AN: And here's the final chapter. I will be uploading the first chapter of a new story very soon. It's called "Hit By A Car, Healed By A Touch", and I wrote it for an online friend from Wattpad. If you haven't checked out Wattpad, I suggest you do; there are some great slash stories there as well. And if you check out my profile, you can find a link called LGBT-Library that is packed full of slash/yaoi.
Thanks to those who read/reviewed/faved this story. I really appreciate it. Enjoy~
Chapter 3: Joshua's POV
Joshua never really understood how some women thought they would be seen as feisty or sassy by trying to sell themselves in a game of cards. But then again, some people would go to extreme lengths in order to get their hands on some money, usually someone else's money. Betting, blackmail, dragging them into a scandal and then demand that the person they scandalise rectify it to preserve their reputation were just some of the things he had witnessed.
Luckily, though, he had managed to avoid all those things. His brothers, on the other hand, couldn't. His brothers were block-heads, all three of them. But they were good guys, just victims of the sharp tongues of the upper crust. That's what happens when you turn down a bitchy little socialite. Suddenly you're a womanizer who sleeps around with anything female.
Joshua managed to avoid that tag as well, though. There were rumours that the youngest son of the Hensley family was gay. Ha! Some rumours prove right, don't they?
Yeah, he was gay. So what? It was hardly a big deal anymore these days. And well, he had more than enough money not to care.
And as he laid the cards onto the table in front of him, revealing his hand, Joshua decided it was time to confirm a few of those rumours. And he was going to enjoy it.
"Well," Joshua said as he waved his hand over the cards laid out before him. "Looks like I win."
Gasps of surprised cut through the tense atmosphere like a knife through butter. And the look of surprise and indignation on Luchia's face was priceless. She might have been good at cards, but he had the luck and skill to be better. And there was no way in hell he was going to lose to her.
"I'm going to take what's mine, now," Joshua said as he stood up from his seat. Luchia stood up as well, her head held high in defiance. She was so arrogant; she instinctly thought that he was going to claim her.
Instead, Joshua stepped to the side and grabbed a surprised Zeke by the wrist and pulled him against him. Zeke fell against his chest with a soft 'oof!' before he made another cute noise of surprised when Joshua wrapped his arms around him and flopped back down onto the plush couch, Zeke sprawled across his lap.
"You're all mine now, Zeke," Joshua said cheerfully, wrapping his arms tightly around Zeke sitting on his lap, letting him know that he wasn't going to let go without one hell of a struggle.
Zeke, however, was far too shocked to do anything but sit there. "H-huh?"
The silence from everyone was deafening!
But it was soon disrupted by a yell of humiliation. "WHAT!"
Looking over the top of Zeke's head, Joshua smirked at the obviously fuming young woman before him. "Ah, what are you complaining about?" he asked coolly. "A deal's a deal. You said I could take whatever, or whoever I want without complaint. I just happen to want your brother here over you."
Luchia's face turned red from both humiliation and angry. It was such a blow to her oversize ego that her brother was chosen over her by the rich and handsome bachelor she deemed worthy of her attention.
Ah, it was always so much fun knocking oversize egos down a few notches. You didn't have to be rich to be egotistical.
"What's going on, hun?"
It was Joshua's mother, a beautiful woman who looked quiet young despite being middle-age. She sashayed over with a glass of wine swirling in her hand, totally unconcerned by the mass of gaping onlookers around them. In fact, she looked a bit tipsy. She could never handle her alcohol.
"Look, I won Zeke in a game of cards," Joshua said cheerfully, keeping a still unresisting Zeke on his lap and in his arms. "He's finally all mine!"
"Oh, that's wonderful news, hun," his mother replied without missing a beat as she walked a few steps forward to stand in front of Joshua and leaned down a little to get a good look at Zeke. "Well, he IS adorable, isn't he?"
Suddenly, mother turned around and waved through the crowd, calling out over the hustle and bustle of the casino. "Darling!" she called out for her husband and Joshua's father. "Come look, darling. Dear Joshua has finally courted that Zeke boy!"
Joshua frowned slightly. No, it wasn't a pout, it was a frown! And why did mother have to mention that he tried to get Zeke's attention for months now?
Out of the crowd, a middle-aged man dressed in a fine suit, hair slicked back and face clear of stubble appeared and walked over to his wife, his hands folded behind his back. "Is that so?" he asked as he grew closer before he unfolded his hands behind his back and clapped in congratulations. "Well done, my boy. And if I am at liberty to say, about time?"
Pfft, father had to mention that as well. "I was just waiting for the perfect and memorable moment," Joshua insisted.
Before either of Joshua's parents could make another embarrassing comment, Zeke squirmed on his lap, causing Joshua to direct all his attention toward him. Zeke looked up at him in surprise, realisation dawning upon his features.
"Wait," he said as he shook his head in disbelief. "You were…Me…How long?"
Joshua moved Zeke so they were face to face more comfortably. He then leaned forward and pressed their foreheads together tenderly as he whispered his next words so only Zeke could here. "Ever since I first met you."
Zeke drew in a sharp intake of air, but Joshua carried on.
"You were beautiful, unlike anyone I had ever seen before. I wanted to get to know you, wanted to see more of you. And I still do. This is your chance Zeke; do you want to live in a world where you're worth something? Please say you do."
Zeke was silent, then he drew in a shaky breath, his slender frame trembling discreetly as he replied softly. "I do. For as long as you have."
That was all Joshua needed to hear and he easily closed the gap between them to kiss Zeke on the lips, ignoring the coos and swoons by those who had gathered to watch the game of cards. He didn't care if they had an audience, he didn't care what those of polite society may gossip about in days to come and he most certainly didn't care that Zeke's family was watching as well. He had Zeke now and he wasn't going to let him go. He was sick of waiting for the gorgeous teen and his flirting and charms weren't working as Zeke was adorably naïve.
That and he had a low self-esteem and self-worth thanks to his sisters and mother.
Something Joshua vowed to change.
Slowly, Joshua pulled away to look upon Zeke's face. Zeke kept his eyes closed for a few moments longer before he slowly opened them, looking into Joshua's eyes in disbelief, as if it was all a dream. And Joshua smiled gently at him, lifting his hand to gently touch his cheek. It was as if they were alone, no one else existed. Just him and Zeke.
"Isn't that the sweetest thing you have ever seen?" Mother cooed with a slightly dreamy look on her face, bringing Joshua back to reality. And what a reality it was!
Zeke stiffened on Joshua's lap, as if he just remembered where they were and of those who had witnessed the entire thing. "M…Mrs Hensley…?" he stuttered as he blushed madly.
"Don't be silly, darling," mother flapped a hand at him. "Call me mother."
"Uh…" Poor Zeke was still unable to make any coherent words. He was simply adorable.
"This is sick!" A female voice suddenly screeched. "I can't believe you people! This is…This is beyond wrong! It's disgusting! How can you actually be ok with this…this freak of nature?"
There was a moment of silence took hold after the outburst. Everyone knew who had made such…discriminatory remarks and they all stayed silent, waiting and watching as mother slowly turned toward Luchia. And she looked less than pleased.
"And you are, sweetie?"
Luchia reeled her head back in surprised at the question, her mouth dropping open in a very unladylike manner. But before she could gather what little wits she had left, Zeke spoke up timidly from Joshua's lap.
"She's my sister."
And mother looked positively appalled. "I don't see the resemblance," she sniffed.
Neither did father. "Shouldn't you, perhaps, be pleased that your own family has found his own piece of happiness?"
Not unless she found hers first.
"But he's a guy!"
Again, silence reigned for a moment before mother frowned and looked positively annoyed.
"Oh, look at that, darling," mother said to her husband in a decidedly haughty tone, giving Luchia as very disapproving glance. "She appears homophobic. Isn't that a shame?"
Father took a moment to study Luchia before he sniffed in dissatisfaction. "I can't say it's all that surprising."
"Indeed," mother agreed, her stance and expression still giving this almighty air of displeasure as she hooked her arm through her husband's. "I would say I expected more from those Grayson girls, but I never had any expectations for them whatsoever."
"Yes, it's best that we do not associate with them," father said as he patted his wife's hand as he led her away.
Suddenly, out of the crowd, Zeke's own mother scrambled out and scurried to Joshua's parent's side, appearing ready to snivel up to them in her usual manner. "Mr and Mrs Hensley, I do apologise for my youngest daughter's behaviour. This is most unlike her."
But mother was to have none of it. "Of course it is, darling," she said dismissively, signalling to security guard with a wave of her hand, not saying another word to the woman as she was discreetly escorted away.
Joshua figured it was time for him to take his leave as well. Though reluctant, he lifted Zeke up off his lap, but kept a hold of his arm in case the skittish teen would try to make a run for it. He then wrapped an arm around Zeke's shoulders and pulled him against his side as he led him through the murmuring crowd and toward the exit. Zeke followed blindly, no doubt still trying to register what had just happened.
"Did that really happen?" Zeke asked softly, more so to himself rather than to Joshua.
"See, not all rich people are bad," Joshua said with a grin before he kissed the top of his messy red hair. "Some of us are just…eccentric."
That earned a chuckle, albeit a small one, from Zeke.
"You're with me now, Zeke," Joshua whispered gently to Zeke as he led him out of the casino, helping him into his awaiting limo, pulling him so he was sitting next to him. "You don't have to do things alone anymore."
Zeke looked up at him, his glistering with unshed tears. Suddenly, he squeezed those beautiful eyes shut and threw his arms around him, burying his face into his shoulder as he cried. He cried tears of pent up frustration, resentment and finally tears of relief. And Joshua continued to hold him long after the tears dried up.
Then, as Zeke pulled away to look up at Joshua again, he leaned forward to press their lips together once again. This kiss, however, was different from their first. It was deeper, more tender, more pleasurable.
And Joshua was going to make sure that it was just the beginning of many, many more.