The Painting (MM)

by Pelaam


Heat Rating: Sizzling
Word Count: 33,732
0 Ratings (0.0)

Drake seeks the comfort of solitude halfway around the world after a friend dies. He loves the house set on the hill, despite its isolation. But he slowly realises the character in one of the many paintings in the house is not only moving but warning him against staying.

Eventually Nate is able to step free from the painting’s confines, and Drake thinks he’s fallen in love with a ghost. But the truth is far more deadly.

Drake calls upon a friend who specializes in dealing with the paranormal. Can their combined efforts free Nate and save Drake from becoming another victim?

The Painting (MM)
0 Ratings (0.0)

The Painting (MM)

by Pelaam


Heat Rating: Sizzling
Word Count: 33,732
0 Ratings (0.0)
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An insistent light in his eyes dragged Drake into waking. Cracking open an eye, Drake frowned. As tired as he’d been the previous night, he was sure he’d closed the bedroom door. But it was now open, and his sleep had been disturbed by the light from the corridor.

A soft groan escaped Drake as he saw the time. It was well past eight o’clock. Grumbling under his breath, Drake rolled over and tried to get back to sleep for at least another half an hour.

But no matter how he tried, the bed was no longer comfortable, and he rolled onto his back, staring at the ceiling for a moment. His gaze drifted lower, then he sat bolt upright.

The painting.

Scrambling out of bed, Drake went closer to make sure he wasn’t imagining things. But when he got close enough to the painting, there was no mistake. Instead of holding the pencil in his hand, the model now pointed to the writing pad which held two words.

Save yourself.

Drake stared at the model who seemed to meet his gaze with an anguished one of his own.

“Get out while you can.”

Drake heard the words as if they’d been whispered in his ear. Whirling around, Drake paused long enough to snatch his dressing gown, before running from the room.

In the kitchen, Drake made a pot of strong coffee. With trembling fingers, Drake lifted the mug to his lips. It wasn’t possible to have seen what he had. Drake sipped the hot liquid, the burn to his lips proving he wasn’t in a dream.

* * * *

When Grace and her husband arrived, Drake decided he couldn’t stay out of the bedroom any longer. It was daylight, and he had to see if he’d been dreaming. He gave Grace his best smile.

“I wonder if you wouldn’t mind setting the bedroom fire for me. I have a bit of a migraine today, and to be bent over dealing with the fire is just too much.”

“Of course, dear.” Grace laid her hand on his arm. “If you’re not feeling well, I’ll make you some soup, save you having to cook.”

“Oh, that’s really not necessary.” Drake shook his head, but it was like trying to turn back the tide.

“No trouble at all. Now, let’s get the fire started. Then you can lie down while I get things organised in here.” Grace was already on her way to his bedroom, and Drake hurried to catch up with her.

“Perhaps I should do it anyway.” Drake called out as Grace reached the door, suddenly afraid of what might be in there.

“Nonsense. It’ll only take a moment, and we don’t want you ill. We need you fit and well. Here we are, you just sit and wait.”

When Grace bent down to deal with the fire, Drake looked at the painting. He spotted instantly that the model was hiding the message on the pad with his hand. Anyone giving the portrait a cursory glance wouldn’t notice, but Drake had an artist’s eye.

Sitting on the edge of his bed, Drake gazed at the model. He was sure the attractive man’s eyes held a pleading gaze. Drake didn’t feel threatened, but then, he’d never expected to have a supernatural encounter either.

“There. All done. I’ll get it going now, and make sure it’s blazing nicely before I go. Are you going to stay here?” Grace stood up and looked across the room at Drake.

“No.” Drake shook his head and got off the bed. “I’ll come back later. When you’ve gone.” Although he was answering Grace, his gaze flitted back to the model. Part of him felt ridiculous. It was a painting. The man within it couldn’t hear him.

But then again, Drake had seen the warning, and it wasn’t there now. Drake looked at the painting again. The man was smiling. Not quite knowing why, Drake returned the smile and nodded, as if acknowledging him.

“Thank you.” Once again, the words sounded as if they’d been spoken in Drake’s ear.

He’s not warning anyone but me. Let’s see what happens when Grace and William have left.

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