Authors: Belinda Burke
Tags: #Erotic Romance Fiction
As he had before, Kas licked
off Myrddin’s lips. Slowly,
slowly, he slipped a second finger inside Myrddin along with the first, thrust them deep, curled them. “Kas—
” A third finger, no warning, just
. He sat straight up, pressed back against them, and Kas let him, stared up at him with lust and that unreadable blackness in the dark of his eyes. Myrddin rocked on those fingers, tried to take them deeper, until Kas pulled him back down against his mouth again, licked past his lips.
Myrddin gasped, groaned, reached for his cock and got Kas’ hand instead, long fingers tangling with his and holding him back. “Oh—
. Let me touch—please, I need more—more—”
Kas slipped his fingers out, and that was an instant reminder of what he had said, what he had promised. Eagerly, Myrddin drew himself up, felt the wet and heat and thickness of Kas’ cock opening him. A low, sharp cry slipped out of him as he sank all the way down, and then Kas’ hands were on his hips again, urging him up, lifting him.
He made a sound, not a moan, not a whine, something strangled in between. Kas never waited, never,
, I—oh please, please—” Kas rolled his hips, thrust up with sharp, short jerks that stroked just right inside him, made him scrabble at Kas’ chest. He’d thought he’d remembered this, the feeling, the pleasure, but he’d been wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong, because this was better, so much better, his skin tingling with a hot buzz of need.
Myrddin got his knees under him, pressed down on Kas’ chest with both hands and pushed himself up, almost all the way off Kas’ cock, then sank down again. He leaned forward and bit at Kas’ collarbone, fastened his mouth around a nipple and felt Kas’ quick inhalation under his mouth.
Kas thrust up once more, harder, then lifted Myrddin and turned over him at the same time, twisted inside him, all the angles changing, pressure still perfect. Then he was on his back, Kas staring down at him. Myrddin wrapped his legs around Kas’ waist and reached up to pull him down against his mouth. “Lover…lover, take me.
A shiver moved through Kas’ body, a soft shudder that added layers of heat to Myrddin’s lust. Kas might have found words, somehow, somewhere, but he still didn’t seem intent on using them, not now, not
. The desire that lay over them, between them, was soft and heavy as the night…but it was silent, too.
Beneath the pressure, beneath the pleasure, Myrddin could feel within himself the waiting flood of green power that told him Kas was right.
He had tried to ignore it, repress it, let it unfold some other way than it had last time. As if, by pretending not to notice, he could keep the truth from being true. But the winter had come today, and though the night was cold, and he had slept, it had been badly.
No deep sleep had come for him, no hibernation…just like the previous year. Had he misunderstood the purpose, the need? Had Kas understood better than him?
Not just once. Our rite…
Kas drove suddenly deep, wrapped a hand around Myrddin’s cock and started to stroke in counterpoint to the rhythm of his thrusts. Sensation startled a gasp past Myrddin’s lips, and thoughts deserted him. He moaned, tightened his legs around Kas’ back and urged him on, turned his head against the pillows and lifted his hips.
, just like
He heard himself moaning, reached back with one hand and braced himself against the wall as Kas thrust harder, slammed into him until Myrddin’s groans turned into cries. He tried to say Kas’ name and couldn’t, tried to say
, to beg for the little bit more that he needed, wanted,
, but Kas’ mouth was on his then, swallowing all his cries, his moans, and if there were words mixed into the sounds, made into sounds, neither of them cared.
All of them meant the same thing—
. Myrddin’s pleasure came to its sharp, sudden peak without warning. He arched up against Kas’ body as he felt the heat of him spilling inside. “Kas…oh, Kas.”
Slowly, Kas sat back from between his thighs, pulled out of him and left Myrddin empty, grasping at him, trying to pull him closer. Warm laughter fell like rain onto his mouth, and soft kisses with it, but this time Kas made no move to take him again.
When his thoughts cleared, Myrddin pushed himself up, sat with his back against the wall and stared down the length of his bed at Kas—so close, so far. There was watchfulness in him like there had been in the first moments of their meeting. Myrddin scooted forward a little, reached out to touch his cheek, watched his pupils dilate further into darkness, his lips part—but Kas wasn’t looking at him.
“Lover? Something wrong?” It was only when he noticed the strange patterns of shadow on Kas’ face that he turned and looked behind him, saw what Kas was staring at. “Oh…hells.”
The window was covered with an overgrowth of green—vines and leaves, fresh, milky buds of flowers. It was proof he didn’t need, didn’t want, but it was there all the same. Too much of his father’s power, too much spring—and in the pounding of his heart, fleet as a hummingbird’s, the promise of more yet to come.
No winter sleep. Never again. Did Mother really do so much for me, just by being alive?
The sunrise cast ever greater shadows on the wall, and finally he sighed and shifted forward, slipped himself into the spaces of Kas’ waiting watchfulness and was pleased to find his embrace returned.
“So you came to find me…and you know so much about me…and you can save me from myself, if you want to. What is it
“To love you. To kill you.” His tongue flicked over Myrddin’s lips, just enough to tease. “Then to love you again.” His hands were suddenly warmer, his grip sharper, not enough to break the skin, but nearly. “Is that what
Myrddin chuckled, shook his head and pressed himself closer to Kas’ chest. “It doesn’t matter. It’s what I need—but I do want it.
. I’m glad it was you I was sent to find, and not someone else.”
Kas blinked down at the top of Myrddin’s head, considering. There was a fuzz of pleasant warmth that was attached to that answer, to the feeling of being wanted more than he was needed. To want Death was an unusual desire, and he had never met it in quite this way before.
The easy immunity that the overwhelming spring wrought in his lover let Kas come closer to him than he had ever been to anyone living. He did not want to go away, be pushed away—did not want, again, to learn the taste of
and the thousand echoes it left behind.
How would his lover, his love, ever learn him if they were always apart? How could he give what he did not know, in return for what he desperately wanted…without a chance?
This is more than a chance.
“Kas? You…what are you thinking?”
“That I will stay with you now, because you want me. That I will have the chance I wanted to make you love me. To teach you what it means to be mine…and not only because you need me. Everyone, everything, needs me. It is to need me that I…it is because I am needed that I am. That is always…has been always…”
The rapid flutter of Myrddin’s breath gave Kas warning, but only a little. He wasn’t prepared for the soft fury of the kiss that took away the rest of the words he had been trying to put together. Eager, yes. That he knew, expected…but this. It was…
He pulled back, held Myrddin still with one hand at his shoulder and touched his mouth with the fingers of the other hand. “What is this?
What is this?
I took so many words, but this one, not this one. Merlin, this one…”
He stroked the soft lips with his thumb, watched them move down his thumb to his palm, kissing, up the length of his fingers…the same thing.
The same thing.
“The word. Please, love. I need…that word.”
Myrddin stopped and looked up at him. “But you know
“It is not the kiss I do not know, but
you kissed me.”
” The sound of Kas’ name had the same feeling in it as the kiss had, and Myrddin leaned up and pressed his lips against Kas’ again, then pulled away too fast, started talking too fast.
“You don’t know, how could you know? I don’t—Kas, oh, Kas. It’s…it’s because…it’s not fair. What you’ve been given.
. And…and you want
You think that
am enough? I…it’s caring, Kas. It’s tenderness, and…and I…” But he stopped, shaking his head, out of words or willingness, Kas was not sure which.
“Tenderness…” He paused, because that
the word that he had been looking for, and because the rest was more, and made up his mind. “I am going to stay with you, love. Because you want me—until you need me, and after.” The words gained him a smile.
“That is one of the words that means nothing.”
“Like maybe? But it means something to me—”
to you.” This time he got a full, wide grin in answer, a kiss that held nothing worrisome, nothing heavier than another dose of that same teasing.
Kas liked tenderness better. “You still do not understand. Is that because it is not yet time enough? Why do I know you and you cannot know
?” He was frustrated, bent and kissed the humor away from the curve of Myrddin’s mouth.
“Ever after, if you call for me, I will come. I will remember, I will hear even the sound of your faintest whisper, now that I am neither immune nor invulnerable to longing. All those waiting shades of its presence—certainty, your maybe, and silence.
“My hawk, my love, now when you fly from me I will follow you. If you thought you could escape…but you are not that foolish, are you? You knew, you knew what I was the moment you found me.
. You do not get to pretend, to change your mind. Do not toy with me, do not play the games you know—do not misunderstand.”
“You poisoned your fruit, your strawberry-raspberry-apple kisses, poisoned them with love and planted that feeling like a seed in me. Every kiss, and every word— Do you at least know that the love that grew promises only destruction?”
. But I didn’t mean to do it! I wasn’t trying to make you love me.”
“Do you mean it
A shudder passed through Myrddin’s body, and he looked up with eyes hazed by something smoky, something both more and less than lust. “
You say that like now, right now, I’m making you love me—” He licked his lips, and Kas resisted the urge to do it for him. “You can’t mean that. I’m just—I’m not even doing anything.”
. Why is it that you never understand? Even now, when I found so many words for you, just for you… You
. Your being, that you exist…that is enough.”
“I—oh. Kas…” He looked away. “I have…I don’t know what to say.” The tiniest flip of a laugh slipped out of his throat. “That doesn’t ever happen, you know.”
Kas turned Myrddin’s face back toward him with one hand, but he kissed the stillness of Myrddin’s mouth once more, his own tenderness, and felt the soft lips go cold at his touch. “You may choose not to love me, not to want me, but I will never desert you, never leave you behind. Is there something that you need to say?”
“There should be. Kas, there
be. Must be—but I don’t know what it is.”
“You have time to decide. To find out. I am not going anywhere.”
He watched the shadows move over Myrddin’s face as he turned and peered out of the narrow spaces between the leaves that had grown up to cover his window. “Well, there’s time yet. Before our rite.” A smile flickered across his mouth, and Kas leaned toward him, kissed the curve of that smile as it grew.
“Do you think the villagers would stand witness?”
“Like your people, your shadows did before. The first time. Or do they follow you everywhere?”
Kas stared at him. “My…people. I do not have people, only you.”
“Well…there was something, someone. Near us and watching. And a rite has to be witnessed, or it’s not anything.” Kas felt him shrug, slender shoulders moving under his hands. “It doesn’t matter. I’ll ask later—there’s time. Not much, but time. Until then, what do you want to do? And what about after?”
Kas stroked the smooth brown skin of Myrddin’s shoulders, his back, his thighs. He said nothing, let the soft touches speak for him, fingertips moving just this side of sensual, exploring the way patterns of coolness followed his hands. Myrddin made a soft sound that was not a moan, but not quite anything else, either.
“Kas, you can’t…we can’t…live in my bed.” He laughed, then shivered and laughed again. “No matter how good it feels when you touch me.”
. Don’t you have work to do, responsibilities? I saw you, the night we were together, taking the shadows, opening the way.”
“I do not open. I
. I wonder—”
“You should not. Do you not remember your own words, your own thoughts, the way you cautioned yourself? Do you not remember that to come too close to death is dangerous? Even for you.”
Myrddin lay back, and Kas went down with him, over him, a hawk caged in his arms, in his shadow. “Kas, you say that but you want me to love you. You
me close to you. You want me this close, and closer—and closer still. How can you still say…?”
“The truth? Because it is true. How is it that you can say something else?”
Myrddin laughed but softly, the warmth of him shaking a little against Kas’ body. “I don’t know. It’s just who I am. Haven’t you ever seen the spring? It lies before it arrives, and when it does…and even when it’s dying.”