OC. Part 1 of 4, and god and the little fishies only know when the next part will be ready. No smut, yet, but eventually NC-17.
Adrian yawned, scratched his ear, and fought his body's urge to admit that it was awake. It was neither right nor fair, and he, for one, wasn't about to stand for it, or even sit up and open his eyes. The pillow was soft beneath his cheek. Hair still damp from that hours-ago shower spread in loose tangles across his bare back, a comforting weight, and the cool breeze from the open window was laced with the promise of rain. The perfect weather, the perfect position, for snuggling into the bedclothes and sleeping the late afternoon away.
Except he wouldn't be allowed to, which his body already knew. He never was, on business meeting days. Soon enough, the wind-shushed silence would be broken by the slam of a hardwood door. Their second since last March, when Lennox had thrown it open so angrily it had splintered against the onyx doorstop. Adrian would much rather have seen the doorstop go; he'd never liked the thing. Unfortunately the hideous little gargoyle, a travel souvenir from god knew what spaceport giftshop Lennox's mother had picked it up in, had survived the encounter with the door, as well as untold skirmishes with Adrian's unprotected toes in the middle of the night.
Soon, there would be the gunshot sound of the door flung wide, and Lennox tossing his cloak at the chair in a crumpled ball of leather and polymer silk, impossible to wrinkle, impossible to ruin, no matter how hard you threw it, or what you did on top of it. Then there would be the exasperated bellow in a voice much more suited to shouting happily as he kicked a pele ball over the head of the opposing team's goalkeeper. "My father... is an IDIOT!"
Adrian would emerge reluctantly from his nest of pillows without even wasting the Pout of the Nude and Napping upon him. Any other time, such a look would work like a charm, but not after one of these endless family business meetings. Lennox with a full red-faced head of steam was as impervious to reproach from his lover as he would be to fire, flood, or naked hula dancing - though Adrian was only guessing about the last; it might be worth a shot.
The last time that shout had been particularly loud, and the face particularly red, he'd tried something else. Usually he just raised an eyebrow and pointed out that anyone who wasn't aware that Stav Lennox the Elder was a moron, had obviously been living in a small, dark, probably ill-equipped cave on some isolated asteroid, and since neither of them fit that description, talking about it was rather a waste of breath that someone could be using for much more interesting things. Since that speech worked about as well as pouting, and since Lennox was going to tell him *why* his father was an idiot -- this week -- anyway, Adrian had gone for reverse psychology, and asked. "So what's he done now?"
Lennox had blinked at him, shocked into silence for a moment by his apparent interest, then shook his head. Clenched the big square jaw that somehow managed to look rugged on him, while it made his father seem -- impossibly -- more of a cretin than he actually was. Kicked the chair that held his cloak.
"Have I mentioned he's an IDIOT?" He'd winced at his own shout, and dropped his head to run a hand over brush-cut red hair in what looked like actual pain, not just annoyance. A familiar headache that Adrian would be only too happy to soothe away, but only after his lover finished the weekly rant and there was no danger of being shouted near, or kicked even accidentally. "He dropped this little tidbit just as the meeting was ending, then disappeared out the back so no one even had a chance to argue with him. The blasted fool wants to ally with the Tenardi."
Adrian made an effort never to look surprised. It was something of a raison d'etre for him, there being very little else in life that he'd discovered any fondness for, besides food, sleep, petty theft, hustling at billiards, and screwing Stav Lennox the Younger into the mattress at every available opportunity. Moreover, he very seldom *was* surprised, when it came to Lennox Senior's ever more ludicrous business proposals. The only thing that usually puzzled him was how the family managed not to go bankrupt, with that man at the head of the governing board. This announcement, however, had coaxed a regrettable raising of both eyebrows from him, something for which he'd spent a few seconds being rather upset with himself. Even if Lennox hadn't caught him, there was the principle of the thing.
"The Tenardi?" Said family sold large unpleasant weapons of mass destruction, suitable for destroying small supposedly uninhabited planetoids, to large unpleasant men with dubious papers and a great deal of money to spend. They had about as much in common with a pleasurecraft shipbuilding firm like Lennox Conglomerated, as Adrian Sparwell did with a responsible member of society. He asked again, just to make sure his hearing wasn't going, even though it gave the unfortunate impression that he cared. "The nuclear weapons Tenardi, from Spareways?"
"There are other Tenardi?" Lennox had looked up, as if for a moment he'd believed it was possible, that there was some slim hope his father hadn't lost his mind.
"Yes, the saltwater taffy Tenardi, who broke away from the parent company fifty years ago because Basil the Third thought nukes weren't a profitable enough enterprise."
Lennox's face was still an unhealthy shade of pink, one that was coming ever closer to making Adrian decide to spirit his lover away to that small, dark, ill-equipped cave where no one had ever heard of a family business meeting, the moment Lennox turned twenty-five and could legally be spirited away from anything. Granted, with Adrian doing the packing, there'd be enough suitcases full of entertainment items and slippery substances that the 'ill-equipped' part would never be a problem.
That unhealthily rosy face shot him a glare that wasn't half as effective as Adrian's most casual attempt at a pout. "This could be disastrous. Are you even *capable* of being serious?"
"I tried it once a few years ago, on a dare. It gave me gas. And frown lines. Neither of which I'm willing to risk over your family's business problems." Adrian had put his hands behind his head, leaning back against the pillows. It was a ridiculous proposal, true, but certainly nothing worth popping a vein about; it was *so* ridiculous that the rest of the family council would undoubtedly vote it down during the first five minutes of the formal Board Meeting at the end of the month.
"They're *your* family's business problems as well, you know." And that surly complaint was at least nothing to raise eyebrows over, seeing as he'd heard it every week, in some form or other, for two years now.
"Really? Has your mother rescinded that proclamation about bringing me to dinner being punishable by boiling in oil? I'm touched."
Lennox had pretended to be unimpressed by his sarcasm, or so Adrian had chosen to believe. "There's no such proclamation; you're welcome at dinner, provided you try to avoid things like telling my sister you saw her name and suite number scribbled on the wall of the men's room at the Black Hole."
"It was a compliment," he'd protested. "Whoever wrote it seemed very impressed with her skills; I simply thought I should pass it on."
"You wrote it."
"There is that. Though how that makes it any less complimentary--"
"Because she's a Vestal Virgin of Hyrea, which you well know, and she's never been within a mile of a buttplug in her life, and please don't try to contradict me by saying you were wearing one at dinner, because I don't want to *know*. None of which has anything to do with it being your family business too."
"Not this again. Let it go, Lennox." If anything was likely to push him into possible frown lines, it was that conversation.
Lennox had stalked over to the bed, an action that Adrian usually enjoyed watching, as much for the way that loose-limbed athlete's body rippled as he walked, as for the sorts of things that would occur once he got there. This time, though, he'd bent down and grabbed Adrian's braid where it lay draped over his shoulder. "See this?"
"It would be rather difficult not to, since you're holding it an inch away from my eyes. Have I been squinting lately? I hope I don't need reading glasses already; they tend to leave those ugly little marks on one's nose."
"*This*," Lennox had shaken the rusty braid, "and this." Pointing to his own copper-furred head. "Notice anything in common?"
"Yes; you smell like Honduit for Men. You've borrowed my shampoo again."
Lennox had let go of Adrian's hair in exasperation, and tossed himself down in the chair at the side of the bed. "You're as infuriating as my father, no matter how much smarter you might be." He'd paused. "Or prettier. You also look just like my sister, something that I could find highly disturbing if I allowed myself to think about it for more than five seconds at a time. You're as much a Lennox as I am, Adrian."
"No, that I am not. I have identification somewhere over in the corner, wherever you threw my trousers last night, that will back me up. Though if you're unsure of who you're sleeping with, I do rather worry about my health."
Dark brown eyes had fixed on him with a flash of something unrelated to business. "I know exactly who I'm sleeping with, thank you, considering I've not touched anyone else since I was eighteen years old. I've known you since I could walk, and I know you like I know my own hand, Adrian Sparwell."
He held that hand out, and Adrian watched it with a fascination that was probably unhealthy, but damn, it was a beautiful appendage. Sun-brown, from all that time outside at the sports that he loved, and Adrian cheerfully reveled in watching him play. Not a large hand, nor small. Perfect for cupping a cheek or the back of someone's head and pulling him in for a kiss. Perfect for fitting against the small of Adrian's back, in a crowded dining room full of people who didn't want him there, who would be perfectly happy to pretend that hand had never touched Adrian's cock with strokes so light and sure that he exploded in seconds simply from the knowledge of how well his lover knew what he needed. Even when, as in that dining room, he wouldn't admit he needed it.
It was a hand *he'd* known since someone had smeared chocolate mousse along the walls of the corridor outside his mother's music classroom, and he'd been blamed for it, though the handprints were too tiny, the brown curliques too low on the wall, to have been him. His mother had taken him aside, nine years old, and hugged him, telling him with a tiny, not even bitter laugh that Stavie Lennox wasn't likely to ever get blamed for anything around here, and he was just going to have to get used to it -- but she knew the truth. She'd also known the truth, of course, when another trail of chocolate artwork had appeared in the hall, higher up and much more creative if Adrian was any judge of such things. If he was going to get the blame for it anyway, he might as well enjoy the crime.
A philosophy that had served him well over the years, since most things he seemed likely to be blamed for had turned out to be rather enjoyable crimes. Like charming money out of well-stuffed pockets with his fingers or his arse, whichever seemed more likely to work or more entertaining on a given afternoon. Like cheating at games whose rules were too simple to challenge him, or too temptingly complex not to search for a way around. Like seducing a fresh-faced back-from-university, suddenly a foot taller than him, Stavie Lennox. Which had seemed like a combination of all of those, one night across a pool table in a darkened club; he'd only known it was something much more dangerous entirely, several mornings later. Curled together in this bed, with that warm tan hand splayed out across Adrian's naked stomach, and a man who hadn't been called Stavie in years pressing himself against Adrian's back, awake far too early in the morning for anyone who wasn't going to be trouble, in the long run.
"I know what makes you laugh," his lover said, waving that hand in front of his face. "I know what makes you scream, I know that spot just behind your left ear that makes your knees give out when I suck on it."
"..." Adrian had answered, which was as eloquent as he cared to get on the subject of having his ear sucked when no one was doing him the courtesy of actually sucking on his ear.
"What I don't know, but I'm going to drag out of you someday if it kills us both, is why you won't take your father's seat on the board. With you there, we might at least have a chance of not being penniless by the time I'm old enough to claim my voting rights."
Adrian had sat up. Much more of an effort than he wanted to waste on the subject when he could be having his ear sucked, but if it would get the point across, perhaps once and for all...
"Because, my dear cousin--" He'd reached for that hand, not, after all, so different from his own. "--While it may be perfectly delicious to whisper into your ear as I'm bent over you that you're being buggered by your own flesh and blood and he couldn't care less what the entire solar system thinks about it, the edge of this bed -- or occasionally the hot tub -- is where that knowledge stops being of any interest to me whatsoever. Your father's brother never deigned to claim me while he was alive. I've no intention of taking his name now, simply because his dozy cow of a wife couldn't manage to produce any legal heirs, and is so desperate to retain some sort of hold on the business that she's willing to acknowledge the town whore's son as her late lamented husband's."
It was certainly more words than he'd ever spent on an answer to that question, and came closer to giving him wrinkles and dyspepsia than he liked to admit. Lennox had sat silently for a moment, watching him with eyes that took him in completely, and gave him the uncomfortable feeling that his lover was right about knowing him like he knew his own hand -- which was a shameful state of affairs altogether. A man should have some sort of mystery to pull about him when he's naked and being stared at by his non-naked, non ear-sucking lover.
Those eyes twinkled after a moment, and Lennox gave his first grin of the afternoon. "The town whore? Your mother may be...generous with her affections..."
"But she's never charged for it, and there isn't anything left on this planet small enough to be called a town. Semantics; have a little poetry in your soul. You'll live longer and experience better digestion. Suffice it to say, her name is good enough for me. And I've no desire to witness -- or prevent -- your father cheerfully fucking the family fortunes into an early grave, as long as I'm allowed to continue doing the same to his son, in relative comfort and obscurity."
Lennox rose from the chair, freed his hand from Adrian's, and said with no small bite, "Obscurity, I can keep you in rather easily, but this--" He waved at the room, the furniture, the wardrobe stuffed to bursting with clothes that were mostly Adrian's, because Lennox did like to play dress up with his kept man, didn't he. "--Without said family fortunes, the concept of 'relative' comfort would take rather a steep nosedive. Then what would you do?"
Adrian wondered, for a moment, how well Lennox knew his hand. He reached for it again, and yanked the taller man down to a height where he could be reasonably spoken to -- such as tumbled ungainly across the bed, with Adrian looking down at him from a few inches above his nose. "Then, Lennox, I would have to get a job, I suppose. Begin picking pockets professionally instead of for amusement, so I can afford to keep you in the style to which I've become accustomed. Granted, that would probably mean choosing food over clothing, with the pickings around here these days, but as I'm happy to accustom myself to having you naked all the time, I don't see a problem arising."
He'd trailed his own hand down Lennox's silk-covered belly, to the fastenings of his trousers, and smiled. "Or perhaps I do - but I'm sure it's one I can deal with."
And that had been that. Or rather, that had been something else, a something else that didn't involve anyone's father, and had ended with rumpled sheets and tangled limbs, and everyone looking healthily pink.
It was a suitable outcome, and a regular one, and one Adrian was looking forward to repeating today, which was why he didn't want to wake up until he absolutely had to. Dealing with Lennox in a rage, or Lennox in a bed, was something one had to rest up for, and instead, here he was, lying among the pillows, waiting tensed for the sound of the door.