Reach Out For The Sunrise Ch. 05bySadieRose©
REACH OUT FOR THE SUNRISE
By Sadie Rose Bermingham & Bellora Quinn
Happy New Year, dear readers. We've had a little break, but rest assured we've been busy writing in spite of the brief hiatus in the publication of this story. What are we to do with our traumatic lovers? Both denying the one thing that will bring them happiness. Only time will tell. Read on...
(PS> the usual warnings apply, boys fucking boys, lots of angst and a little bit of bondage. If you don't like it, don't read it. And certainly don't 'ahem' borrow it! That's not polite. Slap)
Rayne was still seething quietly as he rode the Metro into the 4th arrondissement, heading for a hotel he had used once or twice before when the band were on tour. It was comfortable but low key and the privacy of their guests was always paramount. He needed that right now.
Maybe it had been a bit cold of him to walk out on Dominic after everything the old man had tried to do for him but he was not in the mood for compromise and last night had pushed him over the edge. Perhaps it was just the proof he had been waiting for that he was not supposed to get involved with mortals. Emotional entanglements spelled trouble no matter how you looked at them. He could not understand why Lord Warren was so hung up on vampires. Couldn't the stupid old bastard see that he was always going to get hurt in the end?
As he walked through the busy streets of St.Paul le Marais, his mind wandered. Before he knew what he was doing he was following a lean, fair-haired youth that turned off into a narrow passageway between the shops and cafes of rue St. Paul. Lean hips swung sexily in tight, dark red jeans, his firm, high buttocks presenting a tempting vision under the hem of the short, black jacket. Rayne's mouth watered and instinct sent him after the young man though the route deviated from his own. They were alone and not overlooked in this shadowy alleyway and it would be so easy... Rayne stopped for a moment and shook his head fiercely. He fought the hunger, only belatedly realising what had sent him this way.
When the boy reached the end of the passage and stepped out into the sudden startling pool of light he halted briefly too and glanced behind him as if conscious that he was being followed. Rayne stared, abruptly ashamed of himself and angry as well for letting himself get so lost in thought that he obeyed the thirst for blood without question.
To his surprise the young man came back towards him and Rayne's eyes widened as his quarry approached, not afraid and definitely interested now that he could see his pursuer more clearly. Rayne took a step back, shaking his head again, fighting the hunger with every last ounce of will. It would have been all too easy to take what this boy's open, innocent features offered; all of that and more. But he had no right to it. He no longer deserved any of it.
"I'm sorry... I shouldn't be here," he muttered, turning at once and running back the way he had come, leaving the boy looking bewildered and bemused.
He holed up in the Hôtel Turenne Le Marais, in a suite on the 4th floor with a balcony where he could smoke without setting off the fire alarms. It still pissed him off that now he was able to inhale nicotine to his heart's content, these days it was considered a step away from child molesting to do so, just about everywhere! Even in France where most people were surgically attached to their cigarette packets, it seemed that the habit was frowned upon. He hung over the balcony railing and watched the traffic and the swirl of humanity down on the street below as he inhaled his way through half the pack of Marlboros he had bought at the station. It was a way of closing down his mind, switching his head into neutral for a while.
He had already left instructions with the pretty black girl on reception that he was not to be disturbed, at all, for anything. Once done with his nicotine fuelled wind-down, he returned to the bedroom and flopped down on the bed where he closed his eyes and let unconsciousness take him. It was considered dangerous to crash out in a public place. If one of the maids came in and found him there was always the worry that he would be carted off to the morgue before he came round, but right now that was the least of Rayne's concerns. He just wanted to blank the memories out for a little while. Maybe when he came to his senses he would be able to think straight.
But when he closed his eyes he saw Xavier, still, staring up at him with tearful defiance in his beautiful, open blue gaze.
Rayne groaned and pushed himself up and off the bed. In the bathroom he hunted out his shaving kit and sank down on the cool white tiles of the floor to extract his trusty razor blade. He emptied the bag onto the floor and sorted the contents into piles to no avail. It was about then that he remembered he had left the blade on the wash stand in their compartment on the train.
Folding his arms across his knees he let his head drop down onto them with a long, low, desperate groan of frustration.
The shower was his port of last resort and he stripped quickly, discarding his well-worn clothing on the bathroom floor. He turned the water on full blast sliding his naked body under the curtain of steaming liquid heat and letting it batter on his head and shoulders, blasting some of the tension out of him as it did so. Running soapy hands over his torso and belly he could not fight the powerful memories the action invoked; a physical recall of Xavier's lean, warm, sexy body easing back up against him, his skin and his blood smelling so hot and delicious that his mouth watered. He leaned against the wall of the cubicle with a hungry moan of need and rubbed himself up against the cool, smooth tiles trying to push away the fantasy that haunted him.
He was so hard. The memory was so close, so real. Xavier was turning in his arms, reaching up for him, tangling around him, their mouths sparring hungrily. His fingers pressed into that enticing heat and he turned his lover to face the wall again, driving into him relentlessly.
Rayne's long fingers closed around his throbbing cock and began to pump vigorously up and down the wet, silken shaft, feeling the loose flesh slide seductively over sensitive muscles and nerves. But it was Xavier who surrounded him, Xavier's hot flesh he drove his fangs into, not the meat of his own cold, scarred forearm, as he teased the explosion from his own swollen glans, blasting the tiles with his creamy spill.
Xavier woke from a dark dream, with vague suggestions in his head still of unfamiliar twisting, turning, shadowy streets and decided it was finally time to get out of bed. PJ was asleep beside him, a long, warm bulk of comfort, and he carefully slid out without disturbing the older man. It surprised him how weak he still felt. His legs were like shaky stilts that only just carried him into the bathroom.
A glance in the mirror was another shock. In the last few feverish days he'd dropped a bit of weight and his face was almost gaunt. Dark shadows were smudged under his eyes, and his hair had become an unkempt tangle. He hadn't looked this rough since he finally decided he needed to get off the junk, before it killed him.
Turning away from his reflection, he went to the shower and adjusted the water temperature to just shy of scalding before stepping under the spray. As he squeezed shampoo into his hair, he ruefully thought that this was probably one of only a handful of showers he'd taken alone since they'd arrived here.
He could almost feel Rayne's cool fingers gliding up his sides; the touch of soft, cold lips at the nape of his neck; the way their bodies slipped together in the soapy wetness... Stop it, he admonished himself firmly. Xavier turned under the spray of deliciously hot water and deliberately shut off his thoughts.
The shower did revive him a little. He still felt lethargic and weak, but his stomach was rumbling, demanding he find something to fill it. That had to be a good sign. If he'd eaten anything while he was out of it, he didn't really remember. Only a vague flash came to him of a cup with some kind of soup being held to his lips. Dried off, he went back to the bedroom to find some clothes. PJ was missing from the bed and Xavier figured he must have heard him in the shower and gone back to his own room or to use another bathroom.
After burning up with fever for the last few days, he was actually kind of cold, even though the warmth outside was promising to turn into sweltering heat before the afternoon. Xav didn't have much in the way of clothes with him. They hadn't seemed altogether necessary here when he'd spent so much of his time in a swimsuit, jeans, or nothing.
He pulled a pair of jeans on and found a single sweater he thought he remembered borrowing from Clay or Aldo one chilly night that hadn't yet found its way back to its owner. Even with the sleeves rolled back he drowned in it, looking like a kid that had raided his dad's wardrobe. But at least he was warm.
Thus attired, he slipped out and following his nose, made his way to the kitchen, where he could hear the morning stirrings of the household and smell something good being cooked up. A little smile came to his lips at the now familiar domestic scene; PJ and Aldo dividing up the paper, Clay at the coffee pot working on his morning caffeine fix, and Chavez in front of the range working on the griddle.
"What's cookin'?" he asked the handsome Mexican lad. "I'm starving."
"Hey!" Chavez almost dropped the flipper in his hurry to throw his arms around Xav. "The real Xavier is back! Muy gracia!"
He planted a big kiss on Xavier's cheek and ushered him to a seat in the sunshine, much to the amusement of the older guys. Clay produced coffee and orange juice and set the mug and the tall, beaded glass in front of him with a smile, as Chavez was reeling off the seemingly endless list of things he could cook for Xav's delectation.
"Looking good," PJ remarked, smiling warmly at him over the top of his newspaper. "Now the holidays can begin!"
"Are you cold, babe?" Aldo asked playfully, noting the sweater with a grin of his own. He was clad in little more than a short, black and gold sarong and a pair of designer shades, which perched on top of his head, nesting in his immaculate black hair.
"A little," Xav answered, reaching for the glass of orange juice and feeling a bit self-conscious from all the attention. In what seemed like only moments, Chavez had a pile of food in front of him that he normally would have ploughed through without a second thought, but he found that he wasn't exactly up to his usual gluttonous standard.
"You want something else instead, chico?" Chavez asked, looking worried.
Xavier shook his head and held up his hand. "No, everything tastes good. I just can't eat that much right now."
"You only took a couple bites, you're gonna disappear if you don't eat."
Xav rolled his eyes but he took another bite to appease the martyred Chavez. He picked up a corner of toast and spread jam on it.
"I'll gain the weight back, but not in one day, okay?" he said, although his tone was more exasperated than peevish.
"How are you gonna have the energy for fun if you don't eat?" Chavez sat down across the table from him and looked up at him with a puppyish smile. "C'mon, try for me. I'll take it personal if you leave food on your plate."
"Leave him be, chicalito," Paddy murmured low. "He's on vacation, he wants to chill out."
"Do you fancy getting out of the house today or just chilling on the terrace?" Aldo asked Xavier to deflect the possibility of an argument. He had a grin on his face that suggested he had already turned over a few ideas for day trips.
The desire to go sleep in the sun, or even crawl back into bed tugged at Xav and contrariness set in. He licked strawberry jam from his fingertips. "Where do you want to go?"
"I thought you might like to head into the city, do a little shopping and have some lunch, maybe?" Aldo suggested amiably. He was watching the way that Xavier sucked his fingers though and his eyes said that crawling back into bed was also an option for him.
"Okay." Xav nodded agreeably, missing the look entirely.
Either PJ's talk with him the night before had sunk in, or he was just feeling that much better because it was the first time he hadn't bristled at least a little when anyone suggested giving him anything other than the basics of food and shelter. It did not go unnoticed, although no one was unwise enough to darken his mood by pointing it out.
Within half an hour they were on the road in Aldo's Ferrari with the top down, sun shining and the sea breeze blowing in their hair. Xav was quiet, but Aldo didn't seem to have any trouble filling in the blank spots with idle chatter, mostly about cars. Xav had wondered when they first arrived if his friend wasn't having some kind of identity crisis, given the expensive hunks of metal that populated his front drive. He'd since abandoned that idea after listening to Aldo and Dominic go on for what seemed like hours on end about all things auto-related. He began to realise it wasn't so much that Aldo wanted the flashiest status symbol (not completely anyway) but that he really, really loved the power, speed, and performance of a well made (and expensive) automobile.
Xavier's indifference was a bit baffling to the Italian, but at least he was smart enough to change the subject when Xav's eyes started glazing over.
"So you lived in San Francisco your whole life?" The question pulled Xavier out of the semi-trance he was dropping into with all the car talk.
"Not my whole life, no," he replied, then reminded himself that he could actually offer more information than simply answering a direct question. At least he hadn't evaded it entirely. Old habits died hard though. "I grew up in Long Beach, on the coast by L.A. I moved to San Fran when I was fifteen."
"On your own?"
Xavier glanced over at him, wondering if he was just curious or if he was digging for something. "Yeah."
"I left my family around the same age," Aldo volunteered, shaking his head a little as if the idea of it perplexed him now. "I thought it would be a big adventure. I guess I was right, I just didn't realise how big until later on."
Xavier propped his chin on his hand, resting his elbow of the edge of the door. He hadn't left his family. His mother had died of an overdose and he'd never known his father. He'd run from a foster family, or to be more specific their son, who'd made his young life a misery. He didn't want to go into all that though, so he turned the tables. "Why'd you leave?"
Aldo laughed quietly, an odd little sound that Xavier might have said was nervous if he could imagine that the handsome Italian was prey to such a failing.
"Ah you know..." He sighed and shrugged his shoulders expressively. "I was the youngest boy in a big, big family. All my brothers, father, uncles were big, strapping men's men, bigger even than me. I knew from being very small that I liked men, and not in the way that my brothers do... you know, to talk of football and women." He laughed again, shaking his head. "I think that my father would not appreciate having a son who has no faith in god and likes to fuck with men, so I ran away from home and I went to Napoli. I figured that there I would become famous, you know, maybe be spotted as a model or a movie star."
He managed another little shake of his head, as if to acknowledge his own naivety.
"I was little more than a child. You were not so foolish I guess? You seem like a smart guy."
Now Xavier laughed. "I grew up just outside of L.A. Everyone there is waiting for their big break. Everyone you meet has a current head shot and goes to every open casting call and wants to tell you all about the shitty movie they were in as an extra. That's what I was running away from." He was quiet for a moment, tilting his head back on the seat; bright sunshine washing over his upturned face. "I wasn't that smart though. I got in a lot of trouble, did some really stupid things. You get smart quick though, or end up in a box quicker."
Aldo turned his head and his dark eyes were briefly serious before they returned to the road.
"Tell me about it," the Italian sighed. "I was snapped up in Napoli by a guy I thought would help me to get famous. Well, he got my face in magazines for sure... but not the kind of glossies I was thinking of, you know? I was lucky, I met a nicer fellow while I was on a shoot that got me away from him. Looked after me. A proper father figure. Without Arturo, I guess I would probably be dead by now. We all make mistakes, Xavier."
He glanced across again, smiling ruefully at his companion.
"Some bigger than others," Xavier added cynically. He wished now that Aldo hadn't asked him about anything. Thinking of that time always made him think of Josh, and how things had been when they first got together. How Josh always made it seem like it was the two of them against the world. Some of it had been good, some of it had been so sweet, and then things had gotten really, really bad.
He stopped himself before he got any further. Thinking of Josh was never a good thing. Again he turned the questions to Aldo to distract attention from himself. "When did you meet PJ?"
This time the laugh was less self-conscious. Aldo sighed a little and leaned his elbow against the window ledge, steering casually, one-handed as he pushed his wind-blown hair out of his eyes.
"That was much later," he responded with a smile that said he had never regretted it. "I had been working for Artie, my agent for a couple of years. He was the one who took me to New York. I had never left Italy until then, not even gone more than twenty miles from my home. Arturo took me half way across the world to shoot pictures for a magazine. I met Paddy at the studio and, like, my eyes were nearly falling out my head. He was really famous, you know. Back then he was still appearing in porn movies and everyone knew one thing about him, you know!"
Aldo chuckled at the memory. His expression was boyishly mischievous as he looked across at Xavier.
"Well, yeah. It's kind of hard to miss those big blue eyes of his," Xavier said deadpan.
Aldo chuckled some more, clearly appreciating his companion's dry humour.
"I played it cool with him, of course," he said airily, swinging the Spider around a hairpin bend with barely a dip on the speedo. Beyond the tarmac line the cliffs dropped away sheer to the rolling blue of the Mediterranean. "I think he was impressed. He sure wanted to see more."
"You've stayed friends a long time though," Xavier observed. "He must have liked more then just your cute ass."
"He liked that plenty!" Aldo laughed wickedly. "Brought tears to my eyes every time! He's more than just a director though, PJ takes an interest in the guys that he likes. I don't mean, like you think I mean either. He's always looked out for me. Even after I pissed him off massively, he still forgave me in the end."
His expression sobered slightly and he tapped on the steering wheel with restless fingers, his dark eyes flickering from the road to Xavier and back again. Xavier knew that sudden closed off look meant he'd stumbled in a direction he hadn't meant to go, and that Aldo was hoping he wouldn't question it, but Xavier was curious. The worst he could do was to tell him to mind his own business.
"What did you do to piss him off?" He couldn't imagine what the easy going Italian might have done to rile PJ, they both seemed so laid back.
A little shrug seemed for a moment like it would be his only answer, then Aldo said; "It was a long time ago. I was a little older than you and I... I guess I lost my head someways. We had a disagreement over something that I'd done and he didn't speak to me for a couple of years. That's all. It wasn't like a screaming row, he was cool about it, but he was just like; 'when you've calmed down we'll talk about it' and I guess I wasn't calmed down enough for a long time."