They got back in one piece and Hadji brought Alex back from his cottage to have dinner with us. I could see that things had changed in a big way for Hadji but I wasn't sure about Alex. Then I happened to see a sideways look that was unsure and yet so hopeful that I wanted to go 'ah-h-h-h'. Within a few moments, I realized that it was Jonny who was making Alex nervous.
As far as I knew, they hadn't met yet. Alex had to speak slowly because of that adorable little habit he had of stuttering when he was nervous. Race and Benton were completely comfortable with them, I could see that and so could Jonny. My big blond played it genial with a joke or three on himself that brought a slight smile to Alex's face. That's when Hadji finally got a clue and pretty soon they had all of us laughing at their tales of childhood antics.
Alex's shoulders finally stopped hunching and he even chuckled out loud. I could see that Jonny hadn't accepted them yet. He was willing to give the scientist the benefit of his doubt but not yet ready to accept that Alex was good enough for his foster brother. I was willing to bet that Alex wasn't sure about that either. It was in the way his eyes always went back to Hadji after his glasses-hidden gaze met one of ours.
Lazlo had made gingerbread using Alex's recipe for dessert and the dark-haired scientist gave him a real smile when the cook hovered over him. Lazlo heaved a sigh of relief and pretended to wipe away a bead of sweat. Jonny was taking notes and I could see the little point system he'd constructed. As the conversation continued, I caught the edges of something profound that had changed for the two of them.
Something that they approached and then backed away from several times, I wondered what it could be. I was also wondering why they'd had to go to the mainland and why Alex was looking so pale suddenly. We were getting up from the table and Alex swayed before Hadji could slip an arm around him.
"Alex, why don't you come and see my suite?" He said. "We can compare bathrooms."
Jonny's eyes narrowed but Benton spoke first. "I think that's an excellent idea, Alex. It will be a couple of days before you'll make up the blood loss. Lazlo has steaks ready for tomorrow's barbeque. I'll expect to see you both at 1:00."
"Okay, Dad, we'll be there." Hadji gently nudged Alex while he was still caught in the crossfire of our eyes.
"Um, yes, thank you," he said slowly. "Thank you for dinner, Benton. And . . ." he hesitated with a quick look at Jonny and me, "I think that maybe Jonny and Sandy might like to come with us so we can finish our talk."
I was surprised and so was Jonny but we nodded brightly before saying good night to Benton and Race and following to Hadji's suite of rooms across from Jonny's. I'd been in them once the year before and I remembered how serene they were. Something of India and his heritage graced the light green walls and bamboo bookcases. I could see Alex taking a good look around before nodding as if something had been confirmed for him.
Jonny and I sat down in the green leather love seat while Hadji guided Alex to the deep brown leather club chair. He perched on the wide arm so he would be a support for the man who was holding onto hands that I was afraid were shaking. Whatever he wanted to tell us, he was unsure of our reaction.
So I leaned forward and spoke first. "You don't have to tell us a thing, Alex, not if it's going to upset you."
He nodded then shook his head. "Race and Benton knew about my past long before they offered me safe haven. Hadji knows who I was before I became Dr. Alexander. You're his family so it's only fair that you know also." He took a deep breath and slipped his hand out of Hadji's before reaching up and removing his glasses. But when he reached up and removed his hair too, I couldn't help but gasp.
"Lex Luthor," Jonny's voice was just this side of icy. "You're supposed to be dead after releasing a biohazard in your factory that killed a dozen people."
"Four people died and the biohazard, although quite real, was a scheme by my father to blackmail me into doing what he wanted. I couldn't do that, no matter what it looked like." Alex said calmly but he'd gone beyond pale to ashen.
"The reason Alex had to go north was to give blood for his six-month old half-sister, Catherine Luthor. She has a rare form of leukemia and only a complete transfusion has a chance to cure her." Hadji's voice was dispassionate but the spark in his eyes told me that Jonny was walking a fine line. "Alex has explained everything to my satisfaction but perhaps you need some time to think about it. I think the Dads would tell you anything you might want to know."
"Benton and I have been corresponding for over four years, Jonny. Even if you can't trust my word, I think you can trust his instincts." Alex was shivering a little now, tiny tremors racing over his skin and I realized that he was going into shock.
"Hadji, take care of Alex. Jonny and I will go talk to your fathers." I stood up and tugged Jonny up with me. "Alex, bald is a good look for you. I hated that wig."
********* Hadji *********
I was angry with Jonny but trying to keep a lid on it so Sandy's comment caught me by surprise. Alex actually smiled at her and I had to chuckle. She was going to be a great sister-in-law if my brother would just get his head out of his ass long enough to attend to his own business and propose to her. They left and I slid down onto Alex's lap and wrapped my arms around him.
"You're very brave, Alex but that could have waited until you were feeling better." I scattered kisses all over his beautiful face.
"The longer he was the only one who didn't know, the more resentment he'd feel." He shivered and hugged me back. "Sandy deserved to know, too. She reached out to me when I was still hiding and kept reaching out even when she thought I was a vampire."
His shirt was sticking to him with a cold, clammy sweat and I knew I needed to warm him up and get him flat. "A vampire, huh, right now you kind of feel like one of the undead. How about I show you my bathtub and we get naked?"
Alex still looked faintly shocked when I said that so I knew I had my work cut out for me. But I coaxed him up and into the bathroom that Benton had let me help design when I was ten. I loved plants even then so I watched Alex get his first look at the woven grass walls and the tiles around the tub and shower unit that I'd painted over the space of two years.
The early ones weren't as good as the later ones but I prided myself on every plant being recognizable if you were a botanist. His smile grew larger while his eyes moved along the wall. "Ionoptera, you painted my mother's favorite orchid."
"Ah, so that's why you wanted that by the cottage." I started the water running in the tub before helping him undress. He was still shocky and I released the anger that kept rising over Jonny's unthinking condemnation. My brother knew better than to take what the papers and media said as gospel.
I knew he thought he was protecting me but lashing out at Alex wasn't going to endear me to him. Thank goodness for Sandy, was all I could think while I calmly stripped off the clothes that kept me from seeing Alex's beautiful skin. But he was pushing down my slacks with an eagerness that told me he was still willing to try this new relationship.
He reached over and turned off the water before the tub got too full. Little shivers raced over his pearl-white skin and I couldn't help but contrast it to my dusky brown. But I needed to get us both into the water so I teased him into getting in first then letting me sit behind him. I pulled him close and he laid his head back on my shoulder with a little sigh.
The green was back at his heart chakra and I thought I could sense a faint rose beginning to grow around it. I pressed my lips to his temple, feeling his pulse begin to slow from the frantic flight-or-fight response to Jonny's accusation. "He'll come around, Alex. He's two months older than me so he's got that whole 'big brother' routine down pat."
He nodded. "I'm not someone that any big brother would ever want for his sibling."
"Maybe not, but you're exactly who I want." I smoothed my hands down his wet front, being very careful of his nipples. "You're beautiful . . . intelligent . . . caring . . . sexy." I slid my tongue down the side of his elegant throat and felt him arch into my touch.
"Not a hairless freak?" He said a little shakily and I stilled in shock.
"Never a freak, Alex," I shifted so we could look into each other's eyes. His were still so unsure of me that I wanted to go back in time and destroy every person who'd hurt him. "You're an exotic beauty like the beautiful ionoptera. You've been growing in a stagnant grove for most of your life, but thankfully you transplanted yourself into my garden. I'm going to cultivate you continuously until you bloom in all your glory."
That blush was back, the one that crept all the way down his pale skin. He sighed and kissed me somewhat awkwardly because of the angles we were lying at. But it was a sweet gesture just the same because I knew he couldn't say the words yet. We were still too new and he was still caught a bit in the past.
"Hadji," he sighed my name when my lips finally slid across his chin. "I'm not someone who's ever believed in happy futures or families." His silver-gray eyes looked into mine with perhaps a bit of awe. "But I will try to do my best for you."
"Do or do not, grasshopper. There is no try." I said with my deep Yoda/Caine voice.
He blinked once then burst into laughter. That was so infectious that I had to laugh too. It was going to be all right, I thought. Together we could get through anything. Especially the 'anything' that was starting to swell between my legs . . . both our legs.
"Hadji," was all he said while turning completely in my arms so our shafts dueled for space between us. It was a little awkward, a lot slippery and just about the most perfect thing I'd ever felt. One of his hands wrapped around us both so we could slide against each other.
Our mouths met and slid apart then back together again. Our tongues mimicked our shafts while my hands touched him everywhere I could reach. Little grunts and moans sounded in the steamy air and I spared a brief hope that the sound proofing between the rooms was keeping this quiet enough. The last thing Jonny needed was a vocal reminder that I was having sex with someone he didn't yet approve of.
Then we were both coming and I relaxed with Alex heavy in my arms.
********* Alex *********
It had been years since I'd come that hard and fast but Hadji was like gourmet catnip to my inner feline. His skin was golden honey to both my eyes and tongue. I lapped at the skin beneath my chin and felt like purring. But my back was at an awkward angle and the water was starting to cool down so I moved to my knees and looked down at him.
He wore a satiated look that I wanted to put on his face for the rest of my life, which was a very scary thought. I still wasn't sure that this safe haven was still safe. Jonny Quest was a strong-willed young man and he was right when he thought that I wasn't good enough for his foster brother. Very few men would be.
But those dark eyes of his were sparkling when he sat up and pulled me into another achingly sweet kiss. We were both panting when we broke apart but he spoke first. "We're going to get dressed and move this to your cottage. I don't want any eavesdroppers when we make love the next time."
I nodded, unable to find my voice. Maybe I should be used to miracles by now but each new one could still surprise me. Somehow it felt like my mother was still looking out for me, my own personal guardian angel. We dried each other slowly and I saw the beauty of him for the first time all over again.
He was lean with the long leg muscles of a runner and the broad shoulders of a wrestler. Hadji was beautiful from head to toe and I wished that I had any artistic talent at all so I could draw or paint his beauty. But I had no talent in the arts so I'd just have to keep these pictures of him in my heart.
We dressed again and headed out, finding Race in the hallway. He listened to Hadji's notice that we were going to the cottage and agreed, making us promise to come back for breakfast the next day. He also reminded his son that I was still a couple of pints low and to take good care of me.
That could still amaze me that someone would want to take care of me. No one ever had before. It felt . . . odd, I thought to myself while we strolled hand in hand down the center path that led to my cottage on one fork of the path and his garden and lab 3 on the other fork. A massive tree stood at the apex of the path and Hadji patted the trunk with a gay greeting of 'good night, Leo'.
I must have looked at him a little oddly because he described how he and Jonny had named him after the astronomer. I'd felt its presence myself but I hadn't gone so far as to name it. It was just another of those differences that pointed up the disparity of our upbringing. Why in the world he'd take a second look at me, I just couldn't see.
Unlocking the front door, I held it open for him. He looked around as if he'd never seen it before. "It's been years since I've been here, Alex. I think a Dr. Princeton lived here for a few months about three years ago while he was working with Dad Quest on some project. Do you like it?"
"I like it better with you here." I said before I could catch myself. It sounded like the worst kind of pickup line but I meant every word.
His smile lit up the whole room. "Shut the door, Alex and show me your bedroom. If I look good out here, I should look even better on your sheets."
And part of me perked right up and thought that was an excellent idea. Shutting the door behind me, I watched him prowl around the room. He checked out the CDs by the stereo, then the pile of books on the stand by the sofa before heading for the bedroom door. I felt frozen in place and who knows how long I would have stayed there if he hadn't reappeared and crooked a finger at me.
"Bed, now, Alex." His smile was gentle and the outstretched hand promised so much that I had to obey.
Crossing the room, I took his hand and let him lead me to bed. This time we took our time and removed each piece of clothing as if it were precious. Maybe they were since this was new for us. I'd never felt this way before and I was still a bit afraid of these emotions. They had the power to destroy me; Hadji had that power now. But I was going to give him that power and trust that he wouldn't leave me bereft.
The sheets were cool beneath my back but Hadji was pure flame all along one side of me. His hands trailed fire behind them and I felt branded by his touch. I should have realized that this close and without the distraction of the night before, he'd find my scars. Curious fingers traced the one on my right hip and I knew what he was going to ask.
But he didn't say a word just kissed it from one end to the other before moving on to the next one. There were a lot of them but he just shushed me when I tried to explain and he just kept brushing his love over every mark. By the time he was done, I felt light as a feather. All I could think was that he was the greatest magician on Earth. Then it was my turn to touch him.
He had no scars anywhere but there was a fascinating scent that licking him released so I just kept dragging my tongue over each square inch of skin. His right knee tasted of persimmons and his left ankle of apples. He was babbling in Hindu by the time I got back to his cock but I was determined to raise him higher and higher until he couldn't feel anything but pleasure.
Rolling his foreskin slowly down with my fingers, I followed them with my tongue. The musk there was stronger even after our bath and I savored it with every lick. His hands were on my head but they were just warm instead of controlling and I welcomed them. While I was there, I rolled the plump balls between my fingers and rubbed the perineum to see what he thought about that.
He liked it . . . a lot so I did it again then tenderly mouthed each ball while he shook above me. His hips tried to come up for more but I'd been afraid of that so I was holding him down so he didn't accidentally choke me when I deep throated him. He was like velvet wrapped in steel and addictive as hell. He pulsed in my throat and I swallowed around him while he shouted my name and came.
I pulled back just far enough to taste him thoroughly while he gushed into my mouth. That can be a tender time so I just made sure that my teeth didn't nip him and my rough tongue didn't lave too hard at his sensitive skin. If I was very lucky, he'd let me do this again and again. He was better than any drug I'd ever ingested, I thought to myself while I pillowed my head on his strong thigh.
"Dearest Alex, there are no words." Hadji sounded drunk and I smiled into his fragrant skin. Could a groin smell of fresh baked bread? "You are obviously Krishna, Lord of Light, come to tempt this mere mortal to love."
We hadn't really said the 'l' word yet and I looked up at him with wide eyes. "Hadji?"
His eyes were serious and his hands pulled me up so we were face to face. "You don't have to say anything, Alex. We're still very new but we like each other and I think I may be falling in love with you."
"I don't know if I can, Hadji." I swallowed hard. "I'm not good at this at all."
"That's because it wasn't me," he reminded me of what he'd said before. "I have faith that if we are to be then we will be. But we'll take our time and make sure each step is right."
Nodding, I rested my head under his chin so I could listen to his heartbeat. "Maybe we could sleep on it?"
He chuckled. "I think that's a wonderful idea. When we wake up, we can take a swim in Dolphin Bay. Maybe the mother who pushed us together will have had her baby."
I liked that idea and I murmured my agreement while he brushed soft strokes across my shoulders, relaxing me right into sleep. A sleep without nightmares kept away by my new guardian angel.
The end of part 6