London Loves Ch. 06bySadieRose©
by Sadie Rose Bermingham and Bellora Quinn © 2012
As we're now on Chapter Six, regular readers should be well aware that the Rayne Wylde and Xavier Gavrilov stories contain strong elements of M/M love and sex, so for those of you that are new to this series, you have been warned. Although having said that, there isn't actually much sex in this chapter for obvious reasons to anyone that just read chapter five. Sorry about that, but we will make up for it.
We post the stories here free of charge for those who enjoy them. As usual we ask respectfully that you do not copy or reproduce any of the stories anywhere else without our prior permission.
Rayne's eyes flickered over the face of his mobile phone as he sat down at the dresser, preoccupied by the realisation that he hadn't spoken to Xavier since he got up here. At first he had thought it would be easier to do this if he was able to keep the two parts of his life completely separate but now he worried that his silence might be misinterpreted as a lack of concern. He stared at the mirror gloomily and studied his ashen face. Kevan always worried that he was too pale. There was time enough before he had to make his appointment. Rayne opened the top drawer and selected pots and bottles methodically before applying the make up just as his former lover had always liked it. The lip gloss was too red, the eyeshadow too defined for his tastes but Kevan loved it like that.
He painted his nails a deep aubergine shade that was almost black and his eyes watched from the mirror, liquid green against the smokey purple of the eyeshadow that ringed them, whilst the polish dried. Finally he rose and went to the bed where he had laid out a few simple items, things that his mate had loved to see him in; loved to fuck him in.
He managed the short basque top on his own this time. On the first occasion he had worn one of these for his lover it had taken him almost an hour to not fasten all the hooks and eyes properly. With the stays pulled in it cinched his waist and gave him a slight curve. It was also fucking uncomfortable but he tolerated it today. The wisp of silk that comprised the suspender belt was next and he rolled on the sheer black stockings before adding the purple and black silk thong briefs that completed the ensemble because Kev liked him to do it that way around. It was a ritual, a part of their game, and he had to do it right today because it would be the last time.
The silk cupped and caressed his limp cock and hairless balls like the fingers of a yearning ghost. Rayne closed his eyes tightly because tears would ruin the eye make up and he did not want to have to begin again.
The black dress slid on smoothly over the insubstantial undergarments and he turned in front of the mirror, careful to ensure that there were no tucks or ridges to spoil the line. Once he would have consulted someone over the effect but he knew it well enough now to judge for himself.
Black, over the knee boots in supple leather completed the look. The heels were just high enough to bring him to Kev's shoulder. They could almost make eye and lip contact without stretching when he wore them. Rayne was reaching for his three-quarter length black coat, keys and phone when the buzzer from the front hall sounded and he uttered a little huff of incredulous impatience.
Not now! Please... not now!
It took him a minute to glide down the stairs and press the intercom button that allowed him to check who was outside, by which time the buzzer had sounded again, twice. He opened his mouth to speak when he saw the familiar face looking up at the camera but no words would come.
"Ray?" Dave Ramsay said urgently, into the grille. "The caretaker rang me. I asked him to let me know if anyone came to the apartment. He told me this morning that you were back. Are you there, Ray?"
He was wearing a sober black suit and a long dark coat, that made him look paler and more serious. His light brown hair was slicked back from his face and his expression was drawn between solemn and anxious. When he saw that look, Rayne knew that he could not do this alone. Dave was his guardian angel and it would be churlish to turn him away.
He kept his finger on the button and forced his voice to steady as he said; "You'd better come up. Don't you dare laugh, or I'll kill you."
The green button opened the main door and he saw Dave pass out of range of the camera. Moments later he was tapping on the door to the apartment and Rayne turned the catch and let him in.
"Ray, thank go... Jesus!" Dave blinked at him, looking him up and down. It was not the first time he'd seen his old partner's lover dressed this way but clearly it took him by surprise.
Rayne levelled a warning glare at him. "It's getting late. I was just about to go out."
"Dres..." Dave stopped himself again. He did a quick mental recalculation and said; "You're going to the cemetery?"
Rayne nodded once. "I wanted to... I didn't... I mean, last year I couldn't..."
He looked away, fighting the lump in his chest again. Damn it to hell!
"I need to call a cab," he said, deflecting the explanation.
"Let me take you," Dave offered, his tone mellowing. "My car's just around the corner."
Rayne looked up at him almost resentfully.
"You knew I would come, didn't you?"
"I sort of figured you might," Dave said with an awkward smile. "I wasn't expecting this though." He waved a hand that managed to encompass the whole of Rayne's attire in a simple gesture.
"You think it's funny?" Rayne accused. "If you feel like that I'll go on my own thanks!"
"I don't think it's funny," Dave interrupted at once. "Actually, I think... I think it's kind of touching. Kev would have loved it. I'm sure you've put a smile on his face, Ray."
Rayne felt his lips tremble and he turned away at once, heading back into the lounge so that Dave would not see him cry.
"I need to fix my hair, I won't be long," he said in a tight little voice.
Clint was just relaxing into the vibe for the night. Tosh had brought some fairly excellent weed down and he was enjoying a good hit from the smoke when Xavier slid over and said something about going home. He wasn't heavy about it, but Clint was kind of sorry he'd decided to rush off like that. He'd hoped Rayne's new boyfriend would stay for a bit and enjoy the party, but maybe it just wasn't his kind of scene after all and Clint had him pegged totally wrong. In any case he was polite enough about it and after he'd gone a couple of the guys mentioned that he seemed okay. They were impressed enough with his dance moves and Clint enjoyed a bit of kudos by association.
Then he spotted Maverick pissing about with a new toy. Mav was just a kid, really, barely fourteen. He lived with his auntie in the tower block behind the State but spent most of his time shadowing the street kids because he thought they were cool. Clint knew he didn't have a mobile because he'd been bleating about it just the other week, so what the fuck was he playing with? As he leaned over for a closer look the little gadget in the other boy's hand played a trilling little tune that he recognised right away. He'd heard Xavier's phone play that ringtone a couple of times whilst he was staying at the house. And actually that looked a heck of a lot like Xav's mobile...
"Where'd you get that?" he demanded, making a move on the scrawny schoolboy who backed into a corner at once, trying to hide the phone. This only franked Clint's suspicions and he made a grab for Maverick.
The pair of them rolled on the ground, kicking and punching until one of the older men separated them. Right away, Clint laid out his grievance. The guys who hung out here were not above a bit of casual pilfering but there was an unwritten rule that you didn't nick stuff from your own. And Xavier had come here as his guest. Clint was mortified.
Spence and Taz made Maverick hand the phone back right away and the boy was dispatched, still snivelling from a clip round the ear from the former, home to his auntie's flat. Clint, meanwhile, hauled himself to his feet. If he put a bit of a sprint on he might catch up with Xavier before he got too far. A part of him felt a bit guilty letting the other man walk home alone in any case. It was a long way and although it wasn't all through areas that were too rough, if he took a wrong turn he could have wound up on some bad estates. Mind you if he did that then Clint might never find him.
For a moment he deliberated waiting until the morning and popping round with the phone then. He could always say it had fallen out of Xavier's pocket and someone found it after he'd gone. That would save him and the State boys some face. He was just about to roll with that idea when the phone began to play a different jingle, one he vaguely knew as the refrain from Beyonce's 'Crazy In Love'.
When he squinted at the display he read one word; 'Rayne' and his resolve melted. He pressed the call-receive button and put the phone to his ear.
"Xavier?" His father's voice sounded a little slurred and slightly husky, not as sharp and precise as usual. Maybe he'd been hitting the weed as well?
"Uh... he's gone to bed. He wasn't feeling so good," Clint lied awkwardly, suddenly figuring that it had been a very bad idea to answer the call. He was not a good liar and even though he ached to hear Rayne speak to him, he could tell that he wasn't all that happy.
"Who's that?" Rayne wanted to know. "Why have you got Xavier's phone?"
"He... um... he left it with me," Clint said, biting his lips anxiously. "I should get it back to him. Um... can I get him to ring you?"
At the same time he was beginning to feel a little burn of humiliation. His own father, right here on the phone, and Rayne didn't even know who he was. Well, fuck him!
"Can't you wake him?" Rayne was asking suspiciously. "Look... who the fuck is this?"
"I've got to go," Clint said coldly and pressed 'disconnect'. Then he turned off the phone and rammed it in his pocket. His happy mood had disintegrated so he made his farewells and trudged off into the night.
He had not gone much more than half a mile down the nearly deserted High Road when he saw the three young men saunter out of a side street, laughing and running at one another. They were play fighting, aiming kicks at each other and didn't see the slight, willowy youth slide into the shadows of a shop doorway up ahead. Clint wasn't afraid of a bit of rough-housing but there was something about the attitude these lads were giving out that he didn't want even a little piece of.
He laid low, pressed back against the side of the alcove until they had gone by. Only then did his brain calculate that the one in the middle was wearing a short leather jacket that looked very much like Xavier's. It was a classy jacket, quite distinctive actually. Clint felt his heartbeat speed up and he counted to ten to let them get out of earshot then ducked out of the doorway behind them and tore back up the road the way they had just come. His sneakered feet made hardly a sound on the pavement but it still sounded loud to his ears, as did his choking breath. He skidded into the side road they had come out of and ground to a halt.
It was a dead end. Nothing in the road ahead but debris, discarded shopping bags blowing on the wind, a pile of cardboard boxes by someone's front gate, a long, pale shape sprawled on the ground by the boxes like a piece of carpet someone had rolled up and thrown out. Except it was wearing shoes; quite decent shoes, not the kind of thing that lasted long on your average dosser.
Clint raced towards the boxes and dropped to his knees beside Xavier. The blond was draped in a lifeless, boneless heap on the ground, bleeding badly from his head. His arms were hugged defensively around his lean torso and he looked very dead.
"Oh shit!" Clint groaned. "Shit! Shit! No!"
He put a hand on the blond man's throat but wasn't sure if he could feel Xavier's pulse there or just his own, throbbing wildly in his fingertips. Xav was cold but it was a cool night and he had probably been lying here for quite a few minutes. Clint stroked his hair anxiously.
"Xav, wake up. Please..." he begged.
Xavier didn't move, still giving no real sign of life and that scared Clint enough to risk rolling him over onto his back. He gasped softly at the sight of the young man's face, so battered and bloody. The skin around his left eye was swollen and purple all the way from the socket to his temple and even the outline of his cheekbone was obscured by the bruise. Blood trickled from his nose and the corner of his mouth, the soft, plush looking bottom lip split and bleeding as well. Beneath the bruises and blood his fair skin had taken on an ashen gray tone that Clint could make out even in the darkened alley. He could feel his own heart slamming against his ribs now, sure he was looking at a dead man.
"Oh no, oh shit!" Clint moaned, sliding his hand under Xavier's neck, although he wasn't sure what he was meant to do.
Xavier's arm slipped down from his chest and his head lolled slightly. The movement and the pain it caused must have been enough to rouse him because his eyelids fluttered slightly and a soft groaning exhalation came from his swollen lips. Clint's relief was immediate but at the same time he was still so scared he could feel his stomach rolling and flipping like he was going to be sick at any minute.
"Xav? Xavier?" he murmured, wanting to shake him fully awake, but too afraid.
Xav's eyes opened, the left one only managing to crack a tiny slit. He blinked at Clint without recognition for a moment, and then the world came crashing back on Xavier hard. He drew a sharp breath that came out an agonized groan.
"Ooooh... fuck," Xav slurred through swollen lips. His whole body throbbed with pain. "Shit!" he hissed, swallowing convulsively as he tried not to throw up or pass out again.
He blinked several more times as Clint started to babble at him in a voice that was scared, relieved and guilty all at once. He didn't hear a word the kid said, it was all just a buzz in his ears as he lay there and tried to decide if he had the will to get up. Cold was seeping into him but not enough to numb the agony of every screaming bruise, only enough to add its own layer of misery. His head was swimming dizzily again and he knew he was going to have to either get up now or tell Clint to get help. His mind ticked that over. The idea of having an ambulance come caused near panic in him, for no rational reason, but it was there nonetheless.
"Shhh, Clint..." he murmured muzzily as he lay there for a moment or two more, steeling himself against what he knew was coming, then he swallowed hard. "Help me get up," he said in a ragged voice.
Clint was shaking his head. "Xavier you look pretty messed up. Maybe you need an ambulance or something," he protested, chewing his bottom lip worriedly.
His face blurred in front of Xavier's eyes for a moment but he looked so like Rayne when he did that.
"No!" Xav said more determinedly, and then had to wait a minute to speak again, panting as spots began to dance in front of his eyes. He willed himself to stay conscious. If he passed out again he knew Clint would call 999, and he would end up in a hospital somewhere, tubes in his arms, pumped full of morphine. "No..." he repeated more softly. "Not if I can get up, okay? If I can't then... Just help me get the fuck up," he said, sounding suddenly desperate.
Taking deep even breaths and with Clint helping, Xavier forced himself up on one arm until he was half sprawling, half sitting. He rolled onto one hip, and had to stop. Oh, Jesus Fuck, he hurt everywhere. Clint was babbling again and Xavier shushed him. When he got his breath back and the spots receded from his vision once more he slowly, with the kid's help, got to his knees, then up on his feet and stood, weaving unsteadily.
"Xavier, please. Let me call for..."
"No! I'll be okay." Xav cut him off, not at all sure he would be. He was clinging to the brick wall next to him with one hand and Clint's arm with the other so he didn't go down again. He looked at Clint's anxious face. "I'll be fine," he repeated, trying to sound more convincing. "Just help me get home, okay?"
"That's a long walk," Clint tried to point out reasonably.
"Yeah, I know," Xavier said, sounding terribly, terribly resigned.
It was more than a long walk, it was a tortuously interminable nightmare in which Xavier stumbled along like a zombie, swaying like a drunk, on the verge of passing out. Clint half dragged him at times, intermittently pleading with Xavier that they should stop and get him seen to properly. Xavier adamantly refused each time he suggested getting medical attention and only when they were actually, physically on the stone steps in front of Chepstow Villas, and Xav reached into his pocket only to come up with nothing as he remembered how the key had been taken from him and tossed onto the tarmac, did he finally break down. A small sob of pain and angry frustration rose from his throat as he slid down to sit on the step, cradling his aching ribs and stubbornly refusing to let any more emotion out.
He hurt. He hurt so badly. He had only wanted to get here, to get inside where he could crawl into bed, where he could safely nurse his wounds in peace.
"Will you let me call now?" Clint asked, pulling Xavier's cell phone from his pocket.
Xavier looked at the phone in his hand for a moment as if he didn't recognise it, then hope blossomed as if the boy had produced a bright shining beacon of salvation. He was so giddy with gratitude he forgot to even question how Clint had come to have it in his possession.
"Thank fuckin' god!" he breathed as he took the phone and switched it on. Once he had it in his hand though he stopped for a second, thinking. It was really late now. No, it was early actually, closer to morning than to night. It had taken three times as long to walk back as it had when they were headed out. Dominic would probably answer anyway, but Xav didn't know if he had a key. If he had been thinking right he would have realised before they began to walk that Dom would come and get him, but his head was fogged. The tunnel vision of determination had given him one single-minded goal of getting here so he could curl up safe and sleep. He only wanted to be inside and he knew one person close by that had a key. Rayne had given him his number before he left just in case of some emergency.
Well this was probably as much of an emergency as he could remember since he arrived in London. Xavier opened his phone and called Matty Greening.
It rang four times before going to voicemail. Xavier hung up without leaving a message and pressed the send button again, with the same results. He waited all of thirty seconds and called again. This time he got an answer, from a very pissed off sounding vampire.
"Do you know what fuckin' time it is?" Matt's sharp voice cut across Xavier's ears but all he could do was breathe a sigh of relief.
"Not exactly," Xav answered in a strained husk of his normal voice. "I'm sorry... listen, I lost my key... I'm freezing my ass off on the step. Can you come let me in?" Xavier's throat clicked slightly as he tried to swallow. "Please..."
"Am I your mother now?" Matt sighed on the other end of the line. Xav heard rustling as he wriggled out of bed and pulled some clothing on, one-handed, still hanging onto the phone with the other. "Oy weh! What the fuck have I done in my past lives to deserve this, eh? I should make you sleep on the fuckin' doorstep, tomcat! How would that be, eh? How'd you like that, loverboy?"