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?
Chapter One Chapter Two Chapter Three
The car that picked them up was big and black, and Patrick had to work not to roll his eyes at the sight of it. The man that got out of it was just as big and just as black, but his dress code and the gentle back slap that he bestowed upon Cylean said that he was anything but the chauffeur.
Blue jeans under a leather zipped bikers jacket, topped with a pair of shades to warn against the low glare of the winters sun screamed more of bodyguard than run around.
“Patrick, this is Mike. Mike is head of my security.” The fact that the man had a security department large enough to demand a head of it didn’t surprise Patrick in the slightest. The two men nodded hello since the cast on Patricks was on the wrong side to be shaking hands. Besides, he felt like any movement was going to make his whole body implode and he didn’t want that to happen over the Mercedes leather interior.
He had never been so glad in his life that he lived so close to the hospital. The scrubs that he wore were almost indecently thin, and every jolt of the admittedly very smooth vehicle sent rivers of fire through his broken and tormented body. He could only be thankful that it hadn’t been worse.
Patrick directed the brick shit house to his apartment building and looked at where he knew the stairs would be leading up to his flat with a pained resignation. Just climbing into the car had hurt like a bitch; he was sure that climbing up a story would be even more painful.
He turned to thank the strange, strange man for the ride when he noticed that he was alone in the back seat and his door had been pulled open. Great. More attempts at rescue. Still if it meant he didn’t have to fall on his ass in front of company then he was all for the help.
“Ok, out you get.” Cylean said, grabbing part of him that thankfully didn’t hurt as bad as the rest and hauling him bodily out of the car. Dizziness swept through him and he clung to the large man like a limpet until the world ceased to move underneath him and he was able to stand on his own two feet. The fact that Cylean holding him didn’t feel like a bad thing made him step away just that much quicker.
“I can take it from here.” Patrick said, and after a brief nod to the bodyguard started to limp in the general direction of his front door. Just as he reached the front step another wave came over him and he clutched onto the door frame.
A strong arm looped around his middle and pulled him back against a strong, amazing smelling body. Batman was obviously back for another round and the Bat mobile was nowhere in sight.
“Rides include door to door service.” He said, and Patrick managed to get his feet back under him. “Do you have any clue about how we are going to get in without your keys?”
He didn’t bother answering, just pressed the button for the building managers flat until a pissy voice came over the intercom and there was a small battle of wills. Eventually after a threat of withholding rent, Patrick managed to push his way through the door and snatch the spare keys out of the skinny, rodent like mans hand that stood with his toothpick arms crossed at the foot of the stair well.
“I knew you were no good!” He croaked at them, looking Patrick up and don with judgemental eyes. “I knew it! Fighting no doubt. Out all night, bringing shit home all the time.”
“Fuck off, Martin.” He said wearily, and leant a little heavier on Cylean as they started their slow way up the first set of stairs.
By the time they reached the top Patrick was breathing heavily and he had broken into a cold sweat. All he wanted to do was crash into bed and sleep the rest of the day away. Maybe pass out in front of the worst eighties movie he could find. He could think about the rest later.
“Look, thanks for the ride and the concussion, you didn’t have…hey, where are you going?” Keys had been taken from him and the door unlocked before Patrick could even blink. Cylean moved like he looked; casual and smooth, slinking from one part of the flat to the other.
“This your room?” He said, poking his head around a door at the other end of the flat.
“No, that’s my room mate’s room.”
“Your room mate is a pig.” Cylean flowed past him as the man breezed through the flat like he owned the place. The only other bedroom in the place was his, and it was just as untidy, minus the pizza boxes and dirty dishes. Messy, rather than dirty.
“What…” He felt like one of those nodding dogs that you see in the back of old-man sedans. Watching a complete stranger going backwards and forwards through his flat, clearing paths and turning his unmade bed down so he didn’t have to lift so much as a finger to help himself made his stomach feel funny. Not in an entirely bad way either, considering the stranger.
“You’re one of these people who never opens their curtains aren’t you?” Cylean said, plumping a pillow in a case that probably hadn’t been washed in a month. “Nice colour though.”
Patrick could feel his face turning a nice shade of red; if he’d know that an attractive guy would be putting his hands all over his bed clothes then he would have at least had the decency to change them first. The fact that they were talking about the colour of his curtains also threw him for a loop and he said the first thing that came into his overwhelmed mind.
“It was like that when I got here.” He said and cursed his drugged mind, though his wrist was starting to ache even more, which meant that he probably had about ten minutes left of that excuse.
“Still, you didn’t change it.” The other man mused, eyeing a Shit Happens poster that had been there since the day Patrick had moved in, before turning and eyeing him. “The doctor said to rest.”
“He did.” Patrick agreed, and as soon as he could get the very hot, but definitely strange man out of his flat, he would be doing just that. For now though he just stood there. After all he had to lock the door after him.
Cylean moved closer and laid his hands gently on the bits of arm that were bruised the least, just brushing against his cool, bare skin. Patrick shivered at the contact and the pain flared through his body again, making him grit his teeth even has he breathed in a lungful of man.
“Bed would probably help with the whole resting thing.” A sentence like that should never be uttered in a voice like that with anything but a nefarious intent behind it. Since it was out of genuine concern, Patrick was able to swallow the lust that he wouldn’t, and if he was very honest, couldn’t, act upon.
Shame started to mingle in with the want, and he took a deep breath against the feeling. It was only a matter of hours ago since he’d taken a phone call that ended a five year relationship, though from where he was it seemed like a lifetime ago. From the minute that Cylean had barged his way into Patrick’s life, he’d been so out of control that he felt like a thousand years had passed since that morning.
Shouldn’t he be in some sort of mourning period right now? Not thinking about another guy. What kind of man did that make him that Marcus’s dismissal had taken hold for all of twenty minutes before his car was flattened?
“I’m waiting to let you out.” He said, wanting to go to bed and stop thinking before his head exploded. It wasn’t healthy to have those kinds of thoughts in his vulnerable state, and if Cylean offered to tuck him in he was going to have a hell of a job not dragging him down too and trying to do what he wouldn’t be able to achieve if he wanted to.
“And I’m waiting for you to get into bed.” Stubborn and sexy. Patrick was indeed in trouble. The darker man cross his arms over his chest and looked every inch the immovable object to Patrick’s unstoppable force.
“People don’t say ‘no’ to you very often do they?”
“Not if I can help it.”
“Well, Sirius or whatever your name is…” Smooth. Very smooth. He wouldn’t be able to forget the mans name if he had a brain transplant, so pretending he did was just stupid.
“Cy-le-an.” The other man said, accenting each syllable with a patronising beat of a hand. “It’s a strange one so remembering it is never hard.”
Patrick shifted and winced, but managed to get the front door open without too much agony, though the threat was still there.
“…thanks for the ride, but I can take it from here.” He said, nodding his head towards the gap to indicate that his patience had almost run out. Whether it was with himself or his surprise guest he didn’t know, and he was in no state to find out.
“The doctor said that you shouldn’t be left alone.” The bastard didn’t even flinch at the blatant dismissal.
“I’ve been living practically alone for many years now, and I haven’t killed myself yet.”
“Did you happen to have a concussion for all those years?”
“Well…” He just had to go and use the logic didn’t he? Patrick sighed, and very firmly shut and locked the front door. He had to lie down before he fell down and since he’d started being honest with himself he may as well admit that he didn’t relish the idea of being alone.
“No.” He snapped, “Then shut up and let someone else help you for a change.”
Silence fell over the bedroom as Patrick stripped off the scrubs and pulled on a pair of sweats and a loose t shirt, all the while keeping an eye on the back that was turned towards him for a modicum of privacy. He pulled the shirt into place and fiddled with the hard edge of the cast on his wrist.
“Why are you doing this?” Patrick asked, breaking the tense silence. The other man looked lost for a minute, and sat heavily on the end of the bed, missing Patrick’s foot by millimetres. He leaned back into the pillows and watched the beautiful creature show the first signs of pain and tiredness.
“To be honest I have no idea. My neck and my back are killing me, I’m in a strangers flat whose occupants sole purpose at the moment is to get me out, and I have a canvas the size of Manchester waiting for me in my studio.” It was like he was talking to himself, but Patrick could listen to him all day. His voice flowed like silk and he was concentrating so hard on Cylean talking that it took him a minute to realise what he was saying. “I do know that I feel guilty for Cathy hitting you with my car and a little bit curious about the picture of you and that other boy in your wallet. And while I’m at it, may I add that I went into your wallet to find your name only since you were unconscious at the time. “
So really, what do you say to that? In one very long breath the man had an entire conversational rant all to himself. There was one thing that had peaked Patricks interest though; talk of canvasses the size of Manchester sparked off a little piece of knowledge that had been laying in wait for such a moment.
He had never been so glad of his brains ability to throw up random pieces of information in a clinch. And he was most definitely in a clinch right now. He was actually being honest with himself, and that honesty had him admitting that he didn’t want to be alone. More specifically he didn’t want the other man to leave.
“Are you an artist?” He asked, and the dark head came up from where it hung against his toned chest.
“Wha…yes.” Patrick hadn’t put the pieces together before since his brain was just about mush from all the painkillers he’d been pumped up with. Since the pain was now coming back and the pills were wearing off in a big way, the name started to mean something again.
“I didn’t realise you were that Cylean Bartlett.” ‘That’ Cylean Bartlett had been something that had stuck with him throughout the whole of his university career. It was one of the first exhibitions that he and Marcus had been to; Marcus had been trying to impress Patrick with his wide knowledge of the arts, while Patrick had been trying to figure out how long it would be until they could go back to ripping each others clothes off.
That was, until he’d actually looked at the art.
It had probably been just a fancy of his mind, but he thought that he could see every emotion that the artist had poured into each canvass, and they had reflected what he’d kept deep inside himself.
Loneliness, emptiness and yearning sprinkled with hope, love and strength. It was like looking into a mirror and seeing all the parts of himself that he wanted to keep hidden, and all the others that he craved to let out but would never quite dare.
And he was now being put to bed by a man that could possibly be the only person who could understand, and he’d been trying to get rid of him. Patrick was never one of the sharpest tools in the box.
“I didn’t realise you were into art.”
“I didn’t realise you knew so much about me.” Patrick shot back. He wasn’t really, just this mans art. He wasn’t going to admit that one yet.
“I saw your exhibition in the Tate last year. I went with a couple of friends.” The artist smiled depreciatively and ducked his head into his hands.
“Worst exhibition ever. Almost nothing went right.” Pretty eyes that Patrick knew were going to be haunting his mind for however long it would take for him to get back on his feet stared into thin air as if he were back in that gallery experiencing the badness all over again. Badness with a smile on his face; he could use some of that.
“It was a sell out.” Patrick reminded him. He could still see the little ‘sold’ notices going up next to every painting and sculpture in the exhibition. Marcus had commented that the guy was probably some fat, rich guy who messed around with a canvass. He’s just wondered where the artist had gotten a look at his soul since each piece had spoken to him.
“That was the only part that went right.” Cylean said. He shook himself out of his reverie and turned to where Patrick lay warming up nicely under the covers. “What do you do?”
Nothing, Patrick thought. I got through life doing absolutely nothing but drive myself and everyone around me insane. You look into people and see the truth.
But the question wasn’t a polite ‘you asked me so I have to ask you’ sort of thing. He looked genuinely interested. It had been so long since someone had seemed genuinely interested in Patrick that he had to take a moment, which he disguised by shovelling his light blonde hair out of his eyes.
“Something that I will probably be getting fired from shortly.” He was short and vague, not wanting to compare himself to the man sitting with him. “I am supposed to be at work right now.”
“You were in an accident; surely they will cut you some slack.”
“Possibly, when I tell them anyway.” He didn’t think so, but miracles had happened before. “I’m actually not sure where my mobile phone is so I couldn’t call them if I tried.”
They missed a beat in conversation and silence lapsed again. It seemed with every comfortable silence; Patrick had the urge to be more and more honest, and less and less inclined to throw the other man out on his ear.
“Thanks.” Patrick said quietly, not looking at the other man.
“Staying. Not taking no for an answer.” Cylean’s large, soft hand covered his uncasted one where it rest against the dark bed covers and gave it a gentle squeeze. Patrick noticed that he didn’t move his hand afterwards, and the blonde didn’t pull away either. He looked up into the other mans face and caught his eye.
“Anytime.” Cylean’s smile was warm and intimate. Too comfortable for someone he had just met, but in some ways – most ways – it felt right. Patrick remembered his earlier comment about the guy in the photo; the one that he hadn’t had a chance to dispose of out of his wallet yet, what with the crash and drugs and all.
For some reason he didn’t want the artist to think that he wasn’t available.
“His name is Marcus.” At Cylean’s quizzical look he belatedly realised that the other man wouldn’t have a clue what was going on with the conversation jump. So he clarified. “The other guy in the photo. He was my boyfriend.”
“Was?” The artist zeroed in on the one word, just like Patrick had hoped. “When did you guys break up?”
“What’s the time?”
“About 6 hours ago.”
“You really are having a shitty day, aren’t you?” He had been. Really until about fifteen minutes ago it had pretty much been the shittiest day of his life to date, and he had been pretty sure that the cosmos would be hard pressed to top this one.
Since he’d stopped trying to throw Cylean out and actually started talking to the man like any normal human being would, despite the aches and pains and the dull throbbing he could feel all over his body, things were actually starting to look up.
“It could be worse.” He said, and smiled.