Authors: Sean Michael
Tags: # Contemporary / Gay / Vampire
Love is Blindness
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LOVE IS BLINDNESS
28 Days of Heart Series
Copyright © 2006 SEAN MICHAEL
Cover art by Amanda Kelsey
Edited by Nicole Bunting
eBook conversion by
All Romance eBooks, LLC
Palm Harbor, Florida 34684
This is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or business establishments, events, or locales is coincidental.
All Rights Are Reserved. No part of this may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.
First All Romance eBooks publication: February 2010
“Nothing’s better than a healthy heart, which helps women endure the ailments of life—physical or romantic—and come out on top of it all. This anthology, with stories by some of the most talented romance writers in the market, will benefit hearts everywhere. It’s not often you can contribute to a worthy cause, one that may well affect you in your lifetime, and at the same time assure yourself of some excellent entertainment. Have a good time, and let your heart be your guide.”
Latte in one hand, Kerouac in the other. Jamie and Lindsey arguing magical realism next to him, Ben sneaking a joint on the other side and periodically giving him long, quiet drags from that soft mouth.
Man, Kieran Loughlin thought, Friday nights were the best.
One of his students—some heavy-set chick with curly red hair and a whiskey-colored voice—was up at the mic, doing a damned good job of slamming. The subject matter was a little boring—how many pre-menstrual, blood-soaked pseudo-prayers to the joys of womanhood and Kali could any man appreciate?
Still, the metaphors didn’t suck.
The doors opened, letting in the cold, late fall air. It was unusual for anyone to show up mid-slam, so it couldn’t be a regular.
Three goths came in, all girls, with a tall man in the midst of them. He was dressed all in black with dark hair and a pale, pale face. There was something that set him apart from his black-clad, white-faced companions. As if they were playing dress-up and he wasn’t.
Kieran watched them move, the Mary Jane making everything a little ethereal, a little unreal. Fuck, it was sexy, though. Sweet. Sensual.
They headed to a booth near the front, the tall guy stopping them about halfway there. They all listened intently to him, answered him, and then two continued on to the empty front table, the third girl coming back toward Kieran’s table with the man.
“God, Ben… Look at him. He’s fucking stunning.” Kieran aimed his whisper at his friend’s ear.
Ben chuckled. “And he’s with three girls, Kier. Three. You’re not that pretty. Have another hit.”
Ben blew sweet smoke into Kieran’s mouth, and Kieran took it in, letting it fill his lungs.
The goth girl and the man approached the grouping of chairs and sofa where Kieran and his friends sat, stopping only when they were directly in front of the empty chair by Kieran.
“Excuse me,” the man murmured, voice low, words careful. “Is this chair taken?”
Kieran let the smoke go, shaking his head. “No. Go ahead.”
If he couldn’t have, he could watch.
“You gonna be okay, Luce?” the girl asked as the man sat gracefully. He had dark eyes, almost black.
Luce waved a hand. “Go on, Nela, have your little lesbian hour. I’ll order a cognac, sit with these gentlemen, and enjoy a different show altogether.”
She touched Luce’s knee, gave him a once over, and a half smile, then took off to join her friends down at the front.
Kieran offered the guy a grin, nodding a little, trying not to stare.
The guy didn’t react, but a moment later he spoke. “I’m Lucien. Thank you for sharing your area with me.”
“I’m Kieran. This is Ben and Lindsey and Jamie.” He held out a hand to shake.
Lucien inclined his head and then slowly held his hand out, too far left before slowly veering right to Kieran’s. Wow. What was Lucien on? “Kieran. It’s a lovely name. Suits your voice.”
“Thank you. I was named after my grandfather.” The man’s fingers were cool, strong. Felt good.
“And you smell interesting as well. Is that also after your grandfather?”
“Hmm? No. My grandfather never smoked.” He ducked his head for a second. “The owner’s cool, so long as you stay in the shadows.”
Lucien chuckled, the sound deep, rich, and very sexy. “I have an affinity for shadows myself.”
“God, you’ve got a fabulous voice.”
He blushed as Ben laughed at him and tickled his belly. “Kier’s shameless. Just ignore him.”
“Oh, I don’t know about that. Shame is highly overrated.” Lucien’s tone made his words sound intimate, private.
Kieran’s cock perked right up, and he dropped his book into his lap to hide it. “Shame is a pride’s cloak, yes?”
“Indeed. And do you soar often?” Lucien asked.
Kieran beamed. He did love a man who knew his Blake. “I do, although I must admit to the temptation to soar too high.”
“Who defines too high?”
“You are charming!” He grinned, abandoning Blake for Pope. “‘Who knows but He, whose hand the lightning forms.’”
“‘From pride our very reasoning springs’. And is it not pride from where other things ‘spring’ as well?” Lucien was smiling, looking as pleased as Kieran felt.
His laughter was warm, bubbling out of him, sweet and pleased. “Indeed, Lucien. Indeed.”
“I like the way you say my name.”
“Lucien? It’s a lovely name.”
Kieran squeaked as Ben pinched him. “Flirt.”
“Truth. Quit pinching; you’ll leave bruises, you ass. When’s your lover supposed to show?” No reason to let Lucien think they were a couple, after all.
“How does one acquire a cognac here?” Lucien asked, leaning slightly toward him.
“Al’s the barrista. He’ll get you what you need.” God, the man was lovely, a mixture of dark and light, luminous.
“Can you hook me up?”
“Of course…” Kieran arched an eyebrow, a little confused. It wasn’t until he stood and the dark eyes didn’t blink, didn’t notice his motion that he clued in. Oh. Oh, thank God he hadn’t said anything stupid. “I’ll be right back.”
Lucien inclined his head, a warm smile painting his red lips. “Thank you, Kieran.”
Kieran went and ordered Lucien his drink, getting his own coffee warmed while he was there. Poor man, so beautiful, so perfect, but blind. It was a shame. Although, Lucien seemed to be dealing just fine and, as Ben had pointed out, three girls.
Somehow Lucien was ready for Kieran when he returned, and Kieran wondered if Ben had said something as a graceful, long-fingered hand reached up, waiting for the glass of cognac.
He placed it in Lucien’s grip. “There you go. Sorry for the wait. Al needed to make more coffee.”
“Thank you, Kieran.” Lucien took the glass, cupping it and swirling the liquid inside. A deep breath and a soft hum, then he drank. “Very nice.”
Bill showed up about then, teasing Ben farther back into the shadows to smoke and neck, so Kieran had the couch to himself. Cozy.
“I’ve never seen you here before,” Kieran said.
“No, I’ve never been. I’m fairly new to the city and the girls are showing me around. They’re indulging themselves tonight. I just followed the food.”
“The food?” He could so nibble on something, damned munchies. “They’ve got a decent cheesecake here, but nothing substantial.”
Lucien smiled and chuckled. “The girls promised me something a little richer after the lesbians finish torturing poetry.”
Kieran laughed softly, trying not to be too disappointed. Seemed like every guy he got a hard-on for was straight or taken. “Well, make sure they feed you well. You know how girls are.”
“They do their best.” Lucien shrugged. “They have a very limited palate.”
“That’s a shame. There are so many wonderful places to eat around here.” Indian. Thai. Mmm…curry.
“Perhaps I need a new guide.”
Kieran offered a smile. “A little fresh blood to show you around town?”
Lucien licked his lips, his unseeing eyes seeming to stare right through Kieran. “Yes, exactly.”
“Well, I teach Monday through Thursday during the day, but I’m usually free in the evenings, if you ever want to go play.” Straight or not, the man was eye candy.
“What are you doing now?”
“Your harem won’t miss you?”
“I’m sure they’ll find something else to amuse themselves with. Or someone else.” Lucien took another sip of his drink.
“In that case…” Kieran’s cock jerked again as he watched the pale throat move. “What would you like to eat?”
Lucien reached out, finding Kieran’s arm, fingers stroking. “What’s on the menu?”
“Oh…” Kieran moaned, moving closer. “Are we still talking about food, Lucien?”
“We’re talking about sustenance. Succor. Is that the same thing as food?” Lucien’s voice seemed deeper, quieter, for Kieran’s ears alone.
“No.” He shook his head, desire moving through him. “Not at all. My loft is three blocks away.”
“Are you inviting me over?” The words stroked Kieran as much as those long fingers continued to move on his arm.
“Yes.” He nodded, reaching out to touch Lucien’s knee.
Lucien made a pleased sound. “Excellent.” The noise made Kieran shiver, his cock hard and throbbing. “Shall we go now or are you enamored of this particular… poet?”
“She’ll come back next week. They always do.”
“She has a dreadful voice. You reading poetry, now that would be something.” Lucien’s hand found his and slid over his skin.
“I’m more of a teacher than a performer, but I manage.” Kieran found himself leaning forward, almost toppling into Lucien’s space.
Lucien’s nostrils flared. “I’ll bet you do.”
Oh, God. So sexy. Kieran moaned, teeth digging into his bottom lip.
“Can we get out of here, Kieran? Now?”
“Yes. God, yes.” He stood, then took Lucien’s hand.
Lucien grabbed his overcoat and shrugged it on, hand sliding to Kieran’s elbow as if it were the most natural thing in the world.
“My loft is immediately north of campus. A nice little place.” He led Lucien through the room, the act surprisingly easy.
“So we don’t have far to go,” Lucien murmured, fingers gentle on Kieran’s arm.
“Not far at all. Up Washington and over across Hemlock.”
“Now why would you name a street after a poison?” Lucien asked teasingly.
“I think it just sounds lovely. Hemlock Lane. Playful, but a little dangerous.” Kieran’s heart was pounding, but his steps were light.
“Then I take my question back, it’s the perfect name.” Graceful and tall, Lucien had no trouble keeping up with him.
He leaned against Lucien a little. “Tell me about yourself, Lucien. What do you do besides listen to bad feminist poetry?”
“You mean there’s something else?” Lucien laughed, the sound sexy.
Kieran chuckled, putting on his official Dr. Loughlin persona. “Indeed, my friend. There is bad graduate student poetry. Atrocious freshman comp poetry…”
That sexy laughter came again, Lucien’s grip tightening on his arm.
They made the loft in good time, teasing gently. It was like being surrounded in a warm haze, the mixture of the drugs and the caffeine and this man. “There are six steps and then we’ll head to the elevator.”
“Mmm…thank you. You’re good at this—have you done it before?”
“Hmm? Done what?” Helping Lucien up the stairs, Kieran admired the long line of the man’s belly, the dark shirt accentuating it.
“Guided a blind man.”
“No. No, you make it easy.” He opened the door and led Lucien down the hall.
Lucien’s head was up slightly, nostrils flaring.
Lucien nodded. “Just getting to know the place.”
“Does it smell bad?” Kieran pressed the button for the elevator, sniffing, trying to smell.
Lucien sounded amused. “Not at all. It smells like you.”
Kieran blushed, grinning. “Sandalwood and leather?”
They stepped into the elevator and headed for the fourth floor.
“And weed and books and something quite intoxicating that I suspect is you alone.”
“You know how to make a man feel very sexy.” He touched Lucien’s stomach, enjoying the feeling of silk.
The temptation to lean up, press in, and take a sweet kiss was strong, but the elevator dinged and the doors opened, and he brought Lucien to his apartment, and unlocked the door. “Come on in.”