Xavier woke in a pile of warm blankets feeling slightly hung over. Which was weird because he hadn’t been drinking last night. Still, he was dehydrated as hell, his tongue felt glued to the roof of his mouth. The thought of a tall glass of icy orange juice was enough to send a shiver down his spine. A glance to either side showed he was alone in the room. 

Disentangling himself from the covers he also noticed he was sticky with dried sweat and other fluids. Fortunately he already knew where the shower was. Getting there, on the other hand, proved alarmingly difficult. Blood loss and getting fucked raw all night had taken quiet a bit out of him. Still, he was young and healthy and the hot water pouring over his body quickly revived him. 

Soapy white lines trailed down his golden skin and rinsed down the drain. His sore ass reminded him he’d definitely played the roll of slutty twink to perfection. Damn Clay and his big dick anyway, he could keep that monster to himself. He shut the water off and got out, drying himself with one of those big fluffy towels in front of the mirror. Lifting his chin to one side he looked at his throat. There were two barely noticeable dimples in his skin; he had to look hard to even see them. No bruising, not even a hickey! That was something anyway, after Rayne had treated him like a friggin’ Red Cross Happy Meal. 

Xavier stopped his thoughts short and looked in the mirror. Where the hell was all this grumpy crap coming from? He hardly ever indulged in getting down on himself. He wasn’t a brooder. He finished drying himself, pulled a comb through his drying curls and then walked back out into the bedroom. 

Leather was never comfortable first thing in the morning, but he didn’t feel right going through someone else’s drawers so he wriggled back into his pants, the leather instantly moulding to him like a second skin. He left the fishnet shirt and boots on the floor and wandered downstairs barefoot, following his nose toward the kitchen. By the time he got there he didn’t want OJ any more, he was craving strong black coffee

The kitchen – source of the aroma that drew him on – was set within a large, airy, open-plan breakfast room with the utilities and steel fronted cabinets at one end and a balcony with a view down to the (currently mist-shrouded) waters of the Bay at the other. The textured grey tiles were warm underfoot, as if heated from somewhere below. The white, vaulted ceiling and walls arched up over his head, twinkling with recessed lights that gave the whole room its bright aspect. 

A young Latino man was currently at work on the griddle, flipping eggs and frying bacon and other variously delicious smelling things. He was naked, from the low waistband of his pale blue jeans up, with a long black pony-tail and an impressive tan. Clay was at the coffee maker, a glass and chrome contraption as large as a suitcase that looked like a futuristic nuclear powerstation in miniature. He was fully dressed in pale slacks and an open shirt and looking infuriatingly fresh considering the exertions of the previous night. Wetness from the shower still glinted in his close cropped, ivory hair and he was whistling cheerfully.

On the balcony in a comfortable looking leather wing chair was an older man clad in a knee-length white towel robe. He was lean and solemn faced with long, salt and pepper hair drawn back in a loose bunch at the nape of his neck. Currently the newspapers open across his lap claimed his full attention. A pair of golden, wire-framed glasses perched on the prow of his impressive nose. 

Of the singer, Rayne Wylde there was no sign at all. 

Xavier moved from the arched doorway into the room. 

“Good morning,” he said to Clay, causing him to turn and look over his shoulder. A small somewhat hesitant smiled touched Xav’s lips. Morning was always a tricky time. He’d had declarations of love, propositions from sugar daddies, and been told to get the fuck out before wives or girlfriends got home; the last more often then not. He didn’t really expect that from Clay, but you never knew. If he was about to get tossed out he hoped he’d at least be able to snag a cup of coffee first, and breakfast smelled damn good.

“Hey honey!” the muscular black guy greeted him with what looked like a genuine smile. “Don’t ‘you’ look great in the morning? You want breakfast or just something to drink while you check out Chavez’s ass?” 

He winked at the young Latino who seemed to be in charge of food. The lean, firmly muscled youth at the griddle blew him a kiss without missing a flip.

The bit of tension in Xavier’s shoulders eased and his smile grew a little more relaxed. “Coffee would be great,” he said, coming further into the room. The guy at the grill looked up casually, then back down at the food but his head came quickly back up for a longer look. Xavier tried not to smirk as he took the proffered mug from Clay. 

“Thanks.” He sipped tentatively, then drank deeper as the rich flavour of dark roast slid over his tongue. Xavier sighed appreciatively. Dappled morning light streamed in though the window, playing off the highlights of gold in his dark blond hair and sliding over his smooth skin. Not even a hint of shadow touched his cheeks and the only thing that saved him from looking like total jailbait right at that moment was the cut little body he sported and the cocky confidence he wore like a badge of honour. 

Chavez the chef seemed to appreciate it for sure. He was not the only one discreetly checking Xavier out though. From the balcony he now became aware of the steely blue eyes watching him contemplatively over the lip of the San Francisco Chronicle. The face that framed that watchful gaze was one of those ageless visages that could have belonged to a man of forty or eighty. The fading colours of his long, straight hair suggested an older man but there was a twinkle in his eyes that belied it right away. 

Those blue eyes only left Xavier’s face when Clay returned to the table and set down a bowl-sized cup of black coffee by the fellow’s right hand. Xavier’s bed mate bent and kissed the top of the older man’s head, murmuring something briefly to him as he released the cup and saucer. The older guy, whose build still vaguely hinted that once there had been a fairly buff and well-worked body beneath his loose robe, now lifted a hand to touch Clay’s cheek affectionately before returning his attention to Xavier. 

“Don’t stand there like a stork,” he said at last, beckoning to the blond boy. His accent carried faint traces of Ireland and Europe, interwoven with a Bay Area drawl. “You’re making my neck ache. Come and sit down, let’s get a better look at you.”

Clay was already taking a seat to the fellow’s left, with his back to the balcony railing and he pushed the opposite chair back towards Xavier with his foot now in a lazy approximation of an invite.

Xavier stepped outside with his coffee in hand. The air held just a bit of crispness this morning, tightening his skin and making his smooth nipples into little pebbles. He sat in the offered chair and set the mug down. Putting one elbow on the table so he could rest his chin on his palm he gazed at the older man with sexy half-lidded eyes. 

“Getting a better look?” His lips curled; not exactly flirtatious, just knowing. 

“I could look at you all day, Baby,” the older man assured him with a smile that was just as calculating as Xavier’s. “You’re a sight for sore eyes.” 

He sat back, folding his paper and resting it on the corner of the table. Long, tanned fingers pushed his glasses up into his salt and pepper hair. 

“I’ve seen you before,” he said at last. “You dance at… Switchbacks is it? You’re a great little mover.” 

Clay was grinning like the Cheshire Cat behind a glass of fresh juice. 

That actually managed to surprise Xavier. He wasn’t sure quite how to respond but was saved from having to do so as Chavez brought out a large tray piled high with food. He set it down in the centre of the table and placed plates and silverware in front of everyone. 

“Help yourself, sweetheart.” Clay said. “Keep your strength up.” He winked conspiratorially. 

Xav was not shy when it came to food. He had a bottomless pit for a stomach and kept pace with Clay no problem, eating as much as the much larger man. When he finally slowed down to nibbling on a piece of toast Clay had to chuckle. “Were you on the verge of starvation, or do you eat like that all the time?” 

Xavier shrugged, “If I don’t eat like that I start dropping pounds. The customers want to look at cut, not scrawny.” He took another little bite of toast and dropped the crust back on the plate. “Um, where did Rayne go, by the way?” he asked, licking the traces of butter from his fingers.

The other two men exchanged a knowing look. Clay reached for some more toast and the bowl of kedgeree in order to avoid having to actually speak. His companion just smiled and shook his head. 

“Mizz Wylde is a law unto herself,” he said mysteriously. I believe she had an appointment this morning. Something to do with a TV show?” He looked a question at Clay, who shrugged roundly, mouth still full. 

“Uhuhh,” he answered ambiguously.

The older man held out his hand at last. 

“We haven’t been introduced,” he said with an apologetic smile. “I’m PJ… or Paddy, I don’t mind which. This is my house and a part of my film studio. Rayne is staying with me while he’s in Frisco… ‘if’ you were thinking of hanging around ’til he comes back?”


Xavier wandered around the room slowly; nothing else to do at the moment. He’d been given leave to do what he liked, watch TV, listen to the stereo, whatever. Right now he was just checking things out. Whoever PJ’s designer was had good taste. Dark wood floors, over sized furniture in cream and brown with gold and blue accents, nice art on the walls, no cheap shit. Everything spotlessly clean. 

The plasma screen took up nearly the whole of one wall, the rest of the electronics were discreetly tucked away behind panelling and glass doors. The speakers must be hidden in the walls somewhere. Very neat! 

He turned when he heard the soft pad of feet coming into the room. Not who he expected; Chavez smiled at him, even white teeth brilliant against his tanned skin. 

“Just checking if you need anything.” 


Chavez sat on the arm of the couch, watching Xavier as he resumed his slow meander about the room. “Barclay says you’re staying a while.” 

Xavier glanced at him but didn’t say anything.

“Do you want me to send someone to pick up a few things, something else to wear?” the young Latino enquired, the polite edge to his voice suggesting that this had maybe been someone else’s idea.

Xav looked down at himself, bare except for the tight leather pants. “Don’t like what I’ve got on?” he asked dryly. 

Chavez grinned. “You can walk around naked for all I care, only thinking of your comfort, man.” 

“Hmm, I suppose I should go get a few things.” 

“You can go shopping if you want, I’m sure Barclay wouldn’t mind if…” 

“No thanks.” Xavier cut him off flatly. 

Chavez only grinned wider at that. “No need to be proud, man.” 

“Nope, I’m just not a whore.” 

Chavez snorted softly, but the smile he gave him was a little more genuine. “You clean?” 

Xavier stopped his wandering and turned to face him. “I look like a junkie to you?” 

“Maybe. Hard to tell sometimes.” 

It was Xavier’s turn to snort, but he answered; “Yeah, I’m clean. Not that you should believe me if I wasn’t.”

Chavez grinned at him, unfazed. “Well, I don’t believe nothin’ til I seen the tests, but Clay trusts you well enough to do you bareback. But then if you take a guy you’ve only just met without a rubber there’s some that would say you’re asking for an invite to hell… or lookin’ to dish it out!” He fished a set of keys from the pocket of his snug jeans and twirled them around his index finger adding as an afterthought; “Is PJ right? Are you a dancer?”

Xavier arched a brow at him, “Now, why is it that you know such intimate little details, but not the big ones, I wonder?” No answer seemed forthcoming, but he did manage to make those dark eyes look a little uncertain. “Yeah, I work at a club. Let’s go!” 


Xavier gave directions as Chavez drove. The little motel dive he’d been holing up in for the last couple days looked even more bleak in the bright light of day. At least the car was less likely to disappear from the lot. Chavez looked like he didn’t want to get too comfortable while Xavier went about stuffing some things into a bag. 

“Nice place.” Chavez said dryly. 

“It’s temporary.” 

Back in the car Xav pulled out his cell and listened to the messages that had piled up. Josh had left a dozen; everything from pleading to threatening to taunting. He deleted them all and put the phone away. His mood had shifted though, and he was quiet and pensive during the drive back. 

“You okay, man?” Chavez asked him at last, stroking his fingers distractedly around the tactile swell of the gear-shift on PJ’s convertible Lexus SC 430 as he stared ahead through the tinted lenses of his shades. “I wasn’t meaning to run you down over the room or anything. We all been through lean times, y’know? If you need a hand up…” 

He left the invitation open, perhaps remembering how defensive Xav had been about the offer to go shopping. All the same he glanced at the blond beside him with a quick, reassuring smile.

Xavier turned his head slowly to look at him. “I picked the rat hole because I got kicked out of where I was staying, and just haven’t decided what I want to do yet, not because I can’t afford better,” he said evenly. “I already told you, I’m not for rent, an’ I didn’t try an’ hustle your friends.” 

Chavez shrugged. “Okay man.” 

Xavier sighed tiredly. The little dimple marks on the side of his throat itched and he rubbed them. He got the oddest sensation, sort of like a mix between sexual desire and wanting a fix… that same kind of craving, that made it hard to concentrate on anything else. He hadn’t had that feeling in a long time, and it made him a little twitchy. He took his hand away from the bite mark and the feeling died down a bit. 

They rode in silence for a while, then Chavez asked, “That one that left all the messages, he the one that kicked you out?” It had been hard not to listen, the angry voice had been pretty loud while Xavier checked his ‘phone. 

“No. He’s the ‘reason’ I got kicked out,” Xavier answered miserably. “Stupid bastard.” 

“What happened?” 

Xavier gave him a look. “Are you always so damn nosy?” 

Chavez gave him that unfazed look and Xavier had the feeling it made a lot of people want to just smack the shit out of him. 

He put his hand on his chin and looked out the window. “It’s a long story. Don’t know exactly what happened. Josh and I have history, but I dumped him. He showed up at the club a couple days ago, said he wanted to talk. I think he must have slipped me something, I don’t know. He says I asked him for it. I woke up at his place and my whole world was fucked. Everybody’s pissed at me.” 

The Hispanic guy tapped his fingers lightly on the steering wheel as if listening to an inner tune. He shook his head slowly, still watching the traffic. 

“Were you… with someone, in a relationship? Is that what he fucked over?” he asked carefully. “Is that why you weren’t playing safe with Barclay and Wylde last night? You figured you’d nothing to lose?” 

Xavier did the slow head turn again and looked at Chavez. He didn’t glance back at him this time, just kept his eyes on the road. 

Xavier sighed. “Yeah, I was with someone. I’ve been with Kat for almost three years. Never cheated on her, stayed clean.” He chewed his thumbnail absently. “I didn’t know what happened with Josh, I couldn’t deny what I couldn’t remember. So, she dumped me. I thought maybe I would just let her cool off, go back and try an’ explain.” Xavier snorted derisively. “It took me a few days to figure out that I hadn’t just decided to take a little trip on my own. I was gonna call Katya and try and talk to her but before I did Josh really fucked things up for me. That motherfucker took pictures of us, of ‘me’, of what I did that night, off my head, with a bunch of other guys. He sent them to her, and she blocked my calls.” He sighed again, resigned. “So, she won’t have anything to do with me, and that dumb fuck keeps calling thinkin’ I’m gonna go running back to him or something.” He turned to look out the window again, falling quiet for a moment. “Could be worse I guess. I went and got tested, poked, prodded and cultured. Least they didn’t give me nothing.” 

The Hispanic youth nodded his head thoughtfully. He did not seem riled by Xavier’s response though and only mused; “Yeah, I figured something like that. I’m not judgin’ you man. But you wouldn’t be the first. I’m not worried for Wylde; that dude thinks he’s fuckin’ immortal. Batshit crazy, if you ask me! But Clay’s my buddy, I owe him my life and I don’t wanna think some kid’s gonna mess him up. Maybes you’ll find out if you choose to stick around, but we look out for one another at PJ’s. ‘kay?”


The cab took Rayne Wylde down to the Embarcadero and he walked back up from there towards the Channel 7 studios on Front Street, mostly because he needed to clear his head after the hectic events of the previous day. He had spent nearly twenty minutes in the shower this morning, just letting the hot water stream over him, washing away the stickiness of last night’s urgent, fabulous sex. Harder to shift was the lingering awareness of the young dancer’s fragmented memories. He was still shuddering as he got out of the shower cubicle and roughly towelled himself down. The boy’s recollections had triggered his own dark thoughts of his youth and Brian; memories he thought he had buried firmly when he became a vampire but that still surfaced to trouble him from time to time. 

At least the early sunlight was bright and warm this morning, maybe the walk would heat his blood up and instil some positive vibes. He could not let the past weigh him down today. It had been a long time since he was last on TV; this concession would cheer up the Board at SOLD who were about to release a retrospective Whipsnade B-side collection; Destiny Reversed. The band had already vetoed the idea of a singles collection, viewing it as a sign that they were irrevocably over. Destiny Reversed was their compromise position. Not that any of them seemed particularly interested in getting off their arses to promote it. Oh no, that was all Rayne’s job, or so it seemed. 

This morning he would do a short interview for one of the ABC media shows and record a couple of solo Whipsnade flip-sides. He didn’t really mind. It might even be a bit of a laugh. Hardly anyone in the USA knew who Whipsnade were in any case!

Lan, a cheerful Sino-American boy with narrow hips and sleek, indigo coloured hair, took Rayne up to the recording studio, cooing enthusiastically over his long, tailored, black-velvet McQueen coat. In make-up a teenage girl named Chelsea messed with his floppy, sable hair and gushed endlessly about his ‘fabulous skin’. His eyes flickered restlessly from her copper curls to her perky, braless tits. Chelsea’s nipples were like ball-bearings under the fine material of her tight, low-cut magenta jersey. They rose and fell before his eyes every time she paused for breath and he wondered idly what they would taste like. 

Consequently his dick was half-hard behind the hemline of his fitted black shirt as he perched on a stool in the glass walled studios to get the feel of the borrowed guitar. Rayne only partly-listened to the sound engineer explaining what a ball ache it had been to get hold of a left-hand strung Fender at such short notice. He retuned it twice by ear as the fellow rambled on and strummed through a few partly remembered melodies. The familiar vibration against his thigh did nothing to alleviate his hard-on. 

A silky voice spoke in his ear, asking if he was ready and he blinked, conscious of a sudden prickle of energy that raced through his skin, raising the fine hairs on the back of his neck and forearms like a warning signal. He lifted his head at once, searching out the creature that had triggered his defences. Whatever it was, it certainly wasn’t human!

Mahogany coloured eyes looked back at him, dark and fathomless. One ebony brow lifted ever so slightly, as if Rayne had just done a curious trick. The soft mobile looking lips smiled, though there was something hard and artificial in the expression. The face the smile belonged to was smooth and youthful but a strong jaw and less than delicate brows and cheekbones kept him from being a pretty boy. ‘Gorgeous’, but definitely not pretty. 


“Are you ready?” the vampire repeated, the slight smile on his lips now slightly mocking. He’d known what Rayne Wylde was since the singer hit town. After the business with Khaled Zelarin in London, most of the world’s Undead knew of Jabez Everman’s only surviving Fledgling. The only reason he hadn’t immediately detained Wylde was because he knew the Englishman would eventually come to him, and because Wylde was a youngster as his kind measured time. Fledgling vampires were still almost human; they often didn’t understand Undead society or even respect their Elders in this day and age. Such respect had to be taught and was often learned the hard way. Cole Lagrado looked forward to Rayne Wylde’s first lesson at his hands.


Rayne bristled like a small, feral cat defending its patch. His pale green eyes did not blink as he stared back at the being that made his skin prickle and his teeth itch. A few years ago he might have made the mistake of thinking that this was just another handsome, charismatic media mogul looking for an easy ride but time and experience had taught him to read the warning signs. He was far better attuned to the resonance of other Undead beings now. Just because this one looked civilised it didn’t necessarily mean he played by the rules. 

The younger vampire ran his fingers up and down the fret-board of his borrowed instrument almost like a child with a comforter. They formed instinctive chord shapes and he coaxed a ripple of sound from the Fender without lowering his gaze for a moment. Even with an audience he was not about to turn his back on the creature that stared at him like a he was an intriguing new plaything. He knew from past encounters just how lethal complacency could be. 

“I’m ready,” he answered; outwardly cool, although the tightness in his gut told another story. 

The older vampire gave a small nod of his head, but instead of moving away he stepped closer to the glass partition wall that separated them, resting his hands against it lightly. 

“I hope you enjoyed the club last night.” His voice was warm and genuine-sounding, even as he indirectly let Rayne know that his every move was being watched. “Come see me when you’re finished here. Ask for Mr. Lagrado. They’ll direct you.” He gestured dismissively towards his human entourage then turned and left the studio without a backward look. 

For a moment the singer stared into the empty space where he had been, not sure whether he had just been issued with an invitation or an order. Then the floor manager was counting him in and he let the music take over. His fingers worked the strings deftly and he dropped back into the song, putting everything else to the back of his mind as the words to ‘Hoodlum Lovesong’ rose instinctively to his lips. He improvised the elaborate middle eight, chuckling inwardly as he imagined how his fellow songwriter, Sean Courtney, would berate him for ruining his perfect guitar solo. 

Rayne’s singing voice was husky from lack of use and instead of ‘Life’s Perfect Victim’, which had been the band’s only number one single (even though he personally hated it) he moved from the understated urban beauty of ‘Hoodlum’ into the quiet gothic splendour of ‘Dark Paths’. Bizarrely the huge Whipsnade show opener worked nicely as a subtle unplugged number. It felt more like poetry when he played it this way. 

He was thinking of the shards of memory he had gleaned from Xavier’s head last night as they surged on the bed together; the strange, pure recollection of the boy masturbating furiously to these words, spilling his seed to a paean on bloodletting and self-abuse. It seemed profoundly appropriate.

When he wound it up there was a ripple of quiet applause from the crew. The sound-editor was less impressed and asked if he knew anything more cheerful. Rayne winked at him, unperturbed, and winged a punky version of Beyonce’s ‘Crazy In Love’ by way of response.

The interview that followed was pure pop trash and he could do it in his sleep. The glossy girl reporter flirted with him shamelessly and he enjoyed himself, teasing her. 

“Are Whipsnade planning a reunion tour?” 

“Not unless hell’s frozen over and no one told me!”

“Are you gonna record solo?” 

“No one else wants to work with me, so I guess so!”

“Do you have a girlfriend, right now?”

“Not ‘right now’. Why? Interested?”

He had almost forgotten about the post-interview appointment with the mysterious Señor Lagrado until he was making his way back down to the foyer once the show was in the can. A hand rested lightly on his arm and he turned to see cute little Lan looking at him with a gleam in his dark, oriental eyes. 

“Mr Cole will see you before you go,” he said, leaving no space for argument in that statement. “His office is just through here.”

Rayne thought about just making a run for it but his curiosity was already piqued. He followed Lan through a dark, varnished wooden doorway into a room that seemed to belong to another building. The modern glass and sleek design ended abruptly at the door, replaced by heavy dark wood and leather furniture. The lighting was dim; thick curtains hung over the room’s only windows. 

Lagrado was seated behind what was, no doubt, an antique desk. He was also not the only Vampire in the room. Two more, one male, one female lounged about; the way their eyes tracked Rayne’s every move belying their apparently casual disinterest. 

Lan closed the door behind Rayne and made his way over to Lagrado, sitting on the floor beside him with a cheerful, utterly uncoerced look on his face. The vampire stroked his fingers through the boy’s hair absently, as if he was a favoured pet. 

“Have a seat, Mr. Wylde.” Lagrado’s smooth purr broke the silence in the room. Rayne glanced quickly from his host to the pair who flanked him. They both looked immaculately groomed and well fed, like a pair of huge, contented lap cats. He wondered if they had ever learned to hunt for themselves or if Lagrado lured the food in for them to keep them loyal. From the expression on young Lan’s face the boy had no qualms about his role. Unless, of course, he did not know what his employers were. 

It was beyond the singer how anyone could fail to sense that these creatures were Undead, but the boy was a pretty airhead. Maybe he just liked being a plaything for a rich, older lover. He would not be the first.

Rayne folded his arms across his chest and smiled thinly as his gaze returned to Cole Lagrado. The smile did not reach his cool, green eyes. 

“If it’s all the same to you, I’d rather stand,” he said in an even voice. 

‘All the better to run like fuck!’ added the sarcastic little voice in his head. He ignored it. 

Lagrado smiled, without flashing any hint of fang. 

“Are you enjoying your stay in our city?” he asked, in such a way as to imply the city itself, and all its inhabitants belonged to him. 

Rayne managed not to smirk. Jabez had told him often enough not to offer insolence to his Elders but in his short and eventful Unlife he had been bounced off walls by bigger and meaner Vamps than this one. Being a cheeky little bastard had always been second nature to him. 

“Oh yeah, I usually do,” he replied sweetly. “It’s such a great place to have fun, after all. So many… temptations. More than enough for everyone, yeah?”

The Ancient chuckled, low and warm; sounding very human. 

“Insolent…” the woman to his right observed in a bare whisper; no hint in her tone of whether she was disapproving or amused. She watched Rayne with glittering, dark eyes. 

“Perhaps, Patrice.” Cole Lagrado said blandly. 

The Vampiress turned her head toward her Master, tilting her dainty chin. 

“You are not going to punish him?” Definitely there was disappointment in her tone now. 

“Tch… he is a guest.” Lagrado stood slowly, dismissing her argument. “I agree, Mr. Wylde, plenty of temptations. That little dancer that took your fancy, for instance.” He flowed around his desk; the languid movements were effortlessly casual. “However, some would argue whether there is more than enough,” he said without inflection, leaning back against the edge and smiling at Rayne again. This time, the hint of a sharp canine flashed between his lips. “Some here are also ‘old fashioned’ about hospitality.” He lifted his hand and gestured airily, “I won’t bore you with the details concerning territories and agreements… suffice it to say you’ve already stepped on toes, albeit perhaps unwittingly.” 

The smiled slipped from his face and the dark eyes that looked back at Rayne were flat and cold as a shark’s. “I suggest you keep your stay short, and confine your feeding to your ‘own’ entourage.” The smile came back, at the flick of some inner switch. “Of course, if you don’t have anyone ‘suitable’ with you, we can offer you certain choices.” 

Rayne’s eyes widened briefly at the obvious allusion to Xavier. He wanted to ask how this creep knew about his connection with the dancer but the warning lights flashing in his head kept his lips sealed for the moment. If it was just ‘him’ they were watching there was no need to drag anyone else into this just yet. 

He had known Vamps like this in London. Or, at least, he had before Jabez sorted them all out and established the current pecking order. Coming up against Lagrado now, without his Sire to cover his back, was something of a shock but he kept his cool. Just about! 

“I’ve got a bit of business to see to out here,” he answered casually. “Can’t just drop it and run back to London with no good reason. Not that I would, anyway! I, umm… appreciate your hospitality though,” he added with a wry, self-conscious smile. He pulled himself up to his full height, all the while conscious that the older Vampire was still effortlessly taller. Not for the first time Rayne cursed his wretched genes. 

“Good.” Cole made a slight gesture with his hand and the boy bounced to his feet as if he was on an invisible string. “Lan will show you out then.” 

The door was opened; the interview over. Summoned and dismissed, just like that. 

Rayne was actually at the door when the mental controls that had kicked in automatically to prevent him making a scene and, potentially, a complete tit of himself were over-ridden by a sudden twinge of curiosity.

“Just a minute…” he said, glancing back over one shoulder at the assembled Vamps, who were still grouped by the desk like an ensemble shoot for the Addams Family movies. “You said I’d stepped on someone’s toes. Would you care to let me know exactly what I’m supposed to have done?” He pressed a smile into service although he was conscious that his fangs were extending slowly. Irritation always did that to him. “I’d hate to think I was ‘accidentally’ offending someone.”

Lagrado’s expression was the patient, slightly patronising mask of a parent explaining politics to a child. “You can equate it to trespassing and poaching, Mr. Wylde. Each city has a Master, some more then one. Believe me, as soon as a strange Vampire enters their territory they will know. If the stranger does not seek them out within the first night it is considered… impolite.”

For a moment or so, Rayne was utterly still, his body language completely neutral, his face providing no clues to his mood or his thoughts. Only his eyes betrayed the irritation Lagrado’s remark had fired up in him. The icy green of his gaze darkened briefly as he considered his words. It was tempting to tell this pompous arsehole just where he could stick his territorial rights but he could guess that he probably would not walk out of this building undamaged if that happened. 

At last he flashed a faint smile that did not reach his eyes. 

“Well, I’ve found you now,” he said coolly, although his blood was running hot in his veins. “You must forgive me, I’m a foreigner. We do things a bit differently back home.”

His host returned a smile just as cold. “Of course.” 

Lan grabbed Rayne’s hand. His own felt warm and nervous as he tugged Rayne out the door after him. 

The singer had no desire to hang around, but he took his time, determined not to let them see they had rattled his nerves nearly as badly as the boy’s. His fingers curled tightly around the small, hot hand in his own as they descended to the foyer and walked to the main doors. 

“I know that all music industry execs are notorious bloodsuckers,” he said in a low voice as they reached the exit, resisting the young man’s strenuous attempts to pull free. “But trust me, hanging around with those creeps up there is gonna seriously shorten your life-expectancy, Lan sweetheart.”

So saying, he drew the boy’s fingers to his lips, kissed them very briefly and let him go. As he passed out through the glass doors the breeze caught his hair and the tails of his long black coat and made them flutter like ragged banners proclaiming his freedom. Rayne Wylde strode down the steps and back out onto the street with a look on his face that boded ill for anyone that crossed him. 


Back at PJ’s Chavez showed Xavier where he could put his stuff. No one seemed to be around yet, but that wasn’t exactly unusual. Apparently Chavez either didn’t mind keeping him company or had been assigned the task and didn’t know how to refuse it gracefully, Xavier wasn’t sure which. He also asked a lot of questions. Some of them Xav didn’t mind answering, others he avoided. His companion must have sensed Xav was getting annoyed with the twenty questions routine though, and switched tactics. He asked Xavier to dance for him. 

“What? You want to see the stage show, or you want a lap dance?” Xavier asked with a little knowing smirk. 

“Both! Whatever you want, man.” 

Xavier fussed a bit over picking out the music, selecting some of his lighter routines; standard club shit, meant to get blood pumping and the crowd turned on. He stepped through JT’s ‘Sexback’ like a slick modern Gene Kelly, then switched to smooth and cool gansta mode through ‘Shake Your Money Maker’. It was easy enough to keep Chaez entertained; he knew how to cater to his audience though. He pulled Chavez off the couch when the thumping strains of Eminem’s ‘Shake That’ came though the speakers. 

Chavez was shaking his head and laughing that he couldn’t dance like that, but that was OK with Xavier because this routine was meant to be more funny than sexy. 

He pantomimed most of the song, switching between the roles of Eminem, Nate Dogg, and the stripper with such ease and professionalism, it was hilarious to watch. 

‘There She Go, Bumpin and Grindin That Pole…’ Chavez got to be the stripper pole while Xav did the bump and grind. 

‘Shake That Ass For Me, C’mon Girl Shake That Ass For Me…’ and Xav grabbed Chavez’s hips and made him shake it a bit making him laugh. 

‘Now I Hope You Don’t Get Mad At Me But I Told Nate You Was A Freak, He Said He Wants A Slut, Hope You Don’t Mind I Told Him How You Like It From Behind…’ Xav had timed it so he took a turn around Chavez and ended with his hips pressed to the other man’s backside for a second, hands on Chavez’s shoulders. Then he moved off again. 

It was funny, Xav played the clown just as easily as he did sexy numbers. He had Chavez holding his stomach laughing by the time the song was over. 

As they chuckled and clung to one another, catching their breath the sound of clapping broke into the lull between tracks and they both looked up with a start. PJ McNamara was leaning in the doorway, sans reading glasses this time, observing the routine with a small smile playing on his generous mouth. 

“Encore!” he exclaimed, throwing up his hands. “You’re quite a mover, young man. That warmed my blood, no mistake!”

Xavier watched PJ enter the room with slightly guarded eyes. In Xavier’s experience older men with money fell into one of two categories, they were either easy marks, or predators. PJ did not strike him as an easy mark. 

PJ settled himself into an overstuffed chair and Xavier knew which set he wanted to do. He went and changed the CD to the ‘Morphine Drip’ set. These were all back room songs, Zeph wouldn’t let him do them on stage, except one. The melodic tones of ‘Dark Paths’ seemed to seep out of the speakers and Xavier moved across the floor with it, managing to ooze sex and dark forbidden things in equal measure. 

At the club he had to follow the rules, but he didn’t have to worry about that here. PJ got the full show, the way it was supposed to be, hot enough to set the room on fire.

As he writhed and gyrated across the room, the older man never took his eyes of Xavier. His gaze was not that of a hunter, it was the keen, observant stare of a collector or a cataloguer. He was taking on board the moves that the boy made and the way he interpreted the music. PJ’s lips twitched slightly as he watched, but not mockingly. He knew the song well and had watched his other house guest move to that same pulsing, sensual rhythm live on the stage on a couple of occasions, but never quite like this! 

Chavez came to sit on the arm of the chair beside him and they exchanged a brief, knowing look now. PJ rested his hand lightly on the Hispanic chef’s slim thigh, not in a predatory way but with a genuine sense of companionship. Chavez tugged on his ponytail affectionately. 

“He’s hot!” the lad said as the song shuddered to a close. 

His companion nodded; “Very much so!” 

Xavier had stripped out of his shirt during the performance, and stood catching his breath and getting his scattered thoughts back. The song always did strange things to him; made him think of shadowy parts of his life he didn’t want to think about and at the same time got him unbearably hot and hard.

Rising to his feet PJ came towards Xavier and rested both hands on the young man’s shoulders. He was tall and had clearly once been quite a muscle stud but there was a lean quality to his frame now, a spareness that made his tanned features look slightly aristocratic. His pale blue eyes were curious and kind though.

Xavier stood very still, waiting. He hadn’t quite got himself all collected yet and his expression had lost some of its guarded edge. He looked back at PJ with a kind of blankness in his eyes, expectant…pliant. It wasn’t quite ‘I don’t care what happens to me’ but very close. Then he shook it off and the cocky smile was back in place and he leaned in a little closer to PJ McNamara. 

“Like the show?”

“Baby, that little performance was just too cruel to put before a dying, old man,” the older fellow answered, but softly and not in an accusing way. The Irish brogue was back in his voice now, trickling like a spring. “It put fire in my belly and that’s the truth. I’ve been wanting to come and see you dance ever since Barclay first told me about the show but come the night and I’m never quite well enough, unfortunately. It was sweet of you to bring it to me here. I can surely see what I’m missing now. You make me wish I was twenty years younger again.”

PJ touched the backs of his fingers very softly to Xavier’s cheek and shook his head in apparent wonderment.

The cocky grin had slipped, to be replaced with a slightly puzzled frown. “Dying?”

PJ had opened his mouth to answer when he was interrupted by a phenomenal crash from somewhere out in the hall. It sounded as though someone had just ram-raided the front door. Chavez sat up on the arm of the sofa and craned his neck, peering through the window into the expansive front gardens. 

“Car’s okay,” he said in answer to a question his boss hadn’t asked. “Either we’re under enemy assault or Wylde’s back. Same thing, really!” He shrugged and sank back down again into the embrace of the recently vacated chair.

Several interior doors slammed in quick succession then the double doors to the lounge swung open and the singer burst in looking slightly dishevelled and still wearing his long black coat. He seemed to relax when he saw them though.

“Oh… you’re here!” he exhaled looking oddly relieved.

“And where else would we be?” PJ looked mildly amused by this eccentric entrance, not as irate as Xavier supposed anyone else might be if a guest treated his house that way.

“I…” Rayne held his hands up in a gesture of surrender. “I dunno… where’s Clay?”

“Studio,” PJ said returning to the chair and pulling Chavez out of it casually in order to flop down there himself. “Auditioning for the next shoot. You know he likes to watch the auditions.”

“I thought you did too,” Rayne smiled at him fondly, then his eyes moved curiously to Xavier as if he was wondering what the kid was still doing here. If he ‘did’ think it, at least he wasn’t crude enough to put it into words.

“It’s bad for my heart!” PJ declared, laying his hand flat to his chest in a dramatic gesture, though his blue eyes still smiled.

Xavier knew a snub when he saw one. Usually it wouldn’t have mattered one bit to him, but it bothered him this time. Mostly because the second Rayne had come through the door the pulse in his throat had started to throb, and that was odd in itself because usually if he had the hots for someone the throbbing was considerably lower. 

Xavier played it cool for the moment though. He snagged his shirt and slipped it back on, then dropped onto the sofa and kicked back. 

It was a little thing but the singer did not miss it. He glanced enquiringly from PJ to the blond and back again.

“You been doing some auditioning of your own while I was out?” he chuckled knowingly. “You dirty old bugger, he’s young enough to be your grandson!”

“Or young enough to be one of your not inconsiderable by-blows, honey,” the older fellow flashed back dryly. “Except I guess he ain’t because he’s got too much class for that!”

From his perch on the chair arm, Chavez licked the tip of his finger and scored an invisible point.

Xavier rolled his eyes, not really appreciating being talked about like he wasn’t there. However, there ‘was’ one thing he wanted to clear up; joke or not. 

“That was just some fun, not an audition. I don’t need a job.” 

“He’s teasing, honey,” PJ soothed with a genuine smile for the boy. “I don’t operate like that. I ‘do’ like to watch though. Hope you don’t mind. And after that dance routine, if you ever ‘did’ need a job I’d take you on-board right away.”

Rayne looked curiously at the older man, an odd little smile playing about his lips but for once he said nothing, merely shrugged off his coat and slung it over the back of the sofa, collapsing there as if he was mortally wounded.

Seeing Rayne suddenly relax, it occurred to Xavier to wonder what had got him so uptight when he stormed though the house a few moments ago. “Why were you so worried about knowing where everyone was?” 

The singer had stretched his arms out along the back of the sofa and let his head roll onto his shoulder to study Xavier thoughtfully. Someone had been watching them at the club the other night, and without Clay’s security guy picking up on it! Rayne didn’t like the idea of that one bit. Either they had been followed there or Lagrado was being literal when he referred to ‘his territory’. Whichever way he was determined to find out.

“Sweetheart, do you know who ‘owns’ the club where you dance?” he asked more seriously now. 

That was not a question Xavier expected, but he answered anyway. “Zeph runs the place, but the business is owned by a corporation called C.L. Entertainment…why?” Xavier wasn’t sure he cared why. He was watching Rayne’s half closed sexy eyes and the lazy smile on his lips and wondering if he could get to taste them again.

Those full, pale lips framed the words silently; ‘C L Entertainment… C L… Cole Lagrado’. Rayne shook his head slowly, not wanting to get angry in front of the boy. In all probability the staff at the club never had direct dealings with the guys at the top of the food chain (quite literally at the top of the food chain in this respect!) He slumped back into the soft caress of the sofa cushions rubbing the stiff muscles in his neck with a groan. 

“I think I just met your boss,” he told Xavier at last.

Xavier wasn’t sure quite what to make of that. He was sure he didn’t mean Zeph, so that must mean whoever owned Switchbacks. And that still didn’t answer the question why Rayne was so anxious to find PJ… make sure he was alight… Xavier glanced over at the older man sitting next to Chavez. Someone threatened him, maybe? But who and why, and what did that have to do with C.L. Entertainment? Or him? All good questions, and all ones Xavier wasn’t sure he should ask now. 

He licked his lips with the tip of his tongue. “You don’t sound happy about that.” He observed.

Rayne looked over at him with an odd sort of smile, almost an unhappy smile, if that was at all possible. He heaved a sigh. 

“The guy struck me as a bit of a creep,” he breathed evasively. “I didn’t like the idea of you belonging to somebody like that. That’s all.”

Xavier bit back the automatic reply that he did not belong to anyone. It would only sound like a case of ‘the lady doth protest too much’. Besides, he was inordinately pleased that Rayne had thought about him, and that he didn’t like the idea of Xav belong to a creep. He forgot all about wondering how Rayne could have connected the guy to the club, or what it had to do with him being worried about PJ’s whereabouts. 

With a grin he leaned over and kissed Rayne’s forehead. “Very chivalrous.” 

Rayne Wylde ran one hand gently up his breastbone in the open neck of Xavier’s shirt, taking his time, enjoying the hot, moist feel of the dancer’s skin. His fingers caressed the younger man’s neck and travelled smoothly back into the sweat-damp curls of his blond hair where they lay against his nape. He tilted his head, studying the faint swell and blush of the two small bite marks he had administered the night before. Curious that. They ought to have healed by now. He drew Xavier down towards him, touching his lips to the marks every so gently, cooling the heat of the boy’s skin with his mouth. The area around the bite was almost feverishly hot to his probing tongue. 

That was unusual. Sometimes Feeders liked the sensation of being bitten so much that they took active steps to keep the wounds visible, agitating the skin or even cutting themselves so that they did not heal so quickly. He did not think that Xavier seemed quite so unstable but didn’t know how to ask the question on his mind. 

From the armchair, PJ drawled; “Oh for the love of Mike, will you guys just find a room or something. This is mental cruelty!”

Xavier lifted half-closed eyes to Paddy, pupils already slightly dilated, and quirked a grin at him. “Weren’t you the one that was just saying how you like to watch?” He wasn’t really interested in putting on that much of a show but he had to tease him back a little. 

The singer was lipping wetly at his earlobe now and stroking his hands possessively over the lean, hot, well-muscled body beneath Xavier’s shirt. For whatever reason the kid was still here, he was kind of glad. At least here he could keep an eye on him.

“Has he shown you the infamous ‘weapon of ass destruction’ yet?” Rayne snickered playfully in Xavier’s ear, feeling his own sex rise in response to the boy’s renewed horniness. “I swear, that’s what’s killing him! Every time Paddy-boy gets a hard-on the amount of blood it diverts from his other vital organs is enough to bring on a coronary!”

“Doesn’t ‘anyone’ in this house have ‘any’ respect for his elders?” PJ sighed, shaking his head though there was a mischievous twinkle in his steely blue eyes even so.

“You’d prefer we treat you like a doddering old man?” Xavier asked, though his attention couldn’t have been more distracted with Rayne breathing in his ear. Teeth nipped lightly at his earlobe and that just about undid him. A shiver went down his spine and a little sigh of pleasure escaped him. Right then he didn’t give a damn who wanted to watch. He turned his head to catch Rayne’s lips in a hot kiss.

“Jesus! Kids today, they’re so frickin’ sharp they could cut ’emselves!” PJ settled down in his chair with a grin, adjusting himself deliberately. In spite of all his protestations of incapacity the sight of the sexy duo on his sofa writhing against one another was making him indecently hard. 

Chavez was still perched next to him on the broad, cushioned chair arm, leaning back lazily as he watched Rayne and Xav making out on the settee. His boss stroked a warm hand slowly up his thigh to his crotch, rubbing it up and down the Latino youth’s prominent, denim-clad bulge. The young chef uttered a low groan of pleasure as Paddy stimulated him deftly.

On the sofa, Rayne’s mouth worked soundlessly on Xavier’s soft, hot lips. The silver stud in his tongue clicked on his mate’s teeth as it flickered rapidly in and out. His hands groped hungrily down to Xavier’s hips, reaching for the button of his fly. His own erection was straining against the crotch of his tight jeans as he fondled the dancer and eagerly unzipped him

“Are you okay to fuck here or do you want to be more private?” he murmured huskily into his young lover’s mouth without breaking the contact of their lips. The tip of his nose rubbed insistently against Xavier’s, so close that when he opened his eyes his long lashes briefly brushed his mate’s skin.

The question took a moment to process, Xav was so surprised by it. It was nice to be asked. Of course, the long slender fingers gliding over his jutting erection made it difficult to think. He was actually torn, the natural exhibitionist in him wanting to stay, the part that worried about who might join in wanting to go elsewhere. His fingers trailed lightly down Rayne’s body to pop the button on his jeans. 

“I’m good either way, up to you.” 

With a husky laugh, the singer snaked his arms around Xavier and pulled him into an astonishingly powerful hug, given his slight physique. He twisted deftly from the waist, easing the pair of them down onto the sofa cushions with himself on top. Soft, cool lips explored the younger man’s neck again, tickling and whispering almost wordlessly as if his mate was singing to himself as he carefully unwrapped his prize. 

“Christ! You’re on fire!” Rayne chuckled, debating whether or not he should throw caution to the wind and prolong the presence of Xavier’s bite marks. PJ, unlike Clay last night, would not be shocked, although he might not approve, especially if they got blood on the brushed suede. That little TexMex hotpot currently sitting in the Irishman’s lap would freak out though. “I am ‘so’ glad you are still here.” 

Xavier slid his hands down Rayne’s smooth back and wrapped one leg over the back of his thigh. 

“Cleared my schedule just for you,” the boy said with a low chuckle. His hands caressed Rayne’s cool body, fingers brushing over his nipples and down his ribs. His skin looked golden next to Rayne’s pale cream. The way Rayne Wylde kissed and licked over the bite mark on his neck made Xavier shiver and moan, his body throbbing with need. He lifted his hips to push his swollen cock against the singer; maybe not as impressive as Clay, or apparently PJ, but very nicely proportioned to the rest of him, and just as pretty. 

He kissed and licked his hot tongue over the side of Rayne’s throat and spread his legs for him. So pliant and submissive in Rayne’s hands, but still responsive to every touch and stroke and kiss. Xavier had a true gift for paying attention to exactly what his partner wanted and needed. He knew, almost before they did, what their mood was and how to give the most pleasure. His teeth bit lightly at the base of Rayne’s throat and his soft lips caressed the spot while his hands caressed the Englishman’s naked back and cupped his cheeks. 

“Jesus! That feels sweet,” Rayne murmured, pressing his lips to Xavier’s cheekbone so that the words quivered into his skull. 

Rayne kissed his way down now, stroking his lips over the boy’s neck; his breast bone; flicking those pert nipples with his tongue and reaching for his mate’s hands, drawing them back down from his arse and pushing them up slowly above Xavier’s head. He was gentle but insistent, kissing the sides of the boy’s heaving torso and nuzzling into the deep hollows of his pits, licking and kissing him there, then stroking deeper with both hands. His thumbs circled down into the valley between his lover’s hips and his mouth roamed restlessly south onto the firm plain of Xavier’s naked belly. 

Xavier’s fingers had curled over the arm of the sofa, keeping them raised where Rayne had put them. The rest of him didn’t stay quite as still, the little flexes and rolls of his muscles moving him like a slow dance under Rayne’s ministrations. Unlike many males his age that just wanted to hurry and get to the bottom line, Xav definitely enjoyed every bit of sensual attention. 

“You have ‘such’ a beautiful body,” Rayne exhaled passionately, his mind wandering, as restless as his caressing tongue. “You are ‘so’ wasted on that creep!”

“I don’t belong…” Xavier had to suck in a breath as Rayne breathed over the tip of his leaking cock and swiped his tongue across it. “… to him, you know. Never even…oh…” Those soft lips caressed him teasingly. “…met him.” Xavier exhaled and dug his fingers into the arm of the couch.

The singer’s breath was a sweet breeze on his wet, leaking cock as he whispered; “Good! Let’s keep it that way for now, shall we?”

As if to affirm his moral possession of the young man under him he kissed slowly down the underside of Xav’s magnificent young shaft and took the dancer’s hot, throbbing balls in his mouth, sucking on the softer, looser flesh of his scrotum. His gentle hands squeezed and fondled the boy’s firm, naked arse, then slid to his thighs, tugging Xavier’s jeans right down to his ankles.

“Let’s get these off,” he exhaled, lifting his dark head and moving to his knees, his own lust rising hard and glistening from the open fly of his pants as he helped Xavier strip for him.

Xavier eagerly wriggled out of his pants and then sat up to help Rayne do the same. Sitting in front of Rayne while he was kneeling above him presented the perfect opportunity that Xav just couldn’t resist. He kissed and lipped his way over the smooth flat plane of Rayne’s stomach, just as the singer had done to him a moment ago, and nuzzled lower to take in his slightly musky scent. 

With a little moan he licked up the underside of Rayne’s shaft. His tongue circled around the silken skin of the head, tasting him thoroughly before parting his lips around him and sliding him into the heat of his mouth. Xav’s hands slid up Rayne’s body while his mouth slid half way down, back up, then down to his root. 

The singer’s lean body shuddered involuntarily and his cool, deft fingers crept through Xavier’s blond hair, massaging his scalp. The slow, reflexive movements of his hands mirrored the rhythmic caress of Xavier’s lips and tongue on his cock. Low, hungry moans rose in his throat as the younger man swallowed him. The twin tugs of Xavier’s mouth and his tight pharynx on his sex set him rocking gently, pulsing in time with the nod of his lover’s head. 

“Uhhhhh…. so good!” Rayne exhaled gratefully, head bowed so that his black hair tumbled forward like fronds of dark silk shrouding his pale face and extended fangs. “So-o-o good, Xav.”

Xavier’s hands wandered over his cool body, stroking and caressing soft skin and lean muscles while his hot mouth worked him. The fingers in his hair urged him on, and Xavier kept him in his tight grip, bobbing rhythmically until he felt Rayne tensing slightly, his hips moving a little faster. He slipped back a little, keeping just the first few inches of him in his mouth while he swirled his tongue over sensitive ridges and rolled his pretty baby blue eyes up to Rayne’s green gaze. Did he want to get off like this, or want more? Cum in his mouth now, and then get more?

Rayne answered that question without words. His dark head tilted back and the veil of his hair tumbled away as he worked his jolting sex in Xavier’s mouth; his teeth clenched fiercely as he struggled to hold off. At the last instant he pulled out and sank to his knees, tugging Xavier’s mouth onto his. There was no denying those dog-teeth now, but he was careful, almost delicate, working his tongue between the boy’s lips. His fingers reached for Xavier’s, guiding them to his wet, throbbing cock. At the same time he closed his free hand around the younger man’s beautiful erection and began to milk it vigorously.

Xavier groaned into the singer’s mouth, his pulse and breath picking up as he bucked into Rayne’s stroking fist. He matched him for a few moments, hand sliding up and down Rayne’s wet hard prick. With a flexible twist of his hips he lifted his lower body and laid back at the same time, rubbing their body’s together for a minute and then angling Rayne’s throbbing cock down lower. He rubbed the smoothness of his head between his cheeks and against the small pucker of his anus. His mouth kissing him and his hand fisting his cock was making him unbearably horny and wanting to rush now.

To his infinite frustration, Rayne steadied the pace again, making him wait; making him suffer. He pried Xavier’s fingers free with a small, breathless smile of acknowledgement and kissed his way quickly down again, going lower this time. His hands pressed lightly on the backs of his mate’s well-muscled thighs, levering them back towards Xavier’s stomach as he applied his lips and searching tongue to the golden crevice between his smooth cheeks. Humming contentedly to himself, he kissed the clenching, needy rosebud of pink flesh in the depths of the valley and gently worked the little silver stud in his tongue down into the heart of it. He carried on wriggling it seductively until his tongue was able to follow it into the yielding heat of his playmate’s fluttering ring. 

Keeping one caressing hand in the crook of Xavier’s right leg he released the other and wrapped it back around the blond boy’s hot, pulsing cock, stroking the oozing head with his thumb as his tongue wiggled deeper and he began to french-kiss his lover’s gorgeous arse, long and slow.

From the other side of the room a respectfully husky, Irish brogue commented; “I do love to watch professionals at work!”

Xav half wanted to protest that ‘professionals’ but it was hard to protest anything in his current state. That lovely slippery tongue wriggling inside and pushing the metal bead in and out of his ring was doing wonders to edge him. The skilled hand stroking him had him writhing on the cushions in no time. The room began to drop away as the heady rush took over, where the lust got to the point where nothing else mattered and he would do almost anything. He felt his channel opening further to Rayne’s probing tongue, a surge of blood making his stiff cock even harder. His sides lifted and fell as he panted. “…oh, yeah… ah, mmm, I’m gonna cum.” 

Rayne stroked him harder, faster, and that was it. He shot off like a rocket, ropes of pearly cream spurting over his chest and stomach as he twitched and moaned through a trembling orgasm. 

The catalyst for this explosion nuzzled his jolting balls and kissed his ring with a little murmur of appreciation. He prowled between Xavier’s thighs like a panther, tongue caressing the dancer’s toned and currently heaving belly and chest. Rayne lapped the cum off his skin as delicately as a little cat, still taking his time, savouring every drop and splatter of his mate’s delicious outpouring. 

“You are so fuckable, sweetheart,” he crooned hungrily. “So sweet and tasty and downright shaggable!”

Sharp white teeth snipped and worried at Xavier’s nipples and the spill of Rayne’s straight, black hair tickled his torso and throat as the singer rubbed that gorgeous, upright member between his cheeks. He was probing and nudging, just teasing at the moment, letting Xavier feel him tapping at the back door.

Xavier moved with Rayne, hands caressing his sides and back, his thighs caressing Rayne’s and urging him. Much to Xavier’s frustration he wasn’t quite done teasing him yet. Xav slid his hands up into Rayne’s hair when he lifted his head, and Xav caught his lips in a searing kiss. 

His voice dropped to a husky murmur along Rayne’s lips, “You want me to beg? Is that it?” He peppered sweet hot little kisses along Rayne’s jaw. “Please…” He breathed along his skin, stretching the word into a sultry entreaty. “Please fuck me, Rayne. I want to feel you slide into me, fill me… please!” 

Rayne’s mouth was close to his ear, his breath quick and intense there as he sighed; “God I love it when you beg!”

His lips moved to Xavier’s mouth and the look in his eyes said that it was not a serious remark, although there was nothing light hearted about his physical intent. Lean hips moved steadily between Xavier’s hips, driving harder, positioning himself so that the next thrust drove him in. His back teeth came together with an audible click and he thrust again, tilting his head back. His dog-teeth extended smoothly even as his cock slid back so that just the head was gripped within Xavier’s tight ring. He closed his eyes and pushed deeper into the clinging wetness of his mate’s body, exhaling a little “ohhh…” of pleasure.

Xavier expelled a hard breath, sparks of heat chasing up his middle in waves. Rayne still held his legs bent and pushed up, but he’d spread him wide enough that Xavier could put a heel on the back of the couch cushion and get a bit of leverage to lift and thrust to meet him. His head tipped to the side, coming off the edge of the couch just a bit and stretching the long line of his neck, though not exactly in conscious invitation. His angelic features were composed in lines of passionate bliss and as he turned his head he caught a glimpse of the scorching look on Chavez’s face.

His mate was oblivious to everything but the overwhelming source of heat and pleasure beneath him. Rayne fought the instinct to bite with every ounce of his will. He was not desperately hungry; he did not need the blood AND he had an audience. It was madness to do what his body was urging him towards. 

But Xavier seemed to want it so badly. It was not just in the pose of his beautiful body; Rayne could feel the need in every beat of his heart, in every hungry breath. It was a powerful enticement and one that he simply could not resist. 

Stroking his hands firmly over the dancer’s heaving torso and up to his neck, cupping his face and caressing his sweat-damp hair, Rayne bent into the curl of his naked body. He let his tongue trace a slow, wet trail from the boy’s collar bone to the curve of his earlobe, bypassing the throb of the carotid artery in his throat and crossing the more tempting pulse of the external jugular. Gently he caught Xavier’s right earlobe between his teeth and tugged it into his mouth.

Xavier shivered, his eyes fluttering shut at the sensations rolling over him. He realised, with something of a start, that he wanted Rayne to bite him; to sink his teeth into him, almost as much as he had wanted the singer’s cock in him. He didn’t know why and didn’t question it; logic and reason had nothing to do with the desire. 

He felt his pulse quicken as Rayne drew his tongue over it. His heart thudded in his chest with more than the effort of their entwined bodies. He moaned sweetly as Rayne pulled and worried at his earlobe. His one arm circled Rayne’s body loosely, caressing his back and shoulders, while the other slid between their grinding bodies to stroke his shaft slowly. 

The singer pushed deeper and faster into him, releasing the tender lobe of flesh and letting his lips trail wetly across Xavier’s cheek to his mouth. His tongue stud clicked on the younger man’s teeth as it flickered between his jaws and the tip of his small, pointed nose rubbed insistently against Xavier’s as he kissed harder. He was thrusting smoothly between his mate’s thighs now, exhaling little moans of appreciation with every stroke; wanting to bite; ‘longing’ to bite.

Instinct? Empathy? Whatever it was that made Xav so sensitive to his lover’s needs, and whatever strange connection he had with this mate in particular, that need to bite echoed in him; something even more primal than the thrusting between his legs. He’d nicked his tongue on a sharp canine accidentally the night before, now he did it on purpose, giving Rayne a small taster, as both appeasement and incendiary device. 

The swirl of blood that travelled from Xavier’s mouth to Rayne Wylde’s carried a hundred thousand tiny subliminal messages that entered the Vampire’s already hyperactive nervous system and hit the superhighway to his fevered brain. This was not telepathy, it was more akin to being briefly plugged into his lover’s body and sharing the moment’s emotions, reactions and impulses. Most of it didn’t make sense in any way shape or form, but what it did do was to amp up his already powerful connection to the younger man’s psyche. 

It was as if a little voice in his head was screaming; ‘DO it! Bite me! Bite me now!’

Rayne snaked around him lasciviously and, possibly for the first time in his life, did as he was told.

Xavier’s eyes flew wide for a second, a startled “Ahhhh!” sliding from him as Rayne’s canines broke his skin; then they fluttered shut once more. He could hear his heartbeat in his ears, feel it throbbing against Rayne’s lips. He was far more aware than he had been last night of what Rayne was doing, as if he could feel the singer inside him in more ways than one. 

The little flashes of memory were not as hard and fast as they had been last night. They were less memory than a feel for the boy. Life had taught Xavier to be jaded and untrusting, but he still wore his heart on his sleeve; was still easily hurt. It made him an easier target for the set up and betrayal he had endured. Wounded, flawed, raw inside, he was almost a professional victim, and there were a whole lot of sharks in his life that scented that about him like blood in the water. But he survived. He was not weak. He could take care of himself. 

Xavier felt Rayne swallow and it was like an electric circuit was suddenly completed, he could feel not only his own pleasure but his lover’s pleasure; his mindless, ravenous need. 

That hungry passion spiked into his middle. His legs folded around the backs of Rayne’s thighs, pulling him in with each smooth stroke of his hips. Every sensation seemed turned up, amplified beyond normal; the hard shaft butting persistently against the tight bundle of nerves deep inside sent him spiralling up and up. 

“…unhhh-uh!!…unhhh!!…” he moaned as he came again in a warm tide. 

Rayne moved with him, feeling the boy’s clenching chute pull him deep as the climax shuddered softly through him. He loved the feel of being way inside another being at the moment of release; that point where mankind was most energised and yet most vulnerable. 

“Mmmmmmmmmhhhh…” he moaned, his mouth still pressed to the warmth of Xavier’s neck; tongue working slowly over the twin pulses where his flesh had been punctured. The broken skin tasted sharp like iron and the blood had it’s own curious sweet-sour flavour. It revived his senses, though he took little more than a few mouthfuls. 

Rayne was beginning to believe that it would be all too easy to overdose on the boy lying beneath him, curled around his body like a climbing vine. He felt a curious oneness with Xavier, as if they somehow shared a common element. It was bizarre, since he knew that until that night in the club he had never even seen the kid before. 

Vigorously he thrust his hips again, pushing deep and hard, over and over. The taste and ‘feel’ of his lover drove him crazy with a need of his own. He wanted to lick every drop of spilt cum off the dancer’s chest as it rose and fell urgently, but first he needed to come himself and the tightness of Xavier’s spasming arse around his restless dick was starting to pull him off now. 

“Uuuuhhhhh… ohhhhh!” he groaned incoherently as the floodgates opened and he emptied his balls into the gorgeous, sexy blond boy beneath him. 

Xavier’s arms and legs felt like water. He pushed his fingers into the soft sable hair above him, framing Rayne’s face for a moment with his hands. He eyelids felt heavy and it was an effort to lift his head to kiss him. He didn’t feel the same listless draining he’d felt last night after Rayne had bitten him, but the sort of half-drunk, buzzed feeling was there, making him languid and blissfully contented. 

Twin trails of red trickled like tears from the puncture wounds in his neck, but they didn’t gush like a fountain as they should have. Just the two little droplets of blood, and that was all. 

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