“…Rise and shine, you slackers…”
The all too cheerful voice of the morning disc jockey roused Justus Ward from a deep sleep. He groaned with the realization that another workday had rolled around.
“Don’t just lay there! Get up and-“
Justus reached out and slapped the radio alarm silent. It was one thing to be awakened. It was another to be awakened by someone whose bright chirpy voice seemed to bore a hole straight into the brain.
Thunder rumbled faintly in the distance. Just as the weatherman had predicted, it was shaping up into a dreary, misty morning. It was the kind of morning, Justus sleepily reflected, that cried out for doing nothing but lolling about in bed and then lounging around in a recliner.
Yes, a few more hours of sleep would be heavenly. He had not taken any time for himself in ages. And it wasn’t like he was exactly required to punch a time clock at ELQ.
Blindly the drowsy attorney groped about the bed for the covers. After a few minutes of futile searching, a resigned Justus pried open his eyelids. As he suspected, the bedcovers were no longer on the bed. They were heaped into a pile on the floor. His restless nocturnal tossing and turning had produced that same effect virtually every night for the past few weeks.
He rolled over onto his back and straightened out his legs. Thanks to a housewarming gift from Edward and Lila Quartermaine, Justus had a custom made bed that accommodated his height. He’d originally fought against accepting it, but a single night in the massive bed had silenced all his protests.
Justus sighed deeply and rose from the bed, ignoring his muscles’ quiet protest over their abrupt awakening. At just a little over six feet tall, Justus was an impressive figure – whether dressed in an impeccably tailored suit or clad, as now, only in a pair of form-hugging white boxer briefs.
He stretched and the fruits of his daily exercise session were on display in the symmetry of his muscled form. Broad shoulders and a muscled chest tapered to a narrow waist, flat abdomen and strong thighs. What genetics had not provided, the attorney had taken care of.
Justus heard the front door being unlocked. A moment later Faith’s familiar voice called out a greeting. “You’ve got about fifteen minutes to get up and moving!” she called out from the doorway. “After that, the two of us will start without you!”
Any rays of light that managed to filter through the gathering storm clouds were denied access to the room by the heavy drapes framing the nearby window. The room’s simple furnishings – dresser, chair and mirror… were only shadowy possibilities lurking there.
The atmosphere within the room was much like the gathering storm outside. A heightened sense of electric energy hummed all about and anticipation of unleashed power grew with each passing moment.
Cloaked by the cover of darkness, the languorous rise and fall of a hard, muscled body could not be seen. Only the rhythmic creaking of the bed springs as the two lovers engaged in an intimate dance gave proof to the love being made.
“When I said,” she groaned softly in his ear, “that I wanted to, ah… take things slowly… this isn’t what I meant.”
“No?” Mac Scorpio paused in the slow, lazy strokes he delivered. He tried to return his lover’s teasing banter, but his body was on sensory overload and in no mood to cooperate. Buried so deeply within Dara, Mac could concentrate only on the feel of warmth and wetness surrounding him tightly.
What could be more right? Mac closed his eyes and allowed his mind to picture that which, in the darkness of the room, his sight could not reproduce – the arch of Dara’s neck, the fullness of her breasts, the dark triangle of curls…
A masculine growl of pleasure broke the silence of the room as Mac rolled onto his side and pulled Dara to him. He smiled as he felt her thigh drape across his own.
“Mmmm…” The sound rumbled deep in his throat as he ran a hand down along Dara’s back. Her skin, dark and warm, glided beneath his fingertips like satin. He did not hurry his journey, but instead caressed with wonder each inch of flesh.
Dara arched against him in silent invitation to resume his earlier rhythm. Her legs tightened briefly about his waist, destroying what tenuous hold Mac maintained on his self-control.
Of its own accord, his eager body began to move. Gone were the almost careless movements of before. The thrust of his hips began to slowly gather speed even as the fury of the storm outside began to gather strength. Lying there on his side, his limbs entangled with Dara’s, Mac felt a connection that was more than just physical.
"I hope you ladies left me-“ Justus frowned in confusion. The two guests calmly seated at his table enjoying breakfast were not his sister Faith and cousin Keesha as he expected, but Faith and someone totally unexpected – Tommy Hardy.
Justus had not seen Tommy for some years; not since his unfortunate attempt at a relationship with Tommy’s mother Simone. Then, Tommy had been a cute little boy with bright eyes and questions far too somber for his age. The mature young man seated at his table was definitely no longer the child that Justus remembered.
With a small smile, the young man put down his fork and rose from his seat. Gone were the slightly chubby cheeks and head of curly hair. Tommy Hardy was now a handsome young man of fine features and slender build. His six-foot height was just shy of a match for Justus’ own. “Hello, Justus.” He walked around the table and extended his hand. “I hope you don’t mind. Your sister invited me in.”
Faith watched the exchange with interest. She had heard all about the rocky relationship between the young Tommy and her brother Justus. Tommy’s mother, Simone, had become involved with Justus in an attempt to move past the pain of her husband’s desertion and betrayal. Just where the relationship might have gone would never be known. Upon word that Simone sought to rebuild her life with another man, Tom Hardy returned to Port Charles to reclaim his ex-wife and son.
The young Tommy had naturally harbored hope that reconciliation would take place between his parents. Caught in the middle of Justus and Tom’s tug of war for Simone’s heart, Tommy had not failed to make his choice painfully clear.
“He was waiting outside,” Faith explained, “and it was about to rain.”
“N-no, of course I don’t mind,” Justus stuttered, accepting Tommy’s firm handshake. The normally unflappable attorney seemed unable to recover from his initial shock at seeing this living ghost from his past.
“Well,” Faith laughed, “as much as I am enjoying the sight of my little brother at a loss for words, the food is getting cold. Tommy, come sit back down and finish your breakfast.”
His sister’s teasing gave Justus an opportunity to compose himself. He accepted the plate she thrust his way and sat down heavily in the nearest chair.
“Tommy was just telling me about Seattle. That is where he and Simone have been living since they left Port Charles…”
“You know,” Dara turned her head and placed a kiss on the sweat-dampened flesh of Mac’s chest, “I had a feeling that Marcus knew about our feelings for each other. It would hardly be surprising. He and I did go out together for a while.”
Mac made a little sound that Dara correctly interpreted as male possessiveness. “Yeah.” His arm tightened about her. “He made sure to remind me of that fact.”
“Why, Malcolm Scorpio!” Dara raised her head and smiled saucily at him. “Is that a hint of jealousy I hear in your voice?”
“Of course not. And it won’t be jealousy that makes me assign Taggert to walking a night patrolman’s beat down at the docks for the next few weeks.”
Mac took pleasure in the laughter that burst forth from Dara’s lips. He had been afraid, when he told her about Taggert’s pronouncement, that the information would just magnify her reservations concerning their budding relationship. Not that he had fully understood them. They were, after all, two single respectable adults with growing feelings for one another.
In the end, though, Dara surprised him. She just shrugged her shoulders and took the news in stride.
“You know what this means, don’t you?” Dara eased from Mac’s embrace and moved to straddle his waist. “The next time that I visit the PCPD and am tempted to just throw you down across your desk and have my way with you…”
Mac’s hands reached up to cup Dara’s breasts. “Oh, please,” he teased, enjoying the sight of her above him, “be my guest. As a matter of fact, you can start practicing now.” His hands abandoned their teasing caresses and drifted down to her hips. Mac lifted her gently and held her poised above his reawakened hardness. “Have your way, Counselor.”
Dara watched her lover’s face as she began to slowly sink down upon him an inch at a time. She felt a sense of power that made her bold. “Oh, I think,” she tweaked his male nipples lightly, “that you may just regret saying that, Commissioner.”
After a surprisingly relaxed breakfast filled with inconsequential chatter, Faith had sent the two men to the living room to talk while she cleaned the kitchen. Justus recognized the act as his sister’s none too subtle method of cutting through the apparent awkwardness between he and Tommy.
Tommy sank down into the plush chair opposite the sofa where Justus sat. He noticed the older man observing him casually. Or rather, trying to appear as though his examination was cursory. Several times during the breakfast they had all shared Tommy had glanced up from his plate to find Justus’ gaze fixed upon him.
“I’m really not that confused little boy who did everything in his power to sabotage my mother’s relationship with you.”
Justus had obviously not been as discreet in his perusal of Tommy Hardy as he’d thought. “No,” he shook his head, “you certainly aren’t little any more.” He laughed self-consciously. “I guess you can see that I am having a bit of trouble reconciling the young man before me with the little boy I remember.”
“I don’t think my showing up here unannounced on your doorstep has helped matters any.”
“That was a surprise.” Justus hastened to add, “A very welcome one, but a surprise nonetheless.”
Tommy took a moment to gather his thoughts. Over the past few weeks he had rehearsed what he would say to Justus when they finally came face-to-face. But now, the words seemed inadequate. “I was pretty angry,” he finally began, “when my father deserted my mother and me. And I blamed you for that.” The young man held up a hand to forestall Justus’ comment. “It wasn’t fair. I know that now.”
Tommy took a deep breath. “I am seeing someone to help me with stuff… my anger and all. She made me see that I shouldn’t have blamed you for my father’s cowardice.”
His quiet apology touched Justus deeply. He was forced to glance away from the young man’s steady gaze so that Tommy would not see just how moved he was.
“Thank you for telling me that,” Justus replied. “You know, I never stopped wondering about you; whether you were doing okay or not.” He shook his head in wonder. “I can see for myself that you are. Simone must be very proud.”
“Yeah, well… Anyway, that’s all I came to say.” Tommy extended his hand in a farewell gesture. “Goodbye, Justus.”
A frown creased the attorney’s face. “Surely you guys aren’t leaving Port Charles already? How long have you been in town?”
“I’ve been here a couple of weeks,” Tommy admitted. “My mom is still back in Seattle.”
“Why don’t you call her and see if you can stay a couple more days,” Justus suggested. “I’d really like the chance to get to know you again. And I’ll bet Audrey would be thrilled to have you a little longer as well.”
Justus saw the first hint of discomfort on Tommy’s face. “My Gram doesn’t know I’m here in Port Charles,” the young man admitted. “Neither does my mom. They both think I am in Africa with my father.”