Some years ago...
Emily lay in the dark, her eyes wide open, listening for the sound of his approaching footsteps. She had lain this way night after night for as long as she could remember. She could feel her heart thump within her chest and her breath become ragged with fear as the time drew near for his visit.
He came to her almost every night. He would smile and whisper close to her ear that he loved her above all others. She was his favorite, he would tell her, his pet. She knew he was lying, for she knew he loved her sister too, in the same way. They had spoken of it one day, when the burden of what they were concealing from each other, and from their brother Anthony, became too much.
The words had tumbled from their lips; their hatred and loathing for what he had done to them at last manifested in their sharing. They had cried and held each other, the two of them. There was some comfort now in the fact that they had spoken of it, but that comfort was dispelled when they were alone in their rooms-and he came to them.
There was no protection for them within the family, for they both knew the truth-their mother was fully aware of her husband's perversion and would not, dared not, interfere. Emily had overheard her parent's conversation, when her mother had confronted him with the fact that she knew what he was doing to his children.
"How could you?" her mother had whimpered through her sobs. "Have you no shame at all?"
He had threatened her with all kinds of recrimination if she ever breathed a word of what she knew. He would throw her out, take the children away from her, tell her friends she was frigid and a worthless wife. His daughters would never betray their father, of that he was sure, and as Emily listened outside the door, she knew it to be true. They would never have the courage to admit to the humiliation they were forced to endure-and so it continued.
Paula finally begged her mother to help them.
"Shut up!" her mother had screamed at her. "Don't say such disgusting things about your father! You're a liar!"
Paula had stumbled away, incredulous that her mother would not help her. The sisters sought solace in each other's company, and the bond between them strengthened over the years.
When Paula left to go to college and Anthony to military school, Emily thought her heart would break. She was all alone, and without the support of her sister and brother her life became unbearable.
The first time she tried to kill herself by slashing her wrists, but her father found her and rushed her to a doctor friend of his who stitched her up, ignoring his duty to report such incidents to the police. The second time she almost succeeded. She waded out into the lake near her home, submerged herself and opened her mouth under water. She lost consciousness, but a group of boy scouts had seen her and swam out to save her. With great efficiency they revived her and she begged them not to tell anyone what she'd done.
It was then she decided she should live...and her father should pay for what he had done.
Peter Brandon glanced from the canvas in front of him to his subject seated on a chaise in his studio. He smiled at her, and she, dazzled by his good looks and the cobalt blue of his eyes, smiled back at him in what she hoped was a sultry, come hither expression.
Gloria Pedersen was a beautiful woman. Her smooth pale complexion, limpid green eyes, and a startling crown of long golden hair made her the center of attraction in any crowd. She wore a black velvet gown, deeply cut to reveal her ample breasts. Hanging from her neck was a stunning diamond pendant which she now held between her thumb and forefinger and played with somewhat suggestively.
Peter chuckled and grinned at her. "Now, now, Gloria. You know I'm a happily married man."
"Darn it, Peter. You could at least act as if you might be interested." She rose from the chaise and crossed to where he stood adding a few deft touches to the almost completed portrait. She kissed him on the cheek and stroked his bottom as she looked at his work.
"Mmm, nice buns..." She draped herself over him. "Do my breasts really look that big?"
Peter laughed, putting his arm round her waist. "Bigger, actually. I've refined them, somewhat."
"Pig." She giggled and kissed him again. "I need to get out of this damned dress. Unzip me, darling. I'm having afternoon tea with Carol, and she's a bitch if I'm one minute late."
Peter complied, and she turned to face him wearing only her bra and panties.
"Isn't there anything here you could go for?"
"You are, without doubt, a shameless hussy, Gloria. And I don't think that very large and well-muscled husband of yours would approve of your wanton display in front of me. He might resort to violence."
"Are you joking? Johnny loves you and your gorgeous Jeff. Never stops talking about how great you guys are."
"Well, I'd like to keep him a fan of ours, thank you."
Laughing, Gloria blew him a kiss and disappeared into the bathroom to finish getting ready for her appointment.
Peter hadn't known Gloria long, but her fun loving nature and easy conversation had quickly drawn her to him. Her husband, Johnny Pedersen, a successful defense lawyer, had contacted Peter asking if he could commission him to paint his wife's portrait for her thirtieth birthday.
Peter had agreed, meeting Gloria for lunch in Laguna Beach near Peter's home to set up a sitting schedule. They had warmed to each other immediately and a few days later she invited Peter and his partner, Jeff, to dinner at her home in Corona del Mar.
Johnny and Jeff, both being ex college football players, had a rapport going the whole evening while Gloria had monopolized Peter's company, anxious to hear his version of his recovery from a coma that had claimed three years of his life. She had listened with wide eyes as Peter recounted the aftermath when he and Jeff had discovered who was behind the attack that had killed his former lover, Phillip, and left himself severely injured.
"God, Peter, how awful for you to find out a family friend was behind all of that."
"Yeah, it was pretty devastating. These days I'm a little more wary of people."
"That poor detective's wife...Susan, was it?"
"Mmm, she really had her life fall apart in front of her eyes. Practically overnight her husband changed from being her dream come true to being her worst nightmare.
"You have to wonder why she was attracted to him in the first place."
"Seems he was a different man around her. He loved her with as much passion as he hated everything else he couldn't understand."
"Well, I was a part of it. Jeff too, but it really started out as plain greed. He was paid to attack Phillip and me."
"What a bastard," Gloria said vehemently. "What happened to his wife?"
"She moved back with her folks and, hopefully, is getting over it by now."
"And you? How are you after all this?"
"I'm one of the luckiest and happiest guys around. How can I not be, with Jeff in my life?"
"You certainly did bag first prize." Gloria looked over to where Jeff stood talking with her husband. "That man is one of the cutest I've ever seen."
"Cute?" Peter laughed. "Rugged and butch is more like it."
"Whatever-you're a lucky son of a gun."
And Peter had to agree he was lucky. Since Jeff had moved in with him the previous Christmas Eve, he had felt himself completely healed from the trauma that had gone before. Even the nightmare of being held at gunpoint by a psycho cop had faded to a merely unpleasant memory. Jeff's presence in his life had brought him a feeling of love and security he had not realized he needed until then...and because of that, his desire to create and paint had increased. He was now even more prolific in his output than he had been before his coma. Gloria was just one in a long line of clients anxious to commission him to paint their portrait. He knew this was due in part to the publicity forced on him by the drama of past events. People seemed to have some kind of need to know those who'd been close to danger and death. The lurid and unusual was a powerful aphrodisiac for some.
Jeff's business had also benefited from the press exposure. He had moved his office south to Laguna a month after moving in with Peter and had been forced to limit the number of new clients he could take on. Even Andrew Connor, Peter's friend and physical therapist, now found his engagement calendar totally full. He had laughingly told Peter that one patient had blatantly told him she wanted the same hands that had massaged that divine artist's body' to be the only ones to touch hers.
"She was furious when I told her I had no opening for her," Andrew had told Peter in amazement. "I mean, how kinky can you get?"
Gloria, returning from the bathroom, interrupted his thoughts.
"Have to run, sweetie." She gave him a quick peck on the cheek, picked up her bag, and headed for the door.
Peter walked her downstairs. "I should be finished with your portrait in the next few days. Do you want me to arrange for the framing or do you want to choose one yourself?"
"I'll leave it to your impeccable taste, darling." Gloria gave him a hug. "And don't forget-you and Jeff are the guests of honor at my party for the â€˜Grand Showing.'"
"Oh, we'll be there." He watched as she ran down the steps to her car, then he returned to his studio to wash out his brushes and straighten up the studio. He picked up a couple of dirty glasses, taking them down to the kitchen. As he slipped the glasses into the dishwasher, the phone rang.
"Is Jeff there?" The man's voice had a slight accent Peter couldn't quite place.
"No, he's not home yet. Can I take a message?"
"No. Is this Peter?"
"Yes, who's this?"
The line went dead.
Jeff had said he'd be home around six, so Peter prepared a light meal for them both to have later. It was a beautiful, warm July evening. He set the table on the terrace so that they could enjoy watching the sunset over the ocean. He thought of inviting Eve, his mother, to join them then remembered she was going out with her old boyfriend, Fred. Ever since Peter's father had died, Fred had been there to support and comfort his mother. He'd been there for her when Phillip was murdered and Peter lost to them for the three years he lay in a coma. Now Eve was free to enjoy Fred's company even more as she no longer had to center her life around her constant visits to the hospital.
Eve still lived in the annex attached to Peter's house that Phillip had designed for her after Paul, Peter's father, died unexpectedly from a heart attack. She had talked of moving out now that Jeff and Peter lived together, but they had both insisted she stay. Peter knew that Fred still had high hopes of Eve agreeing to marry him-and secretly, Peter hoped she would eventually. He wanted his mother to know the same love and companionship he now enjoyed with Jeff, and he knew Fred would always adore her. So far though, she had resisted all of Fred's attempts to persuade her to marry him.
She can be as stubborn as...me, he thought, chuckling to himself. He heard the garage door open and his heart lifted as it always did when he knew Jeff was home.
"Hi there, you." Jeff crossed the few steps to where Peter stood and gathered him in his arms, kissing him tenderly on the mouth. "I've missed you," he murmured between kisses.
"Me too," Peter whispered. "Don't go to work anymore."
"Someone has to provide for you."
"Darn it, that's true. Like to provide for me-upstairs?"
"Anywhere you like-the kitchen table?"
Jeff chuckled. "I need to take a shower. Join me?"
They were almost undressed before they reached the bedroom, playfully pulling at each other's clothes as they ran up the stairs together. Peter never tired of seeing Jeff's powerful body unclothed. The rigorous police training he'd undergone in his early twenties had honed muscle and sinew to near perfection; a body any sculptor would love to have as a model. And oh, that delectable ass...
Peter liked it all even better when Jeff wrapped him in his arms and held him pressed to his warm, smooth flesh, as he now did, his hot hard cock pressed to Peter's own burgeoning erection
"Mmm...you feel good." Jeff's lips glided over Peter's throat then down across his chest, sucking on each nipple in turn, hardening the tiny nubs, sending tingling jolts of pleasure through Peter's body.
Still in each other's arms Jeff backed Peter up until they reached the bathroom and Jeff could turn on the shower. "Get in," he growled, smacking Peter's ass.
Peter moaned. "More."
Jeff chuckled. "You enjoy it too much." He squirted body wash onto a sponge and started soaping Peter's lithe and compact body, trailing kisses over the nape of his neck and shoulders.
"Oh, man..." Peter pressed his back to Jeff's hard chest and ground his butt against the erection he could feel throbbing between his ass cheeks. Jeff ran the soapy sponge down to Peter's crotch, circling it with slow sensual movements that had Peter gasping with excitement and anticipation. He turned in Jeff's arms then sank to his knees, eager to take Jeff's erection into his mouth. While the shower water cascaded over them he slid his lips down the length of Jeff's hot, hard flesh. Jeff's fingers smoothed Peter's wet hair from his forehead and caressed his face as he thrust in and out of Peter's mouth. Peter ran his hands over Jeff's butt, pulling him in closer, deeper inside his mouth, his throat muscles gripping the head of Jeff's cock.
"Uh...you're gonna make me come," Jeff panted.
Peter released him and looked up. "That's good isn't it?"
"Yeah, but not so soon. C'm up here..." He pulled Peter back onto his feet and held him, his lips searing Peter's with a long, scorching kiss, their tongues dancing inside each other's mouths, searching, tasting every part of their wet heat. Peter's hands roamed over Jeff's back then slid down the length of his spine, lingering in the hollow on the small of his back before grasping the round, muscular globes of his ass and pulling him in, grinding their erections together.
Their kiss deepened, their breath filling each other's mouths.
Jeff pulled away from their kiss. "Let's get out of here. I need to be inside you." He turned off the shower and grabbed their towels from the rail. Quickly, they dried one another then practically ran into the bedroom, flinging themselves onto the bed, arms and legs tangling, their lips and tongues scouring each other's damp skin. They maneuvered themselves into a sixty-nine position and Peter grasped Jeff's pulsing shaft at the base, bringing the glistening head to his lips, shuddering with pleasure as he felt his cock being enveloped by Jeff's mouth.
His tongue swirled around Jeff's cockhead, scooping up the copious precum, swallowing it down, greedily taking the whole throbbing length as far as he could into his mouth and throat. He gulped and his body spasmed as Jeff slid a finger inside him, each pass over his prostate sending fire and ice zinging straight to his balls.
"Uh..." Now it was his turn to protest that he was coming too soon. He released Jeff and pulled himself up into Jeff's arms. "Want you to fuck me..."
"Want that too..." Jeff reached for the lube then warmed the gel in his hand before inserting one, then two fingers into Peter's opening. Peter sat astride Jeff's thighs then lowered himself slowly, impaling himself on the hard flesh, gasping as his opening was stretched, and each glorious inch of Jeff's cock slid deep inside him.
"Oh...yeah..." Peter's head fell back in ecstasy and his hips moved up and down, meeting every one of Jeff's thrusts in a mutually created rhythm that took both of them closer and closer to the brink of orgasm.
Jeff raised himself up then eased Peter onto his back. Without breaking their rhythm he drove his cock even deeper inside his lover, thrusting harder, faster, his breath quickening in his chest. He gazed down at Peter's face, transformed by his ecstasy, his eyes dark with desire, his lips parted in expectation of Jeff's kiss. Their mouths met and Peter wrapped his arms around Jeff's neck, locking them together in one long, rapturous kiss. Jeff squeezed a hand between their tightly pressed torsos and grasped Peter's rock hard erection, pumping it, urging it rapidly toward release.
Peter shuddered and gasped into Jeff's mouth and Jeff groaned, unable to control the rush of his orgasm. "Ah, babe...I'm coming."
"Yes..." Peter arched under him, and the sensation of his lover's semen surging between their bodies and spilling through his fingers took Jeff over the edge. One last thrust, his body stiffened, hard and taut as a strung bow as he climaxed. Spasm after spasm wracked his body and a thousand lights sparkled behind his closed eyelids as he filled his lover with his hot seed.
He collapsed over Peter, burying his face in the hollow between Peter's neck and shoulder.
"Beautiful," Peter murmured.
And if Jeff could have found his voice at that moment, he would have agreed.
© J.P. Bowie
A Portrait of Emily
Author : J.P. Bowie
Publisher: MLR Press
Genre: Suspense, GLBT
When Peter Brandon is commissioned to paint Emily Hastings' portrait, his psychic awareness unlocks the dark secret that has haunted her since childhood. Now on the brink of at last finding happiness in the arms of the man she loves, she is faced with her father's manic desire to ruin her life.
Charles Hastings, Emily's father, is found murdered and the police consider Emily, along with her brother, Anthony, the prime suspects. It is up to Jeff Stevens, Peter's lover, to try and clear their names. His investigation becomes even more personal when Joey Fernandez, who had disappeared from Jeff's life some years before, is also found murdered. Jeff now has to track two killers, at great risk to himself.
His discovery that Hastings was involved with a child prostitution ring enrages Jeff and he agrees to be the bait in a police 'sting' operation...but when that goes wrong, the outcome is no longer certain.