Orlando found Viggo sitting at the kitchen table reading the morning paper, steam wafting up from his ever-present stone tea bowl with horse and snake etchings on the sides, the filtered steel straw sticking up above the rim. Orlando had once teased him by calling it his "tea cup and cocaine straw", which earned him a vicious scowl.
"It's called a mate (pronounced as MAH-tay), and it's a bowl, not a cup," Viggo had pointed out.
"Yeah, but Vig, normal people do not drink their tea from a bowl," Orlando had pointed out.
Viggo laughed. "Like you have any room to talk. Exactly how many of those monstrous latte coffee cups do you have now?"
And that was the end of *that* discussion.
Orlando smiled at the memory and moved over to his lover, giving him a quick kiss on his forehead before retrieving a normal sized coffee mug from the cabinet and pouring himself a strong cup of java. It was times like this that he cherished. Quiet weekends spent at the cozy little beach house that Orlando had purchased a couple of years ago, away from the hustle and bustle known as Hollywood, and everything that implied.
Long ago, they made a pact that their work would not be allowed to interfere with their weekends, and up until now, that had worked perfectly well for them, up until Orlando's cell phone started ringing early on that beautiful Sunday morning. He was just sitting down at the table when he heard the unmistakable sound of a squealing pig.
Orlando cringed and Viggo acted as if he had heard nothing, continuing to read his paper. Taking a careful sip of his coffee, Orlando eyed the offending piece of technology that was sitting on the kitchen cabinet, knowing immediately who the caller was. The horrendous noise lasted only a few seconds, but to Orlando, it felt like an eternity. Finally, the only sounds in the small kitchen were the sounds of waves crashing on the shore and cries from the gulls soaring overhead that drifted into the house via open windows and French patio doors.
"Any plans for the day?" Orlando quietly asked a few minutes later, his coffee mug poised at his lips. He gently blew over the surface of the dark liquid before taking another sip.
Viggo tilted the upper right-hand corner of the paper down so that he could see his lover.
"None that I'm aware of, why?"
Orlando shrugged. "No reason, really. Thought I might do a bit of surfing. Care to join me?"
An eyebrow arched.
Orlando shook his head. "Oh come now, Vig. You know as well as I that you're not *that* bad at it. You've actually come a long way since New Zealand. You haven't had a black eye in what, a year or so?"
Before Viggo could reply, the noisy bovine was back. Orlando rolled his eyes as Viggo snapped his paper back into place, both of them trying to ignore the ringing phone.
"Must be important," Viggo commented from behind the paper.
"How's that?" Orlando asked.
"That's the fourth time she's call this morning."
"But I've only heard it ring twice," Orlando stated.
"I've been up longer than you," Viggo said as he laid the paper down on the table, stood, and moved to the stove to refill his mate.
Orlando smiled and slid from his chair, moving across the kitchen and into his lover's personal space. Raising a hand, he trailed a long finger down Viggo's cheek and over his lips.
"Why didn't you wake me?" he asked.
Setting his mate on the cabinet, he slowly ran his hands around Orlando's torso, linking his fingers behind him. The movement brought Orlando's body flush with his own, their lips scant inches apart.
"I seem to remember someone threatening me to within an inch of my life if he was disturbed from his beauty sleep."
Orlando gently brushed his lips against Viggo's. "Well, if someone hadn't kept me up most of the night," he quietly said.
Viggo tightened his arms around Orlando's body. "You complaining?" he asked as he lightly nipped at Orlando's lower lip.
"Me?" Orlando innocently teased as he fought to control his breathing, which he noticed had just sped up a bit.
Viggo chuckled, the vibrations traveling into Orlando's body via their close proximity. "Yeah, you. I don't recall anyone else sharing our bed last night."
"And that's probably a good thing because they would have been shit out of luck. I think we covered every inch of that bed at some point during the course of the night," Orlando stated, his tongue leaving the recesses of his mouth to lightly tease Viggo's lips.
Viggo was having a problem keeping track of their conversation as all of his attention was focused on Orlando's mouth and what it was now doing. It was leaving a trail of kisses, interspersed with a few gentle nips and licks, along his jaw line and slowly moving towards the shell of his ear. And then he remembered.
"So, are you going to answer my question?" He said as he felt Orlando's tongue dancing around the shell of his ear, a light tug on his earlobe.
"What was the question?" Orlando breathed against his neck.
"Are you complaining that I kept you up last night?"
Orlando shifted his hips just a fraction, his hardness sliding against Viggo's.
"What do you think?" He asked before moving his lips to Viggo's, claiming his first kiss of the day. Mouths opened, tongues dueled for supremacy, and when neither could gain the upper hand, it was as if by some unspoken agreement that the kiss slowed. The earlier frenzy was replaced with a loving kiss that promised everything.
And then the howling swine reasserted itself.
They made a valiant effort at ignoring the offensive sound, trying to keep their focus on the activity at hand, and were extremely relieved when the phone went silent.
Viggo gently pulled away from Orlando. "You know, as much as I love you, is there any chance in hell that you might consider changing Robin's designated ring? She'd be livid if she ever found out about it."
"Like I give a shit," Orlando stated. "When I was downloading different sounds for everyone, this one had her name written all over it. Besides, they didn't have one for a shrieking Ring Wraith or that one would have been hers."
Viggo smiled. "I was thinking more along the lines of Taps. But since you've so graciously assigned the dying pig to her, think you might be persuaded to turn your phone off for the rest of the day?" He asked as he rained kisses on his partner's face.
"And why is that?" Viggo asked.
"Same reason you don't turn yours off. Family," he stated.
"Too bad we can't set her number to go straight to voice mail. That would make things a whole lot better around here," the older man admitted.
Orlando laughed and ran his hand down Viggo's chest, stopping at the top of his boxers, hooking his finger into the waistband and pulling gently. "I've got something that will make things better, if you're up for it," he teased, lightly brushing the tip of Viggo's hardness with the intruding finger.
A swift intake of air by the other man made Orlando smile.
"No need to answer, old man. Your silence says it all," he said before taking Viggo's hand in his and leading them back through the kitchen on the way to their desired destination.
Obviously the squealing pig didn't like that and decided to try one last time.
"Bloody fucking hell! Will she never learn?" Orlando yelled as they stood in the doorway that led into the living room. "She's not going to give up, you know that, don't you?" he said.
Viggo leaned over the cabinet, picked up the annoying piece of plastic and threw it out the open patio door. Taking Orlando by the hand once again, he started towards the bedroom. He didn't get far because Orlando was standing rooted in the same place, looking out the window, stunned by what Viggo had just done.
"You did *not* just throw my phone onto the beach," he stated, somewhat in disbelief.
Viggo rolled his eyes. "At this point, I really don't give a rat's ass where that fucking phone is. It's not here, we are, and we have some unfinished business to attend to," he said, trying to coax Orlando away from that part of the house. He was sure that they wouldn't be able to hear the phone from their bedroom, if he could ever get Orlando back there.
Softening his voice, he continued. "Angel, she'll leave a message just like I'm sure she's done every other time she called. You can check them later, if you want. But right now," he said as he took Orlando's hand in his, "there is a bed calling our names."
Orlando was stuck between a rock and a hard place, literally, because even after all of this, he could still feel Viggo, hot and hard, in his boxers. And as much as he wanted to be filled with that same hardness, his common sense won out. This was cell phone number three for Orlando and he didn't want to go through the hell of setting up a new one again. Cell phone number one had been lost somewhere a few years ago; he couldn't even recall when and where, while cell phone number two attempted to learn how to surf and swim, and lost. Apparently Orlando had slid it into one of the pockets of his swim trunks and forgot to take it out when the Hobbits came by for an afternoon of surfing. Now he was on number three and he didn't want someone snagging it from a sand dune. He looked back at Viggo apologetically before walking out of the house, across the deck, and down onto the beach to where it had landed.
Viggo leaned against the doorframe and waited for his lover to fetch his phone. He wasn't sure exactly what possessed him to do that, but he wasn't going to deny the fact that it felt damn good to hurl the thing away from them. If it had been anyone other than Robin calling, he wouldn't have bothered with it. Anyone else could have called ten times over and it wouldn't have bother Viggo in the least.
But Robin, well, she was another story. He hated that she tried to run Orlando's life, had even tried to talk him into breaking things off with Viggo for the sake of his "career". While they didn't carry on while in the public's eye, once they were away from it all, either here or at Viggo's home in Los Angeles, they were hopelessly devoted to each other.
Of course, that's not to say they didn't have their problems, but most of those were a direct result of something that Robin had arranged; things such as movie premieres where it was strongly suggested that he be seen with a lovely lady on his arm, a dinner here and there, various outings tied to the fashion world, just to make sure he stayed in the lime-light. And through these things, Robin was trying to dictate Orlando's life and Viggo hated her for it. He briefly wondered what this round of nonstop phone calls was for.
Orlando had retrieved his cell phone and was brushing the sand from it when it went off again. He found himself looking at the ocean and felt the strong urge to toss the blasted thing into the churning waves. But instead, he did the one thing that he swore he would never do while they were here.
He answered it.
As soon as Viggo saw him raise the phone to his ear, he knew that their previous plans had just changed because more often than not, nothing good came from these phone calls. Resigning himself to this fact, he retrieved his forgotten mate from the kitchen counter and settled himself back at the table, picking up the paper and reading where he had left off earlier. Every now and then, his eyes would stray to the scene outside and he found himself gripping the paper a bit too tightly, causing it to crinkle under the pressure.
Orlando, as animated as ever, was walking, or rather, pacing on a small patch of sand, oblivious to the fact that the only piece of clothing he was wearing was his boxer shorts, his free hand flailing in the air as if punctuating his conversation. Every now and then he would stop and run his hand through his hair, as if he was trying to calm himself. And then the pacing began all over again. He had walked out to the water's edge as if looking for peace there, digging his toes into the muddy sand, anchoring himself in place, at least for a little bit. This lasted all of two minutes, and then he was stalking up and down the beach, water splashing angrily about his feet as he went.
Again, Viggo wondered what the Devil-Spawn was saying this time to cause his lover to lose his cool. And lose it he did. Viggo almost choked on his tea when he saw Orlando pull his right hand back and bring it quickly forward. When it settled back at his side, the phone was missing.
Taking a deep breath, Orlando looked out over the ocean that had just swallowed its latest victim. Oh yeah, that was smart. But right now, he didn't care. What was important was how they were going to get over this latest obstacle that Robin had put in their way, or rather, how *he* was going to get through this, because it had nothing to do with Viggo. This was all about him, and countless others that he didn't even want to think about right now. But unfortunately, everything that he did affected Viggo, if not directly, then indirectly, at least.
He stood at the water's edge and offered up a silent prayer that Viggo didn't go on the warpath when he told him the latest news.
An extremely nervous Orlando returned to the house, trying to decide the best way to break the news to Viggo, as well as how he was going to make this up to him.
It still baffled Orlando why Robin would even entertain the idea of subjecting him to something like this. He tried to reason with the shrew, starting with stating the obvious, but there were times that she was like a bulldog. Once she got her teeth into something, she wouldn't let go. It wasn't like there were plenty of other people who could do this, many that he considered better suited for something of this nature. To have Orlando out there, in the public like this, was definitely going to put a strain on his and Viggo's relationship. And therein lays the real reason for Robin's persistence on this. She was sure that this would drive the two of them apart and then he'd be right were she wanted him, single, unattached, and at her mercy.
Orlando took a deep breath and stepped into the kitchen to find Viggo wrapped up in his paper again. He briefly wondered if he had heard any of the conversation, and if so, what he thought about it. There was no easy way for him to break this news to his lover, so he just said it.
"She wants me to participate in a celebrity auction in a few weeks."
There, done, he'd said it. Now he'd wait for the fallout.
Turning the page of his paper, Viggo fought to remain calm. He had to hand it to her; out of all the scenarios that he had imagined, this was the farthest thing from his mind. Actually, this never even entered into his galaxy of thoughts.
"And what did you say?" He asked as he slowly lowered the newspaper to find Orlando leaning against the cabinet closest to the doorway.
A nervous hand raked through chocolate, wind blown curls. "What do you think? I told her no, just like I always do when it comes to doing something that I don't believe in."
Viggo smirked. "And I'm sure she just couldn't wait to rip into you for telling her no, yet again. Am I right?" He asked as he rose from his chair and slowly made his way to where Orlando was standing.
Orlando lowered his gaze, suddenly finding the designs on the terra cotta tile very interesting. "Yes," he quietly answered.
A finger under his chin brought his gaze up to Viggo's. "And?"
Orlando turned away and walked outside, perching himself on the wooden deck railing, leaving Viggo to follow.
Once he had pulled himself together, he told Viggo everything. It was a fundraiser for a non-profit organization called Theater for Tomorrow and it would help raise money to keep theater arts programs in America's public schools as well as raise awareness of the positive impact that these programs have on students. The committee decided that the best way to promote this event would be to have Hollywood's top celebrities auctioned off. There would be two different events, one for the actors and one for the actresses, each to be held separately. That was sure to bring in plenty of money for their cause. Tickets to this event weren't cheap. To be allowed entrance into this soiree was a cool five-grand, right off the bat. This assured everyone that not just any crazy, obsessed fan would be allowed in; that is, unless they had the means, and even then, security would be extremely tight. While actors had their own entourage of bodyguards and such, more would be included to insure that everyone was on their best behavior. Once the auction had concluded, one-half of the proceeds would be given to the sponsoring organization, while the other half would be allotted to the celebrity's charity of choice.
He told Viggo how he argued with Robin that he did not feel comfortable with participating in something like this, regardless of what organization it was for; he explained how he had agreed to do extra things that he normally wouldn't bother doing if he could just skip this one outing, like more press and interviews. But she wasn't taking no for an answer. She even went so far as to remind him that if it weren't for these types of programs in the school system, most of today's stars wouldn't be where they were. She conveniently overlooked the fact that he never attended an American public school, and stated that it was a brilliant move on their part for them to have included someone from "across the pond". She concluded their conversation by informing him that she had already accepted on his behalf.
Viggo had listened to everything that Orlando had said, as well as what he hadn't, and figured that they had better get that nasty little part out of the way. "What happens once the auction is over?"
"What do you mean?" Orlando asked, a bit confused.
Viggo shook his head, sending his sandy locks swinging across his forehead. "What I'm getting at is do you have to entertain the person who bought your, err, companionship, after the event is over?"
Orlando waved a hand in front of him. "Oh that. Well, umm, it's kind of up to us, at that point. Once the foundation has their money, they said that we're on our own. We can either have our date, as Robin called it, that night when everything has wrapped up, or choose to have it some other time."
"Date? She used the word date?" Viggo asked.
The young man nodded. "Yeah. Sounds so hetero, doesn't it?"
Viggo walked over to where Orlando was perched and brushed an errant curl away from his face. "Hate to break it to you Angel, but that's how you're going to have to act that night."
"But it's a lie, Viggo. That's not who I am, which is why I kicked up such a fuss on the phone with her earlier. Of course she had to point out the fact that as far as the outside world is concerned, I *am* one hundred percent hetero, as if I'm not aware of that fact. Fuck! Why couldn't she just leave things alone? It's not like I'm not out there, you know? She knows my schedule; interviews, photo spreads, and such. So why she would have to choose something like this that goes against who I really am is beyond me," he said once he calmed down a bit.
Taking his lover into his arms, Viggo held him close. "You and I both know why she's doing this, don't we?" he asked.
Orlando sighed deeply as he slid his arms around Viggo. "Yes, love. We know why she's doing this, and we both know that it's not going to work. It never has before and it's not going to now."
They stood together for a little while, enjoying the feel of love that surrounded them. They had come so far with their relationship and this would be just one more item on a very long list of things that they could look back on in their old age when they wanted a good laugh. At least, that's what Viggo was hoping.
Finally, Orlando broke the silence. "Hey Vig?"
"Remind me to get a new phone, yeah?"
Viggo chuckled. "Will do, babe. So did you decide that the one you lost out there earlier needed a friend to keep it company?"
At that, Orland quietly laughed.
"So, are you ok with everything?" Viggo asked.
Orlando sighed. "No, but I've got three weeks to figure out how to deal with it all. What about you? Are you ok with it?"
"No, but it's not my decision."
Orlando snorted. "Well, well, how do you like that? Apparently it wasn't my decision either. Looks like we both got screwed over then, and not the good way," he said as he ran his hands down Viggo's back so that his thumbs hooked in the waistband of Viggo's boxers. "How about we go remedy that?" he asked as his lips met the skin of Viggo's throat, sucking gently.
A low moan vibrated through Viggo's body and then he found himself being pulled back towards the house by his very insistent lover, all thoughts of the fundraiser left behind.
Over the course of the next two weeks, Orlando did everything in his power to avoid thinking of the upcoming event, which wasn't easy because a week before the big day, the committee released a list of participants. That in itself wasn't a big deal, but the resulting conference call from four lively Hobbits was enough to make him think twice about answering the phone ever again.
Actually, if he had left his cell phone lying in the sand, or better yet, chucked it into the ocean sooner, like before he talked to Robin, maybe things would have turned out differently. No, Orlando thought to himself. The end result would have been the same since Robin had already agreed that he would participate even before she had talked to him.
Their friends had tracked them down, finding them ensconced at the beach house during the middle of the week, trying to avoid this very scene. But Hobbits were persistent little fuckers and they knew that if they weren't at Viggo's place in Los Angeles, there was only one other spot they could be. So, here they were, sitting in the living room, Viggo on the couch with Orlando on the floor leaning back against him, the speakerphone on the end table broadcasting the Hobbit's current bout of insanity throughout the room.
"I can hear it now," Billy started and then coughed loudly as if he were clearing his throat. "Ladies and gentlemen, may we present Orli, Queen of the Auction."
"Ohhh, yeah Orli, are they gonna give you a crown?" Lij asked, which earned yet another roll of the eyes from Orlando.
Dom piped up. "Do you have to perform a talent? Because I'm sure you've mastered *something* since you and Vig've been together. Although I'm not sure that would be allowed, unless you're judging strictly from a porn angle."
At one point it seemed as if they were all speaking at once, but Orlando knew whose voice went with whom.
"Is there going to be an on-stage interview?" asked Dom.
"Will the announcer bang the gavel and scream `We have a winner'?" This one was from Billy.
"Is the auctioneer gonna talk real fast like at a cattle auction? Because that's what ya'll are gonna be, cattle," Lij croaked in a fit of laughter.
"Yeah, like pigs to the slaughter, or, or, or sheep!" Billy crowed.
"Guys, come on. Enough already," he finally heard Sean interject. Leave it to Astin to act as the peacekeeper. Some things never change.
Orlando laughed and leaned into the strong hand that was absently brushing through his curls, giving him as little or as much support he needed. "It's ok Sean. Let them get it out of their systems. But I'm warning you, the next time I see you little shits, you are all very dead men," he taunted.
"Well, in that case, how many cents do you think he'll get per pound?" Billy added.
"Guys, if you behave Orli might let you try his tiara on. We all know that he's had loads of practice wearing one, being an Elven Prince and all," Dom hooted.
"Yeah, but I'll bet this one has sparkle-ies," cried Elijah.
"Wait," Billy said. "Is that even a word?" he asked before falling into another fit of laughter.
"It is if you live inside Lij's twisted little head," Orlando muttered.
"I heard that," Lij quipped before launching into another list of questions and possibilities.
Viggo had to give it to them; they were definitely entertaining. He was extremely proud of the way Orlando was handling everything, and getting in a jab every now and then helped take the edge off of it all. However, underneath his mantle of bravado, he knew that his lover was still worried about it, worried that he might say or do something that would give himself, and essentially, them, away. Because everyone knows that when Orlando is nervous, you never know what's going to come out of his mouth, no matter how innocent it may seem at the time.
Viggo was also surprised that they had chosen this forum for their unified attack, via telephone, instead of making this a Hobbit/Elf reunion. But after talking to them for a bit, they found out that Lij and Dom were on-set somewhere, and Billy was back at home in Scotland. The only one in their time zone was Astin, and he wouldn't have intruded on their privacy without an invitation. This conference call took some ingénues planning on their part.
Before he realized it, the free-for-all was over, and smiled as Orlando pressed the talk button on the speakerphone, disconnecting him from the others.
Viggo slid his hands along Orlando's jaw line, tilted his head up a bit and gave him a soft, albeit, upside down kiss.
"You ok?" he quietly asked.
"Yeah. It was bound to happen sooner or later," he said as he leaned his head against Viggo's knee. "Thanks for sitting here with me."
Viggo laughed. "We're in this together, Orli. What affects you also affects me."
"I know," he said with a smile. "You gotta hand it to them; they had some awfully good lines there. Wonder how long they've been working on them?"
"Doesn't matter, does it? It's over and done with. They've made their call and you won't have to worry about anyone else giving you shit like they did," he said as his finger trailed over the smoothness of Orlando's face. "It's almost dinner time. Hungry for anything particular?"
Orlando smiled. "Nah, just surprise me, Chef Mortensen. I've got one more call to make."
Viggo moved a bit and stood, leaving Orlando sitting on the floor. "Oh really? Should I be jealous?" he teased.
"Nah, it's just to Astin. Thought that since he's the more grounded of the four, and hetero to boot, I might ring him up and see if anything's changed in the last few years on his side. You know, what you do and what you don't do; what to talk about and what subjects to avoid; that kind of stuff."
Viggo squatted down so that he was on eye level with his partner. "Orli, you'll be fine. Just act as if it's me you're on a date with and be yourself," he said, knowing he'd get a smile.
Orlando burst into laughter. "Vig, if I act like that, they'd arrest me for lewd conduct because I'd have drug your arse to the men's room and had my way with you," he said as he leaned forward and stole a quick kiss. "But seriously, it's been awhile since either one of us has been on that scene, and I need someone who I can trust to help me with it. You're not mad are you?"
Viggo ran his hand through his lover's hair and cupped the back of his skull. "No baby, I'm not mad. I'm actually glad that you're doing this. I was afraid that you wouldn't and then you'd be a nervous wreck the entire time."
"Would you have told me to talk to someone about it?"
"As much as I would have wanted to, no, I wouldn't have, for the plain and simple fact that this is something you have to do. But I know you, Orli, probably better than you know yourself. With very few exceptions, you never do anything without first doing a bit of research. Am I right?"
"So think of this as just another role you're playing. I have faith in you, Angel. Once you get your mind wrapped around everything, you'll be brilliant," he stated before dropping a quick kiss against his lips and rising to head into the kitchen to start dinner. Before he got there, he turned back. "But if she tries to kiss you, or heaven forbid, anything more than that, all bets are off and she'll have *me* to deal with." And with that last statement, he disappeared into the kitchen with Orlando's laughter following.
They had decided to spend a few extra days at the beach house since it was where Orlando felt the most relaxed, and Viggo couldn’t deny him this any more than he could deny his lover air to breathe. He divided his time between surfing - he finally managed to get Viggo back out and riding a few waves - lying around doing nothing, and lying around doing Viggo or vice-versa. They had just finished doing the latter and now Orlando was now doing the first of the three, but instead of riding the waves, he was sitting on his surfboard just outside the breakers, enjoying the serenity around him while he could. They would be heading back to Viggo’s the next day, the day of the fundraiser.
He thought back to the conversation he had with Astin. After getting him to swear an oath of secrecy, he finally quit beating around the bush and started asking questions. It seems that things haven’t changed all that much since he had participated in the hetero dating scene.
Sean’s advice was to be a gentlemen, keep the conversation light, and be sure to do all the niceties that his Mum had taught him, such as pulling out her chair before she sits, rise from his if she leaves the table, and don’t scarf down your food as if it were your last meal.
When Orlando asked him what he should do if she attempted more than what he would allow, which was absolutely nothing, Sean laughed.
"Just tell her that while it’s not common knowledge, you *are* seeing someone and that you’re truly sorry if she thought anything else could happen between yourselves."
Sean didn’t help matters when he went on to say that talking about a situation and actually being in said situation would be two different things. Orlando just needed to keep his wits about himself and think before he speaks. That’d be a first, Orlando thought. But with everything that was on the line, discretion was of the utmost importance.
He didn’t think that a quick peck on the cheek at the end of the night would be crossing the boundaries of propriety, to show his gratitude, of course, but if she tried to take things further, he would have to set things straight. Maybe he could do that early on, just so that there would be no awkward moments later. Yeah, Viggo would be proud of him for thinking of that.
At least he didn’t have to worry about making plans for afterwards. Once the auction had concluded, the actors and their … what would they be called? Bidder? Companion? Date? He frowned at all of those terms. No matter, once it was over, the foundation had reserved the hotel’s restaurant so that everyone could enjoy a quiet dinner, if they so chose. After that, it was anyone’s guess. He briefly wondered how many of his compatriots would be spending the night with their new friends. It didn’t matter to him since he would be ending the night as early as possible to rush home and into the arms of his lover, which was the only reason they were going back to Viggo’s. It was too far of a drive from downtown Los Angeles out to the beach house to make that late at night.
Orlando smiled as he spied Viggo moving out onto the deck and settling himself into one of the big Adirondack chairs with what looked to be his sketchpad in hand. He wondered what he had found inspiration in this time. It really didn’t matter because whatever it was, it was sure to be brilliant and bring in top dollar at one of his showings.
And then another thought came to him. His lover was being very gracious throughout all of this, but then again, it took an awful lot to stir him up. If the roles were reversed and it was Viggo on the auction block, Orlando would be beside himself with worry. Sure, he trusted Viggo, but he wouldn’t trust the person with whom he would be saddled with for the evening. Even the most docile of creatures could turn into something wicked in less than the blink of an eye.
It seemed that a few days after Robin’s phone call, Viggo had finally resolved his feelings about everything. He had told Orlando that while he didn’t agree with the witch’s methods, he did agree with what the foundation stood for. If there were more programs like this one, maybe there would be fewer kids on the streets doing things that would eventually land them in jail, or worse. He couldn’t imagine what his life would have been like if he hadn’t taken drama, or even art, in school. At least he had the option, whereas if they took the programs out of the school systems, kids were bound to turn to something else for distraction, and that’s what he didn’t want to happen. Today’s youth was tomorrow’s future, he had said. Orlando laughed and said that since he had first-hand knowledge of it, maybe he could stand in for him. Unfortunately, that little hint didn’t work. Oh well, at least he tried.
Deciding that he’d spent enough time lamenting on something that he couldn’t change, he leaned forward on his board, dropping his hands into the water and paddled into the next wave. He quickly hopped into his low-crouch stance and rode the wave in, his board sinking into the water when the ride ended. He crossed the beach with his board tucked safely under his arm, and joined Viggo on the deck.
"Just one wave?" he asked.
"How many times do I have to tell you that it’s not the number of waves you ride, but what you do with the ones you choose to ride?" he quipped.
Viggo raised his ice-blue eyes to brown. "And how did *that* go?"
Orlando leaned down and brushed a kiss against the other man’s lips. "It brought me back home to you, didn’t it?"
Laughter spilled through open lips. "As if you could go anywhere else."
Orlando gently set his surfboard against the railing and removed the leash from his left ankle. "Sure I could. I could paddle all the way to Hawaii."
"If you haven’t noticed, oh surfing god, that’s in the opposite direction."
He smiled. "Why yes, it certainly is. Which brings up another point. How about we take some time off and do a bit of surfing over there? I could call the Hobbits and …"
"NO! No Hobbits in Hawaii," Viggo interrupted. "If we go, it’ll be just me and you."
"Bitchin!" Orlando crowed, which caused his lover’s eyebrow to arch.
"Been watching Point Break, have we?" he teased.
"I’ll never tell," he said with a smile as he turned and walked into the kitchen.
The trip back to Los Angeles was a quiet one, Orlando thinking about what was expected of him later that evening, Viggo offering support when it was needed. With the Tahoe unloaded, bags unpacked, dirty clothes thrown into the wash, Orlando decided to lie down and attempt to rest, while Viggo disappeared into his studio. Apparently he was more tired than he thought. When he opened his eyes again, he looked at the clock and panicked. Three hours left.
Rushing around the house, he was trying to do ten things at once. It was during this flurry of activity that Viggo heard the unmistakable sound of glass shattering on a tile floor and Orlando yelling his all-time favorite words, FUCKING HELL. He was in the living room in a matter of seconds.
"Orli? Babe, what happened?" he asked when he reached Orlando’s side.
Tears were streaming down his young lovers face. "Vig, I can’t do this! I fucking can’t! Look at me! I can’t even walk through our own house without fucking something up," he cried. "How am I supposed to get through a few hours with someone I don’t even know, pretending to be someone I’m not?"
Viggo gathered him into his arms and held him. He was going to kill Robin for this if it was the last thing he ever did. Nothing was worth Orlando being this upset. But he knew that if he stepped in, even made the tiniest hint that he should back out of it, Orlando would jump on it like a duck on a June bug. And while his heart was screaming at him to do exactly that, his common sense told him that Orlando could pull this off, if he was in a better frame of mind.
Now *that* he could do.
He slowly pulled back from Orlando and tilted his face up so that he could look into his eyes. "Angel, you’re going to be fine. You just need to relax, ok? You’re rushing around here like there’s no tomorrow and you don’t need to," he quietly crooned to him.
Orlando sniffed. "But Vig, I’ve only got three hours left, and there’s so much to do," he said as he leaned against his partner.
"Sweetheart, everything has been taken care of. There’s nothing left for you to do other than take a shower and get dressed," he said as he held him tighter. "And don’t worry about the mess. I’ll take care of that later, ok?"
A few minutes later, Orlando had calmed down a bit and they made their way through the bedroom and into the bathroom.
"Strip," Viggo said as he reached into the shower to turn on the taps.
Orlando, who had been sitting on the edge of the tub, did as he asked. First to go was his t-shirt, followed quickly by his jeans and boxers. He watched as Viggo did the same. Once they had both undressed, Viggo took him by the hand and led him into the shower stall.
The hot water rushing over his body helped to ease a little of the tension that had him wound up so tight, and Viggo was going to do the rest. Gently pushing his lover against the back wall of the shower, he took the soap in hand and lathered up the cloth, slowly moving it all over Orlando’s body, starting with his shoulders, moving down his arms, and then across his chest.
Orlando was standing with his eyes closed, enjoying Viggo’s ministrations. When the cloth moved over his chest, Viggo’s finger had "accidentally" grazed his nipple, causing his lips to quirk into a smile.
"Like that?" Viggo asked as he repeated his actions.
"Then you’ll love what comes next," Viggo whispered into Orlando’s ear, causing his young lover to jump a bit since he didn’t realize that Viggo was so close to him.
Lower the cloth went, over well-defined abs to a perfect stomach. Here it made circular motions, cleaning each and every inch of his sun-kissed skin, and then it dipped lower, but not low enough. Orlando was hard, but it wasn’t time to tackle that just yet. A sound that could have been construed as a whimper left Orlando’s parted lips as Viggo continued on his way, moving past the juncture of his thighs to bathe one long, lean leg and then the other, making sure to clean each and every single toe.
When he was satisfied with his work on the front, he slowly turned Orlando around, placed his hands on the tile wall, and went to work on his back, mimicking the same motions as earlier. When he reached the valley that ran between his rounded cheeks, the cloth lingered a bit longer than necessary, and slipped down in between. Viggo was sure he heard a whimper that time as his finger slowly grazed the puckered entrance of his Angel’s body.
"Patience," Viggo said as he continued to slowly work the tension from his lover.
Orlando granted him a light laugh. "You know me better than that, old man. Never had any," he said as he tried for more contact.
A large hand on his hip stopped his motion. "I know, but why don’t you pretend you have some now, eh?" Viggo teased.
"Bastard," Orlando breathed out.
"Love you too," was all Viggo said before moving on to wash the back of each leg.
Once he had finished that task, he pulled Orlando under the hot spray and rinsed all of the soap off of his body, making sure to torture him just a bit; hands drifted over pebbled nipples, a thigh brushed against his hardness. Now that he was somewhat clean, as well as a little more relaxed, it was time to finish the job.
Viggo captured his lips in a soul-searing kiss that stole Orlando’s ability to think, much less move. Ah, but his lips and tongue knew what to do. They mated and danced with Viggo’s, taking turns with the lead. Orlando found himself against the wall of the shower again, and cried out as Viggo lifted his lips away from his. He calmed somewhat as he felt those same lips blazing a path down his neck and chest, pausing for a moment at his belly button, worshipping the sun below.
And then it found its target. Viggo blew a stream of cool air against the head of his cock and watched as he grew thicker, longer. Letting his head fall back against the shower wall, Orlando closed his eyes and let Viggo have control over his body.
Viggo held his lover as he slowly licked the dewy drop of pre-cum that had gathered on the tip of his cock, and finally took him into his mouth. A gasp could be heard in the steam-filled shower as he was enveloped in wet heat, an approving moan following. He wanted nothing more than to thrust himself deeply into Viggo’s mouth, but held himself in check. There would be time enough for that in a bit.
Hearing Orlando’s gasp, Viggo smiled and began moving his lips up and down the length, his tongue circling the sensitive head, his free hand caressing his sac. Pulling him from his mouth with a loud pop, he took his balls into his mouth, first one and then the other. A searching finger found its target and teased him mercifully.
When Viggo took him back into his mouth again, he swallowed as much as he could. Orlando felt the back of his throat and knew it was time. He slid his hands into his lover’s hair and began to fuck his mouth in earnest as the finger mirrored their action. Viggo started to suck lightly, building up the pressure until Orlando was calling his name.
When Orlando finally found his release, his essence splashed against the back of Viggo’s throat, felt the muscles contract around his cock as Viggo swallowed.
As Viggo slowly stood, he ran his tongue up Orlando’s body, pausing to lightly tease the pebbled, brown discs, until he found his mouth, kissing him deeply, sharing his taste.
"Better?" Viggo asked as he ran his fingers over his lover’s face, tracing every contour.
Brown eyes met blue and he smiled. "Much," he said before brushing his lips against Viggo’s.
When he was satisfied that Orlando was in a much better frame of mind, Viggo turned off the taps and stepped out of the shower.
"What about you?" Orlando asked as he noticed Viggo’s current state of arousal.
"That was yours, Angel," he stated as he threw a towel to Orlando, who was still standing in the shower. "Don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine until you get home later tonight."
Viggo could have kicked himself for saying that word … tonight. He watched Orlando’s body for any signs of worry but found none, just a very calm and collected young man. Good, his job worked, at least for a little while, anyway. He turned away and quickly dried his body, then went into the bedroom to retrieve another set of clothes. After he had dressed, he poked his head back into the bathroom to find Orlando standing in front of the mirror, shaving. Assured that he hadn’t fallen back into a state of panic, Viggo disappeared, leaving Orlando alone to finish his primping. He quickly towel-dried his hair and walked into their bedroom to find his tuxedo laid out on the bed, but no sign of Viggo. He heard music coming from the front part of the house and knew where he was.
A little while later, Viggo heard his name being called and rushed into the bedroom, fully expecting to find that Orlando had broken down again. Instead, he smiled at the sight that greeted him. His lover was standing in front of the full-length cheval mirror, attempting to tie his bow tie.
"Can you … I can’t get this bloody thing tied the right way," he said as he flipped the ends over each other.
Viggo moved in front of him, took the ends of the tie from his hands and a few moves later, pulled the wings tightly. He stepped from in front of Orlando and moved behind him so that he could see into the mirror again. Orlando turned his face and gave Viggo a kiss on the cheek.
"What would I do without you?" he asked.
"My guess would be that you would still be going to this thing tonight, but you wouldn’t be as nervous about it because you wouldn’t be hiding who you really are," he said as he ran his arms around Orlando’s waist and pulled him back against him.
"And how do you figure that?" he asked as he settled his arms on top of Viggo’s, his head resting against Viggo’s shoulder.
"If we weren’t together, where do you think you would you be right now? Probably dating some young hot starlet, which means that you’d be straight so your nervousness about tonight would be non-existent," Viggo commented.
Orlando laughed. "Oh, I think you took care of that problem earlier, don’t you?"
"Glad I could be of service," he said as they gazed into the mirror, loving the way the looked together. It didn’t matter that Orlando was dressed in a tux and that Viggo was wearing a pair of old jeans and ripped t-shirt; it was the identical look of complete love and trust that were shining in their eyes. "I love you, Orli. Never forget that," he said as he gently kissed his temple.
"Love you too, Vig," he replied as he leaned into his brief kiss.
The ringing phone broke through their reverie and Orlando smiled into the mirror.
"Maybe it’s the Wicked Witch of the West calling to say that they called it off because a hurricane took out the hotel."
Viggo laughed as he tore himself away from his partner to answer the call.
"Hey Charlie. Listen, can I call you back in a bit?"
Viggo laughed. "No, you’re not interrupting anything, but Orlando’s getting ready to go out for a while. Let me see him off and then I’ll give you a shout."
"Will do. I’ll talk to you later," he said before hanging up and turning back to find Orlando buttoning his cuffs. "Charlie says hello and to behave yourself tonight."
Orlando laughed. "It’s not me I’m worried about."
"Things will be fine, Orli. Give yourself a little credit, ok?" Viggo said as he made his way back over to where Orlando was standing. "If you get nervous, I’m only a phone call away," he said before giving him a quick kiss and leaving him to finish dressing.
Viggo was stunned into silence by the sight standing before him when Orlando joined him in his studio a little while later. Gone was the pretentious tuxedo and in its place was a very smart looking, black as night, Armani suit. While Orlando looked handsome in his tux, this was how he loved seeing his partner dressed. This was his Orli.
"Wow," was all that Viggo could manage.
"I know that it’s supposed to be formal, but I don’t care. I didn’t feel comfortable in the tux, so I decided to change," he said. "Is this ok?" he asked as he tugged on the cuffs of his crisp, snow-white shirt.
Viggo’s brain finally returned from its vacation. "Fine by me. Then again, I’m not big on doing the formal thing anyway. But what’s Robin going to say?"
"Don’t know and don’t really care," he answered. "All I know is that I feel more comfortable in this than the tux, which might help with keeping my nerves under control, yeah?"
Viggo stood and moved to straighten Orlando’s jet black tie.
"Things will be fine, Angel. I have faith in you," he said as he gently kissed his forehead.
Orlando leaned into the brief kiss. "I’m glad that at least one of us does," he said before pulling back. "Right, well, I guess it’s time to go back into the closet for a few hours, make a few bucks for the foundation and all that," he teased.
"Got everything?" Viggo asked, knowing that he’d end up forgetting something if he hadn’t. "Keys, wallet, cell phone, special pass, condom?" he asked.
Orlando patted his pockets, nodding each time he found an item from Viggo’s list. At the last item, his head snapped up.
"Condom? What in the bloody hell will I need a condom for?" he asked.
Viggo smirked. "Haven’t you heard? All one-hundred percent, red-blooded, hetero males carry them, you know, in case they get lucky," he pronounced with some major eyebrow action.
"Fuck you," he said with a small smile.
"Sorry babe, don’t have time right now. Maybe you can add me to your list for later?" He teased him as he pulled him flush against his body. "Don’t worry, you’ll be just fine. You’ll turn on the charm, flash that million dollar smile, and before you know it, you’ll be back here with my cock shoved so far up that sweet little ass of yours that you’ll feel it tickling your tonsils."
Orlando tore himself away from his lover with a groan. "You are a very wicked man, Mr. Mortensen," he said before giving him a quick kiss and making his way back through the house to the garage, a laughing Viggo following in his wake.
Opening up the door, he found all traces of the beach removed from his Tahoe.
"Busy, were you?" he asked as he made his way to the driver’s side, opened the door and slid behind the wheel.
"Had to do something while Cinderella was resting up for the big ball tonight," Viggo said.
Orlando started the truck, rolled down the window, and then closed the door.
"You ok?" Viggo asked.
Orlando nodded his affirmation.
"Good. Just remember, I’m only a phone call away," Viggo said before leaning into the truck and giving his lover one last kiss, which Orlando enthusiastically returned.
"Ok babe. Time to go play the straight guy," Viggo teased.
"But when the clock strikes midnight, I’m turning back into a very happily spoken for gay man," he said with a wink. "Love you. See you in a little while."
"Love you too, and you bet your sweet ass you will," Viggo answered before stepping back and watching his lover drive away, his lips curled into an evil little smile.
During the drive to the hotel, to keep his mind off of what was to come, he started thinking about what Viggo had said he was going to do to him once he got back home. That in itself normally would not be a problem, but by the time he pulled into the parking garage, he was sporting a rather impressive erection.
He pulled into a parking space, turned off the Tahoe and rested his head against the steering wheel, making sure not to honk the horn as he did so.
"I know, I know. Let’s just get through this and back home to Viggo, yeah? Then you can come out and play," he said with a smile, and then leaned back into his seat. "Fucking hell, I’m sitting in my truck talking to my dick. What a wanker."
When the part of his brain that controlled said appendage heard his promise, said appendage agreed to behave itself and slowly retreated back to its normal state. Well, normal when Viggo wasn’t around or when Orlando wasn’t thinking out his lover. With that accomplished, he exited the safety of the vehicle and went in search of someone who was associated with the event. He was ushered into one of the unused ballrooms situated next to where the auction was to be held.
It was nice to see some familiar faces, Josh Hartnett and Brad Pitt being two actors that he had previously worked with. Also in attendance were Paul Walker and George Clooney. The others had yet to arrive.
The game plan was that once everyone had arrived, the men would circulate through the crowd, making nice with everyone so that the potential bidders could get an up-close and personal look at everyone.
He could do this, Orlando thought to himself. It’s just another media event. And if he started to feel panicky, all he had to do was excuse himself, find the loo and call Viggo. No, he was going to do this without Viggo’s help. His partner had stood by his side up to this point, and now it was time for Orlando to see it through. He’d do this if it killed him. Well, he seriously didn’t think it would come to that, but it sounded good.
At long last, the committee chairperson, Betty something-or-other was her name, retrieved all ten men and led them into the ballroom. Orlando’s first observation was that it reminded him of sharks in a feeding frenzy. Well, without the feeding frenzy part, at least for now. The women were standing around in clusters, visiting amongst themselves and when the men entered the room, all eyes turned to them. Calling upon all of his training, he lifted his chin just a fraction higher and waded into the sea of sharks, err, the women.
And then he noticed something he hadn’t expected. There were men milling around the room also. While he was sure that a part of them were there for security purposes, it appeared that some were there as participants.
Oh shit, he hoped not. That would not be good. There was enough speculation about his sexuality and if a man were to win the highest bid on him … Orlando didn’t even want to think about that.
Focus, Orlando. Focus.
Champagne and conversation flowed around him and he was pleasantly surprised to find these women different from the kind he normally encountered. The screaming fans whose average age was about 17 had been replaced with a group of very beautiful and very wealthy women. Here the average age looked to be about 35 or so, but with today’s technology in the plastic surgery field, women tended to hide their true ages. He met women from different social and ethnic backgrounds, who’s jobs ranged from MD’s, to CPA’s, to CEO’s.
During his rounds, he had also come to learn that quite a few of the women were married, to which he breathed a huge sigh of relief, and that some of the men in the room were their husbands. While that should have buoyed Orlando’s spirit for what was to come, there was this little voice in the back of his mind telling him that just because a woman is married doesn’t mean she’s monogamous. And then another thought hit him. What if a couple won the bid and expected … fuck, he *really* didn’t want to think about that. He’d just have to wait and see how things panned out. Putting on a brave face, he continued is mingling.
And came face to face with Robin.
"My, my, my. Don’t we look handsome tonight," she purred as she fingered the collar of his suit jacket. "Decided to forgo the tux?"
"As observant as ever," he said sweetly, but that was only because there were people around.
"Oh come now, Orlando. You’re still not upset, are you?" she quietly asked.
"No, my dear Robin, I’m not upset. I’ve just spent a wonderful week by the ocean. It’s amazing what the sand and sun can do to one’s outlook on things," he said, knowing full well that she would get his meaning.
"Yes, well, I’m glad that you’re enjoying your time off. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some things to attend to. I’ll see you later?"
Not if I see you first, Orlando thought to himself.
"Of course," he answered with a tilt of his head, breathing a sigh of relief when she turned and walked off. He knew that she was going to be here, but hadn’t expected that kind of reception. Well, with Robin he really never knew what to expect. At least she hadn’t berated him for wearing the suit instead of the tux, but then again, a few others had done the same thing. Oh well, time enough to deal with Her Bitchiness later.
His trademark smile returned as he mingled in and out of different groups of men and women, chatting it up, listening to everything they had to say. Several times he found himself and Brad in the same group discussing how things were on the set of Troy. It was then that he started to relax again. Well, that and the champagne helped a bit too.
Interspersed with all of these seemingly good things, there was one thing that was driving him absolutely mad. A few times he could have sworn that he felt someone brush their hand across his arse. While he knew it was all part of the game, still, he didn’t fancy himself a piece of meat waiting to be inspected.
Before the natives became any more restless, Betty stepped to the podium and announced that the auction would begin shortly. The men gathered on the stage and took their seats, while the potential bidders meandered back to their tables.
And then it began.
Orlando, being the fourth person up, would have the opportunity to see how the auction progressed before he had to face the crowd.
The announcer called the first person to the center of the stage and once the applause abated, he briefly described the predetermined personal information that included items such as their birthday and birthplace, where they attended school, the movies they had worked on, hobbies, and things of that nature.
With that out of the way, the auctioneer took over and the bidding started. Orlando was surprised to see the opening bids starting at $10,000, just $5,000 more than the cost of the ticket to attend this function. But then again, considering the amount of wealth in this room, he should have expected it.
He also made a mental note to tell Lij that the auctioneer wasn’t the fast talking kind you found at a cattle auction. This man was very calm, very precise about everything, which Orlando appreciated because it helped him to remain calm. He even managed to keep his left knee from bouncing too much, a tell tale sign of his nervousness.
He absently played with the silver ring on his right hand, one that Viggo had given him several years ago, at the start of their relationship. Nobody knew what this ring meant except for the two of them, their family and close friends.
On the inside it read, "My Best Friend", in reference to the Tim McGraw song.
Neither one was a big country and western fan, but they stumbled across this song one weekend at Liv’s place during a very interesting, impromptu game of Lyric Speak. One person would recite lyrics while everyone tried to guess what song they belonged to. For her turn, Liv had chosen these lyrics from the second verse:
You stand by me And you believe in me Like nobody ever has When my world goes crazy You're right there to save me You make me see how much I have
In that moment, they knew without a doubt that what they had was right. In the midst of the craziness that became The Lord of The Rings trilogy, this is what they had become to each other. When they finally admitted that they wanted this to last beyond the end of filming, the two of them drove to a little town outside of Wellington, found what they were looking for, and had them engraved. Very rarely do you catch either one or the other without theirs on. And so it’s not so obvious to the outside world, while Viggo’s ring sits on the ring finger of his right hand, Orlando wears his on his middle finger. However, the meaning is still clear, they are devoted to each other and to their relationship.
Lost in memories, applause pulled Orlando back to the here and now and realized that he was up next. He took a deep breath and slowly released it, standing when the announcer called his name. He moved to stand next to the announcer.
"Ladies and gentlemen, may I present Orlando Bloom," he stated and then waited until the applause died down to continue. "Orlando, may I call you Orlando?" he asked.
"Yes, you may," he quietly answered.
The announcer smiled. "Ohhh, a bit shy are we?" he asked, causing Orlando to blush and everyone to laugh. "Well, lets see. Orlando was born on January 13, 1977 in Canterbury, England. Oh, we’re a transplant," he jibed and then looked back at his note cards. "Orlando left Canterbury’s St. Edmunds School at the age of 16 to pursue his dream with the National Youth Theatre. One year after receiving a scholarship to attend the British American Drama Academy in London in 1995, he entered the city’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama. In 1999, he graduated and at the same time, accepted a starring role in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Very impressive," the announcer added.
"Such a nice young man," he said. "Ladies, I have a feeling about this one," he said to the audience. "Now, where were we? Ahh, right here. Oh, I see that Lord of the Rings wasn’t your first movie."
"No sir," he said, wishing that he would just skip over this part. No such luck.
"In 1996, Orlando starred as a rentboy in a movie called Wilde. A rentboy, eh?" he teased as he looked over at Orlando, who nodded. "And just what is a rentboy?"
Orlando lowered his head a bit and tried to compose himself.
"A male prostitute," he said a bit nervously.
"Really? And how did that go?"
"It didn’t. I was rejected," he said with a quick laugh.
"Well, you have to start somewhere, right? Next would be the filming of The Lord of the Rings in 1999 where he played Legolas, a Sindarin Elf from Mirkwood. Pointy ears?" he asked.
Orlando nodded. "Yes sir."
"The better to hear you with?" the announcer quipped, causing the crowd to laugh again.
"Yes sir. The Elves were known for their keen hearing as well as excellent eyesight."
"And what about you? How is your hearing and eyesight?"
Orlando leaned a bit to the left. "Excuse me, could you repeat that?" he asked with a smile, earning a round of laughs from the crowd. "I have perfect vision, as long as I’m wearing my contacts."
"Do you wear glasses?"
"Only when I’m at home and too lazy to put the contacts in."
More laughs came from the audience, which was helping to put Orlando at ease.
"In 2001, Orlando played Private First Class Todd Blackburn in Black Hawk Down. Did you attend boot camp?"
"Yes sir, six weeks of it."
"And you passed?"
Orlando grinned. "I’d rather say that I survived it. Be sure to ask Josh about his experience."
The announcer turned and looked down the row of remaining men to where Josh Hartnett was sitting to find him hanging his head and laughing.
"I’ll just have to do that. Now, moving on to 2002, well, this was a very busy year. He played Joe Byrne in Ned Kelly, someone by the name of Jimmy in The Calcium Kid, and then Will Turner in Pirates of the Caribbean. And how was that?"
"It was fantastic. The locations were spectacular and my co-stars were a lot of fun."
"When you were younger, did you ever pretend you were a swash buckling pirate?" the announcer asked.
"Yes sir. I even had a fake eye patch and sword, although my Mum used to get onto me about running around the house with it, saying that I could stab someone."
"It was the flimsy kind of plastic that bent. The only way someone would have been hurt is if I had slapped them with it," Orlando stated.
An arched eyebrow was directed his way.
"I have a sister, do I need to say more?" Orlando asked with a grin.
"No, I think that says quite enough. 2003 brought us Prince Paris in Troy and Shy in Haven. Yes, I do believe you can identify with that one," he teased, earning yet another blush from Orlando and more laughter from the audience. "But tell me about filming Troy. One of your fellow co-stars, Brad Pitt, was up here a few minutes ago. How was it working with him?"
"At first, I was a bit intimidated by the whole idea of working with someone with his experience and knowledge. But once we were on the set, I relaxed. He was just another one of the guys, you know? He, Eric Bana, who plays Paris’ older brother Hector, Sean Bean, who played Boromir on The Lord of the Rings and Odysseus in Troy, and myself were like the Four Musketeers. If you saw one of us, the other three were sure to be about somewhere."
"In 2004, you played Balian in Kingdom of Heaven," he said, and then flipped the card over. "What? That’s it for 2004?"
"Yes sir. Time to take a much needed break," he admitted.
"After that list, I can understand why. But you have other projects in the works?" he asked, earning a nod. "Now it says here that you are an extreme sports aficionado. Is that correct?"
"Mr. Bloom’s hobbies include bungee jumping, surfing, skiing, snowboarding, skydiving and photography. Well, at least one out of the six isn’t that extreme, unless you’re trying to take pictures of wild bears."
"No sir, no bears," he answered.
"Well that’s a relief. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, Mr. Orlando Bloom," he said as he concluded his portion, moving aside for the auctioneer.
"Ok, then, lets get to the good part, shall we? Ladies, we’ll open the bidding at $10,000. Any takers?" the auctioneer called.
Immediately several bidding paddles went into the air, the auctioneer noting each one, and then proceeded to increase the bids by $2,000.
"Do I have any takers for twelve? Twelve thousand is on the table ladies," he prodded.
A woman to Orlando’s left picked up that bid, which was quickly overturned by someone at $14,000. Not to be outdone, Bidder #17 upped the bid to $16,000, and smiled at her competitor, Bidder #53.
Orlando hoped that this wouldn’t become too vicious.
The bids bounced back and forth between the two women, Orlando’s head turning left and right each time as if he was watching a tennis match. He laughed to himself at what he must look like. The bidding had reached $20,000 when a new comer entered the playing field, Bidder #29. Normally people started out on the low end and bowed out when the price escalated. This was a strange turn of events.
The auctioneer pulled the increments back to $1,000 so the next bid on the table was for $21,000. This was accepted by Bidder #17, only to be upped by Bidder #53 for $22,000. Bidder #17 agreed to $23,000, which earned a glare from the other two women. The auctioneer called for $24,000 and looked at Bidder #53, who politely shook her head and bowed out gracefully, leaving Bidder #29 and Bidder #17 to haggle over him. Bidder #29 accepted the bid at $24,000, while Bidder #17 accepted the next increment at $25,000.
Obviously the ladies were smart and had already come to the auction with a predetermined amount of money they were willing to spend, and it seemed that Bidder #17 was at that limit. She passed on the bid of $26,000.
The announcer raised his gavel. "Going once, going twice, (bang) sold for $26,000 to Bidder #29," he stated with a smile.
The sound of the gavel against wood snapped Orlando from his momentary shock at the obscene amount of money that had just been spent. This was insane. Sure, Brad had brought in a nice tidy sum of $40,000, but that was because he was, well, Brad. Orlando didn’t expect his number to reach as high as it did. In fact, he was surprised that it went beyond the required $10,000. But what’s done was done, and he was glad his bidder had helped out the foundation with that generous gift.
Applause filled the room as a blushing Orlando was ushered to the back where his companion was seated, hoping that she didn’t expect a roll in the sack worth $26,000 before the night was through.
Melanie had held her breath as she listened to the auctioneer concluding the sale. She knew that someone could have conceivably snuck in at the last minute and upped the bidding, but it wouldn’t have mattered. She would have won this little prize no matter what the price.
And what a prize he was. Orlando Bloom was one of the most gorgeous creatures to grace this earth in a very long time. Dressed in what she assumed to be a designer suit cut to perfection, his white dress shirt was a nice contrast to the dark skin beneath. His normally disheveled mop of curls was swept neatly back away from a face that, for all intents and purposes, could have belonged on a statue. Sharp, angular cheekbones gave way to full, sensuous lips. She knew that his nose had been broken, but not so bad that it took away from the perfection of his face. Eyes the color of dark chocolate took in his surroundings as he made his way back to her table.
She briefly wondered what was going on behind those eyes. If she didn’t know better, she would have thought that he looked a tad bit nervous. He probably was, considering the fact that they had never met and were about to spend the evening together. She knew that if she were in his shoes, she’d probably have thrown up at least a dozen times before getting up there on the stage. It never ceased to amaze her what celebrities had to endure.
When word of the auction reached her ears, she knew what she had to do, and nothing was going to stop her. While the other participants were stars in their own rights, Orlando was different. He seemed un-phased by the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, and all that it had to offer. Through the interviews that she had seen, he seemed a bit awed by it all. How could some unknown kid from Canterbury catch the discerning eye of a director while still in school, much less walk away with a leading role in one of the largest productions ever? That answer was still beyond his realm of comprehension. But no matter, he was doing the best he could with what he had been given.
Melanie smiled as the usher led Orlando to her table and left him in her capable care. She quickly stood and offered her hand.
"Orlando, I’m Melanie Sullivan. It’s a pleasure to finally meet you," she said with a smile.
He took the proffered hand in his. "The pleasure is all mine," he said quietly.
What did Sean tell him? Remember to pull out her chair, he thought to himself and quickly rounded the table, doing just that.
"Thank you," she said as she took her seat with him taking the seat next to her. Melanie could have laughed at the number of odd looks she and Orlando were receiving, mainly from the two bidders in the front of the room whom she had bested.
"So now what?" He leaned over and whispered, causing her to laugh quietly.
"I’m not sure, but from what the others are doing, I guess we can stay here and see what the others bring in," she offered.
Orlando quickly agreed. The more time they spent in mixed company, the less likely he would become nervous. That’s not to say that the butterflies in his stomach weren’t on vacation right at this moment. No, it seemed they were just waking up after a long siesta and stretching their wings, so to speak. Just a little flutter, that’s all.
He wasn’t sure how he was supposed to sit, either with his hands on the table, in his lap, or an arm draped across the back of her chair. The decision was made when a waitress appeared at his side with a fresh glass of champagne. Perfect, he thought. Crisis number one resolved.
Throughout the event, Melanie would lean over to Orlando and ask a quiet question about the actor who was on the stage. It was strange at first, but then he began to relax, enjoying the quiet, sporadic banter they were engaged in.
And then Josh Hartnett had to bring up the fact that *someone* had dared him to set off a pack of Black Cat firecrackers in the barracks during their boot camp stint before filming Black Hawk Down. Orlando was sporting a gorgeous shade of red when that tidbit of information was relayed.
"You didn’t?" Melanie asked as she tried to quell her laughing.
Orlando shrugged. "Hey, he’s the one who had them. I just dared him to set them off. We didn’t think we’d get into much trouble, seeing it was training for a movie and all, but apparently the Drill Sergeants had other ideas. They gave us latrine duty for a week because of that."
Melanie nudged his shoulder as she laughed. "Orlando the Mischief Maker. I can’t wait to hear the real stories about what went on in New Zealand while filming."
Orlando laughed and shook his head. "I’ll have to think of some of the tamer ones to tell you over dinner, yeah?" he asked, hoping that the turmoil churning inside his body hadn’t been detected by anyone. His heart fell to his stomach, causing the waking butterflies to become extremely pissed off. It felt like they were pummeling his stomach in return for almost being squashed flat like a pancake.
His thumb idly stroked the thin piece of silver as if seeking some kind of support. Over and over it went, lightly skimming the smooth surface, finding reassurance there. This was one way of him dealing with unpleasant situations. It was part of his lover, and by some measure, he found comfort in that. A few minutes later, his heart had finally slowed to its regular pattern and he focused on the event.
Jokes were shared, laughter ringing throughout the ballroom as the ceremony came to a close. The participants and their bidders were asked to return to the stage, and playing the good gentlemen, Orlando held Melanie’s chair for her as she rose, then placed a supportive hand at the small of her back to guide her to the front of the building. She almost laughed when she felt his hand shaking on her back. She knew he was nervous, and had hidden it extremely well until now. Melanie just hoped he could relax again when it was just the two of them.
Betty had taken the stage with them and stood at the podium.
"Ladies and gentlemen, first of all I want to thank each and every one of you for attending this event. It has proven to be a very entertaining and enjoyable evening, and certainly one that we hope to repeat next year. The recipients will welcome your generous donations and will put the funds to good use, whether it’s purchasing new equipment, props, costumes, or other items they may need. If it weren’t for people like you, one never knows where tomorrow’s stars would come from. Again, thank you all very much and have a good evening."
Everyone in the audience rose and gave a standing ovation for what they had just accomplished. As the participants were leaving the ballroom, the actors remained where they were while the bidders had been moved to a secure area where the monetary transactions could take place. Melanie had given the necessary information for a wire transfer, the bank name, routing number, and account number, and once the voucher was signed, she returned to find Orlando and Josh laughing over old times.
She touched his arm as joined them.
"All done?" he asked.
"Yes, all taken care of," she said with a smile. "Hungry?"
Orlando nodded. "Famished, actually."
She linked her arm through his. "Then let’s go have some dinner and you can tell me all the little stories about the Elf and the Hobbits," she suggested as she led them out of the ballroom, down a long corridor to the private restaurant.
An hour later found several people gathered around a large table, eating, drinking, and having a very good time. Josh and Randy, the woman who won his round of bidding, had decided to join them, which provided Orlando the relief he needed. He didn’t have to be "on" the entire time. As it was, everyone was contributing to the conversation, which was lively and witty. All of them were in their late twenties and early thirties, which put them on an even playing field. He was worried that he would end up with an older woman with whom he would have had nothing in common.
Take Randy, for instance. She was in her early thirties, single, had grown up in Philadelphia, but moved to Los Angeles to do her residency and get her M.D. She said that once everyone found out that she was a doctor, when she would go home to visit her folks, relatives that she had never met before would appear out of nowhere for her to check out something that was wrong with them, be it bronchitis or an ingrown toenail. And they wanted it for free!
Melanie had revealed that she was a sixth-grade schoolteacher who taught computer skills at an intermediate school in the suburbs of Los Angeles, and that she was still single.
"Haven’t met the right one yet," she said. "You know, the one that you can actually picture yourself growing old with, sitting in a swing on the porch of a log cabin in the middle of nowhere, fireflies dancing in the darkness, and the only sounds you can hear is the wind rushing through the treetops, or a babbling stream nearby."
A knowing smile graced Orlando’s perfect lips as his thumb touched his ring again.
"A mate of mine has a cabin in the mountains. I’ve been there a few times, and every time I go I don’t want to come back. It’s so peaceful there," he said wistfully. "It’s like stepping into another world where there’s no stress, no job, no worries. It’s just you and nature."
Melanie laughed. "So this ‘mate’ of yours, is he single? Think you can put in a good word for me?"
"Sorry, but no. He’s involved with someone," Orlando answered. Well, it was true. The cabin belonged to his lover and the proof that he was off the market was sitting on Orlando’s middle finger.
Randy piped in. "See, the good ones are either actors who are too busy to settle down," which earned a chuckle from everyone, "already taken, or gay. Are there no decent guys in the world anymore?"
Josh started laughing. "I thought that in your line of work you’d see plenty of men."
"Like I’d want to date a sick man," she answered.
"He wouldn’t be sick forever, if you did your job right," Orlando pointed out.
"Oh shut up," she said as she playfully threw a breadstick towards him.
"Well, as much as I’d love to sit here and embarrass myself further, I think we’re going to head out, maybe to a club for some drinking and dancing," Josh said. "You two want to tag along?"
Orlando didn’t know what to say, and turned to Melanie.
"I think we’re going to stay a bit longer, if that’s ok with you, Orlando?" she asked.
"Whatever you want to do is fine with me," he said as he took a sip of his Jack and Coke, hoping she wasn’t planning on taking advantage of that statement.
Josh and Randy rose from the table, as did Orlando and Melanie. Hugs were exchanged, hands shaken before the couples went their separate ways.
And then it was just Orlando and Melanie.
"You know, you still owe me a few stories about New Zealand," she said after taking a sip of her white wine.
"I’m sure you’ve heard them all or read about them in magazines or on the net," he said, hoping to deter her inquisitiveness, because everything that he remembers about that part of his life has Viggo in it, in one form or another.
"Well, sure I have. But I want to know the real story, the one that nobody else knows."
He couldn’t do this. It was hitting too close to home. "I’m sorry, Melanie, but I can’t do that. You have to understand that I try to keep my private life separate from everything. And some of the things that happened there I consider part of my private life, regardless of what the press thinks."
She offered a compromise. "Fair enough, but how about you tell me something that the tabloids wrote about, from your perspective?"
"You know, you would make a very good lawyer, making deals and such," Orlando admitted.
"So how about it?" she asked.
Orlando finally gave in and told her about one of their surfing excursions, about how cold the water was but they were bound and determined to surf that day. It was during early filming and one of the rare times they all had off together. By the time they finished, all of them were sporting blue lips and nobody could speak without stuttering.
"First of all, when the five of us were together, it was total chaos. It was like we turned into teenagers again and went wild. So anyway, here you have five completely insane guys, almost frozen to death, and trying to talk to each other. It was hard enough trying to get out what you wanted to say, much less try to figure out what everyone else was saying. It sounded like a bunch of machine guns going off, but when you throw in a few different accents, it was a huge mess.
Take Bill, for example. He’s Scottish so naturally he speaks fast. It was easier for Dom and I to understand what he was saying more so than Sean and Elijah, since our accents were a little softer. At the beginning, we became quasi-interpreters so the other two could understand what Bill was trying to say. But as time went on, they finally figured him out."
By the time Orlando had finished, Melanie was laughing so hard she was holding her side.
"I can just see it. Five little rubber Popsicles," she laughed.
"Yeah, we thought it was a good idea at the time, but we all ended up catching colds and Peter had to shift filming around until we got better. Every time he tried to film a scene, one of us was sneezing or coughing. Not good for a major movie production."
Orlando remembered walking into Viggo’s house that evening, shivering uncontrollably, and collapsing on the couch. Even after a hot shower and warm meal he was still shaking. Viggo half carried his Prissy Elf into the bedroom and stripped them both, then crawled into bed where he had hoped that his body heat would help warm Orlando up. Well, one thing led to another and they both were throwing off some serious body heat a little while later.
Melanie caught a glimpse of the clock on the wall. "Wow. I hadn’t realized it was so late."
Orlando looked at his watch. Eleven forty-five. Damn. He hoped that Viggo wasn’t pacing the floor because he wasn’t home yet. Maybe he should call him. No, he’d call him once he was in his truck and heading that way. Hopefully it wouldn’t be too much longer.
"Care to walk me up to my room?" she asked.
"Your room?" he asked, the butterflies returning with a vengeance.
She laughed. "Yeah, I thought that it’d be safer to stay here tonight instead of driving back home."
"Oh, yeah, that’s probably the best thing to do," he said, and then decided to finally come clean. "Look, Melanie. I probably should have told you this earlier, but I’m seeing someone. So if you were, you know, expecting something to happen, I’m sorry but I can’t," he said as he fiddled with his napkin.
Melanie laughed again and shook her head. "Orlando, I asked you to walk me to my room, not spend the night, or, whatever. And I have a confession, too. I know I said that I was single earlier, but the truth of it is that I’m involved with someone."
Relief washed over him like a wave breaking on the shore.
"And he knows you’re doing this?" he asked, a bit confused.
"Well, yeah. We don’t hide things from each other. You of all people should know that, since you’re involved with someone too. I take it that it’s another part of your private life you don’t want the public to know about?"
He nodded. "Yes, so I’d appreciate it if you didn’t say anything about it."
"My lips are sealed. So, how about it? What would it hurt for you to walk me to my room have one last drink, and then we’ll go our separate ways?"
Orlando had been accused more times than he could remember about being too trusting, but there was something about Melanie that seemed genuine. If he was wrong, and this came back to haunt him, he only had himself to blame.
Leaving the safety of the restaurant, Orlando quickly scanned the area, hoping the shutterbugs had followed some of the others when they had left earlier, on their way to who knows where. Deeming the immediate vicinity safe, they quickly made their way to the hotel elevators and waited for one to return from its previous journey to the upper floors. Silver doors slid open and admitted entrance to the two passengers.
Orlando moved to the back of the car, standing with his hands behind his back, gripping the handrail, and watched as Melanie pressed the button to her floor.
He had to admit that up until now, he had enjoyed the evening, catching up with old friends, making new. Randy was a riot, telling them little ins and outs about the doctoring world, and then Orlando remembered something that he wanted to ask Melanie.
"May I ask you a question?" he quietly asked.
She turned and leaned her back against the side wall. "Oh no. Anytime someone asks if they can ask you a question it’s usually personal," she said.
"Yeah, I know, that’s why I asked first instead of just blurting out the question," he admitted.
"Sure, ask your question," she said with a smile.
"Well, I mean, it just surprised me that…oh fuck…never mind," he said hastily. "It’s none of my business."
She pinned him with a look. "Orlando, what is it? While I realize that you can’t discuss some things, I, on the other hand, am not so private. So go ahead and ask your question."
Taking a deep breath, he nodded. "You’re a teacher, right? And, well, I didn’t think teachers made all that much money, yeah? Which is completely insane since you have to deal with children all day, although not all kids are bad. I have friends who have kids so I know that some are good while some are complete hellions. I mean, you’d really have to love that job to put up with it all. And then there’s the fact that they don’t pay you what you’re worth because you guys are the ones who are shaping them for the future…" he said and then stopped short. "Oh shit, I’m babbling again," he added with a shy smile.
"I know, but I figured that you’d get to your point sooner or later. Go ahead, ramble on," she said with a laugh.
"Well, if you’re a teacher, how can you afford to make a donation as large as the one you did earlier?" Once the words were out he hoped he hadn’t overstepped his boundaries.
She looped her arm through his and leaned close, as if there were other people in the elevator and the answer was for his ears alone. He really hoped she wasn’t going to try to kiss him or anything.
"Would you believe me if I said I have a Fairy Godfather?" she said with a light laugh.
Orlando laughed. "I thought they were called Fairy Godmothers."
The elevator arrived at its destination and the doors slid open, allowing the passengers to exit, and then closed its doors behind them. Arms still linked, Melanie led them down the hallway towards her suite, pulling the keycard from her purse as the talked.
"Why would I want a Fairy Godmother when we all know it’s the Fair Godfathers who have the means to indulge their godchildren with whatever whim strikes us? When it comes to funding things such as these, it’s the Fairy Godfather who holds the purse strings," she said as she stopped in front of her door.
Now that they were here, he seriously hoped that he wasn’t making a huge mistake with this. That once they were inside she’d laugh, tell him that she was lying all along and that she *did* expect them to spend the night together.
She slid the card into the slot, waiting for the green light to flash, and opened the door. The butterflies in Orlando’s stomach were now in the middle of hand to hand combat. Yep, he just felt the first battalion go down in flames. Breathe, Orlando, breathe. It wouldn’t do to pass out from a severe case of nerves in the middle of a hotel hallway.
Melanie opened the door and tossed her purse and the key card onto a table positioned to the right of the door, and then stood back so that Orlando could enter the suite, his eyes nearly falling from their sockets as he took in the plush interior.
He let out a low whistle. "Fairy Godfather, huh? More like King Midas," he teased as he heard the door close behind him.
Melanie walked past him, into the living area, leaving Orlando to follow. She turned on a few lamps as she made her way to the wall of windows that overlooked the city.
"I love this view," she said as her eyes took in the skyline of Los Angeles.
Not sure what he should do, he decided to join her, but made sure that he didn’t stand too close, just in case. His eyes took in the sights and had to agree.
"It’s beautiful. And so different from the way it looks in the daylight, with the smog and everything," he said.
They stood in silence, each lost in their thoughts. Melanie wondering if she should make her move now; Orlando wondering what he was going to do if she did.
"Would you like something to drink? I’ve got beer and scotch in the bar," she offered.
"A beer would be fine," he said, hoping that she wasn’t going to try to get him drunk and then take advantage of him. He’d have one drink and then he’d be out of there, on his way home to Viggo.
Melanie opened a patio door and motioned for him to go outside. "Why don’t you make yourself comfortable and I’ll be back in a bit," she suggested.
Orlando nodded and moved through the doorway to wait for her to return with their drinks. This was getting stickier by the second. He was sure she was up to something, but he couldn’t just leave, or could he? That thought sounded more appealing as the minutes ticked by.
He was about to go back into the suite when he heard a sound behind him.
"Melanie, look I …" he said as he turned, and then stopped mid-sentence at the sight that greeted him.
He fully expected to find Melanie standing behind him wearing something very skimpy, or nothing at all, but what he found was much more appealing.
Viggo was there.
Viggo was there, in the suite that Melanie had brought him to.
Wait, why was Viggo there, in the suite that Melanie had brought him to? What the hell was going on?
"What’s wrong, Angel?" Viggo asked as he joined Orlando on the patio, handing him his beer.
Orlando was in shock. He couldn’t speak, but that didn’t matter because his mind couldn’t put anything together that would explain this sudden turn of events.
And then he saw Melanie and … Charlie? Viggo’s brother was here?
Viggo knew that that his lover was about to snap, so he moved forward and slowly ran a finger down his cheek, giving him some kind of physical contact, reassuring him that he was really here. He lowered his lips to Orlando’s, brushing against them lightly, and felt Orlando relax into the kiss.
"I think somebody owes me an explanation," Orlando stated when he pulled back from Viggo.
"Come inside and I’ll explain everything," Viggo said, taking his lover’s hand and led him inside so they could talk.
Once inside the suite, they found Melanie and Charlie standing beside the bar, drinks in hand, and decided to join them there. Orlando perched himself on a tall stool and regarded everyone coolly.
"Ok, now would you mind explaining to me how the four of us ended up here, together, at the same time?" he asked as he took off his coat and tossed it onto the back of the nearby couch.
Viggo took a deep breath and jumped in. "Ok, here goes. When Robin called and told you about this, how many times did we talk about the things that could happen if someone with less than pure intentions had won? Too many. So I did something that would make sure that you weren’t put into that situation. About a week after Robin’s phone call, I made a call of my own. To Charlie, and in turn, to Lanie."
Orlando looked at Charlie and Melanie, his arm wrapped possessively around her waist, and it hit him. "Melanie, Lanie, Charlie’s wife," he said.
Viggo nodded. "My sister-in-law. I called them and explained the situation, how you were dealing with everything and asked if they could help out, well, if Lanie would mind helping out, and she agreed to it."
"Why didn’t you tell me?" Orlando asked, not quite sure if he should feel angry, or hurt, or both.
"Because everything had to appear on the up-and-up. If you would have known ahead of time that you would be spending the evening with Lanie, do you honestly think that you could *not* talk about certain things? You would have wanted to know what was going on with the ranch, how the kids were doing, things that *family* talks about. And that couldn’t happen, not in a public place like that. People would have questioned it, and in turn, started questioning you. I chose Lanie because although you’ve talked to her on the phone, you didn’t know what she looked like."
Orlando turned to Lanie. "I thought you said your name was Melanie Sullivan and that you were a teacher."
She smiled. "Sullivan was my maiden name and I am a teacher. That part was the truth."
"And the Fairy Godfather?"
Lanie pointed to Viggo.
Orlando started laughing. "Well, at least you got that right," he said, a little of the anger fading away. "So you set all of this up to make sure that I wouldn’t be attacked by some overzealous socialite?"
Viggo nodded. "Guilty as charged. I just didn’t want anything to happen that would end up in the tabloids if someone put the moves on you and you politely declined their invitation."
Orlando thought about it for a bit. "You know, I should be extremely pissed at you right now, old man."
"But?" Viggo prompted.
"But I know why you did it, and for that I’m grateful. Although I think I did a pretty good job with it all. I don’t think I gave too much away, did I Lanie?"
"You were a perfect gentlemen," she answered truthfully. "Like a true fan, I tried to get him to talk about New Zealand but he wouldn’t budge, except to tell me about the surfing fiasco that turned him and the Hobbits all into stuttering Popsicles. He said that he likes to keep his private life just that, private. Oh, and that he had a friend who has a mountain cabin that he never wants to leave when he visits. I almost started laughing because I knew exactly who his friend was."
They all laughed at that. "Yeah, well, I do love that cabin and wished that we could spend more time there," Orlando clarified.
Viggo rounded the bar and wrapped his arms around Orlando from behind. "I think we’ll do just that in a few weeks," he said as he pressed a light kiss to his temple. "You, me, and the great outdoors."
"So, how much did you spend?" he asked Lanie.
"Twenty-six thousand," she said as if it was nothing.
"Oh, that was nothing. Brad Pitt pulled in forty," she said.
"So how was it hobnobbing with the high rollers?" Charlie asked his wife.
She shook her head. "Never again. I’ll take my screaming 12 year olds over those people any day of the week. No, I’ve done my civic duty. I rescued my quasi-brother-in-law from the sharks and delivered him safely to his partner. I think that my job here is done," she said as she took hers and Charlie’s glasses and set them on the bar top. "Now, if you’ll excuse us, I think we’ll go put that monstrous suite that you so generously reserved for us to good use," she said as she walked over to Viggo and Orlando, who had disentangled themselves.
Orlando pulled her into a hug. "Thank you, Lanie. For all of it," he said has he placed a quick kiss on her cheek. "And it’s nice to finally meet you in person," he said as she pulled back.
"You’re welcome, Orlando," she said as she moved into Viggo’s embrace.
"I can’t thank you enough for doing what you did," he said.
She mock sighed. "Being on the arm of this gorgeous creature was such a hard job," she joked. "Although I wish you could have seen the two I was bidding against. They would have eaten him alive."
"They would have tried," Orlando said.
"But they didn’t get the chance, thanks to my Fairy Godfather," Lanie said before giving Viggo a kiss on the cheek and then moving back to her husband. "Oh, they mentioned doing this again next year."
Orlando had moved into Viggo’s arms. "They can do it without me," he said as he snuggled into his lover’s embrace. "Once was more than enough."
"See you at the house tomorrow, right?" Viggo called as the two headed for the door.
Charlie nodded. "We’ll be there," he said before ushering his wife out the door, but not before hanging the Do Not Disturb sign outside.
Orlando laughed. "I can’t believe you did all that for me."
"Which part? Having my sister-in-law act as a body guard for my lover, who happens to be one of the hottest tickets in Hollywood right now, or letting her spend however much it took to keep you safe?" Viggo asked as he relaxed his hold on Orlando.
"Either, both," he said as he moved away from him and over to the couch where he sank into the plush leather cushions. "Twenty six grand is a lot of money, Viggo. Money that you didn’t need to spend," he said as he hooked is feet on the edge of the coffee table.
Viggo followed and sat himself on the coffee table, between Orlando’s spread feet. Taking his right hand, he caressed his middle finger.
"Do you see this?" he quietly asked as his finger brushed over the silver circle. "What’s inscribed on it, Orli?"
"My best friend," he answered.
"And what does it mean?" he asked as blue eyes met brown.
"That you’d do anything for me, that I’d do anything for you."
"And that’s what I did. I made sure that you weren’t put into a situation that had the potential to become a media nightmare. I trust you, Angel, more than anyone I have ever trusted before. But there are those out there that might have wanted more from you than you were willing to give. And if that had happened, they could have run to the media, told a mess of lies to get back at you, and then where would we be? Exactly where Robin wants us, where she has wanted us for a long time now. Living apart and never seeing each other."
Orlando lowered his feet from the coffee table and scooted to the edge of the sofa, his hands slowly moving up jean clad thighs, his eyes never leaving Viggo’s.
"I appreciate what you did, more than you’ll ever know. And while you were so gallantly saving my arse, you also managed to help out a very worthy cause," he said as he moved closer to his love.
"So you’re not mad?" Viggo asked, not really sure if he wanted to hear the answer to that question or not.
"Mad?" Orlando queried, his lips moving to the side of Viggo’s neck, placing a light kiss there. "No, I wouldn’t call it mad. More like worried," he said with a lick.
Viggo’s pants had just become a bit tighter. "Why… why are you worried?" he asked, tilting his head a bit, giving Orlando better access to the patch of skin he was teasing right now.
"You just spent twenty-six grand for one night with me," he breathed against Viggo’s skin. "I don’t know if I’ll be able to live up to your expectations."
Viggo reached up, grabbed Orlando’s tie, wrapped it once around his hand and stood, causing the young man to also stand.
"You let me be the judge of that," he said before leading his lover to the bedroom.
Orlando smiled as his mind started working overtime, trying to narrow the list of Viggo’s favorite things down to just a scant few. Before he could get through the first ten items, he found himself pinned against the bedroom wall, his hands trapped on either side of his head, one of Viggo’s legs sliding between his own.
"I thought I was going to do the taking tonight," Orlando said, rolling his hips a bit, causing his hardness to rub against Viggo’s lower belly.
"Maybe later. Do you remember what I said earlier, about what I was going to do to you when you got back home?" Viggo asked, a predatory smile on his lips.
Orlando’s eyes closed as his head fell back against the wall with a muffled thud, images of just that flashing through his mind. In this position, the front of his neck was open and exposed, and Viggo took full advantage of it. Slowly, he licked a stripe from the collar of Orlando’s shirt up across his Adam’s apple, and then farther up to his chin, where he nipped at the small patch of hair that grew there.
A soft groan slipped from between Orlando’s parted lips and Viggo smiled against his skin.
"How I was going to shove my cock so far up your ass," he continued as he ran his tongue along Orlando’s jaw, stopping long enough to nip and suck on his ear lobe, his hips now grinding against his partner’s.
"Until you feel it hit your tonsils," he finished as his tongue left a streak of wetness across his cheek, his mouth shifting, teeth closing around a lower lip, his tongue tracing the plump skin there. He lapped gently, light, teasing licks, before delving inside, his tongue searching, coming into contact with the slick muscle there, exploring the taste and texture of Orlando’s mouth.
Orlando tensed as a jolt of pure, unadulterated desire swept throughout his body, his hands gripping Viggo’s as if he were to let go he would surely float away. It never ceased to amaze him what Viggo’s kisses could reduce him to. Whether it was a slow, sensual kiss, or one that was full of fire and passion, he would turn into putty in the other man’s hands.
The need for air drove the two men apart, both panting as if they had just run a marathon, or had an all-night round of sex. Lust filled blue eyes mirrored brown, lips were swollen, hips had stilled. They stood together, foreheads touching, watching, waiting. The grip between their hands lessened as they slid out and down, coming to rest by their sides.
It was Orlando who broke the silence. "I think you’ve forgotten one thing, old man," he said, nuzzling his nose against Viggo’s. "I had my tonsils removed years ago," he said with a smile.
Viggo quickly stepped back and broke all bodily contact, causing Orlando to almost pitch forward. "Oh, well then, I guess we’ll have to chuck that idea," he said as he made to walk off.
Quick as lightning, a hand grabbed his wrist and spun him back around, coming into contact with a solid body. "But if you’d like, you can fuck me just the same," Orlando said before claiming his mouth with a kiss so torrid that it stole Viggo’s breath this time around. Hands were everywhere, hips, arms, necks, and faces, fingers laced through hair, cupping the backs of heads to hold them together.
They were moving now, small shuffling steps, towards where Orlando assumed the bed would be, and then there was a short pause of hurried undressing. A tie loosened and tossed aside, the first few shirt buttons undone followed by the cuffs, the shirt pulled overhead and tossed carelessly somewhere; shoes were kicked off, socks discarded, belt unbuckled, pants and boxers shoved downward and kicked aside. T-shirt pulled over and off, jeans unbuttoned, shoved down with a pair of boxers, stepped out of and left in a heap.
Viggo would never tire of looking at his lover’s body. Caramel colored skin covered a frame that, at first glance, looked to be nothing but skin and bones. He smiled at that thought because when they had first met several years ago, that’s exactly what he was. But now, muscle and sinew graced his frame from time spent preparing for various roles. Whether it was from a workout with his personal trainer or time spent with a swords master, Orlando’s body was very well defined.
Orlando noticed the hunger in Viggo’s eyes and knew what was about to happen. It happened every time Viggo looked at him like that. Before he could brace himself, he found himself pushed roughly back, his legs catching on the edge of the bed, his momentum carrying him down to the firm mattress. And then his lover was on top of him, pulling his hands up and over his head, anchoring them to the bed with his larger ones, his lips being claimed again as their erections pressed tightly together.
In the next second, the kiss lessened and then Viggo’s lips were gone, leaving a panting Orlando wondering what his lover had planned. It wasn’t long before he found out.
Clever lips played over his skin, closed over his nipple which caused Orlando to arch into the caress, wanting this, wanting it all. His hands moved to cradle Viggo’s head, encouraging thumbs drifting over his cheeks. Viggo slid his hands between Orlando and the bed, moving to hook around his shoulders, anchoring him in place. Soft, teasing kisses were placed against heated skin as he moved across the chest to tease the other nipple, lapping at it and then rolling it gently between his tongue and teeth. Orlando’s back arched away from the bed a second time, pushing the furled nub into Viggo’s mouth.
"Fuck," Orlando whispered, his hands tensing in sandy blonde hair.
Viggo chuckled against his breastbone. "That’s the plan," he answered before releasing his hold on the shoulders and moving his mouth down to the sculpted stomach and abs, nipping the tight skin he found there. He placed an open-mouthed kiss against the sun, his tongue darting out, tasting.
Orlando’s breathing had turned into a succession of pants, gasps and hisses of pleasure. His cock jumped at each new sensation that was bestowed upon his body, leaving a trail of clear fluid on Viggo’s throat, a testament of how close Orlando was to losing control. The friction of Viggo’s own cock dragging across the bedspread was welcomed, although not exactly what he was looking for. It wouldn’t be much longer and he would be in the state that his lover was in.
Until now, Viggo had been lying on Orlando’s thighs, effectively pinning him to the bed. But now that he had reached his desired destination, he grabbed his knees and pushed upwards, opening his lover before him. A wicked smile crooked his lips as his hands slid down to grip Orlando’s ankles, pinning his feet in place lest he end up with a black eye or broken nose for what was about to come. He blew a light stream of air against the puckered entrance, the ring of muscle contracting.
"Fucking hell, Vig!" Orlando yelled as his hands flew to Viggo’s wrists, gripping them tightly. "Warn a guy before you do that, will ya?"
Viggo’s laugh sent another puff of air wafting against him, causing another contraction. "Now where’s the fun in that?" he asked as he blew another stream of air against him.
Orlando pushed down, which turned out to be the wrong thing to do because his sac brushed against the other man’s nose. Viggo quickly inhaled through his nose, loving the musky smell of his partner, and slowly exhaled through his mouth.
Orlando growled. "Do that one more time, old man, and I swear …"
A strategically placed swipe of tongue silenced what Orlando as about to say, and he lost all coherent thought as he felt the tongue now lapping at his balls, slowly moving up to the base of his cock. A groan of pleasure reached Viggo’s ears, spurring him on, urging him to continue. His tongue continued its journey up the think vein, pausing for a second to tease the sensitive head.
"You were saying?" Viggo asked, his tongue working its magic on Orlando’s weeping member.
Orlando’s head thrashed back and forth on the bed. "Nnn… noth… nothing," he finally gasped as he tried to push his cock into Viggo’s mouth. Viggo quickly released his ankles and grabbed the young man’s hips, stopping all attempted movement. Orlando wasn’t so far gone that he didn’t know what was next, and roared his approval as Viggo’s mouth enveloped him in wet heat. His senses went into overload as Viggo took him in deep, his nose meeting the dark nest of curls, and then slowly pulling off of him, only to repeat the process over and over until Orlando grabbed a head of hair and bodily pulled the man off of him.
"Are you trying to do me in already?" he panted as he looked down his body to find ice-cold eyes staring back at him. He would have flinched if he didn’t know what was going on behind those eyes. Instead, he let his head fall back onto the bed and tried to breathe normally.
He felt the hands move back to his ankles a split second before his legs were pushed almost to his chest, and then he felt heaven, a warm tongue lazily circling his body’s entrance.
"Oooohhhh Goooooddddd," was all he managed to say as it penetrated the tight ring of muscle. Viggo was relentless in his assault, never giving Orlando any respite from his ministrations. His tongue licked, teased, probed, and curled against and inside of his partner. Orlando’s hips were moving, his cock bouncing in the air as Viggo pushed him closer and closer to the edge.
A scream was ripped from the young man’s throat as he felt one finger, and then two slide into him, stretching him, preparing him for the promise he had made earlier that evening. Skillful fingers found its target, brushing over the sensitive area once, twice, before retreating.
A low groan was heard in the room as Viggo’s fingers left his lover’s body.
"Viiigggg," he whined but was quickly silenced as Viggo’s lips descended on his, his body covered by the older man’s. Orlando felt the bed dip a fraction as Viggo leaned towards the nightstand to retrieve the tube that was lying there. With that in hand, the kiss was cut short as Viggo rose to his knees and sat back on his heels between Orlando’s legs. Orlando sat up and took the tube from Viggo, then proceeded to generously coat the erection that was jutting out from the body before him before tossing the tube aside.
Again Orlando’s knees where pushed against his chest and then Viggo was there, nudging the head of his cock against the entrance of Orlando’s body. Their eyes met and held as Viggo started his slow push into the tight body beneath him. When he was fully sheathed in the velvet heat that was Orlando, Viggo let out a low moan of pleasure. Orlando’s nerves were already frayed and he knew it wouldn’t take much to finish him off. He slowly rolled his hips and Viggo looked down at him.
"I take it you’re ready?" he asked with a cocky grin.
"Aren’t I always?"
"Slut," Viggo teased, before pulling back and plunging in again.
"Only for you, Vig, only for you," he said before he was swept away in a firestorm of passion.
Viggo was determined to torture his lover even more and did so in spades. His hips moved with a single-minded determination and he watched as his lover came apart underneath him. His hands found Orlando’s hips, holding him as he changed his angle and hit his sweet spot repeatedly, not enough to send him over the edge, just enough to tease him. Time and time again he did this. Orlando’s moans had become one continuous long keening sound. Viggo forged ahead, taking more and more of what the body below him was offering, finally reaching the end of his grip on reality.
Orlando was lost in a haze of pleasure so vast that he wasn’t sure where he ended and Viggo began. Not that it mattered. As long as Viggo kept doing what he was doing … yeah, just like … that … he wondered how long he could go before he truly did pass out. He knew what Viggo was doing, sending him to the edge as many times as he had but never letting him fall, and knew that it would be worth it in the end.
Viggo felt his orgasm fast approaching and moved his hand between them, taking Orlando in hand and smearing the fluid that had gathered on the weeping head, he stroked him in time with his own movements.
Ahh, this is what Orlando had been waiting for. Finally, finally, he let go and came with a loud "FUCK!" as his cock pulsed in Viggo’s hand, streams of white pearlescent liquid splashing between them, landing on a sweat slickened chest.
It was only after Orlando found his release that Viggo truly let himself go. He pounded into his lover once, twice, and on the third time he was coming, his seed emptying deep inside the body beneath him. He held his position, never wanting to move from the velvet glove that held him so tightly, but he knew that he would have to eventually, but not yet.
Orlando raised a hand to Viggo’s cheek, stroking it lightly, and then pulled him down on top of him, relishing the weight of the other man’s body. Lips met and words of love were whispered between kisses. Viggo finally slid from his lover’s body and disappeared into the bathroom, returning with a warm, damp cloth.
Once he had cleaned them up, he joined Orlando on the bed again, gathering him into his arms.
"So, was that worthy of your magnanimous donation, oh King Midas?" Orlando sighed.
A finger that had been trailing up and down Orlando’s arm stopped.
"That one?" Viggo mused. "No, but I’m sure that before we have to check out of this place that you’ll have earned every penny of it," he stated.
Orlando rose up on an arm and looked down at him.
"Is that so?" he asked with a cocked eyebrow.
Viggo laughed. "Yeah, so I’d suggest that you get some rest because you’ve got work to do."
"Me? I’m the one who needs to rest?"
"Isn’t that what I just said?" Viggo teased.
"Somebody is in a state of denial here, and it’s not me," Orlando said as he lay back down beside his lover for a couple of minutes, then he popped back up.
"There, was that long enough?" he asked.
Viggo pulled his lover on top of him and smiled. "Do your best, Angel," he said as he laced his hands together behind his head.
"Before we leave here, *you* will be the one who will owe me," he said with an evil twinkle in his eye.
A smiled played on Viggo’s lips. The boy really was too easy sometimes.