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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

 

Tir & Lao 2

Chapter One

Lao sat on the edge of Tir’s bed, admiring the young prince as he slept. He let his fingers drift over his cheek, pushing his hair back and he leaned down to kiss him. Tir started to push him away in his half asleep state, but Lao laced their fingers together and pinned his hands next to his head. He felt Tir’s skin warm and he pulled back with a grin. “Good morning my prince.”

“Lao, what are you doing?”

“Waking you, I thought I was allowed.” He rubbed their noses together, getting a blush of embarrassment from Tir. “We’re supposed to be heading out.”

“That’s right.” Tir tried setting up, but Lao kept him in place. “Come on, you promised you would take me with you and you already let me sleep in.”

“I was honestly hoping you would forget all this assassin’s school nonsense. I am only going as a favor to my mentor.” He let his lips brush Tir’s, a barely there touch that had the younger man shivering. “I don’t like the idea of having you around all of those assassins.”

“But you’ll protect me, won’t you?”

“Of course, no one there could touch you.”

“Then let’s go.”

“I should have left while you slept, but I hate the idea of being dishonest with you.” He gave Tir another kiss then let him go. “Alright, get ready then.”

Tir found himself admiring Lao as he got out of bed. He looked so elegant and put together. His shirt hung open to his waist where it was held closed by a red sash. Lao cleared his throat and Tir blushed as he hurried to get his clothes and bathe.

Lao grinned, who didn’t love the adorable look on their significant others face when they became embarrassed? He hoped this trip went well. He’d have to kill someone in front of Tir because they dared to hurt him. He wasn’t sure why they would, but assassins work could attract some very unsound minds and sometimes it was figured out too late. Lao decided he would just concentrate on the positive so he wouldn’t ruin this trip for Tir. Since Tir was determined to go he wouldn’t have to go without him, which had been something he hadn’t been looking forward to in the slightest. He also would get to introduce his mentor to the love of his life and he enjoyed showing him off.

Tir sat with his father and Lao through breakfast, listening to his father reminding him to stick with Lao and only eat and drink what Lao had tested out first. Tir was sure none of the other assassin’s would dare cross Lao, but he understood his father’s worries. He hugged him when it was time to go and he and Lao headed out to the carriage waiting for them. “How long are we going to be there?” Tir asked as their driver let them in.

“A week, my mentor was quite insistent I give him at least that long. The old man is quite pushy.” He sat close to Tir, his arm draped over his lover’s shoulders.

“Old man? That’s a little surprising.”

Lao chuckled. “You’re thinking elderly aren’t you?” He let his nose brush over Tir’s cheek, causing goosebumps to rise on his skin.

“Well, yeah.”

“My mentor is not human. He’s been a part of the school for a long time and is one of the best.” He pressed a kiss to Tir’s temple. “I want you to stay near while I teach, don’t take anything that anyone tries to give you save for myself and my mentor, he can be trusted.”

“Okay.” Tir enjoyed the affection as his mind played through what he imagined the school and Lao’s mentor would be like. Lao’s constant touch and his imagination might have lulled him to sleep, but the occasional bump from the road kept him wide awake. It was sweet how Lao never seemed to tire of touching him. He had learned not to tease Lao about it because it only made him tease right back by getting more sexual with it. “Would you like me to tell you more about the school my love? I can tell your mind is busy.”

“Yeah.”

“Well you have to give me a kiss first.” Tir wasn’t surprised to hear that and moved happily to kiss him. Lao made the kiss long, but they had a long ride so Tir wasn’t in any rush. Who would be when they were lucky enough to have an amazingly skilled, incredibly attractive and sweet assassin in love with them who also happened to be an incredible kisser.

Lao grinned at Tir’s red face and heavy breathing when he pulled back. “Why must you be so tempting my love? If we were home…”

“Lao, stop, what if the driver hears?”

“Pretty sure I could keep you quiet, I have my ways you know.”

“Lao you…you’re supposed to be talking about assassins.”

Lao chuckled. “Alright, if you insist, but once we’re alone, you won’t be safe.” He gave him another kiss before starting. He started with the school’s history before moving onto describing the building itself. It had been built circular to accommodate the obstacle course in the middle where an assassin’s strength and agility could be honed and tested. It had a sheer cliff behind it and on the other sides a forest. Mentors encouraged their students to practice sneaking through the school itself and even trying to assassinate their teachers.

“Did you try killing your mentor?” Tir asked.

“Of course, I failed, but I tried many times.”

“That’s crazy.”

“Not for us, it helps us realize what we need to work on.”

“I don’t think I could ever do something like that. Killing the person who trained you. Are you going to let those students attack you?”

“Of course, you’ll get to see me show off for you.”

Tir was a little worried, but he didn’t voice it. Lao’s entire life was risk so he felt it would be silly to ask him not to. Lao could see the anxiety in Tir so he took his hand, knowing if he kissed him again he might lose all self control. “With you to impress and protect none of them will touch me Tir.” They continued talking the entire ride there. There was so much history when it came to the school and teachers, not to mention all his own memories. Lao could probably fill days with conversation about his time there. Before they got out Lao had to warn his love again, “Please, be careful. I don’t want you afraid but I want you mindful. This school is good at weeding out the lunatics but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible for one to slip through and do something stupid.”

“I understand.”

Lao smiled. “So obedient, it’s a bit surprising.”

Tir blushed. “I just don’t want to have to take care of you because you went and got hurt on my account.”

“I think you just like me bossing you around.”

Tir crossed his arms and Lao pressed a kiss to his cheek, causing his skin to heat further. “I’ll get our things.”

Lao chuckled as Tir started pulling their bags out and reached around him to take one grinning at the heat coming off of Tir’s body. “Come on, wouldn’t want to keep my mentor waiting.”

“Yes…of course.”

Tir fought down his blush and took a couple of deep, calming breaths to get his heart under control. Nervousness replaced his embarrassment when they made their way from the front gate and past the arena. There were a few young men and women on the obstacle course and some of them had stopped to watch the two of them pass. Lao didn’t seem to notice them or maybe he was ignoring them so Tir tried his best to do the same. “Don’t worry, they’re only curious.” He gestured around. “Pretty impressive right?”

“Yeah, more than I could have imagined. So this is where all of those amazing skills were honed huh?”

Lao nodded. “There are many different kinds of classes here, ones on poisoning and stealth, ones on combat and seduction and even on the best materials for ease of movement.”

“Seduction?”

“Every assassin learns everything, but some are better at certain skills. Seduction is for those who aren’t as good at hand to hand or knife play. The ones who prefer that method often pair it with poisons.”

“And what about you?”

Lao chuckled. “You should know by now, that I am good at everything.” He winked and Tir felt his face heat again.

Lao could be intense, but it was an amazing part about being with him. Tir knew how loved he was, he could see Lao’s devotion all the time. Soon they were standing before Lao’s mentor who instantly seemed to be looking Tir over, Lao stepped a little in front of Tir, protective as always, even with his mentor. “You brought him here, he must be special. I can’t help but examine him.” Nenyo’s eyes were now on Lao. “Thank you for finally coming. Is he what’s kept you too busy for your mentor’s request? I thought you’d be eager to come back. You always were a show off.”

“Before him I would have been in a hurry, but a prince surrounded by assassins, it wasn’t something I was comfortable with.”

“If anybody can keep him safe it’s you, but I understand, come.”

The interior of the school was beautifully crafted, every pillar and mural, every statue was gorgeous. Lao gestured to the walls. “Notice anything strange?”

Tir looked around. “Not really.”

“The walls have hand and footholds built in.”

“Why?”

“Because, young prince, this is a school for assassins.” Nenyo answered. “They are always welcome to try their hands at sneaking up on and killing one of us.” He suddenly stopped and looked up at the large chandelier. “Nice try, come down young lady before I knock you down.”

Tir was surprised when someone dropped from the ceiling and rolled, coming up on their feet in front of Nenyo. The woman pulled her hood back, frowning. “Sir.” She said.

“You are still too heavy footed. I could see the chandelier shaking.”

“Yes sir, I’ll practice harder.”

“See you do.”

Lao just smiled. “Still a hard ass I see.”

“Would you like to try your hand?”

“Of course, after we’re settled in and you have introduced me to the students. I am sure fighting you would be a good way to show them what real assassins look like.”

“That eager to be beaten in front of your lover?”

“Just that eager to be admired by him.”

Nenyo grinned approvingly at his once student. He was looking forward to Lao being back around and seeing how much better he was than when he left here. Being that these were students he didn’t often get a real challenge and Lao had brought just that into the school. Tir just kept admiring everything, looking at the walls, furniture, decorations and floors for anything else out of the normal. There were some places that even looked like they might be small doors, just big enough for a fit person to get through. It made Tir slightly more nervous, but he was still more interested in all this than afraid to be here.

Nenyo lead them up to the top floor where he pulled a key out of his pocket and unlocked a door. “I thought you might want your own room away from the dorms.” He pushed the door open and gestured inside.

“No secret passageways I hope.” Lao said with a chuckle.

“I didn’t think you’d appreciate it. Perhaps if you were alone. I am sure you can handle one of the students coming through the window?”

“Of course, it won’t be a problem.”

“Thank you.” Tir said with a smile.

“I hope it’s comfortable enough for you, prince.”

“I’ll be fine, I know I live in a castle, but I’m not picky and as long as I have Lao with me, anything’s fine.”

Nenyo chuckled. “I have to say, Lao, you’ve chosen well.”

“Despite his shyness, Tir is quite strong.”

“Get settled in then and meet me in the arena. I’ll gather the new students.”

 

Chapter Two

Lao gave a small nod then Nenyo left them, allowing the two to set their stuff down and have a few moments. “What do you think so far?” Lao asked and was happy to hear his love say, “It’s amazing, I’m happy you didn’t leave me.”

“If you haven’t changed your mind by the time we leave then we’ll come back more. Maybe I can come back every now and then as a visiting teacher. I know being one permanently is out of the question since you don’t have any siblings to rule after your parents.”

“Yeah, but you’re fine with that right? I’m not holding you back from anything?”

Lao grinned, moving closer. “The only thing you keep me from is making love to you as much as I want. I’m an incredibly happy and lucky man Tir, don’t ever think otherwise.”

Tir wound up having to push Lao back with one hand when he started trying to push his shirt off. He didn’t want to be rude to Nenyo and wound up using the other hand to push the bedroom door open, stumbling out and only not falling because of Lao’s quick reflexes. He found himself pulled into Lao’s arms, blushing when Lao started laughing. “That eager to get away from me huh?”

“No…not at all, I just want to see you show off is all.”

Lao gently tipped his head back, grinning at him. “Oh? Then I’ll have to make sure to put on a good show.”

“Just don’t get too hurt.”

“I have you to tend to my wounds my love, so I’m not worried.” He rubbed their noses together. “Come, let’s go down before he comes back up.”

He took Tir’s hand and they walked back down to the arena. Lao smiled when he saw Nenyo and his students, the young men and women so eager to learn seemed excited at the prospect of getting to witness their mentor fight. All of their eyes were suddenly drawn to Tir and Lao, studying both of them, perhaps even looking for weaknesses. “Took you long enough.” Nenyo said.

“Can you blame me, I mean look at him. Such an attractive distraction.” Lao shot back with a teasing smile.

“Lao, come on.” Tir said embarrassed. “Where do you want me?”

“Karthan.” Nenyo said and a young woman stepped up to stand next to him.

“Sir.”

“You are to sit with the prince and ensure his safety and comfort. He is off limits to all here. If anyone tries to lay a hand on him, you have permission to defend him.”

“Yes sir.”

Karthan’s smile was friendly. “Come along prince Tir.” She guided him to a good place to watch and soon all the others took seats, purposefully giving Tir and Karthan a lot of room to try to keep from getting into any trouble. “You’re in for a good show. We’ve been eager for this.” Karthan whispered. Tir was interested himself, interested and hopeful Lao didn’t get hurt trying to show off.

“Karthan is my best student currently so I don’t want to hear anything about being distracted with worry over Tir when I beat you.” Nenyo said confidently.

Lao lightly chuckled. “Stop stalling, are you ready?”

“Always.”

It startled Tir when Nenyo moved. He was so fast, almost too fast, and he was amazed that Lao managed to block the blades in Nenyo’s hands. Lao grinned as he shoved his mentor back and struck out at him with lightening fast slashes. He looked around at the students, at their captivated gazes and then back at Lao, his heart thumping in his chest as he watched his lover’s dance like movements. “A dance of death.” Karthan said softly. “I have never see something this amazing. You are truly lucky prince, to have Lao by your side.”

“I know.” He had never seen Lao move like this since there was never anyone who dared come after either of them. He knew Lao was fast and silent like a cat, that he had been an incredibly talented assassin, but truly seeing it for the first time, was astounding. He jumped up when the tip of Nenyo’s blade nicked Lao’s cheek and had to stop himself from moving forward. He couldn’t be a distraction right now.

Everyone gasped when they both lost a blade and Lao was suddenly on his back on the ground. Nenyo’s blade pressed against his throat and the tip of Lao’s was at Nenyo’s solar plexus. Everyone was frozen as they waited to see what would happen next when Lao chuckled and Nenyo grinned, standing up and offering Lao a hand up. “Amazing as always, you actually had me.” Nenyo said.

“And you me, but…” he wiped at the blood on his cheek, “poison? Really?”

“My blades stay coated.”

“Were you testing my immunity?”

“Of course.”

“It still burns.”

“Well I’m glad you’re staying sharp in all ways. It’s nice to see students leave here and become something to be proud of.” The students all began running down in excitement, all except Karthan who took her task seriously.

“Are you ready to go down there and talk to them?” She asked Tir who answered, “Yeah, lets go.”

They walked down and Lao broke away from them to kiss Tir before he whispered in his ear, “Maybe when we are in our room next time you won’t resist me after seeing this.” Lao moved back and winked, causing Tir to blush. It really was sexy how amazing he had been out there, but it filled him with immense embarrassment that Lao knew it all too well.

“When shall my first class start?” Lao suddenly asked Nenyo who said, “You’ve had a long journey, the students got their demonstration. That will be enough for the day. Just enjoy your prince and the school until tomorrow.”

“I’ll meet you all out here straight after breakfast.” They seemed to light up and before Tir knew it Lao had lifted him off his feet. As they walked away they could hear Nenyo talking to the students about what they had just witnessed. He was walking them through every single move, every single choice that was made and could have been made instead. He seemed to be a good teacher.

“Shouldn’t we explore a little?” Tir asked and Lao let out a chuckle.

“Trying to avoid me?”

“No, it’s just um…well it’s not every day a prince just walks in here, so…I do want you, but I also want to see everything.”

Lao grinned as he pressed a kiss to Tir’s cheek then whispered in his ear, “Why don’t we have both?”

Tir swallowed. “What do you mean?”

“I have a secret place here.”

“That’s almost hard to believe.”

“I told you this place is very old and I’m sure the original architects still have many things hidden away. I just found one of them. The only one who could possibly know is Nenyo, he’s even older than the school. So, want to see?”

“Yeah.”

Lao grinned, they’d both be getting what they want. Tir could experience more of the school and he would still get to make love to Tir. It was actually an added bonus to make love to him in his old secret place. He had never brought anybody there for sex before and there was nobody he’d rather pop that places cherry with. Lao continued walking, it almost seemed like they were going to leave campus when suddenly Lao pushed into a wall that had seemed solid, but it seemed they were now inside it, walking down a flight of stairs, “Woah.”

“My thoughts precisely when I ended up finding this place.”

“How did you find it?”

“It’s a bit embarrassing.”

“What happened?”

Lao let out an exaggerated sigh as if the memory was truly that bad. “I may have happened to lean against it playing a bit of cat and mouse with another student and I may have fallen through and part way down the stairs before I could stop myself.” Tir grinned then covered his mouth as he started laughing. “See? This is why I said it was embarrassing.”

Tir took a deep breath, but couldn’t keep the smile off his face or the amusement out of his eyes. “Were you hurt?”

“Just my pride, but at least there was no one around to see how ungraceful I was.”

“I bet the look on your face was, dare I say, adorable?”

“I’m sure I could make you take that back.”

Tir’s heart felt like it was about to jump out of his chest, his skin flushing, and his mind whirling with what Lao might do to pay him back. “I’ll be good.” He knew Lao would never hurt him, but he blurted it out anyway, receiving a grin from the ex assassin.

Lao chuckled. “Too late now my sweet prince.” He let out another little laugh. “I never thought my little escape artist would be so nervous.”

They made it to a a surprisingly nice room beyond the fact it was dusty from lack of use. “It looks as if truly nobody else has found this.” Lao said as he set Tir down.

“It looks so nice.”

“I found it this way for the most part. I only brought different bedding in. I imagine an original person that used this school used this as a room and I didn’t want to be sleeping in someone else’s sheets. I might change it out again if we come here a lot.” Lao kissed Tir’s shoulder as he slid his hands up Tir’s torso. Tir blushed, this time just enjoying his lovers touch instead of trying to get away. There had been many reasons up until now to push him away, but now they could just enjoy each other.

Lao continued to slowly press feather light kisses until he had kissed across his right shoulder, all the while caressing him. Sometimes touching him could be addicting, especially after having to try so many times to get his prince to stay still long enough to let them have a moment like this. Lao licked up Tir’s neck before gently biting it. Tir moaned, his heart racing with anticipation. He could tell Lao was going to tease him more than normal and he supposed that was his punishment for laughing at him.

Lao’s hand moved to Tir’s face only to move him so they could kiss. Their tongues were soon moving against each others as Lao began to play with and rub Tir’s nipples. Lao grinned when he felt Tir harden against him. “I love you.” Lao whispered. Tir whispered it back before finally beginning to touch Lao as well. Lao began to feel his own length start to grow hard so he stripped Tir. Tir did the same so soon they were both naked, kissing and touching one another.

Lao began backing Tir up and suddenly he found himself against one of the walls, Lao licking and biting at his neck and shoulder again. “Oh god Lao.” Tir moaned, growing harder with need for release. Tir didn’t know how Lao did this for so long, especially since he was hard as well, but he almost sighed with relief when Lao began kissing down his chest then stomach, soon taking Tir in his mouth. The sucking and licking he had been experiencing before was intensified now, causing Tir to almost shake with pleasure.

Lao knew there weren’t condoms or lube in this room so he began working Tir as he sucked him, bringing the prince to the edge before stopping. Lao grabbed a piece of clothing from a nearby drawer then turned his lover so he was facing the wall and entered him. They came almost together, Lao inside Tir and Tir into the piece of clothing Lao had given him. Lao however wasn’t done with him yet and Tir didn’t suspect he’d be anytime soon.

 

Chapter Three

Lao pushed Tir far past his limit and Tir could only lay there panting and letting out little whimpering moans. He was so sensitive that he shuddered every time Lao touched him. “Lao…I…it’s too much.”

Lao leaned down, his lips pressing against Tir’s as he pushed into him a little harder, delighting in the way the prince clung to him, at the little whine that welled up in his throat. Their lips parted on a moan and Tir went limp with exhaustion, breathing heavily, his eyes damp with tears. Lao pressed kisses to his lips, smiling lovingly down at him. “Do you have any idea how much I love you?” He rubbed their noses together.

“Yeah.” He said softly. “I love you too.”

Lao nibbled at his chin, grinning when Tir let out another little whine. “I love seeing you like this, I can’t help but tease and take advantage.”

“I can’t anymore today, I’ll die.”

Lao chuckled as he moved off of him and moved Tir to lay on top of him, his head resting on his chest. He let fingers trail up and down his spine, getting a little shiver and goosebumps in response. He smiled when Tir fell asleep and let him rest for a bit. “Tir, my love?” He gently woke him a little while later and Tir let out a little groan as he opened his eyes.

“Is everything alright?” He asked sleepily.

“Of course, but we should probably get clean and find something to eat. I’m sure you’re hungry.”

Tir blushed. “It’s your fault.”

Lao tilted Tir’s head back and kissed him, grinning at how hot his skin was. “You know I can’t help myself, you’re just so hard to resist.”

Tir slowly got out of the bed then the two dressed before Lao took Tir in his arms again to carry him. Tir just relaxed into Lao’s arms, feeling both embarrassed and happy. The two returned to the room Nenyo had shown them, took a long shower then went to see what they could eat. The next morning Tir and Lao returned to the stadium for Lao’s first day of class. The students were already there, once again looking awe struck that they would soon be taught by Lao. Tir took a seat himself, but away from the students, not wanting to be in the way of anything they might do for the lesson.

Lao seemed to look them over then said, “Come here.” Tir couldn’t tell who he had said that to, but apparently to the students it was clear. A man who looked maybe a little younger than Tir stood and approached Lao. “And you.” He said to another student who got up, it was the woman who sat with him the other day. “Karthan right?”

“Yes.”

“What’s your name?” He asked the man.

“Thacese.”

“I’d like to start this class by really seeing where you all are with your skills. I’m not going to tell any of you the reasoning behind my pairings today, not yet anyway, but I’m going to have two on two matches until everyone has faced off against someone. There’s an odd number of you so whomever impresses me most will go twice.”

Tir watched as Karthan and Thacese fought, Karthan favoring the same type of blade Lao did while Thacese preferred his bare hands. Even so, he could see much of Nenyo’s style in their movements. It was the way Lao fought as well, a mix of grace and aggression. There was something else in their movements though, almost like they were playing with each other and when he looked closer he could see Thacese grinning. Lao called a stop to the fight when Karthan knocked him to his back and landed on top of him, the tip of her dagger beneath his chin. “Very good, Karthan.” Lao said and she stood, helping Thacese up.

“Thank you sir.”

“There is a problem however.”

“Sir?”

Lao grabbed her arm and held up her wrist where Thacese had scratched her. He could see her veins through her skin. “His nails are coated in poison.” She looked surprised. “You need to get the antidote, all that moving around only made it pump through your veins faster.”

“Yes sir.”

“Don’t be upset, you did incredibly well, but you must expect the unexpected from a man who uses no actual weapon. Thacese, take her to get what she needs then both of you hurry back here.”

Tir couldn’t help but smile at how amazing he was. He was so patient. He called on the next two students and Tir just admired him, unable to keep his eyes off of him. Lao’s eyes met his for just a second, a grin pulling at his lips that caused Tir to blush. “It’s quite something seeing him so captivated by another person.” Nenyo’s voice next to Tir startled him. He hadn’t even heard him.

“Uh…I…if anyone’s captivated it’s me. He’s very magnetic? Alluring?”

Nenyo chuckled. “He’s always been like that. He was a natural you know, picked up everything almost immediately.”

Tir couldn’t help but think of Lao’s fall and had to stop himself from laughing. He turned his eyes back to Lao. “He really is perfect, isn’t he?”

Nenyo chuckled. “Well thank you for coming. I can see even more now how much you mean to him so I know if you had been against it these students wouldn’t have him here. He may have learned from me, but he has picked up a few things of his own. I feel this school and it’s assassins will truly benefit from him coming to teach every now and then.”

“Well, I’d never try to tell Lao he couldn’t do something anyway.”

“I don’t think you would, but I doubt he would go do something regardless of if you actually said anything if he could tell it would upset you. He has keen senses, especially for a human. You don’t seem like the controlling type so I hope you know that is not what I meant in the slightest.” After a short pause Nenyo asked, “How is your father?”

“Well, though with how he’s always been I imagine he’s at home worried about me.”

“You’re his only child, it’s understandable. Nothing will happen to you here, not with both Lao and I watching. Besides, they idolize Lao so much I doubt they’d want to be on his bad side.”

“Are these all the students here?”

“Most.”

“Are you the only teacher?”

Nenyo shook his head. “There are others, but their classrooms are inside.”

“Lao said everyone learns how to make poisons and um…seduce people.”

Nenyo chuckled. “Are you curious about the things Lao has had to do?”

Tir blushed. “No…not really, it just explains a lot.”

“He was naturally charming when I met him, a natural at manipulation. He played the other students with ease and tried it with me, though he failed. Just to let you know, his feelings for you are genuine.”

“I know, but thank you all the same.”

They continued to watch each match, Tir noticing that both Karthan and Thacese had returned. Thacese was surprised when he was chosen to participate in the extra fight, but Lao explained it was for his trickery. Afterwards, he pointed out mistakes he had noticed or skills he thought needed improvement and things he believed certain students should focus on. They listened with rapt attention, truly absorbing everything he said.

Lao ended the day with that, wanting to give them time to absorb everything he had tried to teach them. “I’m all yours again.” Lao said with that ever charming smile.

“I’d like to grab something to eat then see more of this place if you want.” Lao kissed Tir’s forehead, causing Nenyo to chuckle and walk away. It was surprising how even here Lao acted just as he did at home, like it was just the two of them in any given room. Lao hadn’t seen his old teacher in years yet his focus seemed to still fully be on him.

“Lets go find some food then.” He turned to the assassins, “Same time tomorrow.” They nodded and Lao left with Tir, taking his hand as soon as they were out of the arena. “You liked watching me again?”

“Yeah.”

“What was my old mentor saying to you?”

“He thanked me for you being here and we talked a little about how natural this all came to you.”

“Hmm, only good things I hope.”

“He said you were quite charming.”

“Am I?”

“You know you are.” He blushed. “Especially with me.”

Lao grinned. “You like how charming I am, admit it.” He brought Tir’s fingers to his lips, kissing and then nipping at them.

“M…maybe.”

Lao grinned as he lead him through the school to the large kitchen. He was happy to see the same family still working there. The cook had been in his thirties when Lao had come to train there and was always kind to the students. His wife and children worked with him and they all smiled when they saw Lao. He hugged them then introduced Tir. “So you’re going to be a queen then?” The son said in a teasing tone.

“The most beautiful if I do say so myself.” Lao shot back.

“Make sure to buy him plenty of pretty dresses, prince.”

Tir chuckled at the banter. “You know, Lao would definitely look good in anything, even dresses.” They almost forgot they were hungry as they continued talking.

It was the cook who said, “Well you obviously came here to eat. I have the perfect recipe. I discovered it after you left and my first thought once I tasted it was how much you’d love it Lao. I can even bring it to your room so you don’t have to sit with everyone else going in and out of the dining room.”

“I’m actually enjoying getting to know everyone around here so we can sit out there.” Tir said and Lao nodded. “That’s fine with me too.”

“Alright.” The chef and his family began working and Lao guided Tir to where they could sit together. There was only one other student there reading but it wasn’t a meal time so they hadn’t expected it to be full of people.

Lao couldn’t help but flirt with and tease Tir as they ate, grinning at how red he was by the time they took their dishes back into the kitchen and left. “Enjoying yourself?” Lao asked as he laced his fingers through Tir’s.

“Of course, this place is amazing and I’m here with you, anywhere with you is perfect.”

Lao smiled as he pressed a kiss to Tir’s temple. “I’m glad, thank you for insisting I bring you. My time here would have been so boring and lonely without you.”

“You’re exaggerating.”

“I’m not, I need you with me always. Since you became mine, I can’t fall asleep without you, I feel restless.”

Tir’s heart did a little flutter. “I…I feel the same. Having you close to me, makes me feel safe and loved.”

 

Final Chapter

“You are the safest person in the world.” Lao said then gave Tir another kiss. The days flew by as Lao continued to teach the students lesson after lesson. Tir even found himself absolutely comfortable here and enjoyed watching the students slowly improve. It would be incredibly tempting to just stay here and let Lao become a permanent teacher if he didn’t have to rule. It would be nice if they were lucky enough to be immortal like Lao’s old mentor. He could be king for awhile, maybe adopt a kid with Lao and raise them to rule one day so they could come back here but they didn’t have enough life for that. Lao even had sixteen years on him. By the time their child could rule he probably wouldn’t feel like teaching. Lao may have endless energy now, but we all got old one day. It’s the curse of being a mortal.

Tir was grateful for any life with Lao though. He just couldn’t help but be a little selfish sometimes and want entire lifetimes with him like immortal beings could have with their loved ones. They could just live any kind of life then switch one day and live an entirely different one. It was endless possibilities when you weren’t racing time and your body breaking down. His mind more so drifted to them ruling together, the kind of life they would have.

After another day of lessons and once Lao had finished talking to the students, Lao headed straight to Tir. “You seem to be in deep thought lately, my love.” He said as he took Tir’s hand and pulled him close.

Tir’s heart skipped a beat. “Have I?”

Lao nodded. “Care to share?”

“Um…well…” he sighed. “I’ve just been thinking about our time together.”

Lao cocked his head to the side. “You haven’t been feeling neglected have you?”

“No, not that, I mean our lifespan. I mean you’re already so much older than me and…and we’re both human so…”

Lao smiled and pressed a kiss to his forehead. “You had me worried for a minute, I thought maybe you had been feeling lonely or something.”

“That’s impossible, you’re always so attentive.”

“Alright,” he looked over at Nenyo who was talking to his students about their lessons, “then I’ll talk to Nenyo, I’m sure he’ll help.”

Tir felt excitement rush through him. He hadn’t even thought they could ask Nenyo. He just assumed they’d be human forever since they were born that way. Nenyo could say no, but Tir’s hope burned all the same. Lao waited for Nenyo to be done with the student before asking Nenyo if they could talk alone. “Of course, where?”

“Anywhere that’s away from the students.”

“We will go to my office then. They know better than to be in there.”

Tir and Lao followed Nenyo to his office, waiting for him to lock the door before saying, “Tir has apparently been thinking about our mortality.”

“And you want my help to not be mortal?”

“Perceptive as always.”

“Hm, what would I get in return?”

“An amazing teacher that could always come back.”

Nenyo nodded. “You really would?”

“Yes, Tir seems to enjoy himself here and if we were immortal there could possibly be a day he’s not tied down to being king.”

Nenyo chuckled. “Alright, but tell me something first, you keep pairing Karthan with Thacese, is it for the reason I think it is?”

“He’s in love with her. I wanted to see if he would hesitate during training. Sometimes we’re forced to face off against people we considered our friends, you and I know that better than any of them.”

“We do.” He nodded again. “Alright, immortality it is. Do you have a preference as to what you’d like to be?”

Lao grinned. “Hmm, perhaps a vampire, so I have an excuse to nibble on Tir all the time?”

Tir went red from head to toe and grew even more embarrassed when Lao started laughing. “You’re so mean.”

Lao hugged him tightly. “Out of love.” He pulled back to look at Tir. “What do you think?”

“What choices do I have?”

“Many.” Nenyo explained. “I’ve been around for a long time and I’ve met many beings. Dragons, demons, vampires, werewolves, you name it and I’ve either spoken to it or killed it. I can give you a list and you can research in the library if you like. Living forever is a big decision.”

“Give us a list and we will probably get back to you about it soon.” Lao said then Tir added, “Thank you.”

“We need a teacher like him at this school. I was hoping he’d ask one day. It would be irresponsible of me to simply try to talk people into it I wanted around forever. The timing is perfect since he’s found his life partner.” Nenyo pulled out a clean sheet of paper and began jotting down the names of creatures that came to mind until he couldn’t pull another name off the top of his head. “If none appeal to you there are many more.” He said as he handed the note to Lao.

“I’m sure one of these will do.”

Lao and Tir left Nenyo’s office with one last thank you then headed for the library to look into them. “So this is mainly up to you Tir.”

“You’ll have to be whatever it is too.”

“I don’t care as long as we always get to be together.”

Tir blushed and nudged him. “Stop that.”

“What?”

“You’re purposefully over sappy to make me red.”

Lao chuckled. “I mean every word I say though.”

They went through the whole list together, researching each one and Tir finally settled on the kanima. He had Lao in mind when he chose it, knowing him being a jaguar would be perfect for his skill set. Plus, a feline matched him perfectly. “Are you sure?” Lao asked.

“Yeah, I think being a cat would be interesting. I could be the jaguar king.” He answered and Lao chuckled as he pressed a kiss to his lips.

“How cute. Alright, a jaguar it is then.” He rubbed their noses together. “I do have to admit, I’m glad you chose a shifter.”

“Why?”

“Oh you know.” He gave him a wink and Tir flushed.

“M…maybe something else.”

“Too late now my love, you’ve already sold me on it.” He rubbed their noses. “I love you and honestly no matter what you chose, I would still be unable to keep my hands off of you. Besides, now I’ll be even better equipped to keep you safe. More speed, more flexibility, heightened senses, I dare someone to even think of harming you.” He gave him an even bigger smile. “Or any children we may adopt.” He stood, pulling Tir with him. “Come my prince, let’s tell Nenyo.”

“You want children?”

“I want everything.”

Tir’s heart danced in his chest. This was really going to happen, they were going to live forever and have children. Nenyo smirked at their choice. “I’ll get my friend here as quickly as possible. It’s been awhile since he and I spoke but we parted on good terms. You’re not in any rush to return to your castle right prince? I’d just like to know if I need to rush him at all.”

“My father has everything, he told me to enjoy my time away and only come home when I was ready. I think he wants to pass the crown soon so wants me to get any cabin fever out.”

“Good, I’ll make sure you two know the second he is on his way here. Enjoy your final days of being humans.”

Lao lifted Tir, much to his embarrassment, thanked Nenyo and left, taking Tir up to their room. He tossed him on the bed then crawled up him and rubbed their cheeks together, then their noses, making Tir laugh. “What are you doing silly?”

“Practicing being a cat.” Tir laughed again and started to push him back, but Lao grabbed his wrists and pinned them down, grinning at him. “Everything we read said they love scenting their mates.”

“But you’re not a jaguar yet.”

“Practice makes perfect.”

Tir smiled, let out a happy little sigh and lifted his head to kiss Lao. “I love you.”

“I love you too.”

The shifter came right away when Nenyo reached out. He was kind and eager to help out, even making sure to talk them about every detail so they’d be prepared for the change. Lao didn’t have a shred of nerves, he never did and it made Tir feel more confident about them going from human to jaguar. When it was all over it seemed the both took to their new form well, but Nenyo’s friend insisted they should rest their bodies anyway so they did. Lao was teaching classes again the very next day with Tir still happily watching. They would be leaving soon, they had talked about that when they went to lay down. Tir wanted to tell his father and he didn’t think this sort of thing should be shared over a letter.

On their last day, Nenyo and his class all came to see them off, the students obviously disappointed that he was leaving. “You’ll be back, right?” Nenyo asked.

Lao shrugged. “Perhaps, we’ll see.”

Nenyo chuckled. “I guess I’ll have to bother you again then until you have no choice.”

Lao held out his hand and Nenyo shook it. “Don’t worry, we’ll be back, Tir is far too interested in this place for me to stay away and I actually enjoy teaching.”

“I’ll hold you to it.”

Tir and Lao climbed into the carriage, Lao immediately wrapping him in a hug as it pulled away from the school. He pressed a kiss to his lips, causing him to blush and reveled in the fact he could heart Tir’s heart. “What do you think your father will say?”

“I think he’ll be happy because I’m happy.”

“I think so too.” He smiled as he pressed their foreheads together. “I love you, Tir, forever until the end of time.”

“Me too, forever.” They cuddled as the carriage carried them home and into a future with more possibilities than they could ever imagine.

THE END

Lachlan, Teague, & Kennedy 2

Chapter One

“Are you sure?” Teague asked as he read the letter Lachlan had received. The message was short, simple: I know who you are, please come see me. “I mean it could be a trick and what if they don’t mean what you think they mean?”

“I’ve thought about that, but what if we have a chance to learn how we happened, to get a better grasp of what we are.”

Teague sighed. “You’re sure you want to go?”

“We have too, even if it’s nothing.” Teague whined and it was Lachlan’s turn to sigh. “I don’t want to leave him either.”

“Who knows how long we’ll be, Lachlan. I want to bring him.”

“Me too.”

“You’re afraid it’ll be dangerous, so am I, but we…”

“Need him.” Lachlan finished. “I know.” Teague nodded. “We’ll discuss it with him in the morning, I don’t want to wake him.”

“Agreed.”

Lachlan put the letter away and he and Teague headed back up to the room they shared with Kennedy. He was still sound asleep when they entered and they both couldn’t help but pause and admire him. Even in sleep he was beautiful and they felt the stirrings of desire for him. He moved in his sleep, grabbing and burying his face in one of the pillows. “No…tired…bad…you’re bad.” He mumbled and they both chuckled as they both climbed in and wrapped an arm protectively around him.

Kennedy woke with a gentle smile when he noticed he was in Lachlan and Teague’s arms. It was his favorite way to wake up. He would have just enjoyed the closeness, but as always, him waking woke the two of them. They set to talking to him right away, Lachlan starting, “We got a letter.”

“A letter? From who?”

“We don’t know them, but they claim to know who we are, how we came to be and we want to check it out. Since we don’t know how long it will take we want you to come. ”

“Of course, you two know I’ll go anywhere you go.” They both smiled, one kissing the top of his head and the other kissing his forehead.

“Then let’s eat something, pack small bags and head out.”

Kennedy made sure they had his sketch book and pencils, getting chuckles from both of them. He insisted on making breakfast for them, blushing when they sat at the table and watched him. They flirted with him while they ate so he was bright red by the time they left. “So…so how far are we going?” He asked as he climbed into the passenger seat, Lachlan taking the driver seat and Teague shifted into a wolf and sat on the floorboard between Kennedy’s feet with his head resting on his lap.

“One state over.” Lachlan answered as he pulled away from their home.

“That’s not so bad.”

Lachlan smiled as he took Kennedy’s hand and brought it to his lips. “It’s the reason we’re taking the car, otherwise we would take turns carrying you.”

Teague huffed and nudged Kennedy’s free hand until he stroked the top of his head. “Don’t be upset, I love when you two carry me, but what if it rains or something.” Kennedy said. He was getting a lot better at reading them.

Teague relaxed, happy just to be close to Kennedy. It may not be holding him, but it felt amazing when Kennedy would stroke his fur like this. They were also on their way to finding out everything about themselves. Beyond Kennedy, there was nothing either of them wanted more than to know how they came to be what they were, two people sharing one soul. Traffic was especially annoying today. Not that it was worse than normal, they just wanted to arrive sooner rather than later. Kennedy was a bit more patient, taking in the scenery as his mind went through all the possibilities.

“We may have to stop at a hotel at this rate.” Lachlan glared at the cars in front of him, willing them to spontaneously combust or move faster. Teague huffed and they both knew he was laughing.

“You shouldn’t drive all through the day and night anyway, it’s bad to sit for so long.” Kennedy replied, his concern warming his mates’ hearts.

“You know we don’t mind as far as we go, it’s you we’re worried about. Neither of us would force you to sleep in the car.”

“Then if we have to, we should stop.”

Lachlan reached over and stroked Kennedy’s cheek and Teague pushed his head against Kennedy’s stomach. “We will, I promise.”

They wound up stopping at a rest stop after awhile so they could all use the restroom and Teague took the time to shift back and stretch. He climbed into the backseat, laying down and reaching between the front seats to make contact with Kennedy. Both he and Lachlan’s thoughts went between their mate and the person who had sent them the letter. They were both already planning an exit strategy in case it was a trap, ready to protect Kennedy and kill anyone who tried to stop them. “What do you think we are?” Teague asked.

Lachlan shrugged. “Perhaps we did something terrible in a past life and this was our punishment.”

Teague chuckled. “Oh yes, what a punishment. It backfired if that’s the case.”

Lachlan smiled. “Yes it did, after all we have everything we could ever dream of wanting.”

“I don’t think you two could have possible come from someone evil or bad.” Kennedy interjected. “You’re both too sweet and gentle.”

“With you.” They both said.

Kennedy smiled, his heart warming. “You two are incredibly good men. I’ve been with you long enough to know.” They drove on as far as they could, but the weather also started making the trip harder so they checked into a hotel with good reviews for the night, planning to leave as soon as they woke in the morning. “Thank goodness we didn’t walk.” Kennedy stated as he sat down on their bed.

“Why don’t we shower? It’ll make us feel better after all that time in the car. I hate we made such terrible time.” Lachlan said and Kennedy answered, “I’m eager to meet this person, but it’s alright. We’re together, that’s what matters.” He was irresistibly cute saying something like that and both men took a turn kissing him.

Kennedy stood between his mates under the warm spray of the water, thankful the heat of the water masked his blush. Lachlan and Teague let their hands move over him, unable to keep themselves from teasing and seducing him. “You…you two should get clean too.”

“But we want you.” Teague said and bit down on his shoulder, getting a soft moan in response. “You want us too.”

“Yeah, but…the shower…”

“Please?” Lachlan gently grabbed his chin and turned his head, his lips lightly brushing Kennedy’s.

“I do…want both of you very much.” How could he tell them no, especially knowing they would stop if he asked them to. They made him feel so safe and loved and he gave them his absolute trust. They moved from the shower to the bed, their bodies tangling together, hands and lips exploring.

It was mind blowing just how incredible they could make him feel. They were so lustful, seemingly endlessly hungry for him, but at the same time they made him feel like the most treasured thing in the universe. Once they were spent they cuddled up to one another, Kennedy in the middle as always and got some much needed rest to finish their trip come morning. The traffic wound up being much better and they made it to their destination in good time. Teague spoke as he parked, “Lachlan, just as a precaution why don’t you stay in the car with Kennedy while I check this out. Once I’m sure this isn’t some ambush you two can come.”

Lachlan nodded. “Know that I will come running if you should need me.”

“I know.”

“Why don’t we all go in together?” Kennedy asked worriedly.

Both Lachlan and Teague chuckled. “Because we refuse to risk your safety.” Teague answered.

“You are the most important thing to us so if anything happens, we want you to stay here and keep the doors locked.” Lachlan added.

“I’ll be back before you know it, I promise.” Teague unbuckled and leaned over, giving Kennedy a reassuring kiss. He was out of the car before Kennedy could further protest.

“Come sit back here with me.” Lachlan’s tone was gentle and Kennedy unbuckled and climbed back into the back seat, letting Lachlan hold him. He didn’t like when Teague and Lachlan separated. He had seen them fight side by side and it worried him that alone one of them may become overwhelmed.

Teague let his senses flare out as he cautiously approached the house. He took in every small sound, every subtle scent, searching for any signs of a trap. He felt a slight tingle move over his skin and his wolf alerted him to the magical circle surrounding the property. It didn’t feel dangerous, but he would make sure Lachlan and Kennedy were careful as they crossed that invisible line.

He wasn’t fully up to the door yet when it opened, but that wasn’t surprising, obviously the person was waiting on them. He came out, allowing Teague to take him in. “You came.” He stated then looked over at the car. “Good, you both came. I’m surprised you trust me enough to bring your mate.”

“We couldn’t leave him behind and know with certainty, nothing, no matter what it or you has up its sleeve is ever going to harm Kennedy.”

“Would you like to come in before they come out?”

Teague was silent a few moments, reading the being as best he could. He couldn’t find a trace of threat so he said, “I will bring them now, I want them to be careful of your magic line so I’ll walk back to the car.”

“If you’d feel more comfortable we can talk out here. I want you two open to what I have to say.”

 

Chapter Two

“We’ll decide together.” Teague backed towards the car, ready to spring out of the way should this man try anything. He didn’t turn until he was to the car and pulling the door open. “It’s safe as far as I can tell.”

“Alright, are you ready Kennedy?” Lachlan asked.

“Yeah.”

“Stay close to us.”

They got out and both Lachlan and Teague positioned themselves in front and to each side of Kennedy. “So, would you like to come inside?” Their host asked.

They both looked at each other and something seemed to pass between them as they nodded to each other. “Alright, but if you try anything, we will not hesitate to kill you.” Lachlan answered.

“Kennedy means the world to us and we won’t have you hurting him.” Teague added.

Kennedy took their hands. “It’s okay you two, let’s hear him out.”

They followed him in, both Lachlan and Teague scenting and listening, feeling the magic in this house. “Please make yourselves at home.”

Kennedy kept both their hands, stroking his mates with his thumbs to try to get them to relax a little. He knew it was just out of care for him, but he didn’t want them to come across as rude and have this man change his mind about helping them. He really wanted to know how their souls became split and he knew they would always regret missing this opportunity if they bungled this chance. “I guess we’ll get right down to it.” The man said as he sat down across from them. He settled in a bit then continued, “I hear things now and again, that’s how I came to find you two. It’s honestly exciting to see what happened with Merrik’s split soul, to think it could actually be reborn. It’s astounding really, Drake thought he was going to completely destroy Merrik, make him incapable of even being reborn into a new life but here you two sit, a testament to the souls resilience.”

“I don’t want to be rude but I’m still just as confused as when I opened the letter you sent.”

“Ah yes, I’m sorry, I’m letting how star struck I am get in the way. I’m sorry.”

“Who is Merrik?” Lachlan asked.

“He is who you are, well were, before his soul was torn apart. Merrik was intelligent, charismatic, he had a good sense of humor, yet a resolve of steel. He was a brilliant tactician and a lover of both books and nature. He was a curious young man and he and Drake got along very well. They were incredibly fond of each other, they studied magic together, Merrik helped him with the day to day of his hold, using spells to improve things. He was loyal to Drake until he came across a book of dark spells and incantations. He showed it to Drake, wanted his help in using them, telling him it would give them more power than they could possibly imagine, that their world would benefit from it in the end.”

“He was corrupted.” Lachlan said.

“Not at first. It happened over time. He studied the book on his own, started using the spells inside. He summoned demons and evil spirits and then he started sacrificing people and then he betrayed Drake. The only way Drake could stop him, was to kill him. Merrik died with Drake’s sword in his chest and Drake used magic to tear his soul apart. The fact the he was reborn in you two is amazing.”

Lachlan and Teague both swallowed. “Are you saying we’re evil?” Teague asked.

“Not at all. Being reborn doesn’t mean you will repeat the mistakes of your past life. Many people find redemption the second time around.”

Kennedy gave their hands a reassuring squeeze again “I’ve been with you two a really long time. I know you could never be evil.”

“I only reached out because you two seemed like good beings. I just wanted you to know who you were. Having half a soul had to raise a million questions and maybe I can take you to where you belong one day and maybe, after I talk to Drake, maybe you could meet. Merrik and Drake were so close for such a long time. It might mean a lot to him to build a relationship again.”

“We have no memories of a past life.” Lachlan said.

“That’s normal. Some people never do, they live life without even knowing who they were before. You may or may not start to remember. Even so, they have no bearing on the men you are today.”

“Do you have any stories about Merrik before he betrayed Drake?” Kennedy asked. He was curious.

“Of course. Why don’t you let me get us something to eat and drink and then we can talk.”

“I’ll help…”

“Warrick and you don’t have too.”

“Please? You’ve given Lachlan and Teague so much, I can at least give you a hand.”

Warrick smiled. “I’m guessing they’ll be joining us?” Kennedy felt a blush tint his cheeks and Warrick chuckled. “It’s alright, it’s to be expected.” He stood and they followed him into the kitchen, Lachlan and Teague sitting at the kitchen table while Kennedy helped make sandwiches and lemonade.

They all sat at the kitchen table once it was all prepared, each with a large, cold glass of lemonade and two sandwich’s a piece with a few stacked in the middle of the table. They were captivated by Warrick’s stories and while they couldn’t remember them themselves Teague and Lachlan felt they were true. Regardless, there wasn’t any reason for this man to lie that was apparent. It was adorable and sweet to them just how curious Kennedy seemed to be about their past life. He was always attentive though, caring constantly about their lives and feelings.

“So, do they look like him?” Kennedy asked.

“A bit yes. Merrik had really long hair, down to his waist and his eyes were blue rather than grey. He was also a bit shorter and he didn’t dress like them of course. The fashion in his home world isn’t exactly modern.”

“Now I’m going to have to draw him.” Teague let out a little growl and Lachlan sighed, the sounds drawing Kennedy’s attention. “What?”

“They’re jealous.” Warrick chuckled.

“Why?” Kennedy asked. “It’s you two.”

“Not really.” Teague answered.

“He’s who we were and…” Lachlan sighed. “How childish of us, Teague.”

“I know, but we can’t help it.”

Kennedy smiled and hugged both of them. “Don’t be silly, I love who you are now, it’s just the past you sounds so interesting and the more Warrick describes him, the more I can see him in you two. I can’t wait to meet Drake, I bet he has even more stories.”

“I suppose we could go if you’d guide us Warrick.”

“Of course,when?”

“Do you have any books on the world you’d be taking us to?”

“You’d like to read up on everything there first?”

“Yes.”

“Understandable, just a moment.” Warrick got up, coming back some time later with two books. “That’s all you really need to know. You’re welcome to read them here, but I can give you directions to a good hotel if you’d like. I can’t imagine you three are going to drive all the way home just to drive back when you finish two books.”

“Would we be an imposition here?” Kennedy asked.

“Not at all.”

Kennedy looked at his mates who seemed to speak wordlessly to each other before saying, “We will stay here, it seems Kennedy would be more comfortable. Besides, we can each read one so most likely we’ll rip through these two books before tomorrow even comes.”

Kennedy asked for some paper and a pencil and got to sketching a picture of Merrik. He did his best to capture both Lachlan and Teague’s temperaments in his face, giving him an air of authority, but making his eyes twinkle with mischievousness. “Warrick, can you describe the kind of clothes Merrik wore?” He asked as he drew in a long braid.

“Think fantasy mage.”

Kennedy nodded, drawing everything from his boots and pants to a loose shirt and even a cloak. He wanted to give the picture more life so drew magic swirling around him. Just looking at his picture, it was hard to believe the man he had created could have turned on his best friend. “So, what do you think?” He gave the picture to Warrick.

“Amazing, you’re incredibly talented and you’ve captured him perfectly.”

“Really?”

“Yeah, you’re an amazing artist.”

“Well you described him well and I just put aspects of both of my mates in him.” At breakfast the next morning Lachlan and Teague announced they had read up on the place and felt prepared to take Kennedy there.

“Wonderful.” Warrick answered then Lachlan added, “Do we need to warn anybody we’re coming?”

“Let’s keep it a surprise. I assure you I can handle the situation when we get there. I think he’ll honestly be happy. The only reason he tried to destroy his soul is he didn’t know the extent his old friend had dabbled into dark magic and didn’t want him coming back to life still corrupted.” Teague nodded and soon they were locking up Warrick’s home and following him. “We don’t have to walk far. I’ve made a special portal.”

“A portal?” Kennedy looked between his two mates. “There are portals?”

“It would seem so.” Lachlan replied and both he and Teague tightened their grips on his hands.

“You two have nothing to fear.” Warrick said. “It’s perfectly stable and safe. I wouldn’t ask you to go through anything I wouldn’t go through first.”

“I hope we’re not coming off as rude.” Teague replied.

“Not at all, I understand your need to protect him.” They followed him down a path behind his home and into a little wooded area. It was beautiful, everything was strangely in bloom and it took Kennedy a moment to realize it must be Warrick’s magic at work. His eyes were then drawn to the circle of white stones. Warrick stepped in first to show them it was safe and they soon followed, Lachlan and Teague moving so he was pressed between them. “Remember to breathe you three and since this is your first time traveling between worlds, you might throw up on the other side.”

Lachlan and Teague nodded and soon they were all pulled through. They managed not to spill their stomachs but Kennedy had to admit to himself he was certainly nauseous. Lachlan lifted him, Teague whining that he missed the chance to carry him first. Kennedy smiled, the adorable look on his face causing the wolf’s heart to dance, mostly forgetting his brief moment of jealously. Sharing was sometimes hard but Kennedy was worth it, he was worth anything. Both Lachlan and Teague felt confident in this place, feeling like they could take on anything they had read about should trouble arise.

“Everything’s so beautiful.” Kennedy itched to draw the environment. It was so wild and untamed, alive in a different way than the city. “Did Merrik ever visit these woods?”

“All the time, he and Drake collected ingredients, hunted, and hiked together. You would swear they were brothers. In a way, I believe they were soulmates.” He chuckled when they all three gave him questioning looks. “Not like you three. There are different kinds of soulmates. You three are lovers, but he and Drake were like siblings born to different mothers.”

“How do you know so much about souls?” Lachlan asked.

“Believe it or not I’ve spent centuries researching souls. I became curious about what happens when people die. I met Drake and Merrik before their falling out and afterwards, when Drake was sure he had destroyed Merrik, I kept my eyes and ears open, wanting to see if the soul could truly be wiped off the face of the universe. I was amazed that he survived, not just in one person, but two. Not only were you reborn, but you’ve managed to retain that part of Merrik that was kind and generous, that was curious and intelligent and mischievous. It’s fascinating.”

They continued admiring their surroundings, stopping when Kennedy wanted a closer look at something and letting Teague take his turn carrying him. He rubbed his nose against Kennedy’s making him laugh. “I know it’s stupid to be jealous of myself, but I can’t help it sometimes.”

“It’s not stupid.” Lachlan said. “I’ve felt that way when I have to go out and do things and you two get to spend most of the day together. I know logically that Kennedy would never put one of us over the other, but for just a moment I feel left out. Then I come home and he’s so happy to see me it wipes away all of those doubts.”

“You three are irrevocably bound, bodies, souls, and hearts. I can tell that there is nothing that will be able to separate you three.”

When they arrived at Drake’s home Lachlan and Teague finally felt the first stirring from their soul that they knew this place. They still had no memories, but this all felt so much more real now. “What is it?” Warrick asked and Lachlan answered, ” I suppose a soul never forgets a best friend. While I still hold no memories my half of our soul is stirring.”

“Yeah.” Teague said, taking in the outside of Drake’s home.

“Well lets knock and see what meeting Drake does, perhaps you will remember a thing or two.” Warrick knocked and Teague set Kennedy down so he could take both their hands again.

Drake answered, seeming surprised. “It’s been awhile.”

“It has, I’m sorry, I brought some people I feel you’d like to get to know once I explain them.”

 

Final Chapter

“Oh?” He smiled until his eyes rested on Lachlan and Teague, shock and confusion playing across his face as he reached for a sword that wasn’t there. He realized he was unarmed and started to backpedal when Warrick grabbed his arm.

“Easy my friend.” Warrick said.

“They…he…”

Both Lachlan and Teague’s hands tightened around Kennedy’s and he looked at them both. They both looked just as surprised as Drake, their eyes wide as they studied his face. “Guys?” He said gently and they blinked, that moment of revelation gone. They both looked at him, eyes warming, both of them apologizing.

“Drake, let’s go in and sit before you fall down, you’re pale.” Warrick said as he gently pushed Drake back into his own home and gestured for the three of them to follow.

They did, all still feeling the confusion that had settled in when their souls recognized one another. Warrick explained everything, how he found them and what they were. A tense silence filled the room until Lachlan spoke. “We don’t remember anything…we’re sorry for what happened though.”

Drake sighed. “He wouldn’t have brought you here if you still had a darkness in your heart…I am glad you’re on a good path…I pray you stick to it this time.”

“I don’t think we could ever go down a dark path, not with a mate like Kennedy.”

Drake nodded. “I’m sorry, I don’t want to be rude to people who don’t deserve it, but I need a little space to think. I’m going to go on a walk…make yourselves at home…Warrick should remember where everything is.”

Drake walked out and Warrick apologized, explaining, “This has to be really hard.”

“We get it, it’s alright.” Teague answered.

“Killing Merrik was probably the hardest thing he’s ever done. Imagine looking into the face of the person you trusted the most and no longer seeing them there.”

“I don’t think either of us could handle it.” Lachlan said, sighing.

“I think it would kill us.” They both rested a hand on one of Kennedy’s knees.

“You know I’d never hurt you two, not on purpose.” Kennedy rested his hands on theirs, hoping they felt reassured. He could see something in their eyes, a bit of pain beneath the shock.

“We know.” They said as one and hugged him.

“Anyway, are you three hungry or thirsty?”

“No.” Lachlan and Teague said then looked at Kennedy.

“Maybe some tea or water if he doesn’t have it?”

“Of course.” He left them in the living room and went into the kitchen.

“How does this make you feel, Kennedy?” Teague asked.

“It doesn’t worry you does it?” Lachlan added.

“Of course not, you two are amazing mates, I couldn’t ask for better. It’s just sad, the look on his face, how he almost looked like he had seen a ghost.”

“Yeah, I hope it’s good we came.”

Warrick was now re-entering the room. “It is good, I think this will be good for all of you.” He handed Kennedy a glass of sweet tea and Kennedy finally moved his hands off theirs, happy Drake actually had some. They waited patiently for their host, honestly surprised when he came back that he hadn’t stayed gone more than about an hour and a half.

“Once again, I’m sorry, you’re new…people now.” He had taken a short pause, still seeming in shock that the soul he divided hadn’t just vanished, but had gone into two beings. “It was rude to walk out, but I truly did need it to be able to deal with this…I don’t think I’ve ever completely stopped mourning my friend. I never wanted to kill him but he gave me no other choice so I did the hard thing for the sake of the many who live here.”

“We get that, truly.” Lachlan said.

Drake swallowed. “So, um, you found love in this life…Merrick never had any luck…”

“Kennedy means the world to us.”

Drake offered his hand and Kennedy shook it. “It’s nice to meet you.”

“It’s good to meet you too.”

“The two that Merrik’s soul chose as its vessels are Lachlan and Teague. Lachlan is a vampire and Teague a werewolf. Kennedy is also a vampire.” Warrick explained.

“I see.” Drake replied, shaking their hands. “Do you remember me?”

“It’s more an impression.” Lachlan answered then looked to Teague. “It’s almost like…”

“A familiar scent.” Teague finished. “Like even though we don’t know you, it’s still there.”

Drake nodded as he finally took a seat. “What do you three do then?”

“We hunt down and kill beings who harm others.” Teague answered. “That’s how we met Kennedy.”

“He had been forcefully changed into a vampire.” Lachlan said as he placed a hand on Kennedy’s shoulder. “He nearly starved himself into a blood lust, unaware of what was happening to him.”

“I didn’t even know creatures like them existed until then. They saved me and fed me, gave me a home.” Kennedy smiled at him and both Lachlan and Teague felt jealousy rear its head, but managed to push it down. “I know you’re worried, but they’re both incredibly kind and loving. I hope you can get to know each other again, I hope you can learn to trust them.”

“I can, your work sounds honorable and as I said, you share a soul with my old friend but you’ve lived a different life now, obviously have made different choices and I think it will help me finally find true peace if I can form some sort of relationship with you guys. Though, any crazy could have written you three, luring you into a trap, you’d really follow a letter?”

“We were cautious, but we’ve been so curious about how we came to be.”

Drake nodded. “Yeah, I doubt you’ve met anybody like you.” There was still a hint of awkward tension in the air, but they were in a situation that would take time to get truly comfortable.

“No, we were afraid to bring our mate, but we were also afraid to leave him behind. It’s also just hard to be away from him.”

“Is your world very dangerous?”

“In our line of work you get on the bad side of some nasty people. I doubt anybody is stupid enough to try anything, but Kennedy’s life isn’t something to gamble on.”

Drake nodded. “And you Kennedy, what do you do?”

“I’m an art student, I have a couple of years left at university actually. Some people have already asked me to do commissions for them. These two want me to get my work out there, so we’ll see how things go.”

“He’s incredibly talented.” Warrick said. “He drew a perfect likeness of Merrik.”

“If you would like I can take all three of you to places he and I used to frequent, perhaps you’ll find some inspiration while we’re out.” Drake offered.

“I might have to get me another sketch book. I left mine back in our world, but we’d love too.” He looked between his mates.

“Of course love.” Lachlan said.

“Whatever you want.” Teague added.

“Besides we want to know more, maybe even trigger some memories.” Lachlan said. “And if you don’t mind, we would appreciate it if you would let us see anything of Merrik’s.”

“Yeah…I’m sure I still have some things of his. Let’s work on getting Kennedy a sketch book first. An artist shouldn’t be without his tools.” He walked into another room, coming back with one. “I thought one was left here awhile back.” He said then also handed him a pen. “I once had a noble family stay with me, one of their children left it. It’s been here at least a year so I don’t think they’ll want it back.”

“Thank you.”

“Do you four feel ready to go? Hungry, thirsty?” They established all were ready to travel around so they went out back to the horses Drake owned. He got them all situated and they started on their way. So many memories were stirring up for Drake, it was painful but he really did want to remember the good times over the bad at the end.

He took them to a place where he and Merrik would gather plants for Merrik’s experiments. Kennedy took to drawing one of the plants, a beautiful purple flower with a yellow and red center. He had never seen anything like it. He reached out to touch it and was startled when Lachlan grabbed his hand and Teague pulled him back a little. “What?”

“Are you alright? You didn’t touch it before did you?” They both looked him over, concerned.

“No, I didn’t. Hey, what’s wrong?”

His mates looked at each other and then back at him, confused. “We don’t know.” Lachlan said.

“They’re toxic.” Drake said as he crouched down to look at the flower. “There is an oil on the petals that seeps into the skin. Merrik found that out the hard way. It nearly killed him.” He stood. “You remember.”

“Not a memory as such.” Teague replied.

“More an impression.” Lachlan added.

Teague nodded. “It was like something in us was giving off a warning.”

“Well thankfully for Kennedy you did. I’d hate for his first trip here to be so miserable.”

“It would have been my fault. I’m not from here so I shouldn’t have let my curiosity get the better of me without asking.”

“I’ll try to make sure to disclose more of that sort of information. I’m not accustomed to being with people not from here.” They moved on, taking in as much as they could until night had them returning to Drake’s home. Warrick made dinner leaving Lachlan, Teague and Kennedy sitting in the living room together while Drake tried to find the photos of them he still had. When he found the album he brought it out, his heart feeling a little heavy already. He would give anything to go back in time and keep his best friend from finding that book.

“This was you two.” He handed the album to Kennedy since he was in the middle.

Kennedy smiled. “Wow, Warrick wasn’t lying. He looks so mischievous.” He let his finger brush over the picture. He then let his eyes drift to Drake who was standing next to him. “Why do you look so irritated?”

Drake sighed. “Well, it was our first outing together and he may have gotten us into a bit of trouble. All he could do was laugh. At least he go the data he wanted.”

“He really is a perfect mix of you two.” Kennedy said to Lachlan and Teague as he turned the page. “What’s this?”

“We were tanning hides.” He reached over and flipped to another page, tapping it. “He made those boots.”

“Wow, they look nice. I bet because of it my mates would be naturals if they tried.”

“The soul does keep a lot with it.” Warrick noted.

“I’ve always known the soul was amazing but this…really makes you come to terms with how much we probably don’t even know about souls.” Drake said.

They spent their days continuing to go through things, discussing the past and how they spent their lives currently. Drake found it truly helping him as he grew closer to Kennedy, Lachlan and Teague. He had to destroy his friend, but at least he knew, in the end, he really did help him. His old friend was free of the evil that over took his heart, was living a happy life and had obviously found true, meaningful love this time around. It had all turned out as good as it possibly could have and Drake looked forward to the days to come for the first time since his old friend departed from his world.

~ The End

Nebi & Nathan 2

Chapter One

“Wakey, wakey my precious wolf.” Nebi said as he brushed his fingers through Nathan’s hair, pushing it away from his sleeping face. He knew he would get an earful from his mate, but he couldn’t help but come into the cage once the moon had passed. “Nathan.”

The wolf stirred, letting out a little groan, his single eye opening. “Nebi?” He looked around, remembering where he was. “What are you doing in here? When did you come in here? I…”

Nebi pressed a kiss to his lips, silencing him and causing a little whine to escape his lips. “Hush, I waited until you had shifted back. I wanted to wake you.”

“You could have done that from the other side of the cage.”

“That’s no fun. Besides, I have work today and I really wanted to be a good mate and wake you. I have breakfast upstairs, I’m sure you’re hungry.”

Nathan sighed as he reached up and tucked Nebi’s hair behind his ear. What was he going to do with his leopard. He was too reckless and that scared Nathan. “Alright, I love you.”

“I love you too.” Nebi gave him another kiss then got up and grabbed the pair of sweats he had brought down for Nathan. He waited as his mate pulled them on, letting his gaze sweep over his wolf. “Damn, I almost regret bringing them to you.”

Nathan blushed. “I think you enjoy teasing me a little too much.”

“Perhaps.”

They went upstairs and Nebi had him set down so he could serve him. “So, what kind of work?”

“You know what kind, the messy kind.”

“I thought Fino did that and you simply delivered information.”

“This needs a more delicate touch.”

“Delicate?”

“You know, my cute face.”

Nathan’s wolf bared its teeth in jealousy and he did his best to fight the emotion down. It wasn’t like Nebi was going there to cheat on him or anything. “I see.”

Nebi smiled as he rested his chin in his hand. “Want to come? You seem distressed.”

“I’m not.”

“Nathan, you can’t fool me, I could hear your heart and your scent changed.”

“I’m sorry.”

Nebi leaned over and kissed him, smiling lovingly. “It’s okay, it’s normal to feel jealous. Come with me, I’ll get us a room. It can get lonely when I have to go off alone and you can bail me out if things go south my sweet wolf. The full moon has passed and I’d love to come back to you at the end of the day instead of an empty room.”

Nathan felt relieved he could come and hoped he could control his jealousy. Nebi would just be working, he’d just have to keep reminding himself of it. “Okay, but only if you really want me to come. I trust you.”

“I know you do Nathan.”

Nathan tried not to obsess over the fact Nebi would be flirting with someone else as they ate. Breakfast was amazing and he wanted to simply enjoy it with the wonderful man who prepared it for him. After they ate and had a few cups of coffee together they headed out, Nathan reminding himself again not to be an ass and let his jealousy get to him. In the car Nebi said, “I love you.” Just as a reminder to Nathan that he was his world and nobody else could ever take his place.

“So what all are you going to be doing?”

“Being charming and sweet. From the info I was given, my target loves beautiful, blonde men.”

“I see.”

“Nathan, my love, I just have to get close to him.” He took Nathan’s hand, squeezing it. “I just have to be seductive enough to get him alone.”

“Will he be touching you?”

“There may be a brush here and there.” He chuckled. “How cute.”

“It doesn’t feel like it. I feel like I’m being childish. This is your job, it’s not like you weren’t doing it before me.” Even that thought made his wolf grumble. How many had he tempted and seduced before they had even met?

Nebi stopped at a red light and leaned over, pressing a kiss to Nathan’s cheek and then his lips once he turned his head. He smiled when his wolf kissed back and savored the warmth of his lips until the light turned green. “You should know I’ll be thinking about you the whole time. You’re my everything, my heart and soul. When I’m talking to him it’ll be like I’m talking to you.”

Nathan gave an uneasy smile. “I know…I’m lucky to have you Nebi.”

“I feel the same about you Nathan. I would never jeopardize what we have.” It meant a lot to Nathan just how much Nebi cared if he was comfortable or not. Nebi wasn’t mad or flustered due to the jealousy he felt, he just wanted to be sure he felt okay before starting this job. It showed how loved he was and how much he didn’t have to worry. The drive felt long at first but eventually he was able to relax and just enjoy this time with his leopard. Nebi even continued doing his best to make Nathan feel secure after they checked in by making love to him as soon as they were in their room.

“When do you have to go?” Nathan asked as he held Nebi close, their foreheads pressed together.

“Soon.”

Nathan whined without meaning too and blushed with embarrassment. He felt so childish, but Nebi just chuckled. “Sorry.”

“You’re so adorable my wolf.”

“I’m not.”

“Oh yes you are, even when you’re all covered with fur and grumbling at me from your cage. Your wolf doesn’t even care that I’m there anymore, he likes it when I visit you at night.” He rubbed their noses together when Nathan gave him that all too familiar look of disapproval. “My puppy.”

“Be nice or I’ll make love to you until you can’t move.”

“Promise?” His lips were mere inches from Nathan’s, the anticipation of being kissed stirring the wolf up.

“Absolutely.”

“Good.” He kissed him. “I love you.”

“I love you too.” Nebi waited as long as he could before hugging his wolf tightly and telling him goodbye. “If you really need to text me it’s okay but try not to. He could read it over my shoulder. I don’t want you to feel like you can’t though.”

“I won’t, that’s really sweet of you but I’ll just watch something or take a soak.” Nebi gave Nathan one last smile before leaving the room. Nathan’s wolf longed to follow him but he ignored the urge. “This is his job.” Nathan said aloud. Nathan switched on the TV and found something to occupy him before tugging on a pair of sweat pants and settling under the blankets. He hoped sleep might find him since that could kill a lot of time without him even being aware of it. He knew better than to try to force it though. He’d just watch TV and hope.

Nebi hummed to himself as he sat at the bar his target frequented. He looked bored, disappointed even. He glanced at the clock hanging on the wall. He would be here soon. The bell above the door tinkled and he took a brief glance, his eyes momentarily catching those of the one he was waiting for. Raymond Hark was good looking, well built, and immaculately dressed. He was often described as charismatic and charming, easily drawing people in. In truth he was a monster. He hunted men like Nebi, often taking them home under the pretense of a fun night of drinks and sex, only to victimize them, hurting and humiliating them, dominating them without their consent. His plan was to play hard to get, to make sure he was the only one Raymond was concentrating on before allowing himself to be brought home.

“It seems you’ve taken my seat.” Raymond said as he stepped up next to Nebi.

“Oh? I hadn’t noticed.” He brought his drink to his lips, Raymond’s eyes following the motion. “I’m quite comfortable.”

“Are you now?”

Nebi smiled, resting his chin in the palm of his hand as he flicked his gaze briefly to the two men with him then made eye contact with his target. “Mmhm, do you mind if I stay?”

“Since you asked nicely.” Nebi could see buried under lust and possession in Raymond’s eyes, the want to punish him. He wasn’t used to back talk and disobedience.

He wasn’t worried in the slightest, he was confident in his abilities and the abilities of the men backing him up. His mate also wasn’t far and he was the most fearsome wolf he had ever seen. “So why do you like this seat?” Nebi thought he’d ask.

Raymond said, “You can see the rest of the bar best from there.”

Nebi glanced around as if he hadn’t already come to that conclusion before the man got there. “So you can, what type are you checking out when you sit here?”

“Yours.” Raymond cut right to the chase, obviously going for charming in the way he said it and the way he held himself but Nebi could see the monster in him far too clearly to be charmed at all. He needed to be a little more flirtatious so he started thinking of his mate, the kinds of things he would say to him, trying to picture him in his mind to soften his expression.

Raymond took the stool next to him and waved his bodyguards off. They went and stood at the end of the bar, their eyes constantly scanning for signs of trouble. “They’re like puppies.” Nebi said with a little chuckle.

“More like rottweilers.”

“How scary.”

“Not all,” he said as he reached over and ran his fingers over the top of Nebi’s hand, “if they’re well trained.”

“Oh really?”

Raymond nodded. “Pets are easy, all you need is the right incentive.”

“I have a pet, he’s quite adorable.” He pulled out his phone and brought up one of the pictures of Nathan in wolf form. “He’s a rescue and can be quite grumpy.” He showed Raymond.

“And you’re scared of rottweilers? Look at him, is he a wolf?”

“Shepherd mix.” He took his phone back. “Maybe you could give me a few pointers.”

Raymond chuckled. “I’d love too, maybe we could go back to my place and I could show you.” He shifted a little closer, trying to take up space. Nebi saw it a lot with alpha shifters. They claimed what they wanted, letting everyone, even the one they were interested in, know that they belonged to them.

“Are you implying that I’m easy?”

“Not at all, but it might be fun.”

Nebi chuckled as he leaned in, his face close to Raymond’s. “Maybe if you take me out, I might consider it. After all, you do want me, don’t you?” Of course he did, Nebi could smell it, could see the way his pupils dilated, knew he was itching to teach him a lesson. Nebi pulled back, grabbing a napkin and pen from behind the bar and wrote down his name and number. “Call me, I’ll be waiting.”

Nathan was pacing their room, eventually deciding to get room service. It wasn’t healthy to eat for the entertainment or distraction of it, but he was a wolf and an active enough ones he could afford a meal just to keep himself busy. He ordered everything that sounded good, giving the man that brought it a nice tip before sitting down to enjoy, as much as he could anyway while he was worried about Nebi. Nebi sauntered out, hoping to tease Raymond a little more, wanting to be absolutely sure he had hooked him. He then drove in a random direction. He wasn’t sure if this man had his prey followed but he wanted to be sure not to lead Raymond or his goons back to Nathan. He’d drive around and maybe park somewhere for a bit before going back to where they were staying.

 

Chapter Two

Nebi let out a sigh when he finally made it back to the hotel and made sure to lock his car before heading up. The smell of food hit his nose the moment he opened their room door, his stomach giving a little growl, but before he could even think of asking what Nathan was eating, the wolf had him pulled into a tight hug. “Well hello to you too.” He said with a laugh. “Miss me?”

“I was worried.”

“I can tell.”

“You have a strange scent on you.”

“It’s his, he touched me and we were in close proximity so my clothes probably absorbed his cologne.”

The wolf growled, but Nathan held it in, instead pressing a kiss to Nebi’s neck and then gently biting him. He wanted to mark him where that man could see it, but stopped himself. All that mattered what that he was safely back. He wouldn’t mess up his job by making it obvious Nebi was with someone. “I…I don’t like it.”

Nebi chuckled as he pulled back, smiling lovingly at him as he leaned in, letting his lips lightly brush Nathan’s, delighting in the goosebumps that covered his mate’s skin. “Maybe you could replace it with yours.”

“But, the food.”

“It does smell pretty good, I guess we could eat first if that’s what you want.”

Nathan whined. “You’re not playing fair.”

Nebi grinned, almost chuckling. Nathan had no idea how instantly he was able to lift the tension off his shoulders. He could suppress it so others wouldn’t know, but dealing with horrible men like that man at the bar wound his muscles pretty tight. Now here, messing with Nathan all he felt was happiness and lust, well, hunger from smelling the amazing food in the room was there too, but that wasn’t what he was focusing on. “Come on, it’ll still be there when you’ve taken that monster off me.” Nathan’s wolf urged him to just tear Nebi’s clothes off and take him, to mark what was his once again. He gave into the desire, tugging off his mates clothes then his own before going over to the bed with him.

His lips moved hungrily against his mate’s, his tongue diving in, tasting liquor and lust. His hand moved over him, caressing and claiming him. Nebi clung to him, urging him closer, wanting his wolf’s dominance. “Nathan.” He rolled his hips, begging him to hurry and Nathan growled as he slammed into him. Nebi had to bite down on his shoulder to muffle the loud cry that rose in his throat. Nathan sat back, lifting Nebi’s hips as he rocked into him, watching as his leopard’s back arched off the bed. He stroked Nebi’s length, watching his face as he pushed him closer to the edge. Nebi reached for him and Nathan leaned down, their lips pressing together, Nebi’s fingers gripping his back as he came. Nathan picked up the pace and as he neared his released his teeth found Nebi’s shoulder. “Nathan, my wolf, I love you.” He let his fingers stroke Nathan’s neck when the wolf dropped his head on his chest and they laid there for a moment, catching their breath and letting the air cool their damp skin.

Nathan pressed a kiss to his shoulder and then his neck and finally his lips, his fingers sliding through Nebi’s hair. “I love you too, more than you know.”

“I think I know.”

“You don’t.” He stroked Nebi’s cheek. “Nothing I do can ever fully express how much I love and need you.”

“I think you do a pretty amazing job.” He rubbed their noses together.

“At least I can’t smell him anymore.”

Nebi chuckled. “So jealous, it really is adorable. Let’s not talk about him right now, it’s just us.”

“Want to enjoy this food and watch something?” Nebi gave a small nod and the two got up to replenish their energy. Nebi had no way of knowing when that monster would call him away tomorrow so he wanted to spend all the time he could with Nathan tonight. Once they finished eating they shut the television back off, just talking and joking around with one another until they both knew it was time to get some rest so Nebi wouldn’t be yawning when he was with Raymond tomorrow. They were surprised at how late they had slept when a phone call woke them. Nebi cleared his throat and walked onto the balcony of their room to make sure Raymond didn’t hear Nathan.

“Hello Mr. Hark, to what do I owe the pleasure?”

“Call me Raymond, please.”

Nebi chuckled. “Okay, Raymond.”

“Did you sleep well last night?”

“I always sleep well, and you?”

Raymond huffed. “I have to confess, I didn’t.”

“Oh?”

“Too busy thinking of you.”

Nebi rolled his eyes. What a line, he thought, and one that was far more charming and endearing when it came from Nathan’s lips. “Only good thoughts I hope.”

“Of course. Now to why I called. I want to take you out on a date tonight.”

“That eager are we?” He said in a teasing tone.

“Can you blame me? I’ve never met a man as beautiful as you, let me take you out.”

“Hmm…I wonder if I should?” He was sure Raymond was seething, but he couldn’t help himself. He was a literal cat playing with its prey. “Alright, pick the place and I’ll meet you there, Raymond and perhaps I’ll consider rewarding you for treating me.”

The sound Raymond made caused Nebi to smile, he was definitely annoyed. This was probably the most fun he had ever had pissing someone off. Raymond was the only one on this phone call about to be punished for his behavior and he couldn’t wait for Raymond to find that out. “I’ll send someone to get you, where do you live?” Raymond asked, obviously trying to hide his annoyance.

“No, I’ll drive myself.” Nebi said with a grin.

“Come on now, I invited you out. It’s courtesy to pick you up.”

“Ah but that’s one of the dating rules from long ago. I prefer to live in the now. I’ll drive myself.”

Raymond gave in. “Fine then, meet me at the bar and we’ll go from there.”

“Why the bar?” Raymond hung up, probably struggling not to yell at Nebi for how much he had resisted.

“You shouldn’t play with him Nebi.” Nathan’s tone was full of worry as he stepped out onto the balcony and wrapped his arms around his mate from behind.

“I’m just throwing him off, baby.”

“But he’s dangerous right?” He dropped his head onto Nebi’s shoulder and kissed his neck. “He could hurt you.”

“Maybe if I were human, my love,” he said as he turned to face his wolf, “but I’m the great and powerful Nebi, leopard extraordinaire.”

“Nebi.”

“Trust me, I know you’re worried, but this is what I do. I play, they let their guard down and I kill them. He’s trapped in my web and doesn’t even know it. Besides, he doesn’t even know I’m a leopard. Even if he does manage to restrain me, I can easily slip out.”

“I’m sorry I’ve been so whiny and possessive. I just don’t want to lose you.”

“You won’t, I’m yours forever.”

“I love you, Nebi.”

“I love you too, now shower with me, I have to prepare for my date with that idiot.”

Nathan whined. “But you’re going to pick up his scent again.”

Nebi chuckled. “Then I guess you’ll just have to get rid of it again.”

They took a long shower, the two doing more cuddling and fooling around than actually getting clean but Nathan needed it and Nebi was just enjoying the fun before work beckoned him again. It was a long goodbye when Nebi absolutely had to leave, but Nebi wasn’t sure how long this would all take. Nathan unlocked his cellphone then went to his Kindle. He decided today instead of zoning out to TV that he’d try to get through a book or two. There were so many he wanted to read and currently, he had no excuse not to sit down and do it. He also felt it would be more successful at keeping away all his worries.

Nebi wasn’t surprised to find Raymond waiting for him when he stepped into the bar. The man looked his way and Nebi smiled as he made his way over to his prey. “You beat me here.” He said as he slipped onto the stool next to Raymond.

“You took longer than I expected.” Raymond replied.

“Well, I wanted to make sure I looked good for you.” He let his eyes move over Raymond. “I don’t feel quite as put together as you, maybe I should go back and change.”

Raymond grinned as he reached over, letting his fingers slide over Nebi’s cheek and down to grab his chin. “I doubt you have to worry about your clothes.”

“So, what do you have planned, for our date I mean?”

“If you come with me, I’ll show you.” He let his hand drop to Nebi’s and the leopard could feel the possession there. “You’ll like it, I promise.”

“Did you plan something romantic?”

Raymond shrugged. “It’s a surprise, come with me.”

“How mysterious and romantic. Alright, I’m intrigued, let’s go.”

Nebi’s leopard was ready to fight, it felt it coming. This date was going to quickly go south, but that was part of the plan. He needed to see precisely where he was taking these men, he needed to get all the evidence needed to finally convict Raymond of everything he had done. Nathan could sense the imminent danger as well even though he wasn’t even there. He wanted to run after Nebi, to protect him from harm but he was managing to make himself stay in their room. Nebi had worked a long time before him, he didn’t need nor did he desire protecting. Nathan knew he needed to respect his mate’s wishes, as hard as that was right now.

Nebi wasn’t surprised when Raymond pulled up the gate in front of his house. Of course the “surprise” would be in his home, it was the only way to ensure his victims didn’t escape. “I thought you were taking me out?”

“Trust me, this is better.” Raymond reached out the driver side window, punching in the code for the gate and then drove through when it swung open. “It’s much more intimate when it’s just us instead of a room full of people.”

He pulled into the driveway, parking his car right at the front steps and got out and went around to let Nebi out. Nebi smiled, feigning surprise that he was being so polite and allowed himself to be guided in. “So, what’s the surprise?”

“I had a meal specially prepared for you, dessert and drinks that I hope you’ll like.” He pulled Nebi close, let his fingers sliding over his cheek and tuck his hair behind his ear.

“I can’t wait.” Nebi could see how people could so easily fall for him. He knew exactly how to play his victims. He was like a viper, slowly stalking his prey, moving in close and then striking and sinking his fangs in. Nebi could see it, smell it, and feel the dark energy coming off of Raymond. It wasn’t just him, it was the bodyguards as well. They stood by and let this all happen, not caring as long as they were paid.

It took especially sick people to just sit there and watch, possibly help get a victim back under control if they managed to slip away. Nebi readied himself as he was taken to the room, pretending once more when he saw the food out and arranged by candle light. “You really are a sweet man, maybe I was the lucky one we met.” His energy was already growing darker. They sat down to eat, but Nebi’s nose told him not to consume anything. This was part of how he did it, this food was drugged, would make him less able to defend himself.

 

Final Chapter

“You should try the salmon.” Raymond said as he poured Nebi some wine.

Nebi could smell that was drugged too. He really had all his bases covered. “Maybe a drink first.” He replied with a smile.

“Of course.”

Nebi lifted his glass. “To an evening of fun.”

“To an evening of fun.”

Nebi shifted his feet as he started to bring the glass to his lips. He threw the wine in Raymond’s face, surprising him then pushed up, bringing his other fist up to connect with his chin, knocking him back, chair and all. He tossed the glass then reached into his coat and pulled out his knife. “Raymond, Raymond, Raymond, drugs?”

“You son of a bitch.”Raymond said as he pushed himself to his hands and knees. “Who are you?”

Nebi kicked him in the stomach so he fell over again then he rolled him onto his back and crouched over him. “I’m retribution, Raymond. Did you really think you could get away with hurting all those young men?”

“Wait.” Nebi grabbed his throat. “W…wa…please.”

“Where do you keep all your little toys and trophies?”

“My…room…drawers.”

“Thank you, Raymond, I had a good time.”

“Wait!”

Nebi drove the knife into his solar plexus and up into his heart, holding tightly to his throat until he bled out. He was almost surprised when no guards came rushing in, then he remembered they had probably heard a few people fall down in here. They were next and then he needed to take photos of everything Raymond had hidden in his room so he could send it to his boss who would give it to the authorities.

He rushed down, barely giving them time to register what was happening before they laid lifeless on the floor. He then collected the evidence he needed and rushed off, ready to be with his wolf again. The first words he uttered once his wolf wasn’t holding him too tight to speak was, “I’m done, he’s dead and I have what I need for the authorities to officially tell the families who is responsible.”

“Thank god.” Nathan said, holding him tightly again.

“I’m sorry if this was hard Nathan.”

“It’s your job, I know I should be better about being jealous.”

“Well, it’s harder for you. Wolves are notoriously the jealous type.”

“But I love and trust you implicitly.”

“Being jealous isn’t always about lack of trust baby. It’s an emotion almost impossible to control. It’s how you act when you’re jealous that matters and you were amazing.”

“When can we go?”

“Homesick already?”

“I’m more comfortable there, in our bed, it’s more familiar and I can relax.”

“Tomorrow, but for now I need a shower.” He had blood on him from those men and Raymond’s scent permeated his clothing.

“Of course, sorry.”

“Hush, it’s sweet how worried you were.” He pressed a kiss to Nathan’s lips then pulled him into the bathroom. Nathan let out a little growling whine when Nebi started pulling his clothes off and got the water started. He couldn’t keep himself from pulling the leopard against him and biting the back of his neck. Nebi chuckled and turned his head to give his wolf another kiss. “I love you.”

“I love you too.” He pressed his forehead against Nebi’s.

Nathan made himself let Nebi go so he could pull his own clothes off. They climbed in together and held each other under the relaxing warmth of the water. Nathan slept with his arms wrapped tightly around Nebi that night, his nose pressed into his leopard’s hair, his body completely relaxed now that his mate was out of harm’s way. Nebi fell asleep with a smile on his face and kissed Nathan awake the next morning so they could get ready to go home.

“I don’t know how Allon stays put while Fino works.” Nathan said once they were checked out.

“You’re two different people baby, with different needs. You need the security of being close to me because of everything you’ve been through. That’s why I invited you.” He put their luggage in the trunk of his car then wrapped his arms around Nathan’s neck and rubbed their noses together. “Having you waiting here for me made me incredibly happy. You’re my home away from home, my love and I hope you’ll always come with me from now on.”

“I’d really like to”

“Then it’s settled.” Nebi said with a comforting smile. Nathan had always wanted to go and was glad he could from now on. Though at the moment he was happiest simply to be heading home with the love of his life. This case would soon be completely closed and they could go back to normalcy. Well, as much normalcy as you can have between a werewolf and leopard.

~ The End