Puppet MastersCousin Shelley
LaCroix stood in the doorway, silent as air, watching.
The two figures buried in the abundant pillows and luxurious bed covers each shifted slightly in sleep, one's movement causing the other's. Then Nicholas' head lifted, candlelight glinting off his eyes. LaCroix glared back at him before he turned and walked slowly to his room. He smiled come, Nicholas? knowing what was taking place in the room he just left without needing to see it.
Nicholas would lower his head, close his eyes, perhaps even tell himself that he's not getting up this time. He would pull Janette closer to him, run his fingers through her hair, lick her throat and moan at the lingering taste of blood. Some nights LaCroix didn't have to wait long. Sometimes his son would come quickly enough that he was only a step behind LaCroix before he ever reached his room. Sometimes five minutes would pass, ten. Never long.
But lately, his son's resistance involved waking Janette with these tastes and touches, her desire already stoked before her dreams had faded. LaCroix stripped and slid between his sheets, sensing that tonight she did not sleep soundly.
He would wait.
When he finally sensed Nicholas' approach, he didn't move or speak. LaCroix could wait for him to submit, he was getting better at waiting. This creature, in particular, continually taught him something of patience. Of anticipation.
LaCroix knew that Nicholas hated this in himself, his inability to resist. All of the explanations he'd given Nicholas about their connection, their attraction, all the arguments and appeals had little effect on his son. Nicholas insisted that he was his own man who could make his own decisions, choose what and whom he wanted, and when.
Which, ironically, was LaCroix' argument, exactly. "It's an invitation, Nicholas. An offer. Acceptance or refusal is your choice alone," LaCroix told him. Of course, Nicholas was adamant that LaCroix manipulated him somehow, holding sway over his son and forcing his actions even though LaCroix never did more than call to him. But Nicholas desperately clung to the idea he was a marionette and that LaCroix was his puppeteer.
So complicated, this one. So headstrong. So beautiful.
Nicholas' submission tonight took the form of a sigh, enough to prompt LaCroix to raise his hand and pull his son into the bed when he felt tentative fingers entwine with his own.
"Nicholas. . . Nicholas," he whispered. These nights were the most satisfying, when LaCroix called and Nicholas resisted. Resisted and fought with himself, but only for a time. He made love to Janette, once, sometimes more. Tried to convince himself that she's what he wanted, only her. And when their passion cooled and Janette slept once again, Nicholas inevitably came to him.
To LaCroix, nothing was sweeter than this. Better than the taste of blood-wine or the weightlessness of flight--Nicholas, completely sated, yet still needing. He tasted Janette in Nicholas' mouth, both her kisses and her blood, could smell her on him, exciting him even more.
Nicholas ground himself against LaCroix, rubbing their erections together, seeming unwilling to give himself completely tonight. LaCroix reluctantly let him guide their encounter so he would feel more in control of himself than he imagined he was. Nicholas could be pushed too far, and then the three of them would be miserable for days, maybe weeks, as he sometimes was after one of their arguments about LaCroix' alleged power over his son. It was a bitter irony, these arguments. LaCroix knew if he ever succeeded in convincing Nicholas that the hours spent in his master's bed were truly his decision, it would be the last time Nicholas came to him.
So he clung to Nicholas as he found his release against the supple body, as Nicholas whispered maître driving him over the edge.. He growled and struck the offered neck. Nicholas. . .
They rested against each other and LaCroix' smile faded as he idly rubbed circles on Nicholas' back. He wondered what his son would do if he ever accepted their special truth, and discovered the other half of it. The half LaCroix didn't argue, or explain.
How things would change if Nicholas understood that he was truly the one with all the power, all the control, and fingers full of puppet strings.