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It was almost midnight by the time Gunther let himself quietly into the Manor. He dropped his keys in the dish on the kitchen counter and cocked an ear. The house was silent, and - even more oddly for this time of night - so was the cemetery. He could hear the usual soft creaks and sounds of the ancient wooden home that he'd lived in for years and was so accustomed to, but of human habitation there was no sign.

He crept into the library, finding it as dark and silent as the kitchen. The hallway was the same, and he eased out of his shoes before tiptoeing up the stairs, avoiding the left side of the fourth stair, the middle of the seventh, and skipping the ninth entirely; creakers, all.

He hesitated. There was no soft glow of light coming from beneath Mortimer's door. That was as unusual as the rest of the house on this night. Mortimer always slept with an oil lamp burning low by his bed, and for it not to be there drew Gunther's brows together in a frown.

There was, however, a glimmer of light coming from beneath the door of Cornelia's bedroom, and that told him all he needed to know. She was still up, so he'd better be damned quiet as he made his way to his own room. And, tomorrow, there would be a fucking great lock on his bedroom door, with the most impressive key ever. And he'd wear the key on a chain around his neck, damn it.

He pushed open his bedroom door, holding his breath. He'd oiled the hinges not five days ago, but even now they had a propensity to squeak when he least wanted them to. This time, though, they were on his side, and as he closed the door quietly he let out the breath he'd been holding.

"About time, husband," a soft voice came out of the darkness, and he froze.


The mattress shifted and a slender, dark shadow moved across the room towards him, lit only by the moon. Oh fuck, what was she doing in here? Did she have a knife? Had she finally decided to finish him off and claim against his life insurance? For a split second, Gunther could hear his heart hammering so loudly that he swore it would wake the cemetery, but a moment later a delicate hand rested on his chest.

"Have I got you that excited already?" Cornelia purred as she felt his heartbeat.

Bewildered, Gunther moistened his lower lip with his tongue, but all he could manage was a pathetic, "Uh..."

"Mmm, now let me see. My husband is spotted leaving a motel after apparently staying there all weekend. It hits the local gossip rags, and I'm wondering... why was he there?" That soft hand stroked two, three times, and then the fingers began to unbutton his shirt.

"And then I realise he's probably just been fucking some little floozy, to release his frustration because things haven't been so great at home," Cornelia went on. "And I'm prepared to forgive him for that, if he promises never to do it again. But then there's the awkward matter of the gossip that's already making its way around the town..."

Gunther swallowed. She'd finished unbuttoning his shirt and had pushed it off his shoulders, and now she was pressing closer to him. He could feel skin, a wisp of silk... and not a lot else.

"So--" Oh God, she'd just licked his chest, "--since my husband barely speaks to me any more, and the town is beginning to talk, I figured what better way to shut them up than to present another addition to the Goth family?" Her peignoir slithered to the floor in a purple silken heap.

"Speaking of the Goth family, where is Mortimer?" Gunther finally found both his voice and his strength, twisting her around and pushing her against the wall. She flinched momentarily, but regained her composure almost immediately.

"Prep school." She smiled, and just as quickly she was back onto her original subject. "You and I, husband dear, are going to make a lovely little new Goth baby for the town to coo and pet over. And if, by chance, that little floozy has fucked your brains out and you can't get it up, why I have the perfect little bottle of pills on the nightstand to help you out."

She slithered down his body onto her knees, and now her hands began working the button and zip of his pants.

"Cornelia, I--"

"Hush," she said as she pulled his dick out of his pants, tugging the now-crumpled fabric down over his hips, and that word shook him back several hours to hearing it come from Valois's mouth, and - to his horror - he could feel himself getting hard.

"Oh, that's the spirit," Cornelia purred. "Nice to know I can still inspire you, dear."

Fuck you, it's not you! he wanted to scream, but then she was pulling his dick into her hot, wet mouth, and - since the room was almost pitch dark - he could easily envision Valois on his knees, Valois's mouth enclosing him, Valois's hand tugging down his pants yet further so he could grasp Gunther's arse in both hands and squeeze hard, intensifying the pleasure with pain.

Harder to translate in his head were the long fingernails that dug in at the same time, and when Cornelia finally pulled away and dragged him to the bed, well then it was obvious. But she just shoved him onto his back, clearly determined to be in control of the entire situation. He was sort of grateful for that, even as he wondered why in hell he hadn't yet thrown her off him. And, as she rode him, he couldn't help himself. Sure, he'd been with Valois for two days, but Valois hadn't let him fuck him, and Gunther was desperate for it.

When it was all over, Cornelia quietly climbed off him and re-tied her peignoir. She pressed a kiss to his forehead and left the room, closing the door quietly, leaving him sweaty and panting on the bed.

Moments later, he groaned and clapped a hand over his eyes. Oh fuck, what had he done?!

Gunther spent all of Leisure Day buried in work. He'd called a carpenter and had a lockable door fitted to his office, and a new lock installed in his bedroom door. Two heavy keys now hung from a chain around his neck, beneath his shirt.

Cornelia hadn't bothered him since the night he'd come home, but Gunther couldn't help looking on the gossip sites to read about himself. He was stunned that, somehow, they'd managed to get a photo of him leaving the Sunset Motel and walking to his car, when he'd never even been there. If that was Valois's doing, then there was a lot more than simple illusions to the man's talents.

And speaking of Valois... oh God, Gunther was so ashamed of what he'd done - with his own damned wife! - that he hadn't returned to Valois's home. He'd found Valois's number on his phone, presumably entered by Valois himself during Gunther's multiple snoozes in that red-all-over house, but he hadn't dared to call it, or even send a text.

Worst of all was the fact that Mortimer was at prep school. Cornelia had sent the boy off while Gunther was away, without so much as giving him a chance to say goodbye or offer some fatherly words of advice. His heart ached as he thought of his little boy struggling as he had done once; the odd kid who had no friends because he was weird and creepy.

His gaze moved from the small framed photo of Mortimer on his desk to his laptop screen. That was definitely his car parked outside the motel in the photo on the gossip site, and that was unmistakably him exiting one of the rooms, looking decidedly shifty. And the text beneath..!


Gunther Goth, esteemed town founder and CEO of DP Corporate, was spotted sneaking out of the Sunset Motel late last night. Our secret source tells us that his car was parked there all weekend, and we have to wonder why he wasn’t at home with his beautiful wife and young son. Is everything as harmonious as it seems at Goth Manor? Well, one thing’s for sure: we’ve never heard of a top-level business deal being concluded in a seedy motel before.

Shit. Gunther heaved a sigh and sat back in his chair, staring sightlessly out of the window. He could see lights in the distance - oh yes, Leisure Day, which he'd completely forgotten about - and he reached out a hand to slam his laptop shut. A walk. A nice, long walk. That would do the trick. Maybe he'd call in at the park and play some stupid game or other to take his mind off things. Show the gossiping townsfolk that he had nothing to be ashamed of.

By the time he got to the park, though, it was near to closing. He managed to win one game of horseshoes against the local cop before the stalls closed and everyone dispersed, and then he was left standing alone.

Okay, then. A walk would sort him out. Just up to the tattoo place and back. Yeah, some fresh air and a brisk pace would be just the ticket, and he set off up the road.

He hadn't gone much further than the tattoo salon when he heard someone running up ahead. Looking up and across the road, he could see someone else out for some late-night exercise: jogging, to be precise. But as the runner drew closer...

There was no mistaking that pale skin or the red hair, but... something wasn't quite right. Gunther blinked, but the man had already gone past him. He turned, watching as the runner jogged towards the park, and then he started to run after him.

He caught him up in the park, spotting him making a snowcone from one of the machines there. At least those things never closed for the night. Gunther walked up to him and laid a hand on his shoulder.

"Hey there," he said. "I'm sorry I didn't call after the weekend. Things got hectic at work, and--"

The man spun around and glared at him. "Back off!" he snapped.

Oh... shit! "Uh, I'm sorry!" Gunther pulled away and took a step back. It was Valois. It absolutely was Valois, unless the guy had a twin somewhere. But it also wasn't Valois, because--

"I thought... I'm sorry, I thought you were Valois," he stammered, eyeing the dark tattoos etched all over the man's skin, and the multiple piercings in his ears and face. The hair was different, too, but there was no mistaking that mouth. God knows, Gunther had had it all over him for two days!

"I am Valois," the man said, "but I don't know who the hell you are." He stared Gunther down for a moment, then his face softened. "Hey, did you want an autograph, or something?"

"A what?"

Valois laughed. "Seriously? You don't know who I am?"

Gunther shook his head, feeling pretty fucking stupid. This was Valois, and yet... it wasn't? And the way the guy was looking at him... it made him feel kind of itchy. Just like Valois had made him itchy.

Valois-who-was-not-Valois grinned and winked. "You're kinda cute," he said. "Does that whole 'oops, I thought you were someone else' schtick work for you all the time?"

Gunther stared at him. "I, uh. I'm really sorry. I'm horribly mistaken and, God this is the most embarrassing thing that's ever--"

The man stepped closer. "Like I said, you're kinda cute. And yeah, I'm kinda easy because it worked for me. You wanna come back to my place?"

Dumbly, Gunther nodded. No matter what this guy said, he was still Gunther's own Valois. Gunther could smell it.

"Right," Gunther said, staring up at the huge modern house they'd pulled up at the side of. Valois chuckled and got out of the car; a sporty little dark silver roadster that still had the top dropped on it.

"Well, y'know, gotta live the life. Fuck knows, I need something to spend my money on," he said. "Out with you, so I can lock this baby up."

Gunther got out of the car and watched as the auto-roof went up and Valois locked the vehicle. He then followed Valois into the house, letting out a low whistle at the sleek white interior. It was huge, maybe even bigger than Goth Manor. And so clean and stark. Nothing at all like Valois's old... or, rather, his other house. Oh fuck, and wasn't that confusing as hell?

"Through here." Valois took Gunther's elbow and led him into what looked like a sun room. "Couch, or floor?"

"Huh?" was all that Gunther managed to get out before Valois yanked him down onto his knees, laughing beneath him.

"God, you're too cute. I don't usually bother with older guys. They creep me the fuck out, but you're different." Valois cocked his head. "Hey, you're not going to freak out on me, are you?"

Finally, Gunther regained his senses. Well, some of them, anyway. Just go with it. You're not going nuts; just, yeah, just go along with it.

"No," he murmured, moving closer until he was straddling Valois and could reach up to caress his face. "My God. You're breathtaking."

"Shit," Valois hissed. "Fuck this. Bedroom. NOW!"

Gunther's shoes skidded on the tiled floor as Valois dragged him along by the hand, through the winding corridors of the massive house. He glimpsed a couple of framed gold and platinum records along the way, and one room contained guitars and a keyboard.

"Clothes. Off." Valois practically threw Gunther into the bedroom, slamming the door behind them both. "Fuck, c'mon!" He peeled out of his workout gear in seconds, until he stood naked in front of Gunther: a pale, tattooed and pierced... rockstar.

Ohhh, so that explains the autograph thing. Pity it didn't explain the double-life thing, but hey, Gunther had a beautiful naked young man in front of him. Now was not a time to be asking questions.

He smirked. "Well, aren't we impatient?" he teased, slowly pulling off his jacket. There was nowhere to put it but on the floor. Oh well, not as though I haven't left him looking as if I've been dragged through a hedge backwards before, now is it?

"If you don't get a fucking move on, I swear..."

"You'll kick me out?" Gunther arched an eyebrow.

"You have no idea how many people I have in my address book that I could count on for a booty call, dude. The fact that I want you instead of them should mean something."

The rest of Gunther's clothes hit the floor in less than a minute, and Valois grinned.

"Oh yeah. Cute and hot. That suits me just fine. C'mere." He grabbed Gunther's hand and flopped backwards onto the bed, yanking Gunther after him.

"So, whatcha want, huh?" He sucked Gunther's finger into his mouth, his eyes hooding, dark lashes fanning out across high cheekbones. A soft whine left Gunther's throat as he settled down to watch.

"That mouth would be fucking perfect," he whispered. "Just fucking perfect."

"Mmm." Gunther's finger left said mouth with a slow, sucking pop, and Valois rubbed it across his lips. "Now that I can do."

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