Prince Charming Ch. 01byalana9©
I'm back! I started this story months and months ago, before the thought of either Blood Moon or Hunter's Moon had even entered my head and it's been sitting, incomplete on my computer ever since. I figured if I posted it here, I'd actually have to finish it :) This chapter is mostly just set up and character introduction. There will be more to come soon!
--Alana9 (MJ O'Shea)
Tommy collapsed in a wet sobbing pile in the hallway of his dorm; his clothes and books were strewn around him, having been chucked unceremoniously out the door of his ex-room. Some had even hit him as they catapulted through he air. He could barely even register the events of the past five minutes. It still didn't seem like they could have really happened. What the hell was he supposed to do?
He'd been in the shower trying to erase the stress of a long week when his roommate came storming in holding the notebook that he usually kept carefully hidden. He must have been tired enough to leave it out in the open because it was clenched in Mark's angry red hands.
"You're a fucking fag?" He'd shouted, making Tommy jump and almost slip on the stream of shampoo he was rinsing from his hair.
Tommy went from shocked to angry in about two seconds."What the hell are you doing with my journal?"
"Looking for our biology notes! Instead I find a description of some guy's perfect ass that you can't stop thinking of! It's just fucking wrong."
"It's the twenty-first century Mark. People are allowed to be gay now."
Tommy tried to sound reasonable but he was seethingly mad and truthfully a little scared. Mark looked pretty irrational and he was a hell of a lot bigger than him. Most guys were a lot bigger than him. Tommy had never been in a physical fight and he didn't want to start his first on a dark wet Friday. He slicked his hair back and squeezed the water out slowly, trying to calm down. He hoped that him and Mark could talk about things rationally. They weren't best friends or anything but Mark had been an okay roommate so far. He glanced out of the steamy glass and saw absolute rage engulfing what he usually knew to be a pretty low-key face. Reason didn't seem too likely. At least not on Mark's side. He was huffing and puffing, literally, and his face was tomato red.
"I don't care if people are fags. I just don't want that shit in my room with me when I'm asleep. What if you tried to jump on me?"
Tommy nearly gasped at the injustice of that accusation.
"Oh, Jesus Christ, Mark! Get over yourself. You're not even my type."
Instead of reassuring Mark, that comment, which Tommy hadn't even meant to say aloud, seemed to enrage him.
"I'm tossing your shit out and I want you to follow it. You have five minutes then you're finding a new dorm room."
"It's Friday night. Can we deal with this in the morning?"
Tommy's mouth hung wide as Mark stormed into their bedroom. He could hear the sound of drawers being yanked open and his things being thrown into the hallway. Tommy dragged the legs of his pajamas over his still wet body and nearly ran into their room to try and talk some sense into his roommate.
Before he could utter one word, he was dragged bodily into the hallway. The door slammed behind him, and he could hear the loud thunk of the deadbolt. His keys were in the room and he was locked out. His phone was in there too. Fucking great. This was college? This was what he'd been looking forward to for so long?
Tommy hated the tears that were streaming down his face as he tried to gather his belongings into somewhat of a pile. He hated the fact that he had to try and find a place to sleep that night when most of his friends were probably all asleep already. He hated Mark and his asshole beliefs about sexuality. Mostly he hated himself for keeping it a secret (which in retrospect he must have somehow known he needed to). It would have been a hell of a lot easier to get this whole obnoxious scene over with a month and a half before when school first started.
He sat there like a little wet doll, sagging against the hallway wall and tried to think of what the hell his next step would be.
* * * *
"Are you okay?" The question came from above, deep and resonant. He wasn't the type that usually needed (or wanted) rescuing but it was such a relief to hear a friendly voice. He'd been in the hall for close to an hour, trying to figure out his next move.
Tommy looked up to see what he could swear must be his guardian angel. Michelangelo beautiful, with a smile that made his breath get all short and squirrelly in his chest. He was even bathed in a backlit glow from the hallway fluorescents that made everyone else look like they were about to puke. Of course it made him look like he had a halo like in one of those old renaissance paintings. Like he was Saint Gorgeous or whatever.
St. Gorgeous...I like it.
When the newly dubbed St. Gorgeous stuck out his hand to help Tommy up, all he could do was nod. Then inexplicably he broke down crying again, feeling stupid but unable to stop the hysterical tears.
"Hey, buddy, what's wrong?"
"My roommate and I got in a fight and he kicked me out," Tommy hiccupped, embarrassed as hell. "I don't have any-anywhere to go." He was still hiccupping and angrily wiping tears from his face. He felt like such a pansy, crying in front of such a perfect man.
"You want me to go in and talk to him?" St. Gorgeous asked. Tommy's eyes widened in horror. No, he couldn't talk to Mark! The last thing he needed was someone else hating him for something he couldn't help.
"No! I mean, no thanks. It won't help." He took deep breaths. The guy smiled at him again, that sexy as hell smile that did crazy things to his insides. Stop it Tommy! Hasn't there been enough trouble tonight? He tried to lecture himself silently, but it didn't much work. The stranger was kind and beautiful and he was instantly smitten.
"Well, here's the thing. I have a friend whose roommate never showed in September. I think he'd be cool with letting you stay over. Especially when he hears about your problem." Tommy was desperate. Compared to sleeping on his coat in the hallway, a stranger with an empty bed sounded perfect.
"Thank you so much..." He hesitated.
"Chase. My name is Chase." He has a name.
"Well, thank you very much Chase. I'm Tommy."
"It's no big deal. C'mon Tommy. I'll take you to meet Nick."
After a few minutes of desperately scrambling his stuff together, Chase led a hiccupping and bedraggled Tommy up five flights of stairs to the top floor of their dorm. Finally, they stopped in front of a door with a sign in blue and green marker proclaiming it to be Nick's room. Tommy's legs shook, not only from practically sprinting after the much taller Chase up five flights of stairs, but also from fear. What if this guy hated him too? He'd had such a crap night that he didn't know if he could handle any more rejection, even if it was from a total stranger.
"Hey, Chase, don't you think we should have called first? What if he isn't cool with this?"
"Nick'll be fine. He's the nicest guy I know. Don't worry so much. You're worse than my mom."
Chase gave him a brotherly hair shuffle then knocked authoritatively on the door. It was silent for a few moments, then Tommy heard the distinct sounds of shuffling as whoever was on the other side got out of bed and came to open the door.
As soon as the door opened, Tommy got yet another shock.
Jesus! Who the hell were these people?
In a striking foil to Chase's healthy honey and wheat beauty, Nick was the moon—a gorgeous night creature with flaxen hair and glowy pale skin. His eyes could only be described as silver, a gray that had metallic flecks in it that seemed to glitter in the light. Compared to those two, Tommy felt like a little brown mouse, boring and average. The incredible silver eyes he had just been admiring were sleepy and half closed, but they managed to give Chase an impatient look that made Tommy's stomach churn. This was a horrible idea.
"God, Chase. Do you know what time it is? What do you want now?" Tommy was about to say 'forget it' and bolt down the hallway, when Chase spoke.
"Listen Nick, this is Tommy. His roommate is an asshole and decided to kick him out really late at night. I found him out in the hallway when I was leaving Parker's room. He has no where to go and I know you've got an empty bed."
Nick's face did an instant transformation. The impatient aloofness disappeared and he seemed to notice Tommy for the first time. After briefly looking him over, Nick gave him a reassuring smile that made Tommy feel all of a sudden like everything was going to be okay.
"Yeah, no problem. I'm sorry. Sounds like you had a rough night. Come on in." Tommy was surprised at the quick change in Nick's behavior. First that icy irritation with Chase, now this warm graciousness with him? He didn't get it, but he was happy to be welcome. He did however catch Nick giving Chase another look as he sidled past him into the room. Tommy figured there must be some history between the two. Probably the two hottest guys at their high school or something, always competing for the same girls.
Tommy said goodnight to Chase, who didn't seem to be too interested in lingering, then followed him with slightly star struck eyes as he walked to the door and closed it behind him. He knew the look on his face was probably a bit ridiculous, but he'd had such a trying night that he really didn't have the strength to hide his admiration. Nick chuckled, a bit sarcastically it seemed, and pointed to the closet next to the empty bed.
"I have a few boxes in there, but I'll deal with them in the morning. That can be your closet."
Tommy's mouth dropped open."You mean I can stay? Like more than tonight?"
"Sure." Nick smiled, his expression friendly and open. "They would've given me a roommate eventually anyway and you seem like a nice enough guy. You're not a mass murderer or anything, are you?"
Tommy gulped. Truth time. He had to get this over with before it came out in few weeks and he was sitting in the hallway again under a pile of his stuff.
"Hey, listen Nick. I have to be honest. It's really cool you letting me crash here and everything. I just need to let you know what happened with me and my old roommate."
"Chase said you got in a fight and he kicked you out. I get it. Shit happens, right?" Tommy cringed. Why did he have to be so nice?
"No, it's what we fought about. I just want you to know before you offer to let me stay." He hesitated, feeling awkward. "It's just, well, I'm gay and he just found out... So if you're not okay with that, I'll go to the housing place in the morning. I just really need-" He broke off when he saw Nick's grin. "What?"
"Tommy. It's fine. I'm gay too." He couldn't help his mouth dropping open. The beautiful boy was gay? Nick chuckled lightly. "I promise I won't bite. Unpack your stuff."
"Is Chase...?" He hated to sound desperate, but he needed to know. Maybe if one was than the other... Nick rolled his eyes.
"Chase. It's happened already, huh?" He had a look on his face that said 'this is the oldest story in the book'. It was that same impatient look that he had the entire time Chase had been in the room. Nick took a deep breath, obviously deciding what to say. "Chase is...open to opportunity. I guess you could call it bi." He looked like he'd like to call it something a whole lot less flattering. "You'll have to come to your own conclusions about him."
"How well do you know him?"
"I've known him since I was born. Our dads work together." Tommy opened and shut his mouth silently.
He wanted to drill Nick for details but figured it would be in bad taste seeing as though he just met the guy. He was fascinated with Chase though and wanted to know more. It was hard to hold his tongue but he figured it would be a good idea until he got a better idea of who his roommate was and what kind of relationship he had with Chase. So he managed to not ask any more questions...barely.
Instead, he craned his neck, studying the array of paintings and drawings that were splashed all over the walls. Some were detailed and delicate, others bold and filled with intense colors. They were all beautiful.
"Is this all yours?"
Nick actually looked embarrassed. "Yeah. It's what I do when I'm procrastinating. Guess it's better than beer pong and video games." His smile was slightly bitter. "I'll take the ones down on this side so you can put your own stuff up."
"No, don't!" Tommy protested. "I love your work. It's fantastic. Are you an art major?" Nick's laugh, if anything, was more bitter than the smile. Tommy found himself wanting to know the story behind that ironic laugh.
"No. Don't think my dear ol' dad would want to pay for an art major." He held up a book titled Gaining Market Share, looking anything but thrilled. "Business school. What about you?" Tommy shrugged.
"Undecided. I'm interested in too many things, I guess. Don't have any all consuming passions."
"You'll find one. It's not like gaining market share is my all consuming passion." They both laughed. "Hey is this all your stuff?" Nick looked at the pathetic little pile at Tommy's feet.
"No. Mark kicked me out and locked the door before I could get the rest of it."
"I'll help you deal with him tomorrow. We'll get the rest of your stuff and go to the housing office to move you officially."
Tommy found himself smiling genuinely and able to breathe for the first time since his old door slammed behind him. "Thank you for being so nice. It's...refreshing after the night I had." Nick smiled at him again but remained quiet, letting him sort through the jumble of belongings.
After Tommy put away the few things he had with him (which unfortunately didn't include his sheets or blankets), he cuddled up on his new bed with a borrowed comforter and fell asleep with the feeling that hopefully things were going to work out all right.
****** Nick had felt a punch to the gut the second he'd stopped being annoyed with Chase's existence long enough to notice the broken little puppy he had in tow. Puppy was the only word that Nick could think of for the sad sweet thing with huge liquid eyes that looked like they were on the verge of tears. He was adorable and more than a little heartbreaking.
His first instinct was to take the kid in his arms and tell him everything was going to be okay. His second instinct was to knee Chase in the balls because he obviously had worked his charms on yet another victim who didn't have the strength to deal with the fallout when they realized how he really was—which was shallow and full of himself.
Nick didn't want to examine the third and final instinctual reaction he'd had in those quick seconds before he invited Tommy into his room. That's because it was attraction, inconvenient, irritating attraction. Of course it was. One of Nick's best skills was falling for people he couldn't have. He wasn't sure what it was about Tommy. Maybe it was the sad eyes or the soft porcelain skin. Perhaps it was the hint of high cheekbones or the sensual plumpness of his lower lip. Whatever it was, Nick was drawn to him instantly. Drawn harder than he'd ever remembered being drawn before.
Instantly attracted to someone who was already ass in the air over Chase Hamilton. Story of his fucking life.
Nick sighed and helped sweet faced Tommy put blankets and pillows on the spare bed. He wondered if it had been a bad idea to ask if he wanted to stay permanently. Probably was. The words had flown out of his mouth before he gave himself a chance to think about it. Didn't mean he was going to take them back. He already didn't ever want to be the one to make puppy-eyed Tommy sad. Unfortunately It was going to happen anyway. The hopefulness on Tommy's face when he'd asked about Chase was sweet, but spoke of an inevitable conclusion. Heartbreak.
There was no way in hell Nick was going to tell him the truth. They never believed him anyway. Beautiful Chase looked so nice at first, with his angelic face and easy well-bred manners. He liked to be the one everyone paid attention to and no matter how hot you are if you act like a dick people will stop adoring you. So he had the nice guy act down. It never lasted though.
Nick knew in weeks, though, maybe even days if Chase worked quickly, he'd be holding onto a crying roommate and telling him there was someone else out there who would be better (like him, damn it!). It had happened a million times before, girls and guys, crying on his shoulder and asking him why they weren't good enough for his "best friend". Some day he'd like to tell one of them that Chase wasn't his friend at all.
Like he told Tommy he'd known Chase for years. Their fathers did work together...sort of. What he hadn't told Tommy, or anyone else at the school, was that Chase's dad worked for his father. Thousands of people worked for his father. Nick's father, Michael Logan, owned one of the biggest software companies in the world.
Synonymous with Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Paul Allen, Michael Logan was famous, obscenely rich, and as far as Nick was concerned, a complete pain in his ass. He was controlling and image conscious, egotistical, impossible to please. He wanted Nick to follow in his footsteps and he'd spent eighteen years trying to shove his artistic and sensitive son into the suffocating square little box that he found acceptable.
Nick hated him. Plus he'd spent his entire life so far being referred to as "Michael Logan's son", paid attention to because of his money, and never sure if anybody really liked him for himself. He didn't want that to happen ever again. He had decided years ago that when he finally got to leave home, he was going to disappear. Literally. Apply at some out of the way state school where no one knew him (or cared about his rich father) and just be normal. It was a dream he'd been nurturing for a long time-the day when someone would smile at him and they'd just be smiling at Nick, not 'Nick Logan'. The day when he could wake up, put on some old jeans and a t-shirt, and walk out the door without security detail tailing him.
The day when he might finally get to openly date a guy and not worry about his father locking him up for eternity.
He had been so excited. Just when it had been about to happen he'd learned that Chase had decided to follow him to the same school. Furious wasn't even close to how he felt the day he'd gone over pounding on the door of Chase's house. He'd demanded to know why Chase was following him to college, why he couldn't just leave him alone. Chase hadn't had any concrete answers but Nick had known after about one minute of watching him shuffle back and forth uncomfortably. Nick's father. Chase couldn't say no to him any more than anyone else could.
For some reason Michael Logan wanted Chase keeping an eye on Nick- probably so that he didn't become some unwashed hippy or something. Ha! If only his father had a clue. Nick becoming some bongo drumming campus granola would be the least of his worries. It irritated the hell out of him that his father wanted to control him still, when he finally had a chance to be free. He'd wanted to go running home from Chase's house that day and scream that he was gay and leaving home and that he was never going to be some stuffy businessman. Too bad there wouldn't have been anyone there to hear it.
He finally decided the best thing he could do was keep his mouth shut until it was time to go to college. Unfortunately, he knew there wasn't much he could do about Chase. His only hope was to stay as far away from him as possible, bribe the hell out of him to keep his secret, and hope nothing of consequence got back to the big man.