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Authors: Rhianne Aile,Madeleine Urban

Tags: #Fiction, #Gay, #Romance, #General

The One That Got Away

BOOK: The One That Got Away
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The One that Got Away

Rhianne Aile & Madeleine Urban

I

DAVID groaned when the bright sunlight hit his eyes as he walked from his office to the parking garage. His light eyes were sensitive and, today, when he needed them most, he’d left his sunglasses on the kitchen table.

The fever and headache had started during the morning editorial meeting.

By the time assignments had been agreed upon, he could barely focus. He hadn’t had a migraine in almost a year, but he remembered the symptoms well. Telling his assistant he’d be out of the office for the rest of the day, he grabbed his keys and briefcase and had headed home.

Pulling into his driveway, the blond journalist folded himself out of his car, holding onto the door until the dizziness passed. He’d had to pull over to throw up twice on the way home and wanted nothing more than to pass out in a cool dark room. Praying that he had some of his old prescription pills still in his medicine cabinet, he groped his way into the house and down the hall. He hadn’t even bothered to bring his briefcase and cell phone inside. There was no way he was getting any work done today.

Ten minutes later, dressed in nothing but boxers, David Carmichael ran a frustrated hand through his short blond hair, leaving it standing up at odd angles. Tearing open the bedside drawer, he plundered the contents, condoms and cigarettes falling to the floor. No medicine. “Fuck!” he swore. He could call the doctor and get some called in, but there was no 
way he could drive to the pharmacy. Collapsing on the bed, which was just too tempting to ignore, he reached for the phone. First he called his doctor’s office. The nurse promised to call in a fresh set of refills for his prescription. Second, he phoned Trace. If you couldn’t call on your best friend to bring you medicine, when could you call him?

Trace was driving down Seaside Drive with the top down when his phone rang. He hit the button on his Bluetooth. “Trace Jackson,” he said.

“Trace,” David rasped, rolling over so the phone was pressed between his ear and the pillow, too tired to hold it up. “I need your help.”

“David? You sound like shit,” Trace said, voice tinged with concern.

“Yeah.” David shifted and swallowed down another wave of nausea.

“I’ve got a migraine… bad.”

“Hell. Been a long time. You got your meds? Where are you?” Trace said as he turned into a parking lot to turn around and head back to town.

“No, no meds. Can’t find them, or I threw them out. It’s been so long. The nurse called some in. Walgreens on Eighth.” David paused to catch his breath. Even his own voice in his head was too loud.

“David, man, go lay down. Put a wet washcloth over your eyes or something. I’ll pick up the meds. Anything else? Gatorade?” Trace asked, turning off Seaside onto a busier street.

“Already lying down, but the fuckin’ bed is spinning. Just get me drugs.”

“All right. I’ll be there soon,” Trace said, hitting the button to end the call and focus on traffic. He wanted to get there as soon as possible. It had been a long time since David had last a migraine, but when he got one it was usually a doozy. 

Half an hour later, he pulled in behind David’s car and headed to the back door, prescription bag in hand. Using his key, he went straight into the kitchen, tossed the bag on the counter, and found a glass for cold water from the fridge. Trace tore open the bag and fumbled with the bottle, cussing the childproof top under his breath. Pills in hand, he grabbed the glass of water and headed back to David’s room.

It was dim inside, the heavy drapes blocking out the light, and Trace could see his friend curled up on the bed. “David?” he said softly, walking over to perch on the side of the bed next to him.

David moaned as the bed rocked. Cracking one eye, he looked up at the tall, broad-shouldered brunet looking down at him, brows drawn together in worry. “I’m not dying,” he croaked. “No matter how much I might wish it. Fuck!”

Trace winced at how sunken David’s eyes looked. “Here,” he said quietly. “I bring pain relief.”

“My hero.” David reached for the pills, lifting up on his elbow to be able to drink the water.

Nodding, Trace waited for David to hand back the glass. He set it on the nightstand and ran his hand lightly over David’s forehead. “You’re hot too,” he said. He stood up and went to the bathroom, wet a cloth with cool water, and brought it back to gently lay it over David’s eyes.

David hissed as the cold cloth hit his superheated skin. His entire body shuddered. “Covers,” he said, struggling to get up so he could get under the blanket.

Frowning, Trace reached to pull up the blanket, tucking it around David’s shoulders. “Sorry, man,” he murmured. David looked really miserable. 

“Thanks for playing errand boy. I’m sorry I interrupted your day. Go back to work. I’ll live. I’m too ornery to die.” The blond chuckled at his own joke, causing stabbing pain to shoot through his head until he was gasping. “Fuck,” he panted, lying limp.

“I think I’ll stick around, just in case. I’ve not seen you hurting this bad in a long time,” Trace murmured. “Humor me, okay?”

David would have glared at his friend if the muscles in his face hadn’t hurt so badly. Instead he settled for a small frown and a complaint.

“When was the last time you cut your hair, Jackson?” It was petty, but doing something as normal as picking on his friend’s habit of wearing his hair so long it brushed below his shoulders made him feel just slightly better. He drifted to sleep with one corner of his mouth crooked up.

Trace’s mouth quirked as David ribbed him. It was a longtime tease.

He held the cool cloth against David’s face for a while and then set it aside. Sitting there, he decided he might as well work on his story. He went out to the car and got his laptop and notes. Once inside, he kicked off his shoes and shed his jacket, pulled his tie loose and tossed it aside. Back in the bedroom, he climbed onto the opposite side of the huge bed from David, booted up the laptop, slid his glasses on, and settled in to work.

DAVID was dreaming that he’d fallen asleep at work. His body was stiff from being laid back in his chair with his feet propped on his desk, and he could hear his assistant typing on her keyboard. He started to get up, but his feet were tangled in something. He started to fall…. Waking with a start that jarred his head, David cried out, attempting to sit up, his feet thrashing in the blanket wrapped around his legs.

As soon as David started moving, Trace dropped his pen and notebook and reached over, trying to calm him down. “David. Hey, you’re okay,” he said, trying to pull at the blanket so his friend wouldn’t wrap it any further around himself. He held onto his laptop with his other hand, trying to keep it from sliding off his thighs.

Trace? What the fuck was Trace doing in his office? The two men had been friends for ages, but since they worked for rival newspapers, they never visited each other at work. “Trace? What? Why?”

“David,” Trace said patiently. “C’mon; wake up. You’re hopped up on pain meds, man.” He shook his friend’s shoulder gently.

David opened his eyes, the dark room swimming into focus. Trace was leaning over him. “Oh, wouldn’t
The Mirror
just love to get a picture of this: ‘Warring newspaper correspondents found in bed together.’ I can see the headlines now. Katherine would have her panties in a serious twist.

Fuck, I’m thirsty. I feel like a circus train has traveled though my mouth.”

His head fell forward, landing on Trace’s firm thigh instead of the bed, and he yanked it back, causing a spike of pain and wave of dizziness.

“Careful,” Trace cautioned, reaching out to help steady him. “You still look like hell, man. Hang on; I’ll get you something to drink.” He set the laptop down on the bed and stood up, trying not to jostle the mattress.

“Stay put,” he ordered with a pointed finger before leaving the room.

“Like I have a choice,” David muttered, sinking back against the pillows gingerly. Glancing at the clock, he mentally calculated. He was at the peak of his medicine, and the headache was still there—better, but still there and strong. That didn’t bode well. The prescription worked, but not for the full six hours before he could take another dose. If two and a half hours in, he still had symptoms this bad, it would be back with a vengeance in another two. He needed to try to eat while he might be able to keep food down, and it was foolish, but he really wanted a shower too.

Trace reentered the room carrying a tall glass of the decaffeinated iced tea David kept in the fridge. “Try this,” he suggested, sitting on the edge near him. Over the past couple of hours his hair had come loose of the band he used to hold it back, and he was still wearing his glasses, something he hated doing around other people. But David had seen them before.

David had to grin at Trace’s disheveled appearance. The swanky journalist had a fashion-plate reputation that he wasn’t living up to at the moment. Reaching for the glass, David swallowed half of it in one gulp before his stomach lurched in protest. He set it carefully on the nightstand.

“Thanks.”

Nodding, Trace leaned on one arm on the mattress. “Pills not helping, huh?” Normally blond and hale and healthy, David’s face had a gray tinge, and his eyes looked clouded. It was a big change.

David let his eyes close. “Oh, they’re helping, but when I get one this bad, they just cut the pain. They don’t kill it.”

“Anything else help?” Trace asked, glancing at the floor as his sock foot slipped over something. He pushed up his glasses, seeing the mess scattered around the nightstand. “I see you rifled the drawers looking for your pills,” he said, reaching down to pick up the magazine his foot had touched.

“Would I ever hear the end of it if I asked you to rub my shoulders and maybe my scalp?”

Glancing back to David before he turned over the magazine to see the front, Trace frowned slightly. “You’re hurting, David. If I can help, it’s no problem.” He dropped the magazine in the drawer, pausing long enough to scoop up the rest of the mess as well, raising a brow a bit at some of the contents: pens and notebooks, of course; condoms and lubricant—he shouldn’t be surprised at that; a half-empty bag of 
wintergreens; a lighter and a crumpled pack of cigarettes. Trace frowned.

He thought David had quit. He dumped it all in the drawer before noticing something half under the bed, so he bent over to reach for it.

David rolled over and pushed the pillow out of the way so he could lie flat on the bed. “Thanks, Trace. At this point I’d even take the razzing.

I owe you one.”

Trace’s fingers closed around something cool that felt like a gel pack, but it was rounded and—he blinked when he pulled a dildo out from under the mattress. His eyes shifted to David in surprise, but the other man was lying there with his eyes closed. He was tempted—really, really tempted—to start that razzing right now. He looked back down at it, heavy and thick and about eight inches long, and then he laid it in the drawer and pushed the drawer closed.

Turning some more on the bed, Trace slid his fingers into David’s hair and started rubbing gently with one hand before adding the other for a soothing massage. Meanwhile, he thought about what he’d found. There were easy answers, sure. David could be fucking a woman and using the dildo on her too, or just using the dildo, or any number of playful things Trace himself had indulged in. But then there were more… interesting… 
answers. He laughed silently at his out-of-place musings.

David moaned, a sound of sublime pleasure instead of pain for the first time since this headache had hit. “God, that’s good. Just a little harder.”

Now that his mind was on things erotic, Trace couldn’t help but interpret the tone of David’s voice in that context. As he strengthened the rubbing, he stifled a chuckle. He knew David had a healthy sex life, but it was just one of those things they hadn’t happened to talk about over the years. The noises coming from the other man sounded pretty good to him, not that he’d ever heard another man during sex with the exception of in a 
movie. He kept sliding his fingers over David’s skull with one hand, sliding the other down to the base of his neck and lightly kneading with strong fingers.

David’s shoulders rose into the touch, and he purred. Between the medicine and the light touch, he felt better than he had in hours. “You have fuckin’ brilliant hands.”

“So I’ve been told,” Trace drawled, working more on David’s neck.

David took a deep breath, relaxing into the touch, and the silence wrapped around him. A good friend was a rare find, and Trace was the best. As the massage relieved more and more of the pain, his body began reacting in a different way, his cock twitching where it lay trapped between his body and the mattress. David tensed, the pain returning slightly and dissuading his cock of its interest. He and Trace had been friends for years without the slightest hint of sexual attraction. They were buddies, and David was absolutely certain Trace was straight. They talked politics and sports, not sex, and his friend had quite the social reputation that spoke for itself. Either way, the blond had no interest in losing his best friend over a quick roll in the hay. “I think maybe I’ll try to take a shower while I still feel halfway decent,” he mumbled into the sheet.

BOOK: The One That Got Away
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