Two days later, I had just seen off an old school friend at Camden Town Underground station when Sage sidled around the corner, hands in the pockets of his jeans, no coat, despite it being a chilly night.
“Ah, Tim!” he exclaimed with a grin, as if I was the last person he had expected to see.
“Sage,” I returned, already feeling hot at the sight of him, but trying to act cool.
“Shall we take a stroll? he asked.
“Why not,” I said.
Our stroll took us to the edge of Regent’s Park, which was around 10-minutes from Camden Town station. A cold wind rustled the trees that lined the path and I shivered. Sage wrapped an arm around my shoulders and pulled me close. That simple gesture excited me more than anything he had done before. He kissed the top of me head and then twisted round so that he faced me, bringing us both to a halt.
“Shall we walk along the Thames?” he asked.
“It’s a long way to the Thames from here,” I said.
Sage raised an eyebrow. “Do you not know me better than that by now,” he laughed, pulling me to his chest and holding me tight.
“Ready?” he asked.
“As I’ll ever be,” I replied, brightly.
The wind blew and the park disintegrated into streaming colors. I locked my hands behind Sage’s back and closed my eyes.
Within seconds we were standing on patch of damp mud at the bottom of a set of stone steps. The grey waters of the Thames churned just feet away and above us people chatted and laughed, enjoying the breezy late summer evening.
Sage grabbed me by the hand and pulled me up the steps. We joined the throng of people, many just leaving one of the concert halls of the Southbank Centre, conversing animatedly about whatever musical extravaganza they had just witnessed. I wondered if anyone would react to the two of us holding hands, but we seemed to pass through them unnoticed.
“Did you find out anything about Luke?” I asked.
Sage looked suddenly pensive.
“Nothing. I don’t know whether I should be worried or not. He’s a very independent man. He left me, after all. He’s probably just enjoying some solitude. Or maybe he has a new lover who is taking up all his time and the two of them are hiding from the world.”
“Maybe,” I said, wishing Sage and I could disappear for a few weeks to some secret island and just make love all day. But, of course, that couldn’t happen. I had a job for a start, and people who would worry about me.
Sage draped an arm around my shoulder and we stopped for a while to gaze across the river. The austere London bridge loomed close by and beyond it on the far bank the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral.
“I once made love to a beautiful woman on the steps of St Paul’s,” said Sage.
“She was the wife of a politician. She loved to take risks. This was two hundred years ago, or more. She was very ahead of her time.”
“Is it difficult?” I asked. “Living for so long?”
Sage continued to gaze across the water.
“It can be. I meet people and then lose them in what for me seems like mere weeks, but for them is a lifetime. I have to adapt to an ever-changing world, constantly try and seem contemporary. I’m trying to blend in now, in in the twentieth century, when the eighteenth century still feels recent to me. Meeting you that day seems like moments ago. I meant to come after you apologize for being cruel, but then a hundred and one other things happened in what felt like minutes, and it was a new month, then a new year. When I meet someone I really care about I have to train my brain to slow down, so that I don’t lose track of time. I’m doing that now, so that I can enjoy moments like this.”
He pulled me closer and I leant my head on his shoulder, wondering if he could hear how hard and fast my heart was pounding.
“I am sorry for being cruel that day” he said.
I kissed his cheek. “It’s okay,” I said. “You’ve made up for it.”
We walked on, under London Bridge and past the National Theatre, where more crowds were emerging onto the riverside.
“Shall we go to your hotel room?” I asked.
“Not the lovely room in Camden that I took you to on the day we met?” asked Sage.
I shook my head. “Absolutely not there,” I said.
That night we made love for hours, not just in the bed, but up against one of the windows, with Sage taking me from behind, as I squirmed against the cold glass, watching people pass below.
And when we lay afterwards, dawn creeping across the room, I felt happy and finally confident that Sage would be around for a while. And for a few weeks he was. There were more evening walks, romantic meals in restaurants I could never have hoped to afford myself – over the centuries, Sage had found many ways to make money and stash it away – and many hours of lovemaking. I even thought about introducing Sage to Tasha, because our relationship felt like something real – solid.
But then he stopped appearing. November came and went with no sign of him. I felt sick with misery. It was like a bereavement. I went to the hotel numerous times and stared up at the window of his room, but it was always in darkness. I revisited some of the places we had been together half expecting to see him there with someone new. The thought of that broke my heart.
December came and still no sign of Sage. It was the most depressing Christmas ever. I spent it at my parents, staring out of my old bedroom window pining for Sage, fearing that something terrible had happened to him, then resolving myself to the fact that he had just got bored with me.
Come January, I returned to work determined to move on and not give Sage another thought. But that was easier said than done. He may have got tired of me, but I was completely in love with him.
All good intentions failed on my first day back in the office. I was sitting at my desk, typing up some minutes when the image of Sage naked filled my head. I remembered how his cock felt as it entered me and I grew hard. I hoped no-one asked me to run an errand for a while.
Jon, the managing director of the company walked by as I fantasized. I’d had an embarrassing encounter with him back in November, when he’d tried it on with me in his office. He was around forty and very handsome, in an overly groomed fashion. He’d been sitting on his desk with an obvious erection tenting his suit trousers when I entered and had begun rubbing himself while he dictated a letter to me, finally pulling his cock out and asking if I’d “do the honors”.
The look of shock on my face had brought him back to his senses and he’d zipped himself up while apologizing profusely.
“I don’t understand what just happened,” he’d said. “I’m happily married.”
Spending intimate time with Sage definitely had a strange effect on my own sexual chemistry. Jon was one in a string of men who had forgotten they were heterosexual while in my presence. Now that I hadn’t seen Sage for months, things seemed to be returning to normal.
As he passed my desk, Jon glanced at me and smiled. I watched him walk away, admiring his full, firm arse in his loose-fitting trousers. Maybe next time he offered me his cock to suck on I’d accept. Sage was obviously out of my life now, so why shouldn’t I have some fun?
I glanced out of the window next to where I sat and saw a figure standing on the roof of the low-rise building opposite. It was Sage, once again wearing the long black coat he’d been dressed in when we first met. It flapped around him like a cape. My chest swelled with excitement at seeing him. He waved and then gestured for me to come to him. I looked at the clock. It was ten to one. I swiveled my chair round to face Anne, my immediate boss.
“Would it be okay to go to lunch?” I asked, barely able to speak I was so elated at seeing Sage.
“Sure,” she said. “Just get back ten minutes early.”
I checked my lap to make sure I wasn’t still tenting and headed for the elevators.
Sage was waiting just outside the office building where I worked. He looked so beautiful, black hair fluttering in the wind, skin as vibrant as ever, eyes like orbs of opal. As I approached, he smiled his one-sided smile. I’d intended to be angry with him, demand to know why he hadn’t been in contact for months, but all my fury dissolved as soon as he smiled.
“You look cold,” he said, wrapping me in his coat, so that I was cocooned against his warm body, breathing in his musky odor. He kissed me on the mouth and then on the forehead. I felt dizzy with desire and happiness. Then I remembered we were standing in the middle of a busy Soho street with people passing us on both sides. I glanced around, but everyone seemed oblivious to us. It was as if we were protected by some invisible force field.
“I’ve missed you,” I blurted, forgetting the first rule of romance – play hard to get. Apparently, Sage could read my mind anyway, so there wasn’t much point trying to act cool.
“I had bad news,” said Sage.
“About Luke?” I asked.
Sage nodded. “His body was found in a cave on the Portuguese coast. He had been beheaded.”
“Jesus, I’m sorry.”
“I went to see him—what was left of him. And now I need to find the one that did that to him and kill them.”
I didn’t know how to respond. I understood his anger, but I could hardly cheer him on when he was talking about committing murder.
“I wanted to see you first though,” Sage continued. “Spend some time with you.”
He seemed solemn, less cocky than usual.
“I only have an hour for lunch,” I said. “We could go for a coffee, or a drink.”
Sage tutted. “Tell them you were taken ill. Let’s go to Edinburgh or Cornwall. I could have us there in minutes. Or maybe I’ll just whisk you to my favorite hotel room and fuck your tight little arse again.”
I could think of worse ways to spend my lunchbreak than being fucked by Sage in the four-poster bed, but I was also curious to see if he really could get us to the other end of the country in minutes.
“Go on then,” I said. “Take me to Cornwall. We can have chips on the beach.”
“Such class,” said Sage, raising his eyebrows.
He pulled me even closer, his hold growing tighter. Once again, I felt the strength in his arms. As before, the hurricane blew around us and our surroundings turned to particles of color. Briefly, things settled and I saw traffic whizz past on a busy road, then we were off again. Next stop was a field, the London landscape rising in the distance and then what looked like the grounds of a stately home, with neatly mowed lawns and formal flower beds.
“This looks nice,” I managed to say before everything disintegrated again.
When we finally arrived at the secluded cove, where waves crashed against the sand, I was exhausted. I dropped to my knees and took a deep breath, relishing the salty sea air. Sage rested a hand on top of my head.
“Do you feel okay?” he asked.
“I just need a few minutes to recover,” I said, leaning my head against his thigh. “This place is stunning though.”
“No-one ever seems to come here,” said Sage. “It’s somewhere I come a lot when I need to think.”
I stared out across the choppy water. Seagulls swooped overhead, calling to each other in their harsh voices. Dark clouds were bunching om the horizon and I could feel the first light drops of rain, or perhaps it was spray from the waves which were lapping at the sand just inches from where I crouched.
I looked up at Sage and saw sadness in his eyes, as he too gazed into the distance.
“I’m sorry to hear about Luke,” I said. “It must have been terrible to see him like that.”
“I have seen some horrific sights in my life,” said Sage. “I can deal with that. But I will miss him. I loved him very much once. He was beautiful. His skin was so dark and his lips were the softest I have ever kissed.”
I tried not to feel jealous of a man I had never met and who had suffered a hideous death, but I could feel envy rising from the pit of my stomach.
Sage began to stroke my hair. I nuzzled my face against his thigh and then his crotch. His cock responded, growing hard, pushing against the fabric of his jeans. I reached for the zip of his fly, but he grabbed my hand.
“No,” he said, pulling me to my feet.
As we kissed I massaged his bulge with one hand while cupping his perfect arse in the other. Sage moaned appreciatively, his kissing growing more passionate, his hands stroking my back and butt.
Eventually we pulled apart and just gazed at each other. Sage looked serious again for a moment, then he smiled his crooked grin.
“Come on,” he said, grabbing my arm and pulling me towards the sea. “Let’s swim.”
“What!” I protested. “Are you mad? It’s January and its cold. That water will be freezing. No way am I getting in there.”
“I forgot,” said Sage.
“Forgot what?” I demanded. “That I’m not one of your real boyfriends. I’m just a normal human who feels the cold? Why don’t you make me immortal like the wonderful Justice and…” I stopped myself before I said the name Luke.
“You wouldn’t want it,” said Sage, turning away from me and striding along the beach, the wind blowing his hair in all directions.
“How do you know what I want?” I demanded, following him.
“I know,” said Sage. “I know that you love your sister and your parents and your friends back in hat dull place you come from. Once you become immortal, you will lose them all. You won’t mean to but time will take them. You’ll come back to Camden to visit your sister and she will be ten years older, with a three-year-old child and a husband you’ve never met. She’ll stare at you in disbelief and say something like ‘I thought you were dead, where have you been?’ and you’ll try and explain how time is different for you, that you thought you’d only been travelling for a couple of months.”
Sage stopped suddenly so that I almost collided with him. “You don’t want it,” he said again. “Trust me on that.”
“What’s the alternative?” I asked, thinking how my shrill voice was echoing the sound of the seagulls. “That I say goodnight to you one evening and don’t see you for two years, because time has moved differently for you?”
“Maybe,” said Sage, fixing me with his coal eyes. “Can you cope with that?”
“I don’t know,” I said, and tears brimmed onto my cheeks.
Sage pulled me too him and hugged me, showering my head and face with kisses.
“You are such a sweet, genuine man,” he whispered. “But I don’t think we can be together anymore. I can’t make you immortal and loving a human is just too difficult for someone like me. I will end up hurting you and I will end up getting hurt. You should meet a normal guy, like your sexy boss in the power suit.”
I didn’t bother asking Sage how he knew about Jon, I just spluttered something about not wanting him.
“Look how sad I’ve made you already,” said Sage, “And we barely know each other yet.”
“I feel like I know you,” I said. “I feel like I already love you.”
Sage kissed the tears from my face. “That’s not true,” he said. “I just intrigue you.”
“Stop telling me what I feel!” I snapped.
“Sorry,” said Sage. “I’m sorry for everything. I should never have come back for you. I knew from that first time you were too sensitive, but I felt something for you even then. Forgive me. And forget about me. It’s for the best.”
“Don’t end it,” I pleaded, hating myself for sounding so needy.
“Come here,” said Sage, pulling me back under the folds of his coat.
I don’t remember the journey back. I closed my eyes and wept, breathing in the smell of Sage for what I thought would be the last time. When I opened my eyes, we were standing in a doorway opposite my office building.
“I’m sorry for upsetting you,” he said. “I just wanted to see you one last time before I left to hunt down Luke’s killer. But it was selfish of me. I won’t disturb your life again.”
And he was gone. I stared at the spot where he had stood and sobbed.
To be continued…
If you enjoy reading sexy stuff, check out my gay romance novellas The Black Mask, Hard Lessons and Mirror Man, and my full-length novel Darkwater House. They are available direct from the publisher’s website or from Amazon UK and Amazon USA, and other online sellers.
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