Thorne Ch. 01bykalamazoo707©
She fell asleep planning to look for a doctor when she woke up. As soon as she closed her eyes, the dream started. It was always started out the same. Louise was in a big bed wearing a pink bed jacket and Nathan was sitting next to her handing her a goblet filled with blood. This time, there was a difference. When Louise took the goblet and parted her lips to take a sip, she had fangs.
Barb's eyes flew open and she sat straight up. Her heart pounded as she tried to understand the dream. She had never been one to watch horror movies or anything to do with the supernatural so why was she dreaming about Louise being a vampire?
Unable to sleep, she got up and turned on the television. She thought about calling Louise to ask her what doctor she was using, but changed her mind. She wasn't ready yet..; she wanted a diamond on her finger before she made that call.
By the end the second week after his return, Thorne had demoted Billings back to working the floor. He promoted one of the security guards that he had been watching for some time. As of yet he hadn't brought Noel to the club, he wanted to give him plenty of time to adapt to his new circumstances. On his days off, he and Noel painted together and explored the beach.
Thorne still wondered who the eyes that Noel painted belonged to; but didn't press. Whoever they belonged to, they were giving Noel a measure of peace that he had never had before. As the days went by, Thorne realized that he should have taken Noel much sooner than he had. Both of them were happier and Noel was undergoing an unexpected but pleasant change. The timid, sometimes childlike behavior was gradually diminishing and the behavior of a man in full control of his faculties was emerging.
He wanted to believe that the move was responsible for the change; but he knew better. It had something to do with the owner of the mysterious eyes. He was also forced to admit that Noel was stronger than he had given him credit for. Thorne still thought about Barb, but not in a good way. In his eyes, she was a gold digging bitch and no more. He vividly remembered Louise trying to drag her away from him and wished that he had pushed Barb into her arms.
If he had, he wouldn't be mated to a woman that reminded him entirely too much of his mother. He had never been one to covet another man's mate, but Louise captured his imagination. He imagined her to be quiet, but strong and she would appreciate the simple things. He could love a woman like her. Nathan Sinclaire, he decided; was a lucky bastard. But she was taken and it was her sister Barb that he had to deal with.
He was still pissed that his cock remained soft and he saw it as something else to blame Barb for.
"Shit... it's my fault too." He growled as he worked on the skyline of his painting. "I should have just let the bitch go."
"Thorne? Can we go to the club tonight?" Noel asked interrupting Thorne's thoughts.
Thorne looked at him. Even the timbre of Noel's tenor had changed. It was still a soft tenor, but it was deeper, richer; and...Thorne couldn't think of the right word.
"Sure." Thorne replied. "This is actually a good night to go."
As they cleaned their brushes and put away their supplies, Thorne made a promise to himself. If he saw a Sinclaire headed in his direction, he was going to go the other way. He didn't care how good the opportunity was or how much he hated them, he was staying away. What he failed to realize was that he was already connected to them.
Noel met him in the garage. He was looking at the cars with a wistful look on his face.
"Would you like to learn how to drive?" Thorne asked.
"You'll teach me?" Noel asked unconsciously slipping into the role of one much younger.
"Of Course... How about tomorrow evening?" Thorne asked. "I'm off and I know just the place to teach you."
"Can you teach me to drive the jag?" Noel asked his voice filled with hope.
"Let's start with something a little easier first." Thorne replied laughing. "And we'll work our way up to the Jag."
Thorne unlocked the doors to the jag and let Noel in. For the first time in a long time, aside from his performance issues and Barb Yancy Simpson; he felt good. He could almost forget that she existed.
When they got to the club, Noel looked around wide-eyed. Even though it was mid-week; the club was busy.
"You work here?" Noel asked.
"Yes, in fact; I own it." Thorne replied. "Come on, I'll show you my office."
Noel let out a sigh of relief at the quietness of Thorne's office.
"It gets pretty noisy out there." Thorne said. "That's why this is sound proofed."
"I like it." Noel replied as he looked down at the dance floor. In his mind he began to sketch a portrait that would have all of the bright colors he was witnessing. He turned back to Thorne with a troubled look in his eyes.
"What's wrong?" Thorne asked.
"I'm worried about mother." Noel replied. "It's been two weeks and we haven't heard from her."
"Have you called her?" Thorne asked.
"Several times." Noel replied. "But she doesn't answer the phone."
Thorne looked at Noel and debated as to what he should say.
"She might be on one of her cruises." He said hoping that Noel wouldn't see through the lie. "You know how she always turns her phone off."
Noel sat down and looked at Thorne with piercing green eyes.
"Don't lie to me." He said softly. "She's screening her calls."
"It's alright. I know that she doesn't care for me, but she's still our mother; and I worry about her."
Thorne looked at Noel with respect and wished that he felt the same way. But he was right, Samantha was still their mother and under their protection. He picked up the phone and dialed her number. To his surprise, she answered.
"Mother? Is everything alright? Noel has been trying to reach you... no he doesn't want to come back! He was concerned about you... goodbye mother." Thorne looked at Noel apologetically. "She's fine."
Noel nodded his head and gave Thorne a weak smile.
"I'm sorry." Thorne said. "I'm sorry that I left you with her for so long."
"It isn't your fault." Noel replied. "And it wasn't bad... I painted and she left me alone. Sometimes I called Felix and he spent the evening with me."
"What about the times you got out? You could have been killed by a hunter or you could have hurt someone." Thorne said.
Noel was silent for a long time before he replied.
"There were times when I wish that a hunter had found me." He said softly. "There were times when I could hear father screaming at me. I wake up and my hands actually hurt... it feels so real. Sometimes I didn't rest for days and it was at the end of those days that I became...agitated. When you came to visit... I don't know but I felt as though I could rest."
"Jesus Noel, why didn't you tell me? I would have come for you sooner."
"Thorne, let's be honest... you weren't ready to take me. You had and are having your own issues and it was those issues that made you come when you did. So who is she?"
"I had been thinking about bringing you home with me for a while." Thorne replied avoiding the question about who "she " was.
"But why now?" Noel asked. "I've lived with mother for years... why now?"
"Because... she finally told me what he did to you... If I had known..."
"But you did know." Noel replied. "You just chose not to see. I would be lying if I said that I wasn't angry or even that I didn't hate you because I did and I was as angry as hell. I could have called you, but I didn't. That makes it my fault... once I realized that, I wasn't angry with you anymore. I just looked forward to the times that you came to visit."
Thorne couldn't say anything. His mother had told him the same thing. He knew that something was happening with Noel and he ignored it because it wasn't convenient. He looked at Noel who had wanted to die. He slipped out hoping to be seen by a hunter and killed and wondered what he wasn't saying.
"Noel, is there something that you want to tell me?"
A haunted look crossed Noel's face and then was gone.
"No... I don't think so... why?"
"I was just asking." Thorne replied. "But I want you to know that you aren't an imposition and I truly am glad that you're with me. I'm also sorry that you suffered so much at father's hands and that I didn't help you."
"Thorne... I'm going to be alright." Noel said. "So don't worry about me... I think that I'll always be a little messed up in my head; but I'm ok with that."
"What do you remember about the night we fought with the Sinclaires?" Thorne asked.
"Nothing other than that hunters were involved." Noel replied.
"That's all?" Thorne asked, "You don't remember father making you go to the fight?"
"No." Noel replied. "I stayed with mother remember?"
"No... you went with us... I tried to convince father to let you stay with mother." Thorne replied.
"I think that you're the one messed up in the head." Noel replied chuckling. "I wasn't there... ask mother."
Thorne was confused. Noel had been there, but why wasn't he remembering? He let it go and changed the subject.
"We came to have a good time, would you like to see the rest of the club?"
Noel nodded, but when Thorne mentioned that night; a small bell in the recesses of his mind went off. It gave him an uncomfortable feeling in his temples that bordered on pain. As soon as he pushed the thought away, the pain was gone.
He noticed that Thorne was watching him and he smiled.
Barb tossed and turned before she finally got up. She walked around the small apartment several times before her nerves settled. She knew that Juliette and the others were due back in town but she had no desire to see them. She knew what that made her; but she told herself that she didn't care. Still restless, she made herself a cup of tea and turned on the television.
After a few minutes, the sound of the television grated on her nerves; so she turned it off. She needed to find a doctor. She again gave brief thought to calling Louise, but she changed her mind. She knew that if she asked her to, Louise wouldn't say anything about the pregnancy; but she wanted to shock her as much as she did Kevyn.
Barb started to research OB/GYNs in the area and then stopped.
"You can damn well pay for this!" she said out loud.
She sat at her laptop and opened a new document. It was time to do some serious planning. At the top of the document she typed Thorne's name and began to list the things that she needed to do. At the top of the list was where she was going to tell him. It had to be somewhere public. She wanted to humiliate him as she had been humiliated.
"The club." She whispered. "And on a busy night... Friday... no Saturday." She mumbled.
She glanced up at the calendar. It was already Wednesday. Barb toyed with the lobe of her ear like she did when she was in deep thought. Finally, she decided that Saturday was the better day. It would give her another day to plan.
She lost track of time as she typed out every conceivable argument that she thought that Thorne would throw at her and her response. If push came to shove, she would threaten to go public with what happened that night and would include where she had been dropped off.
The next thing was what to wear. She went through her clothes and wasn't happy with her selections. The black dress that she had worn that night was still in the plastic sack that she had put it in. She had been unable to look at it. Even now it brought back memories that made her face burn with anger and humiliation. To have been used the way she was...
Barb grabbed the bag, ran out of the apartment and to the dumpster. Seconds later, the dress was garbage. She ran back into the apartment, grabbed her purse and cell phone and ran out again. She needed a new dress. The only thing that she knew was that it wouldn't be black. She didn't think that she would ever where black again.
As she pulled out of the parking lot of the complex, she debated as to where she should shop. The phrase about spending money to make money came to mind as she was deciding where to go. Forty-five minutes later she was walking through Bloomingdales.
She stopped at the fragrance counter and bought the smallest bottle of Elizabeth Taylor's White Diamond's available. From there she went to the lingerie. In her opinion a new outfit included new undergarments. She looked at the selections and then decided to buy the dress first. She completely bypassed the slinky black evening dresses and looked at other colors.
She grimaced at the various shades of orange and yellows neither of which was her favorite color. After several minutes she went to another store to see what they had. Her rumbling stomach reminded her that she hadn't eaten anything yet.
The food court was one level down. The scent of cooking food made her stomach growl even louder. Checking her watch she saw that she had plenty of time to get something to eat and then shop. After eating her dinner, she headed back to Bloomingdale's and browsed.
"Can I help you find something?" A woman asked from behind her.
Barb turned to see who had spoken to her. She looked the woman up and down and then looked at her name tag.
"Well... Jan." She said snidely. "You're the first salesperson that's offered to help me."
"It would be my pleasure to assist you. Are you looking for something specific?"
"A dress... an evening dress but not a gown, I need something that can be worn to a night club." Barb replied.
"We have some lovely black..."
"Not black." Barb interrupted as she looked at the sales person.
An hour later, she was headed back to the apartment with her outfit. She had decided on a mint green dress that was similar in style to the black dress that she had thrown in the trash. She had never worn much green, but the Jan had urged her to try the dress on.
"I think that it looks lovely on you." she said when Barb modeled the dress for her.
Barb had to agree with her. The light green looked good against the dark of her skin. Jan became her private salesperson helping her pick out the shoes and accessories to go with the dress. Barb ate up the attention imagining what it would be like to be treated like that all of the time. As Thorne's wife she would have that.
She looked glanced at the interior of her car and imagined that it was the interior of a midnight blue Maserati. Barb sighed and came back to reality. None of it was going to happen if Thorne didn't marry her. She wouldn't settle for anything else. She refused to just accept money for the bun in her oven, she wanted all of it.
When they returned home and Noel was in his room, Thorne called his mother.
"Do you hate him that much?" he asked as soon as she said hello. "He's been worried about you and you can't even pick up the damned phone when he calls?"
"I'm fine." Samantha replied. "There is no need for concern."
"That isn't the point!" Thorne snapped. "The point is that Noel loves you in spite of everything. You could at least have the common decency to answer the phone when he calls to check on you."
"What do you want from me?" Samantha asked after a brief hesitation. "Do you want me to say that I miss him?"
"I want you to call him from time to time and let him know that you're safe." Thorne replied. "Is that too much to ask?"
Samantha hesitated as if in thought.
"No... no it isn't." she conceded. "I'll call him once a week."
"Good now I have a question for you." Thorne said.
He told Samantha about the conversation that he and Noel had about the fight with the Sinclaires.
"That's strange." Samantha said when Thorne was finished talking. "I don't know why he would say that unless... Thorne, your father was very hard on Noel. Even when he wasn't punishing him physically, he was punishing him emotionally. He was always so sensitive and maybe that fight was too much for him. Maybe he doesn't want to remember."
"Maybe...I've got to go; just remember to call Noel at least once a week." Thorne said and hung up.
Thorne leaned back in his chair and thought about his father. He had been a bastard except to his mother even though she hadn't loved him. How could he not have seen the torment that Noel was in? Granted he was gone by the time Noel was born; but he still should have seen something.
Then he remembered the family portraits. His father had been in none of them. When he asked Noel why, Noel told him that their father wouldn't stand still long enough. Noel had an excellent eye and memory. He wouldn't have needed their father to pose. The clues were there but he had turned a blind eye.
He went to Noel's wing to find him looking at the pair of eyes that he had painted. His lips were moving and then stopping as if he was having a conversation. Thorne watched Noel's lips turn up into a smile that was identical to his when he smiled.
As soon as Noel realized that he was there, he stopped talking and covered the canvas.
"It's early; I thought that we could paint for a while." Thorne said.
"Of course!" Noel replied. "You never have to ask. Do you know what I don't understand?"
"What's that?" Thorne asked as he set up his canvas.
"Your paintings are top notch; why aren't you showing them?"
"I don't want to make a living at it." Thorne replied. "I'm already doing what I love and painting relaxes me."
"I can understand that." Noel replied. "Can I ask you a question?"
"Sure; what is it?" Thorne asked. He liked this new, more confident Noel and once again wished that he had taken him in sooner.
"Did father stop you from being an artist?"
Thorne paused. That was something that no one knew about him and he wondered how Noel knew.
"He tried." Thorne replied. "In the end I decided that art would become a form of relaxation for me."
"Did he hurt you?" Noel asked.
"Not like he hurt you." Thorne replied.
"Because you left before he could." Noel said quietly.
Thorne didn't reply, but it was the truth.
"Why didn't you leave?" Thorne asked. "You didn't have to stay and take his abuse."
Noel hesitated trying to formulate his thoughts.
"I don't know." He said after several minutes. "I stayed after father died so that Mother wouldn't be alone." Noel said with a shrug. "All of us couldn't have left. In retrospect, I wish that I had left."
Thorne felt a stab of guilt at Noel's words. He knew that Noel's intent hadn't been to make him feel guilty; he was being honest.
"Don't start feeling guilty." Noel said looking over at Thorne. "That wasn't my intent. I was just answering your question honestly."
"It's too late for the not feeling guilty." Thorne replied with a small smile. "But thanks."
"You never answered my question." Noel said after a few minutes.
"Which question was that?" Thorne teased.
"Touché." Noel replied. "I did ask a lot of questions didn't I?"
"I don't mind; it's just good to have you here." Thorne replied. "It's good to have someone to talk to."
"So Thorne, who is she?" Noel asked.
"I don't know who you mean." Thorne lied. "Who do those eyes belong to?" he asked taking the spotlight off of him.
"I'm not sure." Noel replied. "But whoever she is; she's important."
"Why haven't you finished painting her?"
"I don't know the answer to that either." Noel replied. "By the way; you still haven't answered my question."
"She's nobody." Thorne replied. "She was just someone that I fucked one night; she was nothing special. How long has it been for you? I have someone that would be glad ..."
"Thanks but no thanks." Noel interrupted. "But back to this woman... she's more than that..."
"Noel I don't mean to be rude; but I don't want to talk about it. Can we just paint?" Thorne asked.