A/N: I know, I know... I am the last person who should be starting a new story. But when it hits ya, it hits ya-right?Anyways- it's half esqi's half. lol
Warning: This story holds male on male relationships. So, if you don't dig it I'd suggest the back button.
This story was co-written with Esquirella - the most aweson writer of 'em all.
Brecken stood, his arms raised to the heavens his eyes closed as the cool breeze of the summer night surrounded him, flowing over his naked skin as he prayed aloud to the Goddess ... his Goddess and that of any who wished her to be. This was the only time he had ever felt comfortable being cloud in public especially with all of his Coven members surrounding him, this time where Higher being met lower and collided into what would be the Charge, the Charge of the Goddess.
It is known that whenever one has need of any thing, once in the month, and better it be when the moon is full, then shall that one assemble in some secret place and adore the spirit of She, who is Queen of all witches. There shall one assemble, those who are fain to learn all sorcery, yet have not won its deepest secrets: to these will She teach things that are yet unknown.
Because of this the many men and women of the coven found themselves here on this warm summer night, naked before one another and the Goddess Herself. All in need, all seeking and all waited for their prayers and hopes to be answered. Each praised the Queen with melodious chanting of her different names over and again. "Isis, Astarte, Diana, Hecate, Demeter ..."
With each word they felt that bittersweet feeling, almost the same as one would feel when intoxicated, shrouded with the presence of the Goddess bringing infinite bliss into their lives even for just a brief moment, everything was at peace within and without. And soon slow, but surely, the requests began to come. Each member of the Coven that was in need began to request from the Goddess what they thought they needed or wanted.
Now there was nothing here that could be called strange, well, strange to any Wiccan anyway, but one request stood out in their prayers. One low voice flowed high above the rest as he dared what few others did - or were too embarrassed to do. He dared to ask for love.
"My Goddess, in thy name I pray! Bring me a man to love and to love me, bring me the peace and tranquility that comes with this love, the contentment and, I pray, make it last. As is my request, I pray it to be. Blessed be!" Brecken looked around as he finished his request, blushing profusely when he noticed the amount of eyes upon him, none judging, just curious.
In the eyes of all the others, Brecken was nearly perfect. He was the owner of a local Wiccan supply shop and the apartment above it in which he lived. Brecken ran a school from his very same shop, teaching the Craft to those less knowledgeable. He was helpful with all things Wiccan and was the kindest, most beautiful person many had met. His low, soft spoken demeanor was welcoming and real and in itself blocked out all negativity. It was rare that an unkind word ever fell from those lips and if it did, was no doubt well deserved. It never occurred to them that their friend, their brother would be lonely and in need of company. More company than a mere friend or student could ever give. He needed love. He needed someone to love and so, despite what others thought, he did the only thing he knew left to do - he prayed.
When the circle was finally broken and everyone began to depart, wishing farewells until next time, Brecken stood. Too consumed by the feelings of this past Charge to simply leave, he wished to collect himself while consuming all the energies he possibly could. He needed to consume them.
He was, admittedly, caught off guard and given a bit of fright when lengthy pale arms slithered about his waist before he was pulled backwards and into a flat chest. "Justin ... let me go," Breck said softly, a agitated note in his voice, he was a bit peeved at being deprived of the time to soak up all he could. He hated being interrupted when he had particularly stayed behind.
"Why? I'm answering your prayers," the man said an amused note to his voice as he pressed forward into the man's back. "Isn't this what you prayed for? Well, here I am, Moonshadow."
Brecken sighed, he hated when Justin used his Wiccan name in such a sarcastic manner. It was clear to most that the man hardly believed in anything they were doing, just went along with it. In his own opinion, the man just used the coven as an excuse to get laid often, often using some 'sex-magic' nonsense to woo the newer members into his bed. Not that sex-magic was uncommon or unheard of, but the man hardly used even that as he was supposed to.
Pulling away from the younger man, he turned to face him, briefly noting that shark- like grin and those big baby-blues. Neither of which he found to be that appealing. The guy was cute, no doubt, but Moonshadow went by the inner light, not just looks and Justin's was found to be dark and deceiving, cruel and inconsiderate. No, the man was not liked by him whatsoever.
"I am not in the mood for these games-"
"Well set me up an appointment when you will be," the man said snidely before turning away and walking off, but not before Breck heard the words, "frigid bitch," come from his mouth.
He couldn't wait until he had a man to call his own, a man to fend off these unwanted advances and someone to stand up for him so he wouldn't have to be the bad guy... Walking over to his car he grabbed his clothes from the backseat and quickly slipped them on, he hated that the other man had seen him naked, but was hardly ashamed. Anything to get closer to the Goddess! Slipping behind the wheel of the SUV he drove home in silence, embarrassment over what he wished for following him. He would never live that down...
Pete rubbed the bridge of his nose as he hunched his tall body over the small desk, taking a brief break from studying the manifests set before him. He blinked and stretched his neck to the side to relieve some of the ache he was feeling. Damn but these delivery guys couldn't keep records worth shit! He yawned and arched his muscular back before getting back down to his task. As supervisor, he had to make sure he accounted for every box that went out on those trucks. The drivers sure as hell weren't going to bother tabulating anything. Hell, they acted like their job began and ended with the truck - to hell with the paperwork! To hell, indeed. It was part of their job description to keep careful records of what got delivered where so that if anything went wrong - a box mistakenly added to the wrong delivery, or maybe left in the warehouse by accident - Pete would be able to trace back all of the steps and figure out where it was, or at least where it went AWOL.
He ran a thick, meaty hand through his short copper hair as he went over Cyrus' shipment again. The manifest said that 20 boxes were supposed to be delivered to the hardware store and six should have gone to some - it looked like a craft store, but Cyrus' handwriting was notoriously messy. He should have been a fucking doctor! Well, there was no signature from the craft store so Pete knew to expect a call from the proprietor in a day or so likely complaining that his supplier sent a shipment that didn?t arrive. That made twice in the last month that Cyrus fucked up. Why the hell did the delivery company keep him on? Pete wished he knew. But he was only a supervisor, not the owner. That title went to his Uncle Fred, Pete's father' best friend. He was the only reason Pete stayed on at this hellhole.
The poor old guy had a bad case of arthritis and could barely make it around his office, let alone run the warehouse operations. It was at his father's request that Pete began working for Fred straight out of college - and it was supposed to have been temporary, until Fred could find a replacement. But Pete had been too good at the job from the get-go, wanting to please his old man and get Fred to write a great letter of recommendation for him. Next thing he knew, six years and two hip-replacement operations later (for Fred, that is), Pete was stuck running the day-to-day operations while Fred and his daughter handled the books. Nice girl, that Helena. Pete had considered dating her once, but decided against it until he left the company. Fat chance of that happening anytime soon. Oh, well. It wasn't like he had much luck in the romance department anyway.
It wasn't that women weren't attracted to him. He wasn't movie-star good looking, but he could hold his own in a crowd, and had no trouble finding dates. It was the actual relationship part that confounded him. He tried to make things last longer than a month or two, but his girlfriend usually lost patience after the third or fourth cancelled date. He wanted to feel bad about having to cancel so much, but honestly he didn't see the point. Business came first and when there was a problem at the warehouse or with a driver he had to take care of it. Women always seemed to believe it was a sign of indifference to them. He found most to be high maintenance anyway. As long he was able to keep a relationship going long enough to scratch his occasional sexual itch, he guessed that was really all he needed right now. There was no point in looking for anything too long term until he got his ass out of this place and into a career he could be happy with.
Sighing to himself, he made a note on a Post-It and attached it to the manifest. Now all he had to do was wait for the craft store owner to realize her stuff was missing. What a life.
Brecken breezed into the shop in a bit of a rush, his arms full of boxes the delivery fellow had handed him outside. Considering the nice person that he was, he didn't say anything about it being the man's job to deliver the supplies all the way into the store. Besides everybody knew he was nice, maybe too nice - enough to be a pushover sometimes anyway. Though thinking over the night he had had just before he couldn't help but scoff at the delivery man before taking his boxes inside and placing them next to the counter for the moment.
It was Wednesday, the store?s normal delivery day, when everything arrived in one fell swoop, leaving little time to find a place for everything to go before it was unpacked. It killed him how pushy and rude the people were who delivered and sold him the stuff. He had asked them a million times to separate the dates a bit, but they insisted Wednesday was the only time they came through that particular area.
Sighing he threw his hands up in the air and turned to his employee. "Becky, do you think you can do something with these? I'm five minutes late for my class already."
"Sure, Moonshadow," the girl said with a smile, knowing how busy her boss was on Wednesdays and eager to help.
"Thank you," he said offhandedly as he rushed into the backroom, which he had made into his classroom.
It looked just like a normal school classroom save for the symbols of the Goddess and God covering the walls in posters and carvings, statues and molded candles of both deities covering the many shelves that lined the walls.
"Merry meet, Moonshadow!" most of the class exclaimed as Breck walked into the room, his mind really not into teaching today but he?d hardly felt it was proper to turn away so many students.
"Merry meet to all of you!" he said with mock joy in his voice. He just felt like lying down and taking a nap. Oh, how he loathed Wednesdays! "Does everyone have their money for their BOS' today? I just got a new order of them in and you guys are allowed to pick between the four newest designs for the price I quoted. Plus I have the spell books and such you guys ordered a few weeks ago," he said. Hearing a few yeses he moved to the side of his desk, already bending down to retrieve - a box that wasn't there. He couldn't help it. He groaned aloud and excused himself before walking back into the main store area of the shop.
"Becky! I thought I said when those guys who deliver the books arrive to send the boxes into my classroom. What happened?" he asked, his voice soft and not the least bit threatening.
"They haven't come yet."
"They were supposed to have been here by now," looking at his watch he sighed. "It's already past six, they must not be coming."
"Sorry," the girl said, feeling a bit awkward. It was obvious her boss wasn't particularly happy with that fact.
"Don't apologize, little bird," he smiled softly, trying to put the girl at ease. "It's not your fault - it's the company's."
With another forlorn sigh he went and explained the situation to his students before continuing with his class for the night. He planned on calling the useless company first thing in the morning!
Bright and early Thursday morning, Pete had just finished the day's manifests when the phone's shrilly ring jarred him out of his calm reverie. Damn it! And I was just about to get my coffee, too! He sighed and tossed down his pen, exchanging it for the phone.
"Grellson Shipping," he snapped into the phone.
"Yes, I'd like to speak to whoever's in charge of deliveries, please," a gentle yet definitely male voice calmly replied.
"This is Pete. How can I help you?"
"I'm calling about a missing shipment of books. I was supposed to have received six boxes of them yesterday, and they never arrived."
Six boxes? This is the craft story lady? Pete sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose with the hand that wasn't holding the phone. Great. She's a he. He'd never dealt with a poof before, but knew from some of the drivers that the few they delivered to were highly temperamental. That Marcus guy who owned the hair salon, for instance, had thrown a bottle of gel at Gary for accidentally delivering boxes that belonged to the bookstore across the street. And this guy owned a craft store. Who knows what kind of implement he'd throw at Cryus, not that the idiot couldn't use a whack or two.
"I just got off the phone with the supplier," the man went on when Pete hadn't said anything. "He said that he shipped them all out on time and they should have arrived."
"I'm very sorry, Mr. -" Pete left off waiting for the man to supply his name.
"I'm sorry, Mr. Brecken,"Pete said.
"Just Brecken," the calm voice interrupted him.
"Brecken," Pete said calmly. "I"m very sorry that this happened. There aren't any boxes from yesterday's deliveries here in the warehouse. Let me check with the driver and get back to you later."
"Pete, I'm trying to run a business here. My students were expecting their books last night and there were a few spells I couldn't really go over with them without the books."
"Yes," the voice stiffened slightly and Pete could hear the irritation filtering in. "Spells. I own a witchcraft store. Didn't you know? It's in the name of the store itself."
"I couldn't read the name of the store on the manifest," Pete said through gritted teeth. Damn drama queen! "My drivers didn't seem to take penmanship classes in school."
"Well, maybe they should," Brecken suggested, unhelpfully. "In any case, I need to locate those boxes of books as quickly as possible so that I can get them to my students. Otherwise the class will fall behind and I won't be able to cover everything I promised them I would."
It was all Pete could do to keep from audibly sighing at the man on the other end of the phone. First he was a drama queen and now he's a witch? Or was it warlock? Maybe a sorcerer? Pete had no freaking clue what he was, but he was trying his patience. He was trying to help this Brecken guy and all he got back for it was a hissy fit. Well, no matter how Pete felt about it, Brecken was a customer and deserved the best service he could get. And he did have an idea where Cyrus left the damned boxes too. If he wasn't so anxious to get this guy off his case, he'd wait till Cyrus came in and make him go to the hardware store and get them. But that clown wouldn't be in until noon, and by then the hardware store might have misplaced or discarded Brecken's boxes.
"I have an idea where the driver might have left them," Pete finally said. "How about this? I'll go find them and deliver them to you myself."
"I would hope so," Brecken scoffed.
"Look, I'm trying to help you, sir. I'm the supervisor here, and as such I'm supposed to stay here." He let that hang in the air between them for a few seconds before he went on. "Now, protocol says that I should make the delivery man handle it when he gets in. But the driver who delivers to your store won't be in for another four hours. So I'm willing to break protocol to help you."
He heard Brecken release his own sigh but tried not to hold it against him. He'd dealt with enough pissed of business owners to know that the man was merely venting his irritation on the only one he could right now. Cyrus, the deserving party, was safe - for now. Wait until Pete got a hold of him later.
"I didn't mean to snap at you," Brecken said. "I appreciate the efforts you're undertaking to help me."
"Okay," Pete said. "I'll follow up on my lead now and hopefully I'll see you at your store soon."
"No problem. Now, give me the address and phone number just in case I can't read them off the boxes, or if I can't find them."
Brecken rattled off the information calmly and Pete took it down - legibly this time. Maybe he should send Cyrus to handwriting class, he thought sardonically.
"Great. See you soon." And without waiting for Brecken's reply, he hung up the phone. The sooner he got this drama witch queen off his back the better.