Hopeful Beginning by Serena Yates

January 25, 2015

Title: Hopeful Beginning

Author: Serena Yates

Pairing: Grayson and James from Fighting for Hope

Prompt: library



To all fans of the Modern Battles series.

Thank you for loving Grayson and James of Fighting for Hope as much as I do!



Author’s Note


This short glimpse into Grayson and James’s lives is set right after the end of Fighting for Hope. It is the day of the first fundraising concert for the new Oxford Children’s Hospital, which takes place at the castle restaurant north of Oxford where James has taken Grayson on a previous date. During the intermission, James and Grayson are taking a walk in the gardens and end up at a hidden bench in the back.

James has just asked Grayson to marry him. Grayson has said yes, and both men are having a hard time keeping their hands off each other—but since they’re at a public venue, it looks as if there isn’t much they can do…



Chapter One


Grayson pulled back from the hottest kiss he had ever shared with James, but reluctantly, and only when he needed air more desperately than to feel connected to his fiancé. Gasping for breath, he leaned his forehead against James’s shoulder and focused on controlling his raging libido. With their groins still pressed tightly together as James straddled the bench in the back of the castle restaurant’s garden, and Grayson’s legs draped over James’s thighs, Grayson’s attempts to rein in the need to come came very close to being less than successful. Finally, when he believed he had a handle on his lust he looked up.

“You’re so hot.” James’s blue eyes blazed with a fire Grayson hadn’t seen in them since the first and last time they’d made love weeks and weeks ago.

“You’re not so bad yourself.” Grayson smiled and lifted his hand to caress James’s face. Touching the man he loved made him realize how much he’d missed this physical closeness when they’d drifted apart while professional fighting took over and they lost sight of what they meant to each other.

James quietly leaned into Grayson’s hand cupping his cheek, and Grayson marveled at the satisfaction he felt from seeing the normally serious, logical man so emotional. Grayson still couldn’t quite believe James had given up his fight for a theoretical research center and was now supporting Grayson’s idea of building a new Children’s Hospital. But he was grateful the obstacle no longer stood between them and determined to make sure James never regretted that decision.

“You have no idea how much I want to make love to you right now.” James grinned ruefully. “Do you think people would mind if we left the concert early?”

“Shit, the concert.” Grayson sat up and looked toward the castle, just visible over the treetops between them and the sandstone building.

“You forgot about that?” James laughed and pulled Grayson even closer.

“It’s not difficult, with you distracting me like you did.” Grayson held out his hand, admiring the simple gold ring James had placed on it just minutes earlier.

“You like it?” James held his hand next to Grayson’s.

“I love it.” Grayson smiled. Seeing the matching ring on his man’s finger did all kinds of interesting things to Grayson’s heart—as well as farther south. “It’s like a promise for a new beginning. And I’d love to celebrate that in style, but….”

“Not out in the open?” James looked around them, assessing the bushes as if deciding which one to drag Grayson behind.

“Definitely not! What if some reporter wanders out here, bored with whatever people are talking about during the intermission, and we end up splashed across the front page of some tabloid or other?” Grayson shuddered at the thought. “Not the kind of publicity we want for the Children’s Hospital.”

“I agree. But I don’t think I can make it home, not in this condition.” James stopped staring at the vegetation and pushed his hips forward, reminding Grayson how hard they both were. “We may need to improvise.”

“How?” Grayson really wanted James inside him, but doing it in the men’s room wasn’t any less risky than going at it out here, and definitely a lot less romantic.

“Hmm, come with me, I may have an idea.” James’s eyes twinkled as he carefully scooted back on the bench, untangling their legs in the process. He rose slowly, adjusted himself with a wince, and pulled Grayson up to follow him

Grayson got up, copied the gesture of adjustment, and followed James back toward the castle. But instead of walking up the steps toward the door of the former ballroom where the concert was taking place, James turned to their left and followed the castle’s outline until they found a ground-level entrance.

“Aha!” James looked triumphant and made a beeline for that door.

“The kitchen?” Grayson narrowed his eyes to try to peer into the room. Surely the door would be either locked or guarded. The caterers bringing the drinks sold during the intermission might have set up on the upper floor, but they must have left someone behind if this was where they kept extra stock. But, much to Grayson’s relief, he couldn’t detect a single soul in the whitewashed basement room with vaulted ceilings, a huge hearth, and dark wooden cupboards and cabinets.

“Yep. I figure it’s a way in that may allow us to enter without being seen.” James winked, then took the last few steps, practically dragging Grayson with him, and pressed his hand on the antique door handle.

It opened with a slight squeak, then James pulled open the door and peeked inside. “The coast looks clear.”

With a huge sigh of relief, Grayson followed his adventurous fiancé, closing the outside door behind them before turning his attention back to James. What now?

“Let’s find the servant stairs. All castles have them, and they’ll be perfect for getting upstairs.” James started looking around.

Grayson automatically did the same even as he wondered what had gotten into James. His fiancé, and God how he loved being able to refer to James that way, had always been determined and stubborn, but to see him apply it to finding them a hidden spot so they could seal their new beginning was a heady feeling.

“There!” James pointed at one of the back walls, a triumphant grin gracing his handsome features.

A wooden door stood slightly ajar, two rows of servant bells, neatly labeled with room names, nailed onto a wooden board right next to it. Grayson raised his eyebrows as he realized the implications. The open door probably meant someone was upstairs, but there was no way to know where that person had gone, or why. Not that it mattered. They’d just have to be even more careful.

“Come on.” James tugged on Grayson’s arm and started to walk in the direction of the mysterious door.

Yup, it appeared they were going upstairs.

James led the way and paused only briefly to allow Grayson to pull the door into the same position they’d found it in. They slowly ascended the stairs, James’s tux and Grayson’s charcoal suit an odd contrast to their burglar-like behavior. They passed a door labeled “ground floor” with a neat little wooden sign at eye level, telling them this was the story containing the restaurant and the ballroom, as well as all the guests. After another set of steps, there was another door in the wall, this one’s sign pronouncing it to be the “first floor.” The servant stairs continued to ascend, but James stopped.

“I really think this odd British way of numbering floors is very confusing.” James grinned and moved toward the door. He put his ear on the wood, probably listening for signs of people on the other side. “Sounds like there’s nobody there.”

“Are you sure this is a good idea?” Grayson nodded toward the door. “What if there are guards out there? They wouldn’t make any noise to warn us.”

“We can always say we got lost.” James waggled his eyebrows, then turned serious as he pulled Grayson into his arms. “We can go back right now if you want. I just really, really want to make love to you, right now, and not have to wait until we make it home. And I don’t want it to be somewhere we might get caught, you know? And I sort of like the thought of sneaking into one of the castle rooms, don’t you?”

“I….” Grayson swallowed. James’s enthusiasm was getting to him. And what was the worst that could happen? No, no, that was the wrong thing to think about. He took a deep breath. “Oh, what the hell. Let’s do it. You only get engaged once.”

James raised his eyebrows, his lips twitching a little.

“Well, I certainly have no intention of letting you go.” Grayson gave James a quick peck on the mouth. “So, we better make this good.”

“You don’t have to convince me.” James kissed him back, then turned his attention back to the door. “Here goes nothing…”

James pulled open the door slowly, looking left and right as soon as he could stick out his head, while Grayson held his breath. When nothing happened, he exhaled and started breathing normally as he followed his fiancé out onto the landing at the top of the majestic staircase leading to this floor from the huge entrance hall below them. They moved carefully along the wall, the soft carpet dampening their steps. The first door to their right was closed, but another neat little wooden sign, this one with a golden border, informed them they had reached the castle’s library.

“Perfect.” James carefully opened this door, checked the room with all the aplomb of a professional criminal, and walked inside quickly, pulling Grayson with him.

Grayson followed and closed the door, looking for a lock and finding it. He turned the huge metal key to secure them inside the room and turned around to check the details. The room was lit by windows on two of the walls. The other two walls, and all the space between the windows, were covered in bookshelves. Made from white oak, they made the room feel less oppressive than darker wood might have. There were two groups of leather sofas and easy chairs in two corners, as well as a large antique desk in front of the windows. Expensive looking rugs covered the stone floor.

“Wow, it’s beautiful.” Grayson took James’s hand and twined their fingers. “Very romantic.”

“Glad you like it.” James smiled and pulled Grayson into his arms.

The kiss that followed started out slow and tender, but quickly got Grayson going again. His excitement rose as he pressed himself as close to James as he could get, sliding his arms around his fiancé’s neck so he wouldn’t fall as his knees weakened. And this time, now they were behind a closed and locked door, Grayson hoped to be feeling what it was like to have engagement sex. A bit illicit, and not in a bed, but the adventure of it all didn’t exactly deter him from becoming hard enough for his cock to push against the confines of his suddenly much too tight pants.

“I want you, James.” Grayson panted as he pulled back. “Make love to me?”


Chapter Two


James couldn’t believe his luck. After all the fighting they had gone through on a professional level, the misunderstandings that had developed in their personal lives, and Grayson almost losing his life in that horrible car accident almost two weeks ago, he was holding the man he loved in his arms. Better yet, he had asked Grayson to marry him and had not been rejected.

“James?” Grayson stared at him with a small frown on his forehead. “Where did you go just now?”

“I’m here.” God, was he ever. He’d never believed in all that hippie mumbo-jumbo about living in the moment, but he had to admit, they had a point. “Just thinking how lucky I am to have you back in my arms and wanting to spend the rest of your life with me. I’m not going anywhere without you from now on.”

“Good. The feeling is mutual.” Grayson nodded and looked around the room as if to figure out the best place in the library for them to finally make love. “I’m about ready to explode, and those couches look awfully comfortable…”

“Then again, the desk has a certain appeal.” James eyed the antique piece of furniture a little more closely. “Does it look sturdy enough to you? I mean, for what we have planned?”

“Do you have a desk fetish I should know about? Or fantasies about bending me over one?” Grayson grinned and winked. “I have to admit, the thought appeals to me, but I’m not so sure this one was built for what I have in mind. And can you imagine what would happen if we destroyed it in the throes of passion?”

“I’d rather not.” James shuddered. It was all well and good to play with the thought of getting caught, but he did not want to find out what it felt like to be confronted with others finding him and Grayson in a compromising position. He might be a bit of an adventurous soul when the occasion arose, but an exhibitionist he was not.

“I’m glad you agree.” Grayson nodded toward the couch farthest from the window. “Is that one good for you?”

“Lead the way.” James followed Grayson, watching his fiancé’s ass move in his deliciously tight slacks. Yum! James slid his arms around Grayson’s middle when he stopped and kissed the side of his neck.

Grayson moaned.

“You like that?” James smiled and continued his soft assault on Grayson’s slightly sweaty skin.

“Oh God. You have no idea what this does to me.” Grayson held on to James’s hands and leaned back, tilting his head for better access.

“I’m beginning to figure it out.” James licked and nibbled his way down Grayson’s throat, moving around him until they were facing each other and he was stopped by Grayson’s shirt collar.

Grayson’s eyes were bright with lust, and he reached up to take off his tie. He aimed it at the closest easy chair, then unbuttoned his shirt. James followed the movement of Grayson’s fingers, enjoying each additional square inch of pale skin appearing as the shirt was pulled aside. Suddenly, the shirt slid off Grayson’s wide shoulders and followed the tie onto the chair. And Grayson didn’t stop there. His pants, shoes and socks followed quickly, but then he stopped.

“What?” James was mesmerized and hadn’t moved a single muscle during the sexy strip tease.

“You too.” Grayson’s voice sounded raspy.

“Oh.” James had rarely been this tongue-tied, but Grayson was taking his breath away with his perfect proportions and hidden strength. James began to move on autopilot, divesting himself of his tux and carelessly adding each piece of clothing to the growing heap on the chair. When James looked up, finally naked, Grayson had taken off his briefs and stood right there, gloriously erect and clearly ready to go.

“Oh shit.” Greyson frowned. “We don’t have condoms or lube.”

James blinked, trying to clear his brain from the fog of lust preventing him from thinking clearly. Then he bent to retrieve his pants and pulled the foil packet and sachet from a pocket, holding it up for Grayson’s inspection.

“Always prepared, huh?” Grayson laughed.

“I was hopeful.” James shrugged.

“I’m glad.” Grayson opened his arms and James walked right into them.

It brought their hard cocks into contact and Grayson arched his back, putting more pressure on James’s erection and making him hiss with the sudden intensity. He slid his arms around Grayson and kissed him while rubbing their lengths together slowly so he could enjoy the friction. James slowly pushed Grayson until they hit the sofa, then followed him down, careful not to crush him as they settled. With Grayson on his back, legs spread so James would fit, and their cocks aligned, things heated up really quickly.

“Hot.” Grayson gasped for air, but never stopped pushing upward to meet James’s thrusts. “More.”

James grinned. Lack of coherence was a good sign. He reached for the condom and sheathed himself. When he opened the packet of lube, Grayson sighed with relief and spread his legs farther apart.

“I need you inside me, James.” Grayson kneaded James’s asscheeks hard enough to make James lose his train of thought again.

“We’ll get there. Just let me make sure you’re ready.” James pulled back into a kneeling position, opened the sachet, and slicked his fingers. When he touched Grayson’s hole, they both moaned, and Grayson pushed upward so fast, James’s index finger slid in to the first knuckle faster than he could blink.

“Yes!” Grayson hissed and wiggled his ass. “More.”

James slid his digit deeper, watching for signs of discomfort or pain, but there were none. He added a second finger and began to spread them, and Grayson whimpered. When James hit his prostate on the first try, Grayson howled as he threw back his head and shook with need.

“Now, please, now!” Grayson reached for his cock, but James batted his hand away.

James distributed the rest of the lube on his cock and put the tip against Grayson’s waiting hole. When James started to push in, as slowly as he was able to go, the tight heat almost made him come right then and there. He stopped and focused on unsexy thoughts until he regained some measure of control.

Grayson, apparently, wouldn’t have it. He grabbed James’s ass and pulled until James bottomed out. Overwhelmed with the need to fuck, he groaned and grabbed Grayson’s shoulders so he had something to hold on to. Grayson slid his legs around James’s hips and tightened his muscles. The increase in pressure was excruciatingly wonderful, but it didn’t help him stay in charge.

“Move,” Grayson hissed.

“Grayson. Fuck. You make me crazy.” Beads of sweat pooled on James’s forehead as he fought the need to come. “Please, slow down. I want to make this good for you.”

“Then move and make me feel it.” Grayson lifted his hands to James’s shoulders and pulled him down for a scorching kiss. “I love you, but I need you to move.”

“Okay.” Who was James to fight what they clearly both wanted?

Holding onto Grayson’s shoulders to stop him from falling off the sofa, James pulled out and thrust back in quickly enough to make Grayson’s eyes widen.

“Yes! Yes, that’s what I need.” Grayson moved away when James pulled back and pushed toward him when he thrust forward, increasing the intensity of their coupling.

James began to thrust in earnest and kept his strokes long and deep as long as he was able. He saw stars every time Grayson clenched around his erection, and within minutes, James was thrusting in and out of Grayson with such speed and force it made the leather creak. Grayson’s moans and small whimpers encouraged James to keep going, and his fiancé’s wide green eyes staring at him with love and trust added an intimacy to their lovemaking that made James want to howl with joy.

The scent of Grayson’s sweat mixed with that of the leather, wood polish, and old paper of the books was the best aphrodisiac James could think of, and all sensations combined, finally drove him over the edge. James came in long bursts of ecstasy that filled the condom and must have set Grayson off. His fiancé’s come added spurts of heat to the sweat between their bodies and made them slide against each other even better.

James’s breath came in ragged gasps as he captured Grayson’s lips for another passionate kiss that didn’t exactly help to calm them down. But finally James pulled up and out to deal with the used condom by wrapping it in a handkerchief. He used a second one to clean Grayson a little, then sank back onto the sofa and took Grayson into his arms.

“I love you.” Grayson still sounded out of breath.

“I love you too.” James smiled at his fiancé. “Thank you for giving me a second chance.”

Grayson smiled and snuggled closer. James closed his eyes for a few moments, but the need to make sure they weren’t discovered soon got the better of him.

“We should probably get dressed and get back to the concert.” James didn’t sound convinced to his own ears.

“Yeah, best not to tempt fate any further.” Grayson chuckled. “I’m sure Danny has figured out what we were up to, but we can always distract him by showing our rings.”

“Good idea.” James smiled. He really liked Danny, and was glad Grayson had such a loyal supporter.

“All right, let’s go.” Grayson rose and began to sort out there clothes.

They dressed in silence, then sneaked back downstairs and outside. When they approached the stairs leading up to the ballroom level, Danny was already standing there, a wide grin on his face. Robert stood right next to him, staring at James with wide eyes that twinkled with mischief.

“Time to face the music, right?” Grayson looked at James with such love and trust in his eyes, James wanted to return to the library as fast as possible.

Instead, he tightened his grip on Grayson’s fingers for support and smiled at him. With Grayson beside him instead of fighting him, James could face anything. Their life together was just beginning, and having Grayson by his side filled him with enough love and hope to last a lifetime.

Did you enjoy Serena Yates’s story? If so, check out the rest of her books and take 25% off at checkout with the code PearlLoveFlash2. Coupon code is good for one order per customer through February 25, 2015.

One Response to “Hopeful Beginning by Serena Yates”

  1. Shirley Ann Speakman says:

    Very nice and Hot!!!

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