Winner estate for a long weekend. He’d been there before, the place was massive and opulent but Winner himself was down to earth and an easy person to know.

Zechs had realized early on that he would never have many friends that he was comfortable with. Trieze had tried his best but, well, this wasn’t the time to take a stroll down memory lane into what might have been. His parents hadn’t foreseen their deaths; Trieze hadn’t foreseen his either; too much loss, too soon; too much duty and honor and responsibility. He was going to forget everything this weekend; business, old memories and hurts; his failure and continued desire to find David.

Not that he'd failed to find David, exactly. The problem was, there were hundreds of David Marshall's. David Marshall's of all shapes, sizes, ages. All he and Heero had had to work with was the name. No information, that had disappeared from the HR computer along with David. No David Marshall that fit his David's description. No motocross racers that fit his David's description or that had his name or even his initials. Nothing. Nada. Zip.

He had no idea why he cared so much; the man had lied to him, had probably stolen from his company, and had plain deceived him. Yet, David had given him something that even those things couldn't negate. When David had smiled, when he'd kissed him, when he'd agreed to go home with Zechs; Zechs couldn't believe those things were lies. He had to find him and find out why. But just for this weekend he was going to try and forget.

The invitation had been hand delivered and followed by a phone call from Quatre. He and Trowa were planning a small commitment ceremony in front of a few friends followed by a large and lavish party to celebrate. They hoped, Quatre had said, that Zechs would honor them with his presence.

He still found it a bit odd, the invitation to the ceremony, he wasn’t really a friend but still, he liked Quatre and Trowa and wouldn’t mind becoming better friends. The invitation to the party wasn’t odd at all but he hated big parties. Well, it would be the social event of the year if not the decade and he could always slip out and go back to his room, or wander in the estate's extensive gardens.

He had to get over not going out, he still imagined he saw David in crowded rooms, or walking down the street. He’d stopped believing it actually was David, but there was still that moment of exhilaration, of hope before he was disappointed.

There would undoubtedly be lots of fascinating people to meet. Quatre and Trowa had interesting and often attractive friends. It was time he made an effort to meet someone, to find a new interest, to get over his longing for David. A man who’d lied, was possibly a criminal, and a thief who’d stolen his heart in a few short days.

Heero’s computer searches had turned up nothing, yet. If David raced on any circuit there were no pictures, no one currently racing with his initials. The trail of the construction company was easier to find and Heero had told him he had some information. He’d look at it all when he got back.

And he was going to have someone investigate Mr. Chang…something about that man didn’t ring true. He didn’t take kindly to being warned off. He hadn’t made it this far in life being timid or hesitant to go after what he wanted and take it, if necessary. Eventually he’d find David, when he did he intended to have answers, and David; he didn’t care who or what he was.

Maybe Heero would come up with some information from his search, he could hire a whole firm to do the research but he couldn't count on their discretion, he trusted Heero. He supposed Lady Une would be very upset if he hired Heero away from her but he thought it might come to that. Maybe he'd ask Trowa if he knew anyone who fit David's description; Trowa liked motorcycles, it was something they had in common.

But he was counting on Heero. He only hoped he hadn't caused Heero any problems, he didn't care much for the not so subtle threats that Chang had made. Chang, Zechs thought, was a dangerous man and something about him hadn't rung quite true. He had some personal stake in David Marshall; Zechs was willing to bet on that. And Chang looked more like Triad than a member of a government agency, even the one he'd shown ID for. The thought made Zechs blink, pull out his cell and place a call to Heero. Chang might just be the clue he needed.

The limo was just pulling up to the Winner estate as a black sedan was pulling away. Speak of the devil, Chang WuFei was driving and the cold look he directed at Zechs' window made Zechs feel that either Chang could see through the heavily tinted glass or he already knew that Zechs was arriving. Maybe Quatre would know something about Chang, but Zechs wondered what business a man like Chang had with Quatre Winner. Maybe Quatre didn't know what he was dealing with, either.

Before he had too long to wonder at the coincidence of Chang leaving just as he was arriving the limo had pulled up to the door and Quatre was coming down the steps to welcome Zechs to his home.

"Zechs! So good to see you...come in!" Quatre was practically dragging Zechs inside. "I want you to meet someone and Trowa is waiting tea for us."

Quatre opened a pair of doors into a lovely room with a briskly burning fireplace and a view of the Winner gardens. Inside Trowa was pouring a cup of tea for Quatre's friend, whose was turned so that Zechs couldn't quite see his face; he was laughing at something Trowa was saying. Zechs felt like someone had hit him hard, right in the solar plexus. The man's laughter had, for just a moment, sounded like David's. A deep, full out laugh, rich and contagious; Trowa was laughing as well now, his softer tone blending with the other. Zechs moved into the room, of course it couldn't be David.

Quatre began to introduce them as the laughter died down and both men turned towards Zechs.

"This is my friend Declan, Declan Michaels. This is Zechs Merquise."

Declan was a handsome, self assured man, possibly a bit brash; his smile never faltered. He was elegantly dressed, all in black. Form fitting, casual clothes, expensive and cut to show off a fit, attractive body. And to top it off his long red hair hung loose down his back. He should have looked feminine or foolish with all that hair but he didn't. Zechs took a deep breath, realizing that Quatre was finished with the introduction.

Declan stepped forward to greet Quatre with a kiss on each cheek, when he moved towards Zechs, holding out his hand to Zechs. "Hello, I'm Declan. It's good to meet you. Quatre has told me all about you."

Zechs put out his own hand to shake Declan's hand, or to ward him off, Zechs wasn't sure which. Declan smiled, a rather fierce expression, possibly a bit predatory, took Zechs' hand and pulled him forward then stretched up to kiss him, first one cheek, then the other, no different from his greeting to Quatre.

Over his shoulder Zechs could see Quatre beam at them then turn his attention to Trowa. Declan squeezed Zechs' hand and whispered, low and intense. "I know you're angry but it's not what you think. Don't give me away." he looked at Zechs with an open expression that took Zechs' breath.

"I need your help, I need you." Declan/David waited a heartbeat before he added, glancing up with those odd blue eyes. "Please, Zechs." Zechs was done in.

Zechs knew he was being used but he didn't care. All he had cared about was finding David. And finding out the truth, he reminded himself; he was half-way there. David, or Declan, was right in front of him, looking and sounding as wonderful as Zechs had remembered. The same look in his eyes that had convinced Zechs there was something between them.

A ringing noise erupted from Declan's person, and he pulled his hand away to remove a slim cell from his pocket. He glanced negligently at the phone number and then said, "I'm so sorry, it's my agent. I must take this. Please excuse me, I'll be right back." Then he walked quickly out the door.

Zechs hardly hesitated. "Quatre, I'm sorry. I forgot, I have a phone call of my own, excuse me." Almost running out the door he was quick enough to see Declan disappearing around a corner. He followed quietly pausing outside the room Declan went into, the door still open just a crack. Declan wasn't alone in the room, Zechs could hear two voices, he moved closer and risked pushing the door a bit wider until he could see. The other man was Chang.

"I thought you left." Declan wrapped his arms around WuFei, his posture signaling a welcome but his voice said he was pissed. "I'm sorry we fought before you had to leave."

"I saw your friend arriving as I drove away, I wanted to warn you. But maybe you knew he was coming?" Chang's voice held suspicion, and something else unpleasant...jealousy thought Zechs and he suddenly understood part of Chang's behavior in the office. The jealous note made Zechs feel perversely happy.

"What's he doing here? You told me you checked the guest list for any problems?" Chang continued in the same angry tone.

"I didn't see his name, really. And it's not going to be a problem. I can deal with Quatre and I can handle Merquise. He wants me, it's nothing new, nothing I can't manage." David's voice was pitched lower, not exactly placating but taking a reasonable tone.

"Are you sure you don't mean 'wants you, again?'" WuFei's voice was filled with jealousy and anger now. Zechs felt himself smile with satisfaction. He meant something to David and Chang knew it, or Chang wouldn't be so upset.

WuFei, stop it. It's none of your business anymore." Zechs liked knowing there was nothing between them, at least nothing that would get in his way.

"I care about you. I care about what happens to you but more than that I care about our job. I thought it was important to you. You know who he is, how can you let him touch you." Chang was hissing his words now in an attempt to keep from shouting.

"What do you mean?" David's voice was quiet, dangerous.

"He was Krushrenada's ward...that's what rich men say when they don't want to own up to their own bastards. Or when they want to cover up their 'bad habits.'"

A sharp noise from Declan/David drowned out Zechs' sharp intake of breath.

"That's beneath you 'Fei, you know it's not true." Declan said.

"I don't know that. I only know you are taking chances that you don't need to take for someone you can't know, and shouldn't trust."

WuFei pulled Declan closer and rested his lips on Declan's forehead. "I love you, come back to me. I'll make it right."

Declan raised his face and kissed WuFei so thoroughly that Zechs almost turned and walked away. Declan/David/whoever the man was kissed and clung and allowed WuFei to run his hands over his body like the most ardent lover.

"WuFei." Came the husky voice, "if you had to make a choice right now between me and solving the case, which would it be." Declan spoke like he already knew the answer.

"I'm sorry, Duo." WuFei broke his hold on David, the man he'd called Duo.

"I'm sorry, too. As much as I loved you, I don't want to be second. And with you, I'll always be second." Duo sounded sad though Zechs couldn't see his face. "I won't lie, I do want a chance with Zechs." Zechs felt a thrill at the words which ended abruptly when Declan added in a defeated tone. "He won't have anything to do with me when he finds out what I am." Chang didn't say anything.

"I'm sorry 'Fei." Duo kissed Chang softly on the cheek and turned. Zechs relief and pleasure and sudden fear was all cut short as he realized he had to hide before David, no, Declan, walked out the door. Duo. Zechs couldn't risk letting him know he'd heard his real name or any of the conversation. Not right away.

Zechs quickly stepped down the hall trying doors as he went luckily finding an unlocked French door that led to a balcony. Duo's footsteps followed all too quickly, he'd had a narrow escape but it had been worth the risk he'd taken. Giving Declan, he must remember to call him that, a few moments to return to where Quatre and Trowa waited, Zechs quickly formulated a plan. He had David/Declan/Duo right where he wanted him. It didn't matter what his name was, or what he was.

[ch. 2] [ch. 4] [back to BleedToBlue's fic]