|Primary Characters:||Génie, Lucien, Elsa|
|Warning:||m/m sex. adult themes, language|
|Description:||Takes place mostly after the end of the series. AU. Génie gets to Lucien in time to save his life. Unfortunately, there’s still a lot of anger between them. When Elsa shows up in their lives again, she gets an unpleasant surprise. Will they ever get back together again?|
After he’d realized he was a murder suspect, Génie had had trouble sleeping. Actually, ever since the incident, he’d had trouble sleeping. In fact, looking back, over the years, was there ever a time when he’d had an easy time going to sleep? He’d never really drawn that kind of conclusion, but it was true. There had never been a time when he’d slept easily, not even as a child.
In any case, these days, he couldn’t walk anywhere, without glancing nervously over his shoulder. What his father had done shouldn’t have come as a surprise, but for some reason it had. The old man never seemed to stop thinking of new ways of betraying him.
What little sleep he could get, was restless and filled with dreams in which he was being chased by something boundlessly evil. It didn’t take a genius – which he’d fancied himself as a child – to figure out who that evil symbolized.
Late one night, he decided to give up the struggle for a time and instead of tossing and turning in his bed, he’d go out and look for a whore to drown his sorrows with. It wouldn’t be the first time and he seriously suspected it wouldn’t be the last time. For a long time, the face which hovered before his eyes as the prostitute serviced him would be Elsa’s but lately, that image had begun to fade. It was almost as if he was beginning to forget her features. The thought caused him pain. He thought she was the only one he’d ever loved, unless you counted Lucien – LuLu.
Subconsciously, he must have been looking for a North African girl, because when he settled on who to approach, the woman bore the unmistakable traits of a North African. Her dark eyes bored into Génie, but he couldn’t read the look in them. She named her price and her hand clutched at the banknotes greedily. Suddenly, Génie lost his taste for the whole thing. He now thought he could detect unmistakable signs of drug use.
Though he normally never thought of the risk of infection, he was now afraid of exactly that. Being infected with AIDS or whatever else she might have. Even the clap might be more than he could take on top of everything else. How his father would gloat if he ever found out that his wayward son had been infected with an unmentionable disease.
The woman wouldn’t return his money, and though he didn’t always have enough for his modest needs, he didn’t feel up to arguing with her. He shrugged and let her go.
“Suit yourself, fag. I could tell you where the gays are, but I guess you’d be too cheap to pay for it. Go to one of your clubs instead.”
She added a long string of words in her own language. Génie didn’t understand Arabic but he could guess what she was saying. Not that he cared what she thought about him.
Back in his room, he lay back, his arms behind his neck, staring at the ceiling. He willed Elsa’s face back into his memory. After having seen that prostitute up close, he knew there was really no resemblance between them and he was only degrading his memories of Elsa by making the comparison. Elsa would always be too proud to sell herself, that was one of the things he admired about her. He didn’t have that much pride anymore. Not like when he was a boy and he and LuLu were still friends. Back then, he was all pride and hope and plans for the future. The future hadn’t turned out so great.
In the morning, he was up early, despite the few hours of sleep he’d had. He was always restlessly going about his business, even though he’d long ago lost any sense of purpose in what he wad doing. To his astonishment, he ran into a man he’d only seen from afar or in photos in the papers. Vautrin. Instinctively, his thoughts turned to Lucien. What if something had happened to him?
“M Rastignac – Eugène – may I have a word with you – in private?”
“M Vautrin? To what do I owe this unexpected pleasure?”
Vautrin’s cold eyes roamed across Génie, so intimately, he felt himself blush. He knew that look but it was just the last thing he’d have expected from a man like Vautrin. Again, he was seized with concern about Lucien. How could a guy like LuLu handle working for this man?
“Mm. Yes, I believe it will be a pleasure. What I have to discuss with you is of vital importance – to you. Shall we?”
Génie felt an instinctive distaste at the thought of inviting Vautrin into his own room. His mind rebelled at the thought of being alone with this man who had the eyes of a predator. Génie had believed himself familiar with this type of man, but suddenly, he wasn’t so sure anymore.
“We can talk over there. In that bar. At this hour, it will be almost empty. Is that private enough for you, monsieur?”
Something moved in Vautrin’s reptilian eyes, but he merely bowed his head.
They sat down at a table in the back. Génie caught the bartender’s eye and ordered calvados. Vautrin ordered a cognac. The two men watched each other warily. It dawned on Génie that what he found most disturbing about Vautrin – apart from the fact that LuLu’s career and future were in his hands – was that the man was gloating about something. It was as if he was savouring some secret knowledge. Génie had an unpleasant feeling this knowledge would be put to use at his own expense.
The drinks arrived but neither man touched it. Instead, Génie managed to flash an insolent glance at the older man. No matter how shaken he’d been by the unexpected visit, he wouldn’t let the old man know that.
Vautrin seemed capable of waiting him out for as long time as it took, but for some reason, he decided to humour the younger man.
“I suppose you’re wondering why I’ve come to see you? It’s very simple. You are about to be sent to prison for – a number of years. How long, has yet to be determined. Have you given any thought to what the environment inside a prison will be like?”
He made a pause, not so much to await Rastignac’s reply, as to take in his reaction.
Génie didn’t reply.
“I can assure you, it won’t be pleasant. Especially not for a man like yourself. Your birth and – appearance – will both be detrimental to you. Do not delude yourself, M Rastignac. Whatever you can imagine, the reality will be worse. Are you thinking yourself strong enough to fend off any – unwanted attention?”
Again, Génie didn’t reply. He was getting more and more uneasy by the second. What did Vautrin hope to gain by outlining the conditions he might be facing in prison?
“You do not reply. I can understand that this is not something you wish to contemplate, but perhaps it is time for you to do so anyway. You will be put on trial and given the – special circumstances of your – situation – the judge cannot fail to find you guilty.”
At last, Génie managed to collect himself enough to stand up to the man.
“Your concern about my welfare is touching, M Vautrin, but I still don’t see why you have come to discuss these matters with me.”
Vautrin smiled. In repose his face was not pleasant to look at, but smiling, it was even less so. Génie felt a shiver go down his spine.
“It’s very simple, as I told you at the beginning of our little chat. You stand to lose a great deal. I should imagine you would wish to go to almost any length to avoid that fate. Am I right?”
“What is it you wish me to do for you? If you think I’m going to do your dirty work, you’re mistaken. I’d rather take my chances with the judge.”
“You misunderstand me – or pretend to do so. It’s not becoming, for a man of your many talents.”
“My talents? What do you know about my talents?”
“I’m a busy man, M Rastignac – Eugène. It is time we got to the point. My offer to you is this: I will use my influence to convince the judge that you are after all innocent of the crime of which you stand accused. Surely, that is a generous offer?”
Again, a shiver went down Génie’s spine. He recalled sitting in the chilly old church back home, listening to the priest preaching about the eternal damnation awaiting sinners beyond any hope of redemption. It felt as if he was sitting here, being assailed by the devil himself.
“That depends on what you want in return.”
“Direct. I like that. Eugène – you are a very attractive young man, with, I’m sure, many talents and skills. if you were to – become my friend, I’d be happy to do this little favour for you. I’m a useful man to have for a friend.”
He left the rest of what he was hinting at unsaid. A useful friend – but a bad enemy. Génie could make the inference easily enough.
“You have already had my answer. I will not do your dirty work.”
Vautrin’s eyes flashed warningly at him.
“Again – I believe you are being intentionally slow. When I said I wanted you to be my friend – I meant personally. You would not be required to – get involved in my work. This would be a purely private arrangement. If you’re concerned that your old friend Lucien will learn about the nature of our – friendship – there is no need to be. I can be very discreet. Now, I must have your answer. Surely, the choice is easy. No matter how you feel about – becoming close to me – would not one man be preferable to many?”
“As far as I’m concerned you can go suck yourself. Leave me at once. I won’t sit here listening to your sick propositions. Just go.”
Vautrin shot him a venomous gaze.
“You have made a serious mistake, M Rastignac. One that will cost you dearly. I’m not a man you would wish to make an enemy of.”
“Go to hell, you old pervert, or should I say go back to hell?”
“There will come a day when you’ll wish you’d used another tone with me, M Rastignac. Good day to you.”
The sudden flare of temper had left Génie drained. He still felt chilled as if Vautrin had brought an icy cold, which ate its way into his bones and stayed there. The meeting had left a foul taste in Génie’s mouth and he blindly reached for his glass and drank most of it in one single draught. He felt dizzy, but that might just be because of the calvados. It wasn’t meant to be drunk in such quantities all at once.
Génie wasn’t superstitious and so didn’t believe in omens. Not normally, anyway. However, the incident which had just occurred made him despair of his chances of staying out of prison. Perhaps, this man had been the harbinger of ill luck. Not that Génie felt he’d ever had much luck in his life.
Lucien glanced at his wrist watch. Almost nine thirty. It was time he finished his work. He hadn’t had anything to eat since an early lunch, or rather a combined meeting and lunch. Suddenly, he realized he was both exhausted and famished. The letters in the report he was trying to make sense of seemed to dance before his eyes. Yes, definitely time to go.
He put the report away in a neat pile and glanced around his office. Nothing looked out of place. There were no last minute tasks to see to. Pushing back his chair, he rose and stretched and switched off the desktop lamp. In the doorway, he paused and again surveyed his domain. Everything was in order. He need not feel guilty about calling it a night.
On his way down the stairs, he considered where to go for dinner. His own place sadly lacked in supplies. Usually, his meals were restricted to some coffee, orange juice and a piece of toast. If he was lucky, that was what he would find in the fridge tomorrow morning. Tonight, he would, as usual, dine out. The place he had in mind was discreet and served only the best of dishes, but kept a low profile. Tourists and provincials rarely made an appearance there. If any did come, they would be members of the upper classes.
Lucien hailed a taxi and gave the address to the restaurant. He allowed himself to relax. Tonight, he wouldn’t run into any politicians or other VIP:s he’d need to flatter. All he wanted was a meal and a glass of wine.
The maitre d’hotel met him at the door and saw him to his usual table. His attitude was filled with respect for the up and coming young man. Lucien no longer paid attention. It had been a long time since he stopped feeling a secret thrill each time he was recognized and that look of awe filled the eyes of whoever he met.
Soon he was sipping his wine. The steaming dish the waiter deposited before him looked appetizing. A sense of well-being filled him and he began to relax further. After all his hard work, everything was beginning to fall into place. Tomorrow night, he’d meet Macha and –
His train of thought was interrupted by a discreet cough from his waiter.
“M’sieur – the gentleman over there wishes to send you his well-wishes and is wondering if you’d like to join him for dessert and a liqueur.”
Lucien frowned slightly and gazed in the direction the waiter seemed to be indicating, while in no way being ostentatious. When he recognized the man in question, his eyebrows shot up. He’d rarely seen Génie’s father up close, but there was no mistaking the great man. Except judging by Génie’s account, the man was a monster, a cruel, cold beast, who had never in any way shown any affection for his son. It was hard to tell what was the truth. Many things Lucien had believed in childhood no longer seemed quite as credible. In any case, in his situation, he couldn’t afford to refuse the invitation.
He smiled and nodded, and made his way across the room to the table where the great man was seated. Génie’s father raised his glass slightly and bowed his head graciously. Lucien took the offered seat and accepted the cognac and the plate with the dessert.
“Monsieur le -”
The older man held up his hand.
“No need for titles between us, my dear boy. I feel as if I know you already. Please. Just call me Rastignac and I shall call you Lucien – if you don’t mind.”
There was no way for Lucien to refuse, without appearing impolite. He settled for bowing his head in acquiescence.
“Thank you – Rastignac.”
It seemed they were to finish their drinks and desserts in silence. Lucien couldn’t help wondering what Rastignac wanted with him. Never in a million years had he imagined Génie’s father would ever contact him. He could think of no reason for this unexpected appearance. What was the old man doing in Paris and more importantly, what did he have in mind?
It was as if the old man had read Lucien’s mind. He pushed his plate aside and put down the glass.
“You must be wondering why I have shown up like this, quite unexpectedly. Am I right?”
“Well, I -”
“Quite right, my boy. This is a rather delicate matter, but I hope I shall be able to broach it without offending your sensibilities. What would you say if I were to tell you that we – you and I – have a far closer connection than you might have guessed?”
“Monsieur le – Rastignac – I must confess I do not quite -”
“Of course you don’t. My dear boy – what if – I were to tell you that you are in fact my son? Illegitimate, but nonetheless my son? As you know, you are the slightest bit older than my – son. Surely you see what that means?”
“Monsieur – Rastignac – I -”
“There are naturally – difficulties – but not insurmountable ones. I could – request to have you made my official heir – after providing the required evidence.”
“Think about this for a while, my dear boy. No need to say anything tonight. I shall contact you again. Now, I believe you feel the need for rest. Perhaps it is time we broke up? It has been a pleasure. I am looking forward to speaking with you again.”
The audience was over. That was made quite clear to Lucien. He rose and bowed and left the room, deep in thought. His mind was in turmoil. What Rastignac had said was impossible, quite impossible. He knew who his father was and it was unthinkable that his mother – Yet – what possible reason could Rastignac have to spin this unlikely tale, unless there was some truth in it? Or – could it be that he was lying, for reasons of his own? That would of course better fit the description given by his son.
On the other hand, there was no denying that the idea of inheriting a title was an attractive one. Still, Lucien was no fool. He realized that even if there was truth to the preposterous suggestion, he needed to ask himself what the old man felt he stood to gain by making his offer. What did he want from him? Lucien found no answers to his questions that night and in the end, he forced his mind away from the puzzle.
After lying awake for hours, he finally managed to fall asleep, just before dawn. The following day, he walked as if in a daze. His mind kept straying back to the odd meeting. By now, it had taken on the qualities of a dream. Had he, in fact, imagined the encounter? No. That was even less likely. His reverie was interrupted by the sound of his phone ringing. He picked up the receiver, half expecting to hear Rastignac’s voice, but he was mistaken.
The voice was far too familiar. Vautrin. What could he want? Despite the favours he’d done Lucien, there was still a nagging sense of doubt at the back of his mind. Did the man mean well or did he have some ulterior motive for his seeming kindness? So far, Lucien had to admit the acquaintance had brought him nothing but advantages. He couldn’t help smiling at the thought of Macha.
“Sir. What can I do for you?”
“I’d like to see you, Lucien. Can you come to my office this morning?”
Lucien considered. His schedule was as always full, but one did not lightly turn down requests made by Vautrin.
“Of course, sir.”
Lucien found himself hurrying to make the appointment on time, before he was due back for his scheduled meeting at ten thirty.
As always, Vautrin’s eyes bored into him, making him slightly uneasy, even though the man smiled amiably enough. He made a hand gesture towards the visitor’s chair facing his desk. Lucien sat down, again feeling at a disadvantage. Invariably, the great man made him feel that way, no matter how gracious his words or his smile.
“Ah, how kind of you to agree to meet me. I have a matter of grave import to discuss with you. Do you know that your old – friend – Eugène Rastignac is in trouble?”
As far as Lucien knew, Génie was often in trouble, but this time – hadn’t he heard something about the police taking an interest? He wasn’t sure and these days, he was far too busy to pay much attention.
“I’m not sure -”
“He stands accused of murder.”
Murder? Apparently, Génie was in more serious trouble than usual.
“I see the news causes you distress. Your – friend – still means something to you. Quite natural too. An – attachment such as yours can not so easily be cast aside. Believe me, I understand better than you think.”
Vautrin’s tone hinted of something Lucien didn’t quite understand.
“He will stand trial and the judge can not fail to find him guilty. Nothing can prevent him from going to jail. Think about that, Lucien. Your dear – friend – at the mercy of such degenerate brutes. A handsome young man, such as your friend, will be at risk from – any manner of attack. Consider this.”
“Why do you tell me this? What can I do to prevent him from going to prison?”
“By yourself, perhaps not much – but you have friends. People with influence. For example myself. If you like, I can involve myself in this case and try to – bring about a more satisfactory conclusion to the trial. Perhaps the case need not even go that far.”
“If you could -”
Lucien broke off. It had been years since he and Génie had been close. How did he know that Génie would even appreciate his interference? Besides, he had a feeling that accepting Vautrin’s offer would call for something in return.
To his surprise, Vautrin got up and rounded the desk to stand over his visitor. The sounds of the older man’s breathing was loud in Lucien’s ears and a whiff of a heavy aftershave or cologne entered Lucien’s nostrils.
“For you, my dear friend, I would be pleased to take action. Surely, it must not come as a surprise to you, how dear you are to me? It would please me to – deepen our friendship – to -”
At this, Vautrin startled Lucien by placing his hand on top of Lucien’s. It was slightly clammy and Lucien had to use all his self control not to pull his hand back. The look in Vautrin’s eyes was so intense, Lucien wanted to withdraw and the entire situation hinted of an interest utterly unrelated to politics. He had to fight to keep a sudden nausea at bay.
“Monsieur Vautrin, I am touched by your concern.”
The smile widened and Lucien thought he could detect an increase in the older man’s breathing. That reminded him unpleasantly of the degenerate prisoners Vautrin had just evoked. Would Génie be sentenced to prison? Didn’t that imply he was guilty? Lucien didn’t know what to think. On the one hand, he might be able to save his old friend – and he had to admit that despite all that had happened – he was still fond of Génie – on the other – the price he was expected to pay was outrageous. What was he to do?
For a second, he was afraid that Vautrin would initiate whatever contact he had in mind, at once, but it seemed even Vautrin was not prepared to go that far.
“I just thought I’d inform you of the circumstances. Now I will let you get back to work. Let’s talk again, soon.”
Lucien couldn’t believe it was true. He was being allowed to leave. For the moment, nothing more was demanded of him. At least now, he would have time to think things over.
When he left Vautrin’s office, he had believed he had time – time to see Macha – time to consider Génie’s fate. He’d been wrong. Events had unfolded so quickly, he had been unable to foresee them or do anything to prevent the tragedy from occurring. Génie – after all safe and sound – but Macha – his beloved Macha – dead, at the hands of –
He was devastated by grief and shock and at the moment, all thoughts of Génie were gone. His career meant nothing to him anymore and whatever he had been about to tell Rastignac – he no longer cared. It had all been lies and deceit. All intended to snare and tempt and dazzle him. It was as if the devil had shown him the splendours of the world and he had been unable to resist, but like mirages in the desert, those splendours had been nothing but empty words and false glamour.
Lucien sank down on the stairs up to his apartment, burying his face in his hands. He’d never felt such pain in all his life, not even when he’d lost his father – or Elsa or Génie. The cruelty of those men was beyond belief. An innocent young woman brutally sacrificed to satisfiy their perverted tastes. It made him sick and had his stomach not already been empty, he would have vomited again. His tears had run out a long time ago, but he was still racked by dry sobbing.
When the door opened, he didn’t even look up. He didn’t think he had anything else left to lose and he felt numb and apathetic. Whatever happened would happen, but he was no longer a part of anything. That was what he believed until he felt Vautrin’s hands on him. Not even then was he able to rouse himself from his lethargy and fight back.
Vautrin pressed his lips against Lucien’s neck. His fingers found their way inside Lucien’s shirt and made contact with his skin. The shirt tore, leaving Lucien naked to the waist. Though he felt Vautrin raining kisses on his neck and shoulders, he felt strangely detached from his body. Not even this made any difference to him. It was over. He was finished. He was dead inside and soon he would be truly dead.
Vautrin pulled him into his arms and Lucien felt the old lips make contact with his own mouth. There was a sickening wet sensation as Vautrin’s tongue made its way in between Lucien’s lips. Lucien felt Vautrin’s hands fondle his chest. All the time, Vautrin spoke to him in breathless whispers, but he couldn’t make sense of the words. He heard his own name mentioned but the rest came out as gibberish, punctuated by pants and moans.
Lucien didn’t think he blacked out, but his mind must have to some extent have shut down, unable to interpret the sensations assaulting him. Suddenly, he became aware of a change. A loud noise broke through his daze and made him come to again.
The front door slammed and someone was noisily coming up the stairs.
“Hey, you. Get off him.”
Génie immediately sized up the situation and interpreted the scene correctly. He had nothing to use as a weapon, but his own fists would do. Vautrin was a dangerous creature, but he wasn’t physically stronger than the younger man. Génie didn’t restrain himself when he let his punches rain on the vile old face which by now held a look of stupefaction. It was an easy matter to knock the old pervert unconscious and push him away from Lucien.
“LuLu. Are you alright? Come on. Let’s get out of here. I won’t let him lay his hands on you again.”
Unresistingly, Lucien let himself be led down the stairs and outside. Génie left him standing there briefly while he went back inside and found a jacket for him. He slammed the door shut and, his arm around his old friend’s shoulders, retraced his steps.
The cheap hotel room was nothing like even Génie had been used to, since leaving home, but it was within their means and it was more or less clean. He made Lucien sit down on the bed and anxiously began a visual examination of him. It was hard to tell if he’d been in time or not. There was no telling what that old pervert had already done, but at least from the looks of things, Lucien was physically intact.
“LuLu – what did he do to you? You must tell me, or I won’t know what to do to help you.”
The vacant look in Lucien’s eyes frightened Génie and he was hoping there would be no irreparable damage done to his friend’s mind, even if his body seemed unharmed.
In the end, Génie had to content himself with holding his friend and hoping he’d be able to comfort him at least a little. He rubbed Lucien’s hands, to bring back a little warmth to them. Eventually, it seemed to Génie that Lucien’s body felt a little more responsive. He let go and took another long look at Lucien’s face. The look in his eyes had changed somewhat and Génie felt relieved. This was his old friend, not that mute stranger he’d first encountered in Vautrin’s embrace.
“Génie? He killed her.”
“Your girl? I’m sorry. What about you? What did he do to you?”
Lucien stared at him as if he couldn’t understand what his friend was saying.
“Are you alright?”
“Alright? Didn’t you hear me? He – it was all a lie. A cruel, sick lie. He was playing with me.”
“Your father too.”
“I know. LuLu, I’m dreadfully sorry.”
Again, Génie pulled Lucien into his arms and held him. For a while, Lucien allowed himself to be held, but soon he pushed his old friend away.
“I never thought I’d see you again.”
“No. I wasn’t sure we’d ever meet again either. You don’t know how many times I’ve stood out of sight, watching you, trying to make up my mind to approach you.”
“Were you spying on me?”
“No. I just -”
“You wanted what I had, didn’t you? Just like you had to have Elsa and -”
“What are you talking about, LuLu?”
“Once you swore we’d be everything to each other. Have you forgotten?”
“No. I haven’t forgotten. You’re my best friend.”
“How much do I mean to you?”
“What do you mean?”
“Do I mean everything to you?”
Génie wasn’t sure of what to make of Lucien’s tone but he realized that it didn’t matter. He’d been telling the truth all along. Lucien meant everything to him. What else did he have left? Elsa – Determinedly, Génie put the thought of her out his mind. It was no use. After what had happened between them he couldn’t hope to get Elsa back, no matter how much he’d like to.
“LuLu? What are you talking about? I’m here, aren’t I? What else do you want?”
Lucien stared at Génie. Conflicting emotions were struggling inside him. He resented Génie for what had happened with Elsa. He was jealous. On the other hand, he’d missed Génie terribly. It was only now becoming clear to him how much he’d missed his friend.
Some of Vautrin’s words came back to him. The old pervert had mentioned how handsome Génie was. It was true, no matter what else Vautrin had lied about. After the emotional trauma, Lucien was in a strange mood.
Part of him wanted to grab Génie and somehow punish him for what had happened to Macha. In some way, it had something to do with him. Another part of Lucien – one which he’d never known existed – felt drawn to him. There was something so – irresistible about him, Lucien wanted to –
Hardly aware of what he was doing, Lucien grabbed Génie and pulled him closer. The look of stupefaction on Génie’s face told him his friend had no idea what he was about to do.
“Shut up. Show me you care about me.”
“I don’t know -”
“I said – shut up.”
Unsure of what to make of the change in Lucien, Génie waited. When Lucien closed the distance betwen their faces, Génie tensed up. Of all the things he had expected to happen when they were finally together again, this was the last he would have guessed. Lucien’s lips pressed into Génie’s and his hands began to move down his body, in a way that couldn’t be mistaken.
Génie tried to pull back.
“LuLu – this isn’t -”
“I knew you were lying. You’re just like your father. Full of shit. Just talk, talk, talk, but when it comes down to it, you’re never willing to deliver. For the last time, prove to me that you care. Show me how much I mean to you. That’s what you were implying when we were boys, weren’t you? You held me, you kissed me, but now – you don’t want to follow through.”
“That was when we were children. It never meant we were – I didn’t think you were -”
“What do you really know about me? Don’t tell me you’ve never done this before?”
“Lucien, I’ve never -”
“Liar. You must have given yourself to someone. The way you’ve been living – I know. My sources have told me about your lifestyle. Someone like you must have -”
“I don’t care what you think. I’ve never – what are you suggesting?”
“You know. Well? Are you going to deliver or was it all just pretty words?”
Génie considered. He’d never had sex with a man and he found it hard to believe Lucien really thought so. Even so, looking back, he had to admit that their affection for each other as children had sometimes held romantic undertones. Perhaps Lucien was right to feel a promise had been made. If so, it had been unintentionally as far as Génie was concerned, but perhaps that didn’t matter. Lucien wanted that kind of consolation and Génie – had to find a way to give it to him. After what his friend had been through, that wasn’t too much to ask.
“Ok. We’ll do as you want. You’re still my best friend, LuLu.”
This wasn’t the way it was supposed to be. Génie felt saddened that the contact with Vautrin had changed Lucien so, but he was still his friend, his only true friend. He tried to recall the distraught little boy he’d once held in his arms, how he’d dried Lucien’s tears and sworn to be his friend. The future had turned out differently than he’d imagined it, but he wouldn’t go back on his word. Trying not to dwell on the way Vautrin’s lips had pressed against Lucien’s, Génie once again closed the distance between their lips and kissed Lucien lightly.
Lucien returned the kiss violently and Génie had to remind himself what a trauma his friend had just suffered, or he would have withdrawn again. Forcing down his own objections, he let Lucien have his way. Perhaps it would calm him down.