Devil Cares: Chapter Twenty-Four

July 9, 2008 at 9:40 pm (Devil Cares) ()

Sorry it’s late, physical labor kidnapped me. I had to move boxes from our shed out to a storage unit. What a drag.

The orange light of evening filtered into Kimber’s bedroom through his half-open window, a slight breeze coming with it. The light bulbs in his ceiling fixture were partially burned out, so the light they gave off was more marigold than yellow. Softly flickering candles added to the Tuscan coloring. They were stacked along his dresser, in the open spaces of his bookshelf, and on the bedside table next to him where his lamp sat. Shadows swayed back and forth on the walls, products of the candles’ pale golden light.
Everything was relaxed and serene. Kimber was fairly certain he’d never been this comfortable in his own house before.
He was lying flat on his back, looking up at the ceiling. The heat of another person’s body simmered next to him, and he slowly turned his head to the side to see.
Inexplicably, Marc Jones, of all people, was lying on his side next to Kimber. One propped arm supported his weight. He looked down at Kimber with a gentle smile.
“Hey, there.” His voice wasn’t as deep as Barrett’s but it was a bit more…rumbling. “You dozed off for a second.”
“Did I?” A faint flush stained Kimber’s cheeks. “Sorry. Not a very thrilling host, am I?”
Light shone from Marc’s verdant eyes, not literally, but no one had ever looked at Kimber like that before. Slowly, Marc raised his hand to stroke gently over Kimber’s hair.
“I can’t really complain,” he said.
Kimber’s flush was no longer faint. He looked away embarrassed. Fingers curled around his chin, pulling his face back in Marc’s direction. The heat that had only seconds before been on his face curled snuggly into his belly.
“You boys need anything?” the sound of Cheyenne Mossberg’s sweet voice floated through the door.
Startled, Kimber jerked his head of Marc’s grip. “N-no, Mom, we’re fine.”
Maybe he was hearing things, but he would have sworn he heard a soft chuckle from the other side of the door. “All right boys, I’ll leave you to it then.”
Kimber frowned. “Leave us to what?”
Marc’s voice ghosted over his ear. “Don’t you know?”
The resulting shiver slid down every inch of his spine. Deer-in-headlights was the only way to describe Kimber’s wide gray eyes when he looked up at Marc.
Somewhere in the back of his head, a very indignant voice was demanding to know what the hell he thought he was doing. Even in his youth he’d never been wide-eyed and tremulous, but then Marc slid his hand down from Kimber’s hairline to his cheek. The strum of thumb over cheekbone drowned out everything else.
“Marc, we—” Whatever Kimber had been going to say evaporated when he saw the slow grin spread across Marc’s lips.
He bent down closer to Kimber, his hand slipping from his face to the opening of his shirt. Marc’s thumb made slow circles in the cleft of Kimber’s collarbone.
“Do you…” Marc started, then looked away almost shyly. It took a few moments for him to find Kimber’s eyes again. “Do you like me, Kimber?”
“Yeah, sure,” Kimber replied.
Marc smiled. “No. I mean, do you find me attractive?”
For a brief second, images of scantily clad, muscled men swam in front of Kimber’s eyes, but they vanished before he could get a grip on them. He reached up slowly to brush a lock of Marc’s oaken hair from his face.
“You are my type,” he murmured.
“That isn’t quite the answer to the question I asked.” There was laughter in Marc’s voice.
Kimber squirmed, avoiding the other’s gaze.
“Look at me, Kimber.” Marc’s plea was soft. “Please.”
Almost of their own volition, his gray eyes climbed to Marc’s brilliant green pair.
“Do you find me attractive, Kimber Mossberg?”
“Yes,” replied Kimber, honestly. It was the only thing he could have said.
The smile that crossed Marc’s face was the most radiant thing Kimber had ever seen, it literally took his breath away.
Marc’s mouth was open slightly as he bent those last few inches toward Kimber, his intent very clear.
“Wait.” Kimber flinched backwards. There was nowhere to go, really, but Marc backed off a little bit.
Genuine distress was on Marc’s face. “What’s wrong?”
“You, I mean, we…” Kimber couldn’t recall a time in his life when he’d ever been this inarticulate.
Finally he settled on, “Here?”
Laughing a bit, Marc answered, “Here.”
Here? In my parents’ house? Kimber thought. The idea had a wrongness he couldn’t even put to words. Again he heard the voice in the back of his head but he didn’t listen as Marc was bending closer once again.
“Marc, I…I can’t.” Not when his parents could walk into the room at any moment.
“Why not?” The hand not on Kimber’s chest Marc placed on the other side of his body. “It’s your house, too, after all.”
“I just, I can’t,” Kimber reached up to push Marc off of him, but once his hand was against the other’s chest he was distracted by the heat he found there.
“Of course you can.” Marc’s voice was smooth and soothing. “It’s not like you ever had the chance before, why not make up for lost time?”
There was a reason, a very good reason, but Kimber just couldn’t voice it. He was captivated by the promise he saw in Marc’s vivid eyes.
“You had to be careful before.” Marc’s voice sent shivers up his spine, tickled along his flesh. “And you were careful, so careful. Always pretending.”
Their faces were only inches apart now, separated only by the breath it took Marc to form his words. “Then one day, you stopped pretending. The thin veneer you’d been operating under become thick. Became real. Ice princess, they called you. At once awed and derisive of the hardened will around you.”
“You say they as if you weren’t one of them,” Kimber’s voice was a whisper, though he couldn’t have said why.
“I was wrong,” Marc said simply, “too busy crafting a charade of my own.”
Something was so off about this entire situation. The voice in Kimber’s head was finally getting through.
“You don’t talk like this,” Kimber protested.
Marc gave a short laugh. “Kimber, when have you ever paid me enough notice to know how I talk?”
There was nothing he could say to that.
“It’s all right, Kimber, I understand,” Marc went on. “You were the way you were because you couldn’t have survived any other way. You became what you needed to become to live, you shut yourself down inside, and who could blame you? It was so much easier not to care.”
There was no way Marc could know what he was talking about, no way he could know any of this. Kimber’s body began to tremble.
The hand on the other side of Kimber moved over to stroke his arm soothingly. “It’s okay, I know. You’ve denied yourself your whole life.”
Marc’s look set the heat in Kimber’s belly boiling again. “But now it’s okay. You don’t have to pretend anymore.”
For a moment Kimber thought Marc would finally do it as he leaned in toward him, but instead his breath was hot against his ear. “You don’t have to pretend with me.”
Rearing back a bit, Marc looked Kimber in the face once again. “It’s time to drop the walls, Kimber, time to cut loose. You’ve never been able to before, but it’s time now. The time for hiding is finally over. It’s time to be free.”
Breath catching in his throat, Kimber felt Marc’s hands snaking underneath him. The world tilted, and suddenly their bodies were pressed close together, their positions reversed. Kimber was staring down into Marc’s face.
“Do you want to kiss me, Kimber?” His voice was a whisper.
“Yes,” Kimber breathed.
Marc’s voice was almost inaudible. “Then do.”
There was a reason he shouldn’t, a good reason, but all Kimber could see was pools of burning green.
Kimber bent down, his eyes fluttering closed on the way, and pressed his lips to Marc’s. They were soft and warm. It was the heat that surprised him, not just the heat of the body, but a warmth that seemed to head straight to that fire in his gut and spread it through his body. Kissing Marc was completely different from kissing…
And that’s when the world came rushing back.
Eyes flying open, Kimber stared down at Marc in horror. Cold splashed down over him in waves, ice replacing the heat in his belly.
“Oh, god,” Kimber whispered, “Oh, god, oh god!”
Bolting upright, he tried to backpedal away the man beneath him, falling off the bed in the process.
“God, Kimber, are you okay?” Marc came around to where Kimber had fallen, his hand outstretched.
Shooting to his feet, Kimber shouted, “Get away from me!”
“Kimber, what’s wrong—”
“Get away from me!”
Hysteria shot his voice into registers he hadn’t known it could reach, panic made it break as it hit the top. His face had scrunched up reflexively, his eyes clenched tight.
When Kimber opened them, there was nothing but a twinkling field of stars all around him. He sagged, collapsing back to his knees.
His beloved’s face was in his mind, but Marc’s taste was on his lips. A layer of liquid formed over gray eyes.



  1. jekloneo said,

    What the heck is the succubus thinking? (It is the succubus, isn’t it?)

  2. Zappaz said,

    *whistles* Intense.

  3. Yahrlan said,

    Oh my.
    Well, at least Kim didn’t have to beat someone to death with a hammer to ‘escape’ though I don’t think that it’s anywhere near over yet.

    Devil Cares Playlist

  4. Seth Gray said,

    Beating his father to death with a hammer would not have made Kimber bat an eye, hon. His chapter would have been over in like a paragraph.

  5. Yahrlan said,

    Haha. Notice I didn’t specify that he had to beat his father, just someone.
    I have actually noticed the multiple hints that Kim and his dad didn’t exactly see eye-to-eye.

  6. Seth Gray said,

    Oh, as for jekloneo’s question, it is the succubus that’s responsible for what’s happening, but she’s not actually breaking the bargain she made with Kimber.

  7. jekloneo said,

    As expected, I suppose. Dealing with succubae and the like would be tricky.
    What am I saying? Even dealing with normal humans may sometimes be tricky.

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