This chapter has not been beta'd so please forgive any mistakes. I own nothing having to do with Supernatural amd make no money.
The Reluctant Tutor
Castiel punched his pillow in an attempt to make a more comfortable space for his head. A pointless endeavor because no matter how much he attempted to turn, flip, punch or squish its dimensions into submission, the damn thing just wouldn't cooperate. To be fair, the pillow was only partially to blame because, while the couch was stunning in appearance, it was seriously lacking in support and comfort. His lumbar region was going to be screaming in protest come Saturday morning having suffered through two consecutive nights of torture. Sighing, Castiel shifted onto his back throwing a forearm over his eyes. When, he wondered had his life degenerated into sleepless nights on the couch and alternating silent sprees from his wife? He was well aware that he'd be in for it big time, but he hadn't been prepared for how big.
Castiel's strangulation hold on the car's steering wheel didn't let up until he was almost three blocks from his home. He hadn't even had the presence of mind to slip in one of the classical CD's he normally listened to as a form of relaxation after a particularly trying day. It shamed him to admit it, but that kid had really gotten to him; touching something primitive in him that he hadn't felt in ages.
Moving his shoulders back and forth in an effort to force the tense muscles to unwind, Castiel couldn't help but reflect back on those startling green eyes. Their color – though extraordinary – had held a wealth of discontent and rebelliousness that had rubbed Castiel the wrong way making him want to put the little bastard firmly in his place. The fact that the kid had the actual balls to raise his fists at him had made it worse because if there was something Castiel couldn't abide it was violence.
It was really quite a shame that all that masculine beauty came housed in the fit form of an idiotic bully. Technically, Castiel should report him for his outrageous and totally unacceptable behavior, but he had no desire to worsen the situation. Besides, no actual physicality had been involved so any type of investigation – and the consequent black mark on the kid's record – would be pointless. Clearly this kid had enough strikes against him, and if he was going to tutor Rufus' prize player, then they'd have to start again with a clean slate. Castiel doubted reporting the kid would be of any help in establishing a workable partnership as tutor and tutored.
As he slowly maneuvered the car into the driveway, Castiel was surprised to note that the garage door wasn't its usual gaping, black welcome. Daphne had made a habit of taking it upon herself to make sure they stood wide and ready. Castiel had been girding himself for the inevitable unpleasantness that was bound to follow not only being late again but in hanging up on his wife mid harangue. Still, he hadn't been expecting this. To most, it wouldn't seem like a big deal, but Castiel was well aware of its silent significance.
Daphne wasn't one to make grand gestures therefore making the small ones took on a much deeper significance. Now, from the look of things, she wanted to leave him in no doubt that he was far from welcome in his own home. He parked as close to the garage door as he dared since he didn't have the hand-held automatic door opener. He hadn't needed it for some time, so it lay in the designated cubby on the inside of the garage.
Setting his face into a mask of smooth blandness, Castiel snatched his briefcase from the passenger seat and climbed nimbly from the car. After placing the leather case on the asphalt, he proceeded to straighten the lapels of his trench coat; then pulled slightly on the blue knot at his throat in an effort to loosen its tight constriction.
A neat and well put together appearance was essential when it came to transmitting confidence and control and – as a teacher – absolutely necessary in sending out the unspoken message of 'I am in charge while you're in my room and don't you forget it.' While at home he had no need for such armor and tended to relax in both dress and manner. Relaxing now was beyond out of the question. There was no denying the seep of anxiety that was beginning to settle in the pit of his stomach or the slippery sheen coating his palms.
Inhaling deeply, Castiel headed toward the front door of their Tudor-style home. They lived in the high-end part of Lawrence and – as a boy who'd come from the other side of the tracks – Castiel never dreamed he'd be living in one of the very houses he would gawk at while walking to and from school. He would have been content with something a little less showy, but Daphne had insisted. Allowing her to choose their place of eventual residence had been one of the bargaining chips he'd thrown out there in order to convince her to move from London to his small home town.
Twisting the knob, he popped his head into the opening and called out a tentative, "Honey, I'm home." Cringing at the ridiculous banality, Castiel was mortified that he'd just come off sounding like some sort of idiotic character in a bad 50's sitcom. What the hell was he thinking? He never announced himself in such a fashion.
Generally, he just entered via the garage which had a door leading straight into the mud kitchen where he would then remove his shoes and hang up his coat. After which, he'd use the other door, and make his way into the kitchen where he'd place his briefcase on one of the marble-riddled counters then set about making himself a mug of strong coffee.
So, this change in his normal routine was almost as jarring as the silence which followed his rather lame attempt at a greeting. He hesitated in the doorway afraid to move onto the foyer while still in his shoes. The imported tiles from Italy were very delicate, and his wife had a definitive 'no footwear' rule for fear of marring them which was why he usually used the garage entrance.
This wasall really very aggravating. It was ridiculous the way he was hovering in the entrance of his home like he was some sort of recalcitrant little boy fearful of whatever punishment awaited him. He was not a child and it would be a cold day in hell when he'd stand around here acting like one!
Straightening his world-weary shoulders, Castiel stomped into the foyer – tiles be damned! – with far more confidence than he was actually feeling. Swiveling his head as he passed the archway leading into the living room, he noted – as foretold by himself earlier – the pile of covers and pillows placed on one end of the couch.
While that hadn't been a surprise, what was is that Daphne had yet to make an appearance. Having been the one to have made sure he'd have to enter via the front door, he'd been relatively certain that she'd either be awaiting his arrival in the foyer or somewhat near it. This extreme oddity was explained the moment he walked into the kitchen. There, lying on the counter-top was a piece of pale purple stationary with five simple words written on it in Daphne's elegant script.
Gone to Mummy and Daddy's.
Yesterday, she'd been waiting for him in the kitchen sipping daintily from one of the hideously expensive tea cups some great aunt or other had bequeathed to them as a wedding gift. Since it was a family heirloom generations old, Daphne only ever used a piece or two of the set when stressed and needing the comfort of 'family.' Its presence in her hand had not boded well.
The slight aroma of beef Wellington which she'd, no doubt, spent a good portion of her day preparing had lingered in the air, but he'd seen no remnants of the meal. After relieving himself of his briefcase he'd started off with, "My apologies, Daphne." His words were greeted with silence. Then, she'd carefully placed the wafer thin china upon its equally fragile mate and finally met his eyes with a deceptively calm gaze. He tried again.
"I was so immersed in the reading and grading of several essays that I completely lost track of the time."
One of her finely arched brows had shot up. "Papers," she'd asked in angry, quiet dismay. "You are almost three hours late because of papers?" Her voice had risen slightly on the last word.
"No," Castiel'd countered, "Ellen stopped by my classroom to discuss and ask my opinion on a few key points which will be on the agenda of our next staff meeting. It took much longer than anticipated."
Looking into the depths of her cup as if it held the answers to all of the world's greatest mysteries, before glancing back up, Daphne had asked casually, "Ellen… the principle?" At Castiel's affirmative nod, his wife continued waspishly, "You seem to be spending an inordinate amount of time with that woman."
"She's my boss," Castiel'd retorted in exasperation, "so, of course, when she asked me to stay and go over it with her I complied. What would have had me do?"
"I would have had you at least do me the courtesy of telephoning me and apprising me of the situation," she'd shot back at him with a bitter twist to her lips. "As your wife, do I not deserve that sort of courtesy from you, Castiel?"
Castiel immediately dropped his frustrated demeanor because Daphne was right, he should have called and he'd had no viable excuse for not having done so. "Yes," he'd readily and remorsefully agreed. "It was totally remiss of me, darling and I can do nothing other than apologize for my lapse in good manners."
At the clear sincerity on his contrite face, her expression had softened slightly and it'd given him hope that all was absolved and that their disagreement was at an end. Her next words however dispelled that notion.
"I would prefer not to share a bed with you this evening. I've set your bedding and night clothes on the couch."
Castiel had no choice but to give in gracefully knowing to do anything else would have been pointless and had answered in a resigned manner, "As you wish."
Huffing in aggravation, Castiel flopped over onto his stomach. He had so wanted to approach her. To take her into his arms and kiss away her frown of disappointment, and make things better between them; to suggest that they talk out their problems because lately they'd been legion. But, he'd attempted none of these things because she was radiating a coldness he recognized all too well. The silent treatment had followed their last exchange of words and Castiel had borne it because until she was ready, nothing he'd have said or done would've made a difference.
While their relationship had been fraught with difficulties relatively right from the start, they'd been able to vault over those hurdles with nary a skinned knee to show for it. She'd been the pursuer and he'd happily let himself be pursued although he'd been a bit surprised and slightly put off by her initial attentions. Grinning to himself, Castiel recalled just how adverse he'd been to Daphne's determined efforts to snag him come hell or high water, and he suspected that his baffled rebuffs had only made her more determined to have him.
He'd been about a year younger than the majority of students attending Oxford, so he'd already been feeling slightly anxious and out of place. He'd also always been a rather retiring soul, the not knowing anyone only made him more so. Because he was quite backward in his ways, he'd found it nearly impossible to forge satisfying friendships; being American hadn't helped his case either. His first few months at Oxford, he'd been a stranger, all by himself, alone in a foreign land.
Then, he'd found Daphne – or rather she'd found him – and in Daphne he'd found not only his first – and basically only – British friend but a fabulous lover as well. She had seen something in him and hadn't given up until she'd breached all of his defenses. After the initial trepidation of embarking on a romantic relationship had subsided, Castiel had fallen hard. She'd been bright, beautiful and charming as hell and the sex, when she'd finally gotten him to that point, had been amazing. Smiling ruefully, Castiel thought back on just how incredibly damned seductive the sex had been. But, much more important than the sex, he was no longer on his own or lonely. Castiel, in his naiveté, thought he'd stumbled upon Nirvana encased in the very appealing package of Daphne Adler.
Back home, in the States, he'd had few close friends and though they could be considered slim in number, they were also tried and true, supportive and reliable, and had seen him through some tough times. Rufus, Meg, and he had been likened to the Three Musketeers during their sojourn through the Lawrence School system and that hadn't changed even as their paths had diverged dramatically upon graduation.
Rufus had remained in Lawrence managing to putter around their home town until he'd tripped over the idea of becoming a coach/health teacher. Castiel had chuckled openly upon reading Rufus' letter explaining his plans because when Meg had suggested that very notion to Rufus close to the end of their senior year, (as he was the only one of their trio who hadn't yet decided where real life was going to take him), he'd shot it down with an offended harrumph followed by an emphatic, "Hell no!"
As for Meg? Well, she'd been determined – in her own words – 'to be the best damned forensic pathologist that her Uncle Alastair's money could afford.' Fortunately for her, the guy was loaded. She'd been accepted at the University of Pennsylvania which was one of the most elite schools of medicine and medical science in the world.
Uncle Alastair had gladly footed the bill because he could walk all over town bragging about his niece… the future Dr. Meg Masters… accepted into a premiere Ivy League college. The man was an utter jack-ass, but he'd been good to Meg; making him semi- acceptable in Castiel's eyes. Barely a week after graduating Meg had packed her belongings, pulled up stakes, kissed both of her best pals resoundingly on the cheek, and made her way to the East coast.
Castiel had spent that summer tying up loose ends of his own while working at Ellen's parents Roadhouse to earn the money he needed for making travel arrangements. Unlike Meg, he had no relative willing to assist him. The only snag in his dream plans of making a go of it at Oxford had been his beloved mother. She was his biggest fan and had urged him to accept the full scholarship that had fortuitously landed in his well-deserving lap.
His mother's pride had known no bounds upon receiving the heaven-sent news. She'd been thrilled that he'd be able to broaden his horizons and make something more of himself than what Lawrence had to offer. Yet, he'd hesitated because he hadn't wanted to leave her behind. Castiel had tried his damnedest to figure out a way to bring her with him. His plan had been to get them both there, and establish her in a small place of her own near the college.
He'd worked endlessly for the Harvelle's: Waiting tables, manning the kitchen grill, even cleaning the bar/restaurant, and if he'd been old enough he would've gladly tended bar. He had been enormously grateful that they'd worked him near to death although they could ill afford to pay him for all those hours. Still, it had barely borne enough fruit to get him across the ocean let alone an added person.
Not to be deterred from his plan of action, he'd even gone so far as to swallow his pride and approach Alastair Masters for a loan. The older man had been hesitant, but after Castiel had divulged his rather hasty need for the cash, and reasons, he'd been much more accommodating. In point of fact, Meg's uncle had gone so far as to say that it needn't be a loan at all because really… what was a bit of spare change amongst friends?
Against Castiel's better judgment – desperation was a powerful persuader – he had agreed to accept this surprising financial gift 'amongst friends.' Then, Mr. Masters had insisted that he drop the ridiculous formality of Mr. and refer to him by his given name. It wasn't in Castiel's nature as he'd been brought up to respect his elders and treat them accordingly.
Still, in a show of gratitude, he'd broken away from this ingrained practice of politeness and had forced out a stilted, "Thank you… um… Alastair." By the cadaverous grin that the other man had bestowed upon him along with the sharp pound to his back, Castiel could only assume that he'd pleased his unofficial banker. He had then been quite taken aback at his host's next suggestion.
"I think a drink is in order." Steering Castiel into a massive study-like area, he found himself in possession of a crystal tumbler half-filled with amber liquid. "Now, what shall we toast too?" Castiel, who hadn't a clue in hell, was relieved when Alastair declared triumphantly, "I know! Let's toast our gentleman's agreement."
After several toasts of a similar nature, Castiel was beginning to feel the effects of the potent liquor. While Meg and Rufus had a tendency to party in a wild manner, he indulged in alcohol only sparingly, and generally only partook of a glass of cheap wine at dinner with his mother.
So intent had Castiel been on maintaining his balance – heaven forbid he embarrass himself in front of his new friend – that he only became aware of just how close Meg's uncle actually was when his alcohol-laden breath ghosted over his face as Alastair remarked congenially, "Meg has spoken of you often and with such affection." Winking conspiratorially, he leaned in even closer and murmured into Castiel's ear, "I've often wondered if my niece was harboring a crush."
Mr. Masters paused, then with lips that now brushed Castiel's sensitive lobe, whispered huskily, "But, I know darling Meg quite well and if she wanted you, she would have been fucking you six ways to Sunday by now." Dismayed and disturbed, Castiel had attempted to move away, but Alastair had clamped an iron hold on his arm.
"I can just imagine the two of you together. Mmm…," the older man hummed salaciously, "The powerful piston of hips and thighs grinding and thrusting furiously; greedy, grasping fingers crushing and bruising sinewy limbs and muscles. Teeth biting and nipping … Ripping at all this pretty pale skin until lines of beautiful, intoxicating blood well up mixing with all that salty sweat soaking and painting your body crimson. Nails sharp and claw-like scouring, gouging the slim contours of your back until it is raw and ragged! Oh yes," his husky voice shook, taking on a aroused, panting quality, "I can picture it all in lovely, vivid, lurid, detail."
Castiel's inebriated head spun in abject horror at the highly inappropriate and disgusting relaying of this voyeuristic, deviant sicko's sexual proclivities. What made it even more reprehensible was that this was Meg's uncle… uncle spouting filthy, nastily descriptive scenarios of a carnal nature between him and Meg!
He was just starting to stutter out a protest at this uncalled for and highly uncomfortable topic of conversation when Meg's uncle swooped forward planting his lips right down on top of his own. The older man, taking full advantage of the younger's partially separated mouth, plunged his tongue inside, groaning and shuddering when he came into contact with Castiel's. The invading sinuous muscle glided wetly and avidly over his for a few seconds before continuing on to do a languid, extensively thorough sweep of the rest of the moist interior; hungrily lapping and slipping over the enamel of Castiel's teeth, discovering every ridge and bump existing on the roof of his mouth.
If Castiel had been a bit less drunk and a lot more in control of his faculties he might have done the sane thing and pushed the older man off of him, but since he was neither he simply froze. A mistake on his part because in the next instance he found himself being forcefully shoved backward letting out a pained grunt when he came into contact with the hard edge of a bookcase lining the wall. He was really trying to assimilate just what the hell was happening, but pretty much everything other than the taste and feel of this whack job's lips and questing tongue totally eluded him. That and the lone thought screaming its way through his befuddled head… A man is kissing me?!
At seventeen, Castiel hadn't much experience with kissing, although he and Meg and exchanged a few tentative trial runs. Granted, it had been more out of curiosity rather than any true hormone-driven compulsion. But, it had been quite pleasant and he would have been willing to explore it further had Meg been so inclined, but she hadn't been. So, their brief forays into the physical had been firmly put on the back burner. When Rufus had found out about their fumblings, he'd relentless teased his two best friends until Meg had grown weary of it all and had threatened his life.
Pushing himself onto his side – honestly, was there no comfortable place on this Coco Chanel original – Castiel let his mind wander back to the incident with Meg's uncle. It had been appalling, and Alastair had been relentless in the devouring of his mouth and groping him in places that still made him blush. After finally regaining his senses, Castiel had shouldered his way out of the older man's grasp with a strength borne of horrified abhorrence. The naked, savage lust stamped all over the other man's face – along with the clearly defined erection straining against his trousers – had Castiel practically mindless with fear.
"Come now, Castiel," Alastair had muttered while leaning casually against the very bookcase he, himself, had just escaped from, "One doesn't get something for nothing in this world." Smiling nastily, he'd added, "You didn't actually think I'd give you all that funding without a bit of compensation to ease the pain of its loss, now did you?" After seeing Castiel's expression, Alastair's let out a scornful laugh and said, "You did! How ridiculously naïve of you."
Castiel's face had heated up in a mixture of disgusted anger and acute embarrassment. "What you're suggesting is nothing short of prostitution," he'd sputtered, stupefied at the very idea. "I won't be a party to such a loathsome arrangement!"
Shrugging his thin shoulders, Alastair had commented with idle indifference, "That's a shame, my boy. I so would have enjoyed breaking you in." The manner in which the older man had eyed Castiel from head to toe had made him feel filthy and in dire need of a cleansing shower. Maybe more than one. "Be that as it may, our business here is concluded." Snatching up his almost empty tumbler, Meg's uncle had downed its contents, then said, "I'm sure you can find your way back to the door."
Castiel hadn't looked back, and while he'd regretted not being able to make the trip to England with his mother in tow, he hadn't ever regretted turning down Alastair's asinine, strings-attached 'gift.' It hadn't been long after his arrival that Daphne had approached him and changed is life for the better in so many ways.
Punching his pillow with renewed vigor, Castiel huffed out a sigh. They'd been so great together at Oxford, inseparable too. They'd been dating for almost a year when Castiel had gotten word from Rufus that his mother had fallen ill and he might want to come home because it didn't look good. Castiel had been terrified! His mother meant the world to him and the thought of losing her had spurred him into action. Daphne had been supportive of his decision, but very noticeably despondent at the idea of him going back home. Before he knew what he was doing, he was proposing and asking her to accompany him stating he'd be proud to introduce her to his mother as his future wife.
Daphne's pretty face had lit up with such excitement and love that Castiel thought his chest might burst wide open. After that, everything had happened with unnatural haste. Her family hadn't been nearly as ecstatic as the two of them had been. In fact, they'd been downright ugly and did everything in their power to dissuade his new fiancée from making the journey with him. But, Daphne being the strong-willed woman she was had prevailed.
Throwing his legs over the side of the couch, Castiel sat up groaning slightly at the ache already settling in at the base of his spine. Rubbing his face with both hands he contemplated going upstairs to the queen-sized bed he shared with Daphne. Her note didn't specify whether or not she would be coming back this evening, and since his things had been on the couch, he'd been thinking she would; now, he wasn't so sure.
It was well past 11:00 and she didn't particularly care for driving in the dark yet he still hesitated on making the move to the warmth and comfort of the blue, Egyptian cotton sheets and fluffy pillows. Perhaps a mug of tea and some late night television would help ease him into a state of relaxation and eventual sleep, but he was extremely doubtful on that score; he suspected that it was going to be one hell of a long night.
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