Read Elemental Love Online

Authors: L.M. Somerton

Tags: #Erotic Romance Fiction

Elemental Love (8 page)

BOOK: Elemental Love

Freed from bondage, Dominic scrambled upright, close to hyperventilating in shock. If this was a dream, then he had serious issues. His limbs bore the indentations of the stems where they had been held down so tightly and the evidence of his own release was patently obvious. Across his thighs, his chest and abdomen, tacky, shiny paths marked where the plant had lain.

“What the hell?” Dominic pinched himself. He was wide awake. His face heated at the thought of how he had felt, how fear and ecstasy had combined in the heat of an incredible orgasm. He went to his knees and examined the bed. The wood was smooth and polished. It appeared no different from any other evening. Tentatively he let his fingertips brush across the pattern of the grain, circling small whorls, tracing the knots. Though warm, the furniture gave no indication that it had ever come alive or would again.

“Nuts. I am definitely going freaking nuts,” Dominic muttered. He was a sweaty, sticky mess and desperately in need of another shower. Half expecting other inanimate objects in his room to come alive and molest him, he padded to the bathroom with a tumult of confused thoughts and disbelief falling through his mind.

This time, he used hot water. He scrubbed at his skin until all traces of sap—or whatever the hell it was that the plant had left on him—were gone.

“Why do I get the feeling that a plant just came on me?” He shuddered. Apart from reddened dents around his wrists and ankles, there was no other damage to his body. All the important parts were unharmed and intact. Dominic stayed in the shower until the water began to cool. He switched off the spray, sighing heavily, and grabbed a clean towel for a quick rubdown. He examined his reflection, softened by the misty moisture coating the bathroom mirror. Anxious eyes stared back at him. He massaged his temples, fighting off the beginnings of a headache. He had no idea how he was going to sleep, or ever be entirely at ease in his bed again.

Perhaps there was something in Aggie’s tea that brought on hallucinations.
Dominic tried to find a logical explanation for his experience. His mind needed a reason before it would settle. Sure, he was tired, but he usually was after a hard day’s work and he’d never had weird dreams before. He could have touched a poisonous plant without realizing it—that was plausible, more so than Aggie giving him something unsafe. Unwilling to go back to bed naked, he pulled on a pair of thin, cotton sleep pants that rarely saw the light of day. He plumped up his pillows and grabbed a seed catalog that he’d been meaning to browse through, then took a breath and lay down. For a few minutes, he stared blindly at the catalog, convinced that his bed was going to start sprouting shoots any minute. When nothing happened he relaxed a little. The clock told him that it was only slightly after ten. Still early. Dominic resolved to read for a while, then he’d attempt to sleep. With the light on.


* * * *


Evrain lifted his fineliner pen from the paper and shoved it behind his ear. He took a step back from his table to get a better view of the piece he’d been working on. The surface was slightly tilted with a lip at the bottom edge holding his layouts in place. The double-page spread he regarded with a critical eye was from a graphic novel—a personal project rather than one of the book covers or advertising designs he earned his living from. He smiled, satisfied that he had achieved exactly the expression he wanted. Dominic Castine’s pretty face now adorned his central character. He was the perfect muse for debauched innocence, his eyes yaoi-huge, glistening with unshed tears.

Evrain wished the scenes he had been drawing could be real. Dark green leaves and curling stems against that creamy skin would look delicious. He could almost feel Dominic’s indignation at being tied down and ravished against his will.

“I think you’d secretly enjoy it, Dominic,” Evrain whispered to himself. “You’d fight but you would submit eventually and take pleasure from every illicit touch.” He cast a critical eye across his work. Just because it was for his eyes only didn’t mean that he lost any of his perfectionist streak. He knew the work was good. It came easily to him, even more so since he’d come into his powers. If he used natural inks, he could move the fluid on the page with a thought. It was one of the few things he could manage with any degree of control, probably because when he worked he could blank out all distractions and focus absolutely. Gregory assured him that natural talent underpinned what he did, it was just enhanced by his gift.

It had been one of their more normal telephone conversations.

“Evrain, you’ll learn that there are ways to use your power to your advantage without frightening the natives. Warlocks do not exist outside fiction to 99.999 percent recurring of the population. Please try to remember that.”

“I’m hardly going to forget, Gregory. I don’t want to be consigned to Arkham along with the rest of the fictional psychopaths for the rest of my life, but there has to be some advantage to being a freak of nature.”

Gregory had sighed. “You—
—are not freaks. We are…anomalies. A slight aberration in the evolutionary process and of course there are advantages, you are just not proficient enough to realize them yet.”

“So how do you benefit from what you can do, Gregory?” It had been something they hadn’t discussed.

“I have interests in several companies and own a great deal of real estate, but that’s not how I made my money,” Gregory had said. “After I graduated I went into the oil exploration business. I’m closest to water and earth elements. I can feel the earth, sense changes in density below ground. Once I’d felt one oil deposit, I could recognize another and another. I gained a reputation as an expert in oil discovery and that’s a very lucrative career when you keep getting it right. It can also be explained by science, technology and, to a certain extent, luck.”

“Hmm. I don’t really fancy being the next J.R. Ewing, or moving to Texas. Too bloody hot.”

“You’ve yet to work out where your strongest elemental affinities lie, Evrain. When you do, then you can worry about how to use your powers to your advantage. Without harming others, mind you. We can be selfish to some extent but not deliberately to the detriment of others, that’s a big no-no.”

“So there is a dark side to all this then?”

“Evrain, you are not too old to get a spanking, and believe me, if you start quoting
Star Wars
at me I will be on the next flight up there just to deliver one.”

There had been a pause while Evrain had taken that in. Spanking was something he often fantasized about delivering. He had no desire to be the recipient.

“You’re rolling your eyes, aren’t you?” Gregory had added. “Stop it.”

“Do you have cameras hidden in my apartment, Gregory? Never mind. I don’t want to know.”

Evrain had ended the conversation quickly after that. He was still no closer to understanding which elements might become his favorites—he was equally drawn to all four. In the meantime, if he could improve his artwork even a little, he’d take it. He checked his watch. It was almost half past ten, so too late to drive back to Hood River in order to deliver his grandmother’s pot of balm to the delicious Dominic Castine. He would save that treat for the morning. The next day was Saturday. He wasn’t sure if Dominic worked weekends but he’d take a chance and call in before going for a hike. Of course, if Dominic invited him in, he wouldn’t turn down an alternative form of exercise.

Chapter Six




Evrain parked opposite the diner in Hood River. He’d found the prospect of seeing Dominic again more attractive than a Saturday morning lie-in. Waking early, he’d had a quick shower and shave, dressed for hiking then jumped in the car. He’d not bothered to eat, deciding that trying out the diner Dominic lived over could be a good way of persuading the shy young man to spend some time with him. Now he sat in his vehicle, quelling nervousness that he was unaccustomed to dealing with. He gripped Agatha’s little jar of balm, tapping the lid with a forefinger.

“Jesus, get a grip, Evrain. He’s a man, not a three-headed alien from Pluto.”
A man
I desperately want to get my hands on and cock into.
His thoughts were honest at least. It wasn’t just the physical attraction, though—he felt drawn to Dominic. After such a brief meeting, it was odd that he couldn’t get the man out of his head. He’d suspect that his grandmother had doped him with a love potion if he didn’t know better.

He got out of the car and shut the door with a decisive slam. Just as he was about to cross the road, a figure descended the fire escape at the side of the building. The dark red hair was confirmation enough that it was Dominic even before Evrain saw his face. He grinned and leaned against the car, waiting for Dominic to spot him.

Evrain knew the exact moment that Dominic realized he was there. He froze. His lips parted. He glanced around as if checking out escape routes.
Oh, no, you don’t.
Evrain crossed the road before Dominic had the chance to make a run for it. He didn’t look either way, just marched across the road with his sights firmly fixed on Dominic. It was a good job there wasn’t any traffic because Evrain’s sense of self-preservation had completely deserted him. Dominic didn’t move other than to hunch his shoulders slightly. Tension was apparent in every inch of his lean frame.

Evrain got right into Dominic’s personal space. Dominic backed up until his ass hit the diner window.

“Good morning,” Evrain said. He leaned in and pressed his lips to Dominic’s. It was a very chaste kiss but Dominic still blushed to the roots of his hair.

“Wh-wha, what are you doing…here? Here. What are you doing
?” Dominic fumbled over his words. He ran his tongue over his lower lip as if gathering Evrain’s taste.

“I’m here to take you to breakfast.” Evrain only made that decision as the words left his mouth.

“I don’t understand.” Dominic’s gaze darted around. His fingers clenched and unclenched.

“Breakfast. The first meal of the day. Generally involves bacon for anyone living on this continent.” Evrain paused. “I apologize. I’ve just stereotyped an entire nation or two.”

“Three if you include Mexico,” Dominic muttered.

Evrain grinned. There was a spark beneath the shyness. “So, are you hungry?”

“I don’t… I mean, you can’t just…”

Oh God, he’s adorable.
“It’s breakfast, Dominic, and I’m buying. Indulge me.”

“But why?” Dominic shuffled his feet and examined the ground.

“Why not?” Evrain put a finger beneath Dominic’s chin and tilted it up. “That’s better. You have such pretty eyes.” He pushed his knee forwards, parting Dominic’s legs. “You’re getting hard for me, aren’t you?”

“No!” Dominic twisted sideways in an attempt to get around Evrain. Evrain let him go. Dominic took a few steps then stopped. “What do you want, Evrain?”

“Breakfast. I have a thing for pancakes.” He strolled toward the diner door, praying that Dominic would follow. He checked over his shoulder when he was halfway through the door.

Dominic’s expression was a perfect mix of confused irritation and arousal. Evrain recognized the moment that Dominic gave in. His shoulders dropped and he sighed with a slight shake of his head. Evrain didn’t hide his grin. He held the door open and waited until Dominic joined him.

“Coffee, boys?” The woman staffing the counter raised the jug and waggled it. “Morning, Dominic.” Her eyebrow lifted, her curiosity evident.

“Yes, please,” Evrain said. He scanned the available tables and took one near the back, next to the window. “It’s warm in here.” He peeled off the fleece he’d worn over his hiking skins. The light top beneath clung to his body and he wanted to see Dominic’s reaction.

Dominic’s eyes widened. He groaned and threw himself into a chair, shunting it under the table to hide his lap. He picked up a menu and hid behind it. Evrain pulled the laminated card away and placed it on the table.

“No hiding.”

Dominic shivered.

Interesting, he’s so responsive to commands. Definitely submissive, even if he doesn’t know it. He’ll fight and I’ll enjoy the battle.

The waitress arrived with two mugs of coffee. “You guys know what you want?” she asked, placing a mug before each of them.

“The usual please, Annie.” There was the tiniest quiver in Dominic’s voice.

“I’ll have what he’s having,” Evrain said. “Providing it includes pancakes. And bacon.”

“Oh, it does. Pancakes, bacon, hash browns, grilled tomatoes. Wholewheat toast on the side. Warm syrup. Our Dom has a healthy appetite.” Annie winked, full of mischief.

“As do I.” Evrain winked right back.

She grinned, then laughed, the sound joyful. “Oh, it’s about time!” She wandered off, hips swaying. “Shout if you need refills, food will be out in a few.”

Evrain leaned back in his chair. He stretched his legs, ensuring that his calf brushed against Dominic’s. He pulled Agatha’s jar of balm from his pocket.

“I brought this for you.” He placed the jar on the table and pushed it toward Dominic. “Grandma told me you hurt your back.”

“It’s nothing. Sore muscles, that’s all.” Dominic made eye contact. “But thank you for bringing it. You needn’t have come all this way.”

“It was just an excuse to see you again.” Evrain shrugged. “I was tempted to drive back last night, but I was…working.” He recalled his artwork and immediately pictured Dominic, naked and bound. Evrain’s cock jerked. He shifted in his seat. “You shot out of Grandma’s place so fast yesterday evening and I wanted a chance to get to know you better.”

“Because I work for Aggie and you want to check me out?”

“No.” Evrain chuckled. “Because I have evil intent when it comes to your hot body.”

Dominic’s mouth dropped open. “You’re deliberately trying to shock me, aren’t you?”

Their food arrived. Evrain tucked in and devoured several mouthfuls before he answered. “Not at all. Just giving you fair warning. God, this food is amazing. I can see this becoming a regular haunt of mine.”

Dominic stared at him for a few seconds as if he couldn’t quite believe what he was hearing. He gave an exasperated sigh and began to eat. Evrain kept half an eye on Dominic while they finished their meal and found himself entranced. Dominic ate efficiently, that was the only way Evrain could think to describe the neat sectioning of food, the precise cutting. The slide of the fork between Dominic’s lips made Evrain wish that it could be his cock there instead.

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