Waking up curled around a warm, breathing body was a foreign feeling to John until this past week.
He sighed softly and nuzzled against the back of Chas's neck, taking in the young man's scent, the feeling of his hair…he let one hand travel over the subtly muscled abdomen, the barely-defined biceps from years of swinging golf clubs…
Chas barely stirred, and John smiled and kissed the back of his shoulders lightly, determined to wake Chas up slowly and pleasantly after how Chas had made him feel the night before.
"Mmm, someone's in a good mood…" Chas said sleepily, and John smirked.
"You…were…amazing," John replied, kissing along Chas's neck between words.
"You weren't so bad yourself," Chas said, turning around in John's arms to face him and give him a kiss. "What time is it?"
John looked over Chas's shoulder at the bedside clock. "Six thirty. You have an hour to get up and dressed for your press conference and round at the Country Club."
Chas snuggled up closer to John, burying his face against the man's chest and closing his eyes. "Don't wanna move."
"Your adoring fans await…"
"Can't they adore me after ten in the morning?"
John chuckled, lifting Chas's chin and giving him a deep kiss.
"You relax, kid. I'll go make breakfast."
John headed for the kitchen, turning around in the doorway to watch Chas stretch. It wasn't exactly a graceful movement, but the boy's now-tanned skin had that morning-after glow to it, and his unruly hair made him seem even more like the Chas that had left for fame four years ago.
Not that he'd changed much at all. He looked a little older, but the personality was still that fun-loving, humble idealism that had amused John from the start.
John started making the chocolate chip pancakes (he'd made them every day since Chas came to visit), and after a few minutes Chas came out of the bedroom, dressed in a red Callaway golf shirt and nice khakis, and desperately trying to brush his hair down.
"M'starved. Shouldn't have skipped dinner," he said with a yawn.
John quirked an eyebrow. "So you'd rather have missed the table sex? And the shower sex? And the-"
"Okay, okay, I get it. And yes, it was worth missing dinner."
"And it's not like you didn't get your protein-"
John smirked again, and Chas rummaged through his bag before pulling out his calendar.
"Press conference…golf…luncheon with important snobs…golf…charity dinner with important snobs…John, you wanna trade days with me?"
"Not unless you want those important snobs to be very upset," John said, setting a plate of pancakes down on the table. Chas laughed.
"What about you? You comin' to the press conference?"
"Wish I could, kid, but I've got a couple half breeds that need dealing with up in San Diego. All day affair, won't be back till late."
"You gonna drop by my apartment afterward?" Chas said, a mischievous sparkle in his eyes. John put his plate of pancakes on the table and gave Chas a look.
"You have an apartment here? For a three month vacation?"
"Where do you think I've been keeping my stuff, John? The trophy case is the size of your bathroom."
John chuckled. "Sure, I'll stop by. Where is it?"
Chas fished around in his bag some more and handed John a business card with all his contact information and his temporary address. At that precise moment, his cell phone began to ring, and John rolled his eyes. That thing rang at least forty times a day- and, guaranteed, at least three times during sex when Chas forgot or didn't have a chance to turn it off.
"Kramer here," Chas answered, and then he listened for a few moments. "Right, right. No, tell Kenya I'll be at the dinner tonight. I wouldn't leave her with that."
John's attention was peaked. A girl? Kenya?
"She wants to know what color tie I'm wearing? Why?" Chas listened a moment, then grinned and shook his head. "Those Hollywood girls and their color coordination…I'll never understand it. Tell her I'll be wearing a red tie." A pause. "What shade of red? Um…dark red. Crimson?"
More squawking from the other person. "No, I don't need a ride, I've got my car with me. I'll meet you at the press conference," Chas said, and then he laughed. "No, I won't show up in a sweat suit this time, I promise. Trust me, Ferguson! I need this local sponsorship as much as you do. Yeah, I've got my clubs…alright. See you there."
He hung up, and John gave him a look. "Who was that?"
"My agent, Leonard Ferguson," Chas explained, sitting down to eat. "He was just making sure everything was set for today."
Chas practically choked, and then he laughed. "You don't watch movies at all, do you?"
John shook his head.
"Kenya Pennington. Hollywood actress, my age, just won two Oscars…"
John gave him a blank stare. "She won fish?"
"Not Oscars as in fish, you loser, Oscars as in awards for movies she's been in. She and I are presenters at the charity dinner tonight."
"Oh," John said, feeling something strange about that whole thing. Not quite anger, really, just…
"You'll have to meet her sometime, John, she's a real sweet girl," Chas said, oblivious to the fact that John was staring at his plate unmoving.
"I'm sure she is."
Chas checked his watch, having scarfed down half his food. "I've gotta go. Knowing LA traffic, I'm gonna be late as it is. See you at the apartment tonight?"
John nodded, and Chas grinned, leaning over the table to give him a quick kiss.
"Love ya. See you tonight," he said, and within moments he'd grabbed his golf clubs and backpack and was out the door.
It was as if there'd been a plague going on in California for months, and John was the last to know about it.
He went up to San Diego that day, and everywhere he went, that seed of suspicion in his mind was fed and watered mercilessly.
It started when he stopped in a convenience store for a bottled water and a snack, and he happened to catch sight of a name emblazoned on one of the covers on the magazine rack. He tugged the magazine out of the rack, studying the cover.
Kenya Pennington – Hollywood's Next Halle Berry?
The girl posed next to the words didn't look a day over twenty. She had skin that was just a bit too dark to have been from a tan, obviously a result of having parents of different races, and John could find no blemish on her. From her large pouty lips and huge chocolate colored eyes to the curves of her breasts and long, dark curly hair, this girl looked like a goddess.
This is who Chas is spending his free time with? Girls like this?
John reluctantly bought the magazine and checked his watch. Plenty of time to kill before he met up with San Diego's local exorcist. He sat on a bench outside, idly flipping through the teen magazine. Once he got to the article about Kenya, however, he read it in total.
She was perfect. The girl was down-to-earth, beautiful, had a loving family, hell, she was 19 and already had a directing contract and a beach house in Bermuda. She could sing, dance, write poetry, and spent her free time horseback riding, directing short films and writing music. The girl could do no wrong.
And there…what was that? The article mentioned Chas. Chas had evidently caddied for Kenya in a celebrity golf tournament in Florida. There were pictures, all of the two of them smiling, laughing, having a grand time on the golf course.
One picture in particular made John's heart sink. It was a picture taken at the sixteenth green, Kenya squatted down studying her putt, and Chas leaning over her, one hand on her back, the other pointing toward a spot on the green.
It had probably been just a movement to steady himself so he wouldn't fall, but even the thought that this girl had touched his Chas made anger rise up in John's mind.
John read more about the tournament, his hands tightening on the magazine and practically ripping it when the last paragraph took an excerpt from an interview with Kenya.
YM: You sure do spend a lot of time with that hot golfing prodigy, Chas Kramer. Is this a hint of relationship to come?
Kenya: (laughing) Oh, I don't know about any relationship. Like I said before, I'm keeping my options open. I can assure you that right now we're just friends, but I can also say that he's the nicest, sweetest, and funniest guy I've met in my life. The girl that gets him is going to be the envy of every other girl in the country, that's for sure.
John looked up, met with the confused expression of Nichols, the exorcist he was supposed to meet.
"You alright, John? You look pissed as fuck."
John shrugged, tossing the magazine into the trash can beside the bench he was sitting on. "Just ready to kick some half breed ass, Nichols. Let's go."