02 Confidences

Chase and William found Aiden sitting on the couch with Xavier’s head in his lap. “You guys are home early,” Aiden said, running his hand through Xavier’s hair.

“Carl and Edward have school tomorrow,” Chase said. “We called it an early night.”

“What did Sebastian want with those boys?” Xavier asked, sitting up.

“Chris, James’s friend, is going to start training, and it looks like Carl is too. You know Carl is a Druid?” William asked.

“I didn’t realize,” Xavier said thoughtfully. “And his family isn’t training him?”

“His grandmother was, but she died and his parents have turned their backs on their heritage,” Chase said.

“Well, Alex is asleep, so you boys have a good night,” Xavier said as he lay back down. When the boys were upstairs, he said to Aiden, “William asked me today about me and Sebastian.”

“Did you tell him?” Aiden asked with a gentle smile.

“No!” Xavier laughed. “But I’ll have to eventually. Soon….”

“I know you don’t agree, but it’s not a big deal. I mean, yeah, you over-reacted and made a fool out of yourself, but,” Aiden began.

“Way to pull your punches, sweetheart,” Xavier laughed.

“You were just an impetuous kid,” Aiden laughed. “Sebastian doesn’t hold a grudge. Why don’t you just let it go and apologize?”

“I should apologize? What about him? He didn’t have to,” Xavier began, getting riled up again.

“Xavier, if he had done what the rest of us did, where would we be now? Sammael would have won and you know it! That was more important than making an impotent gesture to protest Avery’s exile! Especially when—you know what?—he deserved what he got!” Xavier’s eyes flashed open in shock at these words from one of Avery’s closest pupils. “That’s right, he deserved it! He should have come to the Council, or at least his friends. Or stopped with the guilty parties. He had no right to do what he did! Not to say that I don’t understand….”

“If you felt that way,” Xavier began, his heat rising, “why did you leave in an impotent gesture? Why did Alex and Sam leave?”

Aiden gave him a hard look. “You know why! You know … I would have done anything for you, even then! I know I loved you before you loved me…. I just figured you knew I left for you!” Aiden said angrily. “And Alex left because he loved you like a brother, and your sister would never have forgiven him. Sam left because of Alex! So, the answer? Everyone left because of you!” Xavier sat up, a shocked look on his face. He’d truly never thought clearly about it, because he’d been so angry and felt so betrayed.

“Honestly, I had no idea that … even then?” Xavier asked, his eyes misty.

“Xavier, when I told you it was love at first sight for me, I meant it! The first time I saw you, I knew then that, if you were gay, I’d wait for you, I’d do what I had to do to win you over. After that day, I can honestly say there was never anyone else….” Xavier’s eyes were full of tears. “What’s wrong, sweetie?”

“I’m kind of ashamed … I don’t even remember you until so much later!” Xavier confessed.

Aiden laughed. “I’m not surprised. I didn’t dare spend time near you! You were so young, it could have gotten inappropriate. If I’d known about your prodigious appetites, I would have stayed even further away!”

“What?” Xavier asked with a laugh. “I was sexually aware of myself….”

“And of every teacher and handsome man who ever spent more than a few days with you, it seemed,” Aiden laughed.

“Not Sebastian,” Xavier winked.

“Yeah, because he turned you away! I still think that’s why you’re so hard on him,” Aiden half-joked.

Xavier shrugged and smiled, pulling Aiden into a kiss. “Well, since we did finally get together, there’s never been anyone else in my heart either,” he whispered.

“I know,” Aiden smiled gently, before lifting his partner in an impressive show of raw strength, and carried him off to their bed.

Chris and Marcus sat in the living room after James and Sebastian disappeared upstairs. Chris settled himself in Marcus’s lap, and they watched the end of a movie on the television.

When Chris yawned, Marcus kissed him on the cheek and said, “You should go to bed. You’ve got school tomorrow, and you’re no vampire!” James had returned to school at last, so he could watch over his friends and also finish up his studies.

 “I guess!” Chris said, whispering, “I just wish you’d come to my room….”

“Chris,” the young soldier whispered in return. “I don’t know if I could restrain myself.”

“That’s what I’m hoping,” Chris smiled, slipping his hand inside the man’s shirt.

Marcus smiled and sighed at feeling Chris’s soft hand. “I’m old fashioned, Chris. You just got out of your first serious relationship, and I just don’t want to….”

Chris cuddled up to him and laid his head on the man’s shoulder. “It’s alright. I can wait. For a while,” he added with a little grin.

“Chris, I can’t tell you how much I want to, but it,” Marcus began.

“It really is okay, Marcus,” Chris laughed.

“Good night, Chris,” the man said with a smile, retreating to the yard where a very small barracks was still set up, running on a skeleton crew. Marcus and Lt. Spencer each had a small room, while the rest of the soldiers slept in a common dormitory.

Lt. Spencer stuck his head out and followed Marcus to his room. “You’re still sleeping out here in a cot?” he asked with a laugh.

Marcus rolled his eyes and said, “I just had to fight Chris off inside, so you wanna give me a break?”

“Goodness!” Lt. Spencer exclaimed, throwing up his hands. “Whatever! I’m just saying, Chris is pretty cute!”

“Coming over to the dark side, Spencer?” Marcus joked.

The man replied, cryptically, “You never know! Someone that cute comes along, I doubt I’ll be hanging out over here, that’s all I’m saying,” he added with a smile.

“Well, well, well,” Marcus said thoughtfully, watching the man’s face. “Tell me about it?”

“It’s a long set of stories,” Lt. Spencer smiled.

“I don’t have any other action going on tonight, as you so kindly reminded me,” Marcus teased.

“You want to go for a walk?” Spencer asked.

Marcus nodded and followed him out of the gate and up the dark street. “I never met my father,” the lieutenant explained, “and my mother was a very busy woman. I spent a lot of time by myself—my nannies knew better than to meddle. Anyway, my first few crushes were on girls, but my first major crush was on a boy. His father was a high-ranking wizard, and we were around each other a lot because of my mother’s business. He was a couple of years older than me, and he had the most delicious muscles,” Spencer laughed to remember it.

“Did you ever do anything?” Marcus asked.

“I wanted to,” Spencer began hesitantly, “and I think he did too, but we didn’t. In the end, though, I realized that I was comfortable with myself. Guy or girl, whatever would be would be! I was a lonely, bisexual kid, but I was okay with myself….”

Spencer paused and the two men walked on in silence for a while. “So … what happened?” Marcus finally asked.

Spencer nodded. “I was fourteen, and I had these tennis lessons. He was just out of college, twenty-two maybe, and he was tall, masculine, and one of the most beautiful men I’d ever seen! He had the most piercing eyes, and when he put a hand on my shoulder, it felt like lightning!”

Then Spencer shivered in the warm air and shook his head. “I guess he was testing me. The way I responded to the little touches, little shows of affection. I got all touchy-feely with him. I was so starved for male affection….”

“Spencer,” Marcus began, but Spencer put a hand on his shoulder and shook his head.

“About two months in, we were at the house alone. Alfred, our butler, was out with my mother, because the chauffer was on vacation, so I invited Carter—that was his name—in for a drink while I went upstairs to change into my tennis outfit. I was standing in my room in just my jock when he burst in behind me,” Spencer said, his breathing becoming labored and his voice anxious. “I struggled a little, but he overpowered me easily, pushing me face down on the bed.”

“He whispered in my ear not to scream, not to yell. We were alone and it would be a lot easier for me if I cooperated. I was a sheltered kid, I had no idea what he was going to do, so I did struggle. He pushed aside his shorts with one hand, and then I felt him pressing against me, into me. God it hurt,” he said, tears streaking his face.

Marcus looked stricken as he asked. “Was it just the once?”

“No, twice that day. I don’t know why I didn’t tell my mom what happened! He had no idea who we were, so he was stupid and cocky. He fucked me twice more before mom caught him. At first, she almost slipped back out of my room, since I wasn’t fighting it anymore and she was very liberal about such things. But I worked up the courage to whimper, ‘Mommy….’ I don’t remember what happened after that, but I woke up in the bathtub, soaking, my mother sitting on the toilet with her head in her hands. When she saw I was awake, she gave me some privacy. I never said anything, but I noticed all the razors were gone, and I guess the fact that I noticed means it was probably a good idea!”

“I thought he did what he did to me because he was gay, so I started hating gays and totally repressed my own interest in guys. Which was okay for a while, because I do like girls. But I get the feeling that something’s missing, something I want to explore, sometimes. But I’m afraid.”

“When did you start to change that?” Marcus asked, suspecting he knew.

“Well, meeting James was the beginning, but really, it was when I saw him together with Sebastian the first time, what they feel for each other. I mean, guys can love each other, just like straight people … it’s natural and normal. What happened to me wasn’t because Carter was gay, or even liked young guys. It was because he was a rapist, and the terrible thing for my life is that if he’d waited a while and really talked to me, I would have made love to him. He’d still be alive.”

Sensing the conversation might sway the young man’s feeling about his own situation, Spencer hurriedly added, “It’s different for you and Chris, because Chris really wants you, you know…. You have real feelings for each other. Don’t worry just because he’s young!”

Marcus smiled and him and put a hand on his shoulder. “I’ll keep that in mind. But did you say he’d still be alive?”

“His family came looking but the body was ever discovered,” Spencer said with a grimace. “I suppose my mother just lost it when she realized what was happening. There wasn’t anything left to find, other than some burn marks on the ceiling. And maybe some gory bits. But that part of the ceiling was expertly replaced….”

“So who is your mother? She sounds fierce,” Marcus replied.

“I’m surprised no one’s figured it out yet,” Spencer said gravely. “My mother is Dora Spencer, the Queen of the Witches.”

Marcus opened his mouth, then closed it again, and the two men walked back to the house in silence. When they got to their rooms, Marcus grabbed Spencer by the arm and said, “Thank you for sharing. Guy or girl, you’re going to make someone very lucky one day….” Spencer smiled sadly as he closed his door behind him.