Title: Brother, Left Behind
Fandom: Stargate: Atlantis
Pairings: David Sheppard/OMC, Patrick Sheppard/OMC
Characters: David Sheppard, Patrick Sheppard, Victor Marks (OMC)
Summary: David Sheppard was a Guide that didn’t want a Sentinel. He had seen for himself what his brothers had gone through and he didn’t think he could take that heartache. When he found Victor Marks, Gallery owner, and artist, who just happened to be David’s Sentinel, he walked away. Victor, however, wasn’t going to stand for that. When David gives in, the two try to find their way together.
Beta: None. No non-consensual Beta
Notes: Written for the Rough Trade July 2016 Little Balck Dress Challenge. This is also part of the Lineage series.
David Sheppard walked into his father’s house, his childhood home, set his briefcase and luggage off to one side and went straight for the whiskey cart. He poured a generous portion of the amber liquid and made his way to the room that had, at one time, been Spencer’s study. Of course, their father hadn’t changed a thing, hoping he could reconcile with his youngest son.
David slumped on the loveseat that Spencer had saved his own money for. He hadn’t wanted Dad’s help in picking it out or purchasing it. He thought he was all grown-up doing it himself at the ripe old age of ten. David chuckled at the memory as he sipped his whiskey. Sobering quickly, he tried not to think about how it all went wrong. How they had pushed Spencer away by their overbearing concern for him. Now, Spencer was on the newly finished advanced spacecraft, The Daedalus, flying through the galaxy heading towards the Atlantis Outpost to his Sentinel, and their brother John.
David groaned as he took another sip of his drink. John that was the second mistake in the family. When he tried to help Spencer but got lost himself and it terrified all of them. When the center matched him with a conservator Guide to help sever what was going on with Spencer, John refused. But, in the end, Spencer’s empathy was too big even for him to filter. He had left the boy and ran. The fallout in the family from that was huge and David knew they were fractured, that something fundamental in their once close-knit group had shattered.
David looked around the study and wasn’t ashamed as he let a few tears leak from his eyes. He was lost, his family in tatters. Hell, even Alec had found his Sentinel in a man named Tony DiNozzo. How that was going to work his didn’t know, but if anyone could figure it out, it would be Alec. There was talk that Tony was leaving his current job at NCIS and being put in charge of a special group of investigators in the SGC. Which meant, hell David had no idea what it meant. He wanted to be angry that this is what his family had come to, but he wasn’t. He knew what his part was in helping the breakdown, he just couldn’t help being sad and depressed about it.
He stood and looked over the books on Spencer’s bookshelves and smiled. There were books in French, Italian, Spanish, and several other languages. The kid soaked-up language like David soaked technology and mechanical engineering. He ran his fingers over some of the titles and his heart hurt. Wiping his face, he took his drink and finished it. He walked back to the main study and poured another drink. He knew he probably shouldn’t, that alcohol had always lifted his inhibitions and cracked that wall he kept built around his Guide gifts. After seeing what being a Guide or a Sentinel meant, seeing what it did to his brother’s, David wanted nothing to do with those gifts. He suppressed them so deeply, even the SGC thought he was mundane at first.
“You know that isn’t going to help.” The voice behind him startled him. He turned to see his father, Patrick Sheppard, tech and defense mogul, leaning in the doorway.
“No, it won’t. How did we fuck-up so badly Dad?”
“We didn’t listen. We chose to try to shove Spencer into a box that we all knew he didn’t fit. You know he’s always been different. Smarter, quicker and his capacity to love is deeper than we ever gave him credit for. Plus, I think you and Alec were a little jealous of him finding his Sentinel so young.”
David was about to protest that, but even he knew it was true.
“Thirteen, Jesus Christ could we have fucked-up any worse? Now two of our family are gone. I’m scared Dad, that we’ll never know what happens to them. What if the SGC can’t get those subspace relays set-up as they want? What if the Beta and Gamma sites don’t work? What if we never hear from them again?” David didn’t want to think about that. He wanted to think that at some point his family would return, that they could work all of this out and once again, become a family.
“I don’t think so.” Patrick chuckled but there was no amusement behind it. He moved to the cart and poured himself a generous portion of whiskey and took a healthy drink. “I pushed two of my son’s away and one is still trying to find his way. Tony seems good for Alec, he’ll be able to keep up with the snarky little shit.”
David laughed a genuine laugh at the thought of one Tony DiNozzo trying to reign in Alec. But, after having watched the two of them, David couldn’t agree with his father more. Sighing, he finished his drink and set the glass aside. A part of him wanted to get blind-stinking drunk. But, he knew his empathy would blow and a drunk, empathic David Sheppard was just too much for anyone to handle.
“I think it’s time for me to go to bed.”
“Why don’t you take a few days David. The last couple of weeks have been hard for all of us.”
“Maybe, we left so much behind in our rush to get to Colorado…”
Patrick laid a hand on David’s arm, “Take a few days David. We both need it and any projects you were working on can wait.”
David wanted to protest again, but he didn’t. He just shook his head, there were some things that you didn’t fight Patrick Sheppard on, this, it seemed, was going to be one of them.
“Fine, I’ll take the rest of the week, but I’ll be back in on Monday. I’m going to crash here tonight. I don’t want to drive after drinking.”
“Get some sleep son. I’ll see you tomorrow?” Patrick didn’t quite glare at him but the gaze told David not to argue.
“Yes, you’ll see me, tomorrow Dad. You should get some sleep yourself.”
David hauled himself up to his old suite of rooms that he still kept at the house. He had updated his wardrobe, thank god. He slipped out of his jeans and polo shirt and took a blistering hot shower to help clear his head. He took his time and fought to build his shields back-up. He did not want a Sentinel, there were too many heartaches that he had been witness to. He was going to maybe stick to mundane women, find a nice girl that he could have a good rapport with and go from there. For now, though, he didn’t want to even think about any type of relationship. Right now, he just wanted the sweet oblivion of sleep.
The morning gave David a fresh perspective. He remembered the time spent with Spencer before he left for the Atlantis Outpost. They had said all the things they should have said years prior but were too afraid and too angry at each other at the time. They aired everything out in the open and David had to remember that they had a stronger foundation and he had to have hope that he would see his brother’s again. It didn’t mean that it didn’t hurt like hell that they were gone, and in a dangerous place that was, frankly in David’s mind, actively trying to kill them.
“Good morning.” Patrick sauntered into the kitchen already turned out for the day. David had to admit that his father was a damn handsome man, especially in his favored bespoke suits. His father’s personal tailor always did a fabulous job. And the price was well worth it.
“Good morning.” David smiled.
“You sound better this morning son.”
“I feel better this morning. I’m going to the city. Maybe spend some time at the Smithsonian, grab some lunch. Want to join me?” David sipped his coffee as he contemplated his poached eggs.
“I’m actually headed out to Virginia Tech. There are some robotics engineering students that I’ve been asked to come to talk to. I thought this would be a good time to go.”
“Doing a little recruiting Dad?”
“Maybe. It will depend on how good they are and if they aren’t total assholes.”
David snorted and thanked god he wasn’t drinking or eating anything. He knew his father’s hatred of the attitude of most engineering students. It’s why they came into Sheppard Industries as interns. It knocked the chips off their shoulders and made them see the bigger picture. It was a rigorous program that often had thousands of applicants every year, but only twenty-five were chosen. Often of that twenty-five, there were four or five standouts that Patrick found employment for. They were working on expanding the robotics department so it wasn’t any shock that his father wanted to see the students in person.
“Taking the small jet?”
“It would be faster. I can be up and back by dinner. In fact, I need to get going or I won’t make it in time. Still meeting at Sophia’s?” Patrick asked just before downing a cup of coffee and prepping a to go cup.
“Yes, we have reservations at eight. Rae will be there.”
“Stop trying to set me up. I can find my own dates, thank you very much.” Patrick grabbed his briefcase and David just laughed as the man said his goodbyes and was out the door.
David finished his own breakfast, then grabbed his wallet and keys from his room and was also out the door. He was in the garage contemplating which car to take. He decided on the Mercedes A63. He wanted something comfortable, not flashy. He drove to the museum and decided to take his time. He knew that he needed to put Spencer and John away for a while and worry about them later. He knew that Spencer had been close to the edge being separated from Tara for so long and that finding her again had been a vindication. Plus, the whole thing made his head hurt. He knew, deep down, that somehow, they would be reunited as a family. He had to keep a positive attitude or it would just pull him down into a depression that would be almost impossible to crawl out of.
He took a leisurely pace at the Air and Space Museum and remembered how much joy it had brought him. He had a lot of good memories of this particular museum and the first time he had brought Spencer. Instead of making him sad, he let the memories flow over him and smiled. He only wanted good thoughts as he perused the museum’s current collections.
He decided to walk over to the American History Museum, which was a bit of a walk from where he was, but it gave him a chance to relax. As he was making his way there he passed a gallery called Statera and his spirit animal decided to make an appearance as he was passing it. He held out his hand for her to land on as he looked in the window. He wasn’t sure what to make of it and he would have gone in but he was hungry, and the walk only helped to ramp-up his appetite.
“You don’t show for weeks, I’m assuming because you’re upset with me, and now something about this place makes you come out?” The owl just turned and stared at him and nipped at his nose. David just shook his head. Darla had always had a mind of her own and would make her opinions known, one way or another.
“I can’t go in there right now, so you are just going to have to wait.” Darla hooted and cocked her head looking at him with her large eyes. “No. And that is final. We’ll come back tonight after dinner with Dad, okay?” David couldn’t believe he was having this conversation with an animal made purely out of psionic energy. He chuckled as he petted her feathers and soothed her. A moment later she disappeared, seemingly appeased, for now at least.
David made note of the gallery, then moved on towards his destination. Once he got there, he had a nice lunch and pondered just what his owl was trying to tell him. For now, much like everything else that was going on in his life, he set it aside and would deal with it later.
Dinner with Patrick Sheppard was good. They had a lively conversation about what his father had found at Virginia Tech and the current crop of students working towards their master’s degrees. Rae Solomon, David’s right hand, was there and kept up with the flow of the conversation.
“I swear it’s like these kids are getting smarter every year. I like what I saw and a couple of them I’m thinking of offering internships to. It will depend on their final projects though.”
“So, not so many assholes?”
Patrick laughed before taking a sip of his wine. “No son, not a lot of assholes. They are actually good kids. One or two with serious chips on their shoulders, but other than that, it was a good endeavor.”
They talked more about some of the pending projects they were both working on and David’s restructuring of some of the R&D department to handle the new projects coming out of the Stargate Program and landing in their laps in recent months. They hashed out plans and wanted to bring in some new blood for other projects that had been on the back burner. When they were done, they went their separate ways. Rae went with his father and David wondered when those two would come clean on their relationship. David just watched as they walked out of the restaurant, subtly trying not to touch each other.
After finishing his coffee, David stood and made his way out to his car. He wanted to drive back to that gallery, there was something there that was pulling him towards it, and though it made him anxious, he was more than curious.
Darla, of course, decided to perch on his shoulders as he walked in. Looking around David conceded that the artwork was stunning, but not in the way of the old masters. These were works that incorporated unusual shapes and colors, textures and sounds that both assaulted and soothed the senses. At first, he was a little disoriented.
“It’s a little overwhelming at first isn’t it?” A woman to his right said.
“Yes, I ah, I’ve never seen artwork quite like this.”
“Well, Victor has created something very cool. Hi, I’m Angela, one of the artists. I’m just here to drop off some paintings.” Her wide smile and open welcoming expression made David smile too. He took her hand and shook it. Then looked at the paintings that she had been unboxing. There was one in particular that had caught his eye. It was of a starry night scene with a young boy looking up at the stars and two other boys lying on the grass laughing. The colors were soothing in a way that he’d never experienced before.
“What do I need to do to acquire this lovely piece.” David didn’t want to appear too enthusiastic, but it was like something in him wanted the painting more than anything.
“I don’t actually set the prices. Tempe always tells me I undervalue myself. I just love to share. She was the one to put me in contact with Victor, the Jeffersonian, where I work, has a close relationship with him.”
David was becoming more curious about the woman as he stood there eyeing the painting.
Then, it was as if the very breath in him had been taken away. His world tilted and Darla left his shoulder to fly, somewhere out of his immediate sight, and he wasn’t sure he wanted to turn around. Slowly, with a hand on his stomach, he turned to look at one of the most exquisite men he’d ever seen. And, sitting on his shoulder was Darla, with a cat of some sort that he’d never seen before at the man’s side. His stomach was churning because this could only mean one thing…Sentinel.
“Good evening, I’m Victor Marks, owner of Statera, I think maybe we have something to discuss.” The man held out his hand and David was tempted to take it, to fall into this man’s arms, to let the pain and loneliness in him be soothed, to let the Guide free, to be whole for once, but he just couldn’t do it. Too much of his family had been destroyed by this whole Sentinel/Guide crap, he wanted nothing to do with it.
Instead of taking Victor’s hand he shut down. His expression closed and he tightened his shields.
“No,” was all he said before he turned on his heels and practically ran out of the gallery.
Victor stood there and sighed. Mumba was pacing the floor, his plaintive cries were breaking not only Victor’s heart, but Angela’s as well.
“What just happened?” Angela stood there with a stunned look on her face.
“That, was, I believe, my Guide.”
“Oh, shit.” Angela furrowed her brow as she looked towards the door. “I’m sorry, sweetie.”
“Darling, it isn’t over yet. I have a feeling I know who he is. What was he looking at when I came in?”
“This.” Angela held up the painting and Victor smiled a slow, sly smile.
“I will buy it outright.”
“Honey I can’t let you do that.”
“And Tempe will have my hide if she ever found out I wasn’t paying her Guide her fair share. No darling, do not argue with me.” Victor took the painting, then hooked an arm through Angela’s and led her to the office. “You know you won’t win. I always get my way.”
“I bet you do,” Angela whispered under her breath and smirked when Victor smacked her arm.
“You are terrible. I don’t know why I buy your paintings.” He teased playfully.
“Because you love me and I bring you lots of money.”
Victor laughed and shook his head, releasing her went to his desk and wrote out a generous check for the painting. Then pulled out a contract for the rest.
“Standard 75/25. And soon I want a full gallery showing of your work Angela sweetheart. I know your work at the Jeffersonian is important, but I can’t keep any of your art for more than a couple of weeks. People have been asking me if you are doing a formal showing. Sculpture, photography, and painting. What do you say? And we can set an 85/15 contract for it.” He handed her the check, which she tried not to gape at.
“You’re lucky Tempe is the one to manage my money because I think I’d be upset at what you charge.” She folded the check and slipped it into her jeans. “Let me think about it. I’ll talk to Tempe and maybe work something out.”
“Good, now go I’ve got work and you are impeding my progress.”
“You just want to sit here and brood.”
Victor snorted and shook his head. “Maybe you’re right.” He sobered as he looked at the painting and felt an ache in his heart. He knew he looked maudlin when he turned his gaze to Angela, “Go home to your Sentinel, Ange, I’ll be fine. I always am.”
Angela didn’t know what to say as she patted him on the arm and left.
Mumba was rubbing against Victor’s legs and he felt his spirit animal was trying to comfort him.
“We dare not hope Mumba. No guide has wanted me, and I’ve done just fine on my own.” The cat started to whine as he jumped in Victor’s lap. “Yes, he is ours, but I’m not sure he wants us, sweetheart.” Victor ran his hand over the cat’s coat, more for himself than the spirit animal. After a few moments of comfort, he went to work cataloging the new works and slating them for display.
When he felt like he was done for the evening he grabbed the painting, boxed it for shipping and labeled it to be shipped to one David Sheppard of Sheppard Industries. He wasn’t stupid, he kept up with the movers and shakers of Virginia and DC. Everyone knew who David Sheppard was. He hoped that the man didn’t see this as his attempt at manipulation, just the olive branch he hoped it would be.
After finishing up his final errands he grabbed his things and left. He was supposed to meet his best friend, Thomas, at their favorite bar and he was already running late, which wasn’t all that unusual. When he finally arrived there was a pint of Guinness already waiting for him as he slid onto the chair across from him.
“Are you trying to get me drunk, Tommy?” Victor teased as he kissed Thomas’s cheek then sat down and took a healthy drink of the dark ale.
“I know you can tolerate it. Though I would never have guessed it if I hadn’t known you for forever.” Thomas took a drink of his own beer and watched his friends. “Out with it, what happened?”
“And why do you presume that something happened?” Victor leaned back and rubbed at the condensation on his glass. He was so focused on watching the little droplets of water that he had tuned everyone and everything out. It wasn’t until he felt a warm hand on the back of his that he was snapped out of his almost total zone out.
“Hey, almost lost you there.”
Victor sighed as he looked-up into a concerned face. While he was good at keeping his senses evened out, and the gallery helped immensely regarding that, he still had issues sometimes. Victor didn’t trust easy, especially after the last temp Guide who had wanted a bond with him, but he wasn’t interested in the Guide. He had to fire the poor boy and sent him back to the S&G center with his proverbial tail between his legs. Victor almost snorted because he knew the young man wouldn’t be alone long.
“Vic, talk to me. You haven’t been this uneven for a long-time, what’s going on?” While Thomas wasn’t a Guide, though Victor had thoughts on that, he was a sensitive. He was one of the few people that Victor had let inside his bubble, along with Aaron and Derek. Which he hadn’t heard from lately, but he wasn’t going to worry about them, well, not yet at least.
“I met my Guide.” Victor lifted his glass and took another healthy drink. This was one of those times that he wished he could get drunk. It was very definitely the night for it.
“I’m going to assume that it didn’t go well.”
Victor snorted as he set his glass down. “No Tommy, it did not. The man practically ran from the Gallery.”
“Did you get a name at least?
“Oh, I didn’t need to get a name. I knew exactly who the bloody git was the moment he entered the Gallery.”
Thomas raised his brows waiting for his friend to elaborate and when he didn’t he sighed and shook his head.
“You are going to make me ask, aren’t you?”
Victor smirked, “Bloody fucking David Sheppard.”
Thomas knew he probably shouldn’t have taken a drink of his beer at that moment as he almost choked on it. It was several minutes before he regained control and stared at Victor.
“David Sheppard. The David Sheppard?”
“The one and only.” Victor raised his glass as if to take a drink then closed his eyes and set it back down. “I don’t even know what I did.”
“Vic, I have to think that whatever went through his mind, it was all him and not you. Maybe, well maybe you could send him a letter or something.”
“I’m sending him a painting.”
“A painting,” Thomas said with little humor, “Only you would send a painting.”
“Angela was there dropping off the last of her latest pieces. He was enamored of one of them. I bought it off the dear girl and I’m sending it to him.”
“What do you mean what else?” Victor furrowed his brow and the conversation stopped when the bar waitress came by and handed them menus. Victor handed his back and looked at the woman, “Can I have the Sentinel friendly menu please?”
“Sure hon, I’ll bring it right away.” The girl left and was back quickly. Victor graced her with one of his dazzling smiles as he took the menu.
“Thank you, darling. And a glass of water would be lovely if you don’t mind.” Victor was pouring on the charm, but Thomas wasn’t fooled one bit. He felt the hurt coming off his friend and wondered how he could help.
“What do you mean what else Tommy?” Victor pasted on his innocent, ‘I’ve done nothing wrong’ look.
“You know what I mean. No note? No snarky remarks? Just the painting.”
Victor opened and closed his mouth a couple of times and was about to answer when his water was set in front of him. He took a healthy drink then smiled.
“I may have included a note.”
Thomas narrowed his eyes and practically glared at his friend. “Victor,” Thomas stretched out his name as he let his exasperation fuel his voice, “What did you do?”
“I simply wrote, you’re an asshole.”
Thomas was rendered speechless as he shook his head at his friend. He didn’t even have a comeback for that.
“I don’t even know what to say to that.”
“I’m putting the proverbial ball in his court. Though after he finds out everything about me…” Victor trailed off as he lifted his glass to take another sip of his beer.
“Vic, there is nothing wrong with you. And those other Guides? They didn’t deserve you.”
“I’m a bloody Sentinel who doesn’t like sex.” Victor almost slammed down his glass in frustration. “It puts them off. Makes them think there is something wrong with me. And the bloody fucking center doesn’t help when they push sexual bonds as being the most fulfilling.” Victor took a breath as he tried to stem the tears of frustration that gathered in his eyes.
“Vic, you know there is nothing wrong with you. Sex isn’t everything and you know it. I know you and you are a wonderful person. I’m sorry people are assholes that can’t see past it to see what you have to offer. You’re a good guy Vic and if this David Sheppard turns out to be another asshole, you know I’m here for you.” Thomas looked at Victor with all the affection and love he had for the man.
“You are entirely too good for me Tommy.” Victor swallowed past the lump in his throat. He was saved for the moment from anymore talking when their waitress came by again to take their orders. Victor kept it light, just a chicken salad with grilled rye bread on the side. He didn’t want to upset anymore of his senses. He already was fighting the burning need to touch. When he felt Thomas lacing their fingers together, it soothed a small part of him.
The rest of the evening was quiet as they ate and finished off their drinks. After paying and leaving the bar. Victor laced his fingers with Thomas’s and smiled as he brought their combined hands up to his lips and kissed.
“Come home with me?” Victor’s voice was raw need and he was practically simmering with vulnerability. He needed something to soothe the pain of his Guide walking away from him.
Thomas just smiled and nodded. He hailed a cab and gave over Victor’s address. It didn’t take long to pull-up in front of the modern, stylish house that was Victor’s. When they got out, Thomas paid the cab and they quickly made it inside.
“I just, I need to touch tonight Tommy.”
Thomas smiled and cupped Victor’s cheek and pulled him close kissing him. This was familiar and soothing and Victor was sighing against those soft warm lips. He pulled on Thomas’s shirt, lifting it off him to get to the skin underneath. When his hands slid over the warm flesh he started to feel more centered.
By the time they had made it to the bedroom, clothes shed along the way, Victor never taking his hands off Thomas. He had always been grateful for his friend that he understood him, always had. They had been together like this many times in the past, and though Victor knew Thomas wasn’t his, his friend never pushed. Thomas understood and just enjoyed the times he was with Victor. They each knew that someday they would find their respective counterparts.
Victor had come to terms with his Asexuality many years prior. He knew the center worried over those that self-identified as Asexuals, believing that they couldn’t form proper bonds with their counterparts. Victor didn’t subscribe to that belief, especially with someone like him. He didn’t abhor all forms of intimacy like some he knew. He found out quite by accident that he thoroughly enjoyed touch and taste. He loved to kiss, and he loved running his tongue over his partner’s flesh. He wasn’t sure if that was the Sentinel part of him, or if it was his own likes. He just wasn’t interested in the actual act of sex. He’d had it, just to try it, and found it did absolutely nothing for him. He gained more pleasure from the simple, intimate act of gliding his hands over warm flesh than he ever did with penetration and the one time he actually did have an orgasm. That he chalked up to being fifteen at the time.
Victor had Thomas splayed out on the bed and he took his time touching, kissing and nipping at his friend’s warm flesh. He liked hearing the hitch in Thomas’s throat, he even didn’t mind that his friend sported an erection, which Thomas often took care of himself. Victor on the odd occasion liked to watch, but his eyes were more on Thomas’s expressions, the way his body moved, the small noises he made, then the tight bowing of his body as he came. It fascinated Victor and sometimes he would sit back, with his sketch pad and try to capture the moment with pencil or chalk.
They always had a deep connection, and Victor at one time thought Thomas had been his Guide, but the man had never come on-line. He wondered if he was latent, but the center had tested him thoroughly and determined he was a high-level sensitive with the possibility of bonding. They were rare and the center had tried several times to match him to a lower-level Sentinel, but nothing had ever come of it.
Victor shook himself out of his thoughts as he trailed his fingers lightly over strong, muscled thighs, up over hips and lightly danced over a tanned and taut stomach. He kissed every inch of his sometime lover and started to feel more settled in himself.
Thomas sat-up and captured his mouth in a toe-curling kiss that made Victor’s stomach flutter. He was gently pushed down on the bed where hands started to caress him as lips never left his. He melted into the mattress and he let his mind go. Thomas brushed his flaccid cock and trailed fingers over his thighs, then back-up his sides. A hand cupped his cheek as Thomas continued his assault on his mouth. Victor sighed and lifted his hands to touch and caress Thomas’s shoulders.
The two men continued touching and kissing and when Victor felt Thomas lay next to him he opened his eyes to see his friend fisting his cock, working himself up and Victor watched his face, laid his hand over his stomach and closed his eyes. He ramped up his hearing just a bit so he could take in all those little noises that Thomas made. He shuddered when Thomas did, his breath hitched and when he felt Thomas tighten, getting ready for his release he opened his eyes and trailed his fingers over Thomas’s face. When his friend came Victor kissed him, capturing his final moans.
They both collapsed on the bed, spent, but in different ways. Thomas slid out of bed and went to clean-up, then came back and gathered Victor into his arms and held him.
Sleep came a few minutes later and in dreams, Victor saw his Guide standing there, uncertainty on his face while holding his hand out. As Victor was about to grab onto the offered hand, the man disappeared and Victor collapsed to his knees screaming out his frustration and pain.
Victor bolted upright, breathing heavily as he rubbed at his heart. He felt a hand on his back but was thankful Thomas didn’t ask any questions. When he settled more he laid back in bed and welcomed the weight around him. Though Thomas wasn’t his, he was never more grateful for the comfort they sought from each other. He was uncertain of what was going to happen and that more than anything scared him.
David William Sheppard knew better. He knew better than to get blind stinking drunk. He had stopped himself in the past and always knew his limits, but tonight, well tonight he blew past those limits so badly that he almost caused an empathic event at a bar. Luckily it was a bar that the bartender knew him well. The man called David a cab and got him sent home. Well, not exactly his apartment, he was sent home.
David sighed dramatically as he tried to stay upright in the back of the cab. The cabbie had tried to strike up a conversation but he just growled. The driver then closed his mouth and just drove. When he got to the gate of the Sheppard Estates, he could barely see through his hazy alcohol dimmed vision, but after three tries he typed in the code for the gate and the cab pulled all the way up to the house. As David was trying to pull money out of his wallet, the driver told him it was already paid for. David waved him off and handed him a fifty anyway. The driver wasn’t going to argue, took the money and drove off before David had any chance of sobering-up.
He stumbled into the house and frowned that the alarm wasn’t on. He just shrugged his shoulders, stumbled his way into the main family room and fell face first onto the couch. He was lucky he even made it that far. Just before falling down, though, his gaze caught a cat pacing at the head of the couch. Well not just a cat, his cat, and Darla, the little traitor she was, flew over and landed on the cat’s head. David scowled at them both and cursed.
“Fuck off,” he growled, then passed out.
It was several hours later when he felt the itching at the back of his neck. Groaning, he chanced sitting-up and looked over at a very upset Patrick Sheppard.
“You’re lucky Baldwin called and warned me he was sending you here.”
“Fuck off Dad.”
“Really David?” Patrick was sitting calmly in one of the wing-backed chairs that faced the couch and David scowled at him.
“I don’t need a fucking lecture that I shouldn’t be fucking drinking, let alone getting drunk and that I should know better with my empathy rating and blah de fucking blah.” David looked down at the coffee table and saw a large glass of water and some aspirin. He took the aspirin with a long drink of the cold water and looked back at his father for a moment then looked away.
“So what happened after Rae and I left?”
David didn’t answer. He just sat there scowling into the glass of water still in his hands.
“David, don’t shut me out son, what’s going on?”
David slowly lifted his gaze to stare right at Patrick Sheppard.
“Don’t shut you out, huh.” David shook his head, though he regretted it instantly. “Didn’t you shut us out when Mom died? How you made it so easy for Spencer to run to Caltech or John and Alec to the Air Force? Now, you want to talk?” David wasn’t sure why he was feeling mean, but he was.
“Are we having this conversation again? Didn’t we hash all this out in Colorado when your brother handed my ass to me?”
David snorted, “Yeah, Spencer sure can deliver the goods when he wants you to know just exactly how pissed off he is.”
Patrick laughed because of all his son’s it was always Spencer, the quiet one, that was the most deadly with his words. The boy knew too many and wasn’t afraid to use them when pushed into a corner.
“David, I can feel that you’ve blown your empathy, what happened?”
David narrowed his eyes at his father, “Oh hell. When did you come online?”
Patrick just shook his head, he never could keep anything from John or David.
“Colorado. After the General got back from that mission he took Agent Hotchner and his Guide on. When they touched me it triggered. I have no idea why neither does the center, they are investigating.” Patrick said the word like it was some kind of foul thing he had swallowed.
“And you kept this from me.”
“Because you’ve been struggling ever since we got the phone call that Spencer found his Sentinel. You’ve been fighting yourself David and you can’t keep it up. Something is going to break and I’m worried, no, no not worried, I’m terrified. I can’t lose you, David. I can’t lose any of you.”
“Dad, you aren’t going to lose me. Okay, I lost it last night and did something stupid, but you aren’t going to lose me.”
“Then talk to me, tell me, son, what’s going on?”
David blew out his breath and stood on shaky legs. He stripped off the jacket he was still wearing and picked-up the glass of water and downed it in one go. Wiping a hand over his face he started to pace.
“I found my Sentinel,” he said quietly.
“I see. And that caused you to go on a drinking binge?”
“I don’t need the Sheppard sarcasm right now Dad.” David kept pacing when Patrick stood and gripped his shoulders stopping him.
“David, you can’t run away from this.”
“Why? Why can’t I just be happy with the way things were?”
“Doesn’t work quite that way. I know watching what Spencer went through, feeling what he went through was bad for you. I know John losing his first Guide had all of us reeling, but David, you can’t let what happened to them color whatever it is you could have with your Sentinel. I know it’s scary territory, but maybe you should get to know them before you outright reject them.”
“It’s a man.”
“And?” Patrick had never cared about who it was his children dated, he just always hoped they’d be happy.
“Dad,” David moaned as he flopped back onto the couch. He knew he was pouting and petulant, but he was so twisted-up and confused he didn’t really know what to do.
“David, I know it’s always been harder for you to acknowledge your sexuality..”
“Dad.” David was mortified that he was actually having this conversation with his father.
“What? I don’t care David. As long as you are happy, and frankly the last few months you haven’t been even remotely close to happy, then it doesn’t matter to me. Talk to this man at least.”
David shook his head and turned away. He really did not want to have this conversation with his father. He stood and waved the man off as he made his way to his rooms to take a long hot shower, hoping to clear his head.
David had been restless after he had showered and changed. His head cleared a little and he didn’t know what he wanted to do, so he did what he always did when he felt like this. He went into the office. It was mid-afternoon by the time he walked in and settled down at his desk. He pulled up his personal projects files and went through them, seeing if any of them caught his eye when there was a knock on his door. He looked up and called out for them to come in.
“Good afternoon Mr. Sheppard, there’s a package out here for you.”
“Good afternoon Karen. Why don’t you bring it in? I assume security already went over it?”
“With a fine tooth comb sir.” David’s assistant smiled as she stepped out and was coming back in a minute later carrying a large flat box. He stood and crossed the room taking the package from her.
“Thank you, Karen. Can you bring me the plans for the micro-communicators? I want to see if I can work out the flaw in the limited transmission.”
“Right away. Is there anything else?”
“No, I’ll be sorting through the e-mails and messages you’ve left since my father and I were gone. I can’t thank you enough Karen for holding down the fort.”
“It’s no problem, sir. Rae and I handled things quite easily. I’ll be back with those plans in just a little bit.”
David thanked her then picked-up the package and took it with him over to the couch he had in one corner of the room. Before he sat he grabbed the box cutter he kept in his desk, then headed back to the couch. Carefully he cut away the box to reveal a painting. Of course, it wasn’t just any painting, it was the one he was admiring from the young woman he met at the gallery.
He leaned the piece against the coffee table and saw the sticky note that was attached.
You’re an asshole.
David couldn’t help the snort that escaped. He sat looking at the piece for an inordinately long time. His heart ached when he looked at it. The piece reminded him of days in open fields with his brother’s. The one standing and staring at the sky was so like John that David hadn’t realized a tear fell until he went to wipe his face with his hand.
Setting the artwork aside he started to pace his office. Karen had come back with the schematics he had asked for, but he only set them on his desk. He didn’t approach his drawing board, nor did he enter the small workshop he had next to his office for the smaller projects he liked to keep his hands in. He paced, and couldn’t stop the thoughts in his head.
His father hadn’t been wrong when he said that David had never truly been comfortable with his sexuality. He found out at an early age that he liked both men and women, but men had made him nervous, he never knew why. John never had trouble with being gay, Spencer, well Spencer never cared what was between someone’s legs, even at a young age. He liked people for their brain, the other stuff always came later for him, that was until he met Tara and had a partial bond before anyone knew what was happening. Alec was bi-sexual like him but was much more comfortable with it. David, well he’d only had a couple of male lovers in college and had a hard time accepting that part of himself.
He didn’t know where it came from, their father never tried to push them one way or another. He accepted all his sons for who they were.
David stared at the painting and cursed himself. Striding over to his desk he grabbed his wallet, phone and keys, told Karen that he would be back and was out the door.
It didn’t take long for him to make his way to Statera. He entered the Gallery and instantly it was like all those empty places deep inside him were soothed. His heart pounded hard in his chest and he cursed again, not really knowing why he was there. He was still adamant that he didn’t want a Sentinel. He didn’t want the possibility of bonding, then losing something so precious. He felt him before he saw him.
“Good afternoon Mr. Sheppard. I’m going to assume you received my gift.”
David turned around and his heart ached as he looked at that too beautiful face.
“Yes. You didn’t have to do that.”
“Hmm, I’m of the opinion that I very much did.” Victor raised a brow as he looked at David.
“You’re right, though. I am an asshole, but I have very good reasons. Or at least I think they are good reasons.” David looked down and shuffled his feet, not knowing what to say or do. Then, it was like that part of him that was Guide blossomed within him, bright and powerful. All the pain and loneliness he had been feeling for months now eased just a little. He looked down to see Victor wrapping a hand around his wrist and for some reason that he just couldn’t understand, that small touch, that connection wanted to make him weep.
“Sh, Guide, come on, I think there is a lot we have to talk about.” Victor stepped closer and David couldn’t take his eyes off the man. His heart pounded hard in his chest but all the man did was cup his cheek and softly stroke. He took a shuddering breath as he felt too much all at once. “What has hurt you so much that you are letting your fear stop you from what I can feel that you desperately want?”
“Not here, please? Is there somewhere we can go to talk, maybe?” David swallowed against the dryness in his throat as he fought the urges that had welled up with just those simple touches. He also fought the opposite urge to run again. The two sides of himself painfully warring deep within.
“Of course. Give me a moment.” Victor let him go and David felt lost again. He wanted the warmth back. Wanted those empty places soothed and filled. He knew then it was useless to fight anymore. He was only hurting himself, and his Sentinel. He watched Victor stride towards him and smile. His hand was taken again and he was being led out to a car. He couldn’t even say how long the drive took but before he knew it they were pulling up to a house.
“Wow, this is…” David couldn’t find the words, but everything about the outside he liked. The lines and angles were cleverly done and rather soothing. The colors not too bright, but not boring either.
“I had it designed and built by an architect that specializes in building homes for Sentinels and Guides. The man is a genius. I…I hope you like it.” David could feel that his Sentinel was just as wary as he was, but he wasn’t sure why.
“I do, It’s beautiful”
“Good, come on and I’ll fix us something cold to drink and we can talk.” David knew if he walked into that house that his whole life would change. He hesitated just on the edge of the property as he stared up at the house. Victor walked over to him and just laced their fingers together. The Sentinel was giving him his quiet, graceful strength and David appreciated that the man didn’t push. Taking a shuddering breath, he followed Victor inside.
Victor showed David into the living room. He wanted so badly to ground himself on the, frankly gorgeous man, but he could tell how uncertain and skittish his Guide was. With a reassuring squeeze to his hand, Victor left a moment to go pour some sparkling water with juice into a couple of glasses. This also gave him a moment to settle as he let his senses out and heard David’s heartbeat and breathing. Just that small act calmed and soothed him. He picked-up the drinks and made his way back into the room.
“Here, something cold.” David turned around from where he was standing and smiled at Victor, his thoughts and emotions a jumbled mess. He knew he needed to gain control or he’d empathically bleed all over his Sentinel. He fought the urge to just fall into Victor’s arms like the Guide in him wanted. He felt the pull so strongly, but he wanted to talk first.
They sat down, David on the couch, Victor in a chair directly across. It was several long minutes before either of them said anything. David was the first to crack because he hated this pregnant silence.
“I didn’t want a Sentinel, I have gone this long in my life without one that I figured it was never going to happen and I was happy with that, or so I thought. The last few months I’ve been struggling. I know all about the possibilities of what could happen if I keep going like I am. And when I found you, it was like I felt all those empty places fill and it scared me.” David took a sip of his drink but didn’t let it go. He needed something in his hands to hold onto, to keep from crawling into Victor’s lap and never leaving. He needed to get it all out first and hope, well he wasn’t sure what he hoped for.
“David, why are you afraid?”
David took a deep breath to settle himself before he continued.
“My youngest brother, Spencer, to call him a genius is an understatement. He graduated high school at twelve and went to college at thirteen. Thing is, he found his Sentinel. We were all stunned, really. They were…beautiful. I have no other words to describe what they were to each other. They had formed an empathic bond very quickly and were hardly separated from each other. That was until they were seventeen and Tara, his Sentinel, disappeared. We tried to help, but the pain, the very heartache, it almost put me under. John was the stronger of us and the Sentinel in the family, but even he couldn’t hold the weight of Spencer’s grief.
“John left him at the S&G center in Los Angeles and it fractured our family. John and my father fought over it and it pushed John to leave. He was in the Air Force and got lost to us in that world. When I saw him again he had been bonded to a Guide. They were compatible, but I could tell that John was holding back. He’s an Alpha Prime, and few Guides could filter his empathic abilities as well as his emotions. The man he was bonded to died in the war and it sent John into multiple sensory spikes.
“Just before Spencer left for Caltech, My father lost our Mother and while she wasn’t a true Guide she was a high-level sensitive with the ability to bond. “ David finally looked-up at Victor, he didn’t hide the tears that fell and he knew he was bleeding over, but he couldn’t stop the emotions even if he wanted to.
“This Sentinel-Guide thing has brought nothing but pain to my family, why would I want to put myself through that as well?”
Victor set his glass down and stood. He took David’s glass from his hands, the man didn’t protest, and set it aside. He straddled David’s lap and gently took his face between his hands and wiped away the tears.
“I’m sorry David. I’m sorry that your family has suffered like this. But, you aren’t them. You are your own person and you need to let them go and do what is right for you, for us.” Victor softly stroked his thumbs over David’s cheek. “What else are you afraid of? You still hesitate.”
David’s heart pounded hard in his chest as his anxiety raised. He itched to touch Victor. Itched to feel skin, to kiss, to hold, to let the Sentinel in his lap ground himself, to become part of him, but that older fear and self-hatred reared its ugly head and he fisted the cushion under him.
“I’ve…” he looked down as shame filled him. “I’ve only ever been with a couple of men. I’ve never been comfortable with myself when it comes to men.”
“And what is it that has made you feel this way? Did one of them hurt you?”
“No, no, not- not in the way you’re thinking.” David closed his eyes a moment to try to steady himself again. “It’s going to seem silly and stupid and I’ve never really admitted this to anyone, not even my family…” his heart raced as he raised his shields, getting ready for the pain he just knew he was in for. “I…I don’t like penetration.”
Victor didn’t move, he only raised a brow but he never moved his hands from David’s face. He leaned forward and kissed David’s forehead gently and shuddered as the taste of the man filled him. It was moments before he pulled back and looked in David’s face.
“I am going to assume that in your training at the center that sexual bonds were pushed on all of you. And that a Guide needs to be sexually open for anything their Sentinel wants, am I correct?”
“Yes,” David swallowed hard against the dryness in his throat. “The two lover’s I had in college, they pushed me into things I wasn’t ready for and didn’t enjoy. I always assumed that it would hinder my ability to bond if my Sentinel was a man.”
“So, you sought out women, hoping it would be easier. You hoped that if you ever got past your fear that your Sentinel would be a woman. Am I correct?”
David could only nod, not trusting his voice.
“David, there is something you should know about me before we make any decision on what happens next.” David frowned at him and figured this was where it would end before it even began and part of him was shaking with so much emotion, he thought he was going to pass out.
“Calm Guide, don’t think the worst before you hear me out.” Victor smiled at him again and placed another soft kiss to his temple. “David, I’m an asexual. I don’t like most forms of sex, but I enjoy intimacy. LIke we are now. I like to touch, I like kissing and I do give rather mind-blowing blow jobs.”
David’s eyes popped and his mouth went dry. “Jesus Christ Victor. You can’t just throw something like that at me.”
“What? The fact that I’m a Grey-A or the fact that, with the right person, I enjoy giving blow jobs?”
David shuddered in pleasure at the thought of this beautiful man, this Sentinel that was in his lap, with his mouth stretched around his cock. He fisted the couch cushion even more as he tried not to sport an erection.
“You just may be the death of me.”
“I certainly hope not. We have too much ahead of us, that is if you are willing to try. I’ve waited so long David are you willing to open yourself, open your heart to the possibilities?”
David sat there watching Victor’s face, reaching out with his empathy to find the lie or the deception and when he found none, when he only found genuine want and need and the pain of his Sentinel having waited so long, David slowly let go of the cushion and curled his hands around Victor’s hips.
Victor took that as a sign and leaned down to finally take David’s mouth in the kiss he had been wanting since he first laid eyes on his Guide.
David moaned at those lips on his and slid his arms over Victor’s back pulling him in closer. They didn’t stop for what seemed like a long time but was only a few minutes. When Victor finally pulled back he almost moaned at the loss.
“I’m scared of this Victor. I’m scared if I give all of myself that I’ll lose you somehow, but I can’t go on fighting it, so I’m willing if you’ll have me, baggage and all.”
“David, darling, we all have baggage. It’s how we handle that baggage that either makes us stronger or breaks us. You’ve let your past, your family’s past break you. I will help you to let it go but you have got to be willing to let it go.”
David couldn’t argue against the truth in Victor’s words and when a hand settled on his heart he let go. He let go of his past lovers who had hurt him, he let go of some of the pain from his family, he let go of his own fears and at that moment he saw more clearly than he had in a long time. He wrapped arms around Victor and held him close, let down the walls surrounding his empathy and let it surround the both of them. When he was laid out on the couch with Victor kissing him and sliding his hands underneath his shirt, he felt his world tilt, then right itself. He felt more complete than he had in a very long time.
He didn’t know how long he slept but when he woke up to the Sentinel still wrapped around him, making circles over his t-shirt clad chest he smiled. Though there wasn’t a full bond between them yet, he felt his Sentinel inside him.
“I didn’t mean to fall asleep.”
“You needed it. I’m going to assume you went on a rather terrific drinking binge.”
“I can feel the residual effects. I didn’t want to push a bond, not until you are fully and wholly yourself. And to that end, you are hungry. Let me make us something to eat. We don’t have to talk unless you want to.”
“I’d like to know more about you.”
“Alright. Food first, then I shall regale you with my story.” Victor teased as he slid off his Guide, David immediately feeling the loss.
“Do you want any help?”
“That would be lovely.’ Victor held out his hand for David who got-up and took the offered hand. They made their way to Victor’s kitchen, which was sleek and modern with splashes of colors and textures.
“Your strongest senses are touch and sight, aren’t they?”
“Yes. I am very tactile. I love texture and colour, its what pushed me to be an artist. Why don’t you help cut-up vegetables while I get some chicken going.”
David just smiled as he was handed a few things to cut-up. The two men worked in companionable silence as they moved around each other, touching every-so-often, stealing a kiss here and there. It was new and fragile, but David knew that it would become stronger over time.
By the time they were sitting down to a meal of chicken in lemon and white wine, pan roasted squash with fresh herbs and butter, and roasted potatoes, he was starving.
“Can I assume, no garlic?”
“Unfortunately, you’d be correct. Garlic, though I do love it, plays havoc with my taste. There are a few other spices that I need to stay away from, and I’ll write it all down.”
There was not much talking, but it wasn’t uncomfortable, it was, to David’s surprise, just the opposite. They finished off the dinner and together rinsed everything and loaded the dishwasher. Leftovers were put in the fridge and coffee was being made in a stove-top espresso maker.
“I do like coffee and, unlike a lot of Sentinels, I can easily tolerate it in moderation. I do drink a lot of strong earl grey, my preferred tea.”
“I’ve always been a tea drinker myself. I do indulge myself with coffee every so often, so it won’t be a problem.”
“Good.” Victor finished making their coffees and they went back to the living room. This time, though, they wrapped around each other as they sat on the couch.
“My story isn’t all that complex. An only child, born and raised in London. Parents were a perfect Sentinel-Guide pair. They were detectives with Scotland Yard. Mum was brilliant and one of the strongest women and Sentinels I’ve ever known. She never tried to make me into what she thought I should be.
“Dad tried to get me to like football, but I would rather watch than play. I do like a round of golf now and again. Mum’s doing, Dad hated golf.” Victor felt the rumbling laugh from David and smiled.
“I knew rather early two things about myself. I liked boys much more than girls and I was more interested in snogging than I was about sex. No one made fun of me for liking boys, but no one understood why I wasn’t trying to chase a hole to fuck. It was brutal and I knew I wanted out. I applied to the Art Center in California and got in. I felt more comfortable there than I did in my own childhood neighborhood. I took drawing and painting and it’s where I came up with the idea that art could be specifically created for Sentinels and Guides.
“I started with just a few mixed-media artworks. Colors, textures and sometimes scent all mixed together. My first showing was at a small art house in North Hollywood. In the time between school and those early showings, I’d tried to have lovers, but they all eventually left. Then, during a mixed showing, I met my best friend in the whole world, Thomas Wilkes. The man changed my life. I was depressed and my senses were starting to collapse under the depression of so many rejections. Thomas is a high-level sensitive and he has helped me more than I can ever repay him for.
“I’d like you to meet him. He’s a very important part of my life David and I’m not willing to let him go, not even for you.”
David couldn’t help being a little jealous, but also proud that his Sentinel took a firm stand about his own life.
“I’d never ask you to give anyone up Victor. We both come into this with friends, family, and past lovers. We should never give-up those that are important to us. And I’d like to meet him.”
Victor relaxed back and nuzzled David’s neck while he kept a hand on the man’s stomach.
“Stay, please? I feel like if I let you go, you won’t come back.” Victor turned his face-up to David, hope, need and so many other emotions was in just that single look.
“I’m not leaving. I don’t think I could. I’m in this Victor and thank you, for telling me about your family. They sound lovely. What happened to them?”
Victor closed his eyes a moment and David could feel the emotions leaking from him. He extended his empathy and soothed his Sentinel. He laced his fingers through Victor’s hand, helping to ground him a little more.
“Mum was working a case. She was shot in the line of duty. I was in California, but I felt it. My parents and I had a rather strong parent-child bond. That was one time I was more than grateful for Thomas. He was there to help ground me or I would have gone feral. She died hours later, my father went into total collapse and ended up in a coma at the London S&G center. He never recovered. They had a profound spirit bond, as well as, an empathic one.”
“I’m sorry. That must have been terrible. I know when Mom died John and Alec collapsed. I only held it together because of Spencer.”
“I’m sorry too. Losing a parent, it has a profound effect. But, it didn’t stop me from wanting someone to share my life with.” Victor straightened and leaned in to kiss David. He didn’t think that there was anything better in the world than his Guide’s mouth. “Come to bed.” Victor swallowed and waited with bated breath.
“Yes.” David stood and with no hesitation in his steps, followed Victor to his bedroom.
Victor took David’s mouth again as he pulled his Guide close, tasting him, breathing in his scent. He really didn’t think that he would ever get tired of kissing David.
“I want you naked, I want to touch and taste you.” Victor snaked his hands under David’s t-shirt and slipped it off.
“Yes,” David was breathing hard as he pulled away from Victor and quickly stripped. Victor took in a sharp breath as he took in the sight of golden skin, taut muscles and a practically hairless body. “I ah, I had it removed on my eighteenth birthday. Before everything happened…” He was cut off as Victor kissed him again, this time it was more heated as hands glided over his skin and made their way to his ass. Victor pulled them flush against each other and David started to get hard. He tried to pull away, but Victor held him there.
“Don’t. Don’t ever hide from me, David. I want to arouse you, I want to see you. It doesn’t bother me and I quite like watching.” Victor nipped his teeth along David’s neck and the Guide shuddered at the intensity of his feelings. Victor backed them up towards the bed and pushed his Guide down and followed. The imperative to bond was strong and a low rumbling growl escaped his throat.
He laid David out and starting with his neck he tasted every inch of his Guide. He rolled David over and proceeded to do the same to his back. Mapping out the soft warm flesh, taking in his scent, and the taste of him. He already had sight and sound imprinted. David was breathing hard, fisting his hands in the sheets as Victor ran his tongue over the back of his legs, up across his ass, and all along his back. When he felt his ass cheeks parting he wasn’t sure what was happening, but when Victor licked a stripe against his hole he thought he was going to cum just from that.
“Fuck, Victor…” he writhed under his Sentinels hands and slowly he opened more and more to him. When a tongue started to push inside him he thought he was going to lose his mind. He lost all ability to think and sank into the happy feelings he was receiving from Victor. When he was rolled over again, and a warm mouth took his straining, leaking erection he was barely holding on.
“Let go, David, let go and let me feel you,” Victor’s hands never stopped touching him and when his cock was taken again, David lost all control. His empathy blew wide open and enveloped both of them at the same time as he came inside his Sentinels mouth. He felt the bond snap into place and he wanted to weep at the utter joy he was feeling from his Sentinel.
Victor crawled back along his body and took his mouth again. David carded his fingers in the short, spiky hair and pressed their mouths together as he thrust his tongue inside, chasing the taste of himself in his Sentinels mouth. It was the most erotic thing he had ever felt as he wrapped his legs around Victor’s waist and held him flush.
“There you are beautiful.” Victor had his eyes closed and a look of sheer ecstasy on his face. David gentled his fingers over cheekbones as he touched.
“Tell me what you want? What you need?”
“Just touch me, taste me, that will be enough.” Victor hummed as he opened the bond wide and let David know everything he was feeling. “See? We don’t need anything but this, David.” He returned David’s kisses as he flipped them over, wanting David’s weight on top of him.
David slowly mapped out Victor’s body with hands and mouth. He took his Sentinel’s flaccid cock in his mouth, just to feel him and was rewarded with a satisfied hum that reverberated through the bond. Releasing the flesh David continued. By the time he worked himself back up Victor’s body, he was achingly hard again.
“Lay on your back, and don’t move,” Victor ordered. David looked perplexed but did as Victor asked. It was but a moment that his Sentinel was up and back with a sketchpad and chalk in his hand. “I want to sketch you. I want to watch you pleasure yourself. I want to feel what you’re feeling through our bond. Can you do this for me David, love?”
David looked at Victor with lust blown eyes as he grabbed the lube Victor had thrown on the bed.
“Yes,” he said breathlessly as he slicked up his cock and fisted himself.
Victor sketched and bit his lip watching his Guide. He took in all those little noises and watched the rise and fall of hips and back. Watched as David planted his feet, moving his hand, mouth falling open, eyes fluttering shut. Feelings flowed between them and Victor took it all in. His breath quickened and knew exactly how close David was. His hand never stopped sketching and it was almost as if he was in time to David’s own movements. He swallowed hard at the wanton, erotic scene before him and was surprised that he was half-hard.
“Close, so close Victor,” David almost whined. Victor threw the sketch on the floor and was on David kissing him, pressing down against him. He wanted to feel it. David grabbed his ass as they moved against each other, the bond burst open hot and bright as David wrapped his legs around Victor and groaned low in his throat as he came between them.
“Victor,” David was panting hard from the force of the bond pushing him over the edge.
“David,” Victor smiled as he took David’s mouth again.
“Sentinel,” David pressed his forehead against Victor’s and shuddered. All those dark places inside him were filled with such brightness he held on with all he had, riding out the emotions.
“Guide,” Victor smiled and felt that all his senses were far more even than they’d been in a long time. He felt complete for the first time in his life.
They knew they should untangle themselves and clean-up, but neither wanted to let go. They held on to each other and were pulled under into sleep.
David and Victor made it to the restaurant where they were meeting Patrick and Thomas. They invited the most important people in their lives out to dinner to meet. When they got there Patrick was already seated at the private booth they had requested.
“It’s good to finally see you, David. Not like you could have called me four days ago.” Patrick stood and scowled at his son.
“Sorry, we were…busy.”
“Oh, I’m sure you were, but maybe you could have torn yourself away for half-a-minute to at least tell me what was going on.”
“Well, if you want I can show you drawings. Rather brilliant ones too.” David smirked.
“I think you can keep those to yourself.” Patrick rolled his eyes as he shook his head at his son.
“Dad, this is Victor Marks, my Sentinel.” Patrick was going to point out that his son stated the obvious, but he saw a vulnerable look in David’s eyes so he put away the snarky comment and just shook the man’s hand.
“It’s very nice to meet the man that has made my son happier than he’s been in a long time.”
“We make each other happy, Dr. Sheppard. David is who I’ve been waiting for all my life and I don’t ever plan on letting him go.”
“Good, sit, please.” The three men sat, ordered drinks, and let the conversation flow between them.
Thomas arrived a few minutes late and pulled Victor into a bear hug. Then did the same to David, much to his surprise. “Hurt him and they will never find the body,” he whispered lowly in David’s ear, but Victor still heard and couldn’t help the hearty laugh that escaped.
“Tommy, darling you don’t have anything to worry about. I promise.”
“Damn Sentinel hearing.” Thomas smiled and waited to be introduced to the other man there.
“Thomas Wilkes, this is my father Patrick Sheppard.” Thomas held out his hand for Patrick and when the man took it, it was like something sparked deep within him. He fell to his knees and was breathing heavy. Patrick fell with him as he hadn’t let go.
Patrick lifted the younger man’s face and breached the mere inches between them and kissed him.
“I knew it.” Victor couldn’t stop the little smirk that crossed his lips.
“Knew what?” David was wondering what the hell was going on.
“I knew Tommy was a latent Guide. Though he tried to push me off and tell me he was just a high-level sensitive.”
“Don’t’ get smug, it’s unbecoming.” Thomas shot back as he stood on shaky legs, Patrick holding him up.
“This was rather unexpected, but I’m not surprised, darling. And don’t you two just make the most delicious pair.” Victor couldn’t keep from smiling.
“Yes son, Thomas, it seems, is my Guide.” Patrick pulled the man close as they sat down in the booth. Thomas curled next to Patrick, not wanting to let the man go. Patrick was disinclined to let him go.
Yes, indeed the evening just got more interesting.
David was at the Gallery helping Victor unbox and sort the pieces that Angela had been busy creating for the showing that had been agreed to. She had completed five sculptures, several paintings, and many amazing photographs. All of them geared towards Sentinels and Guides. The sculptures ranged in textures from smooth and sleek, to rough. They were visually appealing and one, in particular, David couldn’t stop looking at.
“I thought I was the only one allowed to zone out.” Victor teased as a blush crept up his Guides face.
“I just, this piece is beautiful.” It was an abstract of two male figures entwined. The texture was smooth and the color was deep reds and oranges. Making David think of sex and intimacy.
“It is rather beautiful.” Victor looked between David and the sculpture and knew if his Guide had his way, they would be walking out of the gallery with it.
Several hours later they had everything unboxed and placed around the Gallery. They were both tired but there was one last thing Victor wanted to show David. He grabbed his Guide’s hand and led him to a smaller, slightly darker portion of the gallery. A side room for special exhibits. When David entered his breath caught as he looked at the framed sketches. Each individually lit for the fullest effect while the rest of the room was dimmed.
“Victor,” David couldn’t breathe as he looked around at the frankly erotic sketches of him.
“I’ve called the whole series, Bonding. I wanted to capture as much as I could.” There was even one with Victor pressed against him, with his legs and arms wrapped around his Sentinel. His head was thrown back, mouth slightly agape. Victor had captured such emotion and beauty from their own bonding it put a tear in David’s eye. He had no words as he pulled Victor into his arms and shuddered at the onslaught of emotion.
“I love you. I love you Victor, I…I don’t know what to say. This is…”
“Overwhelming?” Victor cupped his Guides cheek as he pressed a gentle kiss on his lips. “I wanted the world to see what I see. Your beauty, your power, your utter trust in me, in us. I hope you like it?”
“They are beautiful Vic. I have no words.”
“I love you too David, you have made my life complete.”
“And you mine, Sentinel.” He pressed his forehead with Victor’s, opening their bond and letting his love flow between them.
“Guide,” Victor said breathlessly as he took in that love and no more words needed to be said between them.