“Do you remember
something you said to me once? There’s no
such thing as magic, real magic....”
“…so you produce these two
wine glasses out of thin air and fill
from an invisible bottle. Then you ask the
in the audience, if she’d like to come up and join you
in a toast.”
Over the last fourteen days, Adam had found himself becoming increasingly aware of his creative consultant whenever he was around. The new season started in a week. Three and a half months of performances five nights a week with a Sunday matinee, three kids’ specials – one a month – and seven live television broadcasts. The only days the team had off were Tuesdays, and they would be used for preparation and rehearsals of new tricks. On top of all that, Adam wanted to fit his performance at ‘Skin’ into their busy schedule, a performance that his usual entourage would not be privy to. It meant rehearsals in private… just the two of them, if he could persuade Jonathan that he’d make the perfect assistant for that night, which he doubted he could. Certainly the assistant Jonathan evidently had in mind was female.
Taking his eyes from the
story-board for a moment, Adam leaned in to
touch his lips to the exposed nape of Jonathan’s
neck. It worried
him slightly that sitting here on the pool table with
afternoon sun streaming in through the patio felt like a
small slice of
heaven on earth.
Reaching for Jonathan, he turned him and pushed in onto his back across the sea of papers. Adam went with him, covering the lean body with his own, reclaiming the mouth that could kiss like no one he’d ever known. Jonathan’s fingers made light work of the buttons down the front of Adam’s shirt, delving under the material to touch the hard chest beneath. Adam growled, folding his legs under him for balance while he unbuttoned Jonathan’s shirt in turn.
Jonathan’s hands gripped his lover’s shoulders, trying to pull him down, to join their lips in another yearning kiss. Adam resisted for a moment until he could open Jonathan’s shirt before accepting the kiss, settling himself on top of the other very male body. A phrase popped into Jonathan’s mind for just a second, ‘make love to me’, but he banished it before it could be voiced. The thought had been cycling around in his mind for two weeks, since the night at ‘Skin’ where Adam had made the request of him, and he’d obliged, albeit under mitigating circumstances. The idea both thrilled and terrified him, but if there was ever going come a time when he was ready, it wasn’t now. And it most definitely wasn’t going to happen on Adam’s pool table.
Breaking the kiss, Adam lowered his head to frantically touch his mouth to any part of Jonathan’s body that he could reach. He took care to spend a little time at Jonathan’s chest, sucking and biting his nipples, cherishing every sound he forced from his lover. Jonathan lifted his hips, pressing his trapped erection against Adam’s, not-so-subtly hinting at what he wanted. Pushing himself up, straightening his arms, Adam gazed down at his lover. “God, you’re gorgeous.”
Jonathan thought he might actually have blushed. He was about to voice his previous physical request, when the doorbell rang. Jonathan froze, but Adam didn’t seem to even hear it as he shifted his balance to one hand and reached down to stroke his palm over his lover’s stomach. It rang again, and this time Adam did glance up, but only at Jonathan. “Both gates into the back garden are locked. The only person I want to see right now is already here.” He unbuttoned Jonathan’s trousers, fingers working with ease. The doorbell rang again. “Ignore it.” And as if to underline his point, he slid his hand between the other’s legs and gently squeezed his crotch. Any reservations Jonathan might have had were wiped clean from his mind.
“I suppose you’re going to
want me to redraw this lot.”
Jonathan picked up one of the pieces of A4 that had been
part of his
lovingly constructed storyboard when he’d arrived here
He abandoned the idea of trying to salvage some of the drawings and walked around the table to the patio doors, opening them quietly and stepping out into the sunshine. Adam had been right when he’d said this was a slice of heaven. He hadn’t ever imagined this, not with his employer of over ten years. But with the sun beating down on him, cold beer in his hand, his body aching wonderfully with what he would have missed out on had this not happened....
By any man’s standards he knew he was extremely lucky; two lovers, each knowing about the other, both letting him get away with it. Yet each came with their own complications.
Maddy could have been his girlfriend, he guessed, could have even been his life partner. She had the intelligence to keep him interested, keep him at her side as, he assumed, he had something that kept her with him. But she was the jealous sort. She was only tolerating Adam’s involvement with him because she couldn’t be sure which of them he’d choose if she forced him into a decision.
On the other hand, Adam wasn’t the jealous type. He too had other lovers. But, strangely enough, of the two of them, Jonathan was fairly sure that it was Adam who was actually in love with him. So what did he feel? Adam had been the most important person in his life for a long time, still was. But he was a he! Jonathan had always thought himself to be straight until this thing with Adam. He wasn’t hung up on labels, he didn’t care one way or the other. But was it something he wanted in the long run?
The really odd thing was that when he was with Adam he felt more at ease, more natural than he did when he was with Maddy. If it meant anything, he didn’t know what it was.
Having fed the cat, Adam
stepped out behind his lover, wrapping one
arm around his waist. “Do you have to be anywhere
Adam considered it ironic
that had it been a lady standing in his
arms, asking the same question, it would have signalled
immediate end to the relationship. But with
Jonathan... he wanted
to promise his
lover the moon.
“You do realize that your
idea of take out and other peoples’ ideas
To the other side of them
the story board for the ‘Skin’ routine was
laid out on the carpet as it had been earlier on the
The only difference was that some of the drawings had
been replaced by
quick stick-men sketches.
Jonathan batted him around
the head. “Will you
concentrate?” Yet there was laughter in his voice
that was a
delight to hear.
Instead of taking any kind
of offence, or attempting a repeat
Adam rolled on to his back, his head against Jonathan’s
The dimmed light in the room caught in his emerald green
eyes, a sharp
contrast to the deep blue shirt he wore. Jonathan
himself, he couldn’t
keep up even the pretence of anger. Unfolding his
arms he lifted
hand and touched his fingers to a stray lock of hair on
But the smile faded from Adam’s lips to leave a peaceful expression, one that was so open it was breathtaking. Jonathan couldn’t have shied from that expression even if he’d wanted to. It was for him and him alone to see. And he realized that despite everything, despite the fact that his employer was a pigheaded American, like a vampire during the hours of night something false had been stripped away and what he was now was what precious few would ever see.
Adam sat up slowly, leaning his weight on one arm, wrapped the other carefully around his lover’s shoulders, bringing their mouths together into a long kiss. Jonathan pushed his fingers into the hair at the side of Adam’s head, clutching gently, tongue stroking deeply over that which sought to taste him. Again, that final request that lay between them stoked the flames of Jonathan’s desire. But as they parted, Adam placed on finger against his lover’s lips, sealing them. “I love you,” he told Jonathan in absolute certainty, “don’t ever believe that I don’t.”
Jonathan was lost as to how to reply. How many times had he written those very same three words? And yet he couldn’t say it. He’d never said it, not to anyone. Adam, somehow, seemed to know that. He sealed his own words with another kiss, this time coaxing Jonathan down to lie with him on the luxurious carpet.
* * *
At least this year Adam had deemed the British Magic Awards worthy of his presence. He’d won. He’d won and he knew it. Last year he’d been dragged out of the ‘Trumpet & Whistle’ by several of his crew and had had to change into a Tux as they drove him half-way across London, breaking every speed limit possible to get him to the theatre in time for the presentation of his ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’.
This year he sat at a table laden with bottles of champagne. His latest assistant, Jenny, sat on his one side with Maddy on the other next to Jonathan. Throughout the evening they’d been socializing with stars of stage and screen. Some had been performing close up magic for the guests, others – Adam for example – had been happy simply to watch and give others that small glory. It was nearing the end of the ceremony when the award for Best Stage Magician was presented to Adam Klaus.
Proudly cradling the gold
statuette of a rabbit pulling itself from
Adam took the podium.
At their table, Maddy leaned across. “Did you write this?” she asked Jonathan in a whisper. He shook his head.
“And in turn, I have to honour the one man without whom I wouldn’t be standing here today.” He stretched out his arm, indicating the table in the darkness where his companions were sitting. “Jonathan Creek not only saved my life a couple of months ago, but he’s also the genius behind most of what I do. He’s the brains behind the slight of hand that won this award. So I’d like to dedicate this honour to him, and say thank you, for everything he’s done for me and the show.”
A standing ovation followed the touching speech. No one in the room, let alone Jonathan himself, could quite believe what they’d heard from the egotistical Adam Klaus. All they got from Adam was a genuine smile as he sat down and put the award on the table. Jonathan reached out and touched the cold metal, astounded. Despite, or perhaps due to Adam’s eloquence, he couldn’t find the words to say. That night in Adam’s lounge a few days back had blown all his safe, predictable assumptions from his mind and had left him unsure about what he felt.
Now he’d seen behind the mask, the act, the masquerade was laughably easy to look through. It shocked him that it had taken ten years to finally realize how wrong he’d been. Had he? The more he thought about it the more he slipped into believing that perhaps it was the other way around, perhaps Adam was playing him as he played all the other lovers in his life. And yet something had changed, hadn’t it? Something was different here tonight surely? Adam wasn’t being as... lecherous with Jenny as he’d usually be with his dates. And because of the money, because of the fame, they would let him. Until they dumped him or he dumped them. He just couldn’t work out if Jenny was pleased or not with Adam’s sudden, uncharacteristic change of morals.
Things had changed, hadn’t
they? Or was he just imagining it?
Later, with the women off
‘powdering their noses’, Jonathan finally
found a few seconds alone with his employer. For
the first time
ever he felt humbled in Adam’s presence.
Adam hummed softly as his
lover’s lips brushed his ear. He
caught the words as they floated passed his attention.
Out of the corner of his
eye, Jonathan could see the two women
their way over to them. Adam must have caught the
his expression for he leaned in at that moment, putting
his mouth close
Jonathan’s ear and whispering, “I want to spend the
night with you.”
Jonathan laughed as Adam caught him by the waist and hauled him back into the voluminous back seat of the Limo. Jenny, it turned out, wasn’t actually a new girlfriend of Adam’s. She was already living with someone, a female someone.
Maddy was more difficult. As they pulled up outside her flat she asked Jonathan if he wanted to stay over. He declined, making up a fictitious workload and begging a lift off Adam back to Briar Hollow. He got out of the car, gave her a hug and a long, deep kiss before saying goodnight. He didn’t know if she’d fallen for it, he doubted it, but she accepted his kiss and he watched as she disappeared inside the building.
A moment later he was being drawn back into the car, Adam’s hands almost lifting him. He fell back across the seat, pulled in, his head coming to rest on Adam’s leg. Jonathan hooked the inside door handle with his foot and pulled the door closed. The chauffeur needed no instructions, he started the journey out of London to Maskelyne Manor.
Jonathan sat up, turning into Adam’s arms, going into the embrace easily. Vast quantities of champagne had forced down any barriers that remained between them and all each of them wanted was the other. They kissed, tongues battling for supremacy until the humour turned to pleasure and they settled, deepening the contact at their mouths, closing any physical gaps between them until Jonathan was practically sitting on Adam’s knee.When they did separate for a moment, coming up for breath, Adam asked, “You didn’t really want to go home, did you?”
Jonathan didn’t answer, just rolled his eyes and dropped his lips to Adam’s once again.