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Riches to Rags to Riches

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The Old Dutch House was one of those architectural monstrosities that must have seemed like a great idea of the time. The architect was a little known man who had tried to integrate parts of his homeland within the block tenement building style of New York, and failed miserably. It was an ugly shell of a building with an interior that would make most normal people weep and acquire the services of an interior designer who could knock down walls and rebuild the place from the inside out. It was an eyesore long before the monstrosities surrounding it were torn down by American Demolition.

Why anyone would want to save it was a mystery because it had no history of any great worth. It had been little more than a rat-infested tenement for several years before American Demolition bought up all the land surrounding it and proposed the Fulton Towers development. The landlord had been brought to court several times with complaints from tenants of falling masonry and rising damp until the city condemned the building and forced everyone to leave, reminding him of the slumlord story from Chicago that has put his name out there and got him this prestigious job with the New York Times. Pickets had managed to stop the demolition, guilting the city officials into preserving the derelict building at the cost of progress. Except, once the building was saved no one wanted to do anything more with it. The cultural rights people had won their case and moved onto the next obscure landmark, little caring what became of the building now. They only had the energy and motivation to save it, not to restore it.

In the end, the Old Dutch House had demolished the company that sought to destroy it, turning a Presidentially awarded captain of industry into one of the homeless almost overnight until a freak storm brought it down five days earlier...but not before an amazing story played out within its walls.

A lesson in independence, in forcibly shoving the young from the McBain nest had given Alex another story worth writing and printing about. Stewart McBain had evicted his spoilt children from the family home and dumped them outside this building with only 750 dollars apiece. Chloe, James and Daphne McBain turned the eyesore into a weird kind of home within days, persuading friends to join them. Within a month they had even opened the door to their destitute parents only to lose everything as the eviction notice came when the bank seized the one remaining American Demolition asset--the old Dutch House.

Alex stood at the edge of the construction site, watching as the bulldozers moved in to clear the rubble left behind when the house collapsed during last week's storm. He knew from the city surveyor reports that the building had been considered structurally unsound so no one was that surprised when it came toppling down all by itself. The fact that its destruction was a godsend to the McBain family seemed somehow appropriate. The only thing of beauty about the old site was the painted interior walls depicting the most amazing scenes in vibrant colors. Alex made certain he took plenty of photographs, wanting to capture someone's attempt at bringing beauty into such ugliness, noticing that some of those remaining murals were almost perfect copies of old masters just with something missing, mostly figures who would have been in the original.

Alex snorted softly because it kind of summed up his life right now. A perfect picture but with something important missing.

Eighteen months go, Claire had told him to take this position at the New York Times, knowing that it was the opportunity of a lifetime even though it meant they would see far less of each other. At the time it was a heart wrenching moment but they made promises; daily phone calls, spontaneous flowers every month, conjugal visits every few weeks and for birthdays, holidays, special occasions.

He still called her but often a week would pass before he thought to pick up the phone. He still sent her flowers but they rarely arrived on the first day of the month unless his secretary reminded him--or sent them in his stead. He had not been back to Chicago in three months now even though last week was Thanksgiving. Absence was supposed to make the heart grow fonder but, instead, the distance had grown between them making him wonder if he had truly loved her or if he just simply thought he had. She had told him that she loved him too but, beyond the incredible sex, there had never been much of a spark between them. No passion. Perhaps they were too much alike, had too much in common, leaving them with nothing new or surprising to learn about each other, and those few differences had turned out to be major obstacles in their relationship. Her taste in music was discordant to his ears and her idea of art left him cringing. She loved to sit in the park staring at the trees where he loved the brick and steel jungle, loved the clicking of keyboards and whir of hard drives more than the sound of people's voices. They had so much in common and yet no commonality on the most important aspects of their characters.

The last time she came to New York, almost four months ago, he had taken her to the opera and almost died of embarrassment when she snored through the main aria. He had made her excuses to the affronted people sitting close by, citing jet lag, and had nudged her awake but the gap between them yawned wide open. They could converse on the most esoteric of topics, on the social structures and the effects of modernization on the human psyche but couldn't share their feelings.

If Trevor really was Cupid, the God of Love, then maybe he had been right to try and keep them apart. They had seemed like a perfect match from every angle except the heart.

A loud crash of brick and stone brought his thoughts back to the present. He watched as the beautiful mural of a naked woman lying in repose broke into pieces and collapsed to the ground in a plume of dust. The bulldozers continued to level the site until no walls remained standing, leaving just a pile of debris that would be slowly shoveled up and emptied into tipper trucks. Alex glanced up at the new board that graced the main entrance to the site, displaying the future of this site in all its architectural glory, even if only in an artist's rendition. It looked good with pristine lines and comfortable angles, and with glass, lots of glass to allow light into the whole place while protecting the occupants from the elements. The architect's name was unfamiliar...David Worth.

"Let's hope he's worth it," Alex murmured, enjoying his own pun.

Alex turned away because there was no more story to be told here. The old Dutch House was gone, immortalized only in the photographs and film of the news crews that had covered the initial story all those weeks ago though he hoped to add to its immortality by the story that played through his mind. Riches to rags to riches or how a family's fortune was lost and then remade by a single ugly building.

Once in his car, Alex dragged out the invitation he had inveigled from the fashion desk, not that they had any way of refusing him if he had demanded it outright but places were limited after all. One of the former temporary occupants of the old Dutch House, Lionel, had created his whole collection within its walls but the fashion show was to take place in the McBain's second home in Connecticut, a house lost as collateral when American Demolition went belly-up and then restored to the family when the old Dutch House collapsed, putting all the money back on the table, and back into the family's bank account. A number of fashion houses and magazines would be covering the event and, strangely enough, although Alex had little time for high fashion normally, he was intrigued to see what that old house had inspired.

Glancing at his wristwatch, Alex figured he had less than an hour before he was due to head out. The McBain house was just across the state line into Connecticut but the hardest and slowest part of the journey would be getting out of Brooklyn and onto the I-95.

Hours later, he pulled into the sweeping forecourt to the house, glad that he was not the first to arrive judging by the number of cars with New York plates but secretly pleased that he was not late either though he'd had a few worries when the traffic snarl ups had left him at a standstill. Of course, he could have hitched a ride in with the fashion editor but she was already pissed that he'd taken up one of her invitations so he hadn't fancied a journey filled with snide comments. A far as everyone at The Times was concerned, the woman was a bitch, an ice queen and Alex wanted to keep as far away from her as possible.

The strangest old man escorted him to the area decked out for the show and Alex grimaced when he noticed that Arabeth had already snagged a front row seat with a prime viewing position. Beside her, her assistant was making notes, probably describing the venue.

"Sit yourself just there."

The roughened voice sounded like the man had spent too many years staring at the bottom of a whiskey glass. His face was clean shaven and yet he still came across as unclean, as if he had lived rough for years but Alex kind of liked him. He had character where so many people were bland or cold automatons in comparison, like Arabeth. Alex could swear she had seen him but she looked away without acknowledging him, which suited Alex just fine.

He settled into his seat and sipped at the wine handed to him. With at least another half an hour to go, he flipped through the complimentary Insurance Company calendar left on his seat. His eyes widened in appreciation of the living art found on each page, impressed at how the artist had blended in living flesh in the place of the missing figures, eyebrows rising when he recognized the image of the semi-nude woman. This calendar was created in the old Dutch House. He grinned when he saw the missing figure of Cupid, a living, semi-naked youth poised to shoot a golden arrow through her heart. Alex thought of Trevor and how far he was from this idealized cherubic youth with golden curls and a body that had yet to fully mature. Shockingly enough, the semi-nude Cupid seemed more erotic than the fully naked woman, drawing the eye. As two young guys eased passed him to take up seats near the front, Alex raised an eyebrow at the familiar profile of the slighter, fair-haired one even if that hair was differently styled. He narrowed his eyes, confirming to himself that this younger man was the calendar's Cupid, and he grinned.

Throughout the actual fashion show, Alex found his gaze torn between the brilliant colors of the clothing, the magician's tricks and the pretty Cupid model. As ecstatic applause sounded around him, Alex saw Lionel step out to take his bow and a flick of a glance towards Arabeth revealed a woman entranced and pleased, clapping along with the others with more enthusiasm than he had ever seen from the Ice Queen before. When his eyes strayed back to Cupid he was startled to find large, stunningly blue eyes looking straight back at him. Cupid gave him a cheeky grin before turning back to continue with the applause, leaving Alex floundering in a way that had never struck him before. His mouth had gone bone dry, his heart had skipped several beats and he felt his cheeks flush when he realized the rest of his blood had pooled south into his groin.

What the...? Confused by his reaction, Alex swallowed hard and tried to focus his attention back on the vibrant colors of the dresses that had so entranced Arabeth. He watched as two of the models skipped over to pull Cupid into a hug before they turned to hug Lionel, other models and several other people in the audience, including the McBains. Arabeth was on her feet, trying to gain Lionel's attention and eventually succeeding.

"Fabulous. Absolutely fabulous," she gushed and Alex could not withhold an smirk at her rapturous expression and at the way she smooched at Lionel, much to his consternation. He heard someone sniggering right beside him and his grin faltered in embarrassment as he was caught by those blue eyes again, feeling the weight and heat of Cupid's hand on his bare forearm. Close up he could tell Cupid was more man than boy, probably in his early twenties rather than in his mid-teens, and that made Alex feel marginally better for his strong reaction.

"So, I guess you know the McBain's."



One of the models ran up and grabbed Jimmy's arm, dragging him away before Alex could say anything more. She took him over to Stewart McBain who hugged Jimmy soundly before allowing Mrs. McBain to brush at his hair in a way that annoyed the younger man. Alex felt like smacking his forehead because the only word to describe the gesture was motherly. Jimmy was James McBain, their only son and the two models from earlier had to be Chloe and Daphne, his sisters. Everything else fell into place after that because Chloe McBain was the creator of the calendar. All the living works of art within her calendar were her own family and friends and, once he had made that connection, he could see every person immortalized in that calendar standing right here; from the wizened old man of the sea with the whiskey roughened voice and magic tricks, to the almost effeminate Jimmy with his Cupid's bow, to even Lionel the fashion designer, almost disappearing into the blue room and frame surrounding a shattered window. They had all contributed to Chloe McBain's work, posing mostly within the derelict walls of that old Dutch house against the stunning backdrop of those murals.

Lights started to glow as the sun began to sink behind the beautiful house, the catwalk becoming a dance floor. Alex watched from the growing shadows as Jimmy joined those dancing, moving from one beautiful woman to the next, still uncomfortably mesmerized by the almost pretty face, the cheeky smile, those big, smiling blue eyes and a body caught between boy and manhood.

He snorted softly when he overheard Lionel confess to Chloe that he was a closet heterosexual, only pretending to be gay because he doubted anyone would take him seriously within the fashion world otherwise. Alex wished he could say the same but instead, he had hidden his bisexuality in the closet, believing it was there to stay after meeting and falling in love with Claire. Except he wasn't so sure it had been love now and perhaps that was why he had found it so hard to say the words 'I love you' to her. And perhaps that was why Trevor had not tried to stop her from sending that original breaking up fax even after Alex had confessed to him his love for Claire. The real Cupid would have known that he was lying to himself...and to her.

The real Cupid.

He snorted again at the idea of falling for Trevor's delusion. For all he knew, Jimmy was the real Cupid because he seemed to have shot a golden arrow straight through Alex's heart...or through his groin at least. He hissed, the imagery not quite what he had meant but he could not deny the bolt of love, or was it only lust, that had struck him when he had locked with those incredible eyes.

Alex fell back into the shadows and carried on watching as Jimmy changed partners again though, this time a buxom blond had been replaced with a dark-skinned beauty. As Jimmy slow-danced, circling around with his head on the 'Amazon' woman's shoulder, his eyelashes fluttered, eyes opening to gaze straight at Alex as if he had known Alex would be standing right there in the shadows watching him. The quirky little smile that lifted one corner of his lips sent a fresh pulse of desire through Alex.

Alex lost sight of him soon after as he danced into the center of the throng and was startled when he felt a light touch on his arm twenty minutes later. He turned and found Jimmy behind him, hidden deeper in the shadows. A wicked smile and the hand on Alex's arm drew him away from the remaining party-goers. Moonlight catching the blond hair turned it almost silver, his pale skin almost translucent, ethereal like a magical creature leading him into an enchanted wood, and Alex followed, mesmerized. They came to a small arbor, the music drifting in on the slight breeze only adding to the magic of the moment as Jimmy drew Alex into his arms and tilted back his head.

"You've been watching me."

Clearing his throat, Alex tugged at his collar only to have his hand grasped firmly and brought down Jimmy's body, pressing Alex's hand against the hardening mass at the younger man's groin. Jimmy leaned forward, warm breath against the shell of his ear.

"Is this what you want?" Jimmy whispered, pressing his groin into Alex's hand and rocking slowly.

"Oh God, I don't think we should be..."

Jimmy laughed softly, tiny breathy huffs that caressed Alex's face as he leaned in and kissed him, tongue flicking out to trace over Alex's lips, asking for more, for deeper. With a moan, Alex let him in, tongue coiling around Jimmy's, licking and tasting, learning every sinuous curve before chasing the invading tongue back into Jimmy's hot, wide mouth already imagining the sight of those lips wrapped around his cock. Jimmy pushed him back onto the cushion covered seat, kneeling between Alex's legs and, lazily, unzipped Alex's pants. His hot hand reached in and drew Alex's hard and heavy cock from his underwear, leaving it standing almost obscenely through the triangle of opened material, a droplet of precum shimmering like a pearl on the tip.

He groaned as Jimmy leaned in to lap up that pearl, tongue gliding along the slit, tantalizingly light against the sensitive skin. Jimmy looked up at Alex from beneath those long eyelashes, that wicked smile visible in the shaft of moonlight falling between a gap in the climbing shrubs covering the arbor and if Alex thought he looked like a god of love in the calendar, then he knew now that it was a pale imitation compared to his beauty in this moment. Eyes, darkened with desire, reflected the moon and starlight, face glowing, sinfully long lashes fluttering as he closed his eyes and swallowed Alex's cock, almost deep-throating him, and only the hands on Alex's hips stopped him from bucking up into that amazing mouth. Instead, he could only watch and endure as Jimmy sucked and licked, tongue twisting over the head with each controlled movement up and down Alex's shaft. He muffled his cry, biting into the back of his hand as his climax tore through him, his release swallowed greedily, proving that Jimmy was no virgin youth.

As soon as Alex was finished, Jimmy bounced up, almost fumbling at his own pants in his haste to be free of them, letting them drop unceremoniously to his ankles, kicking off only one pant leg before he clambered onto Alex awkwardly, his thick cock bobbing hard in front of him.

"My turn," he exclaimed eagerly, breaking some of the spell that had enchanted Alex but that only made it better, made it more real. Sated from his release, Alex felt in control once more.

"Slow down!" Alex kept his voice low and husky, one hand wrapping around the heated flesh while the other cupped the sweet curve of Jimmy's ass, grinning as Jimmy's eyes glazed over. He knew he could bring Jimmy off in just a few short strokes but Alex wanted more than that. He wanted this to last a little longer. Although his recovery time was nowhere near as good as it had been in his teens, Alex knew it wouldn't take long before he was ready for a second round, and he wanted to be buried deep inside the firm, young ass when he came. He pushed up, forcing Jimmy to straddle his lap and slowly dragged off their ties before unbuttoning first his own shirt and then Jimmy's, shoving the material aside to expose the boyish chest with just a fine smattering of light brown hair. Jimmy groaned as Alex leaned in and sucked on a tiny nipple, feeling the bud peak beneath his flicking tongue. Fingers grabbed at Alex's hair, tugging at the long strands as Jimmy tried to thrust against Alex's exposed belly.

"Uh, uh!" Alex drew back, not allowing him the friction he needed.

He leaned in again, pinching the other nipple between thumb and forefinger as he licked the side of Jimmy's neck, tasting the slickness of perspiration before pressing open-mouthed kisses on the firm jaw and chin, then taking Jimmy's lips in a wet and dirty kiss, tongue fucking the unresisting mouth and Jimmy submitted to him. He had underestimated his recovery time, or underestimated his desire to fuck Jimmy, moaning as his cock lengthened, brushing against the silken flesh of Jimmy's belly. Then it hit him. He had this man-boy squirming in his lap, begging to be fucked and, god, he so desperately wanted to fuck him, wanted to be buried balls-deep inside him, and he had nothing with him. No lube, no condoms. Nothing.

Alex dropped backwards, letting his head thump against the cushion covered bench, eyes screwed shut tightly in dismay. They flashed open when he felt something pressed into his open palm, finding a small tube and a single condom in his grasp.

"Boy scout. Always prepared." Jimmy gave him that cheeky half smile and a salute before lifting up until he was straddling above Alex on his knees, fingers reaching back to thrust inside his own ass, eyelids heavy with desire as he fucked his own fingers. Only then did Alex realize that the tube was almost squeezed empty.

"That is so hot," he managed to croak out around the sudden dryness in his mouth, and fumbled quickly with the condom, rolling it down over his almost too sensitive cock. When Jimmy sank down onto him, taking Alex in hard and deep, Alex almost fainted from the overload of sensation, from the tightness gripping his cock all over, from the incredible heat surrounding him and the trembling of muscles both internal and external that rippled against him. Unaware that he had half-risen to a seated position, his arms trembled from the weight of both their bodies as Jimmy braced his hands on Alex's shoulders. Jimmy took most of his own weight back onto strong thigh muscles, rising off Alex's cock and then dropping back down in one smooth motion that dragged a guttural moan of pleasure tumbling from Alex's lips. Once more, he could only endure as Jimmy controlled his body, tiny twists of his hips as he dropped adding to the incredible pleasure building within Alex.

His body melted under his climax, muscles and bone turning to liquid as the heat of Jimmy's release splattered across his belly and chest. He collapsed back onto the cushion, no longer able to support his own weight...or Jimmy's. Jimmy collapsed across him, head buried against Alex's neck, his hot rapid breaths heating rapidly cooling flesh.

"Jimmy? Jimmy? Where are you?"

Alex felt Jimmy tense, head whipping round as Chloe stepped out of the curtain of shrubs surrounding the arbor. He scrabbled in his attempt to get up as his sister looked on in shock for a moment, and then her rounded eyes crinkled up with pleasure.

"Well, it's about time you came out of that closet. Of course Dad won't be too pleased at first, especially now Lionel's dad is bragging about not having a gay son after all." Alex should have known she would not be embarrassed, having seen her erotic artwork. She stepped in closer and sank down next to them, holding out her hand. "Hi, I'm Chloe."

"Uhm...Alex. Alex DeMouy." He felt a little uncomfortable. "Do you mind if we...?" He indicated to their sticky bodies, feeling his rapidly softening shaft on the brink of slipping from Jimmy's tight ass. She stared at him blankly for a moment before smiling brightly and dancing away to rejoin the party. Alex let his head sink back against the cushion as Jimmy relaxed against him once more, chuckling softly before pulling free and dropping to one side to lay his head on Alex's chest, a hand thrown casually over Alex's semi-naked torso. He glanced down at himself and grimaced.

"Glad I brought a change of clothes," he stated quietly, and Jimmy laughed, raising his head and leaning in for a sloppy, sated kiss that only made Alex adore him even more.

He accepted Jimmy's offer to stay the night at the house.

Ten years later, he was still there, waking every morning to the solid feel of Jimmy in his arms. The boyish frame had matured, shoulders broadening, hair darkening, chest hair becoming a little thicker for both of them...okay, maybe thicker still for him. The blue eyes still blazed mischievously, dancing with delight as they tumbled together in the large bed, slaking their morning pleasure upon each other's willing bodies. That quirky smile remained too, the lift of one corner of the wide mouth before Jimmy scrambled down the bed with an enthusiasm that had not dulled with time, mouth wrapping around Alex's cock as he expertly sucked and licked him to orgasm.

He wrote his article eventually, about the old Dutch House, about the McBains and their riches to rags to riches story but realized that they had never been poor even when they did not have a single penny between them. They had always had each other and the extended family of good friends who had seen them through the hard times. And they had love too, with Chloe and Lionel designing beautiful art and creating babies, with Daphne and Tom equally happy while he and Jimmy found both love and acceptance and a home together.

Claire was just an old memory of someone he had once cared for deeply but he understood the difference between lust and love now. It all came down to the heart, and he had given his to Jimmy on that magical first night.