About Twists and Turns
by Stevie Woods
Zeke and Crispin, who met in Stevie Woods' story, The Wrong Path, are surprised to learn that the accident that brought them together was no accident. Determined to get to the bottom of things, Crispin takes Zeke into town to meet with Zeke's father. Zeke has more than information on his mind; he needs to tell his father that he's no longer interested in a marriage of convenience. Will Zeke and Crispin be able to make a life together, or will a powerful, determined man be able to interfere with fate?
Crispin rested his chin in his hand as he let his gaze wash over Zeke. There was much to admire in his sparkling hazel eyes and gold streaked brown hair, his long neck and wide shoulders. Crispin had thoroughly enjoyed exploring the beautiful body that was presently hidden by Zeke’s clothing. Though, watching Zeke across the breakfast table, Crispin couldn’t help but be a little concerned by his new lover’s distraction. New lover… It was almost impossible to believe they had only met the night before, and a man who had been stranger when Crispin had found him under the wheels of his carriage, was now the most important person in his life.
Yet, when they had awoken that morning, Crispin couldn’t help that his first thought had been a very real fear, but Zeke had quickly dispelled his Crispin's concern that their coupling of the night before would be only a one time event. Crispin had fallen fast and hard for the handsome stranger, and he couldn’t bear the thought that Zeke might have wanted to continue his journey to meet the man his father wished him to marry. However, Zeke had convinced him in a most delicious way that Crispin was the only partner he wanted. So, why was Zeke so distracted now?
With sudden insight, Crispin asked, "Is it your father that’s worrying you?"
Zeke glanced up at Crispin, and immediately he flushed. "Oh, I’m sorry, Crispin. I was so busy thinking about my problem that I shut you out. I should have realized how it might be unsettling for you."
Crispin shook his head. "I wonder if I’ll ever get used to you knowing how I feel all the time," he said.
Zeke smiled. "Clearly not all the time. And, to answer your question, yes I was thinking about how my father will react to my returning home instead of being half way across the county meeting my prospective partner." He reached out and took Crispin’s hand. "Instead I’ll be bringing home with me the man I shall share my life with."
Crispin held on to Zeke, unable to help grimacing as he replied. "Yes, a nobody as opposed to the heir to a great fortune. I wish I had more to offer, something your father would approve of."
"You’re not a nobody, Crispin. You are the most important person in my life." He shrugged, cocking his head to one side, and added, "And if my father can’t be happy for me, can’t put my feelings above his avarice, then he doesn’t care for me as much as you do."
"Can’t you read your family members as easily as you do me?" Crispin asked curiously.
"I told you I’ve never been able to sense anyone as clearly as I do you." Zeke smiled. "I have to keep my barriers raised, or you would overwhelm me at the most inconvenient times." Crispin blushed as Zeke continued. "Most of my family I can sense as readily as most of the general population, but my father has always been something of a mystery to me. He is the only person who can shield his feelings from me. He has a similar ability to mine, in that his gift is linked to emotions, but while he cannot sense feelings to the extent I can, he does have the ability to affect others’ emotions."
"So you don’t really know the strength of his feelings for you?" Crispin frowned but didn’t say anything else, forgetting for a moment that he couldn’t hide anything from Zeke.
"Ask the question, Crispin," Zeke said gently.
"What question?" Crispin prevaricated.
"I don’t know what question precisely; I only know there is something you are struggling not to ask me. We will have no secrets, Crispin. Agreed?"