A Kind of Valentine (A Will & Rand Short Story, part 1) Mild NSFW

As promised here is part 1 (of 2) of A Kind of Valentine, a short story featuring Will and Rand from A Kind of Truth. Look for part 2 on Valentine’s Day! This portion is mild NSFW. Enjoy! images-48

A Kind of Valentine (Part 1)

My phone buzzed as I exited the studio and stepped onto the sidewalk. I tugged at my scarf and shoved a hand in my pocket. It was fucking freezing outside. My grimace turned to a smile when I saw the caller ID.

“Hey. Whatcha doin’?”

“Waiting for you.”

“I like the sound of that. What are you wearing?”

“Rand, I’m going to come through the phone and wring your neck if you don’t get your ass home within ten minutes. This was your idea. Not mine.”

“Uh. Okay. I’m on my—”

“You don’t remember, do you? You’re unbelievable.”

I winced at Will’s beleaguered tone and decided it wouldn’t do me any good to admit I had no fucking idea what he was talking about. I was new to the business of being a boyfriend. A complete novice and at times… a complete fuck up.

“I remember,” I lied.

“Don’t lie. Just get here. She’s asking very direct questions about our sleeping habits. I’m uncomfortable and I don’t know how much you want me to say.” Will’s voice was almost too low for me to hear above the din of Lower Manhattan traffic.

“Who?” Fuck this shit. I was clueless. Why pretend?

“The designer you hired,” he hissed menacingly.

Oh. Yeah.

“I’m leaving the studio now. Look… a taxi is pulling up to the curb. Someone is quickly exiting, looks like he’s in a hurry too, and I…” I leaned forward to give the driver my address before continuing my play by play commentary to Will. “…I’m in. I’ll be there in a flash, babe. I’m like Superman and Batman minus the cape or the cool ride. I’ll save you from—”

“Rand?”

“Yeah?”

“Cut the crap and get home.”

I frowned at my cell when he hung up on me then slipped it in my jacket and sighed. I was having a hard time getting things right lately. This wasn’t me. Normally, I didn’t care if I wasn’t on someone else’s timetable or if they got their feelings hurt by an offhand comment. Unless it was Will. My nerdy guitar teacher turned my world around a year ago and nothing was the same anymore. Including me.

Last January, I had nothing but a dream. I was the lead singer in an aspiring, kickass band with a loyal fan base in our native Baltimore and big dreams to make it something happen in New York City. We didn’t have an agent or a clue about how we planned to achieve our lofty goals. We also didn’t have a reliable guitarist. We hired one we thankfully fired a couple months later. I hated wasting time on Terry, but I’ll always be a little grateful for that asshole. If it weren’t for his dubious skills on a six string, I doubt I would have met Will. He stepped in and helped reshape our direction. A year later Spiral was on the map. We had a hit song on the radio and another one about to be released. And we had a few bucks in the bank.

The taxi driver grunted and pointed at the fare, effectively ripping me from my reverie. I pulled out a ten dollar bill, which was more than enough to cover the short trip from the studio to my Tribeca building. I jumped out of the cab and waved a greeting to the doorman before heading toward the elevator for the brief ride to the fifteenth floor. A woman’s sharp voice echoed around the sparsely furnished condo. I set my guitar case against the entry wall and shrugged my coat and scarf off before moving toward my man and our guest.

“If your style is contemporary I can suggest some wonderful post-modern furniture with flashes of color. You said your boyfriend likes bold art and—”

“I do. Hi there,” I interrupted, extending my hand to the young woman. “I’m Rand. Thanks for coming out today. I’m sorry I’m late. I got caught up at the studio.”

I glanced at Will to make sure he knew the apology was really meant for him. He gave me a small sly smile that went inexplicably straight to my dick and suddenly, he was all I could see. I didn’t get it. Sure, he was a good-looking guy. He was six foot two and lean. Basically my height and built. But he had an intense air about him he hid behind a pair of sexy glasses and an instrument. There was more to this man than his musical prowess. I couldn’t believe my luck… I woke up next to him every morning. The truth behind this wild attraction went further than his looks or talent. I was in love with the part of him I couldn’t touch. The part of him that made me want to be everything he needed but didn’t know he was looking for. The way he was for me.

“Hello. I’m Tara. We spoke briefly on the phone the other day. It’s a pleasure to meet you. I’ll only say this once and I promise to try not to gush, but I’m a huge fan of yours. I love Spiral! I was at your concert in Brooklyn last…”

I grinned widely as she sang my band’s praises. I couldn’t help it. I was a sucker for the accolades. I nodded and looked over her shoulder at Will, who rolled his eyes theatrically and pointed at his watch. Right.

“Thanks Tara. I appreciate that. So… we just bought this place from the owner last month. We’ve been here since June and decided we like the layout and we love the neighborhood, but we don’t have time to deal with making it look more like a home than a college hangout, you know?”

“Of course! That’s my job. Just give me your color palette, general design aesthetic and budget and I’ll get you started.”

Tara’s mannerisms as she warmed to the topic of furniture placement and art suggestions were overly enthusiastic. I didn’t think we were communicating though she was agreeing with everything I said. I wondered what I was missing when Will cleared his throat and slipped his arm around my waist.

“I’d like one of those bright blue egg chairs, a few modern rugs, an accent wall for our guitars… Rand can choose the color. And room for a baby grand piano when we can afford one. After that, I just want to know how you bill and what your time frame is. If we’re all in agreement, we can get started soon. Right, hon?”

Hon. Ouch. It sounded like I was in trouble. I’d learned over the past year Will wasn’t big on terms of endearment unless it was to make a point. I kissed his cheek in an effort to get back on even ground then glanced at our interior design candidate. Tara was a pretty brunette with shoulder length hair. She was professionally dressed in dark trousers and high black boots paired with a soft looking red sweater. I had to guess her ensemble cost as much as my very best Fender Stratocaster. A lot. Her eyes softened slightly as she cast an indulgent look between us and I suddenly clued in that this interview was a two-way street. She was checking us out and trying to understand our dynamic. Were the rumors true? Was the lead singer of Spiral really with a guy or was it all a publicity stunt?

“I’ll make note of your requests. And I assure you this will be as pain-free as possible.” She turned to address Will with a raised eyebrow. “Would you prefer I contact you regarding material choices and furnishings or—”

“Yes,” I blurted. “Definitely. Will knows what we like. He’ll take care of everything.”

Tara gave us another sappy grin before launching into her plan to return with an assistant to take measurements and go through a rough budget. I went a little foggy when the details threatened to lull me to sleep. Thankfully Will seemed to be paying attention. He asked pointed questions and gave very succinct instructions regarding our general wants, needs and availability. I took a seat at the island and checked my messages while they finished up and idly wondered what Will was making tonight. I was starving.

Forty-five minutes later we politely shook hands and parted ways, but not before she extended a heartfelt promise to email her estimates the following morning.

“I’ll include basic furnishing, paint, art work. I’ll shoot for a Valentine’s Day weekend completion. It would be a perfect gift for you both!” she exclaimed with a wave before turning down the hallway toward the elevator.

Yeah, yeah. Whatever.

I closed the door and rolled my eyes. “God I thought she’d never leave! What’s for dinner, babe?”

I headed for the kitchen and grabbed a banana from the fruit bowl from the island. I unpeeled it seconds flat and chomped a huge bite before giving a few meal suggestions ranging from his amazing spaghetti to the vegetarian lasagna he made a couple weeks before.

“That was crazy good. Let’s have that. How long till it’s ready?” I asked as I opened the refrigerator.

I pulled out two beers and held one in his general direction without turning around. When he didn’t take it, I glanced over my shoulder. Hmm. Definitely still in the doghouse. Without a fucking clue. Not good on an empty stomach. I took another bite of my banana before popping the cap on the beer. I studied Will’s stiff posture and tried a smile.

“Aren’t you hungry? You’ve had a long day too. Weren’t you at class all day? That’s not good for you. A growing boy needs to eat,” I singsonged, raising my bottle in a toast before taking a swig.

Will walked around the island and leaned against the black granite countertop with his arms crossed. He was wearing a black V-neck sweater with khaki pants. An unexciting combo on most guys, but not Will. His tousled brown hair was a sexy contrast to the straitlaced student attire. And those glasses got me every time. I closed the distance between us and cradled his chin tenderly before pressing a small kiss on his lips.

“I love you. You’re beautiful,” I whispered.

Suddenly the clouds lifted and the sun came streaming into the room. Damn, he had an incredible smile. Will practically radiated sunlight and joy. He embodied everything good and worthwhile on this fucked up planet. And he made me want to be a better man. Someone worthy of him.

“I love you too.” He pulled me against him and slanted his mouth over mine. The kiss was sweet but too short. He pushed at my shoulder and gave me a sharp look. “But I’m mad at you.”

“I kinda figured.” I scratched my head and wrinkled my nose in confusion. “What did I do?”

Will sighed. “We’re equals here. We have to share responsibilities. I’m extremely proud of you and the band, but I’m not a groupie. I’m not your cook. I’m not your secretary. I’m not your assistant and I’m not your fucking maid. If you leave your clothes on the floor in the bathroom one more time I’m—”

I shut him up with a scorching kiss then softened the connection to lick at his lips before plunging my tongue inside. He moaned and wrapped his arms around my neck. And fuck, he felt perfect. I moved my hand under his sweater and pulled to get his T-shirt out of the way, suddenly desperate for skin. When his fingers dived to my belt buckle I knew he was in the same state. He pulled back slightly and nibbled at my scruffy jaw while he worked on my zipper.

I wondered at the intensity of this desire sometimes. It seemed to grow stronger everyday. It wasn’t just about sex. It was a physical need to be near each other. To talk, to laugh, to play music and sometimes… simply breathe the same air. I’d been on a steady free fall since we met, but knowing we were together in this had changed everything. We were committed to making every facet of our relationship work. Unfortunately I was usually the one a step behind. But I was determined not to fuck up the best thing that ever happened to me.

“Mmm. Bedroom,” he groaned as he slipped his fingers under the elastic of my briefs.

“Wait. Should we talk about stuff?”

“Stuff?” Will squeezed my ass and pushed my jeans out of the way and reached for my heavy cock. “You really want to talk now?”

My breath caught when he held me in a firm grip and began a slow stroking motion with a wicked twist of his hand.

“No,” I grunted, pulling at his belt. “I—I want to be inside you, baby, but-”

“Come with me now. We’ll talk later.”images-43

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