~ Breanna Vincent contributed to this story ~
Varuna watched the young man sitting at the bar, his eyes looking somberly at his drink. He had seen him there a few times and tonight he looked especially depressed. That’s someone who has had their heart broken. He thought to himself as he studied him. He wondered what a human was doing in a place like this. He stood, wanting to talk to him when two other men approached him. They stood on either side of him, but he pretended like he didn’t notice, his amber eyes staying glued to his drink.
“You look lonely.” One of them said.
“Oh?” The young man replied, still not looking up.
“Why don’t you come and set with us.” The other said.
“Come on now, there’s no reason to be so shy, come and have a few drinks.”
“I said no, now leave me alone.”
One of the guys grabbed his chin, forcing his head up. “How did someone so cute get such a horrible personality.”
“Maybe we should teach him a lesson?”
Varuna couldn’t help but chuckle at the glare he gave the one touching him. It was pure defiance. He decided to intervene before things got violent. The guy was only human and those two definitely weren’t. “There you are.” He said as he approached the bar. “Our seat is over there, silly.” He smiled sweetly at the two guys. “Thank you for looking out for him boys.”
“Varuna, didn’t know this guy belonged to you.”
“Really, well maybe you should have asked first.” He grabbed the young man’s hand and pulled him away from the bar. “Come now, to our seats.” He pushed the human gently down into one of the chairs and took the one next to him. “This kind of place is not safe for a drunk human you know.”
“I know, I like this bar though. That was the first time anybody really bothered me here”
“well a friend of mine owns this bar and has a strict no tolerance for what it sounded like they were about to start. He does his best but he can’t exactly watch this place all the time”
“I mean, I can go if you don’t think I should be here”
“You’re with me now, you’re fine, plus those two will probably mention to their friends your mine so you wont be bothered”
“Thank you, I’m not really looking for anything with anybody so thats what I need, for guys to leave me alone”
“Are you still accepting friendships?”
“I’m still here right?”
“right, good, so you know my name, what’s yours?”
“Somnus, Somnus Asteria”
“Thats a really kick ass name. My last name is Dega”
“Do you often step in like that?”
“I wouldn’t ignore someone being harassed if it got out of hand but I was so quick to help you because I was already coming over to talk to you. You seem sad and it looked like you needed a friend”
“well when you find out the man you thought loved you only wanted you to steal your clients it puts a damper on things. I got my heart crushed and I feel like a moron for not seeing the obvious”
“Love makes us blind, it really does. Don’t feel stupid”
“Easier said than done”
Varuna had the bartender pour Somnus another drink. Varuna couldn’t help but admire how attractive Somnus was for a human, defined cheekbones and a concrete jaw. His eyes were different though, even through his outer appearance, his amber eyes were kind but held fire and power. He carried himself well and there was obviously something different about him that wasn’t quite obvious. Varuna supposed it could have to do with the fact he was at a bar where his life could easily be diminished and wasn’t afraid. He said something and Varuna realized he had been staring and not even listening. Not a great way to start of a friendship.
“I’m sorry Somnus, I got lost in thought.”
“Don’t worry about it, I hardly know what I’m saying anyways. Another drink might fix that.”
“I’d like to show you something if that’s o.k. with you? I’m no threat, you can trust me. I just think you may need a little change in scenery.”
“Well Varuna, my hearts already been ripped out of my chest, not sure how much more you could do to me, let’s do it.”
Varuna placed his hand on Somnus’s shoulder and led him to the door, keeping a keen eye on the two that were ready to ruff him up at any chance they got.
“So, tell me more about this guy.”
“What about him? He’s a jerk and a cheater. I trusted him and he just used me and when I found out he said a lot of aweful things. I hate him.” He stumbled a little and Varuna gently grabbed his shoulders, steadying him. “Sorry.”
“It’s okay, how about we get something to eat?”
“No thanks, I’m just going to go home and sleep this off.”
“You can’t just have a belly full of booze, let’s just get burgers and chill in the park.” He gave his most charming smile and Somnus arched an eyebrow.
“Oh I see, you want a nibble.”
“Scouts honor, just burgers, no blood.”
Varuna watched Somnus ponder a few moments “Okay, burgers do sound good. I really don’t want to be sick tomorrow anyway” They both loaded into Varuna’s car and he drove to one of his favorite places to eat. “I’ve been here once, it’s been forever though”
“You’re really not scared to go anywhere huh?”
“I know I sounded sort of melodramatic with the whole I had my heart broken what else could you do but even before my heartbreak I wasn’t really afraid to do anything. I could die any day for any reason, may as well do what I want and not let fear guide me”
“well I’m glad, that means to me once you’re sober and eventually, in a few months, feeling better, you won’t quit talking to me”
“Hmm maybe, once I’m back into the swing of things at work.”
“What do you do anyway?”
“I’m a literary agent.” Somnus pulled out his wallet and removed a card and handed it to Varuna.
“You know because of the writers.” Varuna smiled as he slipped the card into his pocket and Somnus took another bite of his burger, seeming to ponder something. “So those guys back there, they said they didn’t know I was yours, what did they mean by that? Do you have like a lot of boyfriends or something?”
“I’ve had a few, boyfriends and girlfriends, but it’s more like a form of respect. I mean I might not look it, but I can be quite intimidating. I also use a little flash of magic to get them to listen.”
“What kind of magic?”
Somnus huffed. “See, I knew it was more than burgers. Have you been charming me?”
“Not at all, I promise, I could, but I won’t. I might use my gift to draw in customers and keep the peace, but other than that it’s only if I get permission.”
“alright, I suppose I wont be an ass and take your word on that for now. I’m just not very trusting at the moment and even you have to admit Incubus tend to take advantage of people through their ability but I’m sorry anyway”
“They do, you’d be naive not to at least suspect a moment I was using my magic to get my way but I assure you I’m not, thank you for accepting that”
“So half vampire half Incubus? Anything else in there?”
“No, that’s it”
“Your parents must be interesting?”
“I guess, we’re not that close but that’s pretty normal of my kind. I am closer to my mother than my father but he is more stereotypical than me. Most Incubus and Succubus are incredibly selfish but when you get your way basically all the time you tend to be that way. Their ability to just take whatever they want whenever they want rots their personality.”
“well, he’s shown me I don’t want to be that way. I only use my ability to draw in costumers for my friend and to make peace when I need to because I never want to lose myself and become a selfish prick who doesn’t think of others.”
“Are your parents together”
“they were never together, they just hooked up when my father felt like it. He would just come over, seduce my mom and leave again. He took me with him once and I was relieved when I finally made it back to my mother. I never went with him again. He didn’t do anything to me but I was disgusted watching how he lived his life, even as a child.”
Varuna looked at Somnus, wondering if he would be truthful with him. He knew that there was something different about him but wasn’t sure what it was, maybe be was just reading into him too much because he was attracted to him.
“How about you Somnus, are both your parents human or do you have a little mystery in there somewhere?” Varuna smiled hoping his friendly demeanor would persuade a drunk Somnus to trust him.
Somnus paused, keeping his eyes on his burger setting it down on the plate.
“You know what, I should probably be getting home before the alcohol wears off. I don’t want to start getting sick before I make it to bed, burgers or not it’s bound to happen. ” He smiled at Varuna but it wasn’t the same as before, doubt had set in along with suspicion. Maybe he hadn’t saved him out of kindness, maybe he had be watching all along. Somnus quickly got up and pulled money out of his wallet.
“No, no let me,” said Varuna. “I’m sorry if I said anything to offend you, I was just continuing our conversation.”
“It’s fine, just getting late, that’s all.” he lied. He stumbled as he headed for the door.
“At least let me take you home, it’s not safe for a human to be walking the streets this time a night, doesn’t matter how brave you are.”
Somnus sighed, as much as he hated it Varuna was right.
“Alright then, I guess there’s no harm in a ride home.”
Varuna drove Somnus home and promised to get his car to him. “I can get it myself”
“No, I’d like to help. I can fly so I can drive your car over then fly home”
“why do you have a car then?”
“Flying takes a lot of energy. I don’t drive all the time but I do like the convenience of a car” Varuna had taken him home like a gentleman and Somnus felt bad for his mistrust. It was just incredibly hard to trust after having your heart smashed into a million pieces. As soon as Varuna had gotten back in his car Somnus took a long shower then headed to bed for the evening.
Somnus woke the next morning with a minor headache. He didn’t have much of a tolerance, but it had felt nice to just forget and let go for a bit. He took a Tylenol then got ready for the day, pulling on his favorite red dress shirt and slacks. He checked himself in the mirror then gathered his things and left. Today he wasn’t going to think about the asshole who had used him. He was sure he had plenty of work waiting for him and he wanted to give his all to his clients. He was more than a little surprised to see Varuna leaning against the wall to the front door of his agency when he pulled up. He had to blink to make sure he wasn’t dreaming as he got out.
“Good morning.” Varuna said as he straightened and held out a Starbucks cup. “I thought you’d need this.”
Somnus took the cup, his mouth opening and closing as he tried to put his thoughts into words. Varuna gave him an amused grin and he cleared his throat, finally finding his voice. “What are you doing here?”
“Well I woke up this morning thinking I should check on you then I remembered you gave me your card and I figured I’ll just come here and hope I don’t come off as creepy.”
“Well maybe a little creepy, but thanks for the coffee.”
“Um, would you like to come in for a bit? I have work to do, but there are plenty of books and it’s comfortable. The clients I get published always send me a book so.”
“Sounds good.” He followed Somnus in and took in the cozy, warmly decorated interior. There was a very laid back air about this place. “Wow, amazing.”
“I had a friend design it for me.” Somnus grabbed his lap top while Varuna looked over the bookshelf.
“So you never answered if you were all human or not.”
“Hmm? Oh yeah, I’m completely human. Sorry if that’s disappointing. No demons or fairies or vampires or anything supernatural, just completely normal.”
“It’s not boring at all, I think you being who you are is perfect so no pressure to be something you’re not.” He plucked a book off the shelf. “I’ll try not to bother you too much.”
Varuna smiled, Somnus was already lost in his work. He sat down with his book and was soon gone to the world himself. This author completely sucked him into their story. It was one of those books where you can see everything the character does, where you can practically smell the food and feel like you’re actually there with the people you’re following. Varuna actually jumped a bit when Somnus spoke to him “I’m glad you like it that much. I have some amazing writers”
“You do, will there be more in this series?”
“He’s almost done with the second book. Anyways, it’s lunch, do you want to eat with me?”
“It can’t be lunch” Varuna was actually in disbelief as he looked up at the clock on the wall “holy crap, it’s lunch” Somnus almost looked like a proud dad. Varuna could tell his clients meant a lot to him. They went to a nearby diner and discussed the author of that book. Varuna listened intently, both curious about the author and happy Somnus seemed to be comfortable. He had been worried things hadn’t gone well last night and he would scare him this morning but apparently all was going well.
“Oh man, I should get back, I have a lot of manuscripts to go through.”
“Why don’t you hire an assistant?”
Somnus shrugged. “I never think about it and now I have no idea who I can and can’t trust. I mean what if someone else goes client poaching?”
“I could help for a bit.”
Somnus shook his head as he stood and went to pay for their lunch. “I couldn’t ask you to do that and besides you work at that bar right?”
“Kind of, I mean I’m only there to pull people in. My friend wouldn’t care, he’s got a lot of business now so I don’t think taking a few days off would make him mad. I’m offering so you’d be completely guilt free. Then we could get to know each other better and I wouldn’t look like the weirdo that followed you to work.”
“You’re really persistent.”
“Hey, you shouldn’t have been so interesting, now I have no choice but to stalk you.”
“Oh, so it’s my fault?”
“Absolutely so let me help.”
Somnus grinned, not sure what to think of this kind stranger. “alright then, you’re hired. I’ll still need an application just so things will be right with the paperwork though.”
“No problem, I’ll bring you one tomorrow” When they returned to the office Somnus explained everything he would need help with and Varuna took right too it “Have you been an assistant before?” Somnus had to ask “I’ve done a lot of jobs. I haven’t really found a passion so I just do whatever is going to bring me the best money or just what I feel like”
“I guess when you’re going to live forever there’s no pressure to pick something”
“precisely, I hate it for you humans, I couldn’t imagine only having a set number of years to live when I will live until I die of something or something kills me and neither of those is likely. I don’t tend to get myself in trouble and I’m an Incubus so it makes my life a lot easier since I can resolve conflict easily.”
“It must be nice having unlimited chances to get things right and a persuasion no one can resist.”
“You say that with an air of distaste. I can assure you that I appreciate every moment and as I have previously told you, I never take advantage of people.”
“Yes, it’s still hard to imagine though, an incubus with a conscious.” Somnus teased.
He felt himself relaxing but decided against being too lenient, after all he would be working for him now. He should try and keep things in the office somewhat professional even though Varuna was starting to grow on him. He shook the thought and grew angry as the door let in memories of his spiteful ex. His exterior hardened and he got back on topic.
“Work isn’t always on a set schedule but more often than not you need to be here Monday through Friday at 8am sharp. This may not be 100% official but I still expect you to be on time, every time.”
“Yes sir.” Varuna laughed.
After the day was done Varuna debated on inviting him for a drink. On one hand he didn’t want to come across too clingy and also didn’t know if alcohol for Somnus was the best idea. On the other he truly enjoyed his company and his curiosity was insatiable.
“You wouldn’t want to grab a drink would you, I assume you had already planned to do so, might as well be with a friendly face.” Varuna threw him his charming smile hoping to lure him in.
“Uh, I mean I do have a lot of work to do.”
“Come on, one drink or two and then we can cruise the boardwalk talking about how much of a shit your ex is.”
Somnus cracked a smile. “Alright, as long as you help me get the approval letters sent out tomorrow.”
Varuna bowed. “Whatever the master wishes.”
“Stop you dork.”
Varuna chuckled and waited patiently for Somnus to lock up. “Tonight we fly.”
“But, my car. How am I getting here tomorrow?”
“I’ll pick you up. Come on, it’ll be fun.”
“Alright, but being carried is kind of…well it’s kind of…”
“Intimate? That’s fine, how about a piggy back ride?”
“Okay.” Once Somnus was securely on Varuna’s back, Varuna took off, causing Somnus to cling to him. He chuckled, thinking he was absolutely adorable. Even his tough act was cute. “S…so do all vampires you know fly?”
“Nope, it just depends on the gifts you inherit and the type of vampire you come from. Some of them have sun allergies and some don’t. We’re a very diverse species.”
“Are we going to the same place?”
“Do you want too?”
“Well it’s familiar to you and I actually like the atmosphere, it was just those guys.”
“Alright, but if anyone asks, you belong to me. They won’t ask for a nibble if they know that.”
“Alright then, I’ll take you” They landed gently and walked in, Varuna keeping Somnus close until they sat down. A drink was set in front of Varuna right away and he spoke “this ones with me”
“What would you like then? If you’re with him it’s free”
“really?” Somnus turned to look at Varuna as he asked “Yep, I bring in a lot of business so me and whomever I’m with gets free drinks”
“12 Mile Limit?”
“sure thing” As the bar tender started working Varuna asked “whats in that?”
“White rum, rye whiskey, brandy, grenadine and lemon juice”
“I want to try that next”
“No problem” They were soon served and Varuna found he really liked it “I think I’ll just have what you have tonight, maybe I’ll find something else I’ll like”
“do you often try new drinks?”
“Not really, thats why he just set something in front of me”
“why now then?”
“well I liked that and I guess a way to get to know what you like and have something to talk about”
“So you don’t do that with everyone then?”
“Nope, usually we just go out two or three days, say that was fun and then go our separate ways. I mean they’re all nice, but not nearly as interesting as you.”
“I mean it. I’ve been having a lot of fun and now you get to boss me around. That I’m looking forward too.” He winked and Somnus felt his cheeks heat. “He blushes.”
“Stop, you’re do that on purpose.”
“Everything I do is on purpose. If it wasn’t we might not even be hanging out. I should have talked to you sooner.”
“And why didn’t you?”
“I was gauging your emotions, studying you to figure out what kind of person you were.”
“And? What did you find?”
“That you’re irresistibly cute and easy to read. When you act tough, it’s because you don’t know what else to do. You’re suspicious, but still give people the benefit of the doubt. It’s cute and it makes me want to follow you around.”
“Like a puppy.”
“An adorable puppy mind you, don’t forget that part.”
Somnus laughed, it was incredibly hard to keep his guard up around this guy. He seemed genuine, more genuine than anybody else he had met before and while he still couldn’t help the doubts his ex caused Somnus felt that maybe in the near future he could be fully comfortable around Varuna. They didn’t stay long since they wanted to walk after the bar and Varuna assumed Somnus probably got wasted easily. He flew them up and had Somnus guide him, wanting to walk somewhere he felt most comfortable.
“I’m hoping this wont offend you but you’re surprisingly thoughtful Varuna”
“well, you’ve obviously been through quite a bit lately and I’ve already mentioned I want to be close to you. It’s important to me that you want to be around me”
“But why? I mean I’m so normal and now I have baggage.”
Varuna let out a laugh. “Oh yes, so much baggage that I’m buried under it. Whatever shall I do?”
“I just like you, Somnus, really and I don’t care about baggage, we’ll get it all unpacked and toss out what you don’t need so don’t worry.”
Somnus felt butterflies brush his insides as another blush blossomed on his cheeks. Varuna took them down to the boardwalk, landing with ease and slowly lowering Somnus in case he was a bit dizzy. “This is a bit romantic don’t you think?” Somnus asked as he looked around.
Varuna shrugged. “It’s nice though, the ocean breeze, the fact that there’s no one around and it’s quiet and peaceful.”
“Sounds like a date.”
“Just a walk between two friends. Besides, I think you need a little peace and quiet after everything you’ve been through. You can really think out here.”
“Yeah, I guess I’ll let you picking a romantic setting slide then” Varuna wanted to talk about what his ex did to him, thinking it might be healthy for Somnus to talk about it but he didn’t just want to jump into that so they made small talk for a bit before Varuna asked “so do you want to talk about your ex? Venting helps”
“I guess, you know I think the worst thing about what happened is the fact I really did think he loved me. A man who only wanted my clients managed to make me whole heartedly believe he loved me. What kind of idiot am I? How can I trust my judgement now?”
“don’t call yourself an idiot”
“I am though aren’t I?”
“Know, humans can be incredibly deceptive and you’re probably not the first person he’s worked over. I think we should look into him and figure out who all he’s done it to”
“what would that help?”
“could we sue him for fraud?” Varuna asked and Somnus sighed “dealing with him again, just looking at him again isn’t worth it”
“I could get friends of mine to knock his pretty little teeth out as punishment”
“No thank you”
“the offer stands”
“Thanks…dork” Somnus saiud that last word under his breath and Varuna smiled.
When Somnus was ready to go home, Varuna lifted him onto his back and took him straight to his front steps. He was disappointed that their night was ending, but at least he would get to pick him up in the morning. “Get some sleep okay.”
“You know, you could stay over if you want so you don’t have to go back and forth.” Somnus said and blushed when Varuna gave him a questioning look. “Not for that, just you know so I’m not inconveniencing you.”
Varuna smiled and gently took Somnus’s face in his hands, feeling the heat of his skin as he grew more embarrassed. “You’re really too cute you know that?”
“I’m not trying to be.”
“You don’t have to try, it’s just who you are.” He chuckled. “I’ll have to borrow some clothes tomorrow then. Man I’m going to look so businessy.”
“That’s not a word.”
“It is now.”
Somnus smiled and Varuna let him go and followed him inside. “The couch folds out and feel free to use the TV.”
“Blankets and pillows?”
“I’ll get them.”
Somnus quickly came out with one of his favorite pillows and gave him a blanket from the closet. “sorry, it’s one off my bed. I don’t have guest pillows any more. I dog sat for a friend and he pretty much spent his days destroying what he could. I still haven’t gone to the store and bought more”
“I’m not worried about it. I’d rather smell you as I try to fall asleep than random guests you have over” Somnus blushed again and Varuna couldn’t keep down his grin. He wasn’t trying to be flirtatious or weird, that was simply the truth. “well…goodnight”
“Thank you for inviting me in” It meant a lot to Varuna that Somnus trusted him to stay the night. When Somnus shut his bedroom door only then did Varuna settle into the fold out bed, completely relaxing when Somnus’s scent washed over him. He had such an incredible smell to him.
Somnus woke at the sound of his alarm and sat up, yawning as he slipped out of bed and headed downstairs to wake Varuna. He blushed when he saw him hugging the pillow, his nose buried in it and a content look on his face. He was embarrassed as he walked over and gently shook him. “Varuna, it’s time to get up. We have to go to work.” His eyes fluttered open and a smile pulled at his lips as he remembered where he was.
“Good morning.” He sat up, stretching and letting out a little moan as his muscles loosened.
“If you want to go take a shower, I’ll get you some clothes.”
He nodded as he reached out tussled Somnus’s hair. “I’ll make it quick okay, then we can get bagels and coffee. Sound good?”
Varuna let out a chuckle as he stood and stretched again. “You’re too cute. Thank you for trusting me to stay over, I wasn’t expecting that.”
“Well, you’ve been good so, I thought I’d give you a chance.”
Somnus grabbed Varuna something nice to wear today then set it in the bathroom before leaving so Varuna could shower. Varuna was quick depite the fact he normally enjoyed long showers. This was his first night over and he wouldn’t make Somnus late or frustrated with him over time to have breakfast. When Varuna came out the only thing he didn’t have on was the tie “will you help me? I’ve never been good at these, especially on myself”
“No problem” Somnus effortlessly got Varuna’s tie on “You..you actually look really good in that”
“businessy” Somnus shook his head and let out a little chuckle “lets go get breakfast” Varuna flew them to Brueggers where they each ordered and soon sat down happily to eat together before work.
“That was the best breakfast I’ve ever had.” Somnus said as they were headed for work.
“Right? I know my restaurants.”
“And it’s absolutely not a date right?”
“No way, unless you want to go out with me that is.”
“A date with you? Are you asking or just playing?”
“Do you want me to be asking?”
Varuna chuckled as they landed then let Somnus down and turned. “I will never ask you out.”
“I don’t understand.”
He gave a sly smile. “The only way you and I will ever date is if you ask me. I refuse to ask you, but I will make sure that I am your absolute biggest temptation until you forget about that other guy and only think about me.”
Somnus was blushing again, it only growing worse because of the way Varuna was looking at him. He didn’t know what to say so he said nervously “lets go to work”
“after you”Varuna understood his lack of answer right away, he hadn’t expected one. Somnus’s wounds were still fresh and Varuna would wait for him to be ready for a new relationship. He knew if he waited until Somnus was healed it would be a much better relationship and have more of a chance to last forever than if he pressured or rushed him. Varuna spent the following days being the best assistant he knew how to be and flirting with Somnus every chance he saw. They continued to have long walks, talks and sleepovers at their places until one day Somnus surprised Varuna with a morning kiss.
“wow, I hope I’m actually awake”
“would you..would you like to date me now? I’m ready if that’s still something you want” Varuna gently took Somnus’s face in his hands and slowly kissed him, savoring finally being able to do this. How anybody could be with someone like him only to steal clients was beyond Varuna. Somnus was sexy, sweet and a genuinely good person and that combination was incredibly hard to find.
Varuna vowed to himself now that he had him he was never going to lose him. This relationship was going to stick, at least if he was lucky enough it was.
~ The End