Title: Be Careful What You Wish For...
Summary: Patrick Sykes was having a bad day until an accident shoved artist Cylean Bartlett into his life making all his dreams come true overnight, but is everything really that simple?
Cylean Bartlett was not a fast driver by nature. He had outgrown the fast car phase early in his youth, and now the reason that he drove fast expensive cars was because he had the money to do so. Not the noblest reason in the world, and certainly one he would be re evaluating when his wrist stopped throbbing and he could move his neck again. Especially when he was being driven by one of those aforementioned fast drivers.
He groaned as he shifted in the bucket seat, lolling his head to the side to check on the driver, tears pricking at his eyes as an unholy feeling shot down his spine. He noted to himself that moving was bad and that he had to deal with the situation at hand before any painkillers could be administered.
The driver, a friend of his that definitely had more looks than brains was staring shell shocked into the distance. The windscreen was spidered with cracks, but he could just about make out the crumpled hood that meant they had hit whatever they had hit at speed. Just how fast had she been going anyway?
Impeccably manicured nails cut into her palms where she still gripped the steering wheel for dear life, but other than that she looked unhurt. How, he had no idea, but they did say that god watching over idiots and small children.
His heart was hammering like a freight train, making breathing hard, so he squirmed around, trying to move everything but his neck and his wrist that he was sure was probably sprained. That was when he saw the other car.
“Fuck.” He took a deep breath and opened the door, putting some force behind it where it stuck. The roads were thankfully quiet, but he knew that he didn’t have forever to sit there and wallow in it.
He had to call the police, and if the other car was as bad as it looked, an ambulance too. He probably could stand to get checked out himself considering the world was tilting every so often and he still couldn’t move his neck.
He thought about the huge canvass he had waiting in his studio at home, and the nice warm bed he had been heading back to from the airport. Another gallery opening, this time in Paris, which was all well and good and had raked in a tonne of money, but he couldn’t help but resent it right then.
It was the whiplash talking, he knew that, and as soon as the authorities were dealt with, and Cathy was back in her own house with a few fingers of scotch and her small yapper dog he would be able to get back to his life.
The windows of the small Ford were steamed up, but he caught a glimpse of mid length blonde hair stained dark red and cursed. He dialled the emergency number, noting the road name and tried to yank open the driver’s side door so that he could assess the girls injuries.
It took a few goes of rocking the creaking, totalled vehicle, but by the time he had dutifully reported all the information he could Cylean had shoved open the door and crouched down so that he could peer inside.
He knew that it had been a long time since he’d dated a woman; figuring out you were gay later in life than was entirely comfortable meant that it had been a while. He was pretty sure that their shoulders weren’t quite as broad as the ones he was currently staring at.
“Hey,” He croaked his throat strangely raw. He coughed and had to breathe through the pain shooting down his neck. “Hey, can you hear me?”
Cylean gently slid his hand around the young mans neck to check his pulse, his own heart rushing in his ears. The boy was so still, so pale that he could have been looking at a corpse. The strong pulse that throbbed against his finger tips belied his ghostly pallor, and the artist let out a breath of relief. He was alive.
A black wallet was peeking out of the boys jacket pocket so the artist slid it out and ripped it open, reading the boys name from his drivers licence. He didn’t live far, only a few streets away. He must have been on his way to work.
A photo in the wallet caught his eye and he pulled the picture up for a closer look. It was obviously taken by one of the boys, by the angle. The man on the right was obviously his crash victim, and the shaggy hair bespectacled boy on the left looked a bit too cosy for just a friend. They looked happy; Cylean wondered what being with someone like that would feel like.
He’d been alone for so long that he probably didn’t know how to be any other way by now. In his thirty one years he had never had anyone look at him like those kids looks at each other in the photo. He couldn’t miss what he’d never had, but sometimes he got lonely and thought the feeling would suffocate him.
In the distance he could hear the wail of sirens and thanked every deity he could think of for a speedy response time. The nasty gash on the young mans forehead was beginning to worry him.
Just as the ambulance manoeuvred its way around the blocked roundabout and the police dragged out the cones and tape, Cylean heard a groan from the figure in the driver’s seat. Green eyes that were prettier than any boys had the right to be peered through a curtain of soft white blonde hair.
“Hey.” He said his voice surprisingly deep and a little slurred. He made to sit up, but the artist gently laid a hand on the back of the young mans neck to stop him.
“Hey.” He said gently, “Don’t move, you’ve been in an accident.”
“Figures.” His bright green eyes rolled back and Cylean winced as his head thudded back onto the steering wheel. He was unconscious again.
The paramedics were buzzing around the site like flies over shit when a police officer in full neon uniform stepped up to where he sat and flipped open her small note book. She looked to be around her mid thirties with long brown hair pulled into a low pony tail at the nape of her neck. Thankfully she didn’t look scary in the slightest; the police always made him twitchy.
“Can I take your name please?” She said, smiling reassuringly as he reached up to massage the ache in his neck.
“And are you the owner of the vehicle?”
“Of that one,” He said peering into the fog. He could barely remember the plane ride home, never mind what car he’d been picked up in. “Yes.”
Cathy picked that moment to totter up to the pair, blonde hair shagging over her face as if she’d run her hands through it several hundred times over the past few minutes. She had a look of both guilt and fear that told him the shock was probably starting to wear off and she was already mentally half way to her liquor cabinet.
“He wasn’t driving. I was picking him up from the airport and it was foggy out.” She wrung her hands in front of her and bit her lip, looking every inch the damsel in distress. “I didn’t even see the other car.”
“Is that what happened?” The police officer turned on him, and he nodded, wincing as the muscles in his neck reminded him what a bad idea it was.
“To the letter.” He said in lieu of actually moving. A movement on the other side of the road caught his eye, and the pale, blonde stranger that they had hit was lifted up on a stretcher to be loaded in the back of the stationary ambulance. “Is he going to be ok?”
Cylean felt a catch in his stomach when he thought about the gorgeous young man getting hurt. His thoughts flashed back to the picture in the wallet that he’s looked over and he felt an ache in his chest to match.
What if that kid had some significant other waiting at home, wringing his hands? What if the hospital was, as he sat there, ringing the bespectacled boy in the photo to tell him his boyfriend had been in an accident?
“He’ll be taken into St Mary’s to be checked over.” The officer said, offering a smile as her eyes flashed to where he was rubbing his painful neck. “Maybe you should be too.”
“You know I don’t think that’s a bad idea.” He said, trying to convince himself that he really did need checking out and not because it would put him in the same place as a certain unconscious blonde. “My neck is killing me.”
That part at least was not a lie. His head felt like it was going to fall off if he even thought about moving it. He determined that it was far too early and that he would not be getting back to the abandoned canvass any time soon. There were more important things being driven off.
“I’ll need to file a report for insurance purposes.”
“That’s fine. I’ll cover any damages caused.” Cylean said automatically, handing a business card over to the Police officer who clipped it to her notepad. She shook their hands; gently in Cylean’s case, and walked over to her partner and patrol car.
As they talked, Cathy turned to him, big brown eyes glistening with tears and regret.
“I’m so sorry Cy.” She said, bottom lip wobbling alarmingly, and Cylean tried to nip the crying jag that he could sense coming in the bud.
“Cathy, it’s ok.” He gave her a quick but firm hug, trying not to look at the retreating ambulance for too long. “Just get yourself home, I’ll handle everything.”
“Was he ok? There was so much blood.”
“Just a head wound. They always bleed more.” Though he couldn’t get the sight of scarlet splashed across ashen skin out of his head. He knew he would be seeing those colours behind his eyes for the foreseeable future. “Maybe you should have yourself checked out.”
“I’m fine.” She promised, “A bit shaky but ok.”
“Are you ready to go home, ma’am?” The officer was back, and Cathy looked like she was about to keel over.
“Go on. Go have a scotch and settle your nerves.” He said softly, brushing a small kiss over her temple.
“Thanks Cy.” She said, letting the police officer lead her away, calling back to him, “I’m sorry about your car!”
He shrugged and winced when the muscles in his neck pulled.
“I was getting bored of it anyway.” He told the Police woman’s partner, who shrugged minus the pain. Cylean was a little jealous.
“Come on I’ll give you a ride to the hospital.”
“Oh thank you.” Cylean said, easing himself up off the guard rail, clutching at his neck and shoulder. “I’m too old to be getting hurt.”
He should really be getting home and he knew it, but there was something about that kid that made him want to stay and see if he was alright. It wasn’t just because he was beautiful; the artist in him could appreciate the form without going overboard but there was something about him. So Cylean stayed.
Patrick, as his drivers licence had stated, had been poked, prodded, x-rayed and stitched, and was now laying on one of the hospital beds in a backless gown since his own clothes had to be stripped off him. He looked so pale next to the stark white sheets that Cylean almost called a nurse before he figured out that had to be his natural colouring, or at least close to it. Peaches didn’t even get a look in; it was cream all the way.
Cathy had called an hour before to say that she was home and that his car had been dealt with. He didn’t know if that meant it had been towed back to his house, a garage or the police impound but he figured he would find out sooner or later. It wasn’t a big deal; he had another one and a whole houseful of people on the end of the phone to come and pick him up. He just didn’t feel like calling them yet.
Patrick really was pretty. Not in the girly way that a lot of his ex boyfriends seemed to have about them, but in a solid, masculine way. His lashes were sinfully long and as pale as his hair, fluttering over his high cheekbones. He’d been wearing a black cord around his neck when he’d been in the car, which was now absent from his body. Cylean hoped that it hadn’t been a casualty as well.
He couldn’t help but feel guilty about the crash, even though he hadn’t even been driving. He could have taken a cab; he easily had the money too, but Cathy had owed him a favour. He hadn’t counted on the fog, or the brand spanking new Ford standing stationary at a junction. His insurance premium would never be the same again.
An hour and two really bad cups of hospital tea later, the painkillers the doctor had given him for his whiplash were really kicking in, and the figure on the bed was groaning itself awake. He shifted a little and whimpered like a kicked puppy. The sound tore at the heartstrings, and Cylean laid his hand gently on the awakening figure.
“Hey, try and stay still,” He said, looking at the bruising that wasn’t covered by the gown, “moving is not going to help right now.”
Unfocused eyes as green as polished gemstones blinked at him for a good minute before a small frown appeared on the handsome, pale face.
“Who are you?”