Welcome to this week's WIP Wednesday. Seeing as how my Love Is Always Write story, Roses in the Devil's Garden
has gone up, I'm going to share a snippet of the second story in this series, A Rose by Any Other Name
, which takes place two years later in 1927.
Julius Knight is at the top of his game. As the leading act at The Pantheon
-- an Ancient Greek themed Cabaret at Club Parisian, Julius uses his beauty and charm to enchant and bring wealthy men to their knees. They lavish him with money, expensive gifts, and adoration. Life is fast, frivolous, and free. But appearances can be deceiving, and it will take department store heir Edward Clarence, to show Julius that not only is real love more than just a fantasy, it also doesn't come with a price tag.
In this scene, Julius and Edward meet for the first time. It's Edward's 30th birthday, and he's just returned to New York after spending 5 years abroad working in his father's London and Paris office. To celebrate, his wayward cousin Maxfield, and best friend, Albert, have dressed Edward up in a (revealing and rather short) Chlamys, and now he somehow finds himself in Julius' dressing room.
Julius turned and the witty remark died on his lips. “You’re not Ares.”
The man sitting in his favorite white armchair looked down at himself as if to verify the fact. “No,” he replied with a shake of his head, a smile tugging the corner of his mouth as he looked back up at Julius. “Merely a mortal.”
, Julius thought wryly. “I see.” He cocked his head to one side, his gaze brazenly raking over every inch of the man. How had he managed to get in? Granted, many have tried, but none had succeeded, not without Julius’ approval. Yet, here he was, looking as if he wanted to be somewhere else. Not the usual response he was accustomed to, and certainly not from a man who had somehow broken into his dressing room.
Assessing the man, he had to admit, the fellow was rather pleasing to the eye, plenty-rugged, if not a little stiff. He was handsome, muscular, broad- shouldered. Nice legs,
Julius mused, nice toes, too. Hygiene was non-negotiable. He preferred his men in shape, clean, and trimmed. All of which his mystery guest seemed to be. Despite being a little on the old fashioned side, the fellow’s black hair was neatly parted on one side. He had a nice tan that made his sharp hazel eyes stand out, a bottom lip fuller than the top, smooth chiseled jaw, and enough hair to make him perceptibly masculine without turning him into a fur coat. He wasn’t anything to write home about. At least that was Julius’ initial thought. However, on further inspection, there was something about the slight fidget, the hands clasped between the knees, the fascination in his gaze as he looked around the room that held Julius’ attention. It was almost… sweet.
Well, that just wouldn’t do at all. Julius sauntered over, bringing the most amusing little jump from his guest as he perched himself on the chair’s armrest and swung his legs up, delicately resting his feet on the man’s thigh. His handsome guest swallowed visibly and Julius smiled at the man’s obvious discomfort.
“What’s your name, sailor?” Julius purred, slipping his fingers into that thick jet-black hair. It was surprisingly silky and soft, not saturated with pomade. Unfortunately some of his guests wore so much of the stuff; Julius feared they might go up in flames at any moment. Considering how much smoking went on in the place, he surprised it hadn’t happened already.
“Edward,” the man stated as if he were standing before a court judge, his chest rising and falling a little quicker now.
“And what do you do for a living, Edward?” Julius asked.
“I’m a business manager, for Clarence & Co. Department Stores,” Edward replied a little nervously.
Julius should have known. Just another dapper daddy out for a night of scandalous behavior before returning to his office desk in the morning, pretending for all the world that his soul wasn’t as damned as the wanton degenerate he had had his way with the night before. After all, they were all ‘normal’ men, while men like Julius were the deviants.
They were all the same, and the more money they had, the worse they were. Julius was no fool. He knew these frivolous times wouldn’t last. Which was why—he reminded himself—he smiled and batted his lashes for men like Edward. Poor fellow, he was clearly in over his head. Julius was rather certain he hadn’t seen him around here before. He would have remembered.
“And what exactly where you hoping for, Edward?” Julius asked, his right hand caressing Edward’s cheek. He made his way slowly down his neck, over his collarbone, down his chest. His middle finger ghosted over Edward’s nipple, bringing a gasp from him. And he was wonderfully responsive to the touch. Hm...
Julius had to admit he was enjoying himself more than he thought he would. By now, anyone else would have been groping, gripping, and spanking. Oh, but he did enjoy a good spanking, but not from just anyone. From the right person, it was titillating. From the wrong person, it irritated Julius to the point of physical retaliation, as in a good slap to face and an end to the evening. Edward looked like he was going to pass out at any moment, whether from fright or pleasure was anyone’s guess.
“Nothing,” Edward replied when he found his voice.
“Nothing?” Julius pouted, sliding one foot down Edward’s thigh and under his costume until his toes found what he was looking for, giving Edward a start. “Oh, but this doesn’t feel like nothing to me. In fact, it feels like something, a very big and hard something.” And that was no lie. Dear, dear Edward was deliciously endowed. Shame he was such a wet blanket.
Edward gave a nervous laugh. “Sorry, I’m a little uh…”
“Excited?” Julius finished for him with a wicked smile.
“Yes, well, difficult not be under such circumstances.” Edward slowly and carefully nudged Julius’ foot away from his groin. Well now, wasn't this just dandy? First time anyone had ever pushed him away. Julius could certainly have some fun with this one.
Well, hope you all enjoyed that! I'll let you know on the progress of the story. Oh, and Harley and Nate show up in this story, too. ;
x Charlie x
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