tagGay MaleFailing Upward Ch. 07

Failing Upward Ch. 07


His hand jerked, the back of it resting on his brow. I imagined from that shadow of a frown, last night's over indulgence haunted him a bit. But as I lay in bed watching, his tawny eye lashes fluttering as he slept, nothing I could recall was as beautiful.

I loved the way his nose twitched as he slept, and I hoped he was dreaming of me.

He moaned in his sleep, brows furrowing. I was tempted to reach out and touch him-- or run my tongue down his hard chest. But if I did that, I'd spoil the perfect magic of his naked body sprawled enticingly beside me. I'd been admiring him now for a good sixty-eight minutes according to the digital clock.

God, and he loves me.

And the band was incredible last night. When I think about how incredible Sid was, well, I chewed my cuticles and thought of ten more ways I could show him how much I loved him.

Then his eyes fluttered again, only this time they blinked open.

"Hi... I love you," I whispered.

"Mmm, so that really did happen last night," he said, carefully adjusting the pillow under his head.

"Yes, really. How ya feeling?"

"Not bad, surprisin'ly. But I haven't moved much yet. That might change things."

I raised up on my elbow and leaned into him. "Would a kiss hurt or help?"

"Help, I'm sure."

Oh yes. That nice long, leisurely morning kiss multiplied then extended on to his neck, dipped down to his nipples, then started all over again languishing at his mouth.

"Nice," he yawned, mussing my hair. "At this rate we'll never leave here. Stay in bed all day."

"Fuck and talk. Sounds good."

"Or talk and fuck. Sounds better."

Why did Sid always have to spoil things by talking? Not that I didn't want to tell him ten ways I loved him-- it was just that I had those ten ways I'd show him already planned out.

"Maybe I should start with sorry," he said. "Are you ok? I didn't mean to be so forceful last night."

"Shit, don't apologize. Just don't ever drink that much again. I've done lots of stupid things when I was drunk. I don't even need to be drunk, to do stupid. Last night-- I did stupid. I was just afraid to say how I felt. Then the way I, um, acted with Les. Sometimes I get carried away on stage. You know, it's just this whole idea that I'm gay; maybe I went overboard. You've always been so comfortable with yourself. Me, I feel odd or queer-- er, maybe that's not the word to use, but with everything else that's going on now, I was confused."

"You've got a lot to deal with, without me pressuring you. Then we've avoided talking about us and all that's going on is complicated by our relationship-- like how it can be used against you. I want you to know, what ever happens, I'm not sorry for us."

The way he said that, like it was some premonition, twisted me inside.

"So you do know Morse code?" I asked, and Sid nodded. "Sid, I'm sorry I got you into all this."

"I think we both better quit with the sorrys and think about what we need to do. Right now we're both just waiting for Shackleton to make the next move. Maybe we should make the next move instead."

"Like what?" I had absolutely no clue as to what to do to keep Sid safe. Lock him in the house? Go to Lancaster and ask for protection? Or do as Sid suggested and make a move first? I didn't like the idea as Sid as bait. If he did seriously get hurt, I wasn't sure at this point I could heal him.

We needed help. Lancaster was beginning to look like our only answer. I wondered what he said to me in the hospital. Suddenly, it struck me.

"When you came up to the hospital to visit me, what did you tell me? Remember the night of the fire? Before you took me home, you asked me if I remembered what you told me at the hospital. And I couldn't remember. When I asked you-- you told me it wasn't important. So, what was it? What did you say?"

"What do you think? I told you I loved you," Sid said, rubbing his temple. "But you already guessed that, didn't you?"

"I wasn't sure. I thought maybe..."

"Yeah, but that wasn't why I asked you that night. It was what happened after I told you that I wanted you to remember. When I visited you-- you were acting dopey-- talking nonsense about llamas. Then you told me to come closer-- you had to tell me something. Then, Shit, I couldn't believe it-- you kissed me. And right when you did, this big old nurse comes barging into your room and laughs."

"That was Bernice."

Now it all made sense. That was why Bernice kept bugging me about my boyfriend. Explained her winking at me all the time. Shit.

"Yeah, she kept pinching my cheek."

"Just how did I kiss you? Like a friendly peck? Maybe you should demonstrate."

"With this headache I probably feel pretty close to how you did. Come here."

I rolled over on my side closer to him, and he kissed me tenderly on the lips, slowly opening his mouth just a bit, brushing his tongue along my bottom lip. Nice.

"I did that? Wow. I'm pretty good."

Sid slapped my ass, and we started to wrestle-- Sid found every ticklish inch of me, taking particular sadistic pleasure teasing the inside of my thighs with baby pinches. Either Sid was incredibly hung over, or he let me win, but I ended up on top of him, pinning his arms down, both of us panting hard. His face flushed with want as he hardened underneath me. Me? I was already pretty hard from that kiss earlier, but now a deep need filled me, creeping from my stomach and tightening my balls.

"Now you pay. I get to be on top this time, and do that thing we did the other day. You know," I said, lowering my voice, "what some guys prefer." I ground my hips into him hard.

"Oh fuck, Wes. Shit, that feels good."

Touching Sid in any way normally would send an aurora of light and heat through me without sex, but these bursts became near explosive during. It transcended the normal sensory realm-- not just through my eyes or ears or finger tips-- but some extrasensory-radiation spiraling through me-- always leaving me just on the edge-- like the euphoric bliss just before orgasm.

Maybe it was the sound of air gasping from his lungs or maybe the feel of his cock twitching next to mine, coaxing me-- but I imploded; the spiral began taking me. Pushing his arms down tighter into the mattress, I tried to reverse the process. I felt my own body begin to collapse into him. I sucked at the nape of his neck, like it was the last thing I'd ever taste my whole life salty and sweet. I needed to be with him, instinctively rubbing myself against him, feeling our balls, cocks and every curly pubic hair merging together-- all the while wanting something far deeper than just tactile stimulation. I needed a deeper release.

I reached between us like Sid had done and curled my hand around both our cocks. The thrill of feeling his pulse beating through my hand and through my cock was major sensory-overload. I honestly didn't know how Sid did this the other night without coming right away. Both silky smoothness and solid heat slipping through my hand, I willed myself not to cry out, not to come. As I quieted myself, I realized that every time we'd fucked before that moment, I'd responded with physical, animal lust, compounding it with my own denial and hidden carnal desires. I had let my senses rule me. Sid allowed me that, to unleash them all. But now, the forbidden fell away. The emptiness gone. I knew what I was, and what I wanted. I focused on him instead of me. I concentrated on Sid-- how his bottom lip trembled slightly; how his nostrils quivered as I slowed my strokes. Milking his lips with mine, my eyes wide in his, I knew I needed to do more than show him I loved him. I needed say it. I slipped my hand away from us both, letting sweat and our fluids mingle in a feverish heady friction.

"I love you," I said, a little louder and a little more forcefully than I had intended.

Sid, giving my ear little wet kisses, whispered back, "Wes, I think I've always loved you."

Then it just happened.

Crying during sex might not be a cool thing to do, might even be kinda gay, but damn, I couldn't help it. I felt him coming through me. I started sobbing as Sid came and was blubbering and sniffing as I came. Afterward, I wrapped myself into him, and he dried my happy tears with the cotton sheets, making me feel even more infantile. But fuck, I didn't care. I wasn't even embarrassed. Being in love, I didn't feel hollow anymore.

"What was that?" I asked.

Sid rolled over and laughed. "You mean Babe making noise out in the other room or me making you cry? Never made anyone cry before. Not sure what to think."

"How 'bout I make coffee while you take a shower. I'll scrub your back."

We both stood on our wobbly legs and went into the bathroom. Sid threw a wet wash cloth at me while I was trying to piss.

"Clean yourself up, you hussy."

I wiped myself off with the wash cloth. I borrowed Sid's ratty red robe. I studied my reflection in the mirror as I brushed my teeth; I didn't look any different. I rinsed my mouth out, spitting, then rubbed my chin. I needed a shave, but I'd do that after a shower. I looked the same. Seems like you'd would look different when they're in love.

The water was running in the shower so I hurried.

I whistled, sprinting through the living room, expecting Babe to run through my legs. She should be mewing for breakfast. Instead I heard her in the kitchen, squeaking the barstool. Probably lapping the butter on the counter. Sid must have forgotten to put it away again.

I ran right to the front door to get the newspaper.

The door was unlatched.

Then I heard the squeak again. From the corner of my eye, I saw him. Trent. He had on old denim jeans with holes in the knees, a dingy t-shirt and a faded Cubs ball-cap. He hadn't shaved today either.

"Good morning," he said, petting Babe. I heard her purring in his lap as he stroked her. She nuzzled his hand, coaxing him to continue. Clumps of her hair were all over his clothes; he'd been sitting there a long while, listening.

"Shit. How did you get in? What do you want?" I said, keeping my voice low and steady. I heard the gurgle of water running down the drain from the shower.

"This is an illustration-- instruction on how easy it is to get to you."

I gritted my teeth to keep them from chattering. He watched my eyes flicker to the bathroom-- my concern too obvious.

"No need to worry. I'm here to protect you, not to hurt you or your friend. You needed this little lesson. You aren't safe here. No alarm, deadbolt or flimsy chain is going to stop Shackleton and his warped followers."

"So I'm supposed to follow you, trust you, just like that."

"You did before. You have even less of a choice now. You stay here-- your friend in the shower will be dead."

"You also stuck a knife in me. Excuse me for holding a grudge."

I hesitated. Sid was calling me from the bathroom.

"We could go to the Lancaster's," I blurted out.

"Who do you think's protecting them?"

The water turned off in the bathroom, and I heard the shower curtain rings scraping against the rod. He was in league with Lancaster? I didn't like that at all. More secrets.

"You both need to come with me to the Lancaster's. Now."

I stood in the open space between the kitchen and living room, bile building up the back of my throat. Lancaster sitting at the counter would be hidden from Sid's line of sight. I was pretty sure he wouldn't hurt Sid, but I wasn't positive. If I could touch his hand like before, I'd know his intent. I stepped forward. Just touch his hand, I thought. Then, I heard the bathroom door opening and Sid calling me again.

Sid would rush in if I warned him.

Sid walked toward me from the living room. Robe flopping open-- his naked body pink from the hot water. Must be he could sense the panic in me because confusion washed over his face as he stepped forward. I looked over at Trent.

"The water started getting cold waiting. I thought I heard..."

Sid crumpled the robe together as he stepped next to me and saw our guest.

"Why'd you let him in?"

"I didn't. He let himself in," I said.

I couldn't believe Babe still sat content in Trent's lap even after Sid came into the room.

"I was just explaining to Wes here, how it's not safe here. He needs protection."

"So, you're offerin' protection now?" Sid asked.


Sid squinted, left eye twitching as he thought. His gaze fell onto Babe.

"Ok," Sid answered quietly.

"Ok?!" I shouted.

"Babe trusts him."

"He's a hit man for Christ's sake, Sid. He fucking stabbed me."

"Animals sense things. And he's right; we need protection."

"Listen to your friend. Come with me; I'll take you to Lancaster's. I can't promise you'll be safe there, but if you stay here, you'll never save Sid. You want to save him? You must go to Lancaster's. Exposure to Mica is necessary for if you want to be able to heal him."

I knew he was right, but he also had his own motives, and I was sure they had nothing to do with concern for our safety.

The barstool creaked as he shifted to face Sid.

"After you're dead, do you know what Shackleton will do to Wesley? He'll play with him like a lab rat. No worse. He'll get get his deviant jollies off then play with him like a lab rat-- a lab rat that never dies."

I had to know if he was sincere, and there was only one way to find out. I stepped up to Trent and grabbed his forearm.

His intent wasn't to hurt us; I sensed it from him. Maybe Babe was right.

"We'll get dressed and get a few things together," Sid said.

We really didn't have any choice. I threw what few things I had into an old suitcase of Sid's, picked up my guitar, and Sid, I and Babe went with Trent.


They weren't surprised to see us. I walked into the musty living room and sneezed. Les and Glenda took our things, and Lancaster motioned for Sid and I to sit on the same lumpy couch I lay disoriented on just days before. Sid fidgeted more than I did, fingernails scratching the tops of his legs through denim. I reached over and held his hand tight. To Hell with appearances.

While Sid squeezed the piss out of my hand, Dr. Lancaster's pale-blue eyes measured my nervous movements-- my tennis shoes bobbing, knees jostling and scratching invisible itches on my shoulder. Then there was Trent's steady stare, making me chew my nails. I wondered what the fuck they were waiting for? Talk or else take me to the garden and hook me up with the roses.

Even in here I could smell them. They crept inside my nose, seeping in through my pores, enveloping me. The sensual pangs returned; Sid's thumb messaging my hand became the most erotic gesture I'd ever experienced (save this morning). My cheeks burned, and the silence in the room ate at me to the core. Sid rubbing his thigh against mine wasn't helping either. Considering the company, I didn't want them to notice...

Lancaster cocked one of his bushy white eyebrows and crossed his legs. I was sure he knew. My cheeks got hotter.

Waiting, waiting.

I thought of screaming. Not a good idea. Instead I gave in. I spoke. I asked the first question that popped into my head.

"So if Shackleton is like us, why does he have a limp? I don't have my appendectomy scar any more. Can't be because he had an old injury. Is it like your aging or what?"

"First, you're making a wrong assumption-- that Shackleton is like us."

"Actually, that's not an assumption. It's what he told me."

"Well, he's a liar. He is not. He's made. He had to alter himself to become immortal."

Immortal? Fuck. That was a new one. I guess I never thought of myself as immortal until then. But what do you call someone who doesn't die?

"He learned how to alter himself-- he heals, feels no pain, but he had to change himself on a molecular level to do this. Transfusing himself with a serum derived from our cells-- then infecting himself with the rose. He wasn't the first to do it. There have been others since, but the effects are limited. They reverse after a time without a transfusion and re-infection. Shackleton and others like him need regeneration-- old wounds and injuries reappear. In a way they are like leaches living off of us. And right now, Shackleton is a leach that needs a transfusion."

Sid's hand was sweating in mine. I squeezed. I wasn't horny anymore.

"You already figured where Shackleton intends to get his next fix from. But he's waiting to see if you're the one. He's got time yet."

My throat became dry; I didn't want to ask, but I had to know: "So you didn't become old just because you were buried. The transfusion-- Shackleton took your blood. Was that what changed you?"

"It had to be part of it. But not all."

"So what are we?"

"A line of the same blood, the same family. Lancaster is just a last name-- not our real name. My real first name is Daniel-- I'd like it if you'd call me that."

Same blood. All the same. What is he to me?

Trent sat, observing, waiting for me to ask. I chewed on my nail some more. The motion wasn't lost on Lancaster.

Glenda and Les came into the room. Les leaned his shoulder against the oak doorframe, and Glenda sat on the arm of Trent's chair, twirling her hair.

"Are you my father?" My voice crackled as I asked it.

"No, I'm your uncle. I'm sorry son..." Lancaster or Daniel, scrunched forward in the old rocking chair, moving closer to me. He rested his hand on my knee. "--your parents are dead."

"But you said we're immortal." I felt dizzy and sick. Parents I knew and the parent I never will know-- all dead. Maybe I should have asked how, but I couldn't bring myself to do it.

"I told you all this before, Wes. In the hospital. That I'm your uncle, and Glenda's your aunt."

"...and I'm your brother," Les said, so quietly that I wasn't sure I heard him right at first. Then it all made sense. Then I felt Sid shaking; he was laughing. What the fuck could be that funny?

"Last night-- that was your brother's leg you were humping--" Sid blurted. I didn't see the humor in that at all, although I imagined Sid could.

Rubbing up and down his thigh was the last thing on my mind. I was stunned. How could I have a brother and not know it?

"I think it's time you two talked. Les, take your brother out to the garden," Glenda said.

Les motioned his head for me to come on and as I got up, Sid stood to follow, and Daniel moved his hand from my knee to Sid's, halting him.

"They need to talk together, without you there. Don't worry. He'll be safe. You are the one in danger now. Stay here safe in the house with us. Wes will tell you everything when he comes back."

I gave his hand one last squeeze and said, "I'll be ok," although I wasn't sure that was true. We were on our way to the garden, and I felt like some kind of human sacrifice.

I followed Les' slight form out the back door and through the yard. He was small like me; fine bones, large eyes, but not much else was the same, save our musical talents. In that we meshed perfectly. May be I should have known last night on stage what it was I felt-- that connection. I wondered if he was adopted or if he was raised by our parents. I had to ask, had to know. So I asked--

"They were my parents by blood," he answered. "And after they died, Uncle Daniel took me in. I've been here or away at college since."

I wanted to ask, why did they keep him and not me, but my mouth wouldn't work.

Les stopped. "I know what you're feeling. The roses crush your senses-- block out everything. It was like that for me too in the beginning. I still feel it some now, but until you're truly immortal, it consumes you."

"That's not all it does. Shit." Up ahead, I saw the entrance, saw the roses. I flicked the sweat off my forehead as it ran into my eyes, burning. I thought of Sid, in the house waiting for me. I remembered the last time Sid and I were in garden together, how much I wanted Sid-- wondering what I'd be like to throw him on the ground and fuck him in front of everyone.

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