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Cursed Gift 2: Taken
copyright 2008 Patricia Osmundsen
Author’s Note: If you haven’t read Cursed Gift, you might want to, before you read this. This is a sequel, after all, and rather than recap events and explanations, I’ve simply carried on from the first story. If you did read Cursed Gift … well, I edited it, added a scene or two, and a bit more information. Give it a quick perusal if you like. No matter what you decide, I hope you enjoy spending more time with Alex and Wade. I certainly did.
A few words of caution. This tale traveled some dark and twisted paths, much to my surprise. Please understand that what’s depicted in some of the scenes has nothing to do with consensual bondage or pain play. In fact, it has little to do with sex, and more to do with power and rage. So please, don’t consider this a diatribe against bdsm. It isn’t. It’s simply a story, with aspects of cruelty that are all too common in real life. If I’m guilty of anything, it’s portraying the bad, as well as the good, of which we humans are capable. Mea culpa.
My thanks to Michael Buble for his wonderful rendition of “I’m Your Man” and my apologies to Leonard Cohen for changing one little word in his beautiful lyrics. Both of these gentlemen provided the inspiration for the first nightclub scene.
Further thanks to two friends, who helped with the editing of this piece. Kathi, as always … you da best. And Carizabeth … thanks immensely. For the stuff I got right, thank them. For the goofs, blame me.
“All you have to do is sit front and center for the last number,” Alison said. She was standing at the bar, a club soda in her hand, her gray eyes steady on Wade.
He lifted an eyebrow. “I seldom sit anywhere when the club’s open. I walk around, make sure all the wheel’s are turning properly.” He looked over the floor. “I don’t even have a table up there.”
“Well, move one over, and sit. It took me weeks to get Alex to agree to this.”
“How’d you get him to join the band in the first place? He doesn’t seem the type.”
“I nagged and harassed until he gave in. He’s got a great voice, he plays half a dozen instruments, and he writes music and lyrics to die for.” She took a large swallow of soda and shrugged. “Besides, if not for this, he’d be a complete recluse. You really don’t know how it is with him, do you?”
“Well….” He didn’t want to admit that he hadn’t asked Alex. They hadn’t been together long enough for him to feel comfortable digging for information.
“Thought not.” She smiled. “You’re good for him. You bring him out of himself, even more than I can. Don’t worry. When he’s ready, he’ll open up to you. It’s difficult for him. He’s lived with ridicule and disbelief most of his life.”
“Because he’s a psychic?”
“His ability manifested when he was thirteen. School was torture, because he couldn’t avoid touching people and things. He was bombarded with knowledge and feelings he didn’t seek or want, but couldn’t escape. Our parents were worthless. They told him he was crazy, threatened to have him committed. Keith’s mom and dad paid them to butt out and took over as guardians for us. They pulled him from school and hired a private tutor. He stayed with them until he was eighteen, when our grandfather’s trust fund became available to us.”
“I knew he wasn’t on good terms with his folks, but he never said why.”
“They don’t even know where he lives. He tried to keep them in his life. God knows why. When he was fifteen, he told them he was gay, and they tried to have him sent away again, this time to doctor who said he could ‘cure’ him, make him straight. After high school, we moved out here. Keith and Caitlin followed six months later, and we met David shortly after that.” She smiled. “Keith’s mom and dad moved to Flagstaff, just to be closer to all of us. So things got a lot better for Alex, but it’s still tough.”
“You two had it rough as kids.” He thought of his parents and silently thanked them for being the gems they were.
“We managed.” The house lights flickered, a sign that her break was nearly over. “I’ve run my mouth long enough. Just make sure you have the best seat in the house, okay?” She waved slender fingers and ran to the dressing room.
“I can’t do it, I’m a wreck, I’ll fall on my ass.” Alex paced back and forth in the dressing room, sliding the brim of a gray fedora through his fingers. Alison had picked the color to match his eyes, and he knew it looked good on him. Right now, he didn’t care about that. “What if I forget the lyrics?”
Alison sighed. “You’re such a drama queen. You’ve got the routine solid in your muscle memory.” Alison snatched the hat from him and set it on his head. “You won’t miss a step, and you never flub a lyric.”
“I can’t,” he said, as he automatically moved the hat to sit slightly off-center, and tipped forward.
Alison casino şirketleri adjusted the y-suspenders over his tank top and made sure the shirt was tucked smoothly into the tailored slacks. “Damn, bro, you’re gonna raise the temp out there. Among other things. Sexy as sin, you are.” She cradled his face between her hands and smiled at him. “Just remember you’re performing for an audience of one.” The rest of the band was already set up, waiting for Alex to take the stage.
“Brat,” he muttered. “Okay, all right, I can do this. Is the chair ready? The mat?” The chair had to be carefully positioned on a nonslip rubber mat, or he’d wind up falling into an audience member’s lap.
“Everything’s ready. Go sit down. I’ll intro you in one minute.”
Wade was seated directly in front of the stage. He wondered what was so special about this song. The club was dark until a soft, baby spot lit the front of the stage. Alison’s silky voice, carried through the room by the sound system, stilled the low buzz of conversation.
“Tonight, we’d like to send you home with something a little different. A wonderful song by Leonard Cohen called I’m Your Man. And here to sing it for you is my brother, Alex Nightingale.”
The spotlight moved and grew brighter, illuminating what it had previously hidden. A simple, armless chair, its back facing the audience. Alex, legs straddling the seat, arms draped over the back, his head lowered so only the top of a gray fedora showed. His long fingers were curled around a microphone.
The band, unlit and unseen, played the intro, soft brass and jazzy drums. Without lifting his head, Alex began to sing. He softened his clear baritone, as if singing to himself. A little bluesy, a tiny bit jazzy, and incredibly intimate.
If you want a lover, I’ll do anything you ask me to.
And if you want another kind of love, I’ll wear a mask for you.
If you want a partner take my hand….
Wade lost track of the lyrics, because Alex lifted his head, stood, and propped his foot on the seat of the chair. Holy shit, he’s hot. Wade already knew that, but this was an Alex he hadn’t seen before. Where was the shy man who didn’t like to sing solo? Does he know how sexy he is in those clothes? Gray flannel slacks hung loose on his long legs, but were snug over the taut buttocks. A black tank, tight enough to show the lean muscles of his chest and abs. Red suspenders that drew attention to the wide shoulders and slender hips. Wade licked his lips and leaned forward, his hands resting on the edge of the table, and stared into smoky gray eyes under a matching gray fedora. Alex leaned against the chair, his hand in his pocket, and smiled. Wade’s ears started to work again and he heard throbbing words of want and need.
If you want a driver climb inside
Or if you wanna take me for a ride, you know you can,
Cuz I’m your man.
Alex stepped up and stood on the seat of the chair, propped his right foot on the back, and rocked the chair forward and backward in time to the music. He lifted his voice, belting out the refrain. Partway through the refrain, he sent the chair over in a controlled tilt, and rode it down.
Ah, the moon’s too bright, the chain’s too tight,
the beast won’t go to sleep.
I’ve been running through these promises to you
that I made and could not keep.
He moved toward the edge of the stage, in perfect time to the music, and dropped to one knee as if in desperate appeal. He leaned forward, one hand reaching out, and lowered his other knee.
But a man never got a lover back, not by begging on his knees.
I’d crawl to you baby, and I’d fall at your feet.
I’d howl at your beauty like a dog in heat.
And I’d claw at your heart, and I’d tear at your sheets, I’d say please
He straightened and then bent backward until his hair nearly touched his shoes, and came slowly back up. He bent his head and nearly sobbed the last line.
cuz I’m your man.
Wade wanted to drag him off the stage and ravish him.
Alex stood and turned in a smooth, graceful move, his back to the audience as he slowly returned to the chair. In a slick maneuver, he used his foot on the seat to pop the back of the chair into his waiting hand, slung his leg over, and returned to his original position.
The crowd was silent, rapt, scarcely daring to breathe. Wade realized he had a death grip on the edge of the table. He further realized he was fully erect and ready for action. Fuck me, he thought. Sex in suspenders. He began to get his breathing under control, only to have it ratchet back up when the refrain was repeated. The whole thing, the chair tilt, the slow walk, and the kneeling on stage. Wade was torn between admiration for the skill and strength displayed, and sheer, animal lust for the singer.
After Alex sang ‘Cuz I’m your man’ for the last time, he slumped forward, bent over his thighs in surrender. casino firmaları The music ended, the light winked out, and total silence reigned for sixty seconds.
Once the audience caught their collective breath, they erupted with whistles and wild applause. The stage lights came up, Alex and the band took a bow, and the stage lights dimmed again. Wade sat at the table, applauding with everyone else. He didn’t dare stand, not until a certain part of his anatomy stopped raging and begging for freedom.
Alex leaned against the wall and downed a bottle of lemon water. The dance shoes he’d worn on stage were tucked under a chair, and a pair of leather sneaks now covered his feet. He’d removed the hat and wiped his face with a towel, which now draped, forgotten, around his neck. “Well?” He moved his eyes from one band member to the other. “How was it?”
Keith and David raised their thumbs, Caitlin clapped, and Alison rolled her eyes. Before anyone could say a word, Wade opened the door. He stood there for a second, blue eyes riveted on Alex. “I don’t think I want you singing that song again,” he said, walking slowly toward him.
Alex swallowed. “You … you didn’t like it? Oh shit, I must have fucked it up. In rehearsal it worked so well….”
Wade stopped the babble of words with his lips, devouring Alex’s mouth. Alex found himself molded to the bigger man, a strong hand cupping his head, another pressing against his lower back. He heard himself whimper under the sensual assault, wrapped his arms around the strong body, and held on.
At last Wade lifted his head. “I loved it. Everyone loved it. But damn, I thought I was the only one who got to see you like that.”
Wade’s voice lowered to a rough growl. “Primed for sex, making love to the entire audience. Songbird, you were scorching.” He caught an ear lobe between his teeth and flicked his tongue over it. “Got me so hard I couldn’t move.”
Alex shivered. “I was singing to you, just you,” he murmured.
“I should hope so,” came the reply.
“Uh, guys?” Alison’s voice woke them to their surroundings. “You might want to take it home before you burn down the club.” She picked up her purse, linked her hand with Keith’s, and planted a kiss on first Wade’s, then Alex’s cheek. “You did good, twin. Go home and unwind. ‘Night, Wade.” She and Keith were out the door before either man could reply.
Alex lifted his head, realized the rest of the band had also left, and smiled. “You still ready for action?” He thrust his hips forward in a blatant invitation and ground his hardness into Wade’s. “You certainly are. Let’s get outta here.”
Wade took a deep breath and adjusted himself within the confines of his jeans. “Prepare yourself for a long night, sexy.” He tossed the towel aside, set the fedora on Alex’s head, and gently popped a suspender. “Love the outfit.”
He watched them exit the club arm-in-arm. They got into separate vehicles, but he knew they’d go to Alex’s house, and spend the night together. When Alex and the band performed, Wade spent the night at Alex’s. They spent other nights together with no discernible pattern, but those nights were certain.
It wouldn’t be easy to get to Alex. His life was highly structured. He sang at New Moon every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night, from eight until two in the morning. Those afternoons, the other band members came over to rehearse. Every other day of the week, Nightingale was at home, and frequently by himself. He didn’t go anywhere but the club. He kept the house locked twenty-four/seven. It could be breached, but Alex would probably know it had happened. No, not easy at all. But not impossible.
He smiled. Turner was heading out of town Saturday afternoon. Keith and Alison planned to spend three days in Flagstaff, visiting his family, along with Caitlin and David. As of Sunday, Alex would be completely alone, until sometime Tuesday, when everyone returned. All the pieces were in place. He’d make his move Sunday.
Wade expected passionate lovemaking when they got home. He didn’t expect to get into an argument with Alex. It started in the kitchen, where he’d asked a simple question. It followed them into the bedroom, both men refusing to concede. Now, perched on the edge of the bed, Wade shoved his hand through his hair and watched Alex undress. He toed off his shoes, stepped out of the slacks, and hung them neatly on the rod. He set the shoes in the closet, pulled off his socks, and tossed them in the hamper.
Wade spoke to the smaller man’s back. “It’s just three days. It’ll be fun. Dinner at a nice restaurant, a first-class suite at ritzy hotel, and we can take in a play or something.” He forced himself to relax and adopt a wheedling tone. “Not to mention joining the Mile-High club.” Come on, say yes, he thought.
Alex’s mental güvenilir casino voice was ominously silent. “I’m not going. Drop it.” He sent his tank top and briefs to join his socks, and slammed the door shut. The bifold door jumped its track in protest. “Shit.” He grabbed the edge of the door, wrestled it into place, and closed it with exaggerated care. He moved to the dresser, shoulders stiff and tense, and pulled out a clean pair of briefs.
Even ticked off, Wade took time to admire the view. “Why not? It’ll do you good. You hardly get out, except to sing at the club. That’s not healthy.” Wade was assaulted by a burst of mental static, like the yowl and hiss of a cat between his ears, and he winced.
Alex pivoted sharply, gray eyes blazing, full lips thinned in anger. “How healthy would it be for me to be flooded with the thoughts and feelings of countless strangers? I live this way to protect my sanity. I thought you understood that. Guess I was wrong.” He turned abruptly and headed for the bathroom. “I’m going to take a shower.”
Wade rubbed the back of his neck. Damn. He hadn’t given a thought to how difficult such a trip would be for a man with Alex’s psychic abilities. Walking among the throngs of New Yorkers, or visiting a crowded restaurant, even staying in a hotel room, with its emotional detritus, all would be unbearable for him. He strode after the smaller man, caught up with him before he got the water running, and pulled him against his chest. “Please, I didn’t think. I just wanted you with me. It’d be hell for you. I should’ve realized that. I’m so sorry.” The tight muscles under his hands relaxed slightly. He rubbed his cheek against the brown silk of Alex’s hair, nuzzled against the delicate shell of an ear, and slid his hands down the slender arms in a gentle caress. Forgive me?
Alex curled his long fingers around Wade’s wrists and leaned back. His lungs worked overtime, with a little hitch at the end of each indrawn breath. “I’m sorry, too. Sorry I can’t go, sorry I got so pissed, sorry my life is so fucked up. I wish I were different. You have no idea how much I’d like … ah, hell, never mind.” He released Wade and turned to press his face into the junction of shoulder and neck. “You’d be better off with someone else, who could do the things you want to do. Someone normal.”
Alex’s voice was husky, and Wade realized he was fighting back tears. “I don’t want anyone but you. I love you.” Wade wrapped his arms around Alex and pulled him closer. “It isn’t your fault, and I’m a jerk to make you feel bad about it.” He felt heat in his groin as he hardened, a natural reaction to the feel of Alex’s body against his. That Alex was naked while he was clothed was an extra spur to his libido. He caught their reflection in the mirror and marveled that their bodies, each so different from the other, fit so perfectly together. “Come to bed,” he murmured. “Let me apologize in style.” He sent one hand down to cup a taut buttock, the other up to brush across a sensitive nipple.
A shiver of pleasure ran through the dark-haired man. “Let me shower first. I was sweatin’ like crazy through that last number.” He shuddered as Wade sucked on his ear lobe.
You smell wonderful. “I’ll bottle the scent. Call it Music and Lust.” Wade planted a line of kisses down Alex’s neck. “We’d make a fortune.” He moved his hands to grip the trim butt and lifted, pleased when long legs wrapped around his waist. He turned and walked back to the bed, Alex a welcome burden in his arms. “Want you in me, songbird.”
“Now you’re talking.” White teeth fastened lightly on Wade’s shoulder. “This’ll be a first. I’ve never had make-up sex.” Gonna make you claw the sheets, lover.
Wade sucked in a sharp breath and set Alex on his feet. “Take me hard, baby. Make me feel you while I’m gone.”
Smoky gray eyes regarded him eagerly. “Strip.”
Wade quickly pulled off his clothes. He felt his stomach tighten in anticipation. “What now?”
“On your back, hands under your head.” Alex’s grin was wicked and his eyes were lit with wildness. “You don’t get to touch anything until I say so.”
Ten minutes later, Wade was writhing under the assault of Alex’s lips and teeth on his neck and chest. Twenty minutes, and he was pleading for a touch to his dick, a lick, anything. Some endless time after that, he was on his hands and knees, cock hard and dripping. He begged for more, harder, deeper, faster, and he got it.
Alex had brought him to the brink three times, and denied him relief each time. Wade felt the shudders that wracked Alex’s body, a body as desperate for release as his own.
He hoped Alex was ready to give them both what they wanted. He groaned each time Alex’s hard length withdrew. Every thrust in stroked his prostate, and each touch against that gland forced a deep-throated growl from him.
“Want to come? Need to?” Alex’s voice washed over him, carried on hot breath.
“Yes, god, please, now.”
The reply was a volley of quick, hard jabs that pushed Wade into a climax so strong, so shattering, that his body seized and froze, his voice caught in his throat, and his dick felt like it exploded.
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