Chapter One: “Naked Vision”
“Hey.” Van wove his fingers through Benjamin’s and guided the car with his other hand. “This will be good for us, babe.” He squeezed Benji’s hand and smiled. The young man smiled back, albeit strained.
Sunlight cut through the bows of the evergreens lining both sides of the paved country road and striped the windshield. Van squinted ahead then cast another glance at Benjamin, who at the moment gazed distantly out the side window, a faint crimp to that perfect brow on which Van had showered a multitude of kisses.
“You need to get away. Relax,” Van went on softly. “We both do. I know you love your parents, but the stress they put on you isn’t healthy.” He drew Benji’s hand to his lips. “You’re an adult, Benjamin. They can’t tell you how to live your life…or who to live it with. This caretaker job is a godsend.” He cocked his head and flashed a flirty smile. “Big ole chalet…just the two of us. We can christen every room.”
Benjamin turned away from the window and looked at him, the corners of his mouth turning up a little. “You make it sound so…respectable.” There was a slight shyness to Benji’s tone and his gaze evaded Van’s stare. The guy looked particularly adorable today in his black fedora and ‘sexy’ sunglasses, as Benji liked to refer to them.
Van chuckled. “And you don’t think it will be?”
Though he couldn’t see behind the sunglasses, Van sensed the boy rolling his eyes. “No.” His lips pursed in a smile and he looked out the window again.
“Would it have been more ‘me’ if I’d said I want to fuck you in every room?”
“Definitely more you,” Benji nodded.
“Maybe I was trying to be romantic,” Van grinned. “I can be romantic. I swept you off your feet the night I met you.”
Benji sighed and cast him a wry look. “Knocked me off feet, you mean.”
Van laughed and shrugged. “I didn’t hear you complaining.” Van had kind of knocked him off his feet their first time –but there was a certain romance in that…wasn’t there?
“No you didn’t,” Benji murmured with a tight, amused smile. Benjamin could play the shy, sweet boy-next-door rather convincingly, but Van was privy to the guy’s dirty little secret –He loved sex, and was ready anytime, anywhere.
The country road took them out of the thick trees and into more spacious surroundings, fields stretching away in both directions, the open sky a soft pale blue. They passed through a residential area with an expansive cemetery centered amidst the homes.
Benji frowned. “Why would they put all these houses around a cemetery?” He glanced at the headstones. “Fucking creepy.”
Clearly, Halloween wasn’t Benjamin’s favorite holiday. Where others –Van included –enjoyed the scares and creepiness…Benji did not. He had once admitted that, even as a child, he wasn’t fond of trick-or-treat, and all the other kids dressed up as ghosts and ghouls and witches had actually been known to give him nightmares. Something he had yet to admit to anyone but Van. Perhaps having a boyfriend who thrilled to the creepy affair would be therapeutic for Benji, for –as Van quickly learned –the boy had a hell of a time denying Van whatever he wanted.
His lips quirking, Van asked with a teasing smile, “Have you ever wanted to do it in a cemetery?”
A low groan stuck in Benjamin’s throat. “Yeah,” he mumbled dryly. “That’s my fantasy.” He looked at Van, slid his sunglasses down the bridge of his nose and narrowed his eyes –insanely sexy. “Do not even.”
“What?” Van smirked innocently. Well, his attempts at innocence usually failed. Benji could pull it off much better.
This time he got full view of the eye roll as Benji pushed the glasses back into place. “You know what.” He shook his head and murmured, “I ain’t doing you in a freaking graveyard.” He shuddered visibly and Van laughed. Benji shook his head. “You’re kind of twisted, you know that?”
“True,” Van mused. “But you’re dating me –so what does that make you?”
Benji sighed. “In desperate need of therapy?” He looked at Van, his face sober –but only for a moment as a sexy smile slid across his lips. Van’s crotch tightened in an instant. That fucking smile did it to him every time. It was what had reeled him in that first night at the club. Benji front and center, watching him up on stage, driving the crowd crazy…that damn tantalizing smile glued to his lips as his intense eyes followed Van’s every move. Once caught in those dark depths, everyone else had faded away and Van was dancing only for the sexy little dark-haired, dark-eyed boy who consumed him with a mere look. And after the dance…
“Nah,” Van stifled the groan pushing up his throat at the memory of that night. “I like you crazy.” He slid one hand along Benji’s left thigh, so firm and supple. The sudden irresistible urge to fuck the guy right now made his head swim and eyes blur a little from pure sexual need.
“Eyes on the road, loverboy,” Benji murmured.
Van glanced up in time notice the car drifting into the opposite lane. He brought it back onto the proper side and shifted in his seat, clearing his throat. “Come on,” he said quietly, a pleading note to his voice.
“Come on what?” Benji asked.
This time the groan worked its way out and Van squeezed Benji’s leg, letting his fingers slip into his crotch. “You have to ask?”
Benji laughed softly. “I didn’t mean it like that.”
A low chuckle rumbled in Van’s chest. “Come on…” he looked at Benji and grinned. “…let’s fuck in the cemetery.”
Benji shot him a pained look. “No,” he whined. “I don’t want to. That’s not a turn on.”
“It kind of is,” Van grinned and wiggled his brows.
“Uh!” Benjamin tugged off his glasses and shook his head. “You are a total freak.”
“You don’t have to call me names,” Van feigned offense, then smiled. “Just admit you’re scared to go into the cemetery.”
“I’m not scared.”
Van nodded. “There’s a turn off up ahead.” He looked at Benji. “Prove it.”
Benji scowled. “I’ll…prove it later.”
“Mm-Hm.” Van smirked and turned onto the gravel drive that wound through the cemetery grounds.
“What’re you doing?” Benji stiffened in his seat, his eyes darting anxiously through the headstones. “I told you, I’m not fucking you in the middle of a bunch of dead people.”
The car shut off and Van relaxed against the seat. “Well, even if you’re scared,” he smiled. “I still want to look around. We’ve been driving for almost three hours. My butt’s dead.” He chuckled. “Guess I came to the right place.”
Benji cast him another eye roll. “You’re really not funny.”
“Then why are you smiling?”
Looking away, Benji laughed softly. “I’m not.”
“Shit,” Van grinned and grabbed the young man’s head, pulling him into a kiss. Benji relented briefly as Van’s hand stole deeper into his crotch –then jerked away and pushed him back.
“Quit,” he chuckled and flattened a palm on Van’s chest, holding him at bay. “I said no.”
“But you didn’t mean it.”
“I meant it,” he insisted. “Now…go and get your expedition over with so we can get moving again.”
Van leaned against his hand and murmured sensually, “Come with me. It’ll be fun…and hot…” He tugged Benji’s firm hand from its locked position on his chest and lifted it to his mouth. He traced the tip of his tongue all across his palm. “…and sexy.” He felt the boy tremble. Benji loved it when he teased him with his with his tongue –and it didn’t matter where.
“Stop it.” The faint rasp in his low voice alerted Van he was gaining ground.
His tongue slithered around Benji’s middle finger then drew it into his mouth. Van sucked slow and strong, pulling the digit to the back of his throat.
“I…I said…stop.” Benji swallowed hard and squirmed. Van was well aware what the squirming indicated.
The teasing and tantalizing was almost as fun as the sex itself. Almost. Van stroked Benji’s finger in and out of his mouth, slowly and smoothly, squeezing with his tongue and sucking harder. The young man was staring at him now –dark eyes burning. But he wasn’t giving in.
Van moaned as he pulled Benji’s finger out through his tight, wet lips, then licked up the underside. “I want to suck more of you.”
Panting softly, Benji whispered unevenly, “When we get to the chalet. We can suck and fuck till we pass out.” He retrieved his hand from Van. “Not a second before.”
Van growled. “I don’t like this side of you.”
“The side that can fucking resist me,” he pouted and shoved open his door. “I thought you found me irresistible?”
Benji leaned over and smiled up at Van as he climbed out. “Sorry to burst your bubble, baby.”
“You’re about to burst something else,” Van mumbled with a smirk. He looked at Benji and teased with a spooky tone, “I’ll be right back.”
“Don’t say that in a fucking graveyard!” Benji hollered after him. “Don’t you watch horror movies?”
The man was incorrigible at best, and at worst…well, incorrigible then as well. Benjamin smiled and rolled down the side window, gazing absently at the headstones spaced out across the wide cemetery lawn. Van had ventured off in the opposite direction, exploring the grounds on the far side of the gravel drive.
Twisting in his seat, Benjamin rested his chin on his arms as his eyes lingered on one headstone after another. Some looked pretty weather beaten and old. He didn’t know how long this cemetery had been here. Did some of these markers date back to the 1800’s? He was grabbed by an uncharacteristic compulsion to go check them out, then threw out the idea before he even shifted from his position. The thought of traipsing over the graves with Van was bad enough, but to do so alone? Not fucking happening.
A slow breath escaped him and his eyes weighed heavy. The long drive was beginning to catch up to him and he looked forward to a nice lengthy nap in a big bed –surely the chalet had a huge bed. Yeah, like Van is gonna let you “nap” when you get to the chalet. He smiled again. Letting Van have his way with him first would simply enhance the nap afterwards.
Then again, maybe he could grab a power nap before Van returned to the car. His eyes drifted close, his smile remaining as the light, warm breeze caressed his face. A faint scent of wildflowers teased his senses, along with a mixed “aroma” of cedar, pine and fir. It had been a long time since he’d traveled this far out into the country and thought he’d been thoroughly citified by now, but there was a certain nostalgia in the smells carried on the breeze.
Eyes opening with effort, Benjamin lifted his chin from his arms. “That was fast,” he mumbled and stifled a yawn, twisting back around. “You were only gone a few minutes…” His voice trailed off. The car remained empty except for himself. He frowned. “Van?” Benjamin leaned over and looked out through the driver door but there was no sign of Van. Trees littered the cemetery on both sides of the drive and Benjamin couldn’t see past them all. He’d heard someone say his name, though, clear as a bell.
You were drifting off and imagined it. Yeah, Benjamin thought and turned back toward the passenger window. That’s all it was–
His mind froze as did his body as his breath went static in his throat and his heart rate began to climb, fast and furious. Just a few hundred feet away –a boy about his same age, nineteen maybe –leaned against a tall headstone, his hands gripping the top edge of the concrete marker, head ducked to the side as he appeared to be staring solemnly at the ground. Benjamin might have taken him for a visitor mourning a loved one –if he hadn’t been bare ass naked.
Benjamin’s breath came quick and uneven, his eyes wide as he stared at the boy who had seemed to appear out of nowhere. Don’t even go there. People do weird shit all the time. A naked kid in a graveyard doesn’t make him a…
Swallowing hard, Benjamin tried to look away but couldn’t. The boy was mesmerizing; lean, firm body, smooth creamy skin, short blond hair that was slightly longer on top, causing his bangs to fall across his brow and into his eyes. Even from this short distance, Benjamin could make out his long lashes as they grazed his cheek. He was afraid to breathe, or move at all –unsure if he was scared of who this boy was…or of him becoming spooked and fleeing. He was so lovely and Benjamin wanted to continue to “look”.
The boy shifted slowly, one knee drawing up just a bit as his slim hips adjusted against the headstone. Benjamin felt a little self-conscious taking notice of the young man’s au natural display, but couldn’t help himself.
When his eyes crawled back up to the boy’s face –he was caught by a pair of stark blue eyes, so large and beautiful and captivating. What little breath that was making it into his lungs, halted as a tremor rushed through him. The boy stared at him…then very slowly pushed away from the headstone.
Benjamin found his breath as his pulse spiked. The boy was coming his way. Now the air was surging in and out of his throat, making him light-headed. Excitement mingled with a gripping fear; who was this boy? Where had he come from? There had been no one here when he and Van had driven up. No one.
His fear began to override his excitement yet he couldn’t move, couldn’t even lift his chin from his arms as the boy came closer and closer, his large, lovely eyes filled with longing and…something else. Benjamin was suddenly consumed with emotions he didn’t understand and felt his eyes begin to sting with tears –and his body sizzle with sexual heat.
The boy moved slowly, the natural sway of his hips so sensual and stimulating…yet his beautiful face radiated innocence. Such a strange –and erotic –mixture. His movements seemed to shift into slow motion as he drew closer and he trapped Benjamin’s stare, refusing to turn it loose. And that look in his eyes…Benjamin saw it now. Sadness.
Benjamin flinched. Van was still gone. Yet he heard it again –crisp and clear in his head. The boy’s gaze seemed to penetrate his soul. It was him…he spoke my name. But his lips hadn’t moved and –how could he even know his name? Benjamin trembled. The boy’s hands began to very slowly caress his body and the look that fell across his face was one of emotional anguish. Agony. The young man began to grow hard with an erection as the pained expression intensified and tears welled up in his large, pretty eyes.
A wet droplet drained down over Benjamin’s arm and realized it had slid off his own cheek. More followed and he didn’t know why he was crying or how to stop it. His heart punched his ribs and ached as if the love of his life had just died. His chest tightened and pinched with the intense emotional pain until he was gasping for breath. Stop…make it stop…it hurts too much. He managed to close his eye –squeeze them shut, willing the boy to go away…and take the pain with him.
I can’t breathe! Oh God…I’m dying…I can’t…breathe…
Benjamin shuddered as panic began to coil inside him as he sucked for air, his throat closing from fear and pain.
Then it was gone. As suddenly as it had hit him…just gone.
Tremors racked his body and his breath was quick. He slowly opened his eyes –and gasped sharply. The boy’s face was right there, just inches from his own, his lips moving but making no sound. Benjamin whimpered and tried to jerk back but still, he couldn’t move.
The boy touched his face, though he felt nothing but a slight tingling sensation. Then his lips grazed Benjamin’s mouth –and though he didn’t really “feel” that either –his body exploded with sexual want and consuming need. He choked on a soft cry and responded to the kiss, and felt it this time. The slight pressure of the boy’s tender lips, still not quite “there” but more than a moment ago.
Benjamin closed his eyes again, terrified of what was happening –what this even was. His head spun a little and it felt like the world itself was swaying, disrupting his equilibrium though he was sitting down. The boy’s lips withdrew and a shuddered “no” pushed up his throat.
A hand touched his arm and Benjamin shrieked and jumped, his paralysis breaking, smacking against the seat.
“Whoa!” Van laughed and dodged a haphazard, instinctive flail of Benjamin’s hand. “Fuck, babe. It’s just me.”
Benjamin was sucked back against his seat, half pressed against the door, eyes wide as he stared at Van. His chest heaved as his ragged breath rushed into his lungs. His head snapped around and he looked out the window. The boy was gone.
“Are you…all right?” Van asked cautiously, a short laugh escaping. “You look like you saw a fucking ghost.”
“What?” Benjamin looked at him sharply –fearfully.
One eyebrow raising slowly, Van gazed at him and smiled. “Did you?”
Swallowing hard, Benjamin just stared at him, his mind refusing to compute his words. “Huh?”
Van chuckled and closed the driver door. “What is wrong with you?”
“N-Nothing,” Benjamin rasped and glanced out the side window again, uncertainty squeezing his mind. Had the boy really been there at all? He cleared his throat as he felt Van’s eyes on him. “You just…startled me. I must’ve fell asleep.”
Van snorted. “You weren’t asleep. Your eyes were open and you were staring out the window.”
No…he had to have been asleep. That boy wasn’t real.
“What were you thinking about?” Van asked with a twist of a smile. He started the car.
Benjamin’s head still felt funny, his thoughts fragmented. “What?” he frowned.
“I heard you whisper no.”
His eyes shifted to his lap and he was suddenly struck with guilt –the boy had seemed real…and Benjamin had kissed him. Wanted him. Since meeting Van, he hadn’t had those desires for anyone else. No one tempted him or pulled his attention from Van. The guy was “It”. The one. Benjamin was sure of it.
So why did “this” boy get to you so much?
“I told you,” Benjamin mumbled. “I was asleep…I don’t know why I said it.” Now he was lying? Something else he had never done with Van. But how did he explain the boy or the intense, overwhelming emotions and desires he conjured up? It had to have been a dream. Anything else just didn’t make sense. It wasn’t that he thought Van would be mad, but that he would tease him relentlessly and insist he had an erotic encounter with a ghost. Benjamin would never live it down.
Van sighed and cocked his head to the side, smiling. “You weren’t asleep.” His gaze drifted down to Benjamin’s crotch –which, he realized, was throbbing quite forcefully. Van’s smile widened and reached his hand between Benjamin’s legs and squeezed him. “But you were definitely dreaming about something.”
“Quit,” Benjamin whispered and covered Van’s hand to push it away…but instead pressed it more firmly against him, his heart rate spiking again. The emotions the boy sparked in him began to well up again, but this time with a focus. Van. His head sank back against the seat and he slowly closed his eyes as he pushed himself into Van’s palm, a low moan sifting up his throat. Behind his closed lids, he felt the tears start to form, and remained clueless as to why.
Van shifted in his seat, switched hands and stretched one arm across the back of Benjamin’s seat. He leaned over and kissed him as he slowly worked his crotch. Van broke the kiss, his lips brushing Benjamin’s mouth as he murmured, “Does this mean you changed your mind?”
If he opened his eyes, Benjamin knew the pent up tears would flow free and that was just one more thing he didn’t know how to explain. “Just kiss me,” he trembled and touched his free hand to Van’s chest, slowly gripping a fistful of his shirt. Van didn’t hesitate, and delved back into the kiss, deepening it with passion, hunger. His fingers fumbled with snap of Benjamin’s pants as his tongue wrapped Benjamin’s and sucked sensually.
The mysterious, consuming emotions mounted and the pain from before began to seep back in, tightening his chest –an all-consuming sense of loss. He shuddered and squeezed Van’s shirt desperately.
“Benjamin…” Van pulled out of the kiss. “Look at me.”
His eyes opened tentatively, instantly releasing the tears. His vision blurred, distorting Van’s face. He blinked quickly and focused –and saw the boy’s face; large, blue eyes gripping his stare, unbearable anguish emanating forth.
“Uh!” Benjamin gasped on a cry and lunged back, squeezing his eyes shut again. “No! Leave me alone!”
“Benjamin?” Concern strained Van’s voice and he grabbed him. “What’s wrong? It’s just me.”
He was afraid to open his eyes. “No…it isn’t,” he choked. He pulled away and covered his head with his arms. “Just…just please…go away. It hurts too much.” Tears streaked his face.
“Benji…” Van tugged his arms down and pulled him into his arms. “Come on, babe, it’s me. What’s going on?”
Benjamin could smell Van’s cologne, the familiarity of his arms. He opened his eyes uncertainly. Van stared back at him, worry in his eyes. “Can…can we go now?” Benjamin whispered. “This place is…creeping the fuck out of me.”
A deep frown knit Van’s brow. “I’m sorry,” he said quietly. “I wouldn’t have stopped if I’d known it was going to actually frighten you.”
“It’s not your fault,” Benjamin trembled. Van kissed him then withdrew and got the car moving. The tires crunched the gravel as Van turned the car around. Benjamin glanced toward the gravestone where he’d first seen the boy, and tensed when he saw him there again, resting against the headstone and gazing after them, the anguish in his face like a tendril attached to Benjamin’s heart –locked on and causing a painful tug long after the cemetery was behind them and out of sight.