Author: Embers In My Heart PM
Sebastian's a starving artist with the worst of luck. When he's pulled from a shoot-out by a mystery man, he mistakenly thinks things have changed... SLASH, YAOI, SHONEN AI, BOYLOVE, FULL SUMMARY INSIDERated: Fiction M - English - Romance - Chapters: 17 - Words: 33,773 - Reviews: 61 - Favs: 43 - Follows: 56 - Updated: 12-13-10 - Published: 01-28-09 - id: 2628191
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
FULL SUMMARY: Sebastian has wanted to be an artist since he was old enough to know what one was. So when a particularly prestigious art school takes an interest in him, Sebastian jumps on the opprotunity to enroll, bad neighborhood be damned. Unfortunately the bad neighborhood (coupled with Sebastian's bad luck) lands him in the wrong place at the wrong time. He's pulled from the fray by a very attractive mystery man, but things only seem to be getting worse for the starving artist... WARNING: SLASH, SHONEN AI, BOYLOVE, YAOI, WHATEVER YOU CALL IT, IT'S GOING TO BE HERE EVENTUALLY. RATED M FOR LANGUAGE AND VIOLENCE.
A/N: I know I'm going to get questions about why this is called "Number Five" and I'll explain it right now. "Number 5, 1948" is a John Pollack painting that sold for $140 Million, making it the most expensive painting bought in auction to date. As the story progresses, the correlation between title and content will become more apparent.
There was an alarm going off somewhere nearby…A loud, screeching alarm that wouldn't shut the hell up. Sebastian rolled over and turned off his alarm, wishing he could have a few more minutes to sleep. That's what he got for scheduling his first class of the day at eight and going to bed at one in the morning. He sat up and rubbed the sleep from his eyes. He figured it was time he started college. It had pissed his parents off enough that he had taken a year off from school after her graduated high school. He figured that if his career as an artist wouldn't take off then, it probably wouldn't take off in the year after that and there was no point in delaying college. His dad wanted him to be a lawyer. His mom claimed she just wanted him to be happy, but she didn't think an artist was a real career choice. So he decided to enroll in a local college with an exceptional art program. Getting in wasn't that hard. He had a 4.2 high school GPA, a score of 2250 on the SAT, and a stack of recommendation letters a mile high. Every art teacher from grade school on wanted to see him get in. He still didn't like feeling like he had to take classes to prove he could paint or sketch.
On top of taking all of his classes, he'd decided to take on a part time job. His scholarships only covered his school necessities, not things like clothes, gas for his car, movies, or Chinese take-away for when he just wanted to sit on the couch and watch movies from the 80's. So he'd taken up working at a coffee shop not far from the college. He could've walked if he wanted to brave the erratic drivers and old people with what had to be rabid dogs.
Sebastian sighed and pulled on a set of clean clothes, forced his blond hair into something resembling order, changed out his black lip ring for a red one, stuffed his work uniform into his bag (it was really just a black apron with the coffee shop's logo on the front) and headed out of his dorm room. He was one of the only three people on the hall without a roommate. Everyone else had someone else taking up space in their room. Sebastian liked the privacy, even if it made others think he was stuck up. I mean, freshmen in college weren't supposed to get their own dorm rooms, were they? How rude is that, to just give someone a room of their own. And a week before the semester started! They could have at least roomed him with one of the other loners.
Sebastian ignored the comments and headed to his first class of his college career: Art History with Professor Mesick. He found the class interesting enough. The professor seemed a bit eccentric, but that just made things more interesting. Especially when the professor became particularly enraged by the fact that Picasso cut off his ear and sent it to some ungrateful little wench.
His second class was a lab based class. They would meet once a week and they would be given a certain "topic" to paint on and then they'd turn in the canvas for a grade. His third class was similar, but it was sketch based and they met twice a week. After that, he had a few creative writing courses and a few photography courses, just to make sure he got enough credits.
Sebastian sighed and drove the short distance to his work and got there with plenty of time to spare. It was a tiny brick building, most of the bricks on the outside painted with short little stories by the patrons of the shop. Inside the walls were left mostly alone. There were a few mismatched couches here and there, the tables were all small, round, and looked like they were more suitable for a patio. There were a few booths in the back and off to one side, directly across from the counter. Sebastian walked behind the counter, tying his apron as he went. He was clocking in when a particular stranger caught his eye. He was wearing dark jeans, a dark red shirt, and sunglasses. His black hair was up in a faux hawk, he had the tips of both ears pierced as well as the lobes, his left eyebrow pierced, and the right side of his lip pierced as well. He was wearing a short, silver-looking chain necklace with a Celtic cross hanging from it, another, similar chain that was slightly longer, a silvery chain bracelet on one wrist, a silvery watch on the other, a ring on each index and ring finger, and there were flames tattooed around his wrists. Sebastian watched as he walked up, smiled at James (Sebastian's boss) and put three dollars on the counter. James handed him a cup of black coffee and the mystery man smiled nodded at James and took a seat by the large window at the front of the store.
"Don't even think about it."
Sebastian jumped a little. He wasn't expecting Lena to walk up behind him. She had a dorm room right down the hall from him and she called herself his guardian angel. She was also the one who told him the coffee shop was hiring and told her boss that he should hire Sebastian.
"Think about what?" Sebastian asked innocently.
"Avery." Lena said, nodding to the mystery man that was sipping his coffee by window.
"Why do you say that?"
"First of all, there are some pretty bad stories surrounding the guy. No one's entirely sure how he got his money and no one's sure what he does for a living. On top of that, he's a pretty quiet dude. I've only heard him talk twice. Add to that the fact that he's at least three years older than you, and I don't think you stand a snowflake's chance in hell." Lena smiled.
"What makes you even think I swing that way?"
"Come on, Bastian. You knew that preppy bitch Brianna was wearing last year's fall collection heels, and not this year's newest shoes like she was trying to tell everyone. How many straight guys know that?" Lena asked.
Sebastian sighed. The secret was out.
"Don't go looking like that. I'll have to kick your ass. Besides, I've got excellent gay-dar. You should probably get up to the counter before James tries to eat his own shoes." Lena nodded towards their boss who was tapping his foot impatiently and staring at Sebastian with the white-hot intensity of the sun.
"Sorry James." Sebastian smiled bashfully.
Sebastian worked the register with a slightly forced smile, taking note of when Avery left. He silently filed the information away for later and found himself oddly distracted by thoughts of the mysterious stranger. Usually when he passed someone (even someone that attractive) he might have lusty thoughts for a minute or two, but not for the rest of the day. Sebastian sighed and decided that his problem was that he really needed to get laid.
Sebastian crashed hard that night, falling asleep as soon as he lay down. The next morning, it was easier to get up for class. He found he wasn't quite so irritable in his classes, to his pleasure. But to his dismay, if he let his mind stray for even a second, it would bring up the picture of Avery's smirk. Sebastian shook the thoughts off and hurried to his car. His last lecture had run over and he wanted to make sure he got to work with plenty of time to spare. Sebastian walked into the coffee shop and clocked in, right as Avery sauntered through the door. Sebastian noted that it was the same time as when he showed up yesterday. Further observation revealed he left at the same time.
"Is he always so predictable?" Sebastian asked Lena during their break.
"Yep. Has been since I've been working here. He comes in for his coffee, same time every afternoon, he sits in the same place, takes the same amount of time drinking his coffee, and then leaves. Never says a word to anyone." Lena mused before exhaling a lungful of smoke.
"What a robot."
"Rich people are usually predictable." Lena shrugged.
"What do you mean, rich?"
"All his jewelry is platinum. The studs in the tips of his ears, the lip ring, the watch, the bracelet, everything. Those clothes he wears are from the store in the shopping district that Italian guy just opened. And the car he drives is a dark red Lamborghini. A newer model. I have a friend that owns a condo downtown. She says that he owns that mansion on the top of the hill out there and has the whole place to himself."
"But no one knows what he does for a living or how he got the money?" Sebastian asked.
"Some people say he used to be a big-time gang member, that he rose through the ranks pretty damn fast and made a killing doing drug trafficking. Other people say his parents died and left him a ton of money. Of those two popular theories, I think the first one is more likely to be true."
"The way he carries himself says it all. You can tell he's killed someone before. There's something dangerous about him, something mysterious."
"What's your theory on why he doesn't talk?"
"No need to, I guess. Maybe he just doesn't like talking. Who knows?" Lena shrugged.
Sebastian thought about what she'd told him. Rich, mysterious, dangerous, a few years older…Wait…
"Why haven't you tried taking a pass at Avery? He seems like your type, dark, dangerous, loaded, drives a fast car." Sebastian pointed out.
Lena chuckled for a moment before taking a drag from her cigarette.
"Remember the conversation we had yesterday? The one where I told you I have excellent gay-dar?"
Sebastian blinked dumbly at her.
"You mean to tell me you think he's gay? Why?"
"I don't know about completely gay. Bi, at least. I'm damn good at reading people and my people senses get all tingly when he shows up and they tell me he's into guys."
Sebastian thought about it for a few minutes before heading back inside and taking the register over again. That night, he fell asleep a little more slowly than the night before.
"My people senses get all tingly when he shows up and they tell me he's into guys."
Sebastian rolled over and tried to not think about it.
The next three weeks were incredibly mundane and boring. Same time, every day, Avery was in the coffee shop. Same time, every day, Avery was leaving the coffee shop. Life seemed to be taking on a routine. Even his art classes were boring him. His painting professor had them draw a slip of paper out of a hat and they had to paint whatever was on that slip of paper. Sebastian never did like painting sunsets. And then his sketching professor does something similar. Sebastian couldn't stand sketching parks.
It was the beginning of his fourth week at college and he was glad he was getting a break. He had three days off of work and the school was going on some random holiday. Sebastian wasn't sure why they were out of class, but they were.
With his free time, Sebastian decided he was going to go see his cousin, Jamie. It took him one very long bus ride to get to her house in the run-down portion of the city. She was really trying her hardest, being a single mom of two children and a widow at 26. Sebastian didn't feel safe walking the mile from the bus stop to his cousin's tiny apartment. He was sure he heard gunshots in the distance.
"Hey Bastian. Glad you could make it over." Jamie smiled.
Sebastian stepped inside the small house and he could tell just how bad-off Jamie was. Her furniture was old and looked like it had seen better days fifteen years ago.
"Why did you take the bus?" Jamie asked.
"Damn transmission again." Sebastian sighed.
"I told you to get that looked at months ago. But Sebastian The Artist does what he will." Jamie smiled.
"Yes, I do what I will and you shall grovel for your life. Now what's for dinner?" Sebastian asked.
Jamie told him it was spaghetti night before she apologized for the state of the house. She was only getting paid so much at her job and it didn't seem like any other place was hiring. Sebastian spent a pleasant evening with Jamie and her two sons, Christian and Gabriel, not worrying about what was going on outside until he was leaving. The gunshots sounded closer.
Sebastian was very nearly to the bus stop when things exploded. There were bullets flying everywhere and Sebastian was vaguely aware that something hit his shoulder. He dove behind a low brick wall and huddled there. A dark blue car that had been parked down the street roared closer. A man wearing a light blue shirt looked like he was pushed out of the car, a pistol in his hand. He fired a few shots at the people on the other side of the street and ran towards where Sebastian was hiding.
"I'm going to cover you. Get your ass to the car. Go!"
Sebastian didn't need to be told twice. If it would get him out of the rain of bullets, that was fine. He dove into the car and was still pulling the door shut when the driver started accelerating. There was a sharp pain in Sebastian's upper arm as he pulled the door shut. He looked down at his right arm and saw three holes in his shirt, pouring blood.
"Fuck my life." He muttered as the pain started flooding his senses. He clamped his hand down on his arm to try to slow the bleeding before glancing over to the driver's seat. He stopped short. Avery was driving the car doing 100 miles an hour down the road with Sebastian in the passenger seat.
"What was all that?" Sebastian demanded, forgetting for a moment that Avery didn't talk and ignoring the fact that he'd been having lusty thoughts about the man in the driver's seat for three weeks.
"A shoot-out." Avery said flatly.
Sebastian found himself without words. Avery was a very fit individual, without a doubt, and Sebastian had expected his voice to be gravelly and deep, not the mild tone he heard.
Sebastian nodded and leaned his head back against the seat. Christ his arm hurt. How in the hell was he going to explain this to his parents? Fuck. It was his right arm too. How the hell was he going to paint? He closed his eyes and felt sleep tug at him. Sleep would be nice. If he was asleep, he wouldn't hurt.
"Stay awake." Avery ordered.
Sebastian forced his eyes open and tried to focus on the sound of the radio or the sight of the trees flying by. The problem was that the voices on the radio were faint and when he tried looking out his window, he was distracted by how he'd bled all over Avery's nice car. Damn. That was a lot of blood. Did that all come from him? There was no way. That looked like all the blood in his body.
"Stay the fuck awake." Avery growled.
Sebastian heard himself chuckle and then say that it was hard to do and Avery said something about going into shock. Sebastian didn't hear anything after that.