Excerpt for Adrian's Scar by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

This page may contain adult content. If you are under age 18, or you arrived by accident, please do not read further.

A NineStar Press Publication

Published by NineStar Press

P.O. Box 91792,

Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87199 USA.

www.ninestarpress.com

Adrian’s Scar

Copyright © 2018 by Martin Delacroix

Cover Art by Natasha Snow Copyright © 2018

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any material form, whether by printing, photocopying, scanning or otherwise without the written permission of the publisher. To request permission and all other inquiries, contact NineStar Press at the physical or web addresses above or at Contact@ninestarpress.com.

Printed in the USA

First Edition

May, 2018


eBook ISBN: 978-1-948608-63-3


Warning: This book contains sexually explicit content, which may only be suitable for mature readers.

Adrian’s Scar

Martin Delacroix

Table of Contents

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

About the Author

Chapter One

I was thirty, and my partner of five years, Christopher, was gone. An octogenarian driving a Sedan Deville ran over Christopher while he trained on his ten-speed bicycle. Christopher died instantly.

Some mornings, after the accident happened, I’d wake up and turn over in bed, expecting to find my beautiful Christopher hugging his pillow while sunlight reflected in his dark hair. And then I’d remember.

Christopher was a remarkable person, a gourmet cook who competed in triathlons and sewed the drapes hanging in our home. A pediatric hematologist, he treated kids with leukemia and hemophilia. I let him choose my clothes because he knew what matched with what. Like me, Christopher was organized, a true neatnik, and our home sparkled. We kept everything arranged just so, from the living room and kitchen to the closets and attic.

Now Christopher was gone, and I knew in my heart that no one could ever replace him.

In my bedroom, on the bureau, I created a sort of “Christopher shrine”: framed photographs, his sports medals and trophies, his wristwatch, and the gold necklace I’d given him for his twenty-ninth birthday. He wore the necklace at the time of his death.

I framed a letter he wrote me when he attended a medical conference in Montreal, and now the letter sat among the memorabilia. I kept a scented candle on the bureau and often lit it. I’d sit cross-legged on the bed, staring at the display while tears rolled down my cheeks.

Oh, Christopher, why did you have to leave me?

Evenings were hardest. I’d come home from my law office to an empty house. I had no one to discuss the day’s events with and no one to share a meal with. I took to eating frozen dinners, the kind I could pop into the microwave. I lost fifteen pounds and looked like a scarecrow. I felt lonely as hell and finally decided I should fill my evenings with some kind of activity. But what?

My law partner, David Bonner, suggested I try teaching part-time at our community college.

“There’s a paralegal program,” David said. “I know the department head, so I can put in a word if you’d like.”

Hell, why not?

I interviewed with Susan Stouffer, David’s friend, a petite woman in her forties with an easy smile, a strand of pearls, and a cluttered office. Textbooks choked her bookshelves. Her desk was stacked with file folders and legal journals.

“This is a four-year program,” she told me, “and our standards are high. I think you’ll find most of our students are bright and earnest. Many are middle-aged, looking to start a second career.”

I would teach a course called Introduction to U S Law and the Judicial System.

“It’s a survey course,” Susan said. “You’ll give them a taste of each area of substantive law: torts, contracts, family law, constitutional law, and so forth. You’ll also teach them court procedure; you’ll explain the state and federal court systems, and the Florida statutes too.”

Class met three nights per week, two hours per session, and the semester lasted four months.

“Adjuncts aren’t paid a lot,” Susan said. “You might call it a labor of love.”

“It’s fine,” I told her.

Susan gave me three different texts, a syllabus, a campus map, and a key to my office. “Visit the personnel department. You’ll need to sign forms and get your parking decal.”

The campus was perhaps fifty acres, much of it shaded by live oaks and long leaf pines with trunks as big around as oil barrels. The buildings were contemporary, with lots of glass and cream-colored brick, all connected by concrete walkways winding through swaths of Bahia grass. Classes were not in session that day, so few folks were about.

Located in a one-story portable, my office was a cramped space with a desk and a swivel chair, a laminate bookcase, two folding metal chairs, and a telephone. My windows faced west, and afternoon sunlight slanted in through the venetian blinds. The paneled walls were barren, the carpet coffee stained.

If Christopher had been present, he would have rubbed his hands together and clucked his tongue. He might’ve said something like, “This place needs livening up: plants, framed posters, and maybe curtains.”

How I missed him.

A knock sounded on my door, and when I answered, a wiry guy my age with huge brown eyes stood in the hallway, clutching a briefcase. His skin was dark as chocolate, his hair onyx and straight as straw. His pudgy lips were a purple shade. I was six one and probably had half a foot on him. He wore a starched white shirt, khaki pants, and leather slip-ons.

“Are you the new adjunct?” he asked.

I nodded.

He extended a hand. “I’m Kip Patel; I teach legal research and writing full-time.”

We shook, and I told him I was Kai Olson.

With his thumb, he pointed over his shoulder.

“My office is across the hall. Elegant digs they give us, eh?”

I grinned and bobbed my chin. His voice had a lilting quality I found appealing.

“Do you like it here?” I asked.

He nodded. “Very much. This will be my fourth year at the college. After law school, I took a job at a firm; I performed real estate and corporate work.” He shook his head and rolled his eyes. “I worked sixty-hour weeks, and it was boring as hell. This job pays less, of course, but I prefer the academic life.”

“I’ve never taught before,” I told Kip.

He shrugged while rocking his head from side to side. “It’s not difficult,” he said. “But listen, if I can be of help, you must let me know. We are all friends here.”

Chapter Two

It took me six hours to prepare for my initial class. The syllabus Susan Stouffer had provided was bare bones, simply indicating which topics should be covered each week and designating pages in the texts my students should read.

During our first week, I’d acquaint the class with the Florida and federal judicial systems, the trial and appellate courts, both civil and criminal. A large quantity of material had to be covered in very little time.

My classroom was equipped with a computer; it projected material onto an overhead screen, so I prepared my lecture on my laptop computer at home. I uploaded various items from the Internet, illustrations and information my students could view while I spoke.

About forty students appeared for the first class, an equal mix of men and women. Half were kids right out of high school. A few were military veterans in their early twenties. The rest were, as Susan had mentioned, folks in their thirties and forties, people looking for a new career. One guy wore a firefighter’s uniform; another a postal worker’s outfit. Every ethnic group was represented: white, black, Asian, Hispanic, Arab, Pakistani, and Indian. One girl had emigrated from Croatia, another from Ukraine.

My students sat in individual desks with returns, the kind with storage shelves beneath the seats. Fluorescent ceiling fixtures cast a glow. People dressed casually, most wore shorts and sandals. I passed out copies of the syllabus while emphasizing the importance of keeping up with the reading and turning in assignments on time.

“The legal system runs on deadlines, and it’s quite unforgiving,” I told my class. “The calendar rules every law office, so it will rule this course as well.”

A slender, dark-haired boy sat in the first row of desks. Dressed in khaki shorts, an open-neck shirt, and leather sandals, his turned-up nose gave him a pretty look. He wore glasses, but they did not conceal the intensity of his turquoise eyes. Slut that I was, I stole a glance at his crotch, and when I saw the bulge of his genitals, I felt a tingle between my legs. The boy’s name, I knew from calling roll, was Adrian Knox, and the fact that he had no left arm did not detract from his appeal.

I called a bathroom break halfway through class, and while I stood at a urinal, taking care of business, Adrian entered the men’s room. He used the urinal beside me. He was nearly as tall as I was. He unzipped his shorts and produced his cock, and I couldn’t help but look. It was long and slender with a blue vein coursing down the top of the shaft. The glans was rose-colored and shaped like a plum.

While our streams pounded porcelain, he asked me, “What kind of law do you practice?”

“Commercial litigation,” I said. “I represent business people in court, mostly those in building construction. My dad was an architect, so I know the business pretty well.”

“I hope to go to law school,” Adrian said, “after I finish here.”

I nodded, shaking my cock, and then zipping up. “You can earn a good living as an attorney, but it’s high-pressure stuff. Every day is a challenge.”

He shook his own cock, zipped up.

“I’m used to challenges,” he said. Then he pointed to his empty sleeve. “This happened when I was twelve. Ever since, I’ve had to work twice as hard as the next guy just to keep up.”

I felt blood rush to my cheeks. How could he speak so casually about his missing arm?

We stepped to a bank of sinks, and while we washed up, I looked at his reflection in the wall mirror. His lips were bright pink, his eyelashes long, and his brows were thick and sooty. He didn’t look older than eighteen.

While I watched him wash and then dry his hand, I tried to imagine what it must feel like maneuvering through the day with one arm missing. Simple things—driving, buying groceries, and getting dressed—would be difficult. And what sports could Adrian play? Not basketball or baseball. Not golf. Could he swim? Play tennis? What about making love?

“You’re a good public speaker,” Adrian told me while we strolled toward the classroom. “How’d you learn?”

“Lots of practice,” I said. “My first trial, when I spoke to the jury, my hands shook so badly I kept dropping things: documents, pencils, you name it.”

Adrian chuckled. “I’m taking a speech class. I hope to overcome my shyness when talking in front of groups.”

We entered the classroom moments later, and I resumed my lecture, discussing the functions of state and federal appellate courts. During the hour, more than once, my gaze met Adrian’s. Each time it happened, he crinkled the corners of his eyes, and then his lips parted. Once, he even winked.

Adrian’s actions made my belly flutter. Had he noticed me staring at his cock in the men’s room? Was he flirting with me?

When class ended, I waited until all the students had departed. Then I gathered my things and turned out the lights. The evening had gone well, I thought. People paid attention to the lecture; they took notes. I cracked a few jokes and they laughed. And as far as I could recall, I didn’t commit any gaffes. The time had flown by.

Outside, darkness had fallen. Lamp poles cast pools of light onto the asphalt parking lot. While I ambled toward my car, I saw Adrian standing next to a minivan, conversing with a woman as tall as him. Adrian’s chin was lowered, and even at a distance of thirty yards, I saw his jaw work from side to side. The woman’s lips moved at rapid-fire speed while she pointed a finger at Adrian. Her other hand rested on her hip.

What was going on?

I considered approaching the two, but then their conversation ceased, and both got into the minivan. Adrian occupied the passenger seat while the woman sat behind the wheel.

Moments later, they drove away.

Chapter Three

I sat in Kip Patel’s office, eating a chef’s salad while Kip ate a meatball sub. The time was around six in the evening, and I had already prepared for that night’s lecture. I would discuss the federal rules of civil procedure with my students—dry stuff but essential material for paralegals, as these rules governed every aspect of a lawsuit.

Kip’s office was identical to my own, but far more inviting. Framed photos of India hung on the walls. Several plants grew in clay pots, including a few orchids on the windowsill, one was in bloom. His diplomas and law licenses decorated the wall behind his desk, and a brass floor lamp cast a cozy glow.

“My family emigrated from Mumbai when I was nine,” Kip told me. “My parents purchased a small hotel in suburban Atlanta, and we lived on the property. I laundered sheets and towels, cleaned rooms, and maintained the swimming pool. Between those tasks and my studies, there wasn’t much time for fun.”

Kip did his undergraduate work at Emory University, then attended law school at University of Georgia in Athens, on a full scholarship. He pointed toward a bookcase, at a framed studio portrait of a woman with skin as dark as Kip’s.

“I met my wife when we served on law review together. I’m afraid she’s much smarter than me.”

I chuckled at his remark. “Does she practice?”

Kip nodded. “She’s a tax attorney with a firm in Tampa.”

“Do you have any kids?” I asked.

He shook his head. “What about you? Are you married?”

I stirred my salad and shook my head. Should I tell him about Christopher? I was out to most people, but I didn’t know Kip that well, and I wasn’t sure how he’d react to my being gay. Weren’t most Indian people socially conservative?

Kip took a bite of his sandwich; he spoke with his mouth full of food.

“I’m surprised some woman hasn’t snagged you. You’re a big, nice-looking guy, and you have your own practice—every girl’s dream.”

I chuckled again.

“I have a cousin,” Kip said, waggling his eyebrows. “She’s pretty and twenty-five, a college graduate. Perhaps you’d like to meet her?”

I shook my head and cleared my throat. “I lost someone special to me. It wasn’t long ago, and I’m still recovering.”

Kip put down his sandwich; he shifted position in his swivel chair. “Kai, I am so sorry.”

I told him it was okay.

“No, you must understand. I have a bad habit: I try running people’s lives for them. I’m always sticking my nose in places it does not belong. Please, forgive me.”

“It’s fine, Kip. I know you meant well.”

He pointed, as if to imply seriousness. “Anytime I step out of line, you must tell me. You see, Kai, I want us to be friends.”

I smiled and bobbed my chin.

“Now,” Kip said, “let’s talk about something else. Let’s discuss the law…”

Chapter Four

At my law office, on a weekday in mid-afternoon, my secretary rapped on my doorjamb.

“There’s a young man out front,” she said, “a student of yours. He’d like to see you for a moment.”

Adrian Knox stood in the reception room.

“I was in the neighborhood,” he said, “so I thought I’d say hi.”

When I brought him to my private office, he whistled when we entered the room.

“Nice view,” he told me.

David and I occupied a portion of the twelfth floor in a bank building; our office overlooked Tampa Bay. The rent was steep, but the office made a good impression on our clients.

“Image,” my dad had once told me, “is critical to success in a private practice. Don’t skimp on your clothes or your office and buy good stationery.”

Adrian sat in a client chair while I sat behind my desk. He studied my framed diplomas and certificates on the wall behind me.

“That’s a lot of paper,” he said. After removing his glasses, he pursed his lips and blew dust off the lenses. My pulse accelerated when I gazed at his turquoise eyes and long lashes.

“What do you think of the class so far?” I asked. “It’s my first time teaching, and I hope I’m doing okay.”

He held his glasses up to the ceiling light and squinted. “I enjoy it. I mean, there’s a lot of reading—I’ll bet I study ten hours a week—but you make the material interesting.”

After he returned his glasses to his nose, he crossed a knee with his ankle.

“Do you think you’d like practicing law?” I asked.

He nodded.

“Why?”

“I’m a competitive person; I like a challenge. And it seems each day would be different from the one before: new cases, new clients.”

I nodded. “But many people can’t handle the stress—the deadlines or the fear of losing a lawsuit. The law’s not for everybody.”

Adrian flicked his empty sleeve with a fingertip. Then he looked at me and puckered one side of his face. “After this, I think my sense of fear has evaporated.”

I didn’t say anything.

He cleared his throat. “You can ask if you’d like.”

“Ask what?”

“How I lost the arm.”

My cheeks burned while I looked out the plate glass at Tampa Bay’s blue expanse.


Purchase this book or download sample versions for your ebook reader.
(Pages 1-11 show above.)