Chapter 55

The night breeze gently rolled through the open balcony French doors making the sheers on the doors flutter slightly, the moonlight was the only light in the large room, the crickets in the distance made their chirping sounds, but were softly drowned out by the ragged breathing of the two that were in the big bed.

They were nose to nose with each other, each could feel that breathing on their faces as they stared at one another in the soft light of the room. Conner moved slowly, slightly, rocking in and out of Alec, filling Alec completely as Conner was buried in him fully, balls deep. Alec had one hand holding the back of Conner’s head, the other was sliding down the base of Conner’s spine, stopping just above those perfect mounds of Conner’s ass. Alec’s legs were spread for his lover but they were under the sheet, barely covering Conner, just below Alec’s hand.

“You feel so good.” Conner whispered, never moving his eyes.

“You feel even better.” Alec whispered in reply as he stared intensely back at Conner, “I love it when you’re in me.”

“Do you?” Conner whispered.

“You know I do.” Alec breathed in another ragged whisper, “I missed this.”

“It seems like forever to me.”

“Me too.” Alec whispered and Conner pushed in even deeper. Alec closed his eyes and tilted his head back into the bed.

“Do you know how beautiful you are?” Conner asked. He leaned down and kissed Alec’s neck, then licked the spot. Alec groaned softly. Conner made slight stabbing motions with himself and Alec panted, clenching his fingers where they were, “Like that?”

“Yes…yes…” Alec panted even more. He wanted to touch himself but couldn’t as Conner had his weight on him fully.

“I love making love with you.” Conner whispered as he lipped and kissed Alec’s neck, going up to Alec’s right ear, “I’ve thought of nothing else while I was gone.” Conner whispered between kisses.

“You’re so deep.” Alec groaned even more, clutch his finger even tighter, sliding his lower hand up Conner’s spine.

“Just how I love it.” Conner softly growled in his throat as he chewed Alec’s neck.

“You’re gonna make me cum.”

“Yeah, babe.” Conner growled again and pushed even more into Alec, holding it there, “Shoot it between us again. You know I want it.” Conner eased back a little and thrust in again. Alec moaned as he panted and felt another massive orgasm surge through him. Conner felt it too as Alec’s trapped length throbbed as it spurt between their bodies making them slick and warm, “Yeah, love it when you cum. Hand’s free again, I so love it.”

“You’re so big.” Alec panted as Conner moved in and out of Alec.

“Love my dick?”

“You know I do.”

“Good. Because it loves to make you feel so good.” Conner whispered as he chewed Alec’s ear.

“Cum in me.” Alec panted as he moved his hands again and held onto Conner’s muscled back, “Fuck me hard, baby.” Conner growled again and thrust faster into Alec over and over and it wasn’t long before it was too much. Conner felt it building in him. He pushed his forehead into the bed next to Alec’s ear as his balls tightened and he shot deep into Alec again and again, “Yeah…yeah…I feel you throbbing in me. Give it to me.” Alec groaned as Conner pushed against Alec again and again, “Oh fuck…yes.”

Conner groaned and lifted his head. He kissed Alec’s ear, then his cheek, working his way across to Alec’s mouth and they fell together, tonguing and working each other over and over until they both needed air. Conner gasped for breath as he pulled up and looked into Alec’s eyes. The moonlight danced in those deep brown pools. Conner slid a hand up Alec’s back and grabbed the back of Alec’s head and dove in again into Alec’s mouth, tonguing him furiously. Conner was trying to breath through his nose with little success and Alec tried to separate themselves, needing to breath again. Conner pulled back.

“You’re not done are you?” Conner asked. Alec panted as they went nose to nose again.

“I don’t think I’ll ever get enough of you.” Alec panted.

“Good.” Conner smiled, “I have an idea.”

“What’s your idea?”

“Let’s go out to the spring. We can do this out on the big rock.”

“Are you serious?” Alec asked, “It’s the middle of the night.”

“What could be better?” Conner asked.

“Uh…just never thought about it before.”

“The water’s warm.” Conner said and flashed his eyes, “And we could make as much noise as we want out there.”

“There’s an idea.” Alec whispered and squirmed under Conner a little.

“Want to?” Conner asked.

“Do you remember what I told you earlier when we were out there talking?” Alec asked.

“Yeah, I do.” Conner whispered and kissed Alec again deeply. Conner remembering everything about earlier in the morning…

Alec walked out of the kitchen, turned and went through the wide open French doors out onto the terrace as he saw Conner sitting there at the table, looking out at the beautiful gardens of the villa that shined in the morning light. Alec carried his coffee and sat down next to Conner. Conner looked over at Alec and smiled.

“Kid’s doin’ okay?” Conner asked.

“Yeah, they’re eating their breakfast in the dining room with their mom.”

“She seems really nice.”

“Chevelle? Yeah she’s very sweet.”

“Where’s the husband?” Conner asked.

“Long story.” Alec rolled his eyes.

“Well, I told you part of mine. I think maybe it’s your turn now.”

“Why don’t we take a walk?”

“Yeah, I need to stretch my legs after that flight and then the car ride from the airport in Marseille.” Conner said and got up from the table. He reached out a hand and Alec smiled, taking his hand and rose as well. They walked hand in hand slowly through the garden. Alec would stop now and then and pull a small weed out of the flowers and Conner smiled when he did it each time, “You love this place, don’t you?”

“Yeah, I do.” Alec said as he knelt and looked up at Conner with a smile.

“I’m glad.”

“Are you?” Alec asked as he rose to his feet.

“I have a surprise for you, well, actually my dad does.” Conner said with a slight roll of his eyes.

“Your dad has a surprise for me?” Alec asked and Conner nodded, “What is it?”

“When I was in South Africa and called him back after the people from the government came to get me out of there and away from the hotel and the police, we had a long talk about everything.” Conner said. He put his hands on Alec’s hips, “I told him how I really feel about you, how important you really are to me, Alec. He listened and I think he understands even more now. I told him how much you liked it here at the villa and how I could see that you really loved it. He understands that as he always loved it here as well, which I didn’t know that about him. Like I told you before, I remember coming here a few times when I was a lot younger, and it was okay, but I think deep down I didn’t like it because I knew that I was always leaving for another boarding school.”

“I’m sorry it doesn’t make you happy to be here and that you don’t really like it the way I do.” Alec said softly.

“No, no, it’s not that. The point I’m trying to make is, I never gave it a chance before because, it was theirs. I was only here filling time between flights and school.” Conner said and clutched Alec’s jeans tighter, “I see what this place does for you. You’re happy and that makes me happy.”

“I’m happy because I’m with you, being here together. Yes, this place is beautiful and everything, and she makes it even more beautiful because she’s a part of this place as well.” Alec said as he looked at Conner intensely, “We’ve become very close while you’ve been gone.”

“You and Julienne?” Conner asked. Alec nodded, “That’s good. She’s always been a very special lady. She was always looking after me when I was here and I never really appreciated her like I should have. But that can change now and I hope it will.”

“What are you talking about?” Alec asked.

“That’s the surprise, babe.” Conner said, Alec gave him a puzzled look, “My father…he’s changing the deed…this place belongs to us now.”

“What?” Alec asked with sudden wide eyes.

“We own it, you and me, or we will in the next couple of days.” Conner said and smiled out of the corner of his mouth. Alec lifted a hand to his, covering his mouth, “I talked to her about this this morning already before I came up to the bedroom. We can come here whenever you want or we can…”

“Are you serious?” Alec asked in a whisper. Tears were filling his eyes, “What about her?”

“She’s an employee of the corporation, so her salary will continue. Same goes for the gardeners and all the bills that go toward the place but we will be responsible for…” Conner spun as Alec ran past him on a dead run for the house, “Guess you’re excited. Good talk.” Conner said to himself as he followed the path back to the house after Alec.

Alec came rushing through the doors and into the kitchen and saw her turning from the sink. He rushed up to her, throwing his arms around her making her drop the kettle on the floor, burying his head on her shoulder as he caught her by surprise and he sobbed over and over. She pat his back as best she could with trapped arms.

“Now, now, what is this all about?” She asked.

“Mama?” Chevelle asked as she came into the kitchen from hearing the crash of the kettle.

“You didn’t tell me.” Alec sobbed on her shoulder.

“That was for Mr. Conner to tell you, dear one.” Madame Julienne said softly. Alec sobbed more and then pulled back looking at her. She put her hands to his cheeks and used her thumbs to wipe away his tears, “I certainly hope those are tears of joy.” She said and Alec nodded then smiled. Conner walked in and stood in the doorway, leaning against it. She lowered her hands from Alec’s face.

“So as I was saying, or was going to, we can do whatever we would like to the place.” Conner said. Alec looked at him with his face streaked and then he looked back at her.

“You told me once not too long ago that your husband used to plant all kinds of flowers, more than what’s here now, isn’t that right?” Alec asked her and she smiled and nodded, putting her hands back on his cheeks, “Then you can have the gardener’s plant whatever you want and as much as you want. This is your home and I want you to be happy, just like when he was here and alive.”

“That is very sweet of you, dear one, that thought alone makes me very happy.” She said and Alec turned and looked at Chevelle.

“And Chevelle, you and the kids can come stay here anytime you want. The house will always be available to you and never think that you are not welcome.” Alec said. Chevelle smiled.

“That is very nice of you, Alec, to think of us.”

“As far as I’m concerned, we’re all family.” Alec said. Eadric walked over to Alec from his mother and looked up at him.

“Can you be my big brother then?” Eadric asked and everyone laughed. Alec knelt in front of him on one knee and put his hands on the little arms.

“How about if I was an uncle instead?” Alec asked.

“I already have one of those. I really wanted a brother.” Eadric said and everyone laughed again.

“Alright then, I’ll be your big brother, how about that?” Alec asked with a smile. Eadric smiled back and nodded. Alec pulled him in, hugging him tight. He pulled back and looked at the boy, “Alright, now your other big brother over there,” Alec nodded toward Conner, “and I need to talk some more. So, you and your sister help your mom and your grandmother, okay?” Alec got a nod and a smile from the boy, “I’ll see you in a bit.” Alec said and rose to his feet. He smiled and walked toward Conner stretching out his hand. Conner took it and they walked back out of the house. They walked silently for a while to edge of the natural hot spring on the border of the villa.

“He’s sure crazy about you.” Conner said.

“Yeah, I’m crazy about him too. He makes it easy. So does his sister. They’re both really good kids.” Alec said as they stared at the water.

“Happy?” Conner asked after a minute. Alec leaned his head on Conner’s shoulder as they looked at the pool and the big rock on the other side. The soft sounds of the gently flowing water and the birds filled the air around them.


“So, what about us?” Conner asked. Alec squeezed Conner’s hand tighter.

“A lot of things happened to us before we came here on this trip.” Alec said. Conner turned to face him, “I’ve had a lot of time to think about it, about us, about everything. I told you I want to go home, and I do.”

“Whenever you want.” Conner said.

“But I also want to tell you that I never and I mean never want to be away from you again. I thought it was gonna kill me when you left those two times. It’s not because you left me here, it’s because you were gone. I have never missed anyone as much as I’ve missed you. Even when you went to New York, I missed you, yes, but not like when you left from here. I told you this morning that I want to be with only you and no one else. I meant that, Conner.” Alec said and stepped into Conner, “Don’t ever leave me again, it’ll kill me if you do.”

“Then I won’t.” Conner said as he put his arms around Alec’s waist and pulled him in, “If I have another business trip somewhere, you’re going with me. I don’t care if it’s in the Arctic, you’re going with me.”

“I might pass on that one. It’ll make my balls draw up too much with the cold.”

“Can’t have that. I love your balls too much.” Conner smiled. He leaned in a little, “I love you so much, Alec.” Conner whispered and Alec closed the little distance to meet him as they kissed for a long minute. Alec pulled back looking Conner deep into his vibrant blue eyes.

“I never want to be without you again.”

“You never will.” Conner said, “Are we okay to have sex now?” Conner asked guardedly with a raised eyebrow, Alec pulled back and slugged Conner’s chest playfully.

“You big jerk.”

“What?” Conner asked with a goofy look.

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Conner stepped from rock to rock crossing the creek of the stream with his bare feet. Alec was smiling and shaking his head as Conner moved gracefully across to the big flat rock in the moonlight. He was carrying clothes as well as a couple of big towels they took from the bathroom of their room. Alec waited until Conner was across and then started after him, carrying his own bundle. Conner set everything down on the rock and watched Alec and smiled wide. Alec had chosen to go naked, just to be naughty, as where Conner had slipped on a pair of sweat shorts to walk out of the house. Alec made it to the rock and set his bundle down next to Conner’s. Alec felt the touch to his butt.

“What are you doing?” Alec asked as he looked behind him.

“Just admiring your soft skin in the moonlight, babe. So sexy.” Conner said and flashed his eyes, “Stay just like that for a minute.” Alec smiled as Conner dropped to his knees on the rock and buried his face in Alec’s ass. Alec groaned loudly as Conner began to lick and chew on Alec’s used hole.

“Oh fuck.” Alec let out a breath. Conner grabbed Alec’s cheeks and held on as he devoured him. Alec put his hands on the rock to steady himself and dropped his head, “Yes…eat me….oh yeah…fuck.” Alec moaned. He could see Conner bulging in his sweat shorts and growing out of the leg, but he was upside down with his view, “Fuck me, baby…I want your dick in me again.” Alec moaned and Conner pulled off with a long lick over Alec’s hole.

“Not yet, babe, I love doin this to you too much.” Conner said and went back at it with a vengeance and Alec caught his breath and held it for a minute. Conner thrust his tongue in and out over and over making Alec wet and almost feverish with the rimming he was getting.

“You’re gonna make me cum again.” Alec panted. Conner pulled off, using his hands, he turned Alec around and swallowed his long length fully, bobbing back and forth on him. Alec threw his head back as he grabbed the sides of Conner’s head and groaned loudly, letting his orgasm let go. His lips curled as he pulsed over and over into Conner’s wanting mouth, swallowing everything that was given to him. Alec eased and slowly got his breathing under control as he looked down at his lover. Conner was licking around Alec’s throbbing sensitive head but looked up at his beautiful lover standing over him. He pulled off and sat back on his haunches.

“Was that alright?” Conner asked.

“Do you have to ask?” Alec asked in reply. He bent down on his weak knees and kissed Conner, tasting himself as he tongued him over and over. Alec pulled back and looked at him in the moonlight, “Do you know how perfect you are?”

“Well…I don’t know about perfect, but maybe awesome?” Conner asked and grinned. Alec kissed him again deeply as his hand slid down and found the thick length sticking out of the leg of the sweat shorts. He rubbed the smooth skin, tickling Conner and then found the large sack and kneaded it as Conner moaned in Alec’s mouth. Alec pulled back but was touching the soft lips.

“My turn.” Alec whispered.

“Yeah? What are you gonna do?” Conner asked as he kissed Alec and then licked the soft lips.

“What would you like?”

“I want you to fuck me in the water.”

“Oh yeah?” Alec asked as he kissed Conner again and again lightly, “I’ll give you whatever you want.”

“All I want is you.”

“You’ve got me. You’re stuck with me.”

“I could never think of it as being stuck.” Conner whispered and kissed Alec, then licked those perfect lips again, tracing his tongue around them, “I think of it as being lucky to have you.”

“Don’t be so sweet.”

“I’m not. I’m being honest. You’re so hot and beautiful.” Conner whispered as he kissed Alec again.

“I want to suck you off.” Alec whispered and bent lower before Conner could reply, leaning forward and braced his weight on his hands as he swallowed Conner’s length. Alec bobbed his head back and forth and twisted his mouth as he sucked Conner’s thick length. Conner groaned and ran his hands all over Alec’s back and butt. Alec used his tongue and worked Conner’s mushroomed head before going back down as far as he could in this position. Alec wanted more of Conner’s length but Conner being on his haunches made it difficult to get more.

“So fuckin good, babe. I love it when you suck me.” Conner was panting and closed his eyes enjoying what was happening to him. Alec reached up and slid his hand into the leg of the loose sweat shorts and fingered Conner’s hole, rubbing it, teasing it, making Conner groan, then Alec entered him and Conner gasped, putting one hand on the back of Alec’s head, the other clenching Alec’s butt, “Fuck, babe, you’re gonna make me blow.” Conner’s mouth fell open as Alec kept moving his mouth back and forth. The intensity of Alec’s suction worked and Conner moaned loud and long as he shot into Alec’s mouth, pulse after pulse. Alec didn’t lose a bit of it, swallowing everything as it came. Conner panted and opened his eyes, looking down, “Fuck.” Alec backed off slowly, licking and cleaning Conner’s length until Alec pulled off, giving the mushroomed head a kiss. Alec lifted himself and kissed Conner tenderly.

“I want to do that again.” Alec said.

“Anytime.” Conner panted, “But I think I’m gonna need a minute first.”

“You look tired.” Alec whispered.

“I’ve been up for over twenty-four hours.”

“I’m gonna spread out the blanket. We can sleep for a little while then do this again.” Alec whispered and kissed Conner once more, “I love you.”

“I love you too.” Conner whispered. He watched Alec spin away and go for the bundle Alec had carried from the house. Alec spread out the heavy blanket and then fold the towels to use as pillows. He placed them just so and looked at Conner and raised a finger and beckoned him. Conner moved toward him.

“Take those off.” Alec said. Conner pushed down the sweat shorts and stepped out of them. Alec was looking at Conner’s total smooth beauty in the moonlight that bathed his body, “I never get tired of looking at you.”

“I feel the same way about you, babe. You always take my breath away.” Conner said softly. Alec smiled and settled on the blanket in the middle of it.

“Come down here and lay with me.” Alec said as he settled. Conner came down and lay next to Alec, resting on the folded towel. Alec grabbed the blanket and pulled it over them, “It might get chilly with the dawn.”

“With you next to me, I’ll be more than warm. You’re like my little heater.” Conner smiled as Alec snuggled next to him, rolling to his side, draping his leg between Conner’s.

“It’s that Latino blood, it’s naturally hot.”

“Oh, is that what it is?” Conner asked. Alec put his arm over Conner’s smooth chest, “This is nice. We should do this more often. It’s kind of like camping I guess.”

“I love camping.” Alec said.

“Do you? I didn’t know that.” Conner said, “I’ve never really been camping before.”

“You haven’t?” Alec asked.

“No. Nature hikes and stuff but never sleeping outside or campfires and things like that. I guess I’m pretty much just a city boy.”

“Well, we can fix that when we get back home. I know the perfect place to take you for your first time. It won’t be too tough on you. We’ll break you in slow.” Alec said.

“Oh…kind of like being a virgin again, huh?” Conner asked and smiled. Alec pinched Conner’s nipple and made him gasp, “Easy killer.” Conner said as Alec kissed his cheek. Conner closed his eyes as Alec snuggled Conner neck, “I love you.”

“I love you too. Welcome back.”

“You mean welcome home, our home, yours and mine.” Conner whispered and was gone to the rest of the world. Alec smiled and closed his own eyes.

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Alec blinked his eyes a few times and focused on the little face that was staring at him. Eadric smiled as he sitting on his haunches next to Conner. Alec was startled to see him there. His eyes went to Conner but he was still out. Alec raised his head.

“What are you doing out here?” Alec whispered.

“Looking for you.” Eadric whispered back as Alec put a finger to his own lips.

“Does your mom know you’re out here?” Alec whispered. Eadric nodded, still smiling.

“Why are you sleeping out here?” Eadric whispered.

“Uh…I’ll tell you later. You should go back to the house.”

“Are you gonna get up?” Eadric asked.

“Uh…yeah…in a couple of minutes.” Alec whispered.

“I can wait. Grandmama is making breakfast for us.”

“Yeah…okay…you go tell her we’ll be there in a while, okay?”

“Aren’t you wearing any clothes?” Eadric asked.

“Uh…you go on to the house and we’ll meet you there, okay?” Alec asked. He was bugging his eyes a little bit at Eadric, “Okay, you go on now.”

“Okay.” The boy said and stood. He walked away slowly and went to the stream, crossing over it on the rocks. Alec watched him get to the other side. Eadric looked back at Conner and Alec before walking away looking a little sad. Alec sighed with a little relief.

“You handled that well.” Conner said with his eyes closed still. Alec spun in the blanket and looked at Conner.

“Thanks for the help.” Alec smirked.

“I didn’t want to interrupt what you were saying to him. You were doing so good.”

“Good thing we’re covered up.”

“Yeah, I guess so. Wouldn’t want to have to explain anything, right?” Conner asked and cracked open an eye, squinting at the sunlight, “I wonder what time it is?”

“I’m not sure.” Alec said softly. He crawled over Conner to get out of the blanket but was stopped by strong hands.

“Where you going?” Conner asked.

“Gonna get up and get some clothes on.”

“How come? I thought we could stay here for a while…maybe…”

“Yeah…don’t think so.” Alec said, “He already came looking for us, that means everybody else is up. The last thing we need to is getting caught having sex in broad daylight out here.”

“You worry too much.” Conner said as he pulled Alec down to him. Conner raised his head a little and started kissing Alec’s neck. Alec closed his eyes as he was being worked.

“He’s gonna come back, or worse yet, his sister, maybe even his mother.” Alec said above a whisper and then moaned as Conner was kissing Alec’s collarbone.

“Maybe we could stay here all day. I want to make love to you over and over out here.” Conner said between kisses as his hands roamed and found Alec’s opening.

“Fuck.” Alec whispered, “We should get up. We’re gonna get caught.”

“We’re not kids, we’re adults, remember?”

“I do remember, but there’s kids here.”

“I want you to fuck me still.”

“Conner…” Alec panted as he was being probed. Alec was growing so hard and could feel Conner’s hard length under him, trapped between them.

“You know you want this. Just as bad as I do.”

“Let’s go back to the house and go up to our room. We can lock the door and spend the day in bed.” Alec said as he panted.

“Yeah…we can do that.” Conner said as he found Alec’s nipple. He licked it and then sucked it tight. Alec threw his head back and moaned loudly.

“Come on, let’s go.” Alec panted and Conner let Alec go. Alec dropped his head and touched foreheads with Conner, “You are so killin me right now.”

“Then you know I’m serious.” Conner whispered and they went eye to eye, “I want you.”

“Ohhhh, I want you too, babe. Don’t think I don’t.” Alec whispered, “I just don’t want to get caught by the kids.”

“We’ve already been there.” Conner smiled.

“Yeah, sleeping, not having sex. Big difference.”

“Why are you so worried?” Conner asked with a smile.

“Uh…okay.” Alec said and shook his head a little, “Bad memory.”

“What happened?”

“I…uh…caught my…parents one time. It was bad.” Alec said. He rolled his eyes, “It was really bad. Something I don’t want to relive, okay?”

“Oh. Alright. Maybe some day you can tell me.” Conner said, “Alright, let’s get up. I need to use a bathroom anyway.”

“You can pee out here, you know, just not in the water.” Alec said.

“What?” Conner asked, “Pee outside?”

“Seriously? You’ve never peed outside before?” Alec asked. Conner shook his head, “Jesus, you are a city boy.” Alec said and threw back the blanket. He got off Conner, “Well, come on, city boy, let me teach you how to pee outside.”

“You’re joking.” Conner said and watched as Alec walked over to the edge of the rock and took the stance. Conner went wide eyed as he watched the stream flow from between Alec’s legs. Alec looked over his shoulder and wiggled his eyebrows, one hand on himself, the other on his hip.

“It’s easy, just point and shoot. You really don’t need to point either.” Alec smiled and then chuckled as he looked forward again.

“I can’t believe you.” Conner said and got up, “I think I’ll wait.” He reached for his sweat shorts and stepped into them, pulling them up. He started gathering everything as Alec turned back to face him. He came over and reached for a pair of shorts he had brought, stepping into them himself, pulling them up, then snapped them. Alec grabbed a shirt and pulled it on, letting it fall down his body. Together they folded the big blanket and gathered everything and carried all of it back across the stream. They smiled at each other as they walked the path back to the house. Conner leaned over and kissed Alec’s cheek, making him smile.

“What was that for?” Alec asked.

“For being a nature boy.”

“Hey, when you have as many brothers and sisters as I have, you learn a few things. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I couldn’t get into the bathroom to just pee when I was growing up.” Alec said.

“Never thought of that.”

“I kept my mother’s roses pretty watered.” Alec said as they approached the house. Conner chuckled at the thought. Madame Julienne was standing on the terrace and watched them coming toward her. She raised an eyebrow. Conner smiled at her and Alec looked a little sheepish.

“Did you really sleep outside last night?” She asked.

“That we did.” Conner said as he stopped and looked at her. He was beaming.

“What on earth for?” She asked.

“I’ve never done it before. And I must say, it was absolutely wonderful.” Conner said, “Didn’t you think so, babe?”

“Oh, yes…it was really wonderful.”

“Would you care for coffee?” She asked.

“Sure. That would be great, thank you. We’re just gonna go and…and…you know…put this stuff away first.” Alec said nervously as he was walking backward toward the wide French doors. Alec reached the house and turned to go inside. Conner was still standing there next to her with a raised eyebrow as they both watched Alec.

“Is he alright?” She asked.

“Yeah, I think he is.” Conner said as he stared at where Alec had disappeared into the house.

“I didn’t really believe Eadric at first when he said he found you both out at the stream.”

“It was my idea, actually. We went out there late last night.” Conner said as he looked at her. She smiled up at him.

“I see.” She said, knowing all too well what went on, “I’ll fix you something when you’re ready.”

“Yeah…thanks. Be down in a bit.” Conner said and walked away from her. She just shook her head a little.

Conner walked through the house and up the stairs, across the landing and into the master suite. He could hear water running and saw the bundle on the bed that Alec had carried. Conner set his down and went into the bathroom as well. Alec was in the open shower letting the water run over his body. Conner kept his eyes on him as he went over to the toilet and pushed down his sweat shorts. He relieved himself and shook, then flushed. He stepped out of the sweat shorts, going over to the sink and pulled a toothbrush. He loaded it and started brushing his teeth. He turned his head and looked over at Alec and watched him as hands went to Alec’s short hair and rubbed it back and forth, flexing his arms as he did it. Conner had a perfect profile of Alec and stopped his brushing for a minute. He could see Alec’s length hanging, pushed out slightly by his large balls and Conner just loved looking at him. He went back to his brushing and rinsed his mouth. He stepped over to the open shower and came up behind Alec, getting wet from the head as well.

“I so love looking at you, babe.” Conner whispered in Alec’s ear. Alec leaned back against his lover and closed his eyes. Conner wrapped his arms around Alec’s arms, putting his hands on Alec’s chest, just holding him, “Can this get anymore perfect?” Conner asked in Alec’s ear.

“I don’t know, can it?” Alec asked.

“Can I make love to you?” Conner asked as he was rising. Alec moved his feet, spreading his legs apart slightly, then worked his butt, letting Conner rise and slide in between his cheeks.

“Is that better?” Alec asked as he moved his butt, letting Conner slide up and down in his crack.

“That feels so good.” Conner whispered and kissed Alec’s neck.

“Put it in me.” Alec said softly. Conner let his arms drop as he leaned back a little. Alec leaned forward and put his hands on the tile in front of him. Conner grabbed himself with his fingers of one hand and tilted his hard length to point at Alec’s waiting entrance. Conner teased Alec a bit, dragging his mushroom head over the opening again and again, “Give it to me. I want it.” Alec moaned. Conner lined up and pushed slightly. Alec was still a bit loose from the early morning activity and Conner entered him easily, going slow, but sliding in. Alec groaned from being stretched open and closed his eyes. The water continued to pour over them, down Alec’s back and also hitting Conner’s chest.

Conner buried himself inside of Alec fully and stopped. He put his hands on Alec’s muscled shoulders and closed his eyes. He waited a minute as he wanted both of them to adjust to the tightness. Then, with slow and gentle motions, Conner began to move in and out of Alec using only about half of his length. Alec moaned again and Conner was breathing ragged as he moved. He loved feeling this. He opened his eyes, looking down where they were connected and then slowly ran his eyes up Alec’s back, watching the breathing that was taking place, the movement of the muscled back. Alec leaned his head against the tile and spread his fingers.

“I love making love to you.”

“You’re so hard. I can feel every bit of you inside me.”

“Do you like it?” Conner asked as he looked at the back of Alec’s head. Alec arched his back, pulling his head away from the tile, letting the spray hit him fully in the face, stifling his moans. Conner moved a bit faster, feeling the need to do so. His hands gripped the muscle more. Alec dropped his head.

“Fuck me…fuck me harder.” Alec groaned. Conner did as he was told. His thrusts became more rapid and aggressive, “Yeah…yeah…like that…fuck me.” Alec groaned long and spread his feet a bit more. Conner felt it give him more access and he took it, thrusting harder into his lover again and again, making his balls swing even more. Alec went against the tile with his upper body, surrendering to Conner even more now, letting him take him fully. Conner kept thrusting but was feeling it building up in him, that wonderous feeling of an impending orgasm, the type that builds and overtakes your entire body and mind. Conner clenched his teeth as it reached that point and then all too soon, it happened. He erupted fully and threw his head back as he pulsed over and over into Alec. His vision blurred momentarily and he closed his eyes, seeing brilliant colors behind his lids for just an instant. He held his breath but not his motion and he pumped over and over into Alec.

Alec could feel the difference inside of him now, Conner slowly deflating, sliding out of him. Alec groaned softly as he was emptied. He closed his eyes again but only for a moment. He turned and looked into Conner’s eyes. He could clearly see the exhaustion all over Conner’s face, and not just from the sex. They had only slept maybe four hours at the most. Alec stepped into him, the spray from the head hitting Alec on the back of his neck. One hand went to Conner’s exhausted balls, the other wrapped around his softening member.

“It’s my turn to take care of you.” Alec said softly, letting his own hard member slide up between them. Conner gave a faint smile.

“You gonna fuck me now?”

“No.” Alec said and then kissed Conner tenderly. He pulled back and looked him in his blearing eyes, “I’m gonna put you to bed so you can rest. You need to sleep, babe.”

“I need you in me first.”

“No. We can do that tonight. I promise you that.” Alec said, “You’re barely awake.”

“No, I’m fine.” Conner said. Alec let go of him and reached back behind him, turning off the water. He leaned over and pulled a towel. He started drying Conner’s neck and chest.

“I know you’re fine.” Alec smirked, “But I have a feeling that if we started doin it, you’d probably pass out on me. I want you to enjoy it.” Alec said flashing his brown eyes, “It’s my turn to take care of you. You’ve done everything up to now. Let me do this for you.”

“Well…I am kind of tired.” Conner said.

“Did you sleep on the plane at all?” Alec asked.

“No. They kept talking to me and asking me questions over and over.” Conner said as Alec kept drying him, going down his smooth legs now. Conner closed his eyes, putting a hand on the side wall of the shower, lifting his right foot. Alec dried it.

“Here, step out.” Alec said. Conner opened his eyes and stepped out of the open shower. Alec was still knelt and used the towel, drying Conner completely on his feet and legs. He rose to his own feet, drying himself, then stepped out of the shower, hanging the towel on the hook as he went. Conner watched him, Alec smiled briefly and guided Conner into the bedroom, going to the edge of the bed, pulling back the sheet and duvet, “Come on, get in.”

“Coming with me?” Conner asked as he climbed on the bed, rolling to his back, dropping on the pillows.

“Maybe later.” Alec said softly as he worked the sheet over Conner’s beautiful smooth swimmers’ body.

“Come to bed with me for a little while. Let me take care of you.”

“It’s alright, sweetie, I’m taking care of you.”

“That’s not what I mean. You didn’t get off in the shower. Let me take care of you.” Conner said as he held onto Alec’s arm. Alec smiled.

“Don’t you worry about that. I’ll get off plenty of times tonight.” Alec said with a grin, “You go to sleep for a while. Can I get you anything?” Conner reached up and wrapped his fingers around Alec’s semi.

“This.” Conner said and flashed his tired eyes. Alec let out a breath then smiled. He leaned down and kissed Conner tenderly.

“After you sleep you can have it all you want.”

“Tease.” Conner smiled and let his hand go. Alec straightened, wiggled his eyebrows, then turned away going to the large wardrobe. He opened the doors and pulled out some clothes, starting to get dressed. Conner settled on the pillow then closed his eyes. Alec heard a soft sigh from the bed and looked over. He finished dressing, went back over to the bed and kissed Conner softly on his cheek, bringing a sleepy smile to his beautiful face.

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“Mister Alec,” She said as she watched him walk into the kitchen, “where is Mister Conner?”

“I left him upstairs to sleep for a while.”

“I see. He did look rather tired when you came back.” She said as she poured coffee for him and handed him the cup, “Would you like me to fix you something?”

“No, thank you. This will do just fine.” Alec said and sipped from the cup.

“You seem happy to have him back.”

“I am.” Alec said with a smile.

“Did you have your talk with him?” She asked as she raised an eyebrow. Alec nodded and blushed in reply, “Good. I know you have been worried about it. Jean-Pierre was here earlier.”

“Oh? Is everything alright?”

“As far as I know. He wanted to speak with Mister Conner but when I couldn’t find either of you…”

“That’s why Eadric was out there.” Alec said with the realization.

“Yes. I apologize if he…”

“Nothing to apologize for. It was fine.” Alec said.

“I asked Jean-Pierre to come back later. I hope that was alright.”

“Yeah, that should be fine.” Alec said, “Conner hasn’t really slept since day before yesterday I guess.”

“Did he tell you what happened where he was?”

“Some of it. He said that those government people that brought him home were going to come back and talk to him some more, probably tomorrow.”

“I see.” She said softly.

“I don’t know if I want to know what really happened down there or not.” Alec said then took another sip and looked at her, “That’s another thing I’ve been thinking about. I was wondering how Jean-Pierre got into the bedroom when that man was here.”

“He came over the balcony.”

“How could he do that? There’s nothing outside around it. He’d need a tall ladder or something.”

“You would be very surprised to find out what Jean-Pierre is capable of.” She said and gave a half smile then walked toward the dining room. Alec was a bit stunned by her words.

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Conner sat on the edge of the bed, phone in his hand, as he listened to the deep voice on the speaker. He was staring blankly at the wall across the room.

“You have to understand, Conner, it becomes a conflict of interest with the company.”

“I don’t agree, Dad. I gave my word to those people, that should mean something.” Conner said.

“Under other circumstances, I would agree with you on that, but not this time, Conner. Not with everything else that is going on now.” The deep voice said, “The position of the board will not change.”

Conner did not look up as the bedroom door opened quietly. Alec came in and closed the door quietly. He crossed the room and sat down next to Conner. Conner took his free hand and held Alec’s then sighed softly.

“Since when have you ever listened to the board, Dad? For Christ’s sake, you are the company and you know that I’m right in this. Add to that, our offices are closed there now, we’ve pulled out, that’s why I was there. You can’t hand me any of that and expect me to believe it, not for a minute. Platt gave his word. And he did it in front of plenty of witnesses as well. I know he’ll keep it, he has no choice.”

“After everything that has happened, you really expect him to?”

“If his daughter has anything to say about it, you bet I do. Besides, Dad, from what I was told on the plane, there’s no proof of anything yet, only suspicion about him. Platt’s too well connected politically to do something stupid, you know that. You also knew what was going on, that’s why you weren’t surprised when I called you.”

“I knew part of it, Conner, I won’t deny that. I can’t.” The deep voice said, “That being said, it was only business, and you know that.”

“Yeah, bad business.”

“Not to begin with it wasn’t. We were under government contract.” The deep voice said.

“So, tell the board this…it would be bad business for JBL if word got out that former employees were not given the chance to find gainful employment with a previous competitor after JBL pulled up stakes and moved on. Think of the bad press of it all, little kids going hungry, Dad, families losing their homes because parents of those hungry little kids were told that they couldn’t get a job just because it was a conflict of interest.” Conner said. There was a silence for a long minute.

“Tell that to the board yourself, Conner. I need you to come home. The board reconvenes Monday of next week.” The deep voice said, “You’ve accomplished what you set out to do on this business trip. You did an excellent job and now it’s time to return.”

“You want me to address the board?” Conner asked.

“No, I want to become a full member of it and then address them.”

“I thought I already was a member.” Conner said softly.

“With your running of the real estate division, you have been a sub-member. I want that to change. The real estate division is going to become more and more viable to the company as time goes on. There will be a change in the structure of the board, your division will rank near the top from now on. I need you here to help accomplish that.” The deep voice said.

“Alright.” Conner said and looked at Alec, who had wide eyes.

“Conner…you convinced me with your argument, and you’re right.” The deep voice said, “Now, you need to convince them. I know you can do it.” There was a long pause, “I know it has been strained between us for quite a number of years, Conner, but…I want you to know…I’m proud of you, son.” The deep voice quieted near the last. Conner dropped a tear on his lap. Alec took his hand away from Conner’s and lifted it, bringing his arm around Conner’s shoulders, “Call me when you get back. We need to discuss the changes I want to implement to your division before you address the board. Also, Alec, I have a feeling you’re listening to this as well. I would very much like to see you as well when you return. Maybe, you can…uh…cook something for me, something that you’ve learned from being there.” Alec was shocked hearing him.

“I’d like that very much, Mr. Van Owen.” Alec said softly as he stared at Conner.

“Good.” The deep voice said and there was a distinct click on Conner’s phone.

“Holy shit.” Alec said above a whisper.

“Yeah.” Conner said, putting his phone on the nightstand.

“Are you alright?” Alec asked. Conner just stared at the floor, “I’m not sure what he meant, about being a member of the board.”

“It means…more responsibility to start with. Means I’ll be busier than I was before. I’m pretty sure he has some grand plans that he wants done and I’ll have to do it.”

“He said he was proud of you, Conner.” Alec said.

“Yeah, that was a shocker.” Conner said, “He hasn’t said he was proud of me since I was six.”

“That can’t be right.”

“Well, it’s true.” Conner said and dropped back on the bed. Alec looked him up and down as Conner was still naked, “I guess we’re goin’ home.”

“Yeah. We should call Derrick and Ty to tell them.”

“Maybe we should just surprise them.” Conner said, rolling his head slightly and looked up at Alec. Alec smiled as he looked over his shoulder.

“Maybe we should.”

“Have you talked to them?”

“Not since Derrick called me after you called him when you first went down there.” Alec said, “I wonder how Emilio is?”

“We haven’t been gone that long, babe.”

“I know, but…now I feel bad. I told him I was going to the Cordon Bleu and now if we just show back up, what’s he gonna say? Will he even take me back?” Alec asked. Conner put a hand on Alec’s lower back and rubbed his fingers on the tee Alec wore.

“So, when do you want to go?”

“Home?” Alec asked. Conner nodded on the bed, “Today’s what, Tuesday? You have to be there on Monday. You’ll need a couple of days to rest up from flying and your dad said he wants to talk to you before that. I don’t know, leave Friday?”

“Whenever you want.”

“Did you even sleep?” Alec asked and Conner shook his head.

“Not really, just a few minutes. I was just going out when he called.”

“I’m sorry.”

“It’s alright. I’m kind of hungry anyway.” Conner said and sat up.

“I’ll go fix you something.” Alec said.

“No, she can do it. I want you to do something else.” Conner said. Alec raised an eyebrow.

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“Hey…I didn’t wake you, did I?” Alec asked.

“Alec?” Derrick asked.

“Yeah, hi.”

“Hi. No, I was up already. I’m in the kitchen having coffee. Is everything okay, bud?” Derrick asked.

“Yeah, couldn’t be better.”

“Really, well that’s great to hear. How’s Conner?”

“Conner’s great. He’s back here now. He’s downstairs in the kitchen.”

“Really. Are you guys okay?” Derrick asked carefully.

“Yeah, we really are. It’s just so good between us now.” Alec said with a smile that went through the phone as well.

“I’m so happy to hear that, buddy, I really am. I’ve been kind of worried.” Derrick said with a broad smile. Ty walked up next to him, kissing Derrick on the cheek and reached for a coffee cup.

“Uh…Derrick, the reason I’m calling…uh…” Alec said hesitating.

“Just say it, bud.” Derrick said.

“Well. Some things have happened here. Uh, there’s been a bit of a plan change. I’m not going to go to the Cordon Bleu…”

“Oh, no, Alec. You were so excited about it.” Derrick said.

“Yeah, uh, I know.”

“Are you guys coming home?” Derrick asked.

“What? They’re coming home?” Ty asked as he pulled his cup out of the maker.

“I don’t know.” Derrick said to Ty, “I’m trying to find out.”

“Well, if they do, have them bring back some of those croissants, you know the French kind.”

“Oh, will you stop.” Derrick said and backslapped Ty’s beefy shoulder.

“What?” Ty asked with a goofy look. Alec was chuckling into the phone hearing the exchange between them.

“Sorry, bud. He’s such a pill in the mornings.” Derrick said to Alec, “So tell me, what’s going on?”

“We were going to surprise you guys with coming home, but Conner said I should call to let you know. And the other thing was…well, I was just wondering if Emilio was…”

“Oh my god, Alec, you walk through his door and he will literally kiss your feet. He’ll make you head chef.” Derrick said cutting Alec off.

“What?” Alec asked.

“Yeah, it’s true. Not to pressure you, bud, but he needs you desperately.” Derrick said.

“What? What’s happened?” Alec asked.

“Andre has become very sick. I don’t know exactly what’s going on with him, but it doesn’t sound good. I’m going to find out some more but it’s going to take a little time.” Derrick said, “I have to backtrack it through the insurance because I carry the insurance for the staff at the restaurant, tied with the firm.”

“I didn’t know that.” Alec said, “How long has he been sick?”

“I don’t know that either.” Derrick said.

“He’s married, I know that. I can’t remember his wife’s name though.” Alec said.

“Yeah, and I’m sad to say I don’t know either or where he even lives. And I should.” Derrick said and felt bad.

“Derrick, will you call Emilio, and tell him we’re coming? Conner has to back by Monday anyway, but I’ll see if we can leave sooner. I’ll go talk to Conner right now and see if he can arrange it.” Alec said.

“Well don’t go rushing or anything. Emilio is cooking right now and seems to be holding it together with Carlito, but I guess the problem is the service is really slow because of it. There’re just problems with the whole thing, I guess. It’s making me regret buying into it.” Derrick said.

“No…don’t think that, Derrick, no. You love Emilio, that’s why you bought into it. He’s told me about it, and he loves you like a son, you know that too.” Alec said and got to his feet, “No, no regrets, Derrick. Let me get with Conner, I’ll call you back and let you know.”

“Okay.” Derrick said, “Good to hear from you, Alec.”

“Good to hear you too. Kick Ty in the butt for me until I get there and tell him I bake real croissants.” Alec said. Derrick chuckled and looked at Ty.

“He says you are so dead when he gets here. He’s gonna shove a croissant up your ass.”

“Ooooh, that might be fun.” Ty said and leaned close to Derrick’s phone, “Bring it on, baby, I’m waiting.”

“Yeah,” Alec laughed, “he’d enjoy it too much. I’ll call you in a bit, Derrick.”

“Alright, I’ll talk to you later then.” Derrick said and hung up the phone. Alec walked out of the master suite, going down the stairs.

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Alec walked into the dining room and stood just in the wide doorway, Conner was sitting in a chair at the table. Eadric was next to him just talking away like they were old friends. Chevelle was standing next to her mother at the other doorway to the kitchen watching the two as Conner was eating, or trying to, and sipping coffee. The conversation between them was a little animated as Eadric was explaining to Conner about school and his teacher apparently. The two ladies saw Alec come in and stop to watch and listen. Conner finally looked over and saw Alec standing there with a warm smile on his face. Conner put a hand on the boy’s shoulder and Eadric fell silent.

“What did Derrick say?” Conner asked Alec.


“Emilio still wants you, doesn’t he?” Conner asked.

“Yeah, uh, Derrick said it’s bad, pretty bad, I guess.” Alec said and lost his warm smile.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Conner asked.

“You know Andre, the head chef?” Alec asked and Conner nodded, “I guess he’s really sick, I mean really sick. Derrick said Emilio is pretty desperate right now. Derrick also said he’d probably make me head chef if I walked in the door.”

“What?” Conner asked, “I mean, that’s great, babe, but it’s really sad about Andre.”

“Yeah.” Alec said.

“He’s a really nice guy, I remember meeting him. What’s wrong with him?”

“Derrick doesn’t know, but he said he’d find out.”

“Okay. So, what do you want to do?” Conner asked.

“This is hard, so hard.” Alec said softly as he looked at all of them in the dining room. The tears were welling in his eyes.

“What’s so hard, babe?”

“Because we need to go.” Alec said above a whisper but he was looking at all of them still. Madame Julienne saw the look and knew what was going through Alec’s mind and his heart right now. She stepped to him and put a hand on his cheek. He cradled into it.

“It is very apparent to me what is troubling you, dear one.” She said softly, “You shouldn’t be sad at all. It sounds as if a wonderful opportunity has presented itself. You should not have regrets about leaving. This place will always be here, it is your home now, and in reality, it always was, as soon as you walked through that front door for the very first time. Do not be sad. You can go and fulfill your dream now. How many people can actually say that? Not many, Mister Alec.”

“I am gonna miss you so much.” He whispered toward her.

“And I will miss you too, dear one. But I know you will return and that brings me joy.” She said in that motherly voice of hers and Alec dropped more tears and sobbed once, “It will be alright, believe me.”

“I know.” Alec whispered. Conner got up from the table. He came to them and looked Alec in his sad eyes.

“I’ll go call the airline. Maybe we can fly out from Marseille.” Conner said. Alec only nodded. Conner kissed his cheek and walked out of the room going for the study. Alec looked at her and she wiped away his tears with her thumbs. She gave him that beautiful smile that he had come to love so much.

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Conner lay in the big bed on his back, Alec snuggled in next to him. Their legs stretched out alongside one another under the sheet. Conner enjoyed the feeling of Alec’s finger tracing a circle around his left nipple. Conner knew Alec was doing it absentmindedly but it still made him smile.

“Hey, you okay?” Conner asked softly.

“Yeah, just thinking.”

“Still sad about going home?” Conner asked, knowing the answer full well.

“Yes, and also no.” Alec said and it surprised Conner a little, “I was actually thinking about the apartment.”

“What about it?” Conner asked, lifting his left arm and rubbed his eyes with his index finger and thumb.

“I don’t know, but I just have a weird feeling about going back there. Some stupid shit happened there between us, most of it was my fault.” Alec said.

“Not all of it, babe, some of it was mine. I know the thing with Kurt was a shitty deal, but that wasn’t really your fault, it was his and my mother’s, you know that.” Conner said, “Are you thinking you want to move or something?”

“I don’t know.” Alec said, “What do you think?”

“I think you’re overthinking it, that’s what I think.” Conner said. Alec smiled.

“I think you think I’m overthinking it, but I think I’m really not overthinking it, because I think…” Alec said and Conner burst out laughing, “What?”

“You don’t want to know what I think.” Conner said and Alec chuckled. He pinched Conner’s nipple he was circling.

“In all seriousness…I just don’t want it to be a bad vibe or bad memory between us with being there.”

“You know, it was our place, and it still is. We found it together, remember?” Conner asked and rolled his head a little toward Alec. Their eyes met, “We went out and got all the furniture, all the bedding, all the kitchen stuff, everything. We made it our place.”

“I guess you’re right.”

“But if it becomes a problem, we can simply move. It wouldn’t be a problem at all. What else is on your mind?” Conner asked.

“The restaurant.” Alec said, “If he makes me head chef, it’s a lot of responsibility. I guess I’m just a little nervous about it.”

“You don’t think you can handle it? Because I know you can. You’ve got talent, babe, real talent you know that.”

“Thanks, but having talent is a lot different than running a kitchen and a line.”

“I wouldn’t know. You know I can barely use the microwave.” Conner said.

“I know that all too well. I couldn’t believe you burned that frozen burrito that one day.” Alec said and rolled his eyes, “It took me two hours just to scrape it off the inside after it exploded everywhere.”

“Okay, so I’m a little bit of a disaster in the kitchen, I know that. But I do have a few good qualities.” Conner said and Alec raised up on one arm and looked down at him.

“I know…and I saw part of it today.” Alec said as he looked in Conner’s face, “I was so proud of you when you were telling your dad what you did about those people. It was so incredible.”

“You taught me that. You’re the one that told me, showed me, that those people really mattered. I only did what I thought was right, and only after you told me on the phone what you told me that day when I was down there sitting in my hotel room. You’re the one that has the heart and it makes me love you so much, Alec. I know you’re going to do more than okay with running that kitchen for Emilio, because it’s what you want to do. It makes you happy.”

“You’re the one that makes me happy, Conner, don’t ever forget that. Cooking is only fun.” Alec smiled.

“Is that the only fun?”

“Are you gonna be a horn dog again?” Alec asked biting his bottom lip.

“Truth be known, I’m always a horn dog.”

“Insatiable is more like it.”

“Can’t help it. You’re just too beautiful.” Conner said. He raised his hand and pushed some hair out of Alec’s eyes, “But I am gonna miss this bed though.”


“Because it’s so huge. You could fit twenty people in here.”

“Yeah, I guess you could.” Alec said as he looked around the big bed, then back to Conner, “But I like it more with just the two of us in it.”

“You wouldn’t want to have an orgy?” Conner asked.

“Not anymore. I just want this.” Alec whispered as he wrapped his fingers around Conner’s length. Conner grunted softly and smiled, “But I’ll tell you what, you really need to sleep. You’re so tired, babe, you’re fighting it. We can have sex when we get home.”

“I can sleep on the plane. I want you inside me again.” Conner whispered and pulled Alec down to him. They kissed tenderly at first and then Alec slid more on him, kissing him deeper. Conner worked his arms around Alec and held him tight to him as tongues battled one another.

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Alec came out of the bathroom quietly to let Conner sleep some more. The early morning light was filling the room through the balcony doors. The birds were singing away out in the gardens as they had been every day since he had come here. He told himself he was not going to be sad, he knew deep down that he was going to come back, just when though he wasn’t sure, but now he knew this was his home, their home, together, and it filled his heart near to bursting. He looked over at his sleeping lover and smiled as walked by the bed. He went to the wardrobe and pulled out clothes for the day.

The flight was already booked for them but they did not have to be there for another few hours. He saw the familiar tray with the carafe and the two cups on it and knew she had been here while he was in the bathroom. The now every morning ritual she performed and he smiled wider because of it. He poured coffee for himself only and looked over at the bed again. He lifted the cup and sipped the hot liquid as he saw Conner face down in the bed with his arms spread out. Alec was happy that he had finally slept but it was a bit of a struggle with him. Conner was so tired that he fought it.

Alec got dressed and closed up the wardrobe quietly. They would pack after Conner got up. There was plenty of time for that and it wouldn’t take long in actuality. The suitcases were still stacked on the other side of the wardrobe. Alec sipped his coffee and went out on the balcony to enjoy the morning as well as the view of the gardens below. He set his cup down on the broad rail and leaned on it. It was so beautiful here, the gardens that stretched out, the trees, some natural, others actually planted. The tall Italian Cypress that surrounded the borders of the villa itself, all of it gave this place a magical feel to Alec and brought a smile to his lips.

“No place like home.” She said softly and he jumped a bit. She was always so silent and he looked over at her.

“You always scare me.” Alec whispered.

“It’s what mothers do, dear one.” She said as she came beside him and looked out at what he was looking at as well, “I thought I would join you one last time out here.”

“Thank you.” Alec said, “I will always remember our talks out here. They were very special to me.”

“And to me as well.” She said, “I have a little confession to make.”

“Oh?” Alec asked as he looked at her.

“When my husband passed, there was no one here staying in the house. After he was buried, I came here to this very spot and looked out over all of the gardens and marveled at the work that my husband had done for so long. It is one thing to walk through those gardens, but it is another to admire them from another view. I didn’t think that the master would mind it at all, so I spent some time right here. He and my husband actually had several conversations when they would come to stay over the years, good conversations according to my husband. He liked the master very much. I would find them walking and talking out in the gardens together now and then in the early evenings.” She said softly, “I called the master when my husband had passed, it was a very sad conversation as I recall.”

“I’m so sorry.”

“As I said, it was a number of years ago.” She said as Alec put a hand on hers on the railing, “Did you mean what you said about being able to plant whatever I would like?”

“Of course I did. This is your home too, like I said. You can have whatever you like.” Alec said.

“Thank you. Then when the gardeners come tomorrow, I will have them plant a few special things that my husband liked to have here. I can tend them myself as they require almost constant care.”

“Anything that you want is completely fine with us. You don’t have to worry about that.” Alec said. She smiled her soft smile and looked up at him.

“You are so very kind, Mister Alec. You make an old woman happy.”

“You’re not an old woman. At least not in my eyes.”

“You’re a charmer. No wonder he adores you so.” She leaned up and kissed his cheek, “I am very fortunate to have gained another son with your coming here.”

“Thank you. But really, I’m the fortunate one. You’ve taught me so much and I can’t thank you enough.” Alec said.

“And what is it that I taught you?”

“You taught me how to love. And because of that, I know I’ll be with him forever.” Alec said and turned to her. He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her in, hugging her and she hugged him back.

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Jean-Pierre had arrived and parked the big car near the door of the house. The bags had been carried down from upstairs. Conner and Jean-Pierre were loading them, having a conversation in French. Alec was upstairs taking a last look around for anything that might have been forgotten, but there was nothing to be found. He came down the stairs slowly to join Conner and to say goodbye to her. It was something that was tearing at him. He came to the front door, in the foyer. She was there, as well as Chevelle and the children. Eadric came to him first, walking up to him, making him stop.

“Do you really have to go home?” Eadric asked as he looked up at Alec. Alec knelt to one knee in front of him and nodded.

“Yes.” Alec said softly. The boy looked sad.

“I wanted to hear another story.” Eadric said. Alec was fighting tears as he looked at the little face.

“I know, buddy, and I’m sorry. But one of these days, we’re gonna come back, and when we do, I’ll make sure you guys are here, okay? Then I can tell you another story or two.”


“Really.” Alec said and smiled, “Now, give me a hug.” Eadric threw his arms around Alec’s neck, hugging him tight. Alec hugged the boy, patting his back gently. Chevelle and Madame Julienne moved close to them. Conner came to the front door and saw what was going on. Alec let go of Eadric and looked over at Sophie that was standing there near the door and Conner. Alec waved a hand to her with a smile and Sophie came over. She looked as shy as the first time he had been introduced to her when they arrived. Alec kept smiling at her, “I need you to do me a favor, Sophie.” Alec said.

“What do you want me to do?” She asked in her sweet voice.

“I want you to pick flowers every day for your mom and grandmother to put on the table for me, okay? Every day while you’re here, can you do that?” Alec asked. She nodded slowly, “You can arrange them however you want, like we did together that first time, okay?”

“Then put in the water?” Sophie asked. Alec nodded.

“Then put in the water, that’s right.” Alec said. He reached out an arm and she leaned in and gave him a hug.

“I am going to miss you.” Her little sweet voice said.

“I’m going to miss you too, sweetheart. But I’ll see you again as soon as I can.” Alec said as he was hugged tight. Her kissed her soft cheek. She let him go and he stood, smiling down at both of them. He lifted his eyes and looked at their mother, “You know how to get a hold of us.” Alec said and she nodded as she came a step closer, “Let me know about Robert, please?”

“I will.” Chevelle said and her eyes were starting to well. Alec leaned forward and kissed her cheek.

“If there’s anything you need, let me know.” Alec said softly to her.

“Of course. Thank you for thinking of him.” She said putting a hand on his upper arm. Chevelle backed up a step, guiding the children to be close to her. Alec looked at Madame Julienne now and stepped to her. He sniffled once and raised his eyes to the ceiling for a moment.

“Let me know when you arrive home safely so I do not worry.” She said in that motherly tone of hers that he now knew so well. Alec brought his eyes to look at hers and nodded.

“I will.” He said, still nodding, “Don’t forget about the gardeners.”

“Of course not.” She said, her hands folded together in front of her. Alec leaned forward and kissed her cheek, “Thank you.” She whispered, “Do not be sad, dear one. You’ll be back before you know it.”

“I hope so.” Alec said. She smiled her smile for him and he opened his arms, she stepped in and he hugged her, closing his eyes. She returned the hug, holding him tight for a long minute. He finally let her go, walking away before he couldn’t, going past Conner at the door, down the steps, heading to the car and a waiting Jean-Pierre. Conner looked after him for a moment, then looked back at the group. He smiled warmly at her.

“Thank you for what you have done for him, and for me.” Conner said softly as he stepped to her.

“It was always there within him. He just needed the time to figure it out for himself first. He’s a remarkable young man, Mister Conner.”

“I know he is.” Conner said. He gave her a hug, “I’ll take good care of him.” Conner said and let her go. She looked up into his face.

“That I already knew.” She said with her smile. Conner smiled back at her.

“I’ll bring him back soon.” Conner said, taking her hand and giving it a gentle squeeze. She nodded. Then Conner looked at Chevelle and smiled at her, then down at the children. He put a hand on Eadric’s head and stroked the soft hair once, “See ya, Sport.” Conner said, turned and went down the steps. He walked across the gravel to the car and got in the backseat. Jean-Pierre got in the driver’s seat and started the car. He turned in the driveway. The group waved at the back of the car from the door of the house. Alec hung his head and was dropping tears, Conner took his hand in his holding it gently.

Jean-Pierre looked in the rearview now and then as he drove them toward Marseille and the airport. He knew Alec was more than upset at their leaving. Jean-Pierre and Conner had actually spoken about it as their bags were loaded into the trunk by the two of them. Jean-Pierre was also sad by their leaving. He knew how much Alec meant to Julienne as she had told him more than once.

“Hey.” Conner said softly to Alec, who was looking out the window of the door as the rolling hills and countryside were sliding by, “I promise you, we’ll come back very soon.”

“I hope so.” Alec said quietly, not looking toward Conner, “I hope we can.”

“Whenever you want, okay?” Conner said and squeezed Alec’s hand in his, “And I also have an idea.” Alec looked at him. His face was streaked with tears, “Next time, why don’t we bring your parents?”

“My parents?” Alec asked. Conner nodded.

“I remember you said that it was a dream of your moms to come to France, wasn’t it?” Conner asked. Alec nodded, “Now that we have our own place, there’s plenty of room, so why not?”

“You’re serious.”

“Yeah, I am. It might be a nice vacation for them.” Conner said. He smiled, “I think we can afford it, you know, like picking up the airfare for them?”

“I know you’re trying to make me feel better, and I appreciate it, but…”

“Look, I know you’re sad about leaving, babe. It’s written all over your face, but you know we have to. But we are coming back, and often. We still have to have dinner in Paris, remember?” Conner asked and smiled that million-dollar smile of his. Alec smiled now.

“Yeah, I guess we do. At the Eiffel Tower.”

“Exactly.” Conner smiled, “And it might be fun with your parents. Plus, we could tour the countryside a little. I don’t think you saw much.”

“Well, I did meet some of the neighbors while you were gone. Mostly older folks, my parents might like that, meet new people.” Alec said.

“See? There you go.” Conner said and smiled again. Alec leaned his head on Conner’s shoulder, “You can talk to her anytime you want, you know that.”

“Yeah, but it’s not the same. I’ll be alright.” Alec said quietly.

“I know.” Conner whispered as he leaned his head against Alec’s.

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