So, as I said, Micah's story. I had intended it to be just a short story, but, as I've told a couple people now... it grew. Micah decided he wasn't satisified with just a short story, so an idea for a full length story came into my head. It's still pretty vague though, so don't expect regular updates for a while. I should, however, be writing quite a bit on it.
For the record, this takes place six-ish years after Micah was introduced in the Addie and Tria drabble Meet Micah, when Addison and Tria are both twenty six, which makes it after everything that's taken place in both Addie and Tria and Chain Reaction, including the last drabble.
Uh... I think that's everything. If you're a new reader, not coming from Addie and Tria, then know that Micah stars in a drabble I've posted for that story. Feel free to go read it if you like. It's not necessary, nor is it necessary to have read Addie and Tria before reading this. You can however. May make more sense later. Dunno yet.
Happy reading, and enjoy the beginning of Micah's story.
Warning: This story contains male-male relationships. If you don't like it, don't read it. Flames will be used to roast weenies with. After being laughed at hysterically. Also, the rating is for delightful inneundo of the sexual nature, future violence, and possible... mature scenes at a later date.
For I Have Sinned
Coen sat at a table in the small diner, fingers drumming idly on the Formica table top. The diner was nearly empty at this hour, even with its reputation of being open all night. He was mildly annoyed that one person, however, was conspicuously absent and almost forty-five minutes late: Robi Anderson, the reason he was sitting at a diner at almost three in the morning instead of at his apartment.
Coen let his gaze wander over the diner, taking in the black and white checkered floors, the comfortable booths, the stools before the counter. The kitchen was to his right, the entrance to the diner twenty feet ahead of him. He was seated at one of the booths in the back, from where he could see the door and the majority of the diner, though the handful of tables all the way to the back and the right weren't in his line of sight.
It didn't much matter though, because Coen could see the only two other people in the diner. One was seated at the counter, talking occasionally to the only waitress working. Coen examined him absently as he folded the napkin on the table before him. Taking in the slightly stained jeans and darkly colored T-shirt, the denim jacket on the stool next to him and the cup of coffee on the counter in front of him, Coen figured the man as a non-threat; probably waiting for someone, or having some breakfast before he went home to crash after working the nightshift.
The other patron intrigued, as well as concerned, him more, partially because he could see so little of the younger man, and partially because one of things Coen could see was a wicked looking knife strapped to the guy's thigh. Why he was so openly wearing a weapon in public, Coen had no idea, but it did nothing to help his peace of mind.
He sighed, running a hand over his face, as he realized the train of his thoughts. He was supposed to be getting over this; it was part of why Camilla had drug him out here tonight, why she'd set him up on a blind date, though he still wasn't sure why he'd let her. It didn't much matter to him that he only left the apartment he shared with his older sister once a week. It didn't bother him that he hadn't gone on a date since Kasey, that he hadn't had sex in over a year. Casual sex just didn't sit well with him, just didn't work for him. It needed something, some sort of emotional attachment to make the act meaningful. And if that meant that Coen wouldn't be getting laid any time soon, he didn't much care.
He'd said the same thing to Milla when she'd taken his laptop from him two hours ago, and pointed him towards the shower. She'd shoved him into a dark blue pair of carpenter's jeans, and a white button down shirt, with a black T-shirt on underneath it. She'd slathered some sort of goop into his dirty blond hair, spiking it, and had lightly outlined his amber eyes in eyeliner, though he protested. She'd then pulled him out of the apartment, ignoring his protests, as well as the beginnings -of a minor panic attack, and had driven him to the diner, giving him information about his date on the drive.
Milla had dumped him outside, tossing his jacket at his head, and told him she'd be back at four to get him, unless he called her and told her he'd find his own way home. After giving him a suggestion or two about what to do with Robi, she'd driven away, leaving Coen standing there, staring after the retreating Jeep Wrangler.
He'd come inside though, not wanting to stand the guy up, only to be stood up himself. Gods above, the guy had probably taken one look at him, seen all the psychological trauma and baggage, and had hightailed it out of there. The saddest part was that Coen wouldn't have blamed the guy if he had done just that, because he knew that it wasn't worth it. He didn't have a sparkling personality, so repertoire of great jokes and delightful humor; he wasn't even all that attractive. There was nothing about him that drew other people, nothing worth seeking him out for. He'd spent the last three and a half months of his life doing nothing but reading books and writing dreadful short stories, as well as one abysmal novel.
Completely ignoring the fact that he was almost nineteen years old, Coen turned and pulled his right leg up to his chest, leaving his left extended along the seat, and wrapped his arms around it. He pressed his cheek into his knee, eyes falling closed as he forced himself to take deep breaths. He didn't need to have a panic attack, especially not when he was alone, and not even in his apartment. He squeezed his eyes closed tighter, because that thought had not helped.
His hands were shaking, he knew it. Coen curled them into fists, hugging his leg closer to his chest. He struggled to keep his breathing light, to keep himself from feeling for the knives that weren't strapped to his forearms. Milla had made him keep them at home but, gods, what he wouldn't give for them right now, for the small amount of safety and comfort they gave him.
It took several moments for Coen to realize that someone had slid into the seat across from him, and, even when he did, he didn't immediately look up. He was close to a mid-grade panic attack, he knew, and forced himself calm, tried to reason with himself, and talked himself off the teetering edge he knew he was on. Coen slipped his hand into the pocket of his jeans, fingers sliding over cool metal links.
Slowly, as he toyed with the object in his pocket, Coen's breathing slowed, becoming normal once more, and his hands stopped shaking. Eventually, he looked up, surprised to see the kid with the knife sitting in front of him. Except, now, upon closer inspection, Coen realized they close to the same age. He was probably about twenty one, perhaps twenty two.
He was dressed in a short sleeved black button down that was open, showing the white T-shirt beneath it, and a pair of Tripp pants. Numerous chains were visible against his shirt, a stark contrast to the black. His hair was dark blue, his eyes a startling forest green. He was thinner than Coen, the term svelte fitting him well. He looked pale and somewhat foreboding, but he gave Coen a gentle smile when he finally looked up. It didn't relax him, did nothing to dispel his remaining nerves, but Coen appreciated the attempt anyway.
God, Micah had no clue what this guy was doing alone at the diner at such an hour, why he wasn't home with some gorgeous blonde female model, or at home with some fabulously looking hunk named Sven, but he was not going to question his luck.
He hadn't looked up at Micah yet though, which, while disappointing, gave him the chance to drool unobserved. The guy wore a pair of dark jeans that probably did sinful things for his ass, and a white button down with an undershirt that hugged his body in a fantastic manner. He was thin and wiry, body nicely toned from some time in a gym, unlike Micah, who couldn't gain a pound, of fat or muscle, for anything. He looked to be about Micah's height, which put him somewhere around six feet.
He had a slight tan, probably from time spent outdoors. His short hair was spiked; it something that he hadn't seen in a while, though Micah had always found the trend attractive. It was, however, when he finally looked up that Micah nearly moaned. It was the eyes, it was always the eyes. They were the color of molten amber, beautiful in every right, though they were filled with anxiety and at least a little fear at the moment.
Well, Micah couldn't have that. He didn't want to scare him away, so he tried to seem as non-threatening as possible. Giving him a gentle smile, Micah let his gaze wander for a second longer, finally deciding that the guy was probably younger than him, eighteen or nineteen, if he hadn't missed his guess. "Hi."
The guy simply looked at him, gaze unwavering.
"I'm Micah." He offered another soft smile. "You seemed a little freaked out, and I wanted to know if there was anything I could do. Maybe a glass of water, a hug?"
He blinked a couple times, clearly surprised by Micah's words, but still not saying anything. That was okay though, because Micah was not to be deterred. He could be very patient when he needed to be. One did not get as good as he was at what he did if one wasn't patient.
"No? Okay, no hugs. Wanna see a card trick?" Micah offered, pulling a deck of cards from his pocket. He loved cards, as well as card tricks, and had run more than a scam or two with them before he got so heavily into hacking that he didn't have much time for it anymore. With his current job however, he'd had a break, and had been just playing around tonight before coming here for his meeting.
Slowly, the cute one nodded, though he hadn't uncurled himself yet.
Micah smiled again. He drew out the cards, putting the box on the table before glancing down at the cards in his hands. "What kind of trick do you want to see? I know a lot of them." He didn't get a response, but he hadn't expected one, so he simply continued speaking. "You look like you'd appreciate a good little math trick."
Rapidly, Micah began to sort the cards, putting them in stacks b suit, and then in order from ace to king before putting them in a stack once more. "Okay. So, now I need you to cut the deck." When he didn't move, Micah mock pouted. "Pretty please? I could do it I guess, but—" He stopped when the guy hesitantly stretched his hand out, cutting the cards quickly before pulling away.
"Now don't kill me," Micah said, holding his hands up in a 'don't shoot' gesture, "but I need you to do it again. Actually, do it twice more, because I don't want to make you jumpy a third time." He gave another gentle smile.
The deck was cut twice more, and Micah forced himself not to admire the long, tapered fingers, the large and elegant hands that looked well suited to caressing the keys of a piano. When the deed was done, Micah scooped up the deck and began to lay out the cards one by one. He made thirteen stacks, face down, making sure to deal them out in the same order.
"Okay. So, ready? And voila!" He began to flip the stacks of four over, revealing the cards sorted by number. They were laid out as they were supposed to be, and Micah almost beamed when he realized it had worked as it was meant to.
The guy stared at the cards for several long moments before he looked up at Micah again. He spoke quietly after a minute. "How'd you do that?"
Micah wanted to melt at that voice. It was slightly deeper than his own, and huskier. It was smooth and slow and spoke of dark secrets, of nights in bed that could be incredibly passionate and gentle, or equally rough and primal. His hand slid down discreetly to adjust himself.
"There's a long formula that explains it, but I have a feeling that's not what you want to hear." Micah smiled again, and then collected the cards, arranging them again and repeating the trick to show him the finer points. By the time he'd finished, Micah noticed that the cute one looked a great deal less tense, was speaking easier and not as hesitant to ask a question. He'd even moved, sitting more normally across from Micah.
"Thank you," he said softly when they'd finished, giving Micah the first signs of a smile. "I'm Coen," he offered.
"I'm still Micah," he teased lightly. "Can I ask what brings you here at," he peeked at his watch, annoyed to see that it was three fifteen, because he had to be out of here by four and he really didn't want to have to leave Coen, "three fifteen in the morning? Or is that crossing a line?"
Coen shook his head. "My sister set me up on a blind date. I was supposed to meet my date here at two."
"And you stayed this long?" Micah asked, surprised. "I have a firm policy about no shows. He's got half an hour, forty five minutes if I'm feeling generous. After that, I'm out."
"He?" It was Coen's turn to look surprised.
Micah sighed, hoping he wasn't going to get himself hit for this, though he highly doubted it, especially not with how Coen had been earlier. "Yes he. Is that an issue?"
"No, I'm just surprised. Most of the guys I normally find attractive tend to be straight." He seemed to have said that without thinking, because he looked away as soon as the words left his mouth, a flush staining his cheeks. Micah resisted the urge to coo at the cuteness, though he did wonder just how far down that pleasant flush went…
He chose not to make a big deal out of the words, though, internally, he was shouting victory. "It's happened to me a time or two, though I don't think that's what's going to gone on here."
Coen actually smiled a little when he realized that Micah was admitting he found Coen attractive too. "No, I—"
He stopped when the bell over the door chimed, admitting a very flamboyant man, dressed in bright colors, who grinned when he saw Coen.
"I'm sorry I'm late Coen. My stupid roommate used all my hair gel and I had to—who the hell are you?" he snapped, seeing Micah.
Micah suddenly wished he had his glasses on so he could look at the guy over the rims of them. He settled on raising a brow slowly. "I'm your replacement. When you didn't show, I decided what such an attractive specimen shouldn't be left alone and stood up, so I stepped up to the plate." He gave the man a careless once over. "Seems I couldn't fill your shoes if I tried." The insult was completely grade school, but he couldn't resist the dig.
"So I'm a little late and you just forget about me? God, you're a completely asshole. And I was willing to overlook all the issues and everything!" He glared at Coen and then moved forward, hand raised to slap him.
In a heartbeat, Micah scooped up the fork on the table and standing. The tines of the utensil were pressed to the fuckwad's carotid artery before his hand could make contact, freezing him in place.
"Now, normally I wouldn't do something so drastic," Micah murmured, all playfulness gone from him as he leaned close, not wanting Coen to overhear him, "but you just strike me as a fuckwad who's used to using and abusing. And I absolutely hate that. However, because I find Coen so undeniably attract and cute, and I don't think he wants to be covered in your arterial spray, I'm not going to plunge this trusty little fork into your carotid. However, I am going to tell you what you're going to do when I move it.
"You're going to apologize, profusely, to Coen for being a complete asshole, and then you're going to leave. You're going to send Coen… oh, let's say a dozen of the most beautiful flowers you can find, as well as a nice lengthy card in apology. And then you're going to remember this little incident, and you're never going to do something so stupid again.
"Now, if you think I'm bluffing, feel free not to follow these instructions, but I know a lot of really bad people who owe me really big favors. I don't think it would be wise for you to fuck with me."
"I'm sorry," the asshole said as soon as Micah moved, sliding back into the seat across from Coen. He repeated the words several times to Coen before dashing out the door. Micah watched him leave, amused despite himself. Hopefully, he'd just rid the city of one extraneous asshole.
He turned to Coen as soon as the other had gone, meeting his eyes after a moment, afraid of what he would see after his little display. He was stunned to find no fear in those breathtaking amber eyes; in fact, Coen seemed to be only more relaxed, as if what he had seen somehow put him at ease. Micah had the sudden feeling that Coen could do worse, if he were pushed.
"I'm sorry," Micah offered finally. "I would have let you deal with it, but he needed to be taken down a peg or ten, and I just love doing that to people like him. I've dealt with his type before, and they never cease to anger me, so I take every chance I get to knock them down."
Coen gave him the smallest smile, the hesitance in the action clear. "It's all right," he murmured, glancing up at Micah for a moment before his eyes fell to the cards he was shuffling rapidly. "Thank you."
Micah blinked in surprise, before inclining his head once. "You're welcome." He gestured to the cards. "So… wanna see another trick?"
So ends chapter one. I hope you enjoyed it. Also, a note, on title: this story will have nothing to do with religion, just to get that out there.
Also, I've roped my good friend, Torn and Tattered, into playing beta for me. She has my eternal gratitude and so... huge shout out to her.
-Shadowed and Shattered