Snow Blind (Winterhaven BK 6)

Snow Blind (Winterhaven BK 6)

Status: In Progress

Genre: Gay and Lesbian

Details

Status: In Progress

Genre: Gay and Lesbian

Summary

"Being an ass - can get your ass in trouble." Nolan both anticipates and dreads hotshot skier Lane Cassiter's annual appearance at the Winterhaven ski lodge where Nolan works. His natural physical attraction to the guy is offset by his internal disdain of Lane's bigot attitude. When Nolan is caught in the cross-hairs of Lane and his friends, a wager is made that might just get him the one thing he never dreamed possible - Lane Cassiter in his bed. But when circumstances arise that instigate Nolan to propose a counter-offer that involves both his and Lane's best friends, events take an unexpected turn that catches them all in a whirlwind of confused emotions and unacceptable realities.

Summary

"Being an ass - can get your ass in trouble."

Nolan both anticipates and dreads hotshot skier Lane Cassiter's annual appearance at the Winterhaven ski lodge where Nolan works. His natural physical attraction to the guy is offset by his internal disdain of Lane's bigot attitude. When Nolan is caught in the cross-hairs of Lane and his friends, a wager is made that might just get him the one thing he never dreamed possible - Lane Cassiter in his bed.

But when circumstances arise that instigate Nolan to propose a counter-offer that involves both his and Lane's best friends, events take an unexpected turn that catches them all in a whirlwind of confused emotions and unacceptable realities.

Chapter4 (v.1) - Chapter 4

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: April 20, 2017

Reads: 383

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: April 20, 2017

A A A

A A A

“Maybe you should talk to Todd about your past.” Nolan joined Drew behind the bar. “And ask him about his. The more you understand each other, the easier things will be.”

Customers lined the bar, some of them wishing Drew and Nolan good luck in the pool tournament. They returned polite thank you’s, their private conversation stalled as Nolan served up the beer orders while Drew handled the mixed drinks.

When they got a momentary break, Drew addressed Nolan’s suggestion. “You’re the first person I’ve even mentioned it to,” he murmured. “It isn’t something I want to dig up. Talking about it isn’t going to change what happened or make me feel better about it.”

“But it will help Todd understand your reservations.” Nolan squeezed Drew’s arm, his voice softening. “He likes you, Drew. A lot. And you like him, too. Maybe you both have some things to work through, but if you’re both open and honest, so the two of you knows what the other is dealing with, then there will be fewer misunderstandings. Knowledge is power, in relationships as well. Help each other through your problems, instead of withdrawing from one another.” His heart ached for Drew. The man had so much to offer, yet he held most of it back out of fear of having his heart broken again. Nolan was beginning to realize how fortunate he’d been throughout his life; awesome parents who supported him from the instant they brought him into their lives. No debilitating heartbreaks as obstacles to exploring new love. Minimal persecution for being gay. He was starting to see that his life was the “exception” rather than the “rule”.

Sighing, Drew gazed down at Nolan, his eyes warm with affection. “I thought I was supposed to be the giver of good advice?”

Nolan smiled. “So you’re saying my advice is good?”

“It’s…” Drew blew out a low breath. “…not horrible. But…”

“No.” Nolan gripped his arm and shook his head. “No buts. Just try it. I have a feeling that it would put Todd at ease if you opened up to him about your fears. And asked him to talk to you, too, about his own. It did me a world of good to know what Lane had gone through growing up. It goes a long way in helping me understand him and showing me that I need to be patient with him and give him the time he needs to come to terms with all this. And I’m sure that’s all Todd needs; patience, understanding, and time. I see the way he looks at you. The boy is totally gone on you, baby.”

Drew smiled, though it wavered as hurt filled his eyes. “So was Evan. To all intents and appearances. Sometimes the feelings…the love…isn’t enough. There’s something vulnerable, even fragile, in Todd. On the one hand, it makes me want to protect him. But I can’t be there one hundred percent of the time. And…” he shrugged, an ache seeping into his voice. “I don’t know if he can live this life when he has to stand alone on his own two feet. I’m not trying to criticize him or say he’s weak. But for those who didn’t grow up outside the closet, this can be a hard life to adjust to.”

“I know,” Nolan whispered. “All the more reason to give him the support he needs. Maybe you can’t physically be with him all the time, but if you’re within reach by phone or text or whatever, then he would know he’s never really alone. Whenever he needs you, you’re just a phone call or text message away.”

Drew rubbed his eyes and exhaled heavily. “You make it sound so easy.”

“Well, maybe it isn’t easy,” Nolan said. “But it doesn’t have to be impossible, either.” He rose up on his toes and kissed Drew’s cheek. “Anything worth having, is worth working for. Worth fighting for.” He stared into Drew’s eyes. “Go ahead, try to tell me Todd isn’t worth it.” He smiled. “See if I believe you.”

Groaning, Drew crushed him in a hug. “Smart ass little brat,” he growled in his ear.

Nolan laughed and hugged him back. “You know I always come out on top.”

“Hmm…” Drew grinned.

Nolan smacked his shoulder and chuckled. “You have a dirty, one-track mind.”

“So you’re saying we’re of like mind?” Drew smiled.

“Exactly what I’m saying,” Nolan nodded emphatically and laughed.

 

?

 

It did feel a little strange to be talking about guys this way, openly showing their emotions, and…hugging. Not that Lane had never hugged Todd before, but it had always been a “bro hug” – quick, strong, manly. The way he’d just hugged Todd now, it was intimate, comforting, and with a shitload of emotion attached. Though it had clearly startled Todd at first, he hadn’t hesitated to hug Lane back.

They sat down on Todd’s bed, and Lane told him all the things he’d told Nolan about his dad and brothers; things he’d never revealed to Todd before now. At most, Todd had known his dad and brothers were assholes. Lane had never told him the details of his abusive childhood.

Todd stared at him, quiet horror on his face. “They should be in prison.”

“I know,” Lane whispered. “I was too scared to turn my dad in. Out in public, he was this cool guy. Funny and charming. I didn’t think anyone would believe me about the things he and my brothers did to me. I knew if I turned him in and he wasn’t arrested, he would probably beat me to death. Or close enough that I wished I was dead. And if he was arrested, but my brothers weren’t, they would’ve beaten the fuck out of me for him.”

“Shit,” Todd mumbled. “I was scared of my mom, and she wasn’t half as bad as your dad and brothers.”

Lane cleared his throat. “She was just as bad, maybe even worse, in her own way. Some of the worst damage parents do to their kids is psychological. I’m more scarred by the things my dad said to me, pounded into my head than I am by the physical abuse.”

Todd leaned forward and rubbed his eyes. “Are you still scared of them?”

“Yeah,” Lane murmured. “I hardly ever see them, but I still feel them watching me, scrutinizing my every move, every decision. I left home when I was eighteen, but it’s like I’m still trapped there.”

“What if they find out about…” he straightened up and looked at Lane. “…all of this? Nolan? What’ll they do if you leave here and ‘come out’ to the world?”

“Hunt me down and kill me, maybe.”

Todd stared at him, uncertainty in his eyes. “You’re joking, right?”

Lowering his gaze, Lane shrugged. “I wish,” he mumbled. “But it would humiliate my family for me to go public. My dad doesn’t handle humiliation and embarrassment so well. He’d probably send my brothers to kidnap me and take me back to undergo his own personal idea of conversion therapy.” He looked at Todd. “Beat it out of me.”

Todd’s horror came back. “Your dad sounds like a fucking psycho.”

“That works,” Lane whispered.

“What’re you gonna do? I mean…” he licked his lips anxiously. “Are you really going to come out?”

Lane slid his hand through his hair and sighed. “I can’t live in fear of them forever.” A tremor shook his voice. “I have a right to live my life the way I want, and with who I want. It’s none of their business.”

“But they won’t see it that way.”

“Fuck no,” Lane confirmed.

“So, what’re you gonna do?”

Lane leaned forward and stared at the floor, his hand dragging slowly back and forth across his mouth. “Only one thing to do.”

“What’s that?” Todd asked with unease.

Lane turned his head and looked at him. “Face my fears.”

“What…do you mean?”

“Tell them myself,” Lane murmured. “Before I tell anyone else.”

“In person?” Fear filled Todd’s eyes. “Won’t that be dangerous?”

“Yeah, that would be suicidal,” Lane nodded. “I would call my dad, talk to him over the phone. At least attempt to make him understand that he can’t control my life.”

“And if he still sends your brothers after you?”

“I’ll deal with it,” Lane said low.

Todd was growing increasingly on edge. “Are they really that…crazy?” he whispered. “That they would actually go after you and hurt you just because…”

“Pretty sure, yeah.”

“What do your brothers do?” Todd asked. “Their jobs, I mean.”

“The oldest one, Carl, went into MMA,” Lane told him. “And my other brother, James, is a cop.”

Todd stared at him wide-eyed. “What?” he shook his head. “How the fuck are you going to deal with it if they come after you?”

“I don’t know,” Lane admitted. “But this thing with Nolan…” his heart rate quickened at the just the sound of his name. “I can’t cram it in the closet and pretend it doesn’t exist.”

“I know,” Todd sighed. “But still…the thing with your family could turn into some serious shit. Do you really think Nolan would want you to get hurt?”

“Of course not. But I don’t think he’d want me to have to hide out the rest of my life, either.”

“I get that. But…” he raked his hand through his hair. “Are you going to talk to Nolan about it?”

Lane nodded. “Yeah. I’ll talk to him tonight.”

“Tonight…”

“Later, after the tournament. He…” Lane shivered inwardly. “He asked me to spend the night with him.”

“Oh.”

“Maybe you should spend the night with Drew, too,” Lane suggested quietly.

Todd laid down on his back and stared at the ceiling, his hands in his hair. “I’m not sure he would want me to,” he whispered with a strain in his voice. “I don’t know if he even really wants to be in this with me.”

 

?

 

The headache began as a distant, low throb in the center of his forehead the instant Tonya had walked out of his room. Now it pulsed with strength, waves of thumping pain vibrating outward until his entire skull felt like it would crack. Rodney pressed his fingertips to his eyes, the orbs themselves aching fiercely.

His mind strained with the memories of the Hampton party. Bitterness bubbled in his gut, the humiliation of that night eating away at him. ‘Let it go’ the bartender had told him. Easier said than done when it was like a thorn, burrowing in, festering. Rodney grabbed his stashed bottle of Jack Daniels from the nightstand drawer and took a long drink. He scooted up on the bed and pressed his back against the wall. He squeezed his eyes shut against the pain in his head. It felt like a fucking freight train barreling around the inside of his skull. He took another drink. Maybe it wouldn’t get rid of the headache—would likely make it worse—but if he drank enough, he wouldn’t be aware of it anymore.

As he sat there, eyes closed, throbbing head resting against the wall…the images returned as they had when he’d fucked Tonya. He could feel the cool grass beneath his knees, feel the heat of the body standing before him as his eyes locked on the tiny discolored birthmark just below the navel…

Rodney flinched and opened his eyes, blinking rapidly, heart racing. He guzzled more liquor and wiped a shaky hand across his mouth as his vision started to blur, and he blinked it back to focus. He tried to thrust the images from his head, but like boomerangs they came spinning back, embedding in his mind, dragging him back to that party again and again…

 


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