This is one of my favorite scenes, and one of the oldest I’ve ever written for the series. Long before ever considering to actually write the series. It is one of the first moments where Remy is finally able to let go of some trauma’s of his past, showing a new-found trust in Raenef.
Timeline wise, it is probably set somewhere between Lunch at Midnight and book 4. It will probably never make it to an actual novel, but I didn’t want to keep it from you. So here it is.
Remy nursed his drink as he tried to keep up with the surrounding conversation. He’d been having a bad day, and Silas had dragged him out of the mansion, saying he needed a break. He’d gone along, hoping his brother was right. Though he enjoyed meeting up with Morwenna and Silas, his head hadn’t been in it. An overwhelming sadness pressed on him, giving him a headache.
“Remy, are you sure you’re okay?” Morwenna asked, after having observed the other boy.
They had become close friends ever since Silas had introduced them, and she could tell something was wrong with him.
Remy tried to give her a smile, though the urge to cry was stronger. Instead, he shook his head. “Non, Remy’s not feeling too good. He best be getting home.”
Silas insisted on driving him home, and though Remy in return insisted he was fine taking the public transport, he was glad he‘d accepted the ride when he felt considerably worse with every mile they drove.
He got out of the car before Silas had a chance to open the door for him, and Remy quickly sent him on his way again.
Stumbling through the front door, Remy leaned against it as a wave of despair and hurt washed over him, making him gasp for breath.
When he was about to go up the stairs to his bedroom, he heard soft music playing. Expecting his Master to be fast asleep by now, he frowned, changing his course to follow the sound of melancholic piano notes. Remy traced them to the music room but was surprised to find the room shrouded in darkness. Only a sliver of moonlight fell in from the large windows, silhouetting his Master’s form behind the piano, giving him a halo of ethereal light. For a moment, Remy thought he beheld an angel. A depressed angel though, Remy realized as the figure behind the grand piano oozed a melancholy that was almost tangible; His shoulders, normally strong and straight, able to carry the weight of the world, now sagged as did his head. It reminded Remy of the dying swan in a ballet his Master had taken him to see a few months back. She had the same expression on her face and body language.
And then there was the music itself. It was his Master’s favorite composition, Mozart’s Moonlight Sonata, but played in such a way that it was dripping with soul-searing sadness.
No, mourning. Not sadness, Remy realized when he stepped closer. Standing in the door opening, hidden in darkness, he felt like an intruder, witnessing a scene he wasn’t supposed to. But he couldn’t bring himself to leave either. There was something in his Master’s countenance that drew Remy in like a moth to a flame. A flame he knew could burn him. It was never a good idea to sneak up on a vampire, especially not one as powerful as his Master. The piece ended, but Raenef flawlessly continued into a score Remy recognized as Mozart’s ‘Requiem’ and wasn’t any cheerfuller than the previous one. His Master was one of the best pianists he ever had the pleasure of hearing play, drawing sounds from the piano that made it come to life. But now, beautiful as they were, the notes were heavy, as if pain was weighing down Raenef´s hands.
He must have made a sound because abruptly the playing stopped. When he opened his eyes again—he hadn’t even realized he’d closed them—his Master was looking straight at him. The red glow in them scared the hell out of Remy, as it didn’t bode well to have his Master’s Methuselan side out. But as they stared at each other from across the room, the red faded, turning back into the electric blue unique to his Master.
“Remy, I’m sorry I didn’t you to come home.”
Flustered, Remy shook his head, feeling ever more the intruder. “Remy’s sorry! He didn’t mean to interrupt Master, or intrude.”
Raenef closed the lid of the piano with a loud bang before getting to his feet. “It’s okay. It’s not helping anyway.” He reached for the bottle standing on the piano. Remy hadn’t even noticed it was there, nor the two empty ones next to the piano. The vampire took a long swig straight from the bottle, swaying by the change in balance, giving away he was more than a little drunk.
Swallowing, Remy became mighty uncomfortable as the powerful vampire crossed the large music room, straight towards him, taking the bottle with him.
Remy couldn’t help but take a step back, gulping when he saw the glint in his Master’s eyes as he did.
Don’t move. He told himself. Methuselah were like wild animals in the sense that they could sense fear, and would most likely chase when their prey fled. The red may have receded from his eyes, but Remy had the distinct notion it wasn’t too far away.
Once his Master had approached him, he stopped a mere foot or two from him. He didn’t dare look up into the vampire’s eyes, but Raenef wasn’t having it as a gentle hand cupped his face and lifted it. Forcing him to face his Master.
Remy swallowed when he stared into the electric blue. There was such an intense sadness in them that Remy had to fight his own tears just from looking into them. For a moment they stared in each other’s eyes.
“You fear me.” It wasn’t a question, but it intensified Raenef´s sadness. Then, Raenef blinked and looked away, hands falling to his side. “Don’t. I won’t hurt you.” He inclined his head and stepped past Remy and out the door.
Remy turned around, watching his Master leave. The vampire may have looked and sounded relatively sober, but Remy saw the slight unbalance in his Master’s slower than normal steps; Saw how he leaned against the walls and railing of the stairs for balance. Remy stood, unsure of what to do. His Master had not given him any instructions, nor asked for his help, but every fiber in Remy’s body was compelling him to rush to the vampire’s side. An ache coming from deep within him, not to leave the man alone with his misery. He fought with his mind for a moment, which sternly pointed out to him it wasn’t safe to be around a powerful Methuselah when he was drunk and in a grim mood. In the end, his feelings won out and he hurried to catch up with his Master. Not difficult since the vampire had a hard time navigating the stairs.
“Remy’s got you, Master,” Remy said, sidling up to the vampire’s right as he was trying to hold himself up to the banister with his left. Raenef’s breathing hitched when the vampire wrapped his arm around Remy’s waist before leaning heavily on him. Remy bit away his fear and focussed on helping his Master up the stairs.
Slowly, they made it to Raenef’s bedroom, where Remy helped him to his bed. Kneeling to undo his Master’s shoes, he was taken aback when he looked up to see the man stripping off his shirt, eyes glued to him. “You look beautiful like that,” the vampire slurred.
Remy swallowed. “Master should get some sleep.”
Raenef chuckled mirthlessly before sighing sadly. “Yes, I better.” Turning to his side, facing away from the door, he closed his eyes as if in pain.
“Does Master need anything else?” Remy asked, uncomfortable with leaving his Master this way. The man looked miserable. Whatever he’d tried to drown with the alcohol, it was still there, clawing at his Master.
Raenef looked intensely at him. “Sleep with me?”
Remy froze, unable to breathe. He knew in the way his Master had said the words, he could refuse. There was no order issued. He could decline and leave. Yet his feet didn’t run for the door. For long seconds, they stared at each other, before Raenef broke the eye contact and closed his eyes. “Forget it, I shouldn’t have asked. You can leave, I’ll be fine.”
Remy nodded, closed the light and headed for the door. Taking a deep sigh, he closed it and looked at his Master’s prone form. At the sound of the door closing, the vampire curled in even further on himself. It broke Remy’s heart. He made his way back to his Master and crawled on the bed.
“Remy?” Raenef’s tired voice sounded surprised. “What are yo—”
“Shh, Master wanted Remy to stay, non? Remy’ll stay and sleep with Master.”
The vampire turned to face him, eyes looking as if torn, but his arms had no such hesitations and were already pulling him close. “Remy…” Raenef moaned his name in his hair, snuggling closer as if trying to inhale him.
Remy froze and panic rose in the back of his throat. Was he ready for this? Could he go through with this? If it is for Master, he can.
His Master seemed to realize he was panicking, but instead of pulling back, he struggled to his elbows, effectively trapping Remy underneath him.
Remy closed his eyes tightly as panic washed over him. It was one thing to have sex with his Master, but to be trapped underneath a far stronger man while doing so was something else, and his nerves were short-circuiting. Breathing shallow and way too fast for comfort, Remy tried to keep himself as still as possible, nails cutting into the palms of his hand.
When his Master made jerky movements somewhere above his head, but otherwise didn’t touch him, he forced himself to open one eye to see what the vampire was doing.
He was unable to stop the cry from escaping his mouth when he came eye to eye with a dagger that looked it meant business. Raenef held it in his hand mere inches from his face, and Remy couldn’t breathe. Was his Master going to kill him? Had he done something wrong? Or did his Master enjoy knife play in the bedroom? He’d run into many vampires who did, who loved the added arousal from feeding on their victims’ blood. Though granted, most preferred to use their fangs for it.
After almost losing his balance several times, Raenef maneuvered himself back to his original position, next to Remy while pushing the dagger into Remy’s hands.
Remy stared wide-eyed at the weapon, getting more confused by the second, and praying to everything that was holy his Master didn’t expect him to use it on anyone.
“There. Now you don’t have to be afraid of me anymore,” Raenef said, nodding as if that settled everything. “You’re scared, right? Of me?” he added when Remy kept quiet. “If you feel threatened, you can cut me. I would order you to hurt me if I make you uncomfortable, but it doesn’t work that way,” he explained. The Bond was designed to protect the Master at all costs, it would not work if it was to harm the Master.
Remy blinked. The vampire wanted Remy to hurt him when he got scared?! What kind of upside-down world had he ended up in?
“Promise me, Remy? Promise me you’ll stop me if I do something wrong? Please, promise me!” Raenef pushed, words slurring.
“O..Oui, Master,” Remy choked out, knowing it was a lie. He could never hurt his Master. But Raenef hadn’t specified how to stop him. He didn’t insist on using the knife, Remy placated his conscience.
Once Remy had spoken the words, his Master seemed appeased, falling asleep almost instantly.
As Remy’s heart rate slowed down, he marveled at the man’s handsome face, now lax in sleep. There were no other ways to say it, he was a work of art; His face almost angelic with its smooth skin and fine features. Framed by the pearly white hair with its blue streaks, it was no wonder both women and men turned their heads in awe wherever he went. And it wasn’t only his face either. His entire body was toned to perfection; Not even an artist could have created a finer symmetry. No, his Master was all smooth sun-kissed skin over lean muscles.
But that wasn’t what attracted Remy most. Most Methuselah were beautiful, and he’d quickly learned it said nothing about their characters. Most Methuselah he’d had the displeasure of coming across were rotten to the core on the inside. Not his Master though; He had a good heart. Though Remy had no disillusions the man was a saint, or even the angel his looks suggested—he knew the vampire had skeletons in his closet. No Methuselah of his stature lived as long as he did without having shed blood along the way. He’d seen firsthand the ease with which he’d killed when intruders attacked the mansion several years before. His Master had ended their lives by a mere touch, sending his Mana through them, literally tearing them apart from the inside out. But he’d also seen the intelligence in the vampire’s eyes and compassion.
This wasn’t a man who killed for pleasure. No, this was a man who’d do everything in his power to keep his loved ones safe. What Remy had done in his life to be one of those loved ones was still beyond him, but he must have done something right because here he was.
Remy was dozing off himself when his Master stirred in his sleep, mumbling something in a language Remy didn’t understand. When a strong arm pulled him flush against the other man, Remy panicked again. Fighting the memories, he took several deep breaths, feeling his body relax when he breathed in his Master’s unique scent; fresh rain in spring. Laying his hand against his Master’s warm and very naked chest, Remy let himself be held. After all, there was little he could do without risking to wake his Master up. Or so he told himself.
Remy’ll sneak out in the morning, he thought as he drifted off to sleep.
“Remy?” a sleepy voice said somewhere nearby.
Remy ignored it, way too comfy to wake up.
When his pillow suddenly jerked up and away, he woke with a start, heart beating like crazy as his eyes flashed the room for dangers.
“I’m so sorry! Gods, please tell me we didn’t… that I didn’t—” Raenef’s voice had a panic to it, Remy hadn’t heard in it before.
Finally catching on as to his Master’s panic, he was quick to set the record straight, “Non, Master, nothing happened. Master asked Remy to stay, thus Remy did.”
Raenef blinked owlishly. “You did? Why? Please tell me I didn’t force you?” he groaned. “I’m sorry, Remy, I was drunk, and I didn’t mean for you to get tangled up into my mess, let alone my bed—Well I do want you in my bed, but not like thi—”
Remy chuckled at his Master’s highly unusual cascade of words. He’d never seen the vampire this flustered, and it was a little endearing to see him this way. “Master did nothing wrong. Nor did he force Remy. He even told Remy he was free to go,” Remy reassured him.
Raenef frowned, cocking his head. “Sooo, you stayed with me because you… wanted to stay?”
Now it was Remy’s turn to get flustered. “Ah, well, Master looked like he could use the company, a..and it’s not safe to go to sleep drunk alone. What if Master was to get sick and choke or something?” his Cajun accent thickened as he tried to find a plausible excuse.
Truth was, he didn’t know why he’d stayed himself. And he wasn’t sure if he was ready to look deeper into that.
Raenef cocked his head but had an amusing smile on his face, and Remy could swear the man would purr if he had been a feline. “So purely for safety measures, hm? How thoughtful of you.”
Remy cleared his throat and scrambled out of bed, mumbling an excuse how he had breakfast to prepare.
Raenef sighed and rubbed his face tiredly as he sat on the edge of the bed. At least I slept this year, he thought to himself. Must have been Remy’s doing.
The day before had been the fourth of April. A normal date for most, but for him, it was the one day in the year he allowed himself to accept the pain. It was the day his entire world had come to a screeching halt. The day Raziel had shown his true colors and stabbed him in the back, laughing as he did, before leaving him to die.
Though he survived the attack, it had almost destroyed him. It had taken him years to get over the initial pain of the betrayal, and only the love of his brothers had pulled him through. If it hadn’t been for their support, he was sure he wouldn’t be here anymore. It was seeing the pain and worry in their eyes that finally enabled him to close the door on the chapter.
At first, it had been a thin veneer, enough to help him through the day and not make his brothers worry about him all the time. As years passed, life got more colorful. And when Remy came into his life, it gave him a purpose to live again.
He was happy. No longer was he surviving. He was truly living his life again. Yet every year, without fail, on the fourth of April, the door burst open. And for one day in the year, he let it. Lest he never forget where he came from and how much he’d overcome to get where he was today.
Normally Eclipse, Feilon, or both would be nearby—Never with him, he couldn’t deal with that—but this year things had come up and he was alone. Which suited him fine. He didn’t want company because he knew he could not fully immerse himself with others around.
Perhaps it had been everything that had happened the past few months, or stress from work, or even the poor weather, but it hit him hard this year. Making sure he had the mansion to himself—Remy had said he’d be going out with Silas and stay the night in his brother’s apartment—he’d tried to drown the pain with alcohol and music. But it hadn’t helped. At all. He’d felt as if he was drowning and his addled brain feared it may not have been a splendid idea to be alone.
And then Remy had shown up. Like a guardian angel, he’d stood in the door, the hallway light a halo around him. His presence alone a balm to his down-spiraling misery.
He had stood by him. Taken care of him. Even slept with him. No questions asked.
Raenef smiled as he deeply inhaled the pillow that still smelled like his fledgling. Gods, he loved that boy.