The next morning found David more quickly than he would have liked. He had stayed up late into the night thinking about Patrick and what he’d said: that it was terrible to not be able to feel anything real. Oh, and that pitiful look when David told him that his admission of love was all an act? Devastating. Especially since David wasn’t entirely truthful. From the time Patrick had kissed his hand David knew there was something different about him. As much as David was usually able to tuck all his feelings away, even he couldn’t hide his reaction to the tingle he’d felt. When Patrick had so casually admitted on the dance floor that he wanted to know David, well … People gave David gifts and courted him long enough to get him in the bedroom but that was usually the extent of it.
He had long ago learned how to turn his emotions on and off to suit whatever situation he was in. He supposed it stemmed from his childhood and constantly being told that his father was building something, so best not to complain that no one was ever around. His mother had been just as bad; she used all of his father’s contacts to stay relevant for her own productions.
Until Stevie had come along, his closest companions had been the parade of nannies and caretakers his parents had employed. She was the niece of one of their housekeepers. They had become fast friends, running around the estate and doing their best to avoid Alexis. In their teenage years they had taken their relationship to a physical level until they figured out that they would be better as friends. Through the years, Stevie had helped make his life survivable and always pushed him to do more when he insisted he couldn’t.
Alexis was a whole different story. She had gone from an annoying little sister always getting into his things to a young woman getting herself into trouble all over the globe. Yet, no matter how annoyed he claimed to be, he would always drop everything and run after her when she called. When he started his own act at the Moulin Rouge, he did everything in his power to keep her grounded so he wouldn’t have to go chasing after her and compromise the one lifeline he had to their parent’s affection.
A soft knock on the door broke David from his thoughts. He opened it and found Stevie on the other side, looking just a little worse for wear. “Well, good morning to you.”
“Ugh, don’t remind me. Do you have coffee?” She walked past him and started pawing through his cupboards.
“Please, help yourself,” he mumbled, shutting the door. He put a tea kettle on to boil while she dug out the coffee beans.
“So, you smell very flammable right now. Good night, then?”
She shot him an irritated look. “Yes, as a matter of fact. I never saw Patrick show up, so am I to assume you also had a good night?”
“Well, that’s presumptuous. And, no, you may not. He left a few minutes after you did. Nothing happened.” David looked out the window, bracing himself for the incoming interrogation.
“And why the hell not? I would have thought you would have been all over that.” Stevie had a hand on one hip, the other against the counter, waiting for an answer.
“He’s handsome and all, in an understated kind of way, I guess. But he’s writing for the show so that doesn’t really work.”
“I guess. What’s wrong with having a little fun along the way? Nothing saying you can’t mix business and pleasure.”
“Mmhmm.” David carefully weighed what he was about to say, fidgeting with his coffee cup. “It’s just, last night when we were dancing. He said he wants to get to know me and later he said how it’s terrible that I keep myself hidden from everyone. Who does that?”
She looked at him with fondness in her eyes. “Good people. People that aren’t like us or anyone we’re used to.” Stevie paused for a moment, “But just because he’s different doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing.”
“Maybe. But I don’t know anything about him. What if he’s just going to take off after the show is written and done with?”
“And what if he doesn’t? David, I’ve known you most of our lives. Patrick may have only just shown up, but I think in his own way he’s just as scared as you are. I saw the man I sent to convince you about the show and the one who convinced The Duke to invest last night. I saw him and I’ve seen the way everyone else looks at you. And I’m telling you David that he’s got heart eyes for days for you. He’s not going anywhere unless you push him away.”
If that wasn’t the scariest thing he’d ever heard, he wasn’t sure what was.
Stevie continued, “All I’m saying is maybe get to know him a little bit. Maybe it won’t be as bad as you think.”
He was still a bit skeptical. “Mmhmm, maybe.”
I woke up with the rising sun having no idea how I’d even fallen asleep with the celebrations happening above me. Not to mention all the thoughts of David invading every time I tried to fall asleep. This show was going to be the death of me if I had to be around him all the time: Being able to observe but not touch. Having to watch him play up his emotions for everyone else without being able to express my own. I hadn’t even been in Paris for a full day and everything in my life had been turned upside down.
Back home I had felt like I’d been wandering aimlessly. I had helped on my parent’s farm, spent time with friends, gone to church, and spent endless hours at my typewriter daydreaming about the sort of life I wanted for myself. Often, I would just start off with the premise of ‘not this.’ I didn’t know what I was hoping to find, exactly. I just knew that the life I was living felt far too small for all my ideas. When I had heard about all the artists, writers, singers, and painters living the Bohemian dream in Paris, I knew I had to go. My parents tried to warn me against it. They begged me to stay, but I knew I would only be miserable. The restlessness within me couldn’t be calmed.
So here I was in Paris, ready to live out all those unspoken dreams. Never would I have guessed they would include someone like David. Attraction to men was nothing new for me; I had courted one or two at home, but I’d never found that spark I was looking for. There was no one that ever made my heart sing. No one I could see living out the rest of my days with and having the sort of fondness I’d seen between my mother and father. I could only conclude that my heart was waiting for David and he was somehow responsible for pulling me here.
Once I got started it didn’t take long for a skeleton of the script to take shape. The mere suggestions from last night, merged with my personal feelings, made it so the words almost wrote themselves. Only when the sun started to set did I realize I had been so distracted I hadn’t eaten since breakfast.
I vaguely recalled a small café close to the Moulin Rouge. Since I was writing a show for the club, it struck me as a good idea to stop there for a small bite to eat and take in another performance. It had absolutely nothing to do with wanting to see David again. At least, that’s what I kept telling myself, hoping if I repeated it enough I would eventually believe it. I didn’t have Jake’s suit at my disposal, but I could look respectable enough in my own clothes to hide among the crowd.
The café turned out to be just what I needed to fill my belly and fuel my night ahead. The tea with bread and cheese somehow managed to comfort my nerves. I was going to need it since I was traveling alone and didn’t have the energy of the group to bolster my confidence.
The club was no less a sensory overload than it had been the night before. My eyes and ears endured an absolute assault from its sights and sounds. I found a spot by a post on the outskirts of the dance floor that was perfect for taking everything in while remaining anonymous. It was one time I could appreciate my nondescript features, which allowed me to blend in.
I hadn’t realized how much I was looking forward to David’s appearance until I felt a tingle up my spine when the lights and music cut out in favor of the single spotlight and rose petals. Tonight, he was wearing black trousers, cut off just above the ankle, with a satin strip along the outer seam of each leg. They were a slim cut that accentuated his tall, slender figure. His top was a short-sleeved black number with tiny roses stitched on the lapels and a V-shaped notch just exposing a dusting of hair on his chest. He wore a short, black scarf tied around his neck that perfectly matched the striping on his trousers. He was just as engaging as he had been last night. It was truly an art how he was able to flip the switch from David the man to The Rose .
It was probably just my imagination, but his eyes seemed to be searching the crowd, and I couldn't help but selfishly wonder if it was me he was hoping to find. This gave being hidden an extra thrill. From my secret spot I watched him flit from person to person: men, women, it seemed it was all the same to him and them. When he perched back on his swing, I found I was unconsciously holding my breath until he was safely out of view and my mind decided he was okay.
The club would be closing soon, so I decided it was time to make my way out before the rush of bodies coming to a similar conclusion. The night air was refreshing and helped perk me up enough for the walk home.
“Shouldn’t you be squirreled away writing somewhere?” a teasing voice came from behind me. I didn’t need to look to know who it belonged to, but I turned anyway. I certainly wasn’t going to refuse him an audience. Especially when he managed to look so good just casually leaning against the entry gate.
“I wouldn’t be a very good writer if I didn’t research, now would I?”
“No, I suppose you wouldn’t. What could you possibly need to research that you didn’t see last night?”
I shrugged my shoulders in feigned indifference. “Who’s to say I wouldn’t be seeing something new tonight? I needed to be absolutely sure.”
He studied me for a moment, “Well, now you know. Did you see everything you needed to see?”
“Maybe. Or maybe I haven’t. Perhaps I need to come back tomorrow to be extra certain.”
“Oh, I don’t think that will be necessary, Mr. Brewer. It’s all the same, night after night. The same Old Money traipsing in looking for whatever thrill gets them off that night.”
“Is that so?”
“Indeed it is.”
“And what of me?” I took a step toward him, enjoying the way his eyes widened for a moment. “I’m not Old Money. I’m not even New Money. What do people like me do in a place like this?” I was incredibly anxious to hear what he would come up with. For some reason I couldn’t stop myself from poking at him just to know what he would say.
His face went through a series of expressions while he thought. He pushed off the gate and stepped toward me when he was ready to speak. “People like you, Mr. Brewer, come here for much the same reasons, I suppose. But also not the same reasons at all. You’re here to blend in among the rich and figure out why you’re here. They are trying to add a spark to their boring, meaningless lives. To get away from their wives and children and just escape. You, on the other hand, are going after something. Chasing. You know there’s something more for you, but you haven’t quite pinned it down yet. So you’re testing, sampling, seeing what you want.”
I stepped toward him again, nearly closing the gap between us. Then I looked at him with intent, so there was no mistaking what I was about to say. “What if I already know what I want?”
And there it was again. The same look as the night before; like I was peering into his very soul. “Impossible.” His voice was barely above a whisper.
“Is it?” His face told me there were warring emotions in his mind. I shifted ever so slightly forward, imperceptible if he hadn’t been watching for it, the way I knew he was. I was giving him a chance to back away if he wanted but I knew that he wouldn’t. When he didn’t, I leaned forward, sealing my mouth against his, my hand twisting into the short hair at the back of his head, eliciting a small whine. I tugged him closer to deepen the kiss, pushing my tongue against the seam of his lips. He let me in easily, sliding his tongue against mine, inviting me for more. It ached when he pulled back, leaving me feeling slightly breathless.
“I refuse to go any further without a proper room. Come to my flat. Show me where all your research has gotten you.” Orange hues from the surrounding lighting reflected the fiery want in his eyes. If I had to guess I probably wore a similar look, eager to discover more of him.
“I’d be delighted, David. Lead the way.”
The second the front door closed he had me pinned against it, kissing me frantically. His tongue searched for mine and I was all too happy to oblige. I tried to slip my hands under his shirt but he was quick to grab me, holding my wrists in place. He shifted to press tiny kisses along my jawline, into the hollow of my throat, nipping lightly against my collarbone and dragging his teeth across my skin. He sank to his knees in front of me, rubbing his hands along my thighs. He paused only for a moment before making quick work of unfastening my trousers and shoving them down.
David paused, like a sailor studying a map, hands gripping my hips. “Do you know how beautiful you are?” Before I could answer he flattened his tongue, licking the underside of my cock and teasing the head. I whined at the sensation of him flicking lightly over the slit, leaving me wanting more. He pulled off to press featherlight kisses to either side, rubbing his nose along the creases where my legs and hips met.
“David, please,” I begged.
“Please what, Patrick?” He looked up at me through dark, full lashes and the teasing smirk on his face was nearly enough to push me over the edge.
“Please suck me.” I barely recognized the sound of my own voice, dripping with need between ragged breaths. He hummed in delight before wrapping his lush, pink lips back around the head taking me in until I hit the back of his throat. He looked gorgeous moving back and forth, dedicated to what he was doing and drooling slightly. I twisted my fingers into his perfect hair and that seemed to spur him on. It was almost too much and I found myself fighting the urge to thrust forward to fuck into his mouth. I knew if I did this would be over far too quickly. There weren’t words for how this felt and I wasn't ready for it to be over yet. I’d had a few turns with the men back home but nothing this–I don’t even know what. It wasn’t long before I started feeling the familiar pressure build low in my belly. It didn’t help that he was moaning enthusiastically like he was on the receiving end.
“David, I’m going to–” He doubled down when he realized what I was going to say.
“Fuck, David!” All the muscles in my thighs and belly clenched while I came apart inside him. Most of my past partners would have pulled off at this point, if they hadn’t pulled back at the warning. But not David. He slowed, guiding me through the aftershocks, not stopping until my sensitivity was obvious.
“Well, Mr. Brewer, you’ve got quite the mouth on you.”
“Let me show you just how much,” I helped pull him up and wantonly kissed the taste of myself in his mouth. I kicked my trousers and shoes away and flipped him to the door.
He pulled at the buttons on my shirt, “Let’s lose this shall we?”
I nodded in agreement while he fumbled with the rest of them and pushed the shirt off my shoulders, letting it fall to the floor.
“Hardly seems fair,” I said. “I’m down to nothing and here you are still fully dressed.”
“Mmhmm,” he hummed, delicately pulling his shirt over his head before folding it neatly and placing it on a nearby shelf. Next his hands came up to untie the scarf.
I shook my head. “No, leave it.”
His eyes widened and he looked giddy with excitement, “As you wish.”
“Oh, I do,” I breathed into his skin, planting kisses across his chest. I licked across one attentive nipple, taking it sharply in my teeth. He cried out and it gave me a thrill to know I had him melting beneath me. His hands did their best to grasp my closely cropped hair when I moved and did the same to the other.
“To the bed,” I commanded. I was not, by nature, a demanding person. But there was something in me that longed to do that now with David. To be a powerful presence, but not in a way that degraded him. I wanted him to understand that I was here of my own accord to worship him and let him feel safe and know he didn’t have to pretend with me. Because I was most certainly not pretending with him.
He scampered over and laid back, his long legs hanging over the edge of the bed. Balancing my forearms to either side of him I kissed a trail down his chest and stomach, sneaking in little nips and bites around his ribs and hips. I continued on, unbuttoning his trousers. He lifted his hips so I could pull them down. I gently folded them as he’d done with his shirt and paused to take in the sight of him.
“Regrets?” the small voice came in the darkness. I looked up to see him studying me, the tiniest trace of worry on his face.
“Absolutely not. Just admiring the view.” I needed him to know he was safe here with me. I lifted myself back up to kiss him in a way that said, “I’ve got you.” I couldn’t be positive in the dim light but the soft look in his eyes told me he understood. I slid back to the edge of the bed to quickly continue my visual appreciation before licking gingerly over each side of his stiff cock. The weight of him on my tongue, when I finally wrapped my mouth around him, was an exquisite experience; one I wanted to savor. His hips bucked involuntarily and I wrapped my fist around what I couldn’t get in my mouth. I soon noticed his muscles tense and heard his breathing become more rapid.
“Paaatrick!” he whined as he came, gripping the sheets under him before relaxing fully into the bed. I laid my head on his thigh for a few moments and wondered if this was where the night ended. God, I hoped he would ask me to stay. We laid there for minutes, days, I’m not really sure. Time felt suspended in the quiet moments after being with David Rose.
“Do you want me to leave you now?” I asked, doing my best to hide any hints of desperation.
“Do you want to leave?” came the soft reply.
I could almost hear his smile in reply. “Good because I didn’t want you to, either.” He shifted in the bed so there was room for me to climb in with him. I crawled under the blanket and snuggled into the warmth of him, his head against my chest.
“Did you find who you were looking for tonight?” I spoke into the darkness.
“I’m sorry, what?”
“Tonight, when you came down to the crowd your eyes were everywhere. Like you were searching for someone.” I felt confident enough to tease him gently, “Maybe hoping someone specific had come to see the show?”
He looked up at me with a deep, searching gaze. Certainly nothing he’d ever show the public. “I should think by now you know who I was looking for.” I couldn’t help but feel a satisfied twinge hearing him tell me what I already suspected.
“Well, you’ve found me. Now what?”
He smirked, pulling me in for a kiss. “Now what, indeed.”