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Zorion & Renato 3

Chapter One

“You said if I talked to you, then you would stop with the protests.” Renato said as he sat across from his parents in their living room.

“Renato, won’t you see reason.” His mother said. “Everything can be forgiven, we’ll pray together, we’ll heal together.”

“I’m not leaving Zorion and coming back to this place. I’m not going to go back to lying to make you happy. I’m gay and I’m proud of that fact.” read more

Halcyon & Fane 2

Chapter One

“Hey Fane, did you hear me.”

Fane looked up from the file he had been so engrossed in and Halcyon smiled. “Sorry.” He felt embarrassed that he had been ignoring him. “What did you say?” He held up and pretty cream colored envelope. It had already been opened and Fane took it, pulling out the card inside. He read it then looked back up at Halcyon. “It’s a wedding invitation.” read more

Lachlan, Teague, & Kennedy 3

Chapter One

Lachlan and Teague sat on either side of Kennedy, worriedly rubbing his back as he threw up again. Teague’s wolf whined and Lachlan’s heart hammered loudly in his chest. He had been like this for three days and they didn’t understand why. Vampires couldn’t catch diseases, so it worried them. read more

Alastor & Cyrino 3

Chapter One

Alastor hummed as he walked back from the village below his and Cyrino’s home, bringing back the food he had bought for dinner. Cyrino’s most recent job had been tough, having to save the life of a small child. Alastor had hated having to help the families oldest child hold their parents back. He wanted to do something for him. He was so focused on Cyrino, that he nearly ran straight into the demon that had appeared in the road. His heart stuttered and he jumped back. “Um, excuse me.” He looked the demon over, seeing he closely resembled Cyrino. read more

Paimon & Pellegrino

Chapter One

“Paimon, come on we should have left already.” Pellegrino said as he walked into the room Paimon was using at the castle. “What’s taking…” he froze, his heart jumping in his chest when he saw Paimon standing there naked, drying his hair. Paimon’s eyes collided with his and he swallowed. “I…sorry, I should have knocked, I…” He turned around to leave and Paimon was suddenly standing there, closing the door, the towel wrapped around his waist.

“Well hello to you too Pellegrino.” Paimon’s eyes twinkled with his trademark amusement. “Can I help you?”

“Uh, our trip…I just came to get you.” He hadn’t expected him to be completely naked. He often walked into Paimon’s house without knocking.

“Oh that’s right.” He chuckled. “I’m afraid I slept in. If you’ll just give me a moment to get dressed.”

“Of course, sorry.”

Paimon chuckled again, not seeming bothered in the slightest that Pellegrino had seen him naked. Paimon was confident in his body and if anybody was going to see him naked he wanted it to be the prince. Paimon dressed slowly, a wide smile on his face as he enjoyed teasing the very nervous Pellegrino. Once dressed he hugged Pellegrino from behind and whispered in his ear “I’m ready now” chuckling again at how he reacted. Paimon let his body go but took the prince’s hand and tugged him out. Pellegrino was once again left not knowing what to do. Paimon was a lot to be around but he enjoyed every second of it.

Paimon took a detour to the kitchen where he grabbed a bag he had packed the night before with snacks for the road. He wasn’t particularly worried about supplies, confident in his ability to easily provide for them. “ How long are we going to be gone?” Pellegrino asked.

“A few days. Why, are you scared to be alone with me? Afraid I might bite?” He chuckled at the prince’s stuttering heart. He truly did love teasing him, especially since he was so innocent.

“No, never.”

“Don’t worry, I promise to make every moment incredibly enjoyable my sweet prince.”

Paimon kept possession of prince Pellegrino’s hand even as they left the castle, wanting him to stay close. He knew the prince liked it anyway. He was often tempted to tell the prince that the feeling was mutual but Paimon enjoyed this phase far too much. They had forever so what did it matter how long they were here. Eventually the prince would admit their feelings and they’d still have eternity together. Right now, things were adorable but a part of him did hope maybe this trip would be what got Pellegrino to admit he wanted to be in a relationship with him.

“What are we going to be doing exactly?” Pellegrino asked.

“It’s a surprise my prince, or perhaps you’d like me to spoil it for you?”

“No, well maybe a hint?”

“Hmmm.” Paimon tapped his chin. “It’s fun and interesting and you get me all to yourself.” He teased and Pellegrino’s cheeks flushed. “It’ll just be you and me.”

“Oh, I see.”

“There’s going to be hot springs.”

“Really?”

“Mmhmm and you’ll love it there, I promise.”

“I’m surprised you’re not dragging me off to mess with someone.” Pellegrino said with a nervous chuckle.

“I’m not all tricks, my prince, sometimes I like to unwind and be “normal” for awhile.”

“so did anything keep you up last night?”

“Not really, It was just one of those nights I fell asleep particularly hard” Pellegrino didn’t say anything back so Paimon asked “what have you done this morning?”

“talked to some friends who stopped me on the way to your home”

“Oh, which friends?”

“Míos, Enfulid and Enfulid’s most recent fling.”

“He never does stay with anyone more than a few months. Were they just saying goodbye?”

“Mostly, Mios also decided to bring up again why we don’t just teleport where we are going.”

“Part of the fun is traveling there”

“That’s what I told him. He said if he had that ability its all he would do”

“That’s what you think but its not as fun when you’ve been able to do it all your life”

“Says the guy who likes to sneak up on people, me included, and scare them.”

“I prefer the term surprise and don’t pretend you don’t enjoy it.”

“I admit life would be boring without you.”

“True, I’m pretty amazing.”

“You are, I mean it.” He felt embarrassed so he cleared his throat and focused on the road ahead. Even so, he could see Paimon smiling out of the corner of his eye. It wasn’t fair how beautiful he was, how easily he wrapped people around his little finger. He had been captivated from the moment they had met.

Paimon couldn’t get over how sweet Pellegrino was and how adorable he was in his obliviousness. He was so innocent in comparison to himself, he wondered how he would react to being seduced. “Oh, would you mind if we took a little detour? It’s a shortcut, but I think you’ll like it.”

“Okay, whatever you want.”

“Keep saying that and I might just collect.” He winked and then chuckled when he heard Pellegrino’s heart quicken.

They were soon turning where the detour began, walking silently side by side due to the fact Paimon was now hooked into the idea of suddenly seducing him at some point during this journey. He just had to plan how and when. He didn’t mind this phase but the urge to actually mate with him grew stronger and stronger every time they hung out. If he kept just teasing Pellegrino and waiting for him to confess he didn’t know how much longer he was going to have to wait for sex, possibly years and that tipped the scales a little into how much fun it would be to seduce such a sweet, innocent man.

Pellegrino noticed small changes starting to occur as they walked. The grass was growing more vibrant but the trees, once green and full bodied were starting to look more like they belonged to fall weather. He began looking more intently at everything which Paimon noticed “Of course, he’s thinking of nature and I’m thinking about making love to him” he thought to himself.

“What happened here?” He pointed. “There’s snow back there.”

“My theory is a magic user may have been practicing changing the weather and it got out of hand. I call it the Forest of Seasons.”

“It’s magnificent.”

“You’re better.” He gently bumped into him.

“You’re teasing.”

“Am I? I think I’m being incredibly honest. If I had to choose between you and this place, I’d definitely choose you. You’re far to entertaining and pure to pass up.” He teased.

“I’m not pure.”

“Oh? Do tell sweet prince.”

“I…well…” he rubbed the back of his neck, “okay, so maybe I am more pure than I thought.”

Paimon chuckled. “That’s okay, it’s actually quite adorable.” He grinned. “Besides, I have enough experience for both of us.”

“Paimon, come on.” He looked away. “So, tell me more about this place? Are there any animals or anything?”

He really wanted to talk about anything other than Paimons previous exploits with lovers. He knew he meant that in other ways too but it still made him uncomfortable. Paimon easily transitioned over to a new topic, always feeling it was a subject that did nothing but make his mate uncomfortable. He had hoped at first it might interest him but it never so much as slightly peaked his interest though he couldn’t blame him. He knew from experience with others who had slept around just because someone had sex a lot didn’t mean they were good at it. When you get people in bed they don’t get a preview of how good you are so your skill in bed has nothing to do with how many you’ve been with.

He wasn’t sure how that idea even got started. Sometimes having a multitude of partners actually meant you were pretty bad at it, as in, beings weren’t coming back for more after they had you once so you had to bed someone new. “there’s actually an amazing variety of animals this way. Since there are so many seasons a lot can live in different areas of this place”

“Thanks for bringing me this way” Paimon smiled, charming as always “things like this is precisely why I enjoy walking with you instead of teleporting”

“can we stay for the night when we’re about halfway through? I don’t want to rush through here”

“That’s fine with me, just gives us more time together”

Pellegrino wanted to explore the different parts of the forest and Paimon happily followed, even pelting him with a snowball at one point. When Pellegrino went to retaliate, he was suddenly behind him and smashing another over his head. “That’s so unfair.” Pellegrino said with a laugh.

“The look on your face is always priceless though, I can’t help it.” He helped dust Pellegrino off. “Come on, we’ll stay in Spring.”

“Alright.”

He took Pellegrino’s hand again and pulled him through the woods, moving out of the snow to a more warm and vibrant area. He marveled at how brightly colored the plants were and also at the heat radiating from the area. It was like both Spring and Summer had taken up residence here and it was amazing. “This is perfect.”

“There’s no need for a fire when it’s like this.” He dropped his pack in the grass and stretched. “So, what do you think so far? Good trip? Bad?”

“It’s perfect.” Pellegrino sat down and leaned back against a tree. “So, have you come here often?”

“Of course, I love it here, why?”

“No reason.”

Paimon could see the question in his eyes. He was wondering if he had brought anyone else here. “You know, I used to travel alone, mostly following Jarius and making him angry. I spent time with others of course, but I never brought them to my favorite places.” He went and sat down in front of Pellegrino, taking his hand. “You’re the only one.”

He could see how much that meant to Pellegrino, the look he had on his face was so adorable he kissed his forehead. “You hungry?” he asked before Pellegrino could say anything. “It probably would be good to hunt before we’re too hungry” he semi stuttered and Paimon chuckled, come, lets hunt together. Paimon knew the area so Pellegrino followed his lead. They didn’t end up too far before nabbing and quickly killing an animal. They prepared it together, it producing so much they could eat off it for days if they kept it stored properly but Paimon had magic for that.

“Let me cook it, I found this particularly good way to use this meat”

“alright” Pellegrino watched Paimon, always eager to learn.

“How did you get it to taste so good?” Pelligrino asked when they were finally eating. “I watched you and I don’t remember you putting much on there.”

Paimon shrugged. “It’s a secret.”

“Come on, I want to be able to make it too.”

Paimon shook his head. “You’ll just have to visit me as often as possible to eat it. It’s a good excuse to have you over.”

“Alright, fine, I guess I can deal with it.”

“How else am I to entice you over?”

“By asking?”

“But food is an added bonus.”

Pellegrino chuckled. “I’ll give you that.”

They continued to make small talk as they ate, Paimon teasing Pellegrino at every opportunity and Pellegrino unable to hide his embarrassment or the fact he actually enjoyed it. He could see why so many found him charming and even loved him. He couldn’t help but feel a slight stab of jealousy and he hated it. Paimon paid more attention to him than anyone else and he knew he should be happy about it. “You’re making a face my sweet Pellegrino.” Paimon jerked him out of his thoughts. “Want to talk about it?”

“No, I’m fine, thank you for bringing me here and for dinner.”

“Well be prepared to be spoiled the whole time. I have a lot planned for when we get there.”

 

Final Chapter

Pellegrino smiled, snapping out of it. The past didn’t matter, just them, right now mattered. It felt good to know that he was the only one Paimon had brought here. Paimon got Pellegrino blushing again when they laid down for the night. Instead of just laying across from him Paimon pulled Pellegrino into his arms and almost instantly fell asleep, not giving Pellegrino much of a chance to say anything. Pellegrino swallowed down how nervous this made him and allowed himself to slowly drift to sleep. In the morning Paimon had such a smug smile on his face that had Pellegrinos heart racing. “good morning”

“good morning” Pellegrino quickly sat up and Paimon chuckled, happily starting to get breakfast going. Pellegrino still didn’t know what to say about Paimon holding him last night so ended up not mentioning it. He liked it and still couldn’t tell Paimon how he felt so he decided nothing was best unless he was ready to tell him he wanted to be with him.

“Do you think we’ll get to where we’re going today?” Pellegrino asked once they were on their way again.

“Tonight, that’s why I went this way. It takes us up and over instead of around.” He took Pellegrino’s hand. “Luckily, because of all this magic, it stays fairly warm on the way up. Are you excited?”

“Very.” And nervous, he thought. Paimon had such a way of throwing him for a loop. He was so forward and absolutely shameless.

Paimon could hear how hard his heart was beating and pulled him a little closer. He took them up at a leisurely pace, not wanting to rush his time with Pellegrino. A warm breeze blew through the forest, kicking up flurries of snow. When they crested the hill, Paimon pointed. “We’re going way over there where that clearing is.” He explained. “See the sun hitting the water?”

“This is amazing.”

“You need to travel more, my prince. I may just have to take you on a new adventure every couple of weeks.”

“You don’t have to do that.”

“No, but I want to.”

“alright then, that sounds fun”

“as long as I’m with you I’m doing something I want to do” Paimon always teased but not this way. Was he trying to kill him? His heart going like this couldn’t be healthy. Paimon kept on the entire way, building up to what he was planning to do as soon as they reached their destination. It was amusing in itself that Pellegrino still wasn’t getting it. He was far too innocent and sweet. When they arrived that evening Paimon didn’t even give him time to finish talking about how much he liked this place too. Paimon pulled the prince into a hungry kiss. He couldn’t take it slow, he wanted this too bad and the shock value would be too amusing. Besides, he knew for a fact Pellegrino did want him.

Pellegrino was so shocked he couldn’t even kiss back at first but shyly, he did eventually start to. Paimon started feeling him, desiring all of him more than ever but Pellegrino pushed his hands away. Paimon groaned, pulling away completely “Too much then?”

“ye…yeah”

“I love you and I want you. I’ve been teasing you long enough”

“So all this time you’ve actually been flirting with me…”

“You mean more to me than anybody ever has”

“and this isn’t a joke? You’re serious”

“wasn’t that kiss serious?”

“It’s just, I’m not exactly, you know and you do enjoy messing with me so…”

“Do you trust me?”

“Of course.”

“Then trust that I’m being serious.” He pressed a light kiss to his lips. “I want you and only you, no one else, and I have for awhile.” He grinned as he leaned in, his lips close to Pellegrino’s ear. “Don’t you want me too, my prince.”

Pellegrino swallowed, his heart hammering in his chest, the tickle of Paimon’s breath sending desire dancing through him. “I do, it’s just…I may disappoint.”

Paimon pulled back, the look on his face surprisingly serious. “Let me tell you something, Pellegrino. The amount of people I have been with doesn’t matter, there is no comparison to be made between you and them. I love you and anything I do with you will be more enjoyable because I love you. There is nothing you could do to disappoint me. I am yours to do with what you wish, nothing will change that.” He smiled warmly. “You’re my first love, Pellegrino, my only love.”

“I am?”

“Yes and it’s something I never thought I would have or even want.”

Pellegrino didn’t know if it was foolishness, hopefulness or the way Paimon was looking at him but he believed him. He kissed Paimon, not half as sure of himself as Paimon. Soon he wasn’t thinking at all, just one with the moment they were sharing. “I love you too” Pellegrino said softly when their lips parted again. Paimon grinned “well lets stop this before I have you right now. You’re probably tired”

“tired? Right now?” The look Pellegrino gave him as he said those words made Paimon chuckle “so I can have you then?”

“yeah”

“don’t be so nervous, I mean it. I love you and that alone will make it amazing. People from my past should never bother you because they never meant a thing to me. You have chemistry in bed or you don’t and most the time how you feel about eachother determines that. Its like how mortals will sometimes act like sex in their marriage was suddenly terrible. Their sex life wasn’t different, how they felt was. Mates enjoy sex far more than people who whore themselves because we love eachother.” Paimons lust was getting harder to control but he didn’t want Pellegrino to be so nervous.

“I just don’t know what to do.”

Paimon smiled as he pressed another seductive kiss to Pellegrino’s lips, eliciting a little moan that sent a thrill of excitement through him. “Let me show you my love.” He kissed his chin, nibbled his way down to his neck where he gave him a gentle bite.

“Paimon.” He sounded breathless, needy, and maybe even a little scared, but he wasn’t pulling away.

He pushed at his shirt, lifting it up and off, allowed his hands to slide over his torso. “Can I have you, Pellegrino?”

“Yes.”

Paimon found his lips again as he pulled him down to the soft grass. They pulled at each other’s clothes, both if them letting out a sigh of pleasure at being skin to skin. He coaxed Pellegrino into touching him, enjoying the shy way he explored him. He rolled Pellegrino beneath him, his lips moving down the center of his body, his teeth biting down to mark him.

Each time Paimon bit down on Pellegrinos flesh to mark him Pellegrino moaned. When Paimon reached just above his length he began to lick up Pellegrinos body, stopping at his neck to gently nibble and suck. Pellegrino began touching Paimon again, feeling him, causing goosebumps to show up all over Paimons skin. This truly was better than any encounter he had ever had before. He hadn’t known if all that talk from Jarius was true but right now, he knew it definitely was. Sex was a million times better with someone you loved.

Paimon moaned loudly when Pellegrino nibbled at his ear then licked just behind it, something nobody had actually done to him before so he hadn’t known how sensitive he was to something like that. Pellegrinos heart flipped in his chest that he could cause such a reaction from him. It gave him a little more confidence already since he could sense how much Paimon was enjoying this in general.

Paimon hadn’t planned this but was always preparred, producing some lube so he wouldn’t hurt Pellegrino during their first time. Before he used it he checked again, his words husky with desire “are you ready for me to be inside you? I…don’t know how slow you need me to be…if I have to stop now it’s alright but I will need to go masturbate if I do have to stop”

“You can”

Paimon kissed him as he loosened him, excited by Pellegrino’s heavy breathing. He rubbed some lube on himself and slowly began to push into him. Pellegrino clung to him, his moan somewhere between a yell and a whimper. He could see he was slightly overwhelmed and paused, giving him a moment to breathe. “You okay?” It was a struggle to stay still, to not completely bury himself, but he managed, not wanting to hurt or scare him. Pellegrino nodded and he continued, letting out a relieved moan once he was all the way in.

“Paimon.” He gasped for breath, clinging tightly to him.

“It’s okay, relax, breathe.” He braced himself on his elbows, withdrawing and sinking back into him, his hips taking on a gentle, rocking rhythm. Pellegrino’s back arched and Paimon thrust into him a little harder, pushing him over the edge. He picked up the pace, unable to hold back any longer. A loud moan was wrenched from his throat as he flowed into him and he pressed his forehead into Pellegrino’s, the only sounds their labored breathes and thundering hearts.

Pellegrino’s eyes were damp with tears and Paimon pressed loving kisses to his lips, his fingers running through his hair and brushing back pieces that clung to his sweat damp skin. “Are you okay?” He asked.

“Yeah…just…wow.”

Paimon smiled. “Good then?” Pellegrino nodded and Paimon rubbed their noses together. “I love you.”

“I love you too.”

Pellegrino would have never believed when he was invited on this trip they’d end up like this. Kissing, exchanging I love yous and cuddling. Paimon barely seemed like the kind of man to be so sweet but Pellegrino couldn’t be happier. They were actually together now and if their first time together was any indication they were going to have amazing sexual chemistry. They made a long trip of things but nobody had worried when they came back. Everyone knew how capable they both were and were instantly elated for them anyway when they told everyone they were together.

~ The End

Malcolm & Shaw

Chapter One

Past:

Malcolm smiled despite the sadness clenching his heart as he approached his best friend Shaw. He looked so handsome in his tux and stood from the chair he was sitting in as Malcolm approached. “You look tired.” Malcolm said as they hugged.

“Yeah, I finally got a moment to just breathe.”

“I still can’t believe it…married.”

“I know.”

“Where’s the bride?”

“Off with her mother talking to everyone.”

Malcolm nodded, hating what he was about to do, but he had too. “Hey, can we talk away from all of this for a minute?”

Shaw gave him a concerned look. “Everything alright?”

“Yeah, I just have something important to tell you.”

“Of course.” Shaw lead him away from all the guests and deeper into the botanical garden he and his new wife had rented for their wedding. When they were out of sight he turned to Malcolm. “So? What’s up?”

Malcolm opened his mouth then closed it again, his heart hammering in his chest, his throat threatening to close up on his words. “I…” He took a deep breath, steeling himself. “Shaw I…I love you.”

“I love you too man.”

Malcolm clenched his fists, “No, you don’t understand, I love you, really love you. I know it’s shitty to say it now, but…it’s the truth.”

Shaw’s eyes widened in shock. “Malcolm…”

“I’m sorry.” He said quickly. “I’m sorry, I…” Shaw reached for him and Malcolm backed away, then turned and ran. He didn’t want to hear how much Shaw hated him for it or how disappointed he was, so he ran to his car and got behind the wheel, his eyes burning with tears.

Present:

“You coming out with us tonight Malcolm?” One of the women he worked with, Hannah asked as she leaned against the mop she had been using to clean up the restaurants floor.

“Sure, who all’s going?”

“Me, Lawrence, and Rowan.”

“Alright, where do you want me to meet you?”

“Bargarten.”

“Sure, I’ll be there.”

“awesome, I’ll add you to the group text we have going about it. Are you heading home now?”

“I was but let me help you dry the floor so we both can get going”

“You’re so sweet, thank you.”

“add me to the chat and I’ll put this away then grab the towels” He walked away with the mop and bucket, getting a text before he even had a chance to get what they needed to dry the floors. He checked it and responded, smiling when the rest of the group was excited about him joining. He knew he should join them more but didn’t dwell on that thought. He and Hannah had a floor to dry so they could lock up and leave. Their phones went off a few more times but they didn’t check them again until everything was put away and the restaurant was locked for the evening.

Malcolm texted everyone that he was going to swing by his place and change real quick. They all gave him an okay and he headed home. He was surprised to find a car sitting in front of his house when he pulled up and it took him a minute to notice the person sitting on his porch. He was shocked when he realized it was Shaw. He closed his eyes, shook his head, and opened them again. He was still there. He swallowed. It was Shaw and now he was standing and dusting himself off. Malcolm knew he needed to get out, but he was frozen. Shaw just stood there, waiting for him and Malcolm took a deep breath, switched off his car and got out. “Hey.” Shaw said with a smile.

“Um, hey.” He cleared his throat. “What are you doing here?”

“I’m not allowed to visit.”

“Oh.” He nodded as he forced himself to move toward and then past Shaw to his door. “Yeah, of course, but it’s…it’s kind of a bad time. I have plans with friends.” His hand was shaking as he unlocked his door. He could feel Shaw step up behind him.

“Need some help? At this rate we’ll be old by the time you open the door.”

“I go it.” He managed to get the key in and the door open.

“I can come in right?”

“Yeah, but I need to get ready, my friends are waiting.” He headed to his room and Shaw followed. “So, how are things?”

“They’re fine. It’s good to see you.”

Malcolm nodded again. “Yeah, you too.” He dropped his keys on his chest of drawers, as well as his phone. He didn’t know how he was supposed to act around Shaw anymore. He hadn’t talked to him since the wedding, far too embarrassed and ashamed.

Shaw grabbed his wrist gently “I wish you wouldn’t be so nervous…we were once so close…I’m divorced if you’re worried about my wife”

“divorced?”

“Yeah, things just didn’t work out. She was always thinking I was cheating which I wasn’t…I didn’t even pursue you…someone who meant the world to me because it would have felt wrong knowing…well…but I’m single again…I want more than anything to have you back in my life, even if you might not love me anymore I want to be a part of your life again” Malcolm swallowed “so you didn’t lose all respect for me because I confessed feelings for a married man”

“Of course not, you can’t help how you felt. It’s not like you hounded me or tried to get me to cheat, You just told me how you felt”

“I could have been more mature about it. Telling you on your wedding day was…it was stupid.”

“Just know, it’s alright.”

“Okay.” Malcolm nodded and Shaw let him go so he could get changed.

Shaw sat down on the bed and Malcolm’s heart jumped in his chest. Was he really going to stay there? He didn’t want to tell him to leave, afraid he might come off as rude or scared and it wasn’t like Shaw hadn’t seen him in his underwear anyway. He pulled out a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, trying to act as casual as he could. “So,” Shaw said, “going out with friends.”

“Yeah, just for drinks mostly.” He swallowed as he started undressing. “Um, do you maybe want to come with me or something? I mean, it’s been awhile.”

Shaw looked relieved he was being invited “Yeah, I’d love to come. I’ve really missed hanging out with you” He emphasized the word really and it had Malcolm’s heart stuttering in his chest. “well they are ready for us when I’m ready” Malcolm stuttered a bit which embarrassed him but it was worth the warm smile Shaw had on his face. He knew it was horrible to be happy his marriage had ended but it was now completely hitting Malcolm just how much he had missed Shaw. As nervous as all this was making him he couldn’t help but be happy it was finally going to be like old times. Shaw had truly been his best friend.

Malcolm dressed as quickly as he could and let his friends know he was on the way. He also made sure to add Shaw was coming. Once they were on the road Shaw asked “do I know these friends?”

“You only know Rowan, you know how much staff turns over in restaurants. Especially with my boss. He’ll fire someone over the smallest things”

“Is he doing alright?”

“yeah, he’s got a kid now. Things are touch and go with the mom but he adores that little boy”

“Must be a baby since its only been two years”

“Yeah, his son is only a few months old.”

“Is he actually helping her out with him?”

“Yeah, he’s watched him a few times already for her and he’s paying for diapers. He’s having some sent to her house every month”

“That’s good, what should I know about the people I don’t know?”

“Hannah is sweet normally but her inner tiger comes out, as she calls it when she drinks. It can be amusing but she’s gotten into some tense situations at bars. I like her a lot. She’s worked at the restaurant for about as long as Rowan has had a kid…Lawrence is coming too. He’s a year older than me. He has a channel on youtube that’s actually pretty amazing. He plays nothing but horror games. I try to stay caught up with it.”

“You’ll have to send me the channel name and I’ll check it out.”

“When did you get into YouTube and video games?”

“My manager likes to put my concerts up so I sometimes do live Q and A’s for the fans and as far as video games, I’ve been asked to record some songs for a soundtrack so I’ve been playing more to get an idea of what might work.”

“I’m surprised.”

“I used to watch you play sometimes.”

“You used to sit there with your headphones on and write music.”

“Okay, true.”

“But I did appreciate you spending time with me, even if it wasn’t your thing.”

Shaw shrugged. “You never missed a concert and you even wrote some beautiful pieces for me, well until what happened, it was the least I could do.”

“Sorry.”

“Tell you what, if you want to make it up to me, you can come spend time at my place and help me write the music for the soundtrack.”

“Really?”

“Your opinion has always mattered the most and your music always resonates with the audience and me. I missed our time together.”

“That sounds really nice, I hope you enjoy my friends tonight. They are really good people. I don’t go out with them as often as I probably should so I was kind of planning to make this a late night”

“Could I sleep on your couch then so I don’t have to drive all the way home after? I mean, hopefully things really can just go back to normal”

“we used to crash at eachothers places so much…yeah, you’re welcome to.” They easily kept conversation flowing between them until they pulled up to Bargarten “I’ve heard this place is nice. Kind of like a classy bar”

“yeah, I really like a lot of the food” He texted the group to let him know he was parked so was greeted by Rowan when they walked in the door “I volunteered to show you guys where we are sitting.” He smiled at Shaw “it’s been a long time”

“I plan to hang around Malcolm as much as I used to so you’ll probably see a lot more of me”

“cool”

“I’m surprised you have a kid.” Shaw said.

“Honestly, I was too. I mean can you imagine someone like me having a baby? I couldn’t until he was born and now I can’t imagine life without him.” He slapped Shaw on the back. “What about you?”

“I didn’t get the chance, things didn’t work out, I’m divorced.”

“I’m sorry man.” He said as they sat down.

Shaw shrugged. “It’s alright, really.”

Malcolm sat down next to him and gestured to his other friends. “Shaw this is Hannah and Lawrence.”

“It’s very nice to meet both of you. Hopefully you haven’t heard anything too terrible about me.” He replied with a smile that had Malcolm’s heart skipping in his chest.

“Not at all, Malcolm’s description was spot on though, you’re definitely pretty.” Hannah said.

“I didn’t say pretty.” Malcolm said with a blush.

“You did and he’s more than pretty, he’s gorgeous.”

Shaw chuckled. “Well thank you very much, it’s very high praise coming from Malcolm.”

 

Chapter Two

Shaw fit right in but that wasn’t surprising, he fit in with everyone. They talked, laughed, shared food and ordered drinks late into the evening, only leaving when Bargarten was closing. “do we need to call an Uber?” Malcom asked since he had consumed a few drinks. He wasn’t drunk but he never risked it. “No, I didn’t have anything alcoholic. Just give me your keys” Malcolm handed them over and allowed Shaw to take him home. Once they arrived and entered the house Shaw asked “you aren’t ready for bed yet are you?”

“I can stay up a little longer” Shaw smiled “good, lets watch something on Netflix. I hear The Haunting of Hill House is good”

“You know I’ve actually seen episode one and it does seem like it’s going to be good, lets do it. I’ll watch as many as I can. Let me get out all your bedding first though. I don’t want to drag myself off to bed and forget because I’m so tired.” Malcolm went to his bed and grabbed a pillow then took a blanket out of his linen closet. By the time he came back and set them on the couch Shaw had turned on Netflix, pulled up the show and gotten them drinks from the kitchen.

“I hope you’ll be comfortable out here.” Malcolm said as he handed Shaw the blanket and pillow.

“I’m sure I will, but if you’re that concerned we could always cuddle.” He teased.

Malcolm blushed and Shaw started laughing. “You’re such a jerk.”

“But you love me anyway.”

Malcolm gave a little laugh. “Yeah.” He cleared his throat and looked away from Shaw. He grabbed the controller and clicked on the second episode.

“I wasn’t trying to make you uncomfortable or make it seem like your feelings were a joke.”

“I know, sorry.” He smiled. “It’s true though, you could be the biggest jerk in the universe and I’d probably still tell you I love you while beating you up.”

Shaw chuckled and nudged him. “I don’t think you could.”

“I’m pretty tough.”

“Sure.”

They focused their attention on the show, talking every now and then about certain scenes. Malcolm found himself glancing at Shaw, still amazed he was actually there. He didn’t think he’d ever see him again and his feelings had only grown for him. He let out a yawn just before the next episode was about to start and Shaw suggested they go to bed. “We don’t have to.”

“That brilliant brain of yours needs rest if you’re going to be helping me write music.” Shaw replied as he poked him in the forehead.

“alright then…you’re welcome to anything in the kitchen if you get hungry or thirsty” Malcolm went to his room and Shaw sighed, settling himself on the couch. His mind played the memories of their day together as Shaw tried to sleep. He couldn’t help but think how amazing these past few hours had been and almost hated the fact he had let this man slip through his fingers for so long. The next thing Shaw knew it was morning. The sun was up and Malcolm was obviously cooking in the kitchen. Shaw groaned a little as he sat up so Malcolm wasn’t startled when Shaw entered the kitchen asking ‘what’re you making?”

“just pancakes and scrambled eggs”

“do you have to work again today?”

“No, that’s why I went out last night.”

“So, does that mean you’re free?”

Malcolm’s heart fluttered. “Yeah.”

Shaw rested his chin in his hand. “I see, then you can come over, right?”

“If you want me to.”

“I do, we can get started on that soundtrack.”

“Oh I see, you just want my music.” Malcolm teased.

Shaw chuckled, the sound sending a thrill through Malcolm. “Now you know that’s not true, we can do something else if you like.” At this point, the soundtrack was simply an excuse. He could finish it on his own, but he wanted the time with Malcolm. “Please? I’ll pout if I have too.”

“I know you will, I’ve seen it.”

“Is that a definite yes then?”

“Yes, if I must.”

“You really must, I’ll even treat you to whatever you want. All you have to do is name it.”

“hmm, I’ll have to think about what I want” Shaw sat down happily waiting for Malcolm to finish making them breakfast. They soon ate and were on their way to Shaws. Malcolm was curious the entire ride as to where his old friend would be living now. Divorce was tricky, Shaw had owned his own home before her but that didn’t mean she hadn’t gotten the house in the separation. When they did infact pull up into a new home Malcolm asked “did she get the house?”

“Yeah, I’m still making good money and I didn’t want any of the memories. We fought a lot, it kind of ruined the vibe of the house for me. Plus, she had just been renting before me and would have struggled getting into something else”

“thats sweet you gave it to her”

“I may not even like her anymore but I don’t hate her. I wasn’t about to keep it just out of spite since I didn’t want it anymore” As they got out Malcolm asked “how did seperating stuff go?”

“very different tastes so that was easy too. Honestly, I couldn’t have dreamed of an easier split. She was just as done with me as I was of her” Shawn really didn’t want to talk about his ex wife but he wanted to be an open book with Malcolm. If he said he didn’t want to talk about her Malcolm might think he wasn’t over her.

“I’m sorry, Shaw, really. I know how you felt about her.”

“I did love her, but she accused me of things I didn’t do, I couldn’t even talk to or hang out with any of my male friends.”

“Do you wish it had worked out?”

The truth was, he had thought about it at the time, but now, with Malcolm here, it was different. “No, it was for the best, for both of us.”

“Well, if you ever need to vent, I’m here.”

“I know, but I’m good, I promise.”

Malcolm turned in a circle. “I really like your new place.”

“You haven’t seen the most amazing part.” He took Malcolm’s hand, grinning when he saw him start to blush. “You’ll love it.” He pulled Malcolm through the house to the basement door.

“Oh I see, you turned into a serial killer while I was gone.”

Shaw laughed. “And I eccentrically kill my victims with music.”

“So poetic.”

“Come on.” The light came on the moment they passed through the door way and Malcolm smiled when he saw the room had been converted into a recording studio and entertainment room.

“This is actually perfect for us hanging out” Shaw chuckled and admitted “I sort of had you in mind when I did it Malcolm. Pretty much right when we set things in motion to divorce I planned to seek you out again.” Malcolm was even redder than before which made Shaws heart dance. He was so glad to be showing Malcolm this. He hadn’t known if the relationship had been mendable. People change, he could have moved on and decided they could never be friends but here Malcolm was, hanging out in the basement he designed so they could hangout and both do things they loved.

“should we game first or start composing?”

“lets game a bit so I can think”

“alright, your pick.” Malcolm easily picked a game and allowed Shaw to get it set up so they could play. Hours had flown by before they even noticed and Malcolm suggested “okay, fill me in on this game. We should really start working on it”

“alright, I’ll order chinese so we can just concentrate on work. Do you still like the same thing?”

“Yep” It took about another hour to get fully set up but once they got going the only thing that stopped them at all was when they decided to eat the food they ordered. Even that was a brief distraction. Leftovers were dinner, they were far too into their work to do anything else. Malcolm looked at the time on his cellphone when they finally finished their first song for the game “Holy crap, that has to be wrong” Shaw chuckled “Time has always flown when we are together”

“Yeah, I really like this song too”

“I’m sure they will all be this good. Hopefully the developer agrees with us though”

 

Final Chapter

“I’m sure they will, I mean it’s you presenting it.”

“Us, you have to come with me.”

“I…”

“You have to because you’re part of it. I can hear you in it.”

Malcolm nodded. “Alright.” He yawned. “I should probably get home.”

Shaw reached over and grabbed his hand. “Stay.”

Malcolm’s heart danced. “Are you sure?”

“Yeah, I have plenty of room and you know I don’t mind. My home is your home. I want you to stay. Please?”

“Alright.” Of course he wanted to stay, how could he not. “Could I borrow some clothes?”

“Of course.”

Shaw made sure everything was off before they leaved the basement then took Malcolm up to his room and pulled his closet open. “Holy crap, Shaw, you’re closet’s the same size as my room.”

Shaw chuckled. “It’s not that big. It gets even better though.” He walked to the other side of the closet and slid open another door. “The bathroom.”

“Can I just live here, I don’t take up that much space, I promise.”

“You can do whatever you want, Malcolm. I meant it when I said this is your home too.”

“Shaw.”

“I mean it, you’re the number one in my life again and this time, that wont change” Malcolm blushed and wanted to bring up the possibility of him falling in love again but couldn’t do it, even in a teasing way. Instead Malcolm picked out something to sleep in then stepped into the bathroom to change. “there, now let me show you to a room you can use. It can just be yours so feel free to bring some stuff over for when you stay the night”

“alright, thank you” Shaw gave him a long hug “thank you for letting me just step back into your life so easily. I know you felt bad for how you confessed but still. I’m glad we can just be us again” Shaw didn’t want to but he left Malcolm for the night, heading to his own room. Malcolm walked over to the bed, pulling back the covers and settling in.

Shaw was the first up the next morning and he made his way quietly downstairs to start some coffee before heading back up to the room he had given Malcolm. He pushed the door openly slowly, grinning when he saw him sprawled out, his blankets halfway off the bed and his shirt pushed up from his flopping. He had always been a restless sleeper. He crossed over to the bed and dropped down next to him, allowing himself to admire him for a moment and wonder how he had never noticed his friend’s feelings for him. He let out a little sigh as he reached up and gently shook him. “Malcolm, wake up.”

Malcolm groaned and grabbed his pillow as he turned on his side. “It’s too early.” He mumbled and buried his face in his pillow.

Shaw chuckled as he leaned down, bringing his lips close to Malcolm’s ear. “If you don’t get up, that means I’ll have to make you.” He whispered. He didn’t know if Malcolm had heard the suggestion in his voice or if he thought he was simply teasing, but it had him sitting up, his face bright red. “Good morning.”

“You’re so mean.” He said in a tired tone.

Shaw tipped his head to the side. “I asked nicely.” He reached up and brushed some hair away from Malcolm’s forehead. “Has anyone ever told you you look adorably unkempt when you wake up?”

“I don’t.” Sleepy eyes looked Shaw over. “Why do you look so perfect?”

“Magic and ponytail holders.”

“What time is it?”

“Ten.”

“I guess it isn’t that early”

“we had a late night and you’ve never had more than two days off in a row so I wanted to get you up while i had you”

“yeah, I have to work tomorrow. Should we work on another song today?”

“maybe after lunch, lets start our day with something else. We could play another video or go to Gamestop and buying something new to play”

“a lot of the tales games you play together. I didn’t see any in your collection. Do you have one?”

“Nope, so it looks like we’re going to game stop. I’ve already got coffee going. I’ll go down and start omelettes while you get changed. Just go back to my room and change in there” Malcolm rubbed his eyes “Okay” Shaw left Malcolm and went to make breakfast like he said he would. It felt like it took forever for Malcolm to get into the kitchen but Shaw knew it couldn’t have been that long. He was still cooking the second omelette.

“I don’t think your clothes are quite my style and they’re so nice.” Malcolm said and Shaw turned just enough to look at him. He was wearing one of his favorite sweaters, a dark red, knit turtleneck that somehow managed to still fit loosely on him.

“I think it looks good one you.” He reached over and grabbed his phone. “Strike a pose.”

“Shaw, come on.”

“Do it or I’ll take it anyway.”

Malcolm rolled his eyes and posed. “You look like a real tough guy.”

“Let me see.” Shaw held out his phone and Malcolm took it while he turned to finish the second omelette. “I look like a kid who stole his dad’s sweater.” He looked down at himself. “Why is is so big?”

Shaw shrugged. “It was the last one they had and I wanted it.” He transferred the omelette over. “Want to get the coffee?”

“Sure, but can I delete this?”

“No way.”

“Come on, I look like such a dork.”

“I happen to think you look absolutely adorable so let me keep it.”

Malcolm blushed, his heart giving a little stutter. “Well, I mean if you really want it.” He sat Shaw’s phone down on the counter and found the coffee cups, filling two of them.

“I happen to like how cute you are.” Shaw said as he reached around him to the silverware drawer, the closeness causing his entire body to warm.

“You do?” He couldn’t look at him, he was too embarrassed.

“Mmhmm.”

They were soon sitting at the table together, Shaw still occasionally admiring how cute Malcolm looked in his sweater. He realized over that meal that he had really always found his friend attractive but had never allowed those thoughts to flourish since they had such an amazing friendship. Few people could actually remain good friends if they tried something more and it didn’t work and he guessed the friendship had always just meant too much to him. Now that Malcolm had confessed his feelings and he was single there was no denying the chemistry,

He just didn’t want to spring it on him just yet. They had only just started talking again and he didn’t want Malcolm to feel like a rebound. For now he decided he’d wait until he had been divorced a year before outright telling Malcolm he felt the same way. For now, he’d just enjoy having him back in his life because that was all he truly needed.

~ The End

Gaspare & Iom 2

Chapter One

“Are you sure you have to go alone?” Gaspare asked as Iom shouldered his pack.

“This time yes.” He took Gaspare’s hands, pulling him close. “I’ll be back before you know it and I’ll make it up to you.” He leaned in, grinning as he kissed him, satisfied when Gaspare blushed.

“Just be careful.”

“But then it wouldn’t be any fun.”

“Iom.”

“Don’t worry so much, I’ve been there before. Two days there, two back, then you can do whatever you want to me.”

Gaspare’s face turned a deeper shade of red. “Stop.”

“I love you and I’ll be back soon.”

“I love you too.”

Iom left, heading away down the road. He usually brought Gaspare with him, but there was something special he wanted to get for him this time around. It was as he was as he was sleeping his first night out that he felt something cold pressing against his throat and he woke, blinking and bringing into focus the men standing over him. “Well he’s a pretty one.” The one who he was sure was the leader said.

“How much do you think that monster will pay for him?” Another asked.

“Wait.” Iom finally found his voice. “I don’t want any trouble.”

The leader kicked him in the stomach and Iom gripped his stomach as the air left his lungs. The man crouched down, gripping his hair and pulling him up so their faces were close together. “Oh it’s no trouble at all.”

Gaspare paced in the living room, worry eating at him. Iom hadn’t returned when he said he would and he knew something had to be wrong. “Gaspare?” Daray’s voice brought him up short. “Are you okay?”

“No,” he sighed, taking a seat, “it’s probably nothing and I’m probably being stupid, but Iom hasn’t come back yet. He was supposed to be back two days ago, but…”

“That doesn’t sound like Iom, he’s adventurous, but he wouldn’t make you needlessly worry.” He turned to Alvah.

“We’ll find him.” Alvah said.

Gaspare felt at least a little better knowing his Uncle would search for his mate, especially since he was doing it for Daray. Alvah had shown in multiple ways since they had been together there wasn’t anything he wasn’t willing to do or go through for him. Gaspare didn’t think anything said it more clearly than the day Alvah rushed into the sunlight knowing full well the horrendous effects it had on him because he felt Daray was in danger. No matter what it took to get Iom back he knew Alvah would help him do it.

They took only things to cook with and a single change of clothes for each of them before rushing out. They didn’t want too many things weighing them down. Gaspare took the lead since he knew the most about where Iom had been heading on his journey. Daray gave his shoulder a reassuring squeeze “we’ll find him, even if he got into trouble he’s resourceful and strong”

Gaspare, trying not to get too much into his own head decided to push the conversation to Daray’s new abilities “you’re doing so well at controlling your new strength as a vampire. It takes most much longer to be so good at it”

“Alvah has been a very patient and persistent teacher but in good ways. I’m really happy with my progress too”

Iom fiddled with the collar around his neck, his fingers sliding over it, looking for any kind of line. He had been messing with it since it had been forcefully put around his neck and all he knew is it was covered in symbols and had a loop in the back for a chain. “You know, if you keep fighting, it’ll only be worse.” It was another one of the monster’s servants, a man about his age named Adan. His brown eyes were fearful, ashamed, his voice a whisper.

“I don’t care, I refuse to be his plaything. I have to get home.”

“You can’t leave, not with the collar and hounds. He’ll…he’ll punish you.”

The worst Iom had received so far was a beating, but that had been from the men who had captured him when he had tried to escape. He had managed to severely injure one of them. The monster though had only made threats and promises that Iom knew would be kept. He had seen it on the faces of the others here. When they served their master dinner, when they were forced to feed and bathe him, and when they would come back from his room. Iom shook his head, he didn’t care how much pain he was put through, he wouldn’t be that creatures toy and he wouldn’t die. “I’m getting out of here and I’ll bring help.”

Adan shook his head. “It’s no use, it’s easier if you just…”

“Don’t worry, I’ll get us out, I promise.” He turned to Adan. “I might need your help.”

“I can’t, if he found out…”

“He won’t and if anything happens I’ll tell him I forced you, so just listen to my plan.”

Adan looked like he might cry or completely shut down on him. By the looks of the poor man he had been here a long time, being abused and fearing for his life. Eventually a look of resolve came across his face “okay” His voice didn’t have the resolve his face did but Iom was glad he could get him to help. “you wont regret helping, I have an in with two pretty incredible vampires. My best friend also became one, not too long ago but he’s getting really good. Maybe we can even get Mabel to help. I don’t know what she is but she’s a woman you don’t want to cross”

“why don’t you know what she is?”

“I don’t pressure her. I think she’s embarrassed of what she is”

“Oh”

“I can tell you all about everyone I know once we’re out. I just want you to be confident in knowing that all we have to do is get to them and this monster will never have us or any of the others again. He’ll be lucky if he’s still breathing when they are done with him”

“Do you smell that?” Gaspare asked as he came to a sudden stop in the middle of the road.

“It’s Iom.” Alvah said.

“I can smell it too.” Daray added. “His soap.”

Gaspare turned towards the woods, spotting a smaller trail leading into its interior. “He went this way.” He headed off and they followed. “Why would the scent be so strong?” The thought worried him. Was he out here wounded? It was shocking finding his pack with everything turned out of it and scattered about. He bent down, picking up the book he had gifted to Gaspare. “He was here.”

“So were others.” Alvah said. “Men, four of them.”

“They took him, they had to have taken him. They can’t have…you don’t think they would…”

Alvah grabbed him by his shoulders and gently shook him. “Stop and smell the air, Gaspare, their scent heads further down the trail and there is no smell of blood or death.”

Gaspare swallow as he hugged the book to his chest. “I know, I’m sorry, I’m panicking. I just can’t lose him.”

“You won’t.” Daray said. “Iom has been to many dangerous places, he won’t let himself be killed, he’s too stubborn.”

Iom could tell that his plan terrified Adan, but it was the the best he had come up with. He knew the monster had to have some sort of key or spell for the collars. “I need you to find it for me, Adan. It must be in his room.”

“But what if he catches me going through his things? He’ll hurt me…he’ll call his friends in to hurt me.”

“I’m going to distract him. He’s had his eye on me since I’ve been here. I can keep him focused on me long enough for you to look through his things and he won’t think twice about your scent being in there so don’t worry about that. I’ll meet you in my room, get this thing off of me, and then go get help.”

“The hounds.”

“I’m a good runner, trust me. I’ll get away and I’ll come back, I swear. I won’t leave you all here. I need you to trust me.”

Adan nodded, he had already decided he was going to take this chance at freedom no matter the risk. This was such a miserable life and he knew if he let fear make him back down he’d never be able to forgive himself. Not only would he still have to deal with everything he was put through here but he’d have to feel like it was his fault for not even trying when a good chance presented himself. Iom was so confident this would work and his vampire friends would help. It was hard not to trust a man this sure of himself.

They both set the plan in motion, Adan going to their captors room and Iom actually seeking out their captor to flirt with him just enough to keep him busy awhile. If this didn’t work Iom knew this would come back to haunt him but he had faith in Adan. After however long he had been here he knew just the desperation of wanting freedom would drive him to find what they needed.

“We can’t just stop.” Gaspare argued. “He could be hurt, or…we have to keep going.”

“Just long enough to eat.” Alvah replied.

“We can’t, we have to find him.”

“Gaspare.” Daray gently interjected. “Let’s eat, okay? We haven’t had anything since we left, we’ve just been going. So let’s at least eat, then we’ll get going again. Besides, it’s night, a little break won’t hurt.”

“But…”

“Just for a bit.”

Gaspare swallowed down the lump of fear in his throat and nodded. He wasn’t hungry, but he ate what Daray made anyway. All he could think about was what Iom might be going through. Once they were finished and everything was cleaned up, they headed out again. The night was quiet as they followed Iom’s scent and that of the men who had taken him. It was the scent of blood that brought them up short a little while later and they were relieved to find it didn’t belong to Iom, but one of the men. “He must have hurt one of them.” Gaspare said.

“Pretty severely too.” Alvah added. “He must have bid his time, not revealing what he was until he attacked one of the men.”

“See? He’s alright.” Daray said as he squeezed Gaspare’s shoulder.

Iom had not slept, even though he knew he should have. Even Adan had stayed up with him, listening to him going over the plan a couple more times as if trying to hold onto his resolve. They had gone their separate ways before everyone woke and were both ready to do what they had to. The monster was outside behind the house waiting for his breakfast and Iom had volunteered to take it to him. It was still surprising how normal the creature looked and how charming he came off when he spoke, but everyone knew this was just a mask, that his human form was merely there to deceive. He could feel the creatures eyes on him as he stepped outside and he raised his own, making eye contact for a few heartbeats before looking away. The creature was more than interested in him, he could smell it.

 

Chapter Two

“I see you’re already getting used to being here. Bringing me my food, how sweet” Iom set his food in front of him and the creature took the opportunity to grab his hand “won’t you sit with me” Iom was proud of himself for not instantly jerking away. He even managed to keep the disgust off his face “sure” sure might not have been the best line but their captor might catch on that something was up if he appeared too comfortable anyway. The man smiled and kissed his hand which made Iom want to punch him. It was obvious this thing was used to being able to do whatever he wanted regardless of others feelings.

Iom sat as soon as he let him go “are you acquainted with my name yet?”

“No”

“Hm, It is Baikuntha” Iom nodded and Baikuntha began eating. Iom said “I guess I figured I may aswell get used to being here” Baikuntha swallowed “You will like me eventually”

“Oh?”

“I’m an amazing lover” Iom almost couldn’t stop himself from rolling his eyes.

Iom crossed his arms and legs. “You’re not the first to say something like that.”

“I am sure, but I mean it.” Iom huffed and looked away to which Baikuntha responded to by reaching over and grabbing Iom’s chin and turning his face back. Iom could feel his strength, but he wasn’t intimidated, he was irritated at being grabbed again. “I could show you.” He let his fingers slid down and hook into the collar around Iom’s neck, pulling him closer. “I’ve never had someone as beautiful as you.”

“I’m sure.” He forced an amused smile onto his face. “I don’t see a difference between me and the others you have here.”

“Then I want you in my room tonight, after all, I could have taken you the moment you arrived here.” He let Iom go, allowing him to lean back.

“And what happens if I refuse?”

Baikuntha chuckled as he took a bite of his food. “Now why would you do that? I want to see you tonight.” Iom could guess what would happen if he said no. He had a feeling this creature would lose his temper and if he wanted to escape then he couldn’t afford getting the crap beat out of him. He simply nodded and Baikuntha smiled. “Good.”

Iom wondered if Adan had found what they needed. He certainly hoped he was at least in the room searching. Iom knew Adan might need a lot of time so he needed to keep Baikuntha talking. He didn’t want to keep talking about sex, the more they talked about it the more chance he ran of giving away how repulsed he was by the idea but it was somewhere to start while he thought of something else “What sort of things are you into in bed, anything I should be worried about” Baikuntha grinned “It depends”

“depends?”

“On you, stay on my good side and it’ll be nice” He internally groaned thinking about what an asshole this man was. He couldn’t wait for Gaspare and Alvah to hand him his ass and free all these poor men being sexually abused and kept under threat of worse happening to them. Adan had even spoke of Baikuntha’s friends abusing them if they misbehaved too much and he could only imagine. Some beings could come up with some ridiculously twisted things to do to others.

“Define, being good. I mean, one man’s bad is another man’s good.”

“I think you know. You come to me when you’re called, you don’t disobey, and you don’t fight.” He shrugged. “It’s simple really. If you listen, you’ll be treated well.”

“I see.”

“You’ll be happy here as long as you follow the rules.” He smiled. “What about you? What things do you like?”

Iom shrugged. “This and that.” He didn’t really want to use the things he and Gaspare did together. “If I’m being honest, I haven’t done much.”

“We’ll have to change that then.”

“Perhaps I prefer vanilla.”

“No one prefers something so boring and lazy.” He pushed his plate away and turned more to face Iom, letting his hand rest on his knee. “There are so many exciting and new things to experience, things you couldn’t even begin to imagine. I can show you.”

Iom was hopeful this man wouldn’t have the chance to try and show him. His touch right now sent a terrible feeling through Iom. He wished there was some way to know what Adan was doing. He wanted nothing more than to get away from Baikuntha and quickly. Just in case Adan still needed time he decided to put his hand on Baikuntha’s, praying it wouldn’t push things too far forward. All he wanted was to keep his attention. Many things about Baikuntha told Iom he was growing more excited so he decided he shouldn’t touch him again once he managed to smoothly take his hand back.

Baikuntha laced their fingers but once Iom turned the conversation into something more normal he pulled away, happy Baikuntha didn’t protest. “I have things I wish to do before I see you tonight Iom. I am eager so don’t think about changing your mind.”

“I am too curious now” Baikuntha smiled, what a freaking sucker,or he was just that cocky., so used to having his way at this point.

“Someone tried to cover their tracks here.” Alvah said as he walked around the area they had come to a stop in. Iom’s scent had become weaker and it had taken him a moment to realize someone had tried to cover it up.

“With what?” Gaspare asked.

“Animal scent. Perhaps there was something they didn’t want anyone to find.”

“So which way do we go?”

“I’m not sure, give me a moment.”

“Uncle.”

“I know, trust me, I know, but if you want to find him, you must stay calm.” He squeezed Gaspare’s shoulder. “How about we branch out and see if we can pick his scent up again.

“Okay.” Alvah knew what Gaspare was going through. After nearly losing Daray, he understood that fear and desperation, but he also knew if they panicked, they might not find Iom.

Iom worked around the house, slowly making his way to the room he had been given. He could hear Adan’s quick heartbeat even before he entered and he quickly closed the door and turned to him. He looked terrified. “Are you alright, Adan?” He asked gently.

“I…I was nearly caught by one of the others, but I don’t think he saw me take anything.” He swallowed. “I…I found these.” He pulled a small book and small metal rod out of the waist of his pants. The rod was made of the same metal as the collars. “I think this is a key and the way to use it is in here.” He handed them over. “When are you leaving?”

“Tonight, as soon as everyone is sleeping. He asked me to come to his room.”

Adan’s eyes filled with concern “then you better hope you make it out…if you stand him up…he” He didn’t want Adan pulling up too many painful memories for himself so Iom said as comfortingly as he could “Hey, I’m going to make it and I’m going to bring my mate and his Uncle. Don’t worry about me. Even if I am punished, I can handle it. Just worry about you okay. Go ahead and leave my room before others start talking. I don’t want him running in here jealous because he thinks I’m flirting with everyone” Adan stood “if you end up needing help just come find me”

“Thank you Adan, I’m sure you’ve done plenty for me. Thank you for trusting my plan. If he finds this, as part of my gratitude I will not tell him who helped me, no matter what he does.” Adan shook his head “No, if he guesses you had help don’t do that…I’ll just face the music for what I’ve done.” Adan left and Iom got to reading, skimming more than anything to hurry things along.

The sun was nearly all the way down by the time Iom came across what he was looking for and his heart actually jumped in excitement as his eyes moved over the text. He wouldn’t leave his room until everyone was down. It would be better that way so none of them were hurt if worst came to worst. He read over the words again then took the rod and pressed it to the collar. There was a code phrase for each collar that he had written down and Iom said his as softly as he could. He heard the collar click and he pulled it from around his neck, looking it over for a moment before closing it and watching the seam seal completely. He hid the key and book under his mattress then went over to his door and cracked it open a little. He could hear people moving around as they got ready for bed so he stood there, listening to every creaking floorboard, breath, and heartbeat.

He knew he only had this one chance, that he would have to be sprinting the moment his feet touched outside the house. Baikuntha had three hounds as far as he knew. He took a deep breath and was relieved when the house finally fell silent. He stepped out, gently closing the door and listening. He wondered how long the monster would wait before coming to investigate. He move as quietly as possible, keeping his breathing soft as he made his way past each room.

 

Final Chapter

It was incredibly tempting to run but Iom continued to remind himself that being quite was key to getting out. Even when the door came into view he knew he wasn’t free, not yet. He had only made it through the beginning stages of getting out of this horrible place. He pushed the front door open, hating it made noise. He begged with the universe that Baikuntha hadn’t heard. If he did hopefully he continued not to suspect anything. As far as Baikuntha knew everyone was still wearing their collars which meant they could only get so far if they went outside.

Iom didn’t take the time to shut the door again. That would only add to the risk he’d be heard. He simply ran while he finally could, darting through the grass as fast as his legs would carry him. The very second he registered something slamming into his forehead he was out, not realizing what happened until he woke in what he assumed was Baikunthas bedroom “Iom, really?” It was Baikunthas voice. It was still as calm as ever but he could hear the fury underneath that tone. “what gave me away?”

“You really think you have any privacy as my new toy? You really think I’m an idiot, that I own all these men and have so many others out there collecting for me by chance?”

“you’re powerful, I can feel it coming off you. Some think they can be all brawn and no brain” Baikuntha was leaning over Iom who was chained at the wrists to his bedposts… He grinned a few moments though still, there was nothing amused about him now. “I was so looking forward to you Iom but you’ve left me with no choice but to kill you”

“You wont make me feel like anything is my fault”

“Oh? Really?” Baikuntha walked away, coming back with a severely beaten, barely even alive looking Adan. Baikuntha sucked air through his teeth “see, this is definitely your fault. I had completely broken this one. He’d do anything I asked, would endure anything at this point without a complaint and would even go out of his way to make sure I was happy…that is…until you. See, Adan is why you have to die. The fact you swayed him to do something against me tells me how dangerous you are to keep. Now Adan, Adan I’ll keep alive and he’s going to pay in so much worse ways for stealing from me than just the beating I gave him and I want you to die knowing that Iom. That you made this mans life a million times worse”

Some of the menace was seeping out, distorting that calm voice he always tried to keep. He could tell that this did infact hurt Iom and the triumph he felt was enough to make that facade falter just a bit. “why the fuck are you this way!? Its not like you’re even fucking ugly, you could have a real mate”

“I didn’t start this because I was lonely, I started this because I wanted to, because I can”

“How long has he been like that? Why did you wait so long if you knew what we were doing?”

“Why do I do this all? It can all be answered the same way, for my entertainment. It was amusing to see you think you could actually get away. To see if Adan could really go through with it, to see just how clever you would be with your break out. Even now, you aren’t dead yet because my fun would be much too short without this delicious dialogue. I’m also hoping this mate of yours finds us before I finish tonight so I can kill him in front of you” Iom laughed “You’re strong but Alvah and Gaspare could destroy you any day”

“I would love to see them try, I really, really would.”

Iom glared at him, angered that he had toyed with him and with Adan, that he had hurt Adan even though it hadn’t been his fault, and angry at himself for not thinking Baikuntha could be playing them. “Adan, I’m sorry, truly sorry for everything.” He said, his eyes never leaving the monster’s.

Adan laid curled up on the floor, his hands covering his head, his body shaking in fear, but Iom could hear him whispering, “It’s okay.” Over and over again.

“Hush now, Adan, once he’s gone, we can start your training over.”

Gaspare, Alvah, and Daray raced through the darkened woods, their noses locked on Iom’s scent. Gaspare had hated how long it had taken to pick it up again, but at least they were back on the trail and they had decided to follow it rather than rest. They were all worried about Iom and knew another delay could mean something bad might happen.

Iom thrashed and kicked, trying to use his legs to push away from the monster, but the creature kept him pinned in place by his throat, pushing down when he fought to hard. Baikuntha’s sharp nails dug into his skin, leaving rows of red, bleeding wounds. He felt one dig even deeper into his stomach and Baikuntha leaned closer. “What if I spilled your guts right now, Iom?”

Iom spit in his face. “Fuck…you.” He choked out. He knew the beast was getting off on his pain and if he could ruin it for him, he would.

Baikuntha growled at him, his eyes shifting to a bright yellow, the eyes of the monster. He started to slide the nail up and Iom’s cry of pain came out strangled. Baikuntha suddenly jerked back with a pain filled roar and it took Iom a moment to realize Adan had managed to get up and retrieve the decorative letter opener on Baikuntha’s desk. The monster spun, backhanding Adan so he flew back into the bedroom door, unconscious. Baikuntha twisted, trying to pull the letter opener out of his back.

Iom thought fast, he couldn’t break these chains but they were directly attached to the bed. He was vampire and it was just wood, strong wood but he knew if he tried hard enough he could break the bed and hopefully quickly while Baikuntha was distracted. Adan obviously couldn’t take much more abuse and that last stunt might make Baikuntha change his mind about killing him off. He wanted Adan to live for the freedom he would have as soon as they were found. He didn’t deserve to die in this place, he couldn’t let him die some monsters toy. you can do this, you have to Iom said in his head as he grabbed on to the piece of bed one of his chains was connected to and destroyed it “fuck yes” He actually said out loud.

Baikuntha growled again, lunging at him but one arm free was all Iom had needed. Iom hit him as hard as he could then used all the strength in his legs to make him stumble backward. The combination gave him enough time to break the other part of the bed. He was still attached but much more mobile and he’d use the pieces of wood instead of treating them as a hindrance.

Iom swung at him, furious, desperate swipes to keep Baikuntha at bay. He dared not turn to try and open the door so all he could do was fight him off. He wasn’t expecting the tail that came darting out from behind Baikuntha and barely manged to stumble to the side. The sharp tip scraped his side then punctured a large hole in the door. “I’m going to tear you apart mind and body.” Baikuntha growled. “By the time I’m done with you, you will be begging me to take you in.”

It was the sound of combat that grabbed their attention. The silence of the woods helped them pinpoint where it was coming from. Gaspare’s stomach dropped when he realized it was in the same direction as Iom’s scent. When they burst from the woods, they were immediately met by growling, snapping hounds, drool dripping from their mouths as they attacked the intruders. “Get to Iom.” Alvah ordered. “We’ll take care of the dogs.”

Gaspare didn’t protest, only wanting his mate back. The moment he entered the house he could smell fear, could hear the sounds of people whimpering, of their racing hearts. Most of all he could smell Iom and hear his voice and he ran towards it. He heard Iom scream as he reached the room at the end of the hall and ripped the door open. Iom was pinned face down on the floor, the tip of a tail driven through his shoulder, a man on top of him, Iom struggling and cursing at him. Gaspare saw red and was across the room, ripping the man off of his mate before he could even completely turn and look over his shoulder.

Iom quickly got up, ignoring his pain and going over to Adan to check on him. He was grateful to see Adan was still clinging to life. Iom briefly considered getting him out of the room but there was no telling when or if Baikunthas henchmen would stumble upon all this. They came at odd hours. There didn’t seem to be any kind of schedule. He could have even invited friends to come help him punish Adan so they couldn’t get far from Gaspare. He sat there, guarding Adan since his mate obviously had things under control.

This was the first time he had seen him in a fight that actually took a lot of effort for him but he was definitely winning. Soon Alvah and Daray were bursting in and Iom whispered to the still unconscious Adan “I told you they’d come. We’re going back to my home. I promise, we wont let anything else happen to you” It was almost embarrassing when Alvah destroyed the cuffs so easily they may as well have been made of paper but his mind was mostly taken with how much better it felt not to be attached to large pieces of wood. Gaspare hugged him and they both shed a few silent tears before Daray said “He looks bad, we brought some medical supplies but if theres any here we might need what we already have to tend to him on the way. Whatever he is he doesn’t seem to be healing very well right now”

Alvah spoke “He is a shifter, a Fossa to be exact and Daray is right Iom, do you know where in this house we can tend to him”

“He would have been the one to know but we need to stay and look. He’s like this because he helped me. That bastard punished him before bringing me in here. I wont leave until we know he’s stable enough to come with us. We also need to unlock everyone elses collars so they can go off where they need to go off” Alvah nodded “Gaspare, Daray, you two stay with Iom and this man. I will search the house. How is your collar off Iom?”

“Theres a book and metal key in my room.”

“I’ll grab that too” Gaspare just kept hugging Iom but that was more than fine with his mate. It felt so incredible to be in loving arms again. When Alvah came back he dropped off the supplies and asked Daray to start tending to Adan while he began freeing everyone else.

“I’m sorry I didn’t get here faster.” Gaspare said as he brushed his fingers through Iom’s hair.

“What are you talking about? you had perfect timing. I had him right where I wanted him.” He let out an exhausted sigh. “I can’t wait to get out of this place, to get Adan and the others out of this place.”

Gaspare hugged him a little tighter. “Did he…?”

“No, not that he wouldn’t have, but no, he didn’t.”

“Please never leave without me again or at least don’t sleep on the road.”

“Agreed.”

Alvah came back with the other men who all couldn’t believe they were actually free and some of them started crying when it set in they would be leaving. “I told them to come back with us and we would get them home.” Alvah said. “How is he?” He gestured to Adan.

“Still alive.” Daray said. “We’re going to have to go really slow with all of them, especially Adan.”

“Can you carry him?”

“Of course.”

“What about you Iom, are you okay to travel?”

“Even if I wasn’t, I would still insist we go. None of them need to stay here any longer.” He raised his head to look at the other men. “You should all grab as much as you can; food, clothes, water, even jewelry and money. That monster owes you everything, so take what you can for the trip.”

They all began to gather what they could and were soon off. If Baikuntha had called for others they made it out before they arrived. At home Alvah and Daray allowed Gaspare and Iom to go straight to their room while they took care of settling in their new guests. Gaspare and Iom were soaking their sore muscles in the tub when Iom said “I guess you can’t tease Alvah about this castle anymore. It came in handy, I’m glad we had space for everyone”

“I probably wont tease him about anything for awhile. I’m so glad he and Daray helped me get you back”

“Maybe after all these men are looked after you and I can both go where I was headed…I wanted to get you something special”

“We will definitely go, it’ll still be special even if you didn’t travel to get it alone.”

“I love you Gaspare”

“I love you too Iom” Gaspare held Iom a little tighter, his wounds were mostly healed and he was still struggling emotionally from everything. Gaspare had come much too close to loseing Iom and his only comfort was that Iom was willing not to leave his side for awhile.

~ The End

Marc & Joel

Chapter One

Marc sat at his normal table in the cafeteria, nervously fidgeting with a note he had for his crush. He felt like a complete loser but there was no way he could tell Joel how he felt unless it was written down. Joel was far too handsome and charismatic, millions of miles out of his league but his mom had been encouraging him to try so nerves be damned he had written him a love confession. He was at school early, waiting for the first bell. His mom had to get to work earlier than school started but normally he didn’t mind sitting here in the mornings. He could get breakfast and he often waited to do home work until now but he was too nervous to do anything but wonder if this really was a good idea.

Suddenly his chair tilted backwards but he wasn’t scared until he saw Damon and Kirks faces “what you got in your hand dweeb?” Damon asked as Kirk snatched it. These boys were on the football team with Joel. However, unlike Joel who was always sweet these two were assholes. Marc didn’t think Joel knew how they treated him but he wasn’t a tattle tail “Please dont”

“what the fuck is this shit” Kirk said and handed the note to Damon who seemed equally upset. They finished jerking Marc out of his chair and a girl suddenly walked over “Hey, what’re you two doing”

“talking to our friend”

“you dont look like friends”

“what? Of course we are. This little dweeb is always hanging around the football team.”

“leave him alone and give whatever that paper is back” Damon ripped it up and threw it in the air like some performers might spread glitter. “we’ll leave him alone I guess” The boys walked away and Marc wanted to go hide under a rock “are you okay”

“thank you…you didn’t have to do that”

“Not like the teachers ever stop bullys around here. What was that paper?”

“Nothing” she frowned “want me to sit with you” Marc shook his head “I think I need to go” he didn’t know why he was so embarrassed but he didn’t want to be in school any more today. He didn’t want to be anywhere but home in bed and he felt horrible about it “why are you such a fucking coward” he said sadly to himself as he walked out of school and began making his way home. It was an hour walk but he didn’t want to call his mother either.

Once he finally made it home he went to his room, sat on his bed and cried. Cried because those assholes knew he liked Joel, cried because he felt like a coward and he cried for being stupid enough to try to tell Joel how he felt in the first place. Even if Joel was gay why would he want someone as worthless as he was.

Joel slipped past his teammates as they came running at him, grinning as he sped past them, using his speed and flexibility to his advantage. One of them came close to bringing him down, but he managed to get away and cross over the goal line, turning and chuckling at what he could see of their faces. “Come on Joel, that’s so unfair.” Steven said as he caught his breath.

“Hey, if you can’t catch at least one little shifter then how do you expect to tackle the enemy.” He teased, causing Steven as well as the others to laugh.

“That’s a little dramatic, the enemy, really?”

“Okay, maybe enemy was a little harsh, but you know it’s true. Hone those reflexes and you’ll be able to catch me, it just takes practice.” He knew they probably never would, but he wanted them to work hard, to want to win and using himself as their target would make them give it everything they had. “Come on guys, let’s run it again.”

Marc was now cleaning up some things around the house. He felt guilty for skipping school and he tried to help his mother anyway when it came to their home. She worked such long hours and even had already started two savings accounts for him. One was for college and the other was money for starting his life once he finished college. It meant even more to him that she had always done all this without a single penny from his dad. When he had walked out of their lives he had truly walked out. He never so much as called to see if the two of them were alive and at this point he hoped his dad didn’t have the nerve to, not after making his mother raise him by herself.

It was just the two of them so cleaning didn’t take long so he decided to go to his room and think about how he was going to talk to Joel about his feelings. That note really was stupid. He needed to man up and confess his feelings. If he didn’t soon, there was now a chance somebody else would tell Joel. Marc rubbed his face in frustration “damn it”

Joel finally noticed Mac wasn’t at school when he didn’t show up in the class they had together. He carefully pulled out his cellphone and began writing a text, hoping the teacher wouldn’t see. She was the kind of teacher who would just snatch up your phone and keep it until one of your parents came to get it from her.

“Where are you today Marc?” Joel slid the phone back into his pocket. He knew it would vibrate if Marc answered him and he wanted it in his hands where the teacher might see it as little as possible. Marc saw the message right away and typed back “I started off at school but I ended up not feeling so good” It was the truth, feeling humiliated didn’t feel good at all. The vibration made Joel want to pull his phone out but the teacher was walking around the classroom.

He waited patiently for her to make her way around his desk and when her back was turned, he looked at the message. He glanced at the teacher then responded, “I’ll come by after school, sound good?”

Marc’s heart stuttered in his chest when he saw what Joel had said and just stared at the phone for what seemed like forever. Why would he come over? Had someone told him what happened and he was fishing for the truth? He wanted to text back no, but he didn’t want to hurt Joel’s feelings. “Alright.” He finally sent back.

“I’ll bring snacks, just rest.”

Joel put his phone away and did his best to focus on his classwork. He hoped Marc wasn’t feeling too sick and wondered if he should pick up some chicken soup or something as well. Marc paced around his room for a little bit, trying to think of how he was going to tell Joel he loved him. He flopped down on his bed and stared up at the ceiling. There was a part of him that wished he had actually been sick.

Joel was going to know he was fine the second he got over here so that would mean he’d need to be ready for the talk. He wasn’t sure he’d be any good at faking sick and he didn’t want to make this situation worse by lieing to Joel. He needed to tell him and he would no matter how scary that was. The second the school bell rang to let everyone know the day was over Joel rushed out to his car, throwing his backpack in the back seat then getting in the front. He opened his group text with his parents and let them know he wouldn’t be coming straight home today then drove off. He didn’t have to wait and see if it was okay. He was free to mostly do what he wanted as long as he checked in.

He heard his phone ping but ignored it until he pulled up to the store. It was his mother “alright, your father and I wont be home until tomorrow anyway. Your father transferred some money into your account in case you were getting low so feel free to eat dinner out somewhere” Joel smiled, wondering where his dad had taken his mother now. They had such a wonderful, romantic relationship and he hoped that one day he’d have what they had.

“alright mom, I love you. Don’t feel like you two need to rush home. You know I’m fine” With that Joel walked into the store and began shopping for things he liked when he felt ill. He knew a lot about Marc but what his comfort foods were when he was sick wasn’t an area of expertise for him yet. He wanted to ask but if Marc was trying to sleep it off he didn’t want to wake him. If his teacher wasn’t such a hard ass about phones he could of asked in class but he understood. Joel knew some kids would be on their phones all day every day if they weren’t strict about it.

He headed over to Marc’s once he had paid for everything and wanted to text him that he was outside once he got there, but still worried he could be resting and he wasn’t going to force him to get out of bed to let him in. He just tried the front door and found it locked, so he went around back and tried the sliding glass door. It slid open and he stepped inside. “Marc? It’s Joel.” He said as he closed the door.

Marc’s heart nearly jumped out of his chest and it took him a moment to open his mouth and respond. “In…in my room.” He called back, hating that his voice shook. He could hear Joel heading toward his door and felt like hiding. He sat up as his door opened and felt his cheeks heat when Joel smiled at him.

“Hey you, how’re you feeling?” Joel held up the bag in his hand. “I brought you some stuff to make you feel better. I even got you some soup at the store deli, I’ve heard it’s good.”

“Oh um thank you.”

Joel crossed over to him and sat down, cocking his head to the side. “You alright?” He reached out and touched Marc’s forehead with the back of his hand. “You’re warm, but you don’t smell sick. Maybe it’s a migraine or something?” He shrugged. “Either way, I hope you like everything I grabbed, I wasn’t really sure what to get you.”

“thank you…this is really sweet” Joel gave him a gentle smile “what’re best friends for. I was worried the second I didn’t see you. You never miss school” Joel was now pulling out the things he had bought and was setting them on the bed, only setting the soup on the nightstand. “Does any of this look good?”

“ye…yeah but um…I” Joel was looking him in the eyes and Marc had to avert his gaze “I’m…not sick…I wasn’t lieing when I said I wasn’t feeling good but…I’m not sick”

“Oh, well what’s going on?”

“I came to school today…well…I came to give you a letter” he stopped himself, not wanting to bring up the guys on his team “well, the letter isn’t important…it’s just…I had to write something down because it’s too hard to tell you”

“what’s too hard to tell me, you can tell me anything”

“I’m…“Joel gently grabbed his chin, tilting Marcs face so they’d be looking at each other ‘You’re what Marc…please talk to me”

“I…I want to be more than friends…I love you…I love you so much but I get it if you’re not into me…I dont even know if you like” Joel kissed him and almost instantly Marc felt like he was going to overheat.

Chapter Two

Joel pulled back and Marc swallowed, frozen. “You shouldn’t hide things from me.” Joel said.

“I…I thought…I’m sorry.”

Joel smiled and brushed his lips over Marc’s again. “Don’t be, but you should never be afraid to be honest with me.”

“It’s just I thought you were too good for me. I mean I’m not that amazing or anything and you’re so popular.”

“Do you think I care about popularity? I’m so happy you said something.” He rubbed their noses together and Marc thought his heart was going to explode. “So, where’s the letter?”

Marc’s heart jumped. “Um…well…”

“I want to read it, I bet it’s sweet.” Marc looked away, not wanting to cause any trouble between Marc and his teammates. “Hey, what’s wrong? You can tell me.”

“I don’t want you to get in a fight.”

“I won’t, tell me.” He turned Marc’s face back towards him, suddenly concerned.

“Well, I was going to give it to you, but two people took it from me and…and one of them ripped it up.” He actually saw Joel’s eyes darken and heard the growl starting to rumble in his chest.

“Who?”
“Lets just be happy Joel. It doesn’t matter”

“It does matter, nobody should be taking anything from you. Have they messed with you before?”

“well yeah but”

“But nothing, tell me who has been messing with you.” Marc couldn’t believe how angry Joel seemed. He had always been so calm and friendly. “Look it’s Kirk and Damon but it’s not a big deal. I just want to hangout with you for right now and I don’t want things to be awkward. They’re on your team. You guys don’t need to be fighting.”

“You need to talk to me about things Marc”

“I’m sorry” Joel tried to calm down, not wanting to scare his mate. He hated the way his voice had sounded when he apologized “can you just tell me what it said then? It’ll help me relax after hearing you’ve been bullied by two guys I thought were my friends”

“I’m sure they are your friends” Joel huffed then tried to swallow down his anger “Please tell me what your letter said. Can you try to recite what you wrote for me?”

“ye yeah…well…” Marc nervously shifted and Joel moved behind Marc, situating them so he was holding Marc. He had been so nervous and he would have expected Joel holding him to make it worse but it actually brought calm to him. “I started it how I just told you really, telling you I love you and that I’d understand if you didn’t feel the way I did…I also wrote about when I fell in love with you…my mom said you might like that”

“Your mom helped you?”

“She didn’t help me write it…she’s just been pushing me to tell you and giving me ideas”

“Okay, so when did you fall in love with me?”

“Um, well, do you remember when we went to Summer camp in elementary school and you accidentally hit me with a football?”

“Yeah, I made you cry.”

“You came over and helped me up and told me I could hit you back if I wanted too.”

“You looked so surprised and then you started smiling.” He squeezed Marc, pressing a kiss to his cheek. “That was really the moment?”

“Yeah.” He answered softly.

“Stop being so cute.” He said with a chuckle.

“I’m not.”

“You are and you always have been. You should have told me.” He turned Marc’s head and rubbed their noses together. “What else did your letter say?”

Marcs heart stuttered. It was crazy a man like Joel not only liked him but cared so much about the letter. “just what I love about you…you’re such an amazing person, especially for giving me the time of day” Joel chuckled “spending time with you is completely selfish. I’ve wanted you for so long”

“why didn’t you say anything?”

“humans and shifters don’t mix often, not that I think my parents or your mom will mind it’s just…some will mind and I wanted to wait to start ripping peoples throats out as long as possible”

“yeah…like just a couple months ago that whole little family was killed because one was a human and the shifters family didn’t like it…I know some shifters wont even accept a human even if they’ve changed for their” Marc paused and Joel kissed his cheek “mate and nobody will ever touch you.”

“being with you would be worth it…I mean it”

Joel rubbed his nose against Marc’s cheek. “Does that mean you’ll consider changing for me?”

“Yeah.”

“Being able to love you forever would make me incredibly happy.” He let his lips move over the back of Marc’s neck, giving him a little nip.

Marc’s heart stuttered uncontrollably in his chest, his skin burning hot with his embarrassment. “Um, so maybe we should eat?”

Joel chuckled. “I really love you, Marc and you don’t have to be so nervous, I’ll only go as far as you want me too.”

“I know, it’s just wolves are…you know…”

“I do, but you’re my mate and I respect you. You don’t have to worry about me getting frustrated or angry, I love you.”

“I love you too.” Marc reached over and grabbed the soup. “Do you want some?”

“I’m good, just let me hold you.”

Marc carefully ate, making sure not to let any fall off the spoon and onto Joel. They continued to talk until his mother came home and checked on him as she always did by opening the door “Oh” a big grin took the place of her shock “I see telling him went well. I’ll get out of the way then. I can actually go out if you want the house to yourself”

“we’re fine mom” Marc said, blushing profusely. Joel chuckled “thanks but I just want to hold him”

“you’re a sweet boy, I’ll just order some pizza for dinner” She shut the door and Joel kissed Marcs cheek “you don’t have to be so embarrassed. I’m glad you’re mom would be happy to leave me alone with you” Joel said then gently bit Marcs ear.

“Joel.”

“What?” He rubbed his nose over Marc’s cheek then gently grabbed his chin and turned his head. “You’re so cute my love, I could just eat you up.” He heard Marc’s heart stutter and grinned.

“But um…”

“Not now, later, when you’re ready. I’m just happy to have you, to know I can have you.” He rubbed their noses together then their lips. “You’ll have to let me start picking you up for school.”

“You don’t have too, you’d be going out of your way.”

“You’re my mate and I want people to see us together, I want to show my supposed friends just how important you are to me and that they are never to touch you without your permission.”

“Just don’t fight, okay, I mean unless you have too.”

“I won’t, I promise, but I might grumble a little.”

That night when Joel had to pry himself away from Marc because they both needed to sleep for school he wanted to pay a visit to each of the boys who had bothered his mate but he kept telling himself Marc would be upset. He was certainly going to have a serious talk with them at school tomorrow. He couldn’t believe their nerve since they knew that he and Marc were friends. He should have gotten that note today and his mate shouldn’t have to worry about being bullied.

He forced himself to drive home and let his parents know he and Marc were together. They were happy for him but as he knew his father would he reminded him of the potential problems the two of them being together would cause, not in their own pack but among other wolves. “I’m ready for that. I love him”

“I know, just making sure you’re ready for that”

“I’m ready to put anybody in their place, starting with my supposed friends in school”

Chapter Three

“Did someone hurt him?” His mother asked.

“Yes, more emotionally than physically, but they should know better.”

“You know the rules, just don’t kill anyone. Other than that, feel free to do what you must.” His father added.

“I know, besides, Marc would be disappointed if I hurt them, he doesn’t want me getting violent with them even though I feel like they deserve it.”

“If they ever do it again, don’t hold back, I’m sure he’ll understand.”

“I hope so, I don’t want to scare him away when I just got him.”

“Remember, if you need any help, you can always come to us, whether it be with wolves, humans, or just relationship advice.” His mother gave him a warm smile.

“I know, thank you. I’ll see you in the morning.”

Joel paused before he went up “hey, weren’t you two supposed to be gone until tomorrow?” His mother laughed “and here I thought you’d be too happy about getting your mate to notice. Yeah, we came back early but you look tired. We can talk about why another time unless you really want to talk about it now”

“I am pretty tired, it was exhausting worrying about Marc” Now his father chuckled “get to bed son and try not to drive yourself too crazy now that you have someone to worry about” Joel went to his room and settled in for the night. He hated his parents date got ruined somehow but it had been nice to see them. Over breakfast the next morning Joel and his mother started talking about why they had come home. Apparently there had been a series of murders in the past few months in the area they had tried to go to and his father hadn’t wanted to take any chances.
“I’m glad you’re both okay. Do they know anything?”

“Young men and women, about college aged, killed on the way home or in their homes. They didn’t let out what species the victims might be or the weapon used. Even though we’re shifters, I didn’t want to risk it not knowing all the details.”

“Hopefully they catch whoever it is soon.” He glanced at the clock on the wall. “I need to get going, I have to get Marc.” His parents both laughed and Joel quickly finished his food, hugged them both then hurried out. He couldn’t wait to show off that he was with Marc to everyone.

“You don’t have to wait on the porch honey, he’ll knock.” Marc’s mom said with a little laugh.

“I know, I just want to be here is all.” He blushed, his heart hammering in his chest.

“I’m just happy you two finally got to together, I was about ready to grab him and tell him myself.”

“Mom.”

“I mean it, I was getting anxious.”

“Well…thanks for letting me do it” she smiled “It needed to come from you. Besides, nothing would make me happier than you coming out of your shell more. You’re amazing son and the world would see it more if you were a little more confident. Look forward to me pushing you into all sorts of confidence building situations. I fear I don’t have much time left before you’re completely grown and out of here”

“Mom” she laughed “I love you son, everything I do is out of love for you” He went over to his mother and hugged her “I know”

“Just think now, the boy you thought the world of thinks the world of you. That has to mean something to you”

Marc nodded. “Yeah.”

His heart skipped a beat when Joel finally pulled up and he told his mother bye as he headed off the porch and down the walkway. “Good morning.” Joel said when he got in.

“Good morning, um, thank you for picking me up.”

Joel smiled. “Of course.” He leaned closer and Marc blushed when he realized Joel was going to kiss him. It was brief, but left him feeling embarrassed when he remembered his mom was on the porch. “Ready to go?” Joel asked.

“Yeah, is my mom still there?”

Joel looked past him then waved. “Yes.”

Marc turned and waved by to his mom who he could tell was laughing. Joel pulled away and he covered his face. “She’s totally going to tease me.”

“She just loves you.”

“I know, she’s really happy we’re together.”

“It’s nice having her blessing.”

“My mom is one of those parents that just cares if I’m happy”

“Yeah, I like her a lot. My parents are happy about us too by the way. You really should meet them. I mean, I know you’ve met them but I’d really like us all to do something together”

“sure, I can ask my mom when her next day off is” Marc pulled out his cellphone, texting his mom quickly to ask. Once he was done he said “she’s either finishing up getting ready for work or getting in the car herself so I probably wont know for a bit”

“Is everything going well with her?”

“Oh yeah, she still loves her job and everyone there. She actually just got a raise which made her so happy she cried. Things seem to be working out for both of us”

Marc was red faced the entire ride to school, Joel’s smile causing his heart to stutter in his chest. His embarrassment became worse when they finally pulled into the school parking lot and he actually became worried about what people would think. He didn’t want anyone to hate Joel or give him trouble. “Don’t make that face, it doesn’t suit you.” Joel said as he leaned over and gently grabbed Marc’s chin. “I love you, so stop worrying.”

“Are you psychic or something?”

Joel smiled. “No, I can just sense your emotions, the change in your scent, and your heart is beating really fast.” He kissed him. “Come on, I want to show everyone my wonderful, new mate.”

“Okay.”

Marc couldn’t help but feel happy over how proud Joel walked with him down the school halls, their fingers laced together as he was lead to his locker. He gathered everything he needed and Joel walked him to class, stopping outside the doorway to give him a kiss. “I’ll see you in a little bit, tell me if anyone bothers you.”

“I will, I…I love you.”

“I love you too.”
Marc couldn’t help but glance around. He was trying not to be anxious but not only did he have his first boyfriend, they were in vastly different leagues when it came to looks and social groups. Swallowing down his nerves he went into class and sat down. He had never been more eager for a school day to end and he knew he’d probably feel this way every day now. They were at the start of a completely new chapter of their lives and Marc hoped he could be a good enough boyfriend to be with Joel forever.

~ The End

Montesto & March

Chapter One

1
Montesto startled him so much as he suddenly spoke March took a few steps back “what’re you doing way out here hm?”

“That’s none of your business” March snapped, trying to appear as cool as if he hadn’t been afraid for a second “March, let me take you back to your home”

“After you insulted me?”

“You’re too sensitive…jesus”

“No, you just can be too much of an ass sometimes. I’ve been taking care of myself just fine”

“for now”

“I don’t need you, go away”

“You do need me”

“You know what, go fuck yourself. I may not be as absurdly strong as you but I can handle myself”

“Look, maybe I shouldn’t have said some of the things I said but maybe it gets annoying that you put yourself in needlessly dangerous situations all the time.”

“You’re not responsible for me so why does it bother you? I don’t want to live a safe, sheltered life. I need trips like this and I don’t even want you to be a part of this one. As far as I’m concerned we don’t have to hangout at all anymore if I’m really that annoying”

“Do I really mean that little to you March? I know you’re angry but is it me really being the ass now? We’re friends, forgive me for not wanting you to venture into a volcano”

“It hasn’t blown in hundreds of years and I wouldn’t even be in it that long, it’s the passage at the base you can only get to from the inside I’m interested in”

“That says nothing about weather you mean you really, truly don’t wish to be my friend anymore based on our argument”

“well this is me Montesto. If I die tomorrow I’ll die happy because I lived my life the most exciting way possible. I mean, you act more like we’re married than friends. You don’t get to tell me what I can and can’t do, even if we were married’ Montesto laughed, but it was hard to determine if it was happy or bitter. It was like some weird mixture of both “I suppose you can’t mean that then, thinking about being married to me, how cute”

March sighed “Montesto, either come with me or don’t but I’m not going home or giving you any more information about what precisely I’m doing unless you’re going to stop being this way” March was obviously still incredibly annoyed, he wasn’t even blushing at his teasing.

Montesto clenched his fists and gritted his teeth. “You can be so…” the sound he let out was somewhere between a growl and a sigh, “fine, whatever, but only to pull your ass out of trouble if something happens.”

“I can pull my own ass out of trouble thank you.”

Montesto ran his fingers through his hair, sweeping it back and away from his face. “Whatever you say, princess, lead the way.”

March glared at him. “The only princess I see here is you.” He turned and started walking and Montesto sighed again as he followed, hating he got so riled up over March sometimes. Him talking about if he died and threatening to not be his friend anymore really pissed him off. Did March really not realize how important he was? Did he really care so little if he died he’d be leaving him alone? He stayed a few feet behind him, staying lost in his own brooding thoughts.

March glanced behind him and could see that Montesto was still in a bad mood. He wasn’t even looking forward, just out into the distance, his arms crossed, his body closed off. He sighed. What was he supposed to do? Montesto was so frustrating sometimes. He was happy Montesto was coming with him, but he hated the distance he was keeping. March slowed down, falling in next to him, but Montesto still didn’t say anything, didn’t even look at him. “Montesto…”

“Sorry, I didn’t realize we were still friends. I’m only here to make sure you don’t get yourself killed.”

“I…” he let out a sigh, “whatever.” He knew he probably shouldn’t have said something like that and trying to apologize wouldn’t work until Montesto calmed down.

About an hour later Montesto seemed a little more open to talking so March stopped him by grabbing his hand, seeming to startle Montesto out of his thoughts a bit “Look…Montesto I…you just really hurt my feelings this time. I’ve really done stuff like this all my life. Most people think it’s cool but when I talk to you about it you make me feel like you don’t think I can handle myself despite the fact I’ve always done it or that you feel like I’m making your life hard by doing it…I don’t know how to live a safe life and I really don’t want to. That being said…maybe I was the asshole this time. I’m always giving you a hard time about how you talk to me and others but I probably shouldn’t have said most the things I said. I’m sorry…and I’m sorry if you feel like my babysitter…I like you to come but feel free just to stay behind when I go somewhere. We’re friends, I’m not some kid brother you need to look after”

March let go of Montestos hand, knowing he was mad. He wasn’t sure if he should have done it in the first place but this was the kind of conversation he wanted to have looking at each other, not walking along in the direction Montesto obviously didn’t want to go. Montesto was just standing there, looking down at March and trying to figure out what to say to him. When he finally spoke he said “I care about what happens to you…I feel like you should too…its not fair to make me care so much about you then put your life in danger all the time and it’s not fair to talk about the possibility of us not being friends. I try so hard for you”

“I never meant I didn’t want to be your friend. I was saying you didn’t have to be”

“Of course I don’t have to be damn it. I want to be around you, I want to know you’re safe and that I’m going to see you tomorrow and all the days after that” March sighed, feeling guilty. He had never seen Montesto this emotional. He could see in his face he was hurting more than he was angry. “I wont go if this is that big a deal then alright. Lets go home” March wasn’t sure this trip would be fun any more anyway. He felt guilty now and he wasn’t sure any amount of talking would make his close friend alright with this. He’d figure out something else to do, maybe in a few weeks once Montesto felt better after this particularly bad argument. It was the first time March would leave one feeling like a jerk and he hoped it would be the last.

Montesto sighed. “We may as well go, we’re already walking that way anyway.”

“But…”

“You wanted to go so let’s go. Let’s not argue anymore, okay, let’s just go. You’re not forcing me, I want to, but if something happens I reserve the right to gloat about being right.”

“Montesto.”

“I’ve already decided, so come on, lead the way.”

“Alright, but only if you promise me you don’t feel forced.”

“I don’t.”

March nodded and they started walking again. Montesto relaxed a little more, doing his best to enjoy the nice weather and being close to March. It wasn’t like he was some sort of coward, but the idea of March getting seriously hurt or killed ate at him. “So what are we doing anyway?” He finally asked.

“Hm? Oh, well I heard that there are a lot of interesting stones inside some of the old lava tubes and even more so closer to the core.”

“Interesting how?”

“Rare, hard to find, strange. That’s what I was told. I was hoping to get a few, but if not then at least see them.”

He had to admit he was curious what they would look like “Together I’m sure we could carry quite a few out for you to keep”

“I really think this is going to be cool and we’ll leave the second anything seems off but there shouldn’t be any problems”

“How about after this I take you somewhere peaceful, just to give my nerves a break.”

“maybe thats what our friendship needs in general. Switching between peaceful and thrilling adventures. I’m in so lets not actually collect the stones this time. I don’t want to have to take them back to my home nor do I want to be carrying stones where ever you are wanting to go” Montesto smiled, something that gave a surprising amount of relief to March “so we’ll be going right after? Hm, all this time alone with you. How fun”

March blushed and Montesto felt more of his worry melt away. “Well, think of where you want to go then or I might decide to take you somewhere more exciting.” March replied, trying to fight down the heat in his face.

“Oh don’t worry, I have an idea, somewhere so beautiful and serene you won’t want to leave.” He winked and saw March’s blush deepen. “Look how embarrassed you are, how cute.”

“I’m not…jerk, it’s the way you say things.”

“I don’t know what you mean.”

“You know…suggestively.”

“Maybe you’re just hearing what you want to hear, maybe you want me to be suggestive.” He teased

Chapter Two

March didn’t see Montesto talking to anybody else much so it was hard to tell if he was just like this or was truly flirting with him as much as it seemed. Even if March found out this was just how he was and there wasn’t any attraction there he was sure it would still get him just as red. Montesto was incredibly attractive with his perfectly sculpted body. Even his pink eyes, they just went so amazingly with the shade of green his hair was. Montestos hair also seemed to be soft and somehow, no matter what Montesto smelled incredible. It didn’t matter what they did he always smelled as if he had just showered. He guessed his natural scent was just that incredible. He may be frustrating but deep down Montesto was a good, charming and incredibly alluring man.

It made March want to know where he really stood with him. Were they actually just friends with nothing more between them or did Montesto have feelings for him. While March in the past had just asked someone when he wanted to know something like that he was a little more hesitant with Montesto due to how far he’d take teasing. If Montesto was just like this in general March knew he might never stop teasing him.

“You wish, I think you think to highly of yourself.”

“Would you like to test that theory?”

“I want to make good time, so no.”

Montesto chuckled. “Oh sure.”

“I mean it.” He looked up at him, trying to look as serious as possible, but it was hard when Montesto was smiling at him. “At least you’re in a better mood.”

Montesto shrugged. “It’s hard to stay mad at you.”

March’s heart skipped a beat and he knew Montesto heard it. He couldn’t pull his eyes away. “What do you mean?”

“I mean what I mean, it’s hard to stay mad at you.” March was so focused on him that he tripped over and rock and if not for Montesto, he would have fallen on his face. “Wow, such grace, perhaps we should go back.” He teased.

They continued walking, their normal back and forth of teasing and quips. That night as they laid on the ground Montesto was frustrated but at himself, not March. He had finally started feeling they were at a point he could ask March out but nope, they had just fought again. He wanted to be better for March, to not let his temper flare up like it always had but it was near impossible when he became worried over him. He looked over at March, knowing he had to accept that the man he loved couldn’t be happy with a sheltered life. He needed to live on the edge and he was going to work on being more accepting of that.

When March woke Montesto already had some fruit for them to eat “thank you” he said sleepily. “It’s a long journey so I figured I’d use waking up before you productively” March took some, happy to instantly have something instead of having to look for himself. He felt glad all over again Montesto came. He did take care of him at times more than Mach cared to admit to himself. Soon they were off again, Montesto keeping a little closer to March than he had yesterday.

“There she is.” March said, pointing and Montesto suppressed his groan at the sight of the volcano. “Isn’t she beautiful?”

“That’s not exactly the word I would use, but if it makes you happy then yes, it’s beautiful.”

“It’ll be alright.”

“Just don’t take any unnecessary risks, please. I know you’re a wild child, but for me, don’t do anything too dangerous. You know I will pull you out of anything, but I don’t want you hurt.”

“Don’t worry, I won’t do anything stupid.”

Montesto nodded, wanting to make March happy, he deserved to be happy. Even if he himself wasn’t big on doing things like this, he wanted March to have fun, to smile. He tuned into the sound of the earth, listening for any signs of magma moving around, waiting for any shudder of the ground.

Everything sounded just as dormant as March claimed it was but Montesto would keep an ear out. The sooner they got away the better. March was moving faster now, obviously eager to get to his stones. They arrived at the volcano much too soon but thankfully all was still silent, the volcanic beast still sleeping soundly. “you ready Montesto?” March asked “lead the way” somehow even those three words were charming. They began the trip up which was a long journey in itself. March wanted to take it slow and really take in this amazing volcano but he didn’t stop. The main thing he wanted to see wasn’t here and he was also curious about where Montesto wanted to take him after this.

“So where’s the entrance?” Montesto asked.

“On the inside.”

Of course it was, Montesto though to himself, but he wasn’t going to spoil this for March, not when he had that almost child like look of wonder on his face. Once they made it to the peak, march through his arms open, gesturing to all of the interior. “It’s bigger than I imagined.” Montesto said.

“It’s amazing, look at it. Can you imagine this thing forming? What about how hot it must have been inside when it was still alive? It’s magnificent.”

“Well, not as magnificent as you, but it’s up there I suppose.”

March blushed, his heart dancing. “You’re teasing.” Montesto shrugged then gave him a wink. “Jerk, come on before I toss you in.”

“Alright, alright, after you boss.”

They carefully went inside, continuing to be cautious up until they found the stones “god they are prettier than I thought they’d be” March looked so amazed again. It was so adorable and they were so close Montesto kissed March before he knew what he was doing. He had just been waiting so long and he had thought a few days ago was the day he could tell him how he felt but they had argued again instead of having the loving conversation he had wanted to have. March found himself kissing back a few moments before he came back to reality too and gently pushed him away “wha…what was that…” Both their hearts were beating rapidly and all Montesto wanted to do was kiss him again but instead he answered him “I want to say sorry but…I’ve wanted to do that a long time”

March was having trouble putting coherent thoughts together. He had almost completely forgotten where they were and why they were there “Um…maybe we should get out of here…

“No, it’s okay, I wont do that again”

“I can’t breath or think, I’ve…um…lets just get out of here. We can come back sometime…”

“are you mad at me?” Montesto asked sadly “I’m not mad” March answered.

“But I’ve ruined your time here haven’t I?” Montesto sighed, feeling like an idiot. Of course he had.

“I didn’t say that.”

“It’s fine, after you.” He moved aside and gestured for March to go ahead of him.

March wanted to say something else, but the look on Montesto’s face and the shock of what had just happened had him heading for the exit. He tried not to rush, not wanting Montesto to think he was trying to run away from him. He just need to breathe, needed open space to gather his thoughts. March took a deep, steadying breath the moment they were outside, thankful for how cool the air had become. “Should we climb back up?” Montesto asked.

“No, here’s good.” He turned around, his face heating even more when his eyes met Montesto’s. “Um…I…”

“You don’t have to force yourself, it was stupid of me to do something so impulsively. I’m sorry. I guess I read everything wrong.”

“Stop…just hold on, okay?” March took another breath. “I was just surprised and…and we were in a confined space. I’m not mad or upset, just didn’t expect you to kiss me.” He swallowed. “It’s not like I hated it or anything.”

“I really have wanted to do that for such a long time…I’ve been falling more and more in love with you. I’ve been trying to be a better man for you so that you could start to look at me as someone you want around forever.”

“why have you held back? I mean, you’re not really that type. ”

“because I know I can be frustrating and selfish. I get in these moods and I know what its like to deal with me because moodiness just seems to run in my family. I’m not making an excuse for it, I want to be better. I wanted to wait until we could go awhile without arguing before I told you how I felt but…Iguess how tempting you are got the better of me in there. I don’t often have you that close to me” March blushed again at how sincere Montesto sounded. This was not at all what he had expected out of this.

Chapter Three

“Well, I…I like you too.”

“Really?” Montesto ran his fingers nervously through his hair, pushing it back. “By like do you mean, romantically or as a friend?” March started to answer, but Montesto felt he had to add, “I won’t get mad if you don’t feel the same way I do.”

“Montesto,” he reached out and took his hand. He looked so nervous, like he was out of his depth and didn’t know how to get his footing back. “I wouldn’t have kissed you back if I…if I didn’t like you more than a friend. I was just so flustered I guess I ran away.”

Montesto gave him a smile of relief and leaned down, pressing their foreheads together. “Thank goodness. I was worried I’d chased you off. Losing you would have been terrible.”

March smiled softly “it’s nice to know you were actually flirting with me. I often wondered if that was just your personality” Montesto chuckled “No, you’re special to me March. It’s why I’ll always keep you safe and why I’ve come so far in controlling my attitude”

“want to take me to that peaceful place you were talking about?”

“You barely got to see the stones?” March had to look away due to his intense embarrassment when he said “I just…want to be with you. I saw them but thats not what I care about right now” Montesto reached out gently, moving March’s head so he could kiss him again. When they parted lips Montesto said softly “peaceful would be a nice change of pace”

“Where are you taking me?” March asked as they walked side by side, heading away from the volcano.

“A lagoon I found some time back, it’s beautiful and quiet. You’ll love it, you can dive down into the water so there’s a little excitement for you.”

“I don’t have anything to swim in.”

Montesto shrugged. “Then I guess you’ll have to swim in nothing.” He grinned and March blushed, his heart stuttering in his chest.

“Maybe I won’t swim.”

“Oh? So you’d make me play in the water all alone?”

“No…I mean…” Montesto’s smile got bigger and March let out a little groan. “I can’t win.”

“Then just give in.”

March took his hand which surprised Montesto a little but he hoped it was a sign that his teasing and flirting would be more endearing now that March knew his feelings. Montesto found it easier to express himself through more playful ways rather than trying to get serious. He held firmly to March’s hand, praying he wasn’t going to screw this up. It was evening by the time they made it to the lagoon but resting or food was far from March’s mind. His explorative nature had him running over to the water with Montesto. He stopped at the edge, just admiring it’s beauty. Montesto looked over at him with a grin. He always found it sweet how much beauty March could find in things.

“You were right, I love it. Even if it is quiet.” March said as he smiled up at Montesto then blushed when he saw the adoring way he was being watched.

“It’s better with you here.”

March looked away, his heart dancing in his chest. “I doubt it.”

“I mean it.” He stepped behind March and wrapped his arms around him. “I have been here many times, but just your presence makes it so much more enjoyable.” He bent down and pressed a kiss to March cheek then turned his head to press another to his lips.

March swallowed, his entire body burning. “Um…should we look around, maybe swim?”

“ah, so you are going to swim…lets get off those clothes then” Montesto said suggestively, causing March to turn a deep red. Montesto chuckled, kissing March “come on, I wont do anything to you. You know you can trust me March. All I want to do is love and protect you” March swallowed “I…I suppose we could swim naked”

“You mean it?” March nodded and Montesto removed his shirt then pants, waiting for March to strip before he pulled off his boxers. March was much slower about it but soon they were both standing there in nothing but their underwear. Montesto caressed his cheek “you’re incredibly handsome” March nervously swallowed again but took off his boxers. He was so hot from blushing he was eager to get in the water and cool down.

The water was cool, causing him to shiver and goosebumps to cover his skin. Montesto gave a little laugh and March glared at him. “It’s not my fault it’s cold.”

“Then I should warm you up until you’re used to it.” Montesto grabbed his hand and pulled him closer, March unable to stop himself due to the water. He flushed when he found himself pressed against Montesto, felt his arms wrapping around him.

“You said you wouldn’t do anything?”

“I’m just warming you, nothing more, I promise.” He scooped some water up and onto March’s back. “As soon as you’re ready, I’ll let you go.”

“Okay.”

Montesto tilted March’s head back, smiling down at him. “Trust me.”

“I do.” Montesto pressed a kiss to his forehead then just held him, scooping more water onto him, helping him get used to the change in temperature. The moment March said he was okay, Montesto let him go so they could swim.

Montesto was his same, playful, teasing self and soon March actually forgot they were naked. He was just having so much fun with him and this new comfort of their feelings for eachother being on the table. It was only the actual sight of Montesto when they got out the water to dress and find their dinner for the night that he remembered, this time managing not to blush. He quickly averted his eyes, missing Montestos grin since he had felt March looking at him. Montesto dressed as well and offered to find them something if March would start a fire.

March could only nod and Montesto let out a chuckle as he leaned in a kissed his cheek before turning to leave. “Stay safe my sweet.” He said.

March took a deep breath once Montesto was out of sight, his hand pressed against his chest as if he could physically stop his thundering heart. Montesto was such an intense person. He gathered wood, humming to himself. Once he had enough, he piled it up and got a fire started then dropped down next to it. He stared at the flames as they danced, letting out a happy little sigh. “Comfortable?” He jumped at Montesto’s voice and looked up, seeing he had a rabbit.

“Yeah um…do you need some help?”

“No, you just relax, I can manage.”

“Are you sure?”

“Of course.”

“You…should bring me more places like this…I had fun”

“I have many places I’d greatly enjoy taking you. We can just stay here until you’re bored then move on to the next place and simply keep on that way if you’d like. You’ve drug me around most our friendship, I’d like a turn”

“Okay” Montesto chuckled again “don’t suddenly get nervous on me. It’s adorable, I may just become too enamored to resist you March”

“I’m” he was going to say he was sorry and Montesto knew it so he interupted him with another kiss , venturing to then kiss his cheek then move down to kiss his neck “stop being so cute” Montesto whispered.

“I’m…I’m not.”

“You are and if you don’t stop, we’ll never eat.” He grinned. “Well that’s not entirely true, I may nibble on you a little.”

“Montesto.”

He kissed March again, smiling against his lips. “What am I going to do with you? You’re near impossible to resist.”

“Cook?”

“Hmm, but you’re far more delicious than rabbit.”

March swallowed. “Um…I…”

Montesto chuckled. “I love you, March, I hope you know that.” March nodded and he pulled away, deciding to cook before he got in trouble.

The newly formed couple spent the next two days there then moved on to the next place Montesto wanted to go. Truly anywhere where would be amazing as long as he kept getting to spend all his time with March. Montesto hoped that if they traveled together long enough before March wanted to go home he’d be open to them living together by the time they returned. He knew keeping him out wouldn’t be hard, March already liked traveling so much he rarely saw his home so Montesto planned for this to be a start of an incredibly long journey.

~ The End

Osanyin & Vale

Chapter One

Osanyin ducked into an alleyway, drops of black blood spattering on the cement as he raced for the fire escape ladder. He glanced back, seeing the group of men behind him. He ran up the wall, grabbing the bottom rung of the ladder and hauling himself up it. “Come back here you tainted bastard.” One of them screamed and hurled something at him. Osanyin didn’t bother trying to see what it was, he just kept going, racing up the fire escape to the roof. Even when he made it to the top, he kept going, jumping to the next building and then to the next. He saw a door, wrenched it open and slid inside. He leaned against the wall, his breath steadying. He looked at his arm, at the teeth marks where the dog had bitten him.

He sighed, hating that once again it had come to this, to lying low, to hiding. He wondered if the animal had smelled the taint of his black blood, if that’s why it had attacked. He was no longer pure in the eyes of the world. His blood had gone from milky white innocence to the black of the feared. None of them understood, none of them bothered to ask what crimes he had committed for it to get that way.

“You’re not supposed to be up here.” The voice startled him and his eyes were drawn down the stairs to the landing at the beginning of the next flight. Bright blue eyes stared up at him, the look on the young man’s face was one of shock and confusion.

Osanyin felt cornered and wondered if he could jump down and restrain the guy before he screamed or something. “My mistake.” He said as he readied himself. “What are you doing up here?”

The young man held up the mop in his hand. “Cleaning, I’m the complex manager.” His eyes moved to the wound on Osanyin’s arm. “You’re bleeding. What happened?”

Osanyin was taken back. Did he not notice the color of his blood. “Dog bite.” He answered truthfully.

“Are you planning on killing me?”

“No.”

He nodded. “Okay. Come with me and I’ll fix that.”

Was this man joking? Was he luring him to his home where he could more easily kill him? It didn’t make sense to Osanyin that anybody would help him but maybe this was his lucky day and the man was color blind or something. To Osanyin that was the only thing that made sense. He cautiously began to walk down the stairs towards the man who introduced himself. “I’m Vale and I really am trying to help you. You’re bleeding pretty bad so come on, don’t be afraid.” Osanyin couldn’t help but study Vale’s face. When Osanyin couldn’t find anything there that foretold of bad things to come he hurried after him.

Vale took him to an apartment on the second floor and propped the mop up against the wall so he could unlock his door. Osanyin was wary as he stepped inside, ready to run if this was some sort of trap. “This way.” Vale said, leading him to his bathroom. “Could you sit please?”

“I’d like to stand.”

Vale’s eyes met his, searching them then he responded with an, “Okay.” He pulled a first aid kit out from under his sink, sat it on the counter, and flipped it open. “So, why did it bite you?” He asked as he pulled out some gauze and wet it.

“Seriously?”

Vale nodded as he started to gently wipe the blood away, apologizing when Osanyin flinched. “Not a dog person?”

“I…” he had to be crazy. Osanyin sighed. “You can see my blood right?”

“Of course.” He pulled out an alcohol wipe and rubbed it over the wounds then wrapped it. “There we go, good as new.”

“You see the color, right?”

“It’s just blood.” He threw the used items in the garbage then put the first aid kit away. “Are you hurt anywhere else?”

“No, um…”

“So, what’s your name? I think it’s only fair that I get yours since you have mine.”

“Uh Osanyin.”

“Well, Osanyin, I need to go clean up the mess you made.”

“Just like that?” Osanyin asked, his voice portraying how baffled he was by Vale.

Vale looked him in the eyes. “I don’t know why your blood is black and I’m not the type of person who assumes the worst in people. Regardless, even if you did something bad once, it doesn’t mean you are still bad. Maybe if people were a bit more forgiving instead of holding things over peoples heads forever more people would change.”

Horrible memories started playing in Osanyin’s mind of the things he had been forced to do. It made him look away. “Could I at least help you.”

Vale smiled. “See, you are a good person who deserved help. Thank you but just rest in here a little bit. Your arm has to hurt and it’s obvious you’ve been running quite awhile.”

Osanyin wanted to insist, but Vale walked out, seriously trusting him enough to leave him there. He couldn’t even feel the pain in his arm or the exhaustion. Osanyin was still struggling to grasp Vale and once again fighting off all those terrible memories. The fact his body was tired only came back when his knees buckled and he found himself on the floor. Osanyin picked himself up and found a place to sit. This man actually trusted him and Osanyin wanted to talk to him a little more.

Vale hummed as he headed back to the stairwell. There were a few blood drops in the hallway, but he would start at the source and work his way back. He wanted to get all the blood cleaned up before someone came searching for Osanyin and he was sure someone was looking. He quickly mopped every bit up, carrying his bucket of water back with him and cleaning up the hall. One of the apartment doors opened and he smiled at one of his tenants. “Hey Caroline.” He said as he wrung his mop out. The older woman’s eyes looked at the water, seeing it was tinted black.

“Is everything okay?” She asked as her eyes moved back to his face.

“Of course, just trying to be as helpful as possible. Someone was attacked.”

She sighed. “Well if anyone bothers you, make sure to get me and I’ll chase them away.”

“Yes ma’am Miss Caroline, thank you.” He thought for a moment. “Oh, do you have one of Gary’s old shirts, the someone is going to need it, his shirt’s all stained.”

“Of course, just a moment.” Caroline went inside. She didn’t take long to bring out two shirts. “Just in case he needs another.”

“Thank you.”

“The shirts may as well see some use.”

With the blood clean and shirts in hand Vale returned to his apartment, happy to see Osanyin really stayed instead of sneaking out. “One of my neighbors loaned me shirts for you to wear and no, she doesn’t know it was your black blood I was cleaning up so don’t worry.”

“I can shower then?”

“You are welcome to use anything you need in my apartment.” Osanyin took the shirts and Vale guided him to the bathroom. “Feel confident working the water?”

“Yeah, I can figure it out.”

“If you need me just yell.”

“Okay.”

Osanyin was still incredibly confused, but he was also exhausted and wanted nothing more than to sleep. Vale went and put on a fresh pot of coffee and looked through his fridge for some for Osanyin to eat. He decided a sandwich was the easiest. Osanyin felt a little better once he got out and quickly dried. He dressed, being careful of his arm then tossed the towel in the hamper and decided to just toss out his shirt. He already knew how hard it was to get his blood out of things.

“I thought I was going to have to come in and rescue you.” Vale said when Osanyin came out, giving him a smile that made Osanyin’s heart jump.

“Sorry, was I in there that long?”

Vale chuckled. “No, I was just trying to lighten the mood. Is your arm okay?”

“Yeah and thank you for the shirt. Can I use your trash?” He held up the shirt.

“I can clean that.”

“It’s fine, I don’t need it.”

“As long as you’re sure.” Osanyin nodded and Vale showed him the trashcan under the sink. “I also made you a sandwich if you’re hungry.”

“Wow…thank you.”

“No matter the color of your blood you’re a person. You deserve help just like anybody else. I’m sure there’s a story to how your blood got this way and you don’t even owe me or anybody else that story. Just eat and then relax here as long as you need to. I live alone so you aren’t going to bother anybody.” Vale handed Osanyin the sandwich and Vale took it. He wasn’t sure what to say. They sat down together and Vale asked, “Do you live far from here?”

“I’m currently without a home again…people see my blood and…well…”

“Well that isn’t true anymore. Your home is here now.”

“I…thank you.” He wasn’t sure how long he would stay with Vale. He didn’t want to cause him any trouble. He knew how cruel people could be and if they found him in Vale’s apartment they would probably hurt him.

“You don’t have to worry, you’re safe here. No one in this building will sell you out, I promise.”

“How do you know?”

“Because they’re all good people from different walks of life who have been through their own struggles and they all love me.” He smiled. “Selling you out means selling me out and they’re more likely to toss the people out who hurt you, than tell them you’re here.”

“Alright, I guess.”

Vale reached over, grabbing his hand. “Take as much time as you need to settle in, there’s no rush, but be prepared for some of the residents to be curious.”

“I’m used to curious.”

“Well, I’m gay so I’m pretty sure eventually they will start wondering if we’re together romantically. There will be a lot to be curious about.” Osanyin smiled then felt embarrassed for doing it.

“I can handle any curiosity…it’ll be nice to have somewhere to settle again. I get so tired of having to move.”

“If we find you a good job there’s a vacancy in the building too so you can really just stay here. I’m the manager so you won’t have to worry about not being approved.”

“Thank you.”

“We’re friends now, this is the kind of things friends do.”

“Yeah, okay, thank you.” It had been years since he had had friends. Everyone of them had been horrified the moment they realized what color his blood was. He kept eating, enjoying the food and the company.

“So, do you have any family?” Vale asked.

“No, it’s just me. I lived on the streets for awhile and now I just kind of go wherever I don’t have a reputation.”

“I’m sorry, that must have been rough.”

“I did some things that I…” It was hard talking about his past. He didn’t want Vale to find a reason to hate him like everyone else.

“You don’t have to tell me anything you don’t want to.”

“I should be honest with you, especially since you practically saved me.”

Vale waved his hand. “Tell me when you’re ready, not because you feel obligated and if anyone in the complex gets too pushy, not that I think they would, let me know.”

“I will.”

Osanyin finished his sandwich as he and Vale continued chatting, Vale avoiding questions about his past. He didn’t want him to feel forced to open up. Osanyin wasn’t surprised when Vale told him his blood was completely white. Of course it was, with as beautiful and as kind as he was, of course he would be pure. Osanyin’s heart stuttered. Had he really just thought of Vale as beautiful? He shook his head, knowing it was just his tired mind getting ahead of itself.

 

Chapter Two

The next day after breakfast Vale said, “I need to be in my office today until at least one. You can hangout there with me or just hangout here.”

“I’ll come with you, maybe I’ll be able to help today somehow. I could become a maintenance man here if you like my work. I’ve found the easiest profession to get into when you move around a lot is anything to do with your hands. Not everyone is willing to take that sort of work.”

“That would be perfect, we’re actually two maintenance men short of how many the owner prefers to have. Like you said, those positions can be hard to fill. Don’t stress about cutting yourself on the job. These are really good people in this building and they’ll listen to me.”

“Alright.”

Vale smiled. “You seem so nervous.”

“I am, a little.”

Vale couldn’t help but hug him. He just looked so troubled, like he might bolt at any moment. He wondered how long Osanyin had been running, how many people had hurt him or tried hunting him down. It took Osanyin a moment to respond he was so surprised, but he finally managed to hug Vale back, his heart stuttering in his chest. “You’ll do just fine, just breathe.”

“Okay, thank you.”

Vale hadn’t been kidding when he said people would be curious. As they passed those who were coming in or going out, they got looks. Vale just smiled, greeting each of them. Osanyin followed Vale outside and across the parking lot to the office. There was a pool next to it where a couple of families were swimming. “I hope that wasn’t too bad.” Vale said as he unlocked the front door and stepped inside.

“Hmm?”

“All of them staring at you.”

“It was fine, you warned me.” He flopped down in one of the chairs and let out a sigh. “I hope I don’t cause you any trouble.”

“I’m fine with trouble, Osanyin, trust me. I’m not worried.”

Osanyin nodded. “Sorry I’m so anxious.”

“Don’t be, you’ve went through quite a bit yesterday.” Vale wished he knew how to get him to relax. He knew being that stressed wasn’t good for him, but all he could do was give him time and comfort.

“Yeah, thanks, again. I’ll pay you back, I promise.”

Osanyin only had to help with one issue that day so he felt mostly useless, but it was nice spending time with Vale. He hadn’t really had friends that actually knew him so this was unlike any friendship he had experienced before. Once Vale could lock the office and leave he asked, “Would you like to go back to my place or can I take you somewhere?”

“We should give it more time, hopefully they will stop looking for me.”

“Alright, maybe we could watch a movie.”

“Sure.” They started walking.

“What kind of movie would you like to watch?” Vale asked and Osanyin, not wanting to be difficult blurted out the first genre he could think of. “Western.”

“Hm, Okay, I’ll look through my DVD collection. I’m sure I have a couple.”

“Alright, I have Tombstone, Pale Rider, and Open Range. I guess I’ll have to buy more now that you’re here.” He said with a smile.

“You don’t have to do that.”

“You should have something you like watching too.”

“I like other movies too.” Vale chuckled causing Osanyin’s heart to flutter and he looked away as he rubbed the back of his neck. “Um…Tombstone sounds good.”

“Want me to order pizza?”

“If you want to.”

“That’s not what I asked.”

“Pizza sounds great.”

As Vale popped the movie in, he couldn’t help but think that for a big, supposedly dangerous, black blooded man, Osanyin was actually quite adorable. He didn’t like his lack of confidence or trust, but his nervousness was still cute. He went over and took Osanyin’s hand then pulled him over to the couch. “Relax, I’ll just be a few moments.”

Osanyin sat down as Vale went to call for a pizza. He hoped tomorrow he would be more needed around here so he could feel like he was doing something for Vale. Vale soon returned and started the movie before taking a seat right beside Osanyin. “I ordered two sodas with our pizza. Feel free to get some water until then if you get too thirsty.”

“I can wait.” It was easy to get into the movie. He found himself truly trusting Vale so he was going to just try and enjoy this normalcy and try not to let any attraction to him ruin this chance. They blew the rest of that day watching movies and eating pizza. The next day in Vales office they talked about other types of movies and what he should add to his collection.

Osanyin sat in the office reading and chatting with Vale except when he was called away to fix something. He was relieved to find that every resident he came across was nice. He could see they wanted to ask them questions, but none did. He was always eager to get back to Vale, his heart dancing every time he received a smile from him. “I hope I’m not working you too hard.” Vale said.

“Not at all, in fact I could do more if you need me too. Clean the pool, mow the grass?” He leaned against Vale’s desk, smiling down at him.

“You’re way too sweet, but we have people for that that come by.” He stood, stretching and moving to stand in front of him. “Want to go on a walk around the complex?”

“You’re not busy?”

“Taking an early break.”

“Are you sure your blood’s white?”

Vale laughed. “It’s nice to see you have a sense of humor.” Osanyin blushed and it had Vale grinning. “And shy?”

Osanyin looked away. “I’m not, just not used to someone being so…”

“Honest? Sincere?”

“Yeah.” He answered softly.

Vale reached out and took Osanyin’s hand. “Come on, let’s walk, it’ll be good for you.”

Osanyins heart stuttered again. It was almost overwhelming emotionally since this was far from anything he was used to. He managed to keep his composure though and was happy when Vale kept his hand as they walked. He wasn’t quite sure why Vale was doing this but Osanyin would be the last to question it. “So, what are some things you’ve never done that you really want to do?”

“Um, I don’t know.”

“Well think about it, we can start checking things off the list.”

“What if someone notices my blood? I don’t want you getting hurt somehow if it causes trouble.”

“Everything will be okay, you’re a great person. I’d hate for you to never really live because you were scared of how people will react to you. I’d really like you to make me a list of things you’ve always wanted to do and we’ll do them together.”

“I don’t really know how to live, survive sure, but…” he rubbed the back of his neck, letting out a sigh.

“Then we’ll start small, fairs, roller coasters, maybe a few hikes.”

“You’re stubborn.”

“When I have to be.”

“Vale…”

“You’re not going to be able to talk me out of taking care of you. I know you’re a big tough guy who could probably break me in half if you wanted too, but I’m not scared. You’re stuck with me now, so get used to it.” Vale nudged him, giving him a bright smile. “I like you, Osanyin, so let me help you.”

“Like me?” Why did his heart have to beating so hard? “Why?”

“Isn’t that what friends do, they like each other?”

Osanyin nodded. “Yeah.”

“Then maybe let’s start with a hike. It’s getting out without a crowd. We will pass people, but I think it’s a good first step into you getting comfortable.”

“Do you hike a lot?”

“Not really, but when I do I normally make a day of it. We can bring a picnic.”

“Alright, I’ll try to relax.”

“Then let’s talk lunch for our hike. I think peanut butter and banana sandwiches with some fruit would be good. We can also pack some jerky for snacking. Do you like those things?”

“Yeah.” They went shopping right after work then prepared a back pack that night. Then Vale began showing Osanyin different places to hike on the computer.

“I mean really we can just go to the nearest one tomorrow and work our way out over time. I can make a list so we don’t forget places we’ve already spent the day hiking.”

“Sounds good to me.”

It was hard for Osanyin to fall asleep that night as he thought about their hike. What if they ran into someone who recognized him or he accidentally cut or scraped himself? He wouldn’t let anyone hurt Vale, he’d rather have the entire world hate him. Vale was everything he had never had, beautiful and bright and incredibly kind. His heart skipped a beat at his thoughts. What was going on with him? There was something about Vale that drew him in and it both intrigued and frightened him. He sighed as he turned over and hugged his pillow to his face, Vale and his worries following him into sleep.

“Time to wake up Sleeping Beauty.” Vale’s voice roused him from sleep the next morning and he felt his heart skip a beat when he found himself looking into his eyes. “Good morning.”

“Oh, good morning.”

“I made breakfast.”

That was something else that he was going to have to get used to, waking up to breakfast and someone who was happy to see him. He found himself reaching up, his fingers brushing Vale’s cheek, feeling his skin warm beneath his touch. “You’re still real.”

Vale chuckled. “Of course I am.”

Osanyin pulled his hand away in embarrassment. “Sorry, still trying to wake up.”

“That’s okay, come on, I don’t want your breakfast getting cold before you get a chance to eat it.” Osanyin got up and followed Vale to the kitchen

“What’s this?”

“A ham, egg and cheese breakfast casserole.”

Osanyin sat down at his plate and took a bite, washing it down with coffee before saying, “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome, I really enjoy this and it will be breakfast more than once. You ready for hiking?”

“Yeah.”

“It’s really so much fun, especially when you go slow and take the time to truly enjoy the animals and nature around you.”

“Since I’m not used to taking things easy I’ll go at your pace today.” They finished their breakfast and Osanyin grabbed their bag, insisting he carry it at least to start with today. Vale smiled at him and it sent Osanyin’s heart racing again as they walked to the car.

They talked as Vale drove and enjoyed the route to the hiking spot they had picked. Osanyin couldn’t believe how comfortable he felt in Vale’s presence, how much his heart skipped when he received one of his smiles. He wanted to touch him again, to stay close to him. What was wrong with him? They barely knew each other and Osanyin still hadn’t been able to bring himself to talk about his past. He felt like he was being dishonest, even when Vale told him not to worry. He was relieved when they finally made it to their destination and he was able to breathe.

“You okay?” Vale asked as Osanyin shouldered the pack.

“Yeah, I’m fine.”

Vale came around the car and Osanyin’s heart jumped when he grabbed his face and pulled him down, pressing their foreheads together. “You’re warm. Are you sure you’re alright?”

“Y…yeah, just excited.”

Vale smiled and Osanyin found himself smiling back. “Good, come on.”

 

Final Chapter

Osanyin tried not to be in his head too much as he followed Vale. He wanted to enjoy and savor these moments and more importantly he didn’t want to absent mindedly touch him again. It was an urge that was actually hard to resist. Today and the following days of hiking were amazing. Osanyin was happy just to keep doing this when Vale said, “Want to try something besides just hiking together?”

Osanyin blushed, it becoming so easy for Vale to cause. “Like what?”

“I dont know, I just want you to experience something else.”

The only experience Osanyin could think of that he wanted was kissing Vale. “Um…you decide something.”

“Hm, maybe we could mini golf somewhere. There’s a glow in the dark one only fifteen minutes away.”

“Alright.”

“Are you sure you can handle it? I wouldn’t want you to get overwhelmed.” Vale teased.

“I’ll be fine as long as you’re there and I don’t start bleeding.”

Osanyin happily went with Vale and Vale teased him further by comparing him to a puppy. It was strange how Vale’s temperament was a complete juxtaposition to how pretty he was. “Have you ever played before?” Vale asked when they pulled up to the mini golf course.

“No, having fun wasn’t exactly my first thought.”

“I’m excited I get to introduce you to it then.” They got out and Vale took his hand, causing goosebumps to cover his skin.

Osanyin really wasn’t very good, but Vale’s encouragement kept him going and he had to admit that once the sun was all the way down, the park was amazing. He couldn’t help the smile that pulled at his lips or how carefree he actually felt. Vale turned and smiled at him and Osanyin wanted very much to kiss him in that moment. Vale must have seen the way he was watching him because he reached out and took his hand and pulled him closer. “What’s on your mind?”

“I don’t want to make things awkward.”

“Tell me, come on, things won’t be awkward.”

It took Osanyin a few moments but he found the courage to say “I want to kiss you…The more we go out and do things together the more I just want to hold and touch you…I…I’m sorry.” Vale pulled Osanyin closer and met their lips. He gave him a long, gentle kiss before saying softly “You don’t have to be sorry about that. You want to go home and have a talk?”

“Could I kiss you one more time first?”

Vale smiled before answering, “Yeah.” They began kissing again as Osanyin moved his hands through Vales hair and played with it.

“Come on.” Vale said once they pulled apart. They walked back to the car and on the drive home Osanyin had no clue what to do with himself.

They soon pulled back up to the complex and walked back up to Vales home. “So um…it’s okay to touch you or just kiss you?”

“My hair would say its okay to touch me.” Vale said with a grin. He had tried to fix it but it was still a little messy.

“I’m sorry.”

“Quit apologizing to me, please.”

“I’m…I mean, I’m not trying to. It’s just…” He rubbed the back of his neck. “I’ve never had someone I could trust or…”

“Love?” Vale finished as he stepped closer to Osanyin and smiled up at him.

“Yeah, I…I’ve never wanted anyone or anything more than you.” He reached up and let his fingers brush Vale’s cheek. “I know I shouldn’t, but I love you.”

Vale’s cheeks reddened much to Osanyin’s surprise. “Say it again.”

“I love you.” Vale pulled him down into another kiss and Osanyin’s heart stuttered in his chest. Osanyin tangled his fingers in his hair, his lips moving hungrily against Vale’s. Vale slipped his hands under his shirt, pushing it up and off, letting his fingers slide over his skin. “Vale.”

“I want to touch you too.”

Osanyin quit holding himself back and soon they were both naked and all over one another. It almost seemed like a dream to Osanyin. Vale was such a good person but still, how could he want a man with black blood. He didn’t let the question ruin the moment, he couldn’t with one this good. The two didn’t stop until they were breathless. “I’m so happy that happened Osanyin.”

Osanyin moved onto his side, placing a hand gently on Vale’s cheek. “I’m so happy it did too.”

“I’ve wanted you as well but since I’m giving you a place to stay and a job I worried…well…I’m sure you can guess how I was worried that would come off.”

“This happening means the world to me…meeting you was such a gift.”

“Please just stay in this apartment with me…I don’t want you moving into another one.”

“I don’t think I could stay away from you now, even for a night.”

Vale smiled, rubbing their noses together. “I promise to make you the happiest man in the world. We’re going to do everything together.”

“I’m still scared about you being hurt, but…”

Vale gave him a gentle kiss then pulled back, smiling at him. “Hush, no more of that. No matter what happens, I’m not going anywhere.” He snuggled closer and Osanyin wrapped his arms around him. “Get used to being happy.”

Osanyin pressed their foreheads together, feeling for the first time in his life like he belonged. He knew he would still worry, especially since Vale was so pure and gentle. He would hate for something to happen to him, but for now he would let that go and be happy. “Thank you Vale, for saving me and loving me.” And he would do everything in his power to show Vale how thankful he truly was.

THE END