For his entire life, Bryan had been aware of his guardian. He'd never seen the man yet Jaden had paid for everything. Each of Bryan's birthdays, he'd been given unusual gifts, ones that made him wonder even more about his guardian.
Every request to meet with Jaden had been denied until Bryan decides to take matters into his own hands. Just who and what is his guardian, and why does the man refuse to see him? Bryan is about to find out, and the answer doesn't surprise him as much as his guardian believes it will.
Bryan closed his eyes, focusing on his playing. The notes he coaxed from the violin surrounded him, soothing him. The only time he could lose himself like this was when he played his instrument.
Oblivious to the others in the room, the bow, guided by the expert manipulation of Bryan's hand, flew over the strings. The motion of his fingers over the strings was a sensual stroking, bringing the hauntingly beautiful melody to life.
As the last note died off, the cheering from some of the students surprised Bryan. He'd forgotten they were there. When he opened his eyes, he saw the instructor nodding in approval at him. This audition had been set up by Bryan's guardian, Jaden St. Ives. It was damn near impossible to get Lazlo Alvante to agree to tutor a new student, but from Lazlo's smug expression, it appeared he would take Bryan on. The small, excitable man positively beamed at him.
"Very well executed, Bryan. Your heart shows most plainly in your music." Lazlo approached him and heartily shook Bryan's hand. "I would be delighted to instruct you."
"Thank you, Mr. Alvante." Bryan smiled, relaxing now that the interview was over. He'd been somewhat worried, but refused to allow the emotion to take over.
"St. Ives told me you had promising skill, and he was correct in his assessment. However, remember that I will require you to play until your fingers bleed. I'm not the easiest of task masters."
"You know my guardian?" Bryan placed his violin and bow in his case, then shut it.
"I've had the pleasure of meeting him a few times, and I heard him play once. You've a long way to go before you are equal to his skill, but with the proper dedication, you might match him someday."
For a brief moment Bryan envied his new instructor. The man had met Bryan's guardian, something Bryan hadn't had the privilege of doing. There were a million questions Bryan wanted to ask Lazlo, but he swallowed them. Very few people realized that Bryan had never seen Jaden St. Ives, and he preferred to keep up the illusion that he knew his guardian.
"I only have four students currently, five now with you. I expect you to be on time for every session I schedule with you. Short of your own death, there will be no acceptable excuse for you to miss a class." Walking back to his desk, Lazlo opened his calendar. "I will see you every Thursday at four PM sharp, Bryan. And advance warning: if you miss more than two classes, you will be dropped."
"I understand, Mr. Alvante, and I'm grateful you're willing to tutor me."* * * *
After carefully setting down the hand-written sheets of music, Bryan opened and read the note accompanying the birthday present from his guardian. The letter explained the composition had been a personal gift from Tchaikovsky to an old friend and was a relatively unknown piece of work.
From the details his guardian included, Bryan had the odd impression his guardian had written from personal experience. Then again, each time his guardian sent him a gift, he'd also given a detailed history of the present as well. This one was so intimately detailed that Bryan wondered if Tchaikovsky's old friend had been his guardian.
It wasn't the first time in his life Bryan had had a similar feeling. He couldn't explain any part of what he felt. His guardian had been a mysterious and unknown figure in his life since Bryan was two years old.
"For never having met you, your guardian knows what you like." Kennedy, his roommate, looked over the music as he ate a slice of the cake that came with Bryan's present. "Umm, Bavarian cream. You've got to try a piece, Musical Genius."
"I will in a minute." Reverently, he touched the sheets as he studied the notes. It was a very complex piece. He had no doubt he could master it, but it'd take some time.
"MG, snap out of it. Get over here and eat some cake." Kennedy cut him a piece, then thrust the plate in Bryan's face.
"All right, all right." Laughing, Bryan took the plate and grabbed one of the forks from the table.
"So when do we meet this mysterious guardian of yours anyway? I'd think he'd want to see where his money is going."
Bryan made a face. "I'm not sure if I'll ever meet him. I haven't tried since last spring right before I graduated. The guards at the gate keep telling me he isn't seeing anybody every time I try."
"Don't tell me you've given up? There's a mystery to solve here." With a fake maniacal laugh, Kennedy waved his fork at Bryan.
"No, I haven't given up. I'll meet him one way or another."
"You never know. He might have a very good reason for not letting you see him. Maybe he's hideously deformed. Or a serial killer. Or..."
Before Kennedy's imagination could come up with anything more, Bryan put up his hand. "Or maybe you're crazy."
"Well, you have to admit it's really weird that you've never met your guardian, yet he pays for everything."
Bryan just shrugged. He really didn't want to get into the oddity of his own situation. The two of them had known each other since middle school, and Kennedy pretty much knew everything about Bryan except for the odd dreams and feelings Bryan had because of his guardian, something he'd never spoken about to a living soul.
"At least you got in with Lazlo. That's a great step to your dream of getting into the Universal Symphony." Kennedy finished off his piece of cake then tossed the paper plate into the trash. "I'm off. Sure you don't want to come with?"
"Nah, you go ahead. I don't feel like going out."
"You're gonna miss a great party." Grabbing his jacket, Kennedy put it on, then paused at the door with his hand on the knob. As one of the campus jocks, Kenny made a regular habit of attending every party he could during the off season. "You double sure?"
"I'm positive." Bryan's thoughts were too focused on his guardian, and the loud distraction of a party would bother the hell out of him.
"Your loss, bud. I'll have a beer for ya."
Bryan sat down on the bed, relieved when Kennedy shut the door. Lying on his bed, he folded his arms behind his head. As much as he liked the gift, he couldn't help feeling a bit of disappointment. He'd hoped Jaden would finally come to see him, but here it was his nineteenth birthday, and his guardian remained no more than a mysterious figure in the background of his life. Bryan had held to two major dreams in his life; meeting his guardian and becoming a member of the Universal Symphony.
Staring up at the ceiling, he tried to count the small holes for distraction. Not that it helped any. Once his thoughts fixated on Jaden, his mind wouldn't let go. Bryan had spent many hours weaving daydreams around Jaden. In his dreams, he'd hear the man's voice, feel his kiss. His guardian featured far too prominently in Bryan's dreams.
Sometimes in the dead of night, he swore Jaden was there with him. With a certainty that allowed for no argument, Bryan knew he was being watched. Just as he fell asleep, a fleeting touch of a hand to his face or shoulder would disturb him, and he believed without a doubt it was Jaden.
Oddly, he never believed himself crazy, but he knew if he admitted it to others, they would probably think he was. Which was why he'd never told anyone. Bryan couldn't even explain to himself how he just knew it was Jaden. He could remember dreams where he listened to his guardian long into the night. He never recalled the exact words the next day, but he'd known that he dreamed of Jaden.
Bryan realized he'd fallen in love with his guardian. Again, not something he could explain how or why, but he knew it. When he'd finally understood his own feelings, he simply accepted them. He still dated other people, but mostly only to have fun, and everybody in his group of friends knew not to expect anything serious from him.
Just having his thoughts focused on his guardian was enough to make Bryan hard beneath his pants. His hand drifted over his bare chest as he lost himself in his own daydream. It wasn't his hand exploring the smooth lines of skin, it was Jaden's.
A breath parted Bryan's lips, and he dreamed of the hungry devouring of his mouth under the bruising pressure of Jaden's. Slipping his hand under the waistband of his pants, he stroked over his aching cock. The tip of his thumb applied an exquisite pressure just under the head, making him groan softly. As he spread his legs, the motion of his hand quickened. In his mind, Jaden's cock filled his ass, taking pleasure from him.
"Please. Oh God, please." His mind and voice pleaded to his invisible lover to be taken over the edge. So rapt in his fantasy, Bryan could see the dark form hovering over him in his mind's eye. It wasn't his hand on his cock, it was Jaden's, drawing him deeper and deeper into a need that threatened to consume him.
Suddenly, Bryan felt a familiar presence drench over him. He knew, just knew it was St. Ives. He came, body shaking hard as he helplessly cried out his guardian's name.
For a single second, Bryan felt the perfect world where he gave everything of himself to Jaden. A sob rose in his throat and he curled to his side, trying to mentally wrap the feel of his guardian around himself. Bryan so desperately needed him, the sense of it both a pleasure and a pain to him. A quiet, soothing flow gradually filled him, and he relaxed with it. It seemed as if his guardian knew and had answered him.
The strong sense enveloped Bryan, keeping him at peace and gently lulling him to sleep. Before he completely tumbled into the blackness, Bryan could have sworn there was movement on the bed beside him. A gentle touch brushed over the side of his face, and Bryan tried to open his eyes but couldn't. A voice reached for him through the darkness. Sleep now, I'm with you.
Completely trusting the soft words in his mind, Bryan drifted within the waves of warmth before he fell deeply asleep.