Welcome to Wednesday Briefs, a blog hop where authors post 500-1000 words of free flash fiction. I am continuing with Carson, who is determined to find out more about Sir.
Because I set this story to post ahead of time, the group kindly sent me a couple advance prompts, and I have used “Oh, that’s rich.”
Also, I will wrap this story up for Valentine’s Day. I am taking part in a Valentine’s blog hop (with a prize!) and have decided to post the first part of the climax (heh) to “Uncool” this Friday. The conclusion will appear on Saturday. And yes, both posts will be longer than the Briefs. :)
Want to read the story of Carson’s first meeting with the mysterious “Sir”? You can read “Unwrapped” here. The chapters are linked.
Want to start with the first chapter of Uncool? Click here. These chapters are also linked.
I stayed with Lenie for two days, after which I followed Ben Franklin’s advice about houseguests and moved on. I dumped my backpack off at my condo, took a long shower, then dressed in jeans and walking boots before I called Stewart, just as I had done each day at Lenie’s. Calling Stewart every day was one of the rules that drove Lenie crazy, though she understood. It was a choice… and I needed the structure. After glancing at the mail, all of which could wait, I grabbed an all-weather black hoodie and headed out again.
It didn’t take long to jog down Locust Street toward the river, dodging pedestrians and traffic until I reached a blackened wall of century old bricks and discreet signage… the last traces of the Chase family’s stamp on the city.
The steelyard had ceased to be one in the middle of the last century, though Great Valley Steel had kept a skeleton warehousing operation. The property’s location recommended it, but nothing else. Last time I’d seen the place, the buildings had been outdated and the land gritty with industrial debris. I’d avoided this part of Center City for years.
I located a battered bench outside a failing CD store across the street and parked my ass there so I could look at what the Steelyard had become and try to sort through the mess my mind had become. Pain welled inside, clamoring for me to be angry, sad, destroyed by the past. I remembered how my father’s eyes would gleam whenever he spoke about the Steelyard and how it would save Great Valley Steel.
But it hadn’t.
I sighed. Warm temperatures were lifting fog from banks of snow along the river. Because I was heated from the jog, I pushed back my hood and watched cars and residents pass through the gates. The larger of the three sleek buildings rose a dozen stories and I studied the glassed in upper floors, wondering which was the one on which I’d been fucked. While I sat there, people walked by. Cars passed. I might as well have been invisible.
I noted the black sedan that slowed as it passed and then parked around the corner. I turned my head just enough to watch a tall man wearing a camelhair overcoat get out and walk toward me. Shit. There were two things this could be, and I didn’t want either.
The man came as far as the bench and stopped. A closer look confirmed Reed Bradley’s salt and pepper hair, piercing sky blue eyes, and infuriating self-composure. I hadn’t expected this, but I wasn’t really surprised. The man lived here and I’d been sitting for long enough to be noticed. I looked back at the Steelyard instead of at him.
“You’re a bastard.” There, I’d said it.
“I can be at times.” And there was the deep vibrant voice that made me melt.
“Like on Christmas Eve? Will you at least tell me why you chose me?” I actually believed I’d know the truth if I heard it. What I heard was a deep sigh, but I didn’t look his way.
“Oh, that’s rich—” I was just getting started.
“I knew who you were, of course I did. You don’t remember meeting me, do you?”
Now I did look at him, but just to be sure of my answer. “No. I mean, I don’t think so.”
“You were just a boy, maybe seventeen. Richard—your father—”
“I know who he was.”
“Well, he was my friend. Not a close friend, but… he helped me when I first wanted to join Philadelphia society, meet the movers and shakers. They never did accept me, they still don’t, but Richard extended his hand, invited me to his parties. And it was at those parties I would see you sometimes. You entered his study once when he and I were talking. You were excited because you’d just been accepted at Williams College.”
I flushed hot. There’d been someone else in the room that day, but the only thing I remembered clearly was my father’s quick dismissal saying to let him know when I got into Harvard. Or Penn or Cornell… any Ivy League school. He wanted his son to have a flashier education than he’d had.
“My thoughts at the time, well”—another sigh—“they weren’t completely appropriate. For that reason and because Richard was my friend, I put those thoughts as far from my mind as I could. Let’s just say I noticed you, and I was aware even then that you were completely out of my league.”
That earned another look. This time our gazes locked. Sir looked ardent, hungry even. The sexual heat in his eyes ignited something inside me, something I feared and also wanted. He did me the favor of averting his gaze first, back to the Steelyard.
“I came from nothing. Working class parents and all the ambition in the world, neither of which opens doors or gets a man invited to the best country clubs or society events. I have to be content with all the other things money can buy, because no man has enough money to buy blue blood into his veins. And I’m not self-serving enough to marry it.”
Like my father had. My mother had been East Coast royalty, daughter of a bona fide crowned prince of old money. Really old money.
My heart sank, because this was going from bad to worse. “You wanted to screw a rich kid?”
“No.” He said it firmly, and that kept me silent. “There’s quite a bit more and I’m not saying this well. After your father passed… well, who was I? I did a good job of keeping you out of my head, though you’d pop up in the news once in a while. But then several months ago I attended a demonstration at The Club, where Master Warren was giving a demonstration on using crotch ropes with a male sub.”
Copyright © 2014 Tali Spencer
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