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Vignettes Regarding the Artwork of Brendon Kotes

LXXX: Present

Orion broke the kiss first, but kept himself close, their lips still touching, Brendon’s heart battering against his chest and his mind a wash of color that refused to take on shapes that would make sense of this moment. He resisted the moan that wanted to escape his throat. Resisted the urge to grab Orion and drag him backward on the bed. Resisted even the urge to shove his tongue back into Orion’s mouth.

Because Casey stared down at them knowingly, watching their clothing get tight.

“I’m sitting here, in your bedroom,” said Orion. “Which means you know, you believe, that this painting of this old car did something to someone you cared about.”

Brendon twisted his neck slightly, just enough he could see the wall out of the corner of his eye where Casey’s shining smile grew ever more glorious. Youth and freedom and hope. That was why he’d hidden the painting in the back of the closet, behind a dozen others. Youth and freedom and hope, all things that had felt so possible then. Impossible now.

Guilt seized him.

“You want to tell me about it. About the pain,” said Orion.

“Is this why you kissed me?” asked Brendon dryly as he set his glass down on the carpet at his feet. “Seducing the man you think powerful enough to kill through his paintings so I shed some secret?”

“I’m seducing a man I find handsome.” Orion’s hand slid up further till the crotch in Brendon’s jeans forced a stop. But there he curled his fingers so they pressed against the underside of Brendon’s balls, thumb landing casually against the base of Brendon’s cock. “Could tell you how incredibly attractive you are, especially when you get that look in your eye, the one that says you’re not quite seeing what I’m seeing. There’s a part of me that wonders… Wonders just how powerful you truly are.” Orion murmured those final words directly into Brendon’s ear, then dragged teeth against his lobe, a tongue along his neck, while his fingers massaged a gentle rhythm against his jeans. “I am sorry about your friend though.”

“My friend…” whispered Brendon.

He disengaged from Orion’s hand reluctantly, their fingers trailing from one another as if loathe to part. He twisted to face Casey’s painting, struggling with the pull in his pants and the pang in his heart. Casey’s smile seemed to dim, but that was just a trick of the light as it flashed over the glass. Then that sunny beauty disappeared as Brendon closed his eyes. He took a great breath to steel himself.

“It wasn’t Casey.”

He twisted to face Orion. He could see the swelling in Orion’s pants, the man making no effort to conceal his desire. Like he wore it proudly, that sly smile twisting parts inside Brendon that Brendon desperately wanted twisted more.

“What wasn’t Casey?” And oh, how that silky voice tugged at Brendon. A fishing line, a lure, the focal point in a painting that drew the eye, the mind, the soul.

And here Brendon had thought the man needed to be off to the side, a man set to contain the eye, to draw it back to the true focal point of the painting. But now, he couldn’t tell anymore whether Orion deserved to be the subject himself…or merely the containing lines, pointing back, forcing the viewer to keep looking at something else, something more important.

Brendon found himself drawing closer. “He wasn’t the one hurt.”


Next Chapter Coming September 22nd