Well if you are upset and need a good distraction from your anger, then I have another QUICKIE for you. Now, I do feel the need to tell you all that this little marathon I've had for the past few days probably won't last past this post because I have to get back on the yes, master train before I get whipped into submission myself. I had a good laugh yesterday at all the lit readers that are emailing me through feedback yelling at me (i.e. hurry my ass up.)
Okay, I hear you loud and clear. Message recieved, processed, and we're back aboard the yes, master express. Also quick note before I let this QUICKIE loose...I have found out the problem with the damn font on D&R CH3. Even though I had changed it numerous times, it reverted back to its old ways. So after a bit of punishment, blogger obliged and the font has been changed. You're welcome.
Without any more of my mindless chatter, I give you today's QUICKIE.
(LOL) P.S. Although this is set in Chicago, none of the venues/streets/or places are real. So don't go all google huntress and send me some snappity snap email. It's fiction everybody! And while copy/pasting I had some words that stuck together and some words/punctuation stick too. Sorry if you find any that I missed. Thanks.
XOXOXOXO NIGHT TEMPEST
TWO LITTLE BOYS SITTIN IN A TREE, WILL YOU MAKE A PROMISE TO ME?
~~~~Twenty Years Ago~~~~~
“Nicky, when are you coming back?” Nine year old Josh swung his legs back and forth as he sat high in the tree. He looked at his best friend Nicky. The other boy’s hair was almost white it was so blonde and his eyes were beautiful but strangely dark.
“Mom says Chicago is really far. Farther than Grandma’s house and that’s…I don’t remember but it’s far away. She said I could maybe come back for the summer,” Nicky mumbled and turned his head to hide a tear. He didn’t want to leaveJosh. They were stronger together and he didn’t have anyone in Chicago like the boy beside him.
“Nicky…” Josh whispered and pulled the other boy into his arms. Nicky let loose a sob and thencried into Josh’s neck. His favorite blue Superman shirt was wet and slobbery with snot and tears but Josh didn’tcare. He just wanted to make Nicky feel better and he didn’t want him to go.
“Let’s run away. We can take our bikes and I have some change under my bed. We can stay the night here until we decide where we want to go,” Josh decided aloud. He pulled Nicky’s face to his in between his hands and they stared at each other.
“I…I can’t Josh. My mom said my dad worked really hard to get moved to Chicago because of his job. I want to be with you so bad but…Ican’t.” Nicky took Josh’s hands in his and the blonde continued to cry. Nicky searched his best friend’s devastated face and memorized his wavy brown hairand soft gold eyes. There was that scar under his eye where he’d fell and hit his face on the rock by the lake.
There was a small dimple only on the right cheek when Josh smiled and then there were the long dark lashes that surrounded Josh’s eyes and made them sparkle. Nicky took a deep breath and leaned forward, bringing his lips to his best friends.
Josh stopped breathing when the smaller boy kissed him softly on the mouth but he didn’t flinch. He had no idea what was happening but he couldn’t move and he didn’t want to pull his hands from Nicky’s. He didn’t want him to go.
Lifting his lips from the other boy’s mouth, Nicky pulled back and looked at Josh one more time. “One day we’ll find each other and I’ll never leave you again.”
“Promise?” Josh’s lips quivered with heart break.
“I promise you,” Nicky whispered and surprised Josh with another peck on his lips. “Bye Josh.”
The blonde leapt down from the tree and crouched in the golden grass before standing. He looked back to his friend who was sobbing quietly and lifted his hand.
“B…by…bye Nicky.” Josh wept. The two boys stared at each other for a moment before a brilliant white bird flew between them and startled Nicky off. The blonde took off at a dead run and cried the whole way home. Chicago proved to be too far away for the boys to stay connected. There were two phone calls and a birthday card. And then there was nothing.
Josh woke up from another one of his weird dreams. He figured most dreams were abnormal as they involved aspects of a person’s life and the subconscious fantasies of one’s inner thoughts but his were just so damn simple. That was the weird part. Ever since he was nine years old, Josh had experienced the strangest moments of déjà vu all stemming from the dreams hehad had the previous evening.
Simple things though. Like he’d dream of craving a hostess snack cake and the next day after work he’d go to a random corner store and purchase one. But the entire time he was buying it, he knew exactly what the clerk’s name was before he saw the name tag, or he’d know the program that was on the t.v. above them, or even that day’s flavor of Icee in the machine. Every day this happened and everyday it was some menial little item or place or time.
It was never the winning lotto numbers or the phone number to Mr. Perfect but it was still magical to Josh. Last night’s dream had been the same old song and dance. This time it was the name of a night club he had heard about but never been too. Like he needed another night of that, Josh rolled his golden eyes and felt an arm slink around his waist.
“Mmm, what...time is it baby?” The guy from last night slurred against his skin. Josh hated the morning after and he hated that he even let them spend the night to begin with but he wasn’t an asshole, and above all he hated when they called him baby. Ugh.
“It’s six a.m.,” Josh replied with a yawn.
“Oh. What? Why?” His bed mate groaned and rolled over to the other side of the bed---slipping his head under a pillow.
Oh what the hell? Josh mentally shrugged and laid back down, rolling over to drape his leg between Sean’s legs. Or was it Shane?
“You are just going to die when you see the inside! It’s like sooo amazing. I’m friends with one of the dancers and his brother Luca like owns the place and they both get me the most amazing pills. Did I ever tell you about that one time that me and Jose got like hella blitzed and danced like high end whores all night with that group of fire fighters that were having a bachelor party….” Josh tuned Mario out. The smaller Italian queen never stopped talking and loved attention---which he was currently receiving. In the form of a group of prowling glamazons looking to pocket another cute glittery man within their painted clutches.
Mario turned from Josh as the girls did their oo and ah routine. “Oh my God, are those Proenza? Girl, you look soo..”
Josh shook his head and sighed at Harrison. He was the last member of their little party as they waited in line to get into Sliver. What the fuck kind of name was that anyways? Sliver? Josh sighed. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea.
“Yeah, pretty original isn’t it?” Harrison remarked as Josh looked at the horrendously eighties neon sign.
“Where do they get this crap?” Josh rolled his eyes.
“Same place they pulled peaches, vixen, and sultran from,” the messy haired brunette snorted.
Josh chuckled. “If Iever buy a club I’m gonna call it Suck Me. At least it will be an honest establishment.”
Harrison busted a gut and the two men shuffled forward in line as a group of six or so slutty looking barely legals got in because the bouncer liked the size of their tits. “Or how about Illegal? That would cover just about anything. Truly honest.”
Josh smiled at Harrison. Why was it that he never looked at Harrison in a sexual way? Josh wondered. What was it about him that kept the two men in the friend’s zone? Because Harrison really was perfect husband material as far as everyone else was concerned but what was it about him that didn’t reel Josh in? Ah yes, that mess of hair that Harrison never paid over ten dollars to have cut, the way he sucked on his bottom lip like athree year old when he was thinking, and then there was that laugh. He’d just make this loud noise and then sputter off from there. It made Josh flinch every time, even when he knew to expect it. But Harrison was a good friend and most of the time Josh didn’t notice the small things.
“What? Do I have something on my face?” Harrison frowned and wiped a hand over his cheeks and nose out of insecurity.
“No. I was just wondering when you were going to get a haircut.” Josh chuckled and ruffled the other man’s hair.
“Hey!” He scolded and swatted Josh’s hand away.
“Ooo. There you are!” Mario giggled and winked. “Look what I got from my girls over there.”
His girls…uh huh, Josh smirked. Mario unfolded his hand to reveal eight little pills. All of them about the size of a sweet tart and just as colorful.
“Mario, you know how I feel about that stuff. Seriously man,” Josh chided and shook his head.
“You are so bland Joshy. And guess what? Tonight, Mario has your spice right here.”The tiny Italian waggled his brows, the glitter on his eye lids twinkling in the light. “Huh? Huh? You know you want to.”
“I’m in,” Harrison quickly snatched two pills from the tiny pile and popped them in his mouth without another thought.
“Harrison!” Josh hissed and darted a look around to make sure no one was paying attention.
“What?” He snorted. “It’s fine. You need to lighten up. It’s a wonder that you manage to snag some every time we go out.”
“Yeah, it’s a wonder,” Mario added with a wiggle of his hips. No, it’s a wonder your dick still has circulation in those jeans, Mario. Josh smiled tightly.
“So?” The petite faux hawked princess waved his palm in the sandy brunette’s face with a grin.
“Uh. Fine,” Josh grabbed two pills and tossed them back. Maybe he was too boring.
Forty minutes or so later Josh gripped the sink in the men’s room and stared at his reflection. Everything pulsed to the beat of the bass muffled through the thin swinging door. His head was pounding and his body tingled like there were bubbles under his skin. Everything was getting hotter and Josh thought his eyes seemed to glow but he knew that wasn’t right. He took a few deep breaths and pulled the top shirt off his chest, leaving a black tank on---which was already soaked in sweat under his arms and down his back. God, he was so horny too! He looked at his erection with awe, then back around his surroundings.
The walls seemed to shrink in on him and Josh closed his eyes to focus on the rumble of the music. He heard the door open and his eyes popped open in time to see the hot blonde give him a shy smile. The other man’s dark eyes sparkled and Josh reached for him without another thought. The blonde gasped then moaned as Josh pushed him into the wall and locked their lips together. Then everything went fuzzy.
Josh’s hand pushing through his lover’s textured blonde hair, those dark eyes looking down at Josh from above, and an intricate tattoo of a tree that covered the man’s back---all of it moved so fast. The way the wind whipped at Josh’s back as he pounded into the blonde from behind, all the windows open, the smaller man’s cry of release like the end of a tear jerking opera. A white city dove sat on the window sill, the swaying of Josh’s Chinese lanterns in the corner, the sounds of Crystal Castles blaring through his speakers.
The blonde’s lips on Josh’s chest, those hands digging into his ass, but Josh couldn’t remember what the man had said. He couldn’t remember his lover’s voice at all or what he smelled like or what his name was. And then...Sunflowers...a dozen of them. They were wrapped in brown paper and tied with twine. A green awning with white stripes…He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not it’s called. A bell dings.
Josh sat up with a gasp in bed and looked around. The curtains fluttered in the breeze and allthe windows in his studio apartment were wide open. The sun made him wince and his head pounded. He immediately searched for the blonde but he was already gone. Had that been a dream too?
Nick ran a hand through his messy bed head. He smelled like liquor and cigarettes but on top of all that he smelled like that guy. The blonde pulled the collar of the shirt he had on to his nose and inhaled the scent of fresh cotton. He’d taken the shirt from his mystery fuck because he couldn’t resist the smell. The poor guy had been so out ofit he’d never even know. Nick smiled warmly, pulling the blue button up tight around him and picked up the pace.
He had to get back to his apartment to shower and change. Every Sunday meant brunch with his parents and his little sister. If he wanted to grab his mom flowers, he hadto leave early. She loved Sunflowers and Nick was a sucker for making her happy. He whistled a song by Crystal Castles and jogged across the cross walk when the go sign came on.
He knew he didn’t have coffee at the apartment and he was craving a cup and a chocolate hostess cake something fierce. It was his favorite hangover remedy---or anytime remedy---and the corner store next to his place always kept his hostess cake in stock. Sometimes he’d just buy the box and say fuck it. He could never gain weight to save his life anyway so why not? Today was a fuck it day and his head pounded from last night. Why did he ever let Robby talk him into taking that shit? He still felt messed up.
“Hey Nick,” Garrett greeted him as he walked through the chiming door. Nick winked at the cute redhead behind the counter and went directly to the coffee pot. Pouring caffeine into his Styrofoam cup slowly, he looked up at the t.v. above Garrett and caught sight of the white dove perched on the lamp post outside. It was looking directly at him. Damn, Nick though, he was still messed up.
After rising from the dead, Josh showered and changed into a pair of jeans and a possibly clean yellow t-shirt. The day was gorgeous outside and as usual he was curious about his latest dream. If he could, he always followed up on what he was shown even if it didn’t benefit him in any way. Like when he was younger, he hid his ability from his parents and would sneak out to go to the tree where he and…Nick used to sit. Or walk down the road that he and…Nick used to ride their bikes. He had dreamt about those places and couldn’t help himself from a little early morning traveling.
Funny, he hadn’t thought about Nicky in a long time.
He wondered where the guy was now and what he looked like or if he was…married. Yeah, he was probably married off with three kids by now. Living the high life in the burbs like Nicky’s dad had done with them, when Josh and Nicky had been ripped away from each other. Whatever, Josh concluded and grabbed a thin jacket from the back of his desk chair. Nicky Moore was ironically no more in his life and there was no use crying over something that would never have been.
Josh pulled his iPod out of his jacket pocket and put hisear buds in---turning on something good for walking and stepped out of his apartment to the sounds of Matt and Kim.
Seven blocks later, Josh pulled his ear buds out and walked into He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not. Quirky, he smiled and started to browse. All the arrangements were like something out of Dr. Seuss and Josh couldn’t help but run his fingers over the exotic bundles of color with dazzling swirls of this and that. He’d never been a flower guy but these were works of art.
“Can I help you find something?” Josh turned, seeing the tall woman with a braid of orange locks and a baby blue apron from his dream.
“Uh, Sunflowers?” He looked around unsure. The woman smiled warmly and gestured for him to follow.
“How many?” She beamed. Why were florists always so perky, Josh wondered. Then he remembered they were surrounded by this all day. How could you not smile?
“Just a dozen should do it. And could you wrap them in brown paper please?” He smiled weakly. It was times like these that he wondered why he had these dreams. Why Sunflowers? It was just weird.
“That’s just so strange,” the florist commented quietly witha shake of her head.
“What’s that?” Josh zoned in with a curious lean forward.
“I never sell Sunflowers but I love them so much, so I keep them around. You know these city types and all the fancy stuff. Not that I mind because I love all flowers but Sunflowers are so simple and not many people buythem. To sell two bouquets in one dayand for you to both ask for the brown paper. It’s just kind of strange. Don’t mind me though, my brain wanders to crazy places,” she laughed and waved a dismissive hand.
Josh took a deep breath. Someone else had bought them? Normally that wouldn’t be a big deal because this was a big city but he’d dreamt of this. Was this a…clue?
“You want twine too?” The fiery haired woman asked with a snort.
“Yeah…” Josh got a chill. “I do.”
The woman put her scissors down for a minute and looked at him.
“Do you know the other person that bought these? Before me I mean?” Josh bit his lip nervously---totally pulling a Harrison.
“Oh I don’t know his name but he comes in every Sunday between eleven and one. Like clockwork. He’s cute too.” She winked.“White blonde hair and dark eyes. He’s kind of got this like classy rocker thing going on,” she sighed wistfully and Josh stopped breathing. A flash came to him of light hair and his fingers running through it---those dark eyes looking at him with such fire.
“Sir? Uh...Sir?” The woman pushed the bouquet across the counter and raised a brow with a knowing smile. “I know. He sounds too good to be real but I swear to you he’s among the living.”
Josh wordlessly put a twenty on the counter and pushed it forwards. Grabbing the flowers, he brought them to his nose and inhaled the scent of summers long forgotten. What did this all mean?
“So, I’ll see you next week then? We can ogle together.” The florist with the name tag of Ashley laughed.
“Yea, next week,” Josh returned with stunned eyes and left the shop.
The next Wednesday afternoon Nick sat behind his computer trying to make the new format work for the page spread he’d been given. Some jerk had decided to add another column and of course another picture and that meant he was going to be spending all night trying to make the damn thing fit at home. He couldn’t sit in this chair one minute longer and saved what he’d done to the flash drive and packed his stuff up.
“You out of here,” Simon, the office Rico Suave lounged in his doorway.
“Yep,” Nick replied not even looking up as he shoved his laptop into his messenger bag and put it around his shoulder. Simon freaked himout and always had to have an excuse at the ready for when the creep came a callin.
“I was thinking that maybe you and I could get drinks tonight. I know this great place over on Broadmore that…”
“No thanks Simon. Why don’t you ask Leon? He said he liked Highball’s martinis.” Nick looked up and raised his brows. Yeah buddy, I know your little game...'I know this place on Broadmore', give me a break. The blonde smirked and grabbed his coffee from his desk.
“Have a good night Simon.” Nick swept past his stunned coworker and pushed up the sleeves of his black button up.
A shared cab ride and two blocks of walking later, Nick trudged up the steps of the old converted brownstone that was broken up intotwo apartments. For six thousand a month, it was nice enough and had two bedrooms and a claw foot tub. He’d fallen in love with the place three months ago. Almost from the minute he walked in and took in the glossy Spanish tile and the open concept with tons of windows, he knew he was home.
Setting his bag down on the sofa once he got inside, Nick pouredhimself a glass of Merlot. Waking his desktop computer to life, he glanced out the window and watched the sun turn a dark orange as it set for the evening. He wished he could sit in that tree back in Florida and watch a sunsetlike this. No buildings or smoke in theway---just pure beauty at its greatest. He sighed and leaned back in his desk chair, stretching his back until his shirt rode up his stomach and showed off his lean body.
A sticky note caught his eye and he almost slapped a hand to his face. Fuck. He was supposed to have called the web development guys on Friday. They were hard to book and he hoped to God that he hadn’t just screwed the next phase of his own company’s media project over. Fetching his cell phone, Nick looked at the pink note stuck to his finger and dialed this Mario guy.
It was Friday morning and Josh had not slept well at all. Sure he’d had his dream as usual but then he’d wake up and fall back to sleep only to see it again! This happened at least six times and every time he went back to sleep…he saw a little more.This time was different. Yeah everything was as realistic as normal but the object hadn’t been so simple, the place a little darker. It…wasn’t good.
Sipping his coffee in nothing but his flannel bottoms, Josh curled his toes around the bar stool foot rest in thought. It had been dark and he could hear music. Initially Josh had thought the bar or whatever he was at was the clue but then he’d seen the man. Everything else had fallen out of focus except for this man with buzzed blonde hair and blue eyes.
The look in those eyes was angry. The man was planning something bad. He was going to hurt someone. Then he faded out. Josh had woken up and then fell asleep again .Club Oblivion. Woke up again and fell asleep. A knife. Again Josh woke up, this time terrified and rolled around before he slept again, only to see a shadow of someone begging and fingers reaching.
That had been it. He couldn’t sleep after that and he had no idea what to do from here. Coffee, hostess cakes, and sunflowers...okay. Knives, angry dudes, and back alleys of clubs? Uh no. Not okay.
A knock at the door and the squeak of it opening made Josh turn his head slowly. Mario popped his head in and smiled, holding out a back from Dixon’s bakery. “We come baring sugar!” He giggled and walked into Josh’s place with Harrison in tow.
“Hey man. You look like shit,” Harrison offered and Mario put a hand on his hip with a disapproving glare.
“You don’t tell a lady they look bad. Your mama taught you better than that,” hescolded and slapped Harrison’s shoulder. “Are you alright baby?” Mario cooed and set the bag down.
As much as he hated people calling him baby, he let Mario. The tiny Italian was the closest thing to a mother Josh had being so far away from home and sometimes he missed his own. It would be eight years coming up quick since the day he’d moved to Chicago for the internship and he’d met Mario on day one. They’d been close ever since.
“My sleep was off. I’ll be fine after some sugar. What do ya got?” Josh leaned over and tried to peek in the bag.
“Apple turnover for the grumpy baby,” Harrison mocked and pulled out a pastry for Josh.
“Oh fuck off,” Josh replied playfully and so started their day.
The three of them worked on thelatest in a series of websites for a media development firm downtown. One was some fashion thing where users couldgo online and follow a specific event through out the course of the week that it was going on. Special offers, discounts, videos, and graphics. Easy doing until they got to the part where the user could open a spread with a bunch of designer interviews and pictures. It was an elaborate template with a beautiful format but it had been changed since the last time they’d seen it and now it was too big to work.
“Shit, this won’t work at all. We have to call them back and let them know ASAP. This has to be live in less than two weeks Harrison,” I huffed and he reached for the phone.
“We’re supposed to meet one of their designers this weekend to discuss our progress anyway. Let me set something concrete with them and we can just work on the other two pages until we talk to their people,” Harrison relayed and I nodded. Mario looked up from his own laptop and smiled.
“I have the chat ready to load and the live feed that the designers can log into. So at least that’s done,” he commented. Mario was a glittery little computer whiz and it only added to his quirky charm.
Despite my bad mood and exhaustion, I smiled back. “Good job, Ma.”
“Thanks,” he blushed at the nickname and went back to his computer. Feeling a little more human, Josh looked out the window at another sunny day and raised a brow at yet another white bird sitting on the edge of his window watching him. That made like ten times this week at least, Josh shook his head.
“Yeah, I know. I’ll get out of here as soon as I can Robby. Yes. For the last time, I said I’d be there. Okay. I’ll see you at Oblivion at ten o’ clock. Okay. Later,” Nick sighed and hung up the phone.
Feeling eyes on him, Nick glanced up and watched Simon walk away from his door way, the agent’s phone ringing. Fucking stalker, Nick frowned. The guy was getting a little scary and Nickhad started waiting until Simon left for the night to catch a cab with Henry from the second floor. Simon was always around and always watching him.
Nick stood up and glanced in his office mirror, trying to decide if his outfit was okay for the club or if he needed to God forbid runall the way home. His hair was short at the back and sides but long and textured in all different directions up top. So the hair was a go.
His dark wash jeans clung to him and could be appropriate for club attire if he took this stuffy shirt off. If it hadn’t been laundry dayhe wouldn’t have touched the thing. It was a little too big and shaded this weird blue color that could be misconstrued as denim. He shuddered at the thought.
Underneath though he had on a red tank and that could work,he grinned. Yeah that would definitely work.
“Going out?” A voice made him jump and he looked in the mirror to see Simon standing in the door again.
“Uh, yeah. You?” Nick pulled his shirt tighter around his front like he was being violated.
“Yeah. I’m taking that pack of web developing hipsters out on the town. Where are you going to be?” Simon’s voice lowered and Nick cringed.
“Here and there. You know, wherever we feel like,” Nick rushed. His phone rang and it was like his entire body sighed with relief. Simonfrowned but gave him a wave in the mirror and left.
Nick was scared and ignored the call---he wanted to leave immediately. He shut his computer down and packed his stuff up and shoved it in the locked file cabinet for thenight. He grabbed his jacket and looked down both sides of the hallway to make sure Simon was gone. Henry had already left because Nick had worked later than normal, so he was fucked.
By the grace of God, the third floor secretary Dina was leaving for the night and she smiled at him as she passed. He pulled on the charm---she really was a sweet girl---and caught up to her, looping his arm through hers and finding himself able to breathe again.
“Share a cab downtown with me?” He asked and she nodded.
“Of course, Nicky!” She giggled and winked. Stepping out into the cool night air, a cab magically awaited for them and they had to share a look of wonder. Even stranger was the white dove that perched like a symbol of freedom on top of the lighted cab sign.
Two hours they had been listening to this asshole jabber on about how wonderful he was. Josh wanted to throw up into his prissy blue drink and sick Mama Mario on him but the guy’s firm was paying top dollar, so they had to sit back and chill.
“So as I was saying, I know all about real estate in the Cape. My family owns a house there and my parents are long-time friends with the Kennedy brood,” Simon laughed haughtily. And my home smells like rich mahogany and I have many leather bound books, Josh rolled his eyes away from their booth.
This guy was so full of shit it was flowing out of his ears. Mario kept up the ‘uh huhs’ and ‘oh reallys’ like a professional but Josh and Harrison knew the look of the devil behind those eyes. They knew Mario wanted so badly to tell this guy off but like a proper queen he watched and waited in his sequined pink top and black leather leggings with a sweet smile.
Simon’s eyes kept darting to the archway that led to the front door of Oblivion. It was like clockwork, Josh noticed. Simon would take a drink, say something ridiculous, and then search for something that he didn’t find across the club. Josh was becoming more and more nervous about what he saw in his dream. For the first time since he’d found about his gift, he wished his dream wasn’t true. Maybe it was just a nightmare and he’d actually seen a cupcake or something. But Josh knew he never forgot the déjà vu part of the dream. He’d remember a cupcake if that’s what he was shown. A knife was not a cupcake.
He shivered and Harrison frowned, mouthing ‘are you okay’ at him. Nodding, Josh looked out over the pack of dancers and decided to just stop thinking about and find him something fun to do…or someone. With another round of shots and fizzy pink tumblers of fruity what nots later---Josh and his boys were on the dance floor. They had given up talking to that ass wipe Simon about the spread and would talk to the firm’s higher up boss on Monday. So with business forgotten, the boys let loose while Simon took a phone call in the booth.
Harrison was having fun grinding against Mario---the two seeming closer and closer lately--- and Josh laughed and let his wavy brown hair shake the sweat out. He loved to dance and he loved the big crowds that made him forget about everything else.He loved the song that was playing and he loved how the D.J. remixed it and…his eyes caught sight of a shock of white blonde hair and a pair of dark eyes that quickly turned away---as the body they belonged to danced onto the other side of the floor.
It couldn’t be, Josh breathed and started to make his way through the crowd---those eyes, he knew them. The closer he got the quicker he realized the blonde wasn’t there anymore. Frantically Josh searched the dance floor until Harrison and Mario joined up with him to see what was going on.
“White blonde hair, dark eyes, a little shorter than me,”Josh yelled over the music and they started to nod. “Tattoos on his arms I think. Help me find him?”
The pair looked at each other with smiles. This was new. “Yeah, we’ll text you if we see anything!” Mario yelled back and grabbed Harrison’s hand. The two of them went in the other direction to start thesearch. Josh glanced up to see their booth empty and frowned. That fucking asshole ditched them. Of course he did,now they had to pay the bill.
Wiping his forehead off, Josh headed for the restrooms to see if blondie had gone there. This was unbelievable. He’d found him.
Nick didn’t smoke but every once in a while he would socially. After a few shots and dances with his buddy Robby, Nick needed some air and truthfully just some quiet. It had been a long week and all he wanted to do was go home and soak in his tub with a glass of wine but yet again party boy Robby had talked him out.
Nick leaned up against the brick wall in the alley behind Oblivion with his jacket shoved in the back door so he wouldn’t be locked out. Cover charges were not cheap around here and call him frugal but he wasn’t shelling out another thirty dollars for maybe another hour of twink and grind.
Robby was still inside talking to some import from France,which left Nick taking a nice slow drag of a Parliament in silence. Closing his eyes, the back door bumped his elbow---his cig tossed to the side---as it opened and his jacket was kicked to the ground.
“Hey, that’s…” Nick’s eyes went wide and his heart raced like a rabbit as Simon stepped out from behind the door and pushed it closed with a click from the inside latch.
“Hey Nicky,” Simon grinned. “I thought I’d join you.”
Nick had seen lust in Simon’s eyes before but what he sawnow was something insane. He had been right. Simon was going after what he wanted and unfortunately that was Nick. How did he know he was here? Shit, he’d heard him earlier on the phone. Oh fuck. Oh fuck.
“Simon, I’m gonna go. It’s late and Robby will be looking for me,” Nick backed up a step and Simon followed with a shake of his head.
“Oh yeah. I forgot. Hot little thing like you is too good for someone like me. But here’s the thing Nicky, I don’t like to be told no. In fact, where I’m concerned it just doesn’t happen. So you know what I think? I think I’m gonna teach you to learn to say yes,” Simon relayed and Nick started to panic. Simon was bigger and stronger and there was a wall behind him so Nick couldn’t run. He’dhave to get around him somehow. Simon narrowed his blue eyes and scratched the blonde stubble on his head.
“Yeah, not gonna happen baby,” Simon laughed and pulled a switch blade out of his jacket and flicked it open.
“Simon, stop it. You’re scaring me,” Nick whispered in horror.
“Get over there,” Simon jerked his head into the darkened corner behind the dumpster. Nick shook his head slowly and backed up. His eyes tearing up at the thought of that knife near him.
“Get over there and take the tank top off. Now!” Simon hissed and Nick gulped. If he went behind that dumpster, he wasn’t coming back. He knew it and Simon knew it. Raging pissed, Simon grabbed Nick by the hair and shoved him into the dark
Nick threw his head back and screamed for all he was worth as Simon pushed him into the brick wall and ripped at his clothes.
Josh’s heart beat so fast he thought he was dying. He had to find the blonde man, the need growing so intense he wanted to burst into tears with frustration. Harrison and Mario hadn’t texted him back yet but he searched on. His feet carried himdown a back hallway and a few employees shouted at him but he kept running for that glowing red exit sign. He slammed into the push bar and the night chill was sucked into his lungs as the door flung open. Against the dark, a white bird screeched and flapped its feathers past him and Josh heard the scream rip through the alley way.
He turned his head and saw an arm raised back with a glint of metal pointed at blondie. That waswhen Josh lost it. Charging at the stranger, Josh rushed him from the side at full force and took both of them to the ground. The knife slid from the man’s fingers and Josh pushed the guy flat onto his back, straddling the stranger from above. Forming a fist, Josh connected his hand with the guy’s face. Once, twice, three times…maybe more. Josh kept hitting the man until blood covered his hand and all the while from behind, arms were desperately trying to rip him off the choking man below.
Finally two pairs of arms pulled him forcefully back and lethim slump against the dumpster.
“What the fuck happened here?”
A giant bald bouncer pointed a finger between Josh and the bloodied figure. Harrison and Mario were kneeling open mouthed next to Josh but the brunette didn’t care. He reached into the dark corner and his fingers connected with a shaking shoulder. Slipping into the darkness, Josh wrapped himself around the sobbing man and held on.
Beautifully thin fingers gripped Josh’s back and the blonde buried his face into Josh’s cotton scented skin. “I remembered where I’d see those eyes before,”Josh whispered and rocked his blondie slowly. “We did it Nicky. We found each other. I got you now. I got you.” The brunette cried softly.
After finishing with the cops and Simon being carted away, Josh guided a quiet Nicky into the upper level of the brownstone. The place was neat and polished, just as Josh would’ve expected. When they were younger, Nicky had always been clean and liked nice things. It was something that apparently grew with him. The blonde stood in the middle of the room looking out the windows at the night sky.
Not needing to say a thing, Josh went to him and grabbed his hand---pulling the thinner man after him like a teddy bear. Spotting the bathroom, the web whiz pulled his childhood friend inside and turned him around.
Nick couldn’t think, he was overwhelmed, he was scared but not when Josh was touching him. Josh. He was really here. He’d saved him from…he shook his head---not ready for that. Instead he studied Josh. The brunette was handsome, not hot. Hot was a word that was used for one night stands and pin up boys. Joshua was incredibly beautiful now that he was grown. He still had the one dimple and scar under his eye but he’d grown up. His boyish face was gone and now he was strong and filled out. The bone structure in his face was elegant but pronounced and his golden eyes looked full of power instead of innocence like they once had.
Nick had always been into the small things. They mattered the most to him and as Josh cared for him, Nick watched him silently. The way Josh moved around his body to turn on the water and grab him a towel was like a choreographed dance---like they had done this a million times before. Focusing on the miracle that Josh was helped to block out the angry blue eyes that had tried to…Nick couldn’tgo there. He just couldn’t.
“How did you know?” The blonde blurted out and wiped a tear from his cheek.
“Know what?” Josh stood up from the bath tub and looked atNick.
“Any of it, I don’t even know where to begin. I mean, Chicago?” Nick swallowed. This was too good to be real. The more he looked at Josh, the more he thought this was a mirage and he was in a coma in some hospital.
“You wanna know about how I came to Chicago? I’m still trying to figure out the other night,” Josh blushed and Nick slowly smiled for the first time all night. That’s right.
“I’m surprised you remember,” Nick whispered back and blushed himself. "I didn't know it was you." If he’d known…he would have never left.
“Just a little bit but I remembered you.” Josh nodded. “Though I didn’t know it was uh...you either.”
Nicky was reminded of the last time he had seen Josh and the sadness in those golden eyes as he pulled away from those lips. Josh had never flinched as Nick tried in his own way to tell Josh he’d love him forever. Lifting his lashes, Nick looked Josh dead in the eye and brought his hands up to that strong face.
“Nick, are you okay?” Josh was so worried about him. Josh had always fussed over Nicky when they were little. It was like they picked upwhere they’d left off but there would be no off this time.
“I want you to remember this time.” Nick murmured and brought his hands to the bottom of his red tank and lifted it over his head. “I want you to remember me.”
Josh got a good look at the stars and scribbles of ink along Nicky’s ribs and the gorgeous inked branches that carried over his shoulders. Nicky slowly turned around and Josh had to touch the skin of the blonde’s back to make sure what he was seeing was real. A detailed picture of their tree was illustrated across his back, complete with a tiny pair of boys sitting on the branch watching the sun.
Josh broke into tears and turned Nicky around, kissing his best friend with all the things that he never got to say.
The white dove watched the two men embrace from the roof across the way and ruffled his feathers. The bird’s white wings grew in size until they spanned ten feet and then nestled in tight at the man’s back that now stood over six feet. The blonde guardian angel stretched his limbs and rolled his neck---getting out all the kinks from being so small for so long. A smile spread across his face as his partner landed next to him and the other white dove grew to his normal six foot size. Long red hair spilled overhis shoulders and green eyes regarded the blonde thoughtfully.
“Do you feel better now?” The red head asked Ryell softly.
“Yes,” Ryell replied and held out his hand. Looking up a star shot across the city sky and the guardian angel smiled at his father. “He approves as well.”
Darion grinned at his partner and laced their fingers together. “Yes you have done a great thing. He is pleased at their happiness.”
“We have donewell,” Ryell brought their laced fingers to his lips and kissed them. “We, my love.” Darion blushed at his partner’s praises.
“Will you stop with the dreams now that they have found each other?” The red head mused.
“Yes,” Ryell leaned into Darion. “There is no longer a needfor them.”
“Hm. Can we sit and watch for a while? They are so beautiful together.” Darion sighed and his green eyes sparkled.
“I think we deserve that much,” Ryell replied and tilted his chin to lay a kiss on his partner’s lips.
Being the shyer of the two, Darion blushed and ducked his head. He was so adorable, Ryell thought and smiled---guiding them to the ledge. They sat and let their long legs dangle over the roof. Ryell pulled Darion close and for the rest of the night, the two guardian angels watched their charges remind them of what it meant to love.
“Where does it go? Seriously?” Josh patted Nick on the stomach and laughed. Shoving another bite of hostess into his mouth, Nicky moaned with mockery and protested with a full mouth as Josh smacked him on the ass.
“Hey!” Nick pointed a finger with a smile after he had finally swallowed. “None of that. We have to go to brunch.”
“This is so weird.”
“What? Brunch? Yeah lobster and quiche with pie at like noon is weird. I’ll give you that.” Nick wiped his mouth and tossed the plastic wrapper into a passing trash bin.
“No. I mean seeing your parents again. For so long I was angry with them. But now that I’m older, I get it. It’s just weird is all,” Josh tried to explain.
“Hey,” Nick murmured and pulled them to a stop. “It’s gonna be a good thing. My parents are thrilled, trust me. And you’ve never even met Jada.”
“I can’t believe your mom had another kid. A girl you huh?” Josh smirked and Nick rolled his eyes.
“She is my complete opposite in every way,” he laughed and pulled Josh along.
“So she’s sweet and gentle, proper and respectable,” Josh sang and Nick scoffed with a laugh. “You asshole!”
The blonde hit Josh on the ass as he opened the door to He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not and Ashley immediately looked up from the counter. “Hold on, I’ll be right back!” She jumped up and went to the backroom.
Hand in hand the pair walked to the counter and looked around. Ashley practically skipped backto the front with an enormous vase of sunflowers, complete with gold glittery curls and smaller white flowers spaced in between. The arrangement was stunning.
“Ashley,” Josh murmured. “This is gorgeous. You didn’t have to do that.”
“But you guys are just so...gah like a fairy tale!” She squealed and bit her lip. “It’s on the house this week boys. In the name of love,” she declared and broke into a giggle.
Nick busted up laughing and went around the counter, giving the tall florist a kiss on the cheek.
They walked hand in hand down the street on a sunny afternoon. One boy had a large vase of sunflowers and the other snuck a bite of snack cake before putting it back into his jacket like a dirty secret. The brunette boy leaned over and kissed the chocolate cake away because he was smarter than the blonde thought. Both boys laughed and laced their fingers tighter. It was simple. It was beautiful. It was forever.