by Abigail Roux
When he was done, Ash slid out of his shirt and tossed it to the ground. The music playing seemed to reach a crescendo as Ash undressed.
Wyatt had trouble catching his breath. “You are fascinating,” he said as he sat up on the bed.
Ash grinned and toed off his shoes, then pushed his track pants to the floor, stepping out of them and toward the bed. “You’re clothed.” He undid the fly of Wyatt’s khakis and pulled them off him. Wyatt unbuttoned his shirt, afraid to take his eyes off Ash.
Finally, Ash had him disrobed and pushed him back to the bed, hovering over him.
Wyatt watched in fascination as Ash bent and licked the head of his cock. He groaned, and his hips jerked when a vibrating piece of metal hit his skin. His toes curled and his fingers twisted in the bedcovers. The vibrations enhanced Ash’s natural ability, and Wyatt fought against the curl of pleasure in his groin as Ash went down on him, lost in the warm slide of his cock into Ash’s mouth.
He reached down and gripped Ash’s hair, not wanting this to be over before it had begun. “I thought that was a third-date thing.”
Ash ran his tongue ring along the underside of Wyatt’s cock one last time before he glanced up and smirked. “Turns out I’m sort of easy.”
Wyatt laughed and reached for him. He sat up as he pulled, desperately needing to taste that vibration. He groaned into Ash’s mouth and gripped his hips, pulling him into his lap. Ash straddled him, hands resting on either side of Wyatt’s face as he kissed him. He was warm and solid against Wyatt’s body, all hard muscle and soft skin.
Wyatt could think of nothing but being inside him. Taking him for his own. Fucking him until he screamed. It was a more violent notion than his usual lustful thoughts, but it didn’t disturb him. The way Ash moved his hips against Wyatt’s groin and bit at his lip told Wyatt he was on the right track. He remembered the way Ash had cried out in pleasure when he’d yanked at his hair and left deep bruises on his shoulder. He wanted the same thing.
Ash’s hand left Wyatt’s face and reached behind him, grabbing for the condom he’d thrown on the bed. He broke their kiss long enough to tear the wrapper open with his teeth, and then the vibration returned to Wyatt’s lips and tongue and Ash’s hand was between them, sliding the condom on Wyatt’s cock.
Wyatt dragged his fingers up Ash’s back as Ash covered him with lube. The hand Ash placed on Wyatt’s shoulder to steady himself was slick and warm. Wyatt could only stare into Ash’s dark eyes as he raised and then lowered himself. Ash grinned evilly, shimmying his hips and rubbing against Wyatt’s cock.
Wyatt dug his hand into Ash’s shoulder and pulled him down. Ash fought against the pressure but still lowered himself slowly. Wyatt’s cock pressed against him, and with a roll of his hips he was spreading Ash apart. Their eyes never left each other. Ash groaned wantonly and Wyatt slid further and further into him, staring almost desperately into the black depths of his eyes. They both gasped, Ash crying out and clutching hard at Wyatt’s arms. He bent to kiss him, and as it grew more heated he began to rock back and forth, working Wyatt into him as Wyatt’s fingers dug into his skin. He broke the kiss with a shout and threw his head back. Wyatt reached for him, his fingers on Ash’s face. He could see that chip in Ash’s canine as Ash bit his lip and whimpered. Ash put both hands on Wyatt’s shoulders and rode him faster, his lithe body moving sinuously against Wyatt’s.
He was amazing in every way Wyatt could imagine.
Ash met Wyatt’s gaze, a challenge in those dark eyes as he raised himself back up, letting Wyatt’s cock slide almost out of him, the swollen head caught in tight muscles, pressing and spreading, making Ash tremble. Wyatt bit his lip and yanked Ash back down hard. Ash cried out as Wyatt’s cock rammed deep.
Ash rocked and curled down, his teeth scraping against Wyatt’s shoulder as Wyatt thrust into him. It was difficult to do while sitting like that, but Wyatt’s body moved of its own accord. Everything about Ash compelled him like nothing he’d ever experienced. It was like being possessed.
He restrained Ash’s movements just as he’d requested, rocking up into him slowly, holding him tightly as the man wrapped around him and cried out again. His entire body jerked in Wyatt’s arms and he leaned away to take himself in hand. Wyatt watched, enthralled, as Ash brought himself off, biting his lip against the pleasure. He eyes were on Ash’s face as Ash’s muscles convulsed around him and cum slid down his chest and stomach. The best thing, though, was Ash’s voice, low and wanton, as he put on his show.
Wyatt couldn’t take it any longer. He held Ash tight and rolled them over, pinning his arms and thrusting into him with no regard for carefulness. Ash shouted his name, legs wrapping around him as he writhed under Wyatt’s restraining hands. Wyatt pounded into him, seeking his own release, using Ash’s willing body to his own ends.
He roared as the orgasm hit him.
Head bowed, Wyatt rocked his hips, eking out the last moments of pleasure. Only when the spasms stopped did he loosen his grip on Ash and pull out of him.
Ash’s head was tilted back, eyes closed as he breathed harshly though his mouth. “Head rush,” he panted.
Wyatt laughed and touched Ash’s face.
Ash opened one eye. “You’re awful butch when you really get going,” he said with relish, and Wyatt laughed harder.
Ash reached into his mouth, turning off the vibrating tongue ring and then curling his nose up and grinning. “Makes my nose itch,” he said with a rueful laugh. “Tongue’s numb.”
“My whole body’s numb,” Wyatt said. He bent to kiss Ash once more. Then he rested his forehead against Ash’s and listened to the music for a moment as he tried to catch his breath. “I thought you Goth types looked down on Marilyn Manson,” he said.
Ash blinked up at him and turned his head to listen. “Do I look like a Goth, man?”
“Well not right now. You look naked and sweaty.”
“Shut up.” Ash pushed at Wyatt’s chest. “It’s the radio, Dr. Case, I can’t help what they play.”
Wyatt pressed him into the bed again and kissed him roughly, unable to explain the sudden need to do so.
As soon as Wyatt climbed off the bed, Ash sat up and held his hands out like he was explaining something to a small child. “Okay. I’m going to go into the bathroom. You are going to stay here,” he said with an emphatic gesture toward the ground.
Wyatt rolled his eyes and gave him a rueful smile. “Got it.”
“You sure? None of this, ‘Oh yeah, I had to be at work three hours ago,’ or ‘I thought it was the kitchen door and then there were stairs’ nonsense?”
Wyatt pulled Ash to his feet to kiss him. “I’m sure,” he said against his lips. Ash seemed to waver, and Wyatt stepped back and held him by his shoulders. “You okay?”
Ash opened his eyes wide and then blinked rapidly. “Yeah. Apparently orgasms and head injuries go real well together.” He closed his eyes again. Wyatt held him until he seemed more certain of his feet. “Okay, I’m good,” he finally said, nodding. Wyatt let him go and he made his way to the bathroom.
He stood looking at the half-open door for a long moment, wondering about the details of the “psychotic break” Ryan had half-jokingly told him about and just how okay Ash was. He wasn’t going to allow himself to feel guilty about this encounter, though, even if Ash did still appear to be suffering from the after-effects of his head trauma.
After Ash indulged in a shower—taken with Wyatt to conserve water, of course—they sat down at Ash’s table to eat.
“How did you get into . . . what did you call it? Flairing?”
Ash laughed. He loved that Wyatt was completely comfortable with his lack of urban knowledge. It was refreshing. “Yeah. Um, well it was a fluke, really. When I was a kid, this traveling circus came through town, and I was obsessed with the jugglers.” Ash laughed, biting his lip as he met Wyatt’s eyes. “I’d practice for hours, trying to imitate the tricks I’d seen. I got pretty good at it. Then the teenage years hit and
I started doing it at parties to impress people, got even better. Started making my own routines. Caleb saw me in a bar in New Orleans one night, offered me damn good money to come here.”
“There’s a huge competition in a few weeks. I’m trying not to think about it too much or I get nervous.”
“Is it here?”
Ash shook his head and pulled one foot up onto his chair. “Las Vegas.”
“Wow.” Wyatt looked disappointed. “That would have been fun to see. Is the flairing part of the . . . subculture of the bar?”
Ash laughed. “You just can’t turn it off, can you?”
“The scholar part of your brain. You’re always researching, I love it.”
Wyatt’s cheeks flushed, but he was smiling too.
Ash tapped Wyatt’s shin with his toes. “But no, it’s not. The flairing. You called me a Goth earlier, but I’m nowhere near. Gravedigger’s is more what people call gaslight.”
“Gaslight,” Wyatt repeated. “Noah told me something about it. And I . . . may have looked into it. Pseudo-Victorian. Gothic cousins.”
“True Goths are closer to me than pale kids in trench coats and chains, and Caleb is an elder.”
“I don’t know what that means.”
Ash grinned. “A Batcaver. You know what the Batcave is?”
“I assume you don’t mean Bruce Wayne.”
Wyatt shook his head.
“The Batcave was the original club in London where they first started hosting glam and then gothic rock crowds. Caleb was there at the start.”
“You’re kidding,” Wyatt said. Ash laughed and shook his head. “But I’ve never seen him wearing the . . . you know . . .”
“Their clothes are called gothics,” Ash said, then shrugged. “The gothic subculture is pretty fascinating. I’ve done some observing. What you museum types might even call research.”
Wyatt smiled that adorable, goofy smile, and Ash couldn’t help but enjoy the warmth that stole over him.
“There are stereotypes,” Ash said. “You know, dark clothes, white makeup, obsessed with death and all things dark and spooky. But that’s oversimplifying it a great deal. It doesn’t help that the newer generations don’t really know what it’s about. They call them spooky kids; they buy a leather dog collar and steal their daddy’s trench coat and go out on the town, looking for shock value. A lot of it, though, the real gothic culture, stems from a fascination with the Victorian era and a love of gothic literature and art. That’s actually what people have begun to call gaslight now, to separate the real from the trendy. That’s Caleb. He’s about the history. That’s one of the reasons I thought he and Noah would hit it off.”
“So you’re saying it’s more a state of mind than an appearance?”
“The attire is simply a fringe benefit.” Ash grinned. “I bet you wear patches on the elbows of your corduroy jackets just because you can.”
Wyatt laughed. “Point made.”
“You’ve never seen Caleb in full-on ensemble, but he’s genuine. He will occasionally break out a suit coat with tails, a top hat, and a cane.”
“I can’t picture that. And you don’t go all out like I’ve seen some do.”
“Well, I told you. It’s a fringe benefit. I like most of the clothes, but every once in a while I just want to wear sweatpants and a T-shirt. Ryan wears a Redskins jersey and jeans when he barbeques on the weekends. The tone of the bar requires that we play it up some, and I’ve accumulated a good deal of favorite things. I’ve absorbed some of the culture, I guess. I like elements of it, and it kind of reminds me of home. New Orleans was gaslight before it was cool. But I also like to go to the grocery store in a pair of Rainbows and a polo shirt. It’s like going in disguise,” he said with a grin.
“It can be.” Ash leaned back in the chair and propped his feet up in Wyatt’s lap. Wyatt slid his hands around Ash’s foot, running his fingers up his leg, and Ash smiled as the warmth of Wyatt’s hands soaked into him. But then his smile fell and he looked down at the table. “Were you serious about me seeing the exhibit?”
“You said I should come see it. But would I embarrass you?”
Wyatt’s hands stopped and he furrowed his brow. “What do you mean?”
“I mean, at the museum, around your colleagues.”
“No,” Wyatt said, sounding horrified by the suggestion. “If anything, I’d be embarrassing you with my loafers and patches. You can’t take me anywhere.”
“I could take you a lot of places,” Ash said softly, enjoying the way Wyatt blushed. But it didn’t seem fair to keep torturing him, so he veered the conversation into Wyatt’s exhibition, and they began talking about some of the cases Wyatt had dug up.
“I’m looking into the Gravedigger’s address, but I haven’t found much yet. I have discovered the top layer of a whole lot of people going missing. It might be connected to what was found on that plot.”
Ash shivered, remembering the face in the mirror. While he wasn’t sure if he believed in ghosts, he sure as hell believed in head injuries. No wonder it was manifesting in scary shit.
The conversation veered off into the LaLauries again. He tried to remember what he knew of the story from his childhood.
“The LaLauries are big time in New Orleans; their house is the first stop on every ghost tour, and their names are still a curse on the tongues of locals. Back in their time, they threw parties, were well-respected because of their wealth. Seems like a relative of one of them was actually mayor of the city at one point. Anyway, the neighbors on Royal began complaining about the way they treated their slaves. This was in 1830 . . . something.”
“Eighteen-thirty-four,” Wyatt said.
“Right. Wait, do you know this? Did you go research it?”
Wyatt smiled crookedly. “A little. Go on.”
“Imagine the atrocities going on in that house for someone to report them for abuse of their slaves at that time,” Ash said, shaking his head.
Wyatt was silent.
“Delphine LaLaurie was said to be a gracious and attentive host. Beautiful, charming. The house was lavish and extravagant, made for entertaining rather than living.”
“Sort of reminds you of the mothers who make their children sick for attention,” Wyatt said. “Perfect on the outside, horrible on the inside.”
Ash cocked his head, squinting. “I think she was just a straight sadist. And possibly insane. I never looked at the details. I get . . . easily weirded out by true stories of evil.”
Wyatt nodded and stroked his thumbs over the sole of Ash’s foot.
“Come to think of it, I’m easily spooked by a lot of things.”
Wyatt snickered. “Noah’s that way too. I thought he was going to crawl under my jacket and cry at one point during that ghost tour we took. And he swears the ghost of Pocahontas got after him and Caleb the other night on the parkway.”
“Caleb was with him that night?”
Wyatt pursed his lips and shook his head. “No,” he said, completely unconvincing.
Ash nodded, but couldn’t quite manage a smile. He thought about telling Wyatt what he’d seen and heard over the last week or so, but decided against it. The more he pondered it, the more he was convinced that Gravedigger’s was haunted. He felt very alone for a moment, wishing he could rattle on about it to Wyatt and not sound crazy.
Eventually, Wyatt had to leave and return to work. He complained about it, and Ash teased him as they said good-bye at the door of the building.
“Can I come back tonight?” Wyatt asked.
Ash leaned against the doorjamb. “I think we’d both enjoy that.”
Wyatt grinned and he leaned forward to give Ash a chaste kiss good-bye. He was turning to go when he stopped and looked down at the sidewalk. He bent to pick something up,
then showed it to Ash. “Is this yours?”
It was the small fleur-de-lis charm he kept on his keychain. Ash blinked and reached out for it. “Yeah. How’d it get down here?”
Wyatt shrugged. “Maybe it fell off when you left earlier.”
Ash gave that a dubious grunt, but he nodded and kissed Wyatt one more time for good measure. “See you later.”
Wyatt left grinning. Ash stood at the door until Wyatt got into his car, then turned and made his way back upstairs. He stared at the empty rooms and frowned, turning the fleur-de-lis over in his hand.
“Weekends off suck ass,” he muttered, realizing that after a little bit of company, he was likely to become bored and lonely. He looked down at the charm. And maybe a little freaked out.
He glanced at his watch and huffed. He was feeling fine now, and he could still get to Gravedigger’s in plenty of time to help out on what was sure to be a busy Saturday night.
He glanced back at the door guiltily, as if Wyatt might somehow know what he was thinking and come back to scold him. He would call Wyatt in an hour or so to tell him he’d be at the bar. His inherent restlessness just wouldn’t let him sit idly by on a day when he knew he should be doing something else. His head felt fine now, despite the slight ache and occasional lightheadedness when he stood too quickly.
He took his time getting ready, changing into his black pinstriped trousers and a white dress shirt with just a hint of ruffled, shabby details around the seams. He hunted down his black suspenders and struggled with them while trying to run gelled hands through his hair. It was too clean to cooperate and he ended up having to wet it and then slide his fingers through it to make it slick back and curl on the ends like it usually did. He then applied the kohl and changed to a tongue ring that glowed blue in his mouth.
As he examined his reflection in the mirror, he glanced over his right shoulder and stared, picturing where the face of the man in the mirror at Gravedigger’s had been. He turned to look at the floor and see just how close someone would have to be standing in order to be in that spot. Really damn close.
He shivered violently and closed his eyes.