Micah lay in the bed of the motel room he’d rented and stared at the ceiling. It was time for him to get up and get ready to meet his cousin, but all he could do was remember the man, Simon, he met at the club two nights ago. The taste of him still tingled on Micah’s tongue, as though he’d only fed from the man moments ago. He had never – never – tasted anything like it in his life. It tasted of all the regular things, of copper and man and life, but it also tasted of…
His mind skittered away from that last word. He couldn’t allow himself to think of it, not after having seen the man for a grand total of 30 minutes. At most. There was no way of knowing if he would ever even see the guy again. He had no way of finding him, not with only a first name to go by, and he couldn’t be the only man with the name Simon in town.
There might be a chance if he had a last name or some idea about what the man did for a living. Hell, Simon might not even be his real name, although it seemed that if it was a fake name, he would have chosen something a little more generic.
Blowing out a lungful of air in frustration, Micah rolled out of bed and went to take a shower. He turned on the water as hot as he could stand and stood beneath the spray. There were more important things to do than dwell on some random hookup from a club. Never mind that he usually didn’t pick guys up for sex, even when he looked for a feeder. After all, Simon had been fairly selfish about the whole exchange, except at the very beginning. Those odd moments of hesitancy were strange as well, as though even while enjoying himself, he wanted to be anywhere but in the room.
Explanations and excuses crowded through his mind as he went about washing and then drying himself. Maybe Simon had never been with a man before. No, that couldn’t be right, because even with the hesitancy, there was knowledge there. The man had played him well even while being selfish. So, Simon was involved with someone else. That one was a possibility, and even while he tried to dismiss it, he couldn’t without some kind of proof.
“Stop thinking about it, you goof. If you ever see him again, fine, but until then you have other things to take care of.”
Great, now he was talking to himself. Out loud. Best not do that when he was out in public or he would get strange looks, in addition to the ones he often got because he was a nightwalker. Things weren’t too bad in Rutherford. He’d endured worse at home and while travelling than in the three days since arriving here.
Micah moved to stand in front of the mock closet and stared at his choices. Why on earth had he brought so much blue and black? He moved things around, wanting something light and non-threatening for his meeting with Pen. There, he found a nice white shirt with blue pinstriping almost hidden by his black jacket. Paired with some black pants, not jeans for this initial meeting, he would look nice and non-threatening.
Non-threatening. He should be non-threatening no matter what he wore. People automatically assumed that, since he was a nightwalker, he was dangerous to them. Nothing could be further from the truth, even if he was unbound. Being a straight-line descendant, born rather than turned, he could control his urges. To pacify the regular humans, his family had agreed to bind themselves. In a way, his old boss was right, the binding didn’t really affect him as much as the others but he would still die if he broke it. Just because he didn’t need the binding, didn’t mean it didn’t work.
Before leaving his motel room, Micah picked up the phone to call his mother. She should be settled into her new place by now. He waited impatiently, needing to hear her voice and be sure she liked it. That was his greatest worry, that she had rushed her decision would hate living in the assisted living facility.
“Hi Mom, it’s me. How are you?”
“Micah!” There was nothing in her voice except pleasure at hearing from him. He relaxed more and leaned his head against the wall. “I’m just fine, settling in nicely. There are some wonderful people here, even a few old friends I’d lost contact with. I know you were worried, but there’s no need.”
“I’m so glad, Mom. You’re right, I was worried, up until I heard your voice. I’m about to go meet my cousin, but wanted to check in first. Is there anything you can think of that isn’t in the documents I read?
There was a long moment of silence, so long that Micah was afraid he’d lost the connection. Finally, he heard a soft intake of breath and continued to wait for his mother to be ready. “Only one thing. Something I never told you, either. It might not be relevant to Pen, since he is also part daywalker, but it won’t hurt to bring it up, just in case. It’s nothing bad, so don’t worry about that. It’s actually quite wonderful.
“When I met your father, the attraction was instant, but neither one of us figured it would be anything more than physical. Something happened after he fed from me that we didn’t canlı bahis şirketleri expect. Ghislain told me it was a rare thing to happen. When he fed, he said I tasted like home. I didn’t feel that, really, but I did feel something. He said it was to let us know we were meant to be together. Not that we had to be together, you understand, only that we were meant to be. We both could have decided to go our own way and nothing dire would have happened. We would never have been as happy with anyone else, but we would have found a different kind of love and happiness.”
Fuck. Shit. Now that his mother had said it, he couldn’t keep it from his mind. The thought he’d refused to allow earlier slammed back into his conscious mind and refused to budge. Simon tasted like home. He hadn’t wanted to acknowledge it, but now he had no choice. He and the man he’d met, fucked and fed from were somehow linked. Thank God it wasn’t like those stories of soulmates. He could be happy about that at least.
“Thanks, Mom, but it probably won’t come up. All we really know about Pen is that he’s half nightwalker and half daywalker. The two sides probably cancel each other out.”
“Maybe so, but the blood and genetics are still there. Actually, I’m not sure why I brought it up, just that I felt like I should.” Micah heard a faint knock from his mother’s end of the phone and knew their time was over. “I’ve got someone knocking at the door. Call me again soon and let me know how things are going.”
“I will. Love you.”
“Love you too, Micah. Bye.”
How strange how his mother had decided to tell him that little tidbit of information now of all times. They’d often had long conversations on all possible topics, even times when he begged for stories about her and his father, and she’d never breathed a word. So why now, after having met Simon and thought about the unique taste, did she have to speak those damnable words? It couldn’t be coincidence.
It would take about twenty minutes to walk over to the address he had for Pen. He could have been there in about five if he used his speed, or taken a cab, but it was a beautiful night and he needed to think about things. Not about Simon, though. Thoughts of Simon and his taste had to wait for another time. No, tonight he wanted to think about his grandfather, Johan and get the information straight in his mind.
Johan only visited his family once, that he could remember. At seven, Micah knew even then that the older nightwalker wasn’t very nice. He looked Micah up and down with his lip curled and didn’t look at him again directly for the rest of the visit. They looked similar, with white-blond hair and pale skin, but Johan was taller. Johan, and his son Ghislain, both measured at least six three, and their frames were much bulkier. According to Micah’s father, Pen’s father Kylen was somewhere in between. Ghislain estimated Kylen at just under six feet and more slender than his brother.
Twice, while eavesdropping before entering a room, Micah heard himself referred to as ‘the useless runt’. He hadn’t been eavesdropping to learn anything, but only to know whether he should enter a room or not. The less time spent in the same space with his grandfather, the better. He had learned some things, however. Things he kept to himself and didn’t let on that he knew about.
Johan and someone named Blake wanted to contact some sort of professor to help them with a chemical analysis. What they wanted to analyze was a mystery to the young Micah, but the older Micah now figured it was to kill daywalkers. Something about making the daywalkers burn like nightwalkers. It would take time, Johan snorted, but time was something he had plenty of. Even though Johan was nearly two hundred and fifty, he declared himself too important in the grand scheme of things only to live to three hundred. He would live forever.
Micah paused at a street corner. A quick look at the name told him he was only a few minutes away from his destination but that didn’t matter. He finally remembered something else he heard from his grandfather. Not something he told his son, but something he talked about on the phone to the anonymous Blake. Micah wasn’t trying to listen that time, but he was in the bathroom and the phone conversation took place on the other side of the wall, the raised voice clear as a bell.
“It will work. I tell you it will. Once we get rid of the daywalkers, the false nightwalkers will be next and then we of the pure line will finally live forever. No more limited lifespan, we both know that. We die from the disgust we feel for the usurpers. You just get in touch with that Silversmith guy, Blake, and leave the rest to me.”
Penlan Taylor ground his hips down, feeling himself full of his lover’s cock. There wasn’t much in his life he loved more than riding Ryan, and he had a feeling Ryan felt much the same way. It was their favorite position, had been since they started their life together. They didn’t always make love this way, not canlı kaçak iddaa by a long shot, but it was definitely their favorite position.
“So close, so close,” he whimpered, head falling back. He started to reposition himself, needing to get one hand off Ryan and onto his aching, throbbing prick.
Ryan thrust up hard and Pen grabbed hold again as he shuddered at the sensation against his prostate. Ryan grinned and stroked his lover’s hip. “From me, babe; come just from me.”
He wailed, unwilling to go against the order but needing more to gain the release he so desperately craved. Barely able to think, Pen almost threw himself forward to press his mouth to Ryan’s. He wanted the kiss, certainly, but it also trapped his erection between their bellies. The rough friction from the hairs on Ryan’s body was all that Pen needed and he screamed, jerking as heat erupted from his body between them.
His channel clamped down so tight on the welcome intruder that Ryan cried out and gave in to his own orgasm. They clung to each other, devouring and kissing until they were spent and limp. Pen nuzzled against Ryan’s cheek, murmuring words of love. They stayed that way until Ryan’s softened cock slipped out.
“I love you so much, Ryan. Thank God our supper was already cooked when you got home or we might have been interrupted by the fire department.”
Ryan laughed and tightened his arms around the small, slim body. “I love you, too. So much I can’t even put it into words.” He had more to say to his beautiful husband, but the doorbell intruded and brought forth groans from both men. “I’ll get the door, if you want to rest some more. I’m sure our supper will keep for a little while longer.”
He wiped himself off with one of the towels they kept on hand in the bedroom and pulled on a pair of sweatpants. Pen apparently decided he was getting up as well, but moved to the closet to find a better outfit. Nope, he wanted the silk robe Joey bought him at Christmas. That would be a distraction when they ate their supper as soon as Ryan took care of whoever was at the door.
Hi picked up their discarded clothing from the hallway as he made his way to the door, shaking his head at the thought of what the person would think if he didn’t tidy up. Tossing the pile on the floor behind the door, Ryan opened the door and just stopped. He stared incomprehensibly at the sight of Pen standing there, fully dressed.
It didn’t take long for the realization that this was a stranger to hit. The face was eerily similar, but there were a few differences. The nose was straight rather than slightly turned up at the end. The eyes were blue rather than green. This man was also a bit taller, no more than an inch or two, and almost, but not quite, as slender. He kept staring, until he saw the discomfort on the man’s face. Some part of his mind knew the man had spoken, even the voice nearly identical to Pen’s, but the words didn’t penetrate. He caught sight of the fangs, proclaiming this man to be a nightwalker.
“Who the Hell are you?” Ryan winced at the way his question came out, harsh and accusing, but he was too shocked for anything else.
“Um, my name is Micah Taylor. I’m sorry to bother you. I thought my cousin, Penlan Taylor, lived here. This is the address the computer gave me.”
“Ryan? Who’s at the door?” A pause when Pen peered curiously around Ryan’s arm. “Oh my God! Who are you?”
Micah saw nothing but shock and confusion on the men’s faces. He felt some shock himself when he finally saw Pen. It was almost like looking in a mirror. The differences were minor, easily overlooked except through long-familiarity. He reached up with a hand to rub at the skin between his eyebrows, unconsciously doing what his mother used to when he was unsure and uncomfortable.
“I, uh, wow this is kind of strange. Your father, Kylen, and my father, Ghislain, were brothers. My father wanted to get in touch a few years ago, but he…died and I had to take care of my mother and sister. We finally decided it was time when I got fired from my job, so, um, here I am.”
God, it sounded so lame. He felt nervous and exposed standing out here in the hallway, with those green and gold eyes staring at him. As if he was some strange creature that appalled them. Of course. He was obviously a nightwalker and they probably couldn’t imagine why he was here, expecting to be welcomed. He was so stupid.
Mumbling an apology for bothering them, Micah turned and hurried away. Coming in person this first time was obviously a mistake. He should have called first, explained who he was and given a little bit of information on why they needed to meet. It might not have been a problem if he and Pen weren’t nearly identical copies of one another. That was just too weird. From the pictures he’d seen, even though their fathers looked alike, the similarities weren’t so strong. It was easy to see that Kylen and Ghislain were brothers, but they didn’t look like twins.
The strangest desire came over canlı kaçak bahis him as he rushed out of the building onto the street. He wanted to scream out for Simon. His heart demanded that he find his Simon and grab hold of him. Simon would hold him and make him feel better, as well as help him see which path to take.
It was ridiculous. Simon was nothing to him; he was nothing to Simon. Whatever he thought he felt, or tasted, it was only his imagination. The last time he fed was a few days before leaving his mother behind and coming to Rutherford. That must be why he thought he tasted something special from Simon. The man was nothing but a great fuck. A selfish one, at that.
“Micah! Wait, you don’t have to go, you just surprised us. Please, come back upstairs and we’ll talk.”
He looked around and saw that Ryan had followed him down and was waiting in the building’s entrance. Micah wasn’t sure what to do. He did want to get to know his cousin, but he felt that maybe doing so in public would be better. Whatever else, it was clear that Pen had inherited none of the nightwalker attributes. That was probably because of his daywalker mother.
It was strange how the daywalker genes overpowered the nightwalker traits in Uncle Kylen’s son. His grandfather Johan wouldn’t like to learn about that! He believed that nightwalkers were the superior species, especially nightwalkers of the pure line.
“I didn’t think about how intrusive it would be to just show up on your doorstep. Neither you nor Pen had any idea of my existence. My father said he and his brother thought it best not to maintain contact because of, well, because of their father.”
“Come upstairs,” Ryan repeated, smiling and holding out a hand in invitation. “I’m sure by now that Pen is working himself into a tizzy, worried about you and what you’ll think of his behavior.”
Just like that, Micah returned to the apartment building. It wasn’t like him to give up control. His mother always said he was more likely to dig in his heels than to go with the flow. Right then, however, he was too uncertain to do more than follow along behind the larger man. Who was he? All signs pointed to his being Pen’s lover, but he knew as well as anyone else that sometimes appearances could be deceiving. Didn’t people automatically assume he was a danger because he was a nightwalker? Not many took the time to get to know him as a person.
Pen, the cousin he’d come to see, had taken the time to get dressed in a pair of tight jeans and an old, ratty sweater that obviously belonged to someone much bigger. Surprisingly, it suited the small man.
“Oh good, you’re back. I’m sorry for our poor manners, but seeing you there, looking so much like me, was a shock.”
Pen looked worried, even as he reached out to draw his doppelganger inside the apartment. “It was a shock for me as well, to tell you the truth. Well, my name is Micah Taylor and I’m your cousin. I travelled here from Toronto, in Canada, to meet you and bring you some information on our family.”
“I’m Penlan Taylor Sealey, and this is my husband, Ryan Sealey. We’ve been married a little more than a year now.” They moved into the kitchen, Ryan excusing himself to get dressed. “My father never mentioned anything about having a brother, or any kind of family, actually.”
“That’s what they agreed upon, or so my mother and father always told me. There were, um, problems with their father. Our grandfather, Johan Tilea, who changed the family name to Taylor when he moved the family to the Americas, is not a very nice man. My father was getting ready to come and find you and your family when Grandfather got angry and threw him out a window at midday. He died immediately, of course. That was about two years ago now.”
“My father died about four years ago. He was bound by my mother, and then later by my aunt. One day he invited me out to dine at a restaurant, where he attacked me. The moment his fangs pierced my flesh, he burned and died.”
Micah frowned at the information. “Bound twice? And he attacked you? What in the world? Your mother was supposed to get in touch with us if anything happened to him.”
“Pen’s mother was not very nice,” Ryan commented as he strolled back into the kitchen. “She abused both Pen and his father and her family took her away when Pen was, I believe, about fourteen. We’re not sure why his aunt bound him again, because nothing weakens a binding, that we know of.”
“I don’t understand. My mother and Eleane Pritchard were childhood friends. They grew up together. My mother always went on about how wonderful and sweet Eleane was, standing up for anyone who was in trouble and even giving up her prized possessions to make others happy. I’ll ask Mom next time I call her if she knows what could have happened.”
The conversation moved to other subjects without any conscious decision on the matter. While his hosts ate their supper, Micah contented himself with picking at a slice of bread and drinking a glass of juice. His body could handle solids, but he didn’t indulge too often if he’d recently fed. Two days should be enough for him to have the beginning twinges of craving, even if he could go several weeks, but he still felt as full as if he’d fed only hours earlier.