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A/N: a continuing story – it’s recommended that you make sure you’ve read the earlier chapters first.
Happiness comes back to me, despite our continued separation, I know it’s temporary, I know time will pass and we’ll be together properly. Plus, that little wink at dominance from Seb was something else and has put quite the smile on my face. Now, my biggest problem is Mikey and Slater mocking me continuously for being too happy — I just can’t win, and I don’t care.
The rest of the quarter passes, as time does; work, and studying, and exercise. And friends — Mikey and Slater of course, but I open myself up a little more too, start to feel inclined to spend time with others. Is this what happiness does? I can be okay with this.
* * * * *
It’s busy in the bar on this Saturday night. Exams are over so I spot a few familiar faces, but I’m pretty ruthless with ID checking — this isn’t some backstreet speakeasy and I haven’t become that relaxed. Katya and I are on form, working seamlessly together, mixing, serving, smiling, and things feel especially floaty. I give her a quick hug when it’s break time — she won’t even break a sweat covering the whole bar, and then it’ll be my turn — and take my place on the other side of the bar with a beer.
I’m just sitting with my happiness when a sultry voice murmurs in my ear. “Can I buy you a drink?” I don’t look up, there’s no need, there isn’t any way I wouldn’t recognize that voice that sends stimuli shooting down my spine. I suck in a tiny breath in a bid to keep my voice steady.
“I’d love a beer,” draining the last of my bottle and gently waving it at Kat.
She slides me a new one and asks Seb what he wants, returning quickly with his bourbon and waving him away when he tries to pay. Kat knows I never, ever accept drinks from patrons, so this is an unusual enough event for her to just want to watch it play out. I make eye contact with her, and my eyes are burning… and I see her mouth part in shock chased by a broad grin, before she walks away with a raise to her eyebrow.
I’m finally in charge of myself enough to lift my head. He’s standing close, not too close, but I’m surprised those sparks aren’t spinning in the small space between our bodies.
“Hi,” I whisper, and he whispers it back.
I can’t help it then, and I flash him my smile, and see his eyes glow at it. I can see two friends behind him, arms around each other’s waists as they watch our interaction. Their eyes are dancing with amusement, and I wonder what he’s told them about me, about why he’s approached me, and what he’ll tell them afterward when I’m sure our connection must be written across our faces.
“It’s my birthday,” he whispers.
And, “Happy birthday, baby,” I whisper back.
I don’t think either of us can bear to speak any louder than that, everything we want to say but can’t, here, is held underneath those words you have to strain for.
The bar is hitting one of its flashpoints, and I know my free time is over, even Katya is beginning to look a little pressed. I look around, where are Seb’s ever-present bodyguards? He reads my thoughts; always, but even this mundane one.
“They’re outside, so I can kiss you.” I grin, move to close that small space, feel his soft lips on mine, and in that moment my head takes off, I think, or my mind at least, and I know that this mustn’t end.
“Baby, please tell me we’ve left enough time. Come home with me tonight.” I’m doing my best not to beg, but there’s definitely a whine in my voice, which almost makes me laugh at myself; who is this man, who has made me grasping and desperate and needy? And made me not care, because it’s all for him, and I know he feels the desperation as well. He just nods, and this time it’s my heart that takes flight, and I clasp his hands between mine, just for a moment, before I’m forced to move away, watching him the whole time.
I go back to serve, flying through customers, bringing it back under control, but one eye is on Seb the whole time. Every time my eyes meet his I watch a beautiful smile pass across his face like the sun and I know mine matches. It’s because of this that I fail to take any interest in others around; it must be why I fail to see the older guy, maybe thirty, broad-shouldered and muscular, until he actually reaches Seb and begins to talk to him, blocking my sun from my vision.
I almost laugh at the temerity of such a man to try to pick Seb up, my man, not feeling any concern, but then they move away, through the crowd to the back exit, and there is a well of confusion that begins in my gut, which turns into a fountain pushing fury and fire when Seb looks back, seeking me, and his eyes are lost and terrified.
I grasp Kat, tell her I must go. She has no idea, but sees, instantly, in my face, and tells me to be gone. I push through the crowd, but they’re gone already, and I curse hard, running back to the friends. One must be Charlie, surely, and his boyfriend…what was it? Yes, Zack. Seb talked about them more than anyone else when casino oyna we were together. They’re good friends to him and they need to trust me; I need every trick.
I try casual at first, I don’t know how much they know — it can’t be everything, because I have no doubt who that man must be, and they wouldn’t be chatting and smiling now if they knew what I know, and I don’t know how much Seb would want them to work out.
“Hey, where’s Seb?
“Oh hi, um, sorry, man, I think he’s hooking up with his ex, they just left.”
Dammit, so much for subtlety.
“Listen, Charlie right? And Zack? Seb can’t be with Jacob. There’s stuff that it’s up to him to tell you, but, he just can’t. Please help me out — where will they have gone?” One of them, Zack I think, the small intelligent looking one, is quicker on the uptake, or maybe he’d guessed something at the time and I’ve just confirmed his fears.
“Jacob lives on Lafayette Avenue — a big brownstone about halfway along. I don’t know the number, or which apartment. His surname’s Prenderghast.”
Thank god for ridiculous memorable surnames. I can do this.
I run to my bike, dialing Mikey as I go. Give him the name, the street, and I’m off.
When I get to Lafayette I pull up halfway along and start approaching doors, looking for the name on an apartment label. I’m panicking, they’d had more than ten minutes head start by the time I’d got to my bike, and I have to pray that Jacob had actually brought Seb here. The thought of what might be happening to him is making me sick to my stomach.
A door opens, and an elderly guy with white hair calls out tremulously.
“What are you doing? I’m going to call the police!” I’m aghast, the realization that my brown skin in this neighborhood at night warrants fear and anger hits me like a physical blow, and I feel sick for a whole new reason.
Like a savior, Slater’s rattling car pulls up, and Mikey bounds out.
“It’s okay, sir,” he analyses the situation with depressing ease, “our friend has just had too much to drink, we’re taking him home.”
The man grumbles but turns back to his home, and I instantly forget him. I get into the car with Mikey, and Slater drives, his face stoic, a hundred yards further down. I’d been in the wrong place — thank god for these guys.
At the top of the steps I see the name that brings fury to my chest, and am about to start random buzzing to get the door open, when Mikey stops me with a calming hand to the chest. He crouches at the key pad, examining the wear of the numbers, and mumbles to himself.
“Four, five, seven, nine, faded, four and seven most.”
He continues mumbling and typing combinations of digits in while I get progressively more stressed, until, finally (though really only on the fourth try, it’s not his fault time sped up to hours hence for me), he hits the right combination and the door buzzes its welcome.
We push through, and this time it’s Slater who calms me with a hand. He passes me the cotton balaclava from all those months ago and I take it uncertainly. I don’t want Seb to be scared, but my friends are putting themselves on the line for me and I have to let them keep their safety from retribution. This is going to get messy; the way I feel right now, too messy. I pull the mask on and we push into apartment 2b.
Seb is against the far wall of a large living room. Jacob has him pinned high, his feet barely touching the floor; his forearm against Seb’s throat, his other hand roughly pushing Seb’s shirt up. He is distracted by Seb’s hands pushing him away and hasn’t noticed us enter, but Seb sees and the relief that immediately passes through him makes my heart sing. Then I look back at Jacob and an animalistic roar comes from me as I leap at him, ripping him away from Seb.
I land my fist, hard, into his face and pull back to go again. Jacob is clutching himself in shock and I want to close that down, make it so shock is the last thing he ever thinks of, but Slater blocks my arm and gestures to Seb, being held in a tight hug by Mikey. The anger falls like water from me and I go to him, gathering him into my arms. Mikey gesticulates for us to leave and I turn as I hear tough flesh hitting slightly more delicate flesh.
* * * * *
We go home, Seb clinging strongly to me on the back of the bike, resting his head on my back. When we strip and climb into bed, there still hasn’t been a word, just peace and comfort. He turns, wrapping his arms around my torso.
“I knew you’d come,” he whispers, the waves vibrating against my cheek, “I wasn’t even scared, because I knew you’d come.”
“I always will, Seb, always.”
“Will you tell me, baby, what happened?” There isn’t any way I’m going to blame him for what just happened — or what very nearly just happened — but I need to know how to keep my baby safe. I need to know why he went with that man who had been so vile to him. Physically, Seb is as strong as me, so why didn’t he fight harder? That meathead would never have got me back to his place.
“I’m canlı casino sorry, Ollie, I’m pathetic. He had pictures. He showed me them on his phone. He told me he’d airplay them on the bar’s television, right there, in front of everyone. He said if I didn’t come with him he’d go right in there and do it. My god! That’s what he’ll do now.” Seb’s almost green for a moment, thinking of the humiliation.
“But, they make him look bad, right?”
“He’s not even in them. There’s just me…others. God, it was like those pictures we pretended we had…” I’m not going to ask more, it’s already making him shake. “What if he does it? He’ll be mad.”
“I don’t think he’ll be in a position to do anything when Mikey and Slater have finished with him.” As if reading my mind, Mikey buzzes through a message. He won’t be bothering Seb again. As usual, the big bad bully runs scared from anyone bigger and badder than them. I just want Seb to be okay; to not be scared.
“I should tell you the details, shouldn’t I?” he asks me suddenly, his face pressed into my chest.
“You don’t need to,” I insist, not sure if I’m strong enough to hear them.
“But…if he does do something with the pictures he took. I told you: it looked bad. You couldn’t tell I didn’t want it. You couldn’t see my face.”
“If you couldn’t see your face how would you know it was you? You don’t have any tattoos or birthmarks.”
“What do you mean? Of course it was me, I remember- “
“I know, baby, but how would anyone else know it was you?”
“Oh! I suppose you’re right,” he sounds like he’s thinking on it.
“Besides, Seb, I want you to know I won’t abandon you, no matter what. It’s you and me now. Always.” I feel his arms tighten around me and softly kiss the top of his head.
I stroke his back, thinking of lulling him into sleep, giving him some much needed peace, but he wriggles around, his back to me now, sliding his ass against my increasing arousal.
“I want you to fuck me, Ollie. Oh, and by the way, I want you to go get tested, because I want to start doing this without a condom.”
I love the insouciance he says this with, the poise that is sometimes hidden, but grows, I’m sure, by the day. Love that I have had this small effect on helping him become more himself, and that he’s doing it with me.
“I have news for you baby, I already did, months ago.”
“Me too, that’s lucky,” and I can hear the grin in his voice.
I feel the tremor of anticipation that runs through him, and he begins rubbing harder against me. I hold his hip to still him for a moment, a moment I don’t necessarily want to take but I must, for him.
“We don’t have to do this baby, I know what happened back there must have been scary, could have gone real bad, I don’t want you to feel like you have to- “
“I don’t. I never would, with you. I want it, from you, for you. I want to feel you inside me, I want you to claim me as yours, and, later, I want to claim you too.”
I can still hear that damn grin, and now it’s my turn to tremble as I nibble at the back of his neck, reaching to feel his nipples, already hardened in desire, squeezing and twisting, only a little too roughly, to elicit that gasp, that moan that is my name, as he slides his soft skin against me.
I’m thinking back to that night in Seb’s room, thinking of his actions and reaction, as I bring my hand up and gently hold his throat. My brain is concerned this might be too much too soon after what happened, but my brain isn’t exactly in charge right now, plus I want to replace every bad experience Seb has had with a stronger, good experience.
“You enjoyed controlling me that time, didn’t you?” He nods rapidly, in full agreement. “How do you feel about me controlling you?”
His response is a low moan as he arches, pushing his ass hard against me, pushing his neck against my hand, forcing my grip into him.
“I want you to promise you’ll tell me if it gets too much, at any point, I don’t care if one of us is coming, the second it’s too much, you say stop, and we stop.”
He shows me he understands, bringing his hands up to grasp at my fingers, not to pull them away, but to pull them into him. With him held to me like this, I bite his soft flesh, not hard enough for permanency, but hard enough to give him what he’s looking for, which I feel through the sounds that come from him as I travel down his body. I part him, marveling once again at the beauty of this space that is for me, from now on, just for me, moving forward to taste clean skin and musky arousal. Goddammit, too hot, and I push in, gripping one hip hard, pressing into his skin with my fingers as I press into his body with my tongue. He pushes my head into him, and I pause, an idea in my mind.
“No, baby, you’re not in charge this time.”
I go to my drawer, pulling out two silky neckties, and return to the bed with a grin at Seb’s reaction. He’s looking at them through his thick lashes, his lips parted to release his panting breaths, hips pulsing as his fingertips dance kaçak casino over his hipbones, tempted. I push him down, straddling him in a memory of the first time we were like this, pushing his arms above his head, leaning over him, so our torsos touch while I bind each wrist to the headboard, and he shifts under me, pushing himself against my hardness, mewling and panting. His eyes are closed now and I’m reminded of his actions from that first night, but with no tempering, he has no desire for me to know anything but exactly how hot this is making him. I growl low as I push into the dip of his clavicle, unable to hide my lust, nipping the skin, moving down his body again. I scoop some lube as I run a pointed tongue up, then down, then up again, along his twitching cock, flicking the sensitive ridges before swiping across the glossy head, gathering up a bubble of his arousal and swallowing it down.
I circle his tight hole with one slick finger until he begs me to breach him, pushing his legs wide in desperation. Sliding forward with two fingers, forcing an appreciative keen from his throat, I take him into my mouth while I tease the soft walls of his passage, twisting and spreading my fingers. His hips buck, my name a gasp on his lips. I don’t want to wait any longer; we have forever to tease, and to submit to each other. Right now I want the new experience of sliding into him, feeling contact body to body, skin to skin, nothing between us.
The connection is smooth, we’re both so ready, and the sensation of each inch being covered has us panting, the heat emanating from our link seeming to flow through and out. Seb is almost chanting my name and it causes me to moan his, sucking on a soft earlobe, pressing my face into him so I can breathe his scent.
“Ollie, baby, I want to come,” his voice is breathless, and I can feel his desperation to fall apart.
I giggle as I remember his bound hands, moving to kiss and nip the sensitive skin above his armpit, as I reach between us to grasp his hardness. I can feel him rising, my stomach over his balls as they tighten and shrink up, his muscles contracting in a rhythm that I ride, allowing my own release to surge. In the perfect culmination of all our movements we come together, our foreheads pressed as we share the electricity.
* * * * *
Something changes after that night. Knowing that Ollie is there for me makes me brave and I’m no longer afraid of my father; if anything, I’m slightly annoyed at myself for letting him affect my reactions for so long, and it meaning all that time I spent without my perfect man. I have no idea what happens to the goons even though, each day, I half expect to find them on my tail again.
I ask Charlie to bring the stuff I can’t cope without — my computer and school work mainly — and he meets me in a coffee shop on campus, where I explain almost everything to him. Not the kidnapping; I’m close to Charlie and I feel the technicalities of how Ollie and I met may be a step to far for his highly honorable sensitivities. But the other stuff; the reasons why I never talk about my family, what Jacob was like. Charlie is exactly as understanding as I would ever have expected him to be, and I feel thankful to have a friend like him.
And that’s what my life will be now. I will be thankful for the good things I have and will not weigh myself down with the bad things that I cannot change, especially when they relate to my past. Ollie has given me confidence to be myself, confidence that the person I am is a worthy one.
We settle into a very happy routine and somehow manage to not annoy each other too much, despite the tiny apartment. Mikey is as good a friend as I knew he would be from the moment of meeting him, and Slater… well Slater isn’t quite as dangerous as I first thought him, though I have noticed that Ollie seems to be the only one who can actually deal with his volatility, as Mikey seems to just ignore it.
One morning I’m rushing, needing to be out the door five minutes ago, dropping a tea bag into my go-mug, when Slater stumbles into the kitchen, still half asleep, ruffling his fingers through his thick dark hair.
“You in a rush?” he asks, and I stop myself from the snarky response I want to come out with.
“Yeah. I’m going to be late. I wanted to speak with my tutor before the lecture.”
“Eh, you can do it after.” Sure, I can. But it wasn’t the plan. But I’m learning that Slater never feels the need to rush anything.
“Slater. Why did you pick me?” The urge to ask comes to me suddenly. I know it was Slater’s idea — Ollie’s told me all the details, though he’s never mentioned the motivation over and above money.
“I’m sorry, Seb. I still feel bad after you turned out to be a good guy.”
“Did you think I was a bad guy?”
“Not really, not like that. I picked you because someone pointed you out to me and I recognized your name, because the sports wing is named after you.” Well, it’s named after my grandfather, but yeah, okay. “I guess I had a preconceived notion about what someone that rich would be like, and I wasn’t seeing you as a human being, who might be scared. It was a really dumb idea. I still feel bad that we put you through that. But you met Ollie, so it’s all good, yeah?”
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