Reach Out For The Sunrise Ch. 10


"I guess I can handle him. I'll scream if I can't, yeah? You won't go far?"

"I promise," Dominic chuckled. "You're an angel, Trent." He turned to face Rayne and said; "Behave yourself, all right? You're not to bully Trent, he's been very kind and he's going to help you get cleaned up. I know that you hate being dirty."

Just then, Trent noticed something else. "Uh... your thumb... it's... it's like there wasn't ever a bite!"

"Vampire bites heal quite quickly, on the whole," Lord Warren told him with a little smile. "Just in case you were considering letting him..." He shrugged his shoulders expressively.

"Does it hurt?" Trent wanted to know.

"Maybe a little, at first. Like anything worth having it gets better as you go along." Dom smiled knowingly and Trent blushed harder. It was not the only thing that got harder either.


Xavier had been walking for about an hour in brooding contemplation when Nicolas suddenly appeared at his side in that irritatingly casual way that most vampires had. He seemed to come out of nowhere and acted as though it was perfectly natural for him to be there.

"Good morning...although the way you drag your wings behind you it doesn't look so very good, perhaps?" the vampire greeted him, turning the salutation into an enquiry very subtly.


"You do not look happy this morning." Nicolas clarified.

"I'm fine." Xavier said.

"You haven't eaten yet," The vampire observed. This was not a question.

Xav didn't question how he knew that, but he did cast a judicial eye over the vampire. "Neither have you."

Nicolas gave a small laugh. "True. Come to my flat, I will cook you something."

Xavier arched a brow. "You cook?"

He nodded.

"But...why? I mean, you, uhh... don't have to eat."

"No, but I can smell the food, enjoy the preparation of it, watch someone else's pleasure when they eat a delicious meal."

"Living vicariously?"

Nicolas laughed again and inclined his head. "So to speak. So, come... I make a very good omelette."

Xavier wasn't one to turn down a free meal, especially when it was nearly noon and he hadn't yet eaten. It occurred to him briefly that following a known vampire into its lair without question was not the smartest thing to do but somehow Nicholas did not feel dangerous. Xav was not sure how he knew that, but he trusted his instinct. Nicholas had already saved his ass once. He followed the vampire as they turned down a few more streets that he had not previously explored and finally reached his building, which was a mite shabbier than the one Marco lived in.

The inside of Nicolas' flat was clean and neat, although sparsely furnished. Most of the furnishings looked like cast-offs he'd acquired or had donated by well meaning friends, not shabby but not modern either.

Xavier was puzzled by Nicolas. He was Undead, for sure, Xavier had no doubt. He got that familiar prickle all over his skin whenever the guy was close. Yet Nicolas acted very...mortal.

"How long have you been a vampire?" Xav asked as Nicolas indicated he should take a seat at the small table in the kitchen.

"Just a few months."

Xavier's jaw nearly came unhinged.

"Months?" He didn't know what to say.

Nicolas chuckled softly. He seemed to find amusement in much of what Xavier said now he came to think about it.

"What? You expected me to say centuries?"

"Well...yeah," Xavier admitted and that made Nicolas laugh harder.

"Non, mon ami. I'm sorry to disappoint."

"I'm not disappointed, just surprised."

"And all the vampires you know are among the Ancients, are they?" Nicolas teased, still chuckling while he whisked eggs in a metal bowl.

"Not all of them, just a couple."

Nicolas suddenly froze and turned slowly to look at him, the smile wiped clean off his pretty face. "You are...joking?"

"Um..." Xavier wished he hadn't said anything. He had certainly not intended to freak Nicolas out, but that was what his words had done.

Nicolas shook his head. "Your friend the photographer is correct. You are full of surprises."

That made Xavier frown slightly. The only way the vampire could have known what Marco said was if..."You've been watching me? Why?"

Nicolas shrugged. "I'm curious, and I have very good ears." He had the grace to look apologetic. "Sorry."

Xav blinked at him. "Uh... ok, I guess. Could you not spy on me though?"

Nicolas nodded amiably. "All right, if it makes you feel better."

God, this is fucking bizarre, Xavier thought, but kept his mouth shut.

Nicolas hadn't lied. He did make a very good omelette, totally light and fluffy with sharp cheese and fresh, plump mushrooms inside. He brewed dark, Italian coffee and apologised for not having fresh bread but he hadn't thought about going to the market as much lately. The more he talked the more weird Xavier felt this all was. He was a vampire! He should act like one, not like some mother hen. Xav charitably supposed he was just so new to being a vampire he hadn't really figured it all out yet. He could sympathise with that in a way.

Whilst he ate, Nicolas watched him wistfully and made pleasant conversation, talking about where he had grown up and how he had been a student of history and politics in Paris but was travelling for the summer. Almost as soon as he'd arrived in Italy he'd met a man at a club and hooked up with him. The guy liked rough sex, which Nicolas didn't mind so much. He also liked to bite and the next thing Nicolas knew he was waking up a vampire and his lover had gone, off in search of new conquests no doubt.

Xavier was frankly amazed at how open and forthcoming Nicolas was with this information. It was almost a little disturbing. He just seemed so calm about it, so...nice. True, Xavier only had a limited experience of vampires, but what he'd seen of them made Nicolas seem like a lamb among wolves. He could not shake the feeling that his new friend might not survive to enjoy a long Unlife unless he toughened up some.

After he finished eating Xav thanked Nicolas enthusiastically for the meal but he had already decided that he had probably better go and he made his excuses, though he was sure the vampire could see through them. Nicolas walked him to the door but at the last moment he reached for Xavier and pulled him close.

"Must you go already?" he asked, his voice soft and enticing now. "I would very much like you to stay, Xavier." He took the other boy's chin between his fingers and tipped his head back, slanting his lips across Xavier's lush mouth with more aggression than Xav would have guessed him capable of. One arm wrapped tightly around his waist, the other slid up his spine and cupped the back of his head.

Xavier wasn't at all sure he wanted to let this continue, but his back was suddenly up against the wall and Nicolas was pressed up hard to his front, his tongue thrust between his lips and his hips grinding against his own. Xavier was not unaware of how cool he was to the touch, or the edges of his hunger that prickled along his skin. Nicolas might have only been a vampire for a few months, but he still had the strength of one, and he held Xavier pinned while he kissed him ravenously. His desire to bite and feed suddenly beat at Xav like a drum and Xavier felt an answering flare within himself.

He had sought comfort in the arms of Aldo and Chavez from the hurt of Rayne leaving him, and they were both excellent lovers. They had certainly stirred his passion and satisfied him well, but they weren't Rayne. They didn't touch him on the same level. There wasn't the same convergence of mind and body that sometimes felt soul deep when he was with Rayne.

He didn't think he would find that with Nicolas either, but he still craved his bite, his blood was on fire for it. Somewhere deep down he recognised the craving of addiction but he didn't care. He could not soothe the emotional void Rayne had left in him, but at least he could drown the physical hollow for a little while. He slid his hands up Nicolas' chest and twined his arms around his neck, his body responding to the spark Nicolas stoked. His fingers sunk into his dark chestnut hair and his mouth and tongue returned the passionate kisses the lonely young vampire assaulted him with.

With a small, needy groan Nicolas dropped his hands to the delectable curve of Xavier's perfect little ass and slid them down to his thighs, lifting him quickly and taking the few hurried steps back into his apartment, to the bed. He spilled the beautiful blond boy in his arms across the coverlet and fell hungrily on top of him, still kissing him ravenously. Hurriedly he slid his hand under Xav's shirt and ran his fingers over the hot bulge at the boy's crotch. His mouth watered for both his body and his blood.

Nicolas tugged the fastening on Xavier's pants free and impatiently slid a hand down the front, moaning with heated delight as his fingers wrapped around the thick hard shaft waiting for him there. Xavier's little gasp and moan as he writhed under him and pushed his cock into his hand almost made Nicolas lose his head. He wanted to tear the American boy's clothes off and sink his throbbing prick and sharp fangs into him at the same time. His mouth moved to the side of Xavier's throat, lips skating over the soft tender skin and the hot pulse beating so near the surface. He reached the crook of his neck where it curved to his shoulder and suddenly stopped dead with a groan of despair.

Xavier gave a little whimper at the sudden halt, looking up at him in all his dishevelled glory, with his pants open and riding low on his hips and his shirt pushed up his chest exposing the delicious ripples of his golden belly.

"Wha...what's wrong?" he panted breathlessly.

Nicolas looked as if he was in shock, and then the expression crumpled into something more resembling pain as his eyes squeezed shut and his teeth came together tightly with a little snap of self restraint.

"You are marked." He said it hoarsely as if with a great effort.

Xavier blinked, trying to shift gears and think coherently.

"Yeah, but..." He swallowed hard, surprised still at the sudden knife of pain. "We're not together any more."

Nicolas shook his head. "It doesn't matter, Xavier. His mark is still there. He hasn't relinquished his claim or they would only be faded scars, or nothing at all. This is a viable mark." He rolled over onto his back next to Xav with a little groan of frustration and need. "I can't touch you."

"What?" Xavier was more than a little frustrated himself. "What are you talking about? That can't be right. I mean, he left. He dumped me and left, made it pretty damn clear he was done. Are you sure? I figured they would just fade away in time."

Nicolas groaned again, adjusting the hard outline in his pants.

"I'm sure, Xavier." He sighed heavily. "The touch of them burns my lips like acid. I can't touch you, or your master can hold a blood debt over me."

Xavier snorted.

"He's not my master!" he retaliated hotly. "He's not even my boyfriend. I told you, he left me."

Nicolas shook his head. "He might have left you, but those marks don't lie. He left his claim on you in place."

"Well, we...we sort of fought, before he left. Maybe he just didn't think about getting rid of them," Xavier protested, almost frantic with need now. He wanted Nicolas to kiss him and bite him, wanted to feel that long, cool cock thrusting hard inside him. Why hadn't Rayne gotten rid of those stupid bloody marks? Damn him to hell!

"Listen Xavier, the vampire that made me explained precious little, but one of the things he did warn me of was that our kind are usually more territorial than your average human, over both hunting area and the humans they take as consorts. Being marked by a vampire is much more than simply having a possessive boyfriend. The visible mark on your body is only the physical sign of a blood bond that binds you to him, and binds him to you, in ways that are not so easy to understand or explain.

"The only way the physical mark will fade and scar over is if the blood bond is broken, and there are only a few ways to break a blood bond. The True Death of a vampire will break the blood bond. Another older or more powerful vampire can mark the human as his own and override the first mark. Or, the vampire can relinquish his claim. Relinquishing a claim on a human only requires that he truly does not want the human any more. He doesn't have to physically touch you at all to remove that mark, only to stop wanting you."

Xavier frowned thoughtfully. Why hadn't Rayne broken the blood bond? It made no sense.

Xavier left Nicolas' place frustrated and unhappy. It was no consolation at all that the vampire seemed just as frustrated and unhappy as he was. He wouldn't even consider a mutual blowjob, despite Xavier's assurance that Rayne most assuredly did not want him and was not coming back for him any time soon. He spent the rest of the day walking around the market in a daze of misery and frustration, then headed back at last to Marco's.


In the bedroom watching the hot little vampire sucking Lord Warren's thumb getting naked with him had seemed like a pretty good idea to Trent. Trapped in close confines with him in the shower cubicle it was a different matter. Rayne was hungry, he could see it in the vampire's unblinking, junky eyes, but he was also wary. He did not seem to like being touched very much at all and it took Trent quite a while just to get him to take his clothes off.

"What in hell was done to you?" he whispered, shaking his head.

Rayne had some pretty scars; track marks on his slender arms and burn marks that Trent recognised fairly well, as he had his own collection. But there were marks on the vampire's naked back and below his ribs; pale, pinkish rake marks like the trail of an animal's claws. Trent shuddered just looking at them.

"You get jumped by a tiger, man?" he asked quietly. "That is unreal!"

Rayne just looked at him with narrowed eyes.

"You're not Xavier," he croaked at last.

"No, man. Your buddy out there told you that. My name's Trent. I just wanna help you get cleaned up, okay? We'll have a little shower and we'll be nice and clean. You get it?"

"I need Xavier," Rayne told him adamantly. He looked around as if he expected to see demons slide out of the walls. Slim white arms curled around his fragile frame and he hugged himself, going to his knees in one corner of the spacious, tiled shower area and pressing his forehead against the floor where he made a low, whimpering noise in the back of his throat.

Trent's eyes widened. He considered calling for Dominic but he didn't want to take his eyes off Rayne for too long. Instead he went to the shivering creature and put his arms around those slender shoulders, trying to prise him up from the floor.

"It's okay, Rayne. I promise you, it'll be okay. We're just gonna take a shower then you can get some sleep and we'll take you to find Xavier, all right?"

That dark head came up and Rayne looked at him suspiciously. "Promise?"

"Yeah... I promise. We'll find him, okay? I can see he means a lot to you, man. But I need to get you cleaned up first, okay?"

Trent bit his lip and Rayne just kept staring at him as if he was trying to memorise Trent's face. There was something childlike about him but it was not cute and cuddly childlike. His eyes moved slowly over every inch of the younger man's anxious façade, drinking him in, assessing him with almost deliberate hunger.

"Okay," he nodded slowly, at last and Trent exhaled a long, shaky breath he had not realise he was holding on to.

When the water began to run the vampire seemed to calm down. It was as if the shower worked a kind of spell on him, soothing his nerves. Trent managed to coax him to his feet and he stood beneath the rose with his face turned upward and his eyes closed, letting the warm spray run all over him. Little trails of dirt and stuff that Trent really did not want to think of as dried blood trickled down over his pale skin and the wary teen reached for the shower gel very cautiously now.

"I'm gonna get you soaped up, all right?" he said quietly.

Rayne was still and silent for a moment, then he nodded very briefly. "Okay."

Trent poured a little pool of blue-green gel into his hands and began with the vampire's dark hair, rubbing in slow circles, stroking his fingers through the fine, wet strands of inky black hair and gently kneading Rayne's scalp and the back of his neck. He was so tense. Trent could feel the tightness of his muscles as he worked on Rayne's nape and shoulders.

"You don't have to be scared of me," he murmured softly. "I'm not going to hurt you, okay?"

Rayne turned in his hands at once, looking defensively at him. He rested his own small, cold hands against Trent's chest.

"It's okay," Trent told him earnestly. "I swear to you."

Thankfully he had lost his erection when Rayne seemed so freaked out just at the idea of being naked with him. He remembered how scared he had been the first time he fucked a man for money; taking his clothes off in front of a guy he'd only just met and letting the creep do whatever he wanted just to get enough dough together to score that night. He had felt sick afterwards.

Rayne looked genuinely frightened. He was like a little kid sometimes, just shivering like he knew something bad was coming but not how to stop it.

"Some fucker hurt you, didn't he?" Trent said, a little more grimly. "They hurt you and they wouldn't stop? Is that what happened?"

He saw Rayne pull away automatically and held up his hands in surrender. "Hey! Hey! Look... I'm not gonna touch you if you don't want me to, but let's just get you cleaned up, right. I'm not gonna hurt you like they did, I swear to you."

It took him several more minutes to get Rayne just to accept being touched and soaped again. He shivered the whole time, blinking droplets off his long eyelashes like silvery tears as Trent's hands moved in slow circles over his chest and his slender arms and shoulders. The whole time, Trent just talked to him quietly as if he was soothing an angry dog.

"It's okay. We're gonna get you nice and warm and clean, then you can go to bed and curl up again. Whatever you want, babe. Okay? You like that? You're very pretty, you know? You got beautiful eyes, Rayne. And such a soft mouth too. I bet you kiss real good, don't you?"

He saw that little, pink tongue flicker across Rayne's lips but the vampire's face was completely unreadable. It might have been nervousness or desire that provoked the reaction. Trent's soapy hands moved down as far as his belly and the small of his back and then he stopped warily.

"You wanna do the rest yourself?" he asked carefully. And that was maybe the catalyst, he would never be sure afterwards.


Since he woke up in a strange bed, in a room that was not his own, he had been struggling to remember something. He knew that he was hungry, and that blood would make the hunger go away. The blue eyes and soft, spiked blond hair of the boy looking down on him reminded him of Xavier. He had been trying so hard to reach Xavier and now all that remained of that Herculean effort was a sense of weariness and confusion. The pain was not so bad now, at least. And then the tall man with the gentle voice came to sit beside him and let him feed a little bit more.

The tall man was ever so nice to him, explaining to him that his name was Rayne, which was quite a pretty name, and that something bad had happened to him but it was all better now. He felt at ease with the tall man, who had told Rayne his name, but he could not remember it now.

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