Reach Out For The Sunrise Ch. 04bySadieRose©
© SADIE ROSE BERMINGHAM & BELLORA QUINN 2009
"Our fond wishes and thanks to everyone who's stuck with us this far into our long, and ever winding story. You keep us going with your lovely comments and kind words. And so without further ado, the festive season is upon us, that time of indulgence and rampant consumer excess, so what better antidote than a little slice of melodrama and despondency courtesy of ours truly. On the house, no really… it's our pleasure!
Chapter Four is the start of our traditional dark arc, so if it's escapism from the enforced jollity of the season that you really crave, then look no further. For those who like their reading lighter and more frivolous at this time of year, perhaps you should try another story and come back to us in January! If not, don't say you weren't warned.
Reach Out for the Sunrise contains non-sanitised vampirism and scenes of a homosexual nature involving hot (and often temperamental) young men. And sometimes 'not-so-young' men! If that's not your bag, then don't read it.
Best wishes for the season to you all. xx Sadie & Bellora"
Xav stormed down the hall and though the kitchen, not even seeing the surprised faces that looked after him, and slammed out of the house. Rayne wanted to leave him…well fine! He didn't have to sneak off and drop him like a goddamn abandoned puppy though. He could just fuck off!
As Xavier stalked across the courtyard from the house towards the road he heard two pairs of footsteps set out in rapid pursuit. He only got as far as the elaborate fountain in the middle of the turning circle before a surprisingly strong hand caught his elbow, pulling him around. Dominic's moss-green eyes narrowed as the older man read his face and the hostile, injured shades of his aura.
"Wait! Where are you going?" he demanded.
At his shoulder, Chavez hovered, looking anxious and determined but saying nothing. He moved around though to stand between Xav and the front gate.
Xavier didn't even notice Chavez, his attention focused narrowly on the hand restraining him. He was furious, for no good reason really other than that it was better than crying.
"Wherever the fuck I wanna go!" he growled at Dominic and shook his hand off. "And you're not my fuckin' keeper!"
The urge to hit the older man was so strong he almost did it. Only by the thinnest thread of will did he turn on his heel and stalk toward the gate instead. He felt like the top of his head was going to come off, he was so pissed off. And it was fucking hot out here. The thin t-shirt he'd put on was already sticking to his skin as sweat trickled down his back.
"Move!" he snarled at Chavez, who was still blocking the way to the gate.
"No, man! I'm not letting you walk out of here, the mood you're in," the handsome Mexican boy stated holding his hands out determinedly as if he would catch Xavier up in a broad embrace. "Anything could happen to you."
"Calm down, Xav," Dominic told him more firmly. "You're overwrought and you're running a sky-high fever. Valentino is right. If you collapse out there we might never find you. Please come back inside."
The last was requested more gently.
"Christ! I'm not a fuckin kid! I'm capable of going for a walk by myself!" He brought his arm up to wipe the sweat from his forehead and suddenly felt dizzy. "I'm fine," he insisted, though even he knew that wasn't exactly true. The bright sunshine overhead felt like it was roasting his brain. He felt Dom's hand on his shoulder.
"Come back inside, Xavier," Dom coaxed, his tone soothing and the touch of his hand firm but as comforting as he could make it.
Xavier stiffened, wanting to pull out of his grasp again, but he could see they weren't going to give up and he sighed and let himself be turned back around. He did not want to go inside so Rayne could dump him. He didn't want to hear the excuses and placating lies.
Under the cool white vaults of Aldo's breakfast terrace PJ and Clay were both waiting anxiously as Dominic walked back in with him. When Rayne slammed out of the bedroom and the sound of his heels clicked ferociously down the hallway towards them both men winced in spite of their greater physical bulk. Almost instinctively, Chavez put a protective arm around Xavier and Dominic half-turned, keeping himself rather bravely between the boy and Rayne Wylde.
"I don't know what's happened, Ray," he said holding up his hands, palms outward, in an attempt to deflect some of the little vampire's anger. "But can both of you just calm down for a little while. I don't have long but I don't want to go and leave the situation between you like this."
Rayne clicked to a halt, inches from him and glowered up at him like a recalcitrant child.
"This has nothing to do with you, Dom. Stay out of it. I want to talk to him," he said, crooking his forefinger around the taller man in Xavier's general direction.
Xavier shrugged off Chavez's arm and stepped around Dom. "What makes you think I wanna talk to you?" he asked in a deceptively mild tone. He came around until he was nearly toe to toe with Rayne. "What makes you think I wanna hear some lame excuse about how you have to go?" He gave a dry chuckle, his expression as closed off and as jaded as anyone there had seen it. "You think you're so special? You're not. You've had enough now, so go. I won't get in your way. But stop trying to palm me off on your friends. I can take care of myself!"
In the moment of absolute, breathless silence behind his words Rayne looked briefly as though he might have swallowed his own tongue. His gaze travelled like emerald flames up and down the young man standing before (and slightly over) him. The look on his pale face was almost unreadable.
"I don't even know why I'm doing this. I don't actually have to explain myself to you," he spat at last, turning on his heel and stalking back towards the bedroom. "I should have left you with Lagrado!" his voice echoed along the passage. "I'm sure you were taking care of yourself magnificently without me! Steffen seemed to fuckin' well think so!"
There were any number of scathing things Xavier could have shouted after him, but all the energy seemed to drain out of him and there was nothing but a hollow place left. Rayne was leaving him and nothing he did or said would change it. He'd known it was temporary from the start. It wasn't Rayne's fault he was fuckin' idiot enough to hope for more. He wished Ray had left him with Cole Lagrado.
"Xav…" Dominic reached a hand for him and Xavier moved away.
"Just leave me alone," he muttered and turned to walk down the opposite corridor to the one Rayne had taken.
Aldo, who had come out of the bedroom as Rayne stormed back towards him, now rather boldly caught the small Englishman's shoulders in both hands. To his surprise Rayne didn't fight him, but he did fold into his friend's arms and buried his face against Aldo's chest.
"I know!" he exhaled, and drew in a vast, sobbing breath. "I'm sorry!"
"Don't tell me, tell him," Aldo said impassively, though he did stroke Rayne's hair.
"He doesn't want to hear it, you heard him."
"He wants to hear something," Aldo corrected him. "Not that you've wasted your time on him. You did not mean that? Tell me you did not mean it!
Rayne shook his head.
"I just got angry. I get confused, Aldo. When I'm with him it feels right, but I can't stay with him." He lifted his head, and there was a red gleam to his pale eyes. "He's going to get hurt if he stays with me."
"Maybe he doesn't mind that so long as he can be with you," his friend murmured. "He is correct, he is no longer a child, even if we see him perhaps that way because he is so much younger. You cannot always protect the ones you love, does it mean that you should not love them?"
"Who says I love him?" Rayne asked defensively.
"Love has many pathways and takes many shapes," Aldo said with a dry smile.
"I thought you were a petrolhead not a fuckin' philosopher." The Vampire sighed again, heavily.
"Are you bored with him?" the other man demanded, looking solemnly into his eyes.
Rayne bit down on his lips for a moment, fighting the smart answer that rose to them. He shook his head at last. "No. How could I be?"
"Well then." Aldo stepped aside and turned giving him a little push in the direction Xavier had gone.
"Bastardo!" Rayne exhaled under his breath.
"True, but never without good cause!" Aldo chirruped more cheerfully.
Xavier flopped down on a couch in one of the farthest recesses of the house. It was slightly cooler in here but it still felt stifling to Xav. He wished Aldo had a walk in freezer, he'd gladly curl up in a meat locker. Instead he made do with the couch. Clutching one of the little pillows tight to his chest he lay down and put his back to the room. He was not going to cry. As soon as Dom and Rayne left he'd ask PJ if he'd send him back to San Francisco. That was where he belonged, that was what he knew. He'd go back to work and if Elian Iannopoulos ran into him some night on the street and bled him dry he wouldn't fucking care.
He heard someone come into the room and stiffened but didn't turn. Why couldn't they just leave him the fuck alone?
Chavez sat down on the edge of the couch, ignoring the fact that Xavier obviously didn't want the company. "Hey, Chico," he murmured softly, putting his hand on Xavier's shoulder.
Xavier closed his eyes. "He should have left me there," he said tonelessly.
Chavez carried on gently stroking his back and arm, refusing to be dissuaded by Xavier's determination to be alone.
"And if it had been the other way around and you could have helped him, would you have left him?" he asked in a quiet voice. "Truly?"
The Mexican's dark eyes lifted to the doorway when he saw movement there and his gaze narrowed slightly as it met Rayne's acid glare. He refused to budge though and continued his gentle massage of Xavier's neck as if nothing had happened.
"No." Xavier answered with a small sigh.
"You mean what you said? You want him to go?"
Xavier was quiet for several moments then finally answered; "I was just making it easy for him, Chavez. He can leave with a clear conscience now, and I'll go back to 'cisco where I belong."
Chavez glared at the vampire and for a moment Rayne bent his head, his eyes closed. He remained in the doorway listening to Xavier's words, then moved towards them almost silently on the balls of his booted feet. Chavez fired a look at him that was less than welcoming but the singer ignored it. He removed the younger man's hand from Xavier's neck and rested his own there, almost possessively.
Xavier stiffened slightly but did not turn.
Out! Rayne mouthed at Chavez, nodding towards the doorway.
The Latino youth looked as if he might argue but there was something in the unblinking stare that fixed him; something that warned him it might be safer to be elsewhere.
"Chico," he murmured to Xav. "You know that whatever you decide, you can still come to us if you need help. You are one of us. Sabe?"
Xavier finally turned, his expression somewhere between resigned and just plain sad. "No, I'm not. I can't just hang out forever. They're not gonna want to keep me around anymore than he does."
"Any time you need us. We'd be better for you than him!" Chavez promised, still glaring coldly at Rayne. The Latino had risen to his feet but still seemed reluctant to leave. He muttered something in Spanish that sounded less than complimentary.
"Get out!" Rayne snapped at him at once. The singer's hand was resting on Xavier's arm, and through the contact Xav was getting a whole mess of emotions; anger, bewilderment and no small amount of anxiety.
Chavez opened his mouth to argue and the snarl Rayne turned on him had fangs.
"OUT!" he growled and Chavez fled, casting a final, apologetic glance at Xavier before he scurried for the door like a kicked dog.
There was a long pause between them where neither man moved or spoke. Finally Xavier said; "You're going to miss your train." His voice was soft and husky with emotion.
Rayne's eyes came up to meet his at last and Xavier could only hold his gaze for a moment or two before he had to look away. "You were right, Rayne. You don't owe me an explanation. You don't owe me anything. It was fun while it lasted, right?"
Rayne said nothing but his long fingers glided up from Xavier's shoulder, along the line of his slim neck, brushing the sensitive spot where he always bled his lover. Xav was on fire, and not in the usual, good way. The vampire's long hand cupped his face and Rayne leaned into him, tilting his head as he felt the quickening of Xavier's breath on his skin.
His lips brushed against Xavier's lips, lightly, tentatively. Countless bright flashes of imagery filled him; images of their bodies entwined, lips touching, stroking fingers, urgently thrusting cocks. Rayne caught his breath, shaken and overwhelmed by the effect the boy always had on him. He was not even sure that he could explain it; all that he was feeling.
Xavier tried to lie passively still, but he couldn't help returning the brush of lips and tender sweet kisses. Even whilst, in his head, he was begging Rayne with words he would not burden him with…don't do this, don't leave, don't say goodbye. He lifted his hands to Rayne's cheeks, his fingers caressing lightly. The small hurt voice in his head demanded to know why. Why do you have to leave? Why am I not good enough for you to keep? Why can't you love me?
He closed his eyes and stomped down on that wounded plaintive wail that wanted out. When he opened them again he said; "It's okay, Rayne. I'll be fine."
The words sounded hollow even to his own ears but it was the best he could manage.
"I know you will." Rayne shifted beside him and lay down with Xavier on the sofa so that he could slide his arms more easily around the younger man. "You're the most fuckin' independent person I've ever met. I know you'll be okay. I wouldn't do this if I didn't believe it."
He pressed his lips more firmly to his lover's mouth, kissing him harder and deeper this time. Xavier's arms slid up around Rayne's neck, his fingers sliding up the back of his skull into his hair as the sweet kiss turned more passionate. His ego insisted this was not good, that he shouldn't settle for a farewell fuck. He was helpless to resist though, when Rayne touched him like this. He told his ego to shut the fuck up and kissed him as if his life depended on it.
The singer moved over him, joined to him at the hips and lips, breathing him in, rocking against his pelvis steadily through their clothes. His hands were cold as they slid down his flanks and glided beneath the sweat-damp t-shirt that clung limply to Xavier's molten heat.
"Jesus!" he whispered into the blond's open mouth. "I think you're sickening for something, sweetheart. Even in here you're burning up."
"I feel okay." Xavier murmured back, nudging his lips gently. His fingers brushed under Rayne's shirt as well, his body felt so cool against his hot hands. He pulled a little sound from Rayne's throat as he kissed him hard and his hand scorched up his torso to lay like a brand against Rayne's ribs just over his heart. He could feel it beat under his palm. Sometimes, especially when he slept, it didn't beat at all, but right now it seemed to respond to his touch; thumping behind the wall of Rayne's chest as if it wanted to get closer to his heat.
The little vampire curled around him, towing him into a tight embrace. Usually Rayne experienced a kind of low-level background interference whenever he was this intimate with Xavier. The boy's thoughts only really intruded when he was completely open; taken by surprise, or coming hard whilst they fucked. But he was generally conscious of the kid all the time. Right now all he was getting was 'the wall'.
He knew Dominic had been teaching Xavier to shield and block, but could only guess at what the boy was trying to shut away from him right now.
"Xav," he whispered huskily into his lover's ear; "I said some really... low, shitty things to you before. I don't know what... why... My head's just not been straight since Frisco. I just wanna tell you that I never wanted to hurt you. And I am a total fuckwit, I know it! I am so sorry. You are right not to want me around, sweetheart."
God! Why is he doing this? Xav thought desperately. Cool disdain he could deal with, or an angry tirade, or even indifference, but this gentle concern was wearing him down. He was trying so damn hard not to let Rayne in his head, not to let him know what he felt. His forehead was resting on Rayne's shoulder and he made a soft low sound in his throat that could have been a moan of pleasure except it was filled with anguish.
"I don't want you to go," he tried to bite back the words but it was too late. "I'm sorry…I'm sorry, Rayne. I didn't mean to…" he whispered. "I know you don't love me, you never let me think otherwise. It's not your fault I'm an idiot."
"I don't think that," Rayne said at once. "I never thought that of you, Xav. You're an angel, and you're smart and beautiful. And I was the one that uprooted you and dragged you out here without even asking if it was what you wanted. So it serves me right if that comes back to bite me in the arse, don't it?"
He rolled back a little so that he could look Xavier in the eye, still running his hands over the boy's hot, sweat-damp flesh. His mouth always watered slightly when they were this close. The temptation wasn't getting any easier to resist. The old adage was not true in this case; familiarity bred a kind of ravenous hunger in him that would not go away. And with every bite it got stronger.
"I don't want to hurt you," he told the beautiful little blond again, all the while speared by that look of absolutely naked pain and longing. "And I'm scared that if I stay with you... I don't know what will happen to us. I was never good at self-control when I was mortal. It's worse now, because I AM dangerous, no matter what anyone thinks. You ask Dominic if you don't believe me. He knows about vamps. He knows what we're like."
He closed his eyes, unable to bear watching the clear blue jewels that glistened back at him as they filled with tears.
Xavier sighed wearily, the little jewel drops finally spilling down his hot cheeks. "You think I don't know that? You think I don't know how careful you are?" he asked in a gentle voice. "I'm not that stupid. You keep thinking that I'm just blindly going along with everything, but I haven't been that blind in… well, ever." He paused for a moment. "You didn't 'all of a sudden' get afraid you'd hurt me, Rayne. You've been afraid all this time, and you've been so careful. What changed was I told you I loved you, and now you want to run away. What else am I supposed to think but you don't want me the same way?"
"It's not a good idea," Rayne said atonally, without looking up at him. "You know, there are so many guys out there that would be better for you. Safer for you." He sank down on the broad sofa cushions beside Xav, rolling onto his back and staring up helplessly at the slowly rotating fan suspended from the crisp white ceiling. "I'm used to thinking on my feet, Xav, because there are times when I have to. I'm not sure I can do that for two. Yeah, you scared me. I'll admit it. I'm not used to being half of a couple. I've been on my own for a long time." He caught his breath and turned his head to look at the younger man earnestly. "It's not that I don't care, sweetheart. Please believe me when I say that."