Adrien looked up from the files he was reading over to see Ethan striding, with fire blazing in his green eyes, across the office. "I beg your pardon?"
"Come on, Varland," Ethan braced his arms on the desk and glared poison-daggers at the other man across the desk. "You have a price. You always have a price. What's it going to take to get Beck out from under your..." his lip curled with obvious distaste. "...manipulations."
"Beck is dead, Ethan," Adrien said quietly.
The stark quiet in Adrien's voice gave Ethan pause. It was never good when Varland went all quiet spoken. Meant he could taste the prize.
Ethan wasn't sure he wanted to know just what prize Adrien was going to demand. But he knew if it would put his son's memory to rest, he would do anything, give anything.
"As if I could ever forget." Ethan choked out the vile words. "He is...was my son. Mine. You've reduced him to nothing but a corporate angle for profit." Ethan couldn't suppress the terrible shudder that took him then, riding it out to completion before he could add, "You're nothing more than a vulture feeding off the things that the people who loved him loved about him."
"Beck was a public icon," Adrien said. "Fame has its dark side."
A spasm of anguish flickered over Ethan's distraught features. "He was my son."
"Yes," Arien rose and walked around his desk, taking Ethan's forearms in his strong hands. "You said anything?"
His eyes closed as he swallowed past the tightness in his throat. "Yes."
Curling a finger under Ethan's chin he lifted the bowed head. "Look at me, Ethan."
Dark lashes fluttered, gathering the dampness of tears before lifting. Ethan's eyes shimmered behind the tears as he met Adrien's piercing gaze.
"You know what I want." Adrien murmured. "What I have always wanted."
Ethan stared at him, frozen for a long moment. "Yes."
"Willingly, Ethan. Nothing else will be accepted."
Ethan had no doubt that Adrein would know if he tired to play him. But could he...willingly. Could he?
Ethan's arms slipped around the other man and he brushed a kiss on heated, hungry lips. The second kiss ignited his won passions and 18 years melted away, erasing the betrayals, the hurts, leaving a passion that had hardened through the forge of life. A passion that could never again be denied