Warnings: Blood play - Rickís a vampire, after all!


Orithain and Rina

January 2005

"Give me your gun, Rick."

"Excuse me?" Richard York, royal prince of England, Duke of York and 500-year-old vampire, looked at the two men who had burst into his office. "A gun, Ethan?"

"Yes, a gun! Youíre a private detective; you have to have one lying around here someplace!"

Rick stood up and walked around his desk, trying not to laugh at Ethanís expression and the way Bryce kept looking back over his shoulder at the door. "Can I ask why you need a gun when you have other methods of dealing with people at your disposal?"

"Because itíll make sure he stays dead!" Bryce exclaimed, looking hunted. "Trust me, anyone that crazy would be better off dead. He was quoting verse, very, very bad verse at us, and he wonít go away!"

Rick stifled a snicker and leaned against his desk. "Let me see if I have this right; two vampires, both in full possession of their powers, are afraid of a mortal who quotes verse at them? Oh, this is rich." He threw back his head and laughed uproariously.

"You havenít heard his verse," Bryce grumbled before a voice calling his name interrupted him, making him quite literally dive under the desk, where he was quickly joined by his lover. "Make him go away!"

"Bryce? Ethan?" Hal James wondered where the other two had disappeared to so quickly. "I think Iíve worked out that tricky bit in the verse:

"Dark as the night that is their home

Still and silent do they roam

In their eyes a gleam of fire

They are the glory of the vampire.


"But I canít get the next verse," the very pleasant tenor voice continued as its owner entered the office. "Nothing rhymes with Ethan, you see," he confided to the man he came face to face with.

Rick fought his desire to make a leap and join Bryce and Ethan under his desk. Beautiful eyes, he thought to himself, but that was "...The most awful bit of doggerel Iíve heard in my life."

Hal stared at him, affronted, and sniffed. "You clearly know nothing about lyrics." He raised his chin challengingly and turned to leave since he didnít see Bryce and Ethan in the office.

"Thereís a tune that goes along with those?" Rick asked, sounding aghast. "No wonder Bryce and Ethan ran like rabbits."

"They were here?" Hal stopped in his tracks and spun to face the blond man again. "Where did they go?" he demanded.

"No idea," Rick replied blandly. "Knowing them, probably to find a closet so they can fuck like those rabbits I mentioned they acted like. Why do you want to know?"

Hal blushed faintly. "I wanted to speak to them. Have something I want to give them." And I wish there was the slightest chance theyíd accept me, but Iíll settle for being near them.

"How about you give it to me and Iíll try and track them down; it is what I do for a living after all."

"No! Thank you, I mean, but itís something that has to be given in person."

Under the desk, Bryce rolled his eyes at Ethan and wished theyíd gotten that gun.

Rick nodded, managing to keep a somewhat serious expression. "Well then, whatís your name so I can tell them you were looking for themóif I see them."

"Hal. Hal James." He offered his hand to the man he hadnít yet realized was a vampire.

"Rick York." Rick shook the boyís hand and flashed him a grin. "Now mind telling me just why you compared Ethan and Bryce to vampires in your little ditty?"

Halís eyes widened as he realized that heíd given away their secret to this man. "Um, poetic license," he said feebly. "Vampires are so romantic after all, and Bryce especially is so Byron-esque."

Trying to appear concerned, Rick nodded slowly. "So I donít need to worry about them biting my neck next time I see them? Or should I stock up on the garlic and crucifixes?"

Hal laughed weakly. "Everyone knows thereís no such thing as vampires."

His acute hearing picking up the fact that Bryce and Ethan were having difficulty keeping from laughing, Rick cocked his head to the side, looking at Hal. "Really? Because I could have sworn you seemed very convinced they were real."

"See, my lyrics convinced you," Hal beamed. "I knew they were powerful."

"Powerfully bad," Rick muttered in a voice so low that only the other two vampires could hear him. "So you really donít believe in vampires then?"

"Of course not," Hal tried to scoff, knowing that he didnít sound very convincing. "This is twenty-first century Boston, not Eastern Europe in the Dark Ages."

"And why would that matter? Look at all the books out there about supernatural creatures; it seems people are ripe to believe."

"It would be nice to believe in them," Hal admitted. "Nice to believe that thereís more than just this mundane world we live in."

"Mmm." Rick nodded and briefly let his fangs drop as he smiled.

Halís jaw dropped, and he made incoherent noises. "You... I hope you enjoyed laughing at me!" He spun on his heel again and made for the door.

Rick sped around him and closed the door, forgetting for the moment that he was supposed to be getting rid of the boy. "Considering that you were spouting off about vampires left and right, just what would you have had me do?"

"You didnít need to pretend to be human! I thought I was going to have to get someone here to make you forget. Iím sure you had a good laugh at my expense."

"All right, perhaps I shouldnít have pretended to be human, but you must admit the whole situation is odd."

"What hasnít been odd since I walked through Kittenís front door?" Hal asked wryly. "I knew there was a reason to avoid girls."

Hearing Ethan growling quietly, Rick smiled. "When youíre my age, you discover that both genders have their good points. Now, to make up for what I did, how about I buy you lunch?"

Hal hesitated. "Well, I suppose Iím not going to be able to catch up with Bryce and Ethan just now. And I am hungry. Um, your idea of lunch isnít the local blood bank, is it?"

"Not when Iím dining with the fang-impaired."

"Thank God!" Hal tilted his head slightly to one side and eyed Rick curiously. "Do you mind if I ask how old you are?"

"Five hundred, give or take a few years," Rick smiled. "Donít look a day over a quarter century, do I?"

"Five hundred," Hal repeated almost dreamily. "The history youíve seen. Good and bad," he added softly.

Under the desk, Bryce bit back a growl as Rick kept talking rather than getting Hal out of there.

Rick chuckled and stepped away from the door. "How about I tell you about it over lunch; sushi okay?"

"Iíve never actually tried it, but Iím willing. Just promise I wonít be poisoned by out-of-season blowfish or anything."

"Donít worry, I wonít have you blowing the fish or anything else."

Hal laughed. "No, Iíd prefer to eat my lunch, thanks." He started toward the door again.

Rick nodded and opened the door, chuckling when he heard Ethan breathe a sigh of relief. "You should smile more often; it looks good."

Hal rolled his eyes. "You must be hungry. Youíre hallucinating."

"Offering me a meal?" Rickís smile flashed fang again.

Halís eyes widened, and he looked taken aback. "Youíd want me?"

"Is there a reason why I shouldnít?"

"Well, I... There are a lot more interesting and attractive people out there." Hal eyed him appreciatively. "And you could have your pick."

"And what if I said I pick you?"

"Is this another unfunny joke?" Hal asked suspiciously.

In a flash, Rick had Hal pinned against the wall and was nuzzling his throat. "Does it feel like it is?"

Wide-eyed, Hal stared at him. "You... I... Oh my." He gulped, unable to deny the evidence of Rickís interest.

Pulling back, Rick smiled at the boy, letting only a small bit of hunger bleed into his gaze. He was doing this to save Ethan and Bryce, but a part of him was interested in tasting the young mortal in more ways than one.

"I think we should go to lunch," Hal said shakily, reminding himself of Ethan and Bryce. He wasnít so fickle as to be distracted by someone nuzzling his neckóno matter how good it felt.

Stepping back, Rick nodded. "Yes, letís get something in you before you blow away."

"Iím not that skinny!" Hal retorted indignantly.

"Ah, you just like wearing big brotherís clothes." Rick nodded sagely. "Now come on, letís get you some food."

"Donít have any brothers," Hal said almost sulkily, the innocent comment reminding him of his family. He could almost hear his motherís strident tones cursing for ruining her life by being born.

"You can have mine if you like. Thinks heís the ruddy king of England, he does." Rick sounded very British as he said that.

That surprised Hal into a laugh. "England has a queen just now," he pointed out, chuckling.

"Very true, but give the manóor boy as it wasóa crown for a few days, and it goes to his head."

It took a moment for the words to register, but when they did, Hal stopped in his tracks. His dark eyes widened until they seemed to swallow his face, and he gasped, "Your brother really was the king of England?

"Five hundred, a few days..." His eyes somehow got even wider. "The princes in the Tower?" he gasped. "Rick York. Richard, Duke of York. Oh my God."

Rick threw his hands up in the air in a gesture of praise. "There is hope for the school system after all!"

That put an end to any awe Hal was feeling. "Oh, what a ham! Come on, you promised me lunch."

"But itís true," Rick laughed, walking Hal down the hall. "Nedís lover had never heard of him in his life and was woefully ignorant of history outside the Revolution."

Hal shrugged. "I like history, and I read a lot. And Iíve seen Richard III several times." He stopped again. "Oh my God, Ned. Edward. You mean your brother is Edward V. And obviously neither of you died in the Tower."

"No, we were saved, and turned, one and the same really, after weíd been imprisoned seven years." Rickís eyes grew dark for a moment before clearing again. "Iíll have to introduce you to Neddy; heíd enjoy having someone interested in the glorious old Empire."

"Iíd be honored," Hal said honestly. "Iíd love a birdís-eye view of history from someone who actually saw it. Actually, that applies to you too."

"Iím the bad apple actually; left England in the mid 1700s and didnít look back, but Iíd be happy to broaden your education on American history."

"So you and your brother actually fought on opposite sides in the Revolution?" Hal asked, surprised. "Then again, not unusual for your family, is it?" Remembering after heíd spoken that this was probably a touchy subject since it had led to Rick and his brother being locked up in Tower for years, Hal winced and mumbled a hasty apology.

Rick chuckled cynically but smiled. "Not in the least, though Ned and I managed to avoid trying to kill each other both in the Revolution and again in 1812."

"Fortunate, I suppose. Not that youíd actually kill each other, but still." He tilted his head again. "But Iím still amazed that a member of the royal house of Plantagenet would choose to leave England."

"England never did much for me," Rick shrugged, catching the sound of the door to his office opening and hoping Hal didnít hear it as well. "So why should I return the favor?"

"But itís your home," Hal started before he heard something and turned around.

"Ethan!" He immediately forgot all about Rick, his entire focus on the two vampires whoíd just appeared. "Bryce! I thought Iíd lost you." He gave them a besotted smile.

"Damn shame," Ethan muttered, keeping a firm hold on Bryce. "Told you we should have waited five more minutes," he muttered under his breath.

"Hey, not ditching me, are you?" Rick asked, catching the desperate looks the other two were giving him.

"Oh." Hal looked over his shoulder. "I hope youíll let me take you up on it later, but I promised my time to Bryce and Ethan first."

"Oh please, donít let us keep you from any plans," Bryce said desperately, keeping Ethan between him and the madman.

"Yes, Iím sure Richard was looking forward to it," Ethan said forcefully.

"Yes, I thought you wanted to hear all about history; Ethan and Bryce are just babies."

Bryce glared at Rick but didnít argue, not wanting to give the crazy human a reason to stay.

"But... No, interesting as that would be, it would be wrong to leave now." Hal gave Bryce and Ethan an adoring glance.

"No, it wouldnít!" Ethan and Bryce exclaimed in unison.

"But..." Halís face fell. "Donít you want me to sing the song for you?"

Faced with Halís patent hurt, Bryce buried his face in Ethanís shoulder and thought seriously about sinking through the floor.

Rick choked to keep from laughing. "Perhaps you can sing it for them here then we can have our lunch? It looks as if you two have plans."

"Yes, plans!" Bryce exclaimed. "Canít change them now. In fact, weíre late now." He tugged on Ethanís arm, backing up. "So sorry, maybe next time. Gotta go!"

"But..." Hal exclaimed forlornly, half reaching after them.

"Just think," Rick cut in, catching Halís arm to keep him from going after the fleeing vampires. "Youíll have time to find a rhyme for Ethan now."

Hal looked at him sadly. "I donít really feel like going out now." He shrugged free of Rickís grip.

Rick affected a pout. "Now Iím the one whoís hurt."

"No, youíre not. Youíre just trying to distract me. You donít even know me."

"Which is the point of lunch unless youíd rather go mope."

Hal shrugged indifferently. "I suppose I should have known better than to think anyone like them would like me. And I already know you donít, so why not."

Rick fought the urge to bang his head against the wall. "Have you ever thought that maybe they donít Ďlikeí you because theyíre involved with each other?"

"I know theyíre involved with each other." Hal rolled his eyes. "I just wanted to... Well, I suppose it doesnít matter now."

"Wanted to what?" As he spoke, Rick skillfully steered Hal to the elevator and inside it when the doors opened.

"Wanted to be with them. I know Iíll never have someone of my own, but I thought it would be nice to be near them." Hal said it flatly, not looking for sympathy but simply stating a fact.

"And why donít you think youíll ever have someone? Youíve got gorgeous eyes and what I think is a tight little body under those huge clothes."

Hal rolled his eyes. "Yeah, right. I already said Iíd leave them alone; you donít need to keep up the act."

Now Rick did bang his head on the wall, groaning at the obstinate child.

Hal eyed him strangely, backing up a few steps. "Are you all right?" he asked warily.

"What would you do if someone you just met and complimented kept calling you a liar?"

"I didnít call you a liar; I just admitted that you donít need to keep playing the game. My folks told me years ago that Iíd never be worth anything or attractive, and they were right." Hal shrugged. "I have a mirror, you know."

Rick shrugged, feeling a flash of anger toward the unknown people. "It must be warped." He reached out and brushed the hair out of Halís eyes. "Seriously warped.

"Iíve never heard of a vampire who needed glasses."

"My vision is perfect," Rick said haughtily, steering Hal out of the elevator and to the doors then out onto the sidewalk.

"I really donít understand you," Hal said plaintively.

"Glad to hear it."

"Youíre trying to confuse me, arenít you?"

Rick smiled. "Possibly, is it working?"

"Yes!" Hal glared at him.

"Good, confusion helps the appetite, so letís eat." Rick reached out and opened the door to his favorite sushi place.

Shaking his head in bewilderment, Hal stepped inside the restaurant. "Why are you doing this?" he asked once they were seated.

"Because I want to," Rick answered, ordering for both of them when the waitress came by the table.

Hal frowned slightly but didnít protest the order. "But why?" he persisted. "I mean, look at you. You could have anyone, so why are you wasting your time with me?"

"Because I want to," Rick repeated.

Hal stared at him in frustration. "Youíre a very strange man."

"That makes two of us, Iíd say."

Hal shrugged. "Nothing special about me. What you see, little though there is, is what you get."

Rick smiled. "I canít see that much; itís all covered in those huge clothes."

"I donít have anything to show off, so I might as well be comfortable."

"I suppose that makes sense, but why are you so sure of that?"

"My mom and dad told me, and no one else ever gave me any reason to believe otherwise."

"Hmm... Eat up." Rick used his chopsticks to put some wasabi into the soy sauce.

Hal warily nibbled at a bit of the food. "Hey, this is good!" He took another, bigger, bite.

"I happen to have very good taste," Rick commented wryly.

"Mmm, I think Iíll try anything you suggest," Hal replied enthusiastically, helping himself to more.

"Iíll remember that," Rick grinned. "And remind you of it."

"There canít be much thatís stranger than sushi."

Wondering if indeed the child was that innocent, Rick shook his head. "More things on heaven and earth, my dear Hortatio."

"Shakespeare?" Hal queried, raising his eyebrows. "Curiouser and curiouser."

"And here you didnít want to have lunch with me..."

Hal laughed. "I have a feeling my life would have stayed a lot simpler if I hadnít."

Rick chuckled and offered Hal a bite of sushi. "Iíd prefer the word boring."

Taking the piece of fish, Hal swallowed before retorting, "Iíd imagine thatís a word you donít hear very often."

Rickís only answer was a sultry smile.

Hal swallowed hard and took a gulp of his sake.

"Careful there; that stuffís..." Rick paused as Hal struggled to breathe. "Strong."

Hal wheezed, his eyes watering. "Ya think?" he managed to gasp.

"In more ways than one."

"Trying to get me drunk?" Hal chuckled.

Now Rickís smile turned innocent. "Youíre the one drinking it like water."

"Because there isnít any water!" And Hal took another swallow, more cautiously this time.

Rick waved the waitress over and ordered them tea and water. "No excuse now."

"Itís pretty good," Hal said with a bit of a giggle.

"Why do I think Iím going to be carrying you after this?"

Hal giggled again. "Well, at least I know Iím safe with you," he snickered.

"And just what gives you that idea?"

"Lotsa pretty people around for you, donít need boring, plain olí me."

Rick shook his head. "Need? No. Want... Thatís getting to be a yes."

Hal snorted. "Sure you do." He eyed Rick owlishly. "Wish that were true. Youíre pretty."


"Uh huh. Pretty blond hair, pretty blue eyes... gorgeous body. Used to dream about someone like you."

"You just used to dream? What happened?"

"Learned that nobody wanted me, they laughed at me." Hal shrugged. "No one like you for someone like me."

"Idiots," Rick sighed, offering Hal something more to eat, not wanting the boy to pass out.

Hal took another piece of sushi, but he couldnít manage the chopsticks well enough to get it to his mouth. After the third time heíd dropped it, he gave up with a shrug and reached for his sake again.

"Perhaps you should eat some more," Rick commented.

"Okay." Hal looked around and found the silverware that had been brought in case they couldnít manage the chopsticks. Using a fork, he finally managed to get some food to his mouth, and he ate hungrily, watching Rick all the while.

"So, do you like it?" Rick asked, shaking his head as Hal interspersed bites with sips of the sake.

"Itís very good." Hal nibbled on another bit and made a face. "Donít like this one," he inspected it, "the scallops. But I like everything else." He eyed Rick curiously. "Youíre eating too? I didnít realize you could."

"We can, it just doesnít sustain us. I enjoy exploring new tastes though."

"Adventurous sort, huh?" Hal licked his lips to catch an errant bit of rice.

Raising his eyes from Halís mouth, Rick smiled. "You have no idea."

Hal swallowed hard, adamís apple bobbing. "Why do I get the feeling weíre not talking about sushi anymore?"

"Possibly because we arenít?"

"Youíre really interested in me?" Hal nearly squeaked, his voice cracking embarrassingly as it hadnít in years.

Rick smiled and took a drink of tea. "Is there a reason I shouldnít be?"

"Thereís no reason why you should be."

"So you know what I think and feel? Iíd say you have some impressive powers there."

"Youíre twisting everything around! I know Iím nothing special, so why are you wasting time on me?"

"Maybe because I donít consider it wasting my time, is that good enough for you?"

Hal stared at him. "I really donít get you, but what the hell?" he shrugged. "Iím not going to say no to a meal and maybe some fun."

Rickís smile grew sensual, and his gaze dropped to Halís lips as they wrapped around a bit of tuna roll. "Now thatís the kind of answer I enjoy hearing."

"I wish I knew how much of that to believe though," Hal muttered, squirming in his seat as his body reacted to Rickís words and tone.

"Do you believe me when I say Iím enjoying your company?"

"Well, I donít understand it, but you donít have any reason to lie, so I suppose so."

"A very good answer, and I will continue not lying to you by telling you I hope that you will accompany me to my apartment after our meal."

Hal almost choked on his sushi, and the big eyes got even wider as he stared. "You want... me?" he finally managed to gasp out. "Uh, sure. Okay."

Rick chuckled quietly and offered the boy a napkin. "And so we are perfectly clear, this invitation includes more than a cup of tea and a biscuit."

"I did manage to figure that much out on my own, thanks," Hal said wryly after wiping his chin.

"Glad to hear it, I wouldnít want to be accused of corrupting an innocent unintentionally."

"Um, well, actually, uh, when Kel drank from me, he only drank. Is that what you want or, uh...?"

"Would you rather that was all I did?"

"Well, no." Hal blushed.

"Iím glad to hear that because I was hoping to share much more with you. Now finish eating; Iím looking forward to tasting youóin several ways."

Hal took another gulp of his sake. "And you expect me to be able to eat anything after that?"

"I do if you want to stay conscious throughout the night."

"Oh." Hal meekly took another bite, wide-eyed stare never leaving the vampire who heíd finally accepted was seducing him. "I should probably tell you that I havenít done this before," he said very quietly.

Rick smiled and sipped his sake. "Then Iím honored."

"Iím horny," Hal mumbled, flushing again.

Rick burst into laughter. "Well then, letís go do something about that."

Hal put down his fork, wiped his mouth, and started to stand up before he realized, "Oh, we still have to pay."

Rick tossed a pair of twenties on the table and stood as well. "All done." He slid an arm around Halís waist, under his loose shirt, and led him toward the door. "And now itís time to do you."

Hal bit back a whimper. "Sounds good to me," he said breathlessly, leaning into Rickís embrace.

Rick whistled for a cab and settled them both in the one that pulled over, giving the driver his address before turning back to Hal. "So. Tell me your fantasies, and Iíll do what I can to make them come true."

Hal stared at him. "I have no idea!" he yelped quietly.

"Youíre telling me youíve never dreamed?"

"Not in detail. Didnít want to frustrate myself," Hal admitted. "I donít know what I like or if thereís anything I donít."

Rick rested his hand on Halís thigh and leaned in closer. "Then I suppose weíll just have to experiment and see what turns up."

"Sounds like fun." Hal took a deep breath and leaned forward to brush his lips over Rickís.

Rick smiled into the kiss, then deepened it, exploring Halís mouth with his tongue, letting the merest hint of his fangs graze the boyís lower lip.

Hal moaned into the kiss, shivering at the touch of Rickís fangs, and he pressed closer.

"Soon, soon," Rick promised, squeezing Halís thigh.

"Not soon enough," Hal groaned. "How far?"

Rick glanced up before leaning toward Hal once again. "A few more blocks. Can you survive?"

"Got something to look forward to, so Iíd better," Hal laughed. He finally nerved himself up and slid a hand over Rickís chest, petting him through his shirt.

"Mmm, smart boy," Rick murmured, kissing Hal again before the sound of the cabbie clearing his throat broke them apart. He threw some bills at the man and nudged Hal out of the car and up to the building, waving at the doorman as they entered.

"Do you always just toss money without waiting for change?" Hal asked, laughing. "Or should I take it as a compliment?" He didnít really believe the latter, but he was willing to enjoy the fantasy.

"Only when Iím in a hurry, my dear Harold," Rick answered, ringing for the elevator.

"Glad Iím not the only one whoís eager," Hal replied, pressing close.

"And Iím very glad to hear that; I thought I might have fallen short, considering thereís only one of me."

Hal stared blankly before realizing what Rick meant and flushing. "I think for something like this, one is just right."

"Good answer." The elevator arrived, and Rick maneuvered Hal into it, nuzzling his neck again and grinding up against his ass to let the boy feel his erection.

"Oh God." Hal slumped back against Rick, letting the vampire support him as his knees threatened to buckle. "Donít wanna wait any more."

"But we need to, until I get you in my bed at least."

"So what are we waiting for?" Hal moaned, forgetting for the moment that they were still in the elevator.

Rick chuckled and nuzzled Halís neck again. "Three more floors, or do you want to be disturbed?"

"Canít this thing go any faster?!"

The elevator bell dinged, and Rick turned them around so that Hal could walk out when the doors opened. "Weíll be there soon enough, I promise." He stopped Hal outside his door and reached around him to unlock it so they could both go inside. "Second door to the left down the hall there, Iíll be there in a minute," he murmured, letting go of Hal to head for the kitchen.

"What? Where are you going?" Hal asked, but he was talking to Rickís back. Sighing, he followed Rickís directions and let himself into the bedroom. Once there, he hesitated, not sure what to do, his eyes fixed on the big bed.

"Just getting a few things," Rick said when he entered the bedroom a few minutes later, carrying a bottle of wine and two glasses along with some cheese and crackers. "Just in case you need a snackóafter." He glanced at Hal and the bed, noticing the distance between the two of them.

Hal laughed a bit shakily. "You seem obsessed with feeding me. I hope thatís not why you brought me here." He gripped the hem of his shirt nervously.

"No, that would be because I want to eat you." Rick let his hunger bleed through his gaze and his fangs drop fully.

Hal blinked and took a stop closer, his own hunger coming to the fore. "So what are you waiting for?"

"Nothing at all," Rich sighed, closing the distance between them in the blink of an eye and pulling Halís shirt over his head in one smooth motion then leaning in to lick his nipples.

Yelping in surprise, Hal clutched at Rickís shoulders. He tensed, groaning throatily at the unexpected pleasure. "Oh God yeah, more," he begged, his back arching involuntarily.

Rick didnít answer verbally, he simply continued to lick at Halís chest, dropping to his knees in front of the other man, his hands cupping Halís ass.

Hal clutched at Rickís hair, not sure that his knees were going to support him. "Bed," he gasped. "Bed would be good."

With a murmured agreement, Rick herded Hal toward the bed and onto the brown and black shaded comforter atop it. Once Hal was lying down, he worked at the button and zipper to his jeans and slid them lower, nuzzling the erection pushing against the white cotton of his briefs.

Gasping and writhing, Hal clawed at Rickís shoulder, wanting to touch him too but all coordination lost at the touch on his cock.

"Letís take some of the pressure off, shall we?" Rick asked, continuing to mouth Halís shaft through the well-worn material.

Hal was too distracted to make sense of the words, but as long as Rick didnít stop what he was doing, he didnít really care.

Rick smiled, and opened his mouth, letting his breath flow over the hot flesh beneath him, then licked his way over Halís erection.

"Rick!" Hal wailed, shuddering, hands scrabbling at Rickís shoulders as he felt a mouth on his cock for the first time.

In one quick motion, Rick pulled Halís briefs from around his hips and swallowed Halís cock down, being careful to keep his fangs out of the way as he did so.

Hal screamed.

He thrust up urgently, crying out again when Rick took him easily, and he came almost instantly, overwhelmed by the sensations.

Rick swallowed Halís come down and looked up at him, licking his lips and smiling. "Delicious."

"Sorry," Hal mumbled, flushing. "Didnít mean to be so fast."

"Donít apologize, I consider it a compliment."

"Not much fun for you though." Hal stared up at him, unable to move yet.

Rick chuckled. "You donít get to be my age without developing patience. Iíll have my turn in time; right now Iím just enjoying you."

"Still think youíre crazy, but Iím not complaining about the results."

"I thought they were damn explosive myself."

"I think theyíre supposed to be," Hal chuckled, slowly relaxing as he accepted that this was really happening.

Rick chuckled. "Itís always better when they are."

"Havenít had any complaints yet." Hal rolled to his side, twisting so he could reach Rick to kiss him.

"Glad to hear it." Rick pulled Hal in for a kiss, sliding up the bed to lie by him.

"Thought there was more to it than that though," Hal hinted.

"Donít you want a little recovery time?" Rick asked.

"Iíve been waiting twenty years. What do you think?" Hal rolled closer, one leg hooking over Rickís waist.

"Possibly not." Rick grinned and pulled Hal closer, kissing him until the boy was breathless.

"Mmm, I could get to like this," Hal practically purred, rocking against Rick. "But youíre wearing way too many clothes."

"I know how to undress myself, but do you?"

"Undress myself or you?" Hal glanced down at Rickís fully clad body and his own jeans and briefs still around his hips.

"Me," Rick answered, rolling onto his back and clasping his hands behind his head.

"Yum." Hal grinned at him as he reached for the buttons on Rickís shirt, slowly easing each one out of its hole and admiring the chest and abdomen he was baring.

"Glad you like it," Rick smiled, reaching up to card his fingers through Halís dark hair.

"How could I not?" Hal leaned down to press a kiss to Rickís navel, thrilled that he could touch this gorgeous man however he wanted. "Youíre beautiful." He tugged the shirttails free of Rickís jeans and pushed the shirt off his shoulders.

"Not aging will do that for you."

"Need something to start with," Hal pointed out. "I could live forever, and Iíd still look the way I do now. But you..." He leaned down to kiss the skin above Rickís waistband, his fingers seeking the buttons that strained to contain the erection pushing against the fabric.

Rick caught Hal and pulled him in for a kiss. "Want you," he finished.

"I repeat, so what are you waiting for?!"

In a sudden motion, Rick flipped them both over, pinning Hal beneath him. "At this point, nothing." That said, he stood up and stripped off the rest of his clothes, his eyes locked with Halís the whole time.

"Oh my." Hal practically drooled as his eyes raked over Rickís body. Unable to resist, he reached out, fingers lightly fluttering over Rickís chest and down to his navel, where they hesitated.

"Itís not really so much different than touching yourself," Rick murmured, stepping closer and feeling Halís warm hand press against his stomach.

Hal raised amused eyes to meet Rickís gaze. "Youíve gotta be kidding!" He slid his hand down until his fingertips brushed Rickís erection, then lower, closing his fist around the rigid shaft.

Rick gave a raspy groan and arched into Halís touch, his hand closing over the mortalís and keeping him in place.

"Much better than touching myself," Hal murmured, shifting up onto his knees and leaning closer so he could lick tentatively at the head.

"Glad you think so," Rick sighed, moving his hand to tangle his fingers in Halís hair. "But I thought you wanted me in you?"

"Oh yeah," Hal sighed, staring up at him and licking his lips, moaning when he tasted Rick on his lips. "Now!"

Rick pressed his lips to avoid chuckling at the hungry expression on Halís face and leaned in, pressing the boy back onto the bed and crouching over him. "I will, but we have to get you ready first." As he spoke, he ran his hands over Halís thighs, spreading them.

Gasping, Hal squirmed, at first trying to press his thighs together in surprise, then relaxing and allowing Rick to do whatever he wanted. He stared along the length of his body at Rick, groaning at the sight of the vampire settled between his legs, and his cock twitched, slowly filling again.

Pleased by the reaction, Rick leaned over to the bedside table and took a container of lube from the drawer, then bending and nibbling at the inside of Halís thigh, enjoying the gasp this earned him.

Hal felt Rickís teeth brush against him, and he shivered, his legs parting more. "Are you always this slow?" he panted.

"Iíd ask if you were always this pushy, but you said youíd never been with anyone before." A slicked-up finger teased Halís hole, then pressed inside.

About to reply to Rickís comment, Hal moaned instead when he felt the finger breech him. He tensed, surprised by the slight burning sensation, and slowly relaxed as the pleasure slowly drowned the discomfort. His fingers flexed on Rickís shoulders, short nails scratching. Opening eyes that he had no recollection of closing, he met Rickís gaze and tilted his hips, taking the finger deeper.

Somewhat surprised by Halís sensual reaction as heíd almost thought the boy would tense up, Rick smiled as he pressed his finger deeper, searching for Halís prostate and knowing heíd found it when Hal almost levitated off the bed.

Halís eyes flew open to their widest extreme, and he shrieked something incoherent, his nails digging into Rickís shoulders as he rocked his hips against the finger giving him such incredible pleasure.

Enjoying the sting as the boy marked him, Rick added a second finger, leaning in and suckling the head of Halís cock at the same time.

If Hal hadnít just come a little while earlier, that would have toppled him into orgasm. As it was, he screamed and thrashed beneath Rick, his back arching as he came off the bed.

Rick smiled around Halís cock, then licked his way up the boyís body to kiss him again, slowly pulling his fingers from Halís body and slicking up his cock. "Roll over," he murmured, settling back on his knees and waiting until Hal obeyed before kissing the small of his back.

Shivering with anticipation, Hal lay waiting for Rick to continue, not realizing that he was squirming against the bedding. "Oh God, do it!" he groaned, fists clenched and legs spread.

"Youíre greedy; I like that in a partner." Rick petted Halís ass, then pressed himself against the tight ring of muscle, pushing inside and gritting his teeth when Hal tensed, forcing himself to stop moving to give the boy time to adjust.

Hal whimpered, the slight pain of the entry only adding to his pleasure as he felt himself stretched and filled. "So good," he moaned, hips moving slightly, and he gasped sharply at the sensations that caused. "Oh fuck!"

Rick smirked, though his eyes were half-closed in pleasure as he felt the living heat surrounding him. "Thatís what itís called."

A breathless laugh escaped Hal. "So why arenít you doing it?" he demanded, rocking against Rick and moaning hungrily as the hard cock moved inside him.

"Because I didnít want to hurt you," Rick chuckled, enjoying the hunger he felt from Hal. He nipped at the boyís shoulder, then pressed forward, sheathing himself fully in the tight hole.

"Youíre not hurting me!" Hal exclaimed, back arching and his ass thrusting upward, trying to take Rick even deeper. "Ohfuckohfuckohfuck," he babbled. "More! Move!"

Eyebrows arching at the extreme reaction, Rick caught Halís hips between his hands, pulled back and began a quick pounding rhythm.

Hal cried out in pleasure, his fists clenching the sheets, and he moved jerkily until he matched Rickís rhythm. Each thrust against his prostate tore another cry from him, and he babbled incoherent words of pleasure, his ass tightening almost painfully around the cock filling him.

Blinking at the incredible tightness around him, Rick slipped a hand under Hal and closed it around the boyís cock, stroking him in time with their movements, enjoying the mindless mewls this drew from Halís throat.

Not even his previous climax could hold Hal back at that point, and he wailed as he came, ass spasming. Rickís continued thrusts only added to his pleasure, and despite the hypersensitivity of his cock, he loved that Rick was still pumping him, never wanting him to stop.

Rick groaned but kept moving, leaning in over Halís shoulder and biting down on his neck as he thrust into Halís spasming body, swallowing down the warm blood as he let himself come.

Another spasm of pleasure, dry but no less intense, wracked Hal and he cried out and clenched down around Rick again.

Rick swallowed a mouthful of blood and thrust harder into Hal, then came as well, a thin trickle of blood escaping his lips.

Hal collapsed onto his belly, panting for air as aftershocks of pleasure still ran through him. "Oh my God, I never imagined it was that good."

Licking his lips and Halís neck to seal the wound, Rick smiled lazily before pulling out of the boy and rolling to his back, sliding an arm around Hal and bringing him closer. "Glad to hear you liked it."

"That was incredible." Hal nestled closer, liking the feeling of Rick holding him and the hard body beneath his cheek. "I still donít know why me, but Iím grateful." He slid a leg up over Rickís, making himself more comfortable.

Rick chuckled and stroked Halís back. "Itís not like it was a hardship for me, you know."

"Oh, I donít know. Seemed pretty hard to me."

"It was and will be again, I promise."

"Oh, better and better," Hal replied, squirming contentedly.

"Mmm, and here I was worried youíd shout out Ethan or Bryceís names..."

Hal frowned at him. "Iím not an idiot, you know. I know who Iím with. Besides, Ethan and Bryce are... different. Better." He smiled adoringly. "I just love being around them."

"Better?" Rickís eyebrows rose. "In what way?"

Hal shrugged helplessly. "Special. You can see how true their hearts are when they look at each other."

"I think the important part of that is Ďwhen they look at each otherí."

"But just to be around that..." Hal sighed blissfully.

"Seems like it would be damn frustrating to me."

"Oh no! Being with them is a moving experience."

"Must be because theyíre trying to move you away from them," Rick murmured.

Hal stiffened and sat up, moving away from him. "Thatís not true! And itís a horrible thing to say. I knew you were just pretending. Youíre just like all the rest, thinking Iím worthless and ugly!" He jumped up from the bed, fumbling for his clothes.

Rick sat up, his expression one of confusion. "Huh? I meant they did that because... Oh, come on, Hal..."

Hal yanked on his jeans and shirt, not noticing that the shirt was inside out, his hurt eyes darting away from Rick. "Yeah right. Did I spoil your game by figuring it out too soon? What, you wanted to reel me in some more?" He sniffed hard, refusing to cry.

"What are you talking about?" Rick bounded off the bed and walked toward Hal, staring at him. "Reel you in for what?"

"You donít have to keep pretending. I get it, okay! You can go back to your friends and laugh about how gullible I was. I actually believed you wanted me," he said bitterly. "You should get an Oscar."

Rick looked incredulous. "Harold, you may be nuts, but you are not a mercy fuck."

"Yeah right. At least the others stopped before actually fucking me to fuck me over." Hal reached blindly for the doorknob, intent on getting away.

Dragging his hands through his hair, Rick shook his head. "Youíre nuts!" he shouted.

"Oh, stop pretending!" Hal yelled back, whirling around again. "You made it very clear that you donít think Iím even good enough to be Bryce and Ethanís friend, so tell me how else to interpret that?!"

"I meant for you to stop mooning over them because they wonít see anyone but each other!"

"You said, and I quote, that they run away from me! Not much room for interpretation there! So fuck you!"

"Because you chase them!" Rick wound up shouting the words at a slammed door, and he shook his head, wondering if he should go after the boy.

Running away almost blindly, Hal sniffed hard as he tried to keep his misery at bay, but a tear escaped and rolled down his cheek. He sobbed once before shoving a fist in his mouth to muffle the sound. The worst was heíd believed Rick and really liked him.

"The boy is psychotic," Rick growled to himself, resisting the urge to slam his fist into the wall. "Gorgeous, but psychotic."

"Damn him," Hal muttered to himself after angrily dashing away the tear. Not wanting anyone to see him, he went into the stairway, guessing that no one would use it this high up, and he slumped down on the metal floor.

"Damn it, why did I believe he was different?" Hal whispered, barely aware that he was vocalizing his thoughts, a habit heíd picked up from years of living alone. "I should have known. Itís what they always do, pretend that Iím worth something so they can go laugh with their friends about dumb, boring, gullible Hal, who thought theyíd be interested in him. God, how many times does it take before I learn?"

Having been worried about the mortal, Rick followed him, though he did it as an invisible cloud of mist, and, as such, he heard Halís sad comment. "Not everyone discounts you," he whispered, feeling a tug at his heart at the boyís pain.

Thinking heíd heard something, Hal stilled, not even breathing for a moment as he listened. Not hearing anything, he slumped again, deciding it must have been his imagination. "But even if he was laughing at me, it was still amazing," Hal whispered, fingers rising to touch his lips unconsciously. "I just need to remember that and not the rest. I just wish..." he trailed off wistfully.

"Kitten, do you know where that boy Hal lives?" Rick asked several days later. Heíd found he wasnít able to forget the sad child even though heíd tried.

Kitten put down her coffee to focus her full attention on him. "Yeah, I do, but, Rick, are you sure you want to do this? Heís really messed up. I mean he makes all of us look like poster children for being well-adjusted."

"I know, but..." he sighed and leaned against the kitchen island, looking at her. "Right now part of itís because of me andóhe got to me, okay? Not more than a handful of people have done that in my life."

"I hope you know what youíre doing," Kitten sighed as she got a piece of paper from beside the phone and wrote down Halís address. "Try not to end up in the headlines, okay?" she said, handing it to him.

Taking the piece of paper, Rick scanned it, then stuck it in his back pocket. "Iíll leave that to you," he smiled, kissing the top of her head and heading outside, climbing onto the motorcycle heíd ridden over earlier.

Shaking his head at the neighborhood, Rick pulled up in front of a sad-looking apartment building, climbing off his bike and heading up to the door. It wasnít locked, so he climbed the stairs, wrinkling his nose at the smell of un-washed bodies and stale food that hung in the air. "Kiddo, this is not the place for you," he muttered before knocking on the door.

The knock startled Hal, and he nearly fell off his stool before catching himself with a hand on the battered sheet of plywood heíd perched on milk crates to make himself a desk. He pushed aside the verse he was writing for a sympathy cardóall he seemed able to write the last few daysóand started toward the door, hoping it wasnít the teenagers from the down the hall wanting to harass him again. He thought about not opening it, but if it was them, that would only make them more vicious when he finally had to come out, so he might as well get it over with.

Sighing, he opened the door, his jaw dropping when he saw who it was, and he tried to slam it shut again. He tried to ignore the way his body responded to the gorgeous blond standing outside his apartment, but considering the fantasies heíd been having for the last few nights, it wasnít easy.

Holding out a hand, Rick stopped the door in mid-swing and moved into the doorway. "You canít hide from me forever, you know."

"Wanna bet?" Hal retorted, wishing he didnít sound quite so immature even as the words left his lips.

Rick groaned inwardly. "How about Iíd rather you didnít hide from me?"

"What do you care?" Hal asked sulkily. "Why are you even here?"

"Iím here because I care, because I didnít mean for you to get hurt the other day and because I like you, Harold."

He made a face. "Hal. And do you really think Iím dumb enough to fall for that twice? Iím surprised you could even keep it up long enough last time." He turned away, arms wrapped around his torso, hugging himself.

Rick growled in his throat. "If I didnít care, why didnít I just wipe your memory?"

"Because Iím not worth that much bother."


That made Hal swing around to face Rick, eyes widening in surprise as he flinched back.

"It may have started out because I wanted to help Ethan and Bryce, but me talking to you and fucking you was purely because of you, Harold, so deal with it."

Not even Halís persistent insecurity could come up with a believable explanation for Rick to have gone to the effort of tracking him down and coming here to say these things if it wasnít true. "Y-you do?" he finally stammered, wide eyes searching Rickís tentatively.

"Do what? Like you? Yes. Want you? Yes."

"But... why?" It was a near wail of disbelief.

"Because of your hot little body, because of your gorgeous mouth and most of all because of who you are in there." Rick poked a finger against Halís chest.

Hal was left speechless, staring at Rick. "Hot?" he finally managed to squeak.

"Yes, hot, do you never look in a mirror?"

Hal shook his head, bewildered. "Are you crazy?" he demanded suspiciously.

A hint of an English accent crept into Rickís voice. "No, Iím not crazy, nor am I senile!"

Hal shivered slightly as he heard the sexy accent. "Never said you were," he said soothingly, not really wanting to enrage a vampire. "But you could have anybody you want."

Catching the tremor in Halís body, Rick let his accent deepen. "I know."

Hal bit his lip to hold in a whimper of pure lust. "I really donít understand you."

"Shall I spell it out, little boy?" Rick asked, moving closer to Hal, invading his personal space. "I. Want. You."

Now Hal did whimper, shivering as well as Rick loomed over him, making it impossible for Hal to draw a full breath. "Me?" he repeated, licking his lips as he stared up at Rick.

"Yes, you, little boy," Rick murmured, leaning in to brush his lips over the spot Halís tongue had just traced.

Hal gasped, swaying toward Rick. He could taste Rick on his lips, and he remembered what it had been like to taste him fully, making him moan as he hardened.

"If you want me, that is."

"If?" Hal barked out a laugh. "Iíve dreamed about you every night." He suddenly flushed deeply as he realized heíd said that out loud.

Rick smiled slowly. "What did you dream about, little boy?" he purred, crowding Hal back against the wall.

"You. Me. Together. You touching me," Hal choked out, his fists clenched at his sides.

"Here?" Rick asked, ghosting a finger down Halís chest, feeling the shudder through his baggy shirt.

"Everywhere." Hal stared at him with a deer in the headlights expression, unconsciously yearning toward him.

Rick smiled and leaned in, brushing his lips over Halís. "I like your dreams; letís see what I can do to make them come true."

Hal breathed, "Please," and finally swayed forward, deepening the kiss, his lips parting to invite Rick in.

"Little boy..." Rick sighed before delving into Halís mouth, letting his hands explore the mortalís body, finding it just as delightful as heíd remembered.

Hal pressed closer, remembering how good it had felt to touch and be touched. He still didnít understand why Rick wanted him, but he was going to enjoy it.

"You have a bedroom here?" Rick murmured, continuing to explore.

"The couch pulls out."

Rick nodded, rubbing his face against Halís even as he unbuttoned the heavy shirt. "Good, weíll be needing it soon."

"Oh good," Hal mumbled, not really knowing what he was saying, just feeling Rick against him and concentrating on that. "Oh God," he groaned.

"Take not His name in vain," Rick murmured, laughing as he slid down Halís body and nibbled the exposed skin of his belly.

"Then why donít you take me instead," Hal suggested, growing braver as he accepted that Rick really did want him and he could have this.

Rick smiled up at Hal and licked at his navel. "An excellent idea."

Groaning, Hal drove his fingers into Rickís hair, hanging on for dear life. "If we donít lie down soon, Iím going to fall down," he warned breathlessly.

Rick pressed a hand against Halís hip, holding him in place. "No, you wonít, little boy, Iíve got you."

Hal stared down at him. "I forget how strong you are," he murmured, letting himself lean on Rickís support.

"Unless youíd rather lie down," Rick added, pulling back and looking up at Hal.

"Well, I could touch you too then," Hal said, fingers kneading Rickís scalp.

"Works by me." Rick stood in one fluid motion and walked Hal back toward the couch, frowning at it for a moment. "Okay, how do you open this?"

Hal blinked at him and started to laugh, trying to hold it in, but heíd never met anyone who didnít know how to open a sofa bed before. "What were you, a rich guy before you were a vampire?" He pulled the cushions off and put them aside, then grabbed the pull bar and started yanking, having trouble since it was old, bent, and stiff.

"Prince of England, remember?" Rick chuckled, grasping the bar and pulling, then looking down at his hand when he ripped the whole mechanism off by mistake. "Hrmmm, looks as if Iíll be buying you a new sofa, or you can simply come and stay with me."

"Stay with you?" Hal squeaked again.

"If youíd like."

"You want me to stay with you?" Hal tried again.

"Iím not in the habit of asking people things I donít want them to do."

"Do you often invite people to move in with you the second time you meet them?" Hal was starting to think that heíd been right and Rick was crazy.

Rick straightened up and looked Hal straight in the eye. "Never."

"Oh." Hal swallowed hard. "Do I have to decide right now?" he asked plaintively, pressing his erection against Rickís hip.

"No, decide when you want to; Iíll wait." Rick kissed Hal again and laid him down on the cushions heíd scattered on the floor.

Hal tugged Rick down beside him, rolling to his side to press closer, one leg rising to wrap around Rickís waist. "Iím sure we could find a way to fill the time."

"Smart boy," Rick praised, rocking against Halís body and kissing him again as he stripped the clothes from his body.

"That mean I get a reward?" Hal asked, still nervous but reminding himself that Rick had come looking for him when he didnít need to.

"Anything you want."

"You." Hal finally initiated a kiss, pressing his lips to Rickís and beginning to explore him.

Rick smiled into the kiss and rolled to his back, bringing Hal with him. "All yours, little boy."

Halís eyes widened. "I donít know what to do!"

Catching Halís hand, Rick brought it to his chest. "Do whatever you like, then when you canít think of anything else, Iíll take you."

Halís fingers flexed against the muscular chest, and he swallowed hard as he sat up, kneeling straddling Rickís hips. He reached for the buttons on Rickís shirt, fingers trembling as he started unfastening them, spreading the shirt as each one gave way.

Rick lay back, arms at his side, an encouraging smile on his face as he shifted to help Hal get his clothes off.

Distracted by the lightly tanned skin, Hal bent forward to kiss Rickís chest, licking and nibbling, exploring and finding out what made Rick gasp and shift beneath him.

"I think youíre a natural at this," Rick murmured, stroking a hand over Halís shoulders and back.

"And I think youíre just being nice, but thatís okay," Hal whispered, scratching lightly at Rickís nipples.

"Are you saying Iím lying to you?"

"Saying that I think I may have misjudged things last time and you really are a nice guy."

Rickís chuckle turned into a groan when Hal continued to explore his chest. "Donít tell my brother that, please; heíll never let me live it down."

Hal laughed against Rickís navel. "Not really interested in your brother," he mumbled, nibbling.

"As well you shouldnít be!" Rick grinned evilly. "Heís a eunuch."

"I think I will tell him you said that!" Hal giggled.

"You wouldnít!" Rick exclaimed before laughing and smacking Halís hip. "And you claim to be an innocent."

"Well, maybe you can distract me." Hal grinned down at Rick, growing playful as he relaxed.

"Like this?" Rick asked, twisting to the side and nibbling at Halís thigh through his jeans.

"Oh yeah," Hal moaned, squirming atop him.

"Or this?" Rick continued, managing to get Halís pants off of him and graze his fangs over the now bare skin.

Hal nearly screamed. "Fuck!" His hips thrust convulsively, his nails digging into Rickís shoulder as he tried to get closer, wanting more of that.

"Oh yeah, weíre gonna do that... Shit, do you have any lube?"

Hal blushed as he reached under the end of the couch and pulled out a brand new, half empty tube.

Rick grinned and pulled Hal down to kiss him. "Iím glad," he murmured, rolling Hal under him and rocking against him.

"Like it better with you," Hal mumbled, burying his face against Rickís throat.

"Glad to hear it. I promise itíll stay that way."

"Guess Iíll find out," Hal replied, smiling quickly.

Rick smiled sensually as he squirted the gel onto his hand, warming it before trailing his fingers between Halís legs, urging him to open them wider. "Most definitely."

Hal moaned gutturally, his knees coming up to rest against Rickís ribs, and he squirmed sensually. "G-good," he stuttered, eyes heavy with passion but still fixed on Rickís face, watching his expression.

"God, youíre responsive," Rick sighed, pressing a finger inside Halís body and closing his eyes when the boy squirmed deliciously beneath him. "Never seen the like in all my years."

Hal wondered vaguely if he should be embarrassed or apologize, but it was a fleeting thought, soon lost beneath the sensations overwhelming him. "Please," he panted, one leg finding its way up over Rickís shoulder.

"Oh yeah." Rick added a second finger, and, unable to resist, pulled back enough to lick the head of Halís cock, humming at the droplets of precome that wet the flesh there.

Hal let out a wail of pleasure, thrusting upward uncontrollably, his whole body trembling with arousal. "Rick!"

Unable to resist, Rick quickly finished stretching Hal, then drove into his body, kissing him hungrily as they moved together.

"Yes!" Hal cried, driving upward to take Rick deeper, body spasming with pleasure and seeking more. "Oh God fuck yeah," he babbled, hands moving shakily over Rickís shoulders and arms.

Rick groaned as Hal tightened around him and moved faster, rubbing the boyís cock between them and licking his way down Halís jaw to his throat.

Hal immediately let his head fall to the side, exposing his throat. "Do it," he panted, wanting Rick to take him in every way possible. With the vampire hitting every one of his hot spots, he knew he wasnít going to last much longer, and he wanted to feel Rick drinking from him as he came.

Accepting the silent invitation, Rick bit down on the warm, pale flesh, drinking as he fucked Hal, the tremors as the boy came sending him over the edge as well.

Hal lay there, panting as his pulse slowly returned to normal. As the last tingling jolts faded, he noticed that the leg over Rickís shoulder was starting to cramp, and he was pretty sure he had carpet burn on his ass from the cheap cushions they were lying on, but he didnít have the energy or desire to move yet. "Wow," he finally muttered.

"Mmm, wow is right," Rick chuckled, brushing a kiss over Halís lush mouth. "But here, letís get you a little more comfortable..." He moved, letting Halís leg slide off his shoulder, and pushed up on his elbows, resting most of his weight on them.

Hal slid his arms down around Rickís waist, holding him close, not wanting him to slip out yet. He smiled up at Rick, raising his head for another kiss, this one longer and deeper. It was a little while before he eyed Rick sheepishly and murmured, "I maybe overreacted a little the other day?"

Rick shrugged slightly. "A little, but youíre nuts; thatís one of the things I like about you."

Hal pouted. "You think Iím nuts?"

"How about over-enthusiastic at times, or maybe obsessive, but not in a bad way." Rick grinned.

Hal grunted. "In other words, you still think Iím nuts, but youíre trying to pacify me." He eyed Rick. "But considering that youíre here, apparently because you want to be, I guess I can let a little thing like that slide." He smiled crookedly.

Rick nodded and leaned in to kiss Hal again. "Exactly; do you think I ever do anything I donít want to?"

"Well, I donít actually know you very well," Hal pointed out, "but Iím guessing not. So I really hope youíre going to want to do this again some time."

"Considering I offered you the choice of staying with me, what do you think the answer is?"

"Oh yeah. I guess Iím having trouble believing that was real and not another dream," Hal admitted with a self-deprecating shrug. "So, uh, you really want me to move in with you?"

Rick smiled and moved enough to trail a finger over Halís dark hair. "If youíd like."

Hal leaned into the touch like a cat. "I... Yeah, Iíd like that." His hands ran up and down Rickís back as he slowly accepted that Rick really did want him and not just for a night. He could touch Rick whenever he wanted. A slow smile spread across his face, making him look years youngeróhis actual age in fact.

"Oh good, then I donít have to feel guilty about breaking your bed, and I get to enjoy you every night." Yelling and pounding on the door caught his attention, and Rick looked down at Hal. "Expecting someone?"

Hal sighed, tensing beneath Rick. "Just some kids from down the hall being kids." He unconsciously touched his fingertips to faint bruises just visible on his upper arms. He tried to ignore the increasing clamor at the door, but it just kept getting louder.

"Címon, pussy boy, come out and take it like a man," a young male voice yelled. "You donít want to make me mad!"

Rick grew still, visibly tensing as he listened to the taunts and insults. "Do they do this often?" he asked, his accent creeping in again.

Hal shrugged, not meeting Rickís eyes, and he winced as the jeers grew more graphic. "Theyíre just kids," he said helplessly.

"Theyíre little shits," Rick stated flatly, kissing Hal again before standing up and walking to the door, not bothering to put on any clothes before he opened it. "Can I help you?" he asked.

Half a dozen boys stood outside the door, laughing and yelling, surrounding their leader, Craig Lewis, the quarterback of the junior high school football team. Already nearly six feet tall at sixteen, beefy, and wearing his blond hair in a crew cut that made him look more imposing, or so he told himself, Craig had hoped that football would be his ticket out of the life heíd been born to. But he already knew that he wasnít good enough, and all he had to look forward to was a life like his old manís, who in an earlier time would have been called poor white trash. Angry at the world, Craig had realized that the smaller Hal was a perfect target for his aggression.

Heíd seen the other guy go into the queerís apartment, but he hadnít been worried by the guy, especially not with his crew with him. But now, seeing the stranger without clothes, he could see the muscles that had been hidden earlier. But he couldnít back down in front of his friends, and besides, there were six of them.

"We donít like queer little faggots doing that dirty shit where we live," he blustered.

"Queer faggots," Rick mused, lounging against the doorframe. "Isnít that redundant?"

"Huh?" Craig stared at him blankly, but one of the boys at the back hastily hid a grin as he backed away. "Look, you homo, we donít want your kind here."

Inside, Hal winced and considered pulling a pillow over his head. "Donít kill them!" he called, not wanting to imagine what might happen if the teenagers annoyed Rick enough.

"Why?" Rick asked innocently. "Afraid youíll want to take a walk on the wild side, or afraid you wonít measure up?"

It took a moment for Craig to decipher the insult, but when he did, he let out a roar of rage and charged the naked queer.

Neatly side-stepping the lunge, Rick caught the teenís arm and twisted it behind his back, pushing him out into his hall toward his friend. "Tell you what, kid, Iíll give you a minuteís head start before I bust your ass."

Dismayed by how easily the other guy had taken him, Craig thought about taking the out he was offered, but he couldnít back down in front of his friends or the little queer whoíd finally appearedówearing jeans, thank Godóbehind the stranger. He growled and took a swing.

"Your choice," Rick murmured, his expression hardening as he caught the boyís arm and twisted it until a sharp crack sounded in the hallway. Shoving the boy toward his friends, he momentarily let go of his innocuous human visage to show the others just what they faced.

"Owww! He broke my arm!" Craig wailed, his back turned so he didnít see the dangerous look on his opponentís face. The other boys did, however, and they all backed away, not wanting to tangle with the hard-looking man.

"Címon, man, we better get you down to emergency," one of them urged, drawing Craig away without taking his eyes from the man in the doorway.

"A very good idea," Rick purred, stepping out into the hallway to watch them go.

Hal followed him, a restraining hand on Rickís arm as they watched the boys retreat. "Let it go," he murmured. "Theyíre just kids."

"And now maybe theyíll be less assholes," Rick growled.

Hal stared at him, his eyes widening as he realized, "Youíre mad Ďcause they said that stuff about me?"

Rick blinked and calmed himself, making sure the punks were gone before closing the door. "Of course."

Hal kept staring at him. "Because of me?" he repeated, stunned.

"Why else?"

"I thought you were mad Ďcause they insulted you," Hal replied, still shocked. Not long before heíd left home, a group of bullies had called him names and beaten him up for a being a Ďqueerí, and when heíd finally made it home, crying and bleeding, his parents had beaten him for being sinful. Heíd run away as soon as he healed.

"Me?" Rick snorted a laugh. "After five hundred years of having Ned do that, nothing bothers me; youíre the one who needs protection, little boy."

"Wow," Hal breathed, looking more than a little besotted. "No oneís ever cared before."

"Then theyíre all idiots," Rick murmured.

"I think the majority rules, but if youíre an idiot, I like it."

"How can I be an idiot when I care?"

"A lot of people would say you were an idiot for caring." Hal slid his arms around Rick and hugged him tightly, pressing his cheek to Rickís shoulder.

"Then a lot of people are idiots," Rick murmured, wrapping his arms around Hal as well.

Hal sighed with happiness. "Iím glad I met you," he whispered.

Rick was silent a moment, then spoke. "What about Ethan and Bryce?"

Stilling, Hal remained silent for a moment before sighing. "I guess that was just a crush Ďcause this is different."

"Really? How so?"

Hal kept his face hidden against Rickís chest. "I thought I would die if I didnít see them, but you... it hurts when I think about not seeing you again. It makes me smile when I think about you. And well, they were hot, but so are you, and I really like you." He could feel his cheeks heating.

Rick smiled and stroked Halís back. "And that is why I want you to stay with me. I feel the same, you know. Kitten was laughing her head off at me earlier."

Chuckling, Hal finally raised his head. "Thatís Ďcause sheís a total bitch when she wants to be... but nicer than Casey. She scares me!"

Rick chuckled. "Caseyís a tiger, I give you that, but Iíll protect you from her."

"I think I want a whip and a chair," Hal muttered.

"Well, if it helps, she wonít be snacking on you any longer."

Hal blinked. "Uh, you mean you donít want me to, uh, help anyone else?" he asked tentatively.

"Do you want to?"

"Well, I donít mind," Hal shrugged. "Just the blood, not sex, not anymore, though."

Rick tilted his head to the side. "I was under the impression that the sex hadnít entered into it before."

"Well, Kitten kept trying, and we did some petting, but girls just arenít my thing," Hal said, his nose wrinkling.

"Guess I should be glad none of the boys took after you."

"I keep telling you that no one was interested. And besides, theyíre all pretty newly mated. Itís a wonder they look away from each other long enough not to walk into walls!"

Rick roared with laughter and kissed Hal thoroughly. "That explains exactly why none of them were interested; theyíre fixated on their own lovers."

"Uh huh. I guess weíre even Ďcause I think youíre nuts too. And since you never got dressed, could we do that again?" Hal pressed closer, letting Rick feel his stirring cock inside his jeans.

"Mmm, how about we go to my place where thereís a bed for you to fall asleep in and hot water as well."

"An actual bed?" Hal breathed rhapsodically, imagining waking up the next morning without his back being in agony. "Iíll just grab what I need for tonight. I can come back tomorrow for the rest."

"Or we can go shopping and buy you what you need if you just take the things you want."

"Oh. Do you have a lot of money?" Hal asked naively, never having given it a thought.

"A bit. Hope you donít mind motorcycles because thatís what I brought over here. Hrmmm, thinking of that, maybe weíd better come back for the things you want tomorrow."

Picturing the two of them loaded down like pack mules on a motorcycle, Hal giggled. "Can I at least bring a change of underwear?"

Rick grinned. "If you want, though I like the idea of you being commando, ready for me to rip your clothes off and have you."

Hal whimpered. "Iím ready to go now," he choked out, his cock straining at the fly of his jeans.

"Sure you donít want me to take care of that first?"

"God yes!"

Rick grinned and dropped to his knees in front of Hal, opening his jeans and inhaling his cock.

Hal yelped and grabbed at Rickís shoulders for support, his eyes rolling back in his head at the sudden pleasure. "Oh fuck," he moaned, hips rocking slightly.

Rick hummed around Halís cock in answer, teasing the flared head with his tongue.

Gasping, Hal thrust a little harder and, when Rick didnít show any discomfort, continued, letting himself fuck Rickís mouth.

Rick continued humming, his hands closing around Halís ass, urging him to continue.

"Oh God oh fuck yeah." Hal thrust rapidly now, his hands clenched in Rickís hair. It was so good, and he cried out sharply as the pleasure rose.

Clenching his fingers on Halís ass, Rick swallowed at the next thrust.

Hal froze, buried balls deep in Rickís mouth, and he shrieked as he came.

Swallowing down the offering, Rick continued suckling at Halís cock until the boy squirmed, then he pulled back. "Better now?"

"Ungh." Hal managed a dopey smile as he sank to the ground.

Drawing Hal into his arms, Rick grinned. "Remind me to play knight errant with you more often."

"Mmm." Hal curled up and cuddled closer, loving the feeling of Rickís arms around him.

"Guess we arenít moving for a while, eh?"

"You have no clothes on, and you left me boneless."

"Mmm, sexy and smart too; Iíve picked a winner."

Hal chuckled sleepily. "See, I knew you were nuts. Guess that means we deserve each other."

"Which is what Iíve been trying to tell you," Rick murmured, shifting to get Hal more comfortable against him. "Take a nap, and weíll head to my place when youíre ready."

A soft snore was Halís only answer.

Waking some time later, Halís eyes flew open when he felt arms restraining him, but his eyes met Rickís, and he instantly relaxed, smiling. "It wasnít a dream."

"Or a nightmare," Rick answered, grinning as he leaned in to kiss Halís nose.

Hal slid his arms around Rickís neck and held him still as he claimed a real kiss. "Nothing like a nightmare," he said when he finally drew back to breathe.

"Very glad to hear that," Rick smiled. "So, letís get you dressed, and grab your stuff, and we can get out of here."

"Itís still not going to fit on your bike," Hal pointed out. "Thereís just some papers I need. Otherwise..." He shrugged.

"And next time we can being the jeep or rent a truck if we need to," Rick finished.

"I donít really have much thatís worth keeping. Itís mostly all second-hand junk. But we can come back and go through it another time to see if thereís anything worth donating to charity."

"If thatís what youíd like," Rick said easily. "Now letís get up and get some clothes on so we can blow this popsicle stand; we can shower at my place if you want."

Nodding, Hal stood up and fastened his jeans. "Just need to find a top," he mumbled, rooting through the pile in a battered old steamer trunk heíd been using as both a coffee table and dresser.

Eyeing the large flannel shirt Hal pulled on, Rick shook his head. "First thing on the agenda is to take you clothes shopping," he stated as he pulled on his own garments. "You need things that fit."

"My clothes fit," Hal retorted, half pouting. "Itís not like I have anything to flaunt," he added, eyes greedily watching Rick dress.

"Are you saying I have bad taste in men?" Rick growled, pulling Hal in for a kiss.

Deciding that kissing was much more interesting than talking, Hal totally ignored the question in favor of opening his mouth and sucking on Rickís tongue.

"Mmm, no distracting me until we get home."

"You mean I canít ride you while youíre riding the bike?"

Rick chuckled. "Little boy, if I knew you wouldnít burst a blood vessel blushing, Iíd do just that."

Hal started blushing just talking about it. "Would be worth it," he muttered, hardly able to believe he was saying these things.

"How about once Iíve fed you up some so you wonít faint?"

"I could eat," Hal admitted, the growling from his stomach underlining the comment a moment later, making him flush again.

"So could I," Rick grinned. "Burgers work, or you want something fancier?"

"Sure, a burgerís fine," Hal said, thinking of all the times that a plain McDonaldís hamburger had been a luxury for him. "I like burgers," he added, his stomach growling again.

"And I donít mean fast food burgers if youíre wondering; thereís a great place down the block from my place, and if youíre good, Iíll get you a root beer float for dessert."

"What do I get if Iím bad?" Hal dared to tease, rubbing against Rick again.

Rick opened the door and walked Hal out into the hall. "You get to lick the float off me."

Hal swallowed hard. "Then Iíd better start being bad."

"Do you even know how?"

"I hope weíll both have fun finding out."

"I know we will."

Grinning, Hal stopped and turned into Rickís arms, raising his face to kiss the vampire. "Guess I get to see what I can manage sitting behind you on the bike."

Rick chuckled. "Just remember you donít bounce, little boy, and I want to get you to lunch and back to my place in one piece."

"I wouldnít miss it for the world. But I trust you," Hal replied simply before stepping to the side and starting to walk again, unable to keep the smile from his face as they walked side-by-side, arms around one anotherís waists.

Rick paused and smiled down at Hal, pleased by the remark, but didnít say anything.

"Youíve got ketchup on your cheek." Rick watched, amused, as Hal tried to find the spot, then simply leaned over and licked the condiment away.

Hal shivered, unconsciously leaning toward Rick. "Iím starting to like ketchup more and more," he said in a somewhat breathless voice.

"Iím liking ketchup flavored with Hal James," Rick murmured into Halís ear.

"I think we needed to stop for a bottle," Hal replied, licking his lips and leaning even closer.

Rick made a face. "Baby, I like ketchup, and I more than like you, but I am not licking an entire bottle of ketchup off you!"

Laughing, Hal had to agree that it sounded horrible. "How about just licking me then?" he suggested, still somewhat shy but slowly coming to accept that Rick wanted him to make suggestions and speak up for himself.

"Here at the kitchen table or in my bed?"

"Why not both?" Hal eyed the table eagerly before taking another bite of his burger, not wanting to waste a single bite of what was definitely the best cheeseburger heíd ever tasted in his life.

"Why not indeed," Rick grinned. "But finish eating first."

"Was planning on it. You get even better with anticipation, but the burger would just get cold," Hal replied practically. "Besides, I donít want to have to stop to eat." He smiled shyly, peering up at Rick through his bangs.

"Smart boy." Rick leaned over and brushed Halís dark hair out of his eyes and kissed his nose. "Now eat up, then you can have dessert."

"Mmm, youíre tempting me to rush, no matter how good this is." Hal ate more of his burger while looking at Rick, just enjoying being able to admire him and knowing that he could touch whenever he wanted to.

"No choking," Rick admonished. "I donít want to spend tonight sitting with you in the emergency room."

"How Ďbout just giving me mouth to mouth?" Hal suggested after swallowing the last bite and wiping his mouth clean.

"If youíre choking?" Rick asked, amused. "I think Iíd rather do that if youíre well and whole."

"Iím well and whole and finished eating right now," Hal pointed out.

"Hrmm, guess itís time for dessert then." Rick leaned over and licked Halís chin.

Shivering, Hal placed his hands on Rickís shoulders. "I always did like dessert best."

"Guess Iíll have to make sure you have it often." Rick stood and pulled Hal to his feet, leading him toward the bedroom.

"Oh, I think Iím going to like living here." Hal followed eagerly, wishing he could see the look on his parentsí face if he could tell them that he was living with a male vampire. He snickered.

"What was that for?" Rick asked, sliding his hands under Halís shirt and over his ribs.

Hal explained what heíd been thinking. "Iím not sure which would freak them out more: that youíre a vampire or that youíre male." He shivered slightly as Rickís hands moved over his bare skin, and his parents faded from his mind under his bodyís urging.

"I can go talk to them if youíd like," Rick murmured, easing Hal back onto the bed, a dangerous glint in his eyes before he pulled open the young manís shirt and licked his chest.

"I donít think I want to be limited to conjugal visits only, so no." Hal hugged him. "But thank you."

Rick gave a dangerous smile. "Thereís not a prison that could hold me any longer."

Suddenly remembering Rickís history, Hal gasped, and his eyes widened. "Oh! Sorry, I didnít think. No, Iím sure not, but Iíd still rather have you right here. Theyíre not worth wasting even a minute on."

"If you say so, baby," Rick answered easily, though he thought that he would be paying a visit to Halís parentsóand soonóor perhaps their whole credit history would just vanish overnight.

Hal eyed him, thinking that Rick had given in awfully easily, but finally he smiled and shrugged slightly. He was confident that whatever Rick chose to doóif anythingóhe would keep himself covered. "Iím glad I met you," he said suddenly.

"Iíll remind you of that next time you get pissed at me," Rick smiled.

"And do you really think thatís going to happen often?" Hal scoffed. "More like the other way around."

"And why do you think that would be the case?"

Hal shrugged. "It always seems to work out that way. I canít seem to do things right for very long."

Rick tilted his head to the side and studied Hal. "You really believe that. Well, Iím just going to have to give you lots of positive reinforcement to break you of that habit." He leaned in and kissed Hal again. "Starting now."

Hal squirmed closer, one of his legs winding around Rickís waist to allow him to rock against the growing hardness, and he moaned, his cock stiffening in his jeans. He intended to enjoy every moment he had with Rick and not waste time thinking about the past. He moaned happily as he reached for Rickís mouth again, hungry for him.

"Mmm, want to get you naked," Rick growled. Nuzzling and nipping at the boyís neck, Rick spread him out on the black and gray comforter, teasing Hal with tiny bites as he stripped him of his clothes.

Moaning and gasping with pleasure, Hal writhed beneath him, each nip increasing his arousal and making him want more. The blood rose to the surface of his skin, pulsing through him just as the heat did, and even his human senses would smell the sex in the air.

"Gorgeous," Rick growled, biting a little harder, then licking the blood away and sealing the wounds once he had Hal naked. "I could eat you up, little boy."

"Do you hear me saying no?" Hal retorted, trying to press closer.

"Mmm, no, I donít, thatís one of the reasons I like you so much." Rick worked his way down Halís body, biting and licking until he was poised between the young manís thighs. "Donít forget to breathe," he murmured, before darting in and biting down on the femoral artery running along under the pale skin before him.

Hal breathed. At least the scream that ripped from him was an exhalation, so it was half a breath. His back arched, his legs spread as far apart as humanly possible, and his cock jerked against his belly, dripping precome.

After taking a couple of swallows of the delicious fluid, Rick pulled back and grinned evilly. "Scream all you want to, Hal; itís sound-proofed." After he said this, he gently pulled Halís balls away from his body, met the boyís eyes, and bit through the thin skin at their base.

This time Halís scream echoed in the room, and he nearly rose off the mattress, twisting and writhing as pleasure beyond anything heíd ever felt before tore through him. "Rick!" he wailed, thighs clamping around Rickís head.

"Ow, ears," Rick muttered against Halís balls, gently easing his legs open again and tickling the sac against his mouth with his tongue.

Hal could only whimper, his fingers clutching Rickís hair though he tried not to yank.

Sucking a finger into his mouth alongside Halís balls, Rick wet it then pressed it against Halís ass, pushing it inside as he pulled his fangs from the tender skin, closing the wounds. He nosed lower, licking at the tightly stretched skin around his finger, his other hand on Halís stomach, holding him still.

Halís eyes flew open at the pleasure of what Rick was doing, and he stared down at the blond head between his legs, nearly sobbing with every breath. "Oh God," he whimpered, trying to squirm but held in place by the vampireís strength, pinned like a butterfly... and even more aroused by the fact.

Rick added a second finger, rubbing them both over Halís prostate before suddenly pulling them back and thrusting his tongue inside, fucking Hal with it.

Wailing again, Hal thrashed against Rickís grip, sure the pleasure was going to cause his heart to burst. "God, please, fuck," he babbled, not sure if he was trying to get away or get more.

Pulling back, Rick grinned down at the desperate boy, then surged up his body, kissing him as he pushed his cock inside. "Always glad to," he rasped, slamming in and out of Hal and rubbing his cock between them.

"Yes!" Hal cried, immediately arching up to take Rick even deeper, reveling in the sensations coursing through him. "More," he begged, "harder!"

"God, youíre amazing, little boy," Rick purred, sliding his hands under Halís ass and pulling him closer, each thrust sending him into the body beneath him as deeply as possible.

"You... bring it out... in me," Hal gasped, managing to hook his knees over Rickís shoulders to let Rick go as deep as possible.

"Iíd rather bring it into you," Rick chuckled wickedly, bending Hal almost double as he leaned in to bite his neck.

Rickís fangs sinking into him in addition to the deep thrusts was too much for Hal, and he screamed his release as his body spasmed, spurting his seed over both of them.

Rick smiled against Halís throat, drinking another mouthful as he continued to piston in and out of him, then the tight grip of Halís ass became too much, and he came as well, pulling back and closing the holes on Halís throat before resting his head against his shoulder.

Completely limp and sated, Hal sprawled under Rick, his legs falling back to the bed with Rickís help. "That was unbelievable," he panted, still clutching Rickís hair as if to keep him close.

"And you thought I wasnít interested in you," Rick murmured, raising his head and smiling down at Hal.

"I might have been mistaken," Hal replied, grinning, his big, dark eyes shining happily.


"Not enough empirical evidence to base a theory on," Hal replied, his grin widening. "But itís looking promising."

Rick rolled his eyes. "Pardon me, but Iím the private investigator here."

"Just trying to be logical." Hal loosed his grip on Rickís hair finally only to link his arms around Rickís neck. "Besides, what you do interests me." Ever since meeting Rick, heíd been reading up on investigating, not that he had any intention of admitting that to the blond.

"Saying you want to go into business with me?" Rick asked, amused.

It was Halís turn to roll his eyes. "As if," he snorted. "I couldnít do that. But I do like to know what you do," he admitted shyly.

Rick smiled and gave Hal a light kiss. "Well, Iíd be glad to show you; most of it involves keeping our identities safe."

"Is there anything I can do to help?" Hal offered, Rickís safety suddenly very dear to him.

"Sit under my desk and give me blow jobs?"

Hal giggled, not bothered that Rick hadnít taken his offer seriously since he really didnít see how he could be of any help to the vampire. "Will I get a pillow to kneel on?"

"Of course, I donít want your gorgeous ass getting soreóunless Iím the one making it that way," Rick chuckled.

"I was a little more worried about my knees. I think I like my ass sore," Hal retorted, flushing but still smiling.

Rick snickered and kissed him again. "And when I canít get it up anymore, you can help me make babies."

Hal blinked, thinking about that, a tiny wrinkle forming between his eyebrows as he tried to figure it out. "Huh?" he said finally.

"Its amazing what you can do with computers nowadays," Rick laughed. "Every couple of decades, I insert some new babies in state databases and get them Social Security numbers so that when one of us needs a new identityópoof!"

"Oh! Thatís really smart." Hal thought about it, squirming a little to get more comfortable. "So you change your names and your whole life every couple of decades?" He tried to imagine that and thought it must be very lonely. No wonder vampires usually associated with each other. They were the only ones who didnít get left behind.

"Yes, it gives us lots of chances to try new things, and speaking of that, what is it you want to do with your life, little boy?"

Hal shrugged. "I never really thought about it. Iíve been too busy keeping myself alive. Iíd really like to be able to study more, learn about so many different things. Iíd like to sing too, play music, but more for myself than to be famous. I donít think Iíd like that."

Rick nodded. "Well, when you decide, let me know, and Iíll do what I can to help. Iíve got too much money as it is; might as well spend some."

"On me?" Hal squeaked, his eyes widening.

"Yes, on you," Rick answered, deciding sarcasm wouldnít help at this point.

"B-b-but why?" Hal was so shocked he was stuttering, his eyes seeming to have taken over his face as he stared at Rick.

"Because I like keeping my lovers happy."

Somehow Halís eyes widened even more. "Your lover?" Heíd finally accepted that Rick wanted him in his bed, but lovers, that was so much more.

Rickís eyes widened, and he looked down at Hal, perplexed. "I asked you to live here with me, and I was just in your ass; what do you think we are?"

"I... donít know. I just thought, well, that you just wanted to fuck me." Hal shrugged slightly, not having a problem with that. In fact it was more than heíd ever dreamed of.

"If I just wanted to fuck you, I could have done that at your place on your couch," Rick reminded him. "I want to keep you."

"Well, thatís more convenient," Hal pointed out logically. "I never thought..." He searched Rickís eyes, a smile slowly spreading across his face. "You really want me."

"Yes, Sally Field, I really, really want you."

"Whoís Sally Field?" Hal asked, distracted.

Rick burst into laughter and rolled off of Hal onto his back. "Oh, little boy, youíre priceless."

Making a mental note to look the name up on the internet, Hal put the matter aside and followed Rickís roll, settling on top of him with a contented sigh. "Good thing youíre rich then," he dared to tease.

"Damn right," Rick grinned evilly. "It makes it easy to keep a cute little boy-toy like you happy."

"You donít need the money to do that," Hal replied, suddenly serious, his brown eyes fixed on Rickís blue solemnly.

Rickís smile gentled, and he shook his head. "And you wonder why I want you here..."

"I do, but Iím not going to question it because I want to stay." Hal kissed Rick lightly, cuddling close.

"Smart boy," Rick murmured, running his hands up and down Halís back. "Now take a nap so we can do this again."

"Bossy," Hal grumbled even as his eyes shut obediently.

"Good boy," Rick chuckled, relaxing as well.

"Woof." Hal turned his head enough to bite Rickís shoulder, immediately following it with a kiss and sleepy nuzzle.





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