Draco awoke slowly as a strange tickle pulled him from his sleep. Something ran up his leg. Harry’s warm hand gripped him in place while he slid something cool and thin across his skin. Draco sat up slowly. The lights raised in his windowless room let him know it was morning.
Blearily he followed down his leg which was exposed to the cold castle air since he fell asleep in just boxers that night on his warm sheets. His flesh was peppered with light blue pen lines and Draco blinked, and watched as more appeared under the pen Jaz made for Harry.
Harry stopped what he was doing now Draco was awake. He finished with a final flourish and clicked the pen shut. Draco closed his eyes as Harry’s hands moved up his body. He traced words with his fingers and lingered over patches of flesh to breathe hot breath. Draco opened his eyes when Harry lifted his left palm and held it in front of his face so he could read.
“This is the hand you hold yourself back with,” Draco read aloud. He followed down to his wrist and tilted his head to read. “This is your less dominant arms but is strong for all the ways you control yourself. You’re subtle, steady and don’t need to prove anything. You’re just happy to be.”
Harry kissed his fingertips one by one. Draco’s eyes strayed to the sensation and then slipped to his right hand. “You create and destroy with this hand. Build, flow magic and make impossible things happen. This arm strives to be and do, defend and attack and change what can’t always be changed.” Draco bit his lip and his eyelashes lowered when Harry’s breath brushed over his cheek. He caught the sight of writing on his torso down the center of his chest.
“You’re beautiful, strong, full of fire and emotion. You’re able to handle any obstacle with brilliance and grace…” Draco trailed off and shook his head weakly. “I can’t, Harry. I’m not so fucking strong that I can just accept you dying.”
Harry kissed his cheek and pulled away to trace Draco’s hand down to his navel. Draco followed and read. “You’re convincing, alluring, terribly persuasive in such a selfless way. You’re a hypocrite by marrying away your life while demanding I fight for mine.” Draco stopped again and looked away.
Harry pulled his head back gently. He kissed Draco’s other cheek and moved his hand down to his thigh.
“This is the leg you used to run away. This leg took you from You-Know-Who and brought you to an empty world because you were too afraid to live. It took you out the door tonight because you were afraid to see me die.” Draco’s voice hushed to something close to a sigh. He finished with the last line Harry stopped at when he woke up. “This leg is not your dominant leg but it might be your strongest support—Potter, that is a fucking shit thing to say.”
Harry clicked the pen open. He moved to Draco’s bare right leg and slowly wrote over his thigh. Draco read it aloud as it appeared on his skin. “This is the leg that leads you into battle… It brought you from your parents’ house into a new world of magic. It brought you to me full of fire, flight and a whole lot of prat.” Draco snorted and shoved Harry lightly. Harry wasn’t done and moved down his leg and slowly covered Draco’s skin with words.
“This leg will lead you next because you always move forward. You’re compelled as who you are no matter your fear. You survive even if it’s in quiet compromise. When you’re loud, this is the leg you stomp down and demand to be heard and known… and answered.” Draco frowned as Harry stopped. He dug the pen lightly as if not sure whether to continue or not.”
“Finish it,” Draco implored quietly.
Hesitantly, Harry continued and the pen swirled sensation over his skin. I’ll fight to live if you fight to live.
Draco took a slow breath. His brows furrowed as the words sank in. “What are you saying. Do you want me to not marry?”
Draco closed his eyes and sank back down on the bed and his pillow. It would be so easy to say yes while alone with Harry. The real world was so far away as they hid in his room together. He wouldn’t be able to keep such a promise. Not when the first one was made the way it was with his blood and on the brink of death.
“Potter, you make it back here in one piece and we’ll talk about it.”
Harry scribbled on the back of Draco’s left hand. He raised it to read.
“Yeah, well, there you have it,” Draco said with a shrug. Harry grabbed his other hand and wrote slower over the back of it.
Draco blinked. “Hmm. I think you’re a little confused here.”
You are both. Impossible. Beautiful. And very GAY.
“Shut up,” Draco grumbled. He wasn’t sure if he was more annoyed by the pretty words or the gay remark.
Harry just added another ‘very’ on top of the first, then surround the whole thing in a heart. I love all of you.
Draco blushed and tried to look away but Harry kept lifting his hand up. “Fine. Quit it, you pain. You love me; I get it. Thank you—or whatever the hell you’re supposed to say to an idiot who doesn’t know how to be proper and just writes all over a person while they’re sleeping.”
You love me.
Draco scowled. His gaze slipped away again only to jolt back when Harry bit his hand. “Hey! Fine, I might… uh, I might kinda love you.” Harry nipped him again, this time on his arm. “Potter, this is not the way to get me to say things, you bloody git.” If Harry cared, he gave no sign and instead nipped Draco’s arm repeatedly. It was having a queer effect and Draco’s yelps quickly turned into heated moans as he gasped for air. “Stop that… oh, seriously. Git.”
Harry licked up his arm. The flat of his tongue did nothing to smear the ink in its proper realm but it did manage to tickle at Draco’s arm hair. Draco grasped weakly at Harry’s hair but lost his intent to stop him moments into the movement. He tangled fingers into Harry’s locks and puled him up for a very needed kiss.
“How are you being so behaved?” Draco asked distractedly when Harry’s hands ghosted up his sides. It took Harry a moment to answer for the pen was lost in the sheet and there was very little left of Draco to write on.
Need. Yours is different right now.
“Oh?” Draco felt flushed and vulnerable as Harry wrote a final word on his knee.
The pen was once again tossed aside. Harry cupped Draco’s face and his fingers gently traced his jaw and up to his ear. Draco breathed deeply in the hold as he felt a warmth slowly bloom over his skin that made him feel stronger than he had in days. He didn’t understand how Harry could do it but was starting to as he thought of the little his father once told him of the Kalistar.
It was before his first year of Hogwarts when his father went through a list of do’s and don’ts. One big don’t was the Forbidden Forest. If Draco ever came across a white dragon with scales and feathers, he was to run no matter what. But a gold one, the Kalistar, with long spraying horns and feathered wings was very much a protector. Draco was to trust and love such a being and it would turn black and keep him safe. But Draco never saw either. The beings which stalked him at the edge of the forest were always invisible to him, like his pet Karia.
Draco was convinced he would become the murderous beast if his ring was removed and he was allowed to transform, just as his father while in prison. It was the only logical thing given how Lucius feared the Vesper and was also one himself. His father never sensed Karia and called him frivolous for even suggesting she existed. Lucius must have even less senses in the other realm than he did.
“Harry, could you just…?” Draco trailed off when Harry sank down against him and pushed him into the mattress with arms wrapped tight. Except the long swipes with his tongue over Draco’s neck, Harry was a perfect gentleman.
Draco closed his eyes and tried not to think of the sad thoughts of his father becoming a murderous animal to protect him. Instead he drifted as he felt Harry’s weight and heat and slow thump of heart. Each random spark of Harry’s energy was a flash of reminder to pull Draco back from fantasy, back from allowing himself to be fully content.
The clock chimed softly and reminded Draco he only had ten minutes to get to breakfast before class. He moved his hands over Harry’s back and shoulders, not really in a rush to get up while enjoying the comforting weight and press of flesh. Although Harry looked torn, especially on his back, when wearing the glasses, his skin felt smooth and strong. Draco wondered if it was the way of things in that particular realm; Harry’s beast body was injured, but Harry himself wasn’t yet. He supposed as long as Harry continued to feel so comforting and caring, it really didn’t matter much.
Eating was important after not eating for so long; at least it’s what Draco’s stomach was insisting. Draco gently pushed at Harry’s shoulders until he obliged and got up.
“I’m going to have to wash it off, you know,” Draco said softly as he indicated all the pen on him. Harry took his hand and nodded his messy hair into Draco’s palm. With a sigh, Draco turned and walked wearily to the bathroom, still tired and weak from his difficult week.
He started, eyes wide as he caught his face in the mirror. Harry had wrote across his forehead. The words reflected backward and it took a moment for Draco to discern them. “Be my boyfriend? Potter, you fucking idiot. Where are you?” He stormed toward the bathroom door, only to knock into Harry as he was stepping through, the bloody perv.
“You’re invisible! How the hell can I date someone I can’t even see? I have to have some fucking standards!” Draco wasn’t quite sure why he was so angry about it all. He suspected as Harry wrapped arms around him and moved his hands over his back and raised fire in him, Harry’s argument might have some validity. Touching was certainly enjoyable. And hell, they argued much less since Harry couldn’t say as many stupid things. Or at least, Draco couldn’t hear them.
“Hands, you,” Draco snapped warningly when Harry once again grabbed his ass and squeezed firmly. “Have you conveniently forgotten I’m getting married?”
In rebuttal, Harry lifted Draco’s hand and traced the heart which pointed out Draco was very, very gay.
Draco sighed. “I have responsibilities. People are depending on me, and… and I made a promise, Harry. I can’t just go back on my word.”
Harry went further down his arm and traced over how Draco could try to change what couldn’t be changed. After, Harry began tapping words on his flesh while Draco softly repeated them aloud. “Love… changes… impossible…” He stared as Harry stopped and lingered at Harry’s final promise to fight to live if Draco did too.
Draco huffed but didn’t resist the arms that pulled him close as Harry nuzzled into his neck. “I can’t be so easily persuaded, Potter. But… but if you want a boyfriend who is going to be married in less that two weeks, I can agree to that.” It was hardly an ideal situation, and it made Draco’s heart twist even to think.
He hoped Harry wouldn’t be satisfied with such a small part of him. Draco didn’t want to lose his heart to him—a heart if he were in a proper state of mind he could admit was already very much lost and given to Harry—and then have to walk into a loveless, sexless marriage for the rest of his life. Wizards didn’t divorce, not if they were pureblood. One had to look infallible in everything, including matters of the heart when you held so much power.
Harry tapped him once again and Draco glanced down at the text. Impossible.
“I know, but it’s all I can give you. It’s all I have to give right now.” Draco sighed heavily.
Harry seemed to disagree but the words written weren’t enough. Gently he took Draco’s hands and led him to the shower. He reached Draco’s long fingers to turn the spray on. Draco pulled away and charmed the temperature to something agreeable. He kept his eyes downcast and bottom lip worried between his teeth as he slowly pulled his boxers down and stepped out of them. He didn’t look fully in Harry’s direction. His silver eyes slid toward the area Harry’s powerful aura flickered and then returned to the loofah he was soaping up.
Harry wanted to be his boyfriend. Harry loved him. It was a strange feeling. A nearly impossible feeling; Harry had been gone for so long and Draco once dreamed of having a boyfriend just like him. He’d been waiting for someone who got very annoyed with the mean things he said until he had to be a nicer person. Someone who demanded with flashing green eyes until Draco would do the things his body really, really wanted to do and finally shut his stupid, logical mind up that always did as his parents said.
His skin tingled under Harry’s gaze as Draco began to wash the ink from his skin. He watched intently as the words faded along with Harry’s thoughts. “Harry, just… oh. Just behave, please,” he asked huskily as Harry’s hand wrapped around his smaller one and the loofah sopped white bubbles as he tightened his grip. Harry obliged somewhat by just using his hand to help Draco in an unneeded task of washing every spot he could reach. With Harry leaning against him and Draco wet and soapy with much hot breath moving down his throat, it was difficult not to want.
The crazed mating urge was not there but it didn’t mean there was no lust. Even before Harry transformed and even before Draco fully understood what just a whiff of his sex scent could do to him, Draco wanted. He wanted to feel Harry’s hands on him, his strong body pressed close while his mouth rained kisses down. He wanted to be worshiped with demanding eyes until he couldn’t say no. In a lot of ways, it was a more dangerous ache than the mating drive. This one was soft and warm, insidious in its quiet but unyielding power.
Very compelling, Draco thought dizzily when Harry’s free hand moved down his outer thigh. His fingers rubbed into his muscles and dragged up his hip and side.
Draco inhaled through his nose sharply, his eyes wide, body tense as Harry found his nipple and twisted it gently. He rolled it back and forth between fingers and turned the nub red, while he blew soft streams of air over his neck. Draco gasped as he was pulled back tighter against his body and water sprayed down over him. “This is dangerous,” he whispered breathlessly.
Harry’s tongue flicked out, touched his flesh, and was followed swiftly by nipping teeth over his long neck. Harry didn’t seem to care how dangerous things were. He was still the reckless Gryffindor who didn’t give a fuck about consequences; exactly how Draco needed him to be. Harry pulled him even closer, unbalancing him until Draco was forced to rest all his weight on his sturdy form.
Draco closed his eyes and leaned back into Harry’s touch, his wet hair resting on a dry shoulder. Harry ghosted fingers up his torso, over his ribcage, down his stomach to dip fingertips into his belly button. Harry’s touch grew firmer, bolder. He avoided Draco’s straining erection to move down the front of his pale thighs. It was loving and maddening all at once. Draco whimpered when the shower spray touched his twitching cock and for a moment he thought it was Harry.
Draco wasn’t going to wait for Harry to lose his shit and run away again. He reached down his body, grabbed his leaking dick and gave it a few well needed tugs. Breath tickled Draco’s ear in a sudden burst and he imagined Harry must have liked the sight. Harry’s hand covered his to readily assist. “Oh fuck… Oh.”
No, this was far more dangerous. He wasn’t quite sure when it happened but Harry managed to get his hand with the loofah to Draco’s back and was soaping his ass and thighs with slow circles. Bubbles tingled over his balls and crack and dripped between his cheeks in a slippery heat he couldn’t deny moaning over.
“Please, god, please. Don’t leave this time, Harry. Don’t leave me alone with this again,” Draco begged softly when Harry released both his hands and the loofah fell to the ground. Draco stilled all movement and waited to see if he was going to pull away. Harry was just as still, barely breathing as his chest moved against Draco’s back.
Slowly, so slow Draco wondered if he were imagining it, Harry traced his fingers back to his entrance. Draco licked his lips and unconsciously spread his legs a little wider and bent forward. Harry was tentative as he probed the tight pucker of Draco’s hole, almost like he was afraid he was going to run if pushed too fast. His fingers were too dry and unaffected by the soap until Harry coated them in his mouth and tried again. Draco didn’t resist, his eyes squeezed shut and mouth gasping loud pants as Harry carefully stretched him.
Harry’s other arm wrapped securely around his waist to keep him from falling as Draco swayed and whimpered. Draco couldn’t understand how strong Harry could be. He was both holding him upright with invisible arms and body, and yet could touch him so achingly soft. Each push of fingers, tight and hot inside him, burned Draco’s fire brighter and his entire body shook from the touch. In that moment Draco was certain he would do anything, give anything, be anything, just to have Harry be his.
He glared at the ring on his hand. He hated it, hated what he knew would be a far more terrible existence than he could have ever guessed if he chose to be a beast with Harry. He might be the type of creature who would be a murderous, wild thing all year round, and could possibly craved human flesh. That it didn’t totally repulse him was even more terrifying because he knew it was the answer to all his fucking problems. As a beast he couldn’t marry, couldn’t be expected to be anything but mindless and wild. He could be with Harry always and never be afraid again.
Fuck, he could feel alive again. For the rest of his life Harry would touch him, taste him, fill him. Just as long as he lived, Harry would be his. They could be feral together. Wild, mindless creatures out in the woods who hunted and rutted and never gave another thought to what the world wanted. They had both given enough to earn that. Hadn’t they?
Draco closed his eyes to the view of the silver ring and let Harry push him up against the wall and bury his thick fingers deeper inside his clenching flesh. “Hell. Harry, I need you.”
Harry’s mouth moved to his neck and nipped harder until he drew blood. He lapped his tongue over the red fluid in long swipes, breath hot and strained. He grabbed Draco’s hand, the one with the ring, and carefully twirled the silver band on his finger. Draco opened his eyes to watch, his breath caught in his throat.
So much of him wanted to. Almost all of him wanted to give in. Life as it was just wasn’t fucking living.
It would be so easy.
Draco closed his hand into a fist and trapped the ring in place. “I need to make sure you’re brought back,” he said unsteadily. There was a different, dangerous rush of fire running through him at the realization he was moments from taking the ring off and giving in. “I can’t trust them to do it, to not kill you. So I need to be whole until that moment. Until then, okay?”
Harry breathed hot fire over him. His tongue licked over his skin and hard body pushed Draco’s slender form up against the cool tile of the shower wall and trapped him in place. Draco wasn’t certain, but he might have just promised—Harry and himself—if Harry lived, he would live too. He would continue not as he was, but as a beast so they could remain together.
Laughter, hot and bright, bubbled up in Draco at the very thought. God, he wanted to be with Harry. No matter what. He wanted Harry to live and stay and be with him forever. “Ah, fuck, Harry. Be my boyfriend. I wanna be—oh, hell.” Draco moaned and inched his feet wider on the floor to push back onto Harry’s fingers.
Harry’s movements were relentless. Three fingers filled Draco’s passage, stretched him wide, and Harry’s hips thrust against his persistent hand in eagerness. Draco released small, soft chokes of breath. The shower spray spluttered water into his mouth as he shuddered around the feel of Harry’s forceful, eager thrusts of fingers. “Come on… come on,” Draco groaned. He tried to push back but Harry’s body wouldn’t budge. “God, I need you, Harry. Needed you for so long. Stop drawing it out and fuck me—oh, hell!”
Draco’s growl was cut off with a gasp. Harry removed his fingers swiftly, grabbed Draco by the hips and pressed his large cock against his ass. Draco forgot just how big Harry was, and he wasn’t sure if spit was really going to be enough to ease onto such a thick cock without being injured. He closed his eyes and held back a hysterical laugh when he realized he really didn’t give a fuck. He would rather it hurt than not finally have Harry inside him.
He was apparently very, very fucking gay.
Draco let the tension leave his body and turned his head. He found Harry’s face and kissed what turned out to be his jaw. Harry dipped his head down further and kissed Draco deeply while he slowly pushed weight forward into his hips and against the ring of muscles of Draco’s entrance. He was going to be late for class, Draco realized dimly in the back of his mind, the thought disappearing as quickly as it came.
“Harry… oh… oh, god. Fuck.” One of Harry’s hands came out to rub his back and side, and his breath puffed over Draco’s cheek. Draco barely noticed, all his focus on the mix of agony, pain, and pleasure as Harry pushed the head of his cock slowly past the tight ring of muscles guarding Draco’s hole. He felt Harry hesitate when fire shot through his body. Draco tried to fight the urge to push back, push out the huge intrusion filling him so completely and then some. Both of Harry’s hands rubbed Draco’s arms and back soothingly. Harry kissed his neck and nipped, as if he could somehow distract from the unbearable fullness Draco’s body was consumed with.
Somehow, it was working, and Draco’s broken cries receded after long, despairing moments of red fire. The overwhelming became a whelming, and then eventually an ache. Draco shuddered and pushed his hips back, needing movement. Only to stop and gasp, the nerve endings within him waking up as if Harry just sank into him again and skin dragged across skin in almost dry friction. Harry noticed, and licked-wet fingers probed around his stretched entrance again while Draco jerked and moaned against the wall.
In moments everything else slipped away. Harry sank in deeper, the saliva still not quite enough but they were both sweating so much things were getting slicker. Draco couldn’t really care, his mind and body spinning. With eyes squeezed shut, Draco pushed back and welcomed Harry in as deep as he could go. He met each small thrust with gasped cries and quivering knees. Harry mumbled something in his ear and Draco didn’t care that Potter still couldn’t figure out he couldn’t hear him. Harry rubbed his sides, massaged Draco’s ass and thighs while he rested buried deep inside and around him. It was an unbearable throbbing fire that filled Draco, and made him feel so vulnerable and connected all at once.
What a fucking terrible, intimate feeling to have Harry so deep inside and surrounding around him and still he couldn’t fucking see him!
Would it have been better without the ring or with the wild mating ache to steal the pain away? Draco didn’t know. With some slippery soap that actually affected Harry’s realm? Very fucking likely. But it wasn’t bad, not bad, just so much. Not just in his body, but in the emptiness he only recently named. It was empty since he nearly killed himself, and now, somehow, that void too was unbearably full.
Harry again murmured into his shoulder and throat and Draco smiled through the tears streaking down his face at what a fucking idiot he was. The two of them; him for being fucked by an invisible and near dead savior, and Harry for still fucking talking like he could hear him. “Do it, Harry. You’re my boyfriend and you have to do as I say.”
Harry bit him hard on the neck and Draco’s body tensed and tightened somehow around the impossible thickness splitting him in two. He glanced down at where Harry was licking his new wound, knowing what he wanted by it. To claim him. Harry would have him like a beast, like some fucking animal who could be overpowered and brought to knees by teeth and cock. Once the ring was off, Harry would claim him and he would be his. Draco loved the idea of it.
Harry moved and pulled partially out of his tightness. Draco cried out, his hand clamped over his mouth to stop the loud noise from echoing off the bathroom walls. But he couldn’t stop the sounds, not when Harry thrust back in and Draco’s arms went weak and he was unable to lift them any longer. Draco’s legs were next, but Harry was so damn strong it didn’t matter. Draco was held up, pinned to the wall as Harry fucked him as slowly and thoroughly as his cock would allow.
Draco could feel him everywhere, could almost hear Harry’s grunts with each thrust, and soft murmurs between as he licked up his throat and ear and cheek. It was so bizarre and fucking sexy. Draco was wrapped in his scent, warm and near suffocating, along with his flesh and sweat and teeth that kept nipping little sharp jolts of pleasure and pain. Even the annoying sparks over Harry’s skin were suddenly damn good and welcome. They were electric bursts while Harry built a slow rhythm and Draco felt everything.
“Harry… fuck. Harder, come on,” he begged. Sweat mixed with the shower to drip into his eyes and sting and changed the flavor as it flowed into his mouth and he tasted. Harry only moved slower, with long drawn out thrusts that made Draco cry out each time. He gripped blindly at the wall as Harry found a place inside him that burst color and pleasure with each hit. After only a dozen of these amazing, shocking thrusts, Harry pushed into Draco unrelenting and pinned him. One hand came up to wrap firmly, yet gently around Draco’s throat and the other to slowly push fingers into his moaning mouth. Draco’s tongue met the long, hot digits. He pressed to the flat of them, lured them deeper and sucked them down almost desperate as his skin danced with unrestrained energy.
He didn’t know why it felt so damn good to have Harry fill his mouth so saliva dripped down his jaw like some frothing animal. Never mind the thrilling, yet comforting sensation of his throat being gripped the way it was, as if Harry could break him or nuzzle him on a whim. It felt so good, the same way it felt so wild to know Harry was just so much stronger than him, able to take whatever he wanted so easily, yet willing to stop if only asked. God, and he was taking him, so thick inside, so intent to be slow and make sure he felt every inch as his body stretched and opened to his Harry.
Draco struggled to breathe around the fingers dipping down his tongue and felt when Harry changed. His thickness somehow swelled inside even more and Harry’s hot breath broke into small, desperate puffs as his hips jolted forward with shallow, quick pumps, as if he could bury just a little deeper and they would be joined and one. Draco spread his legs as wide as he could and pushed back into the jolting thrusts. His eyes closed as his body tensed and tightened and clenched so fucking good. Harry murmured something into his neck before he suddenly bit down and drew more blood. Draco shouted and jerked from the pain and pleasure. Harry dug nails into his throat and Draco bit down on the fingers in his mouth as he came. Their hips bucked and slammed in rhythm and then in discord, Draco so tight and breathless and lost.
They started to shake as their orgasms faded, almost as if what was left of their fire and strength was drained with their seed. Harry held him tight, still buried deep within, holding him up and breathing him in deep. Draco had no complaints as he caught his breath and moaned unintelligibly against the wall. Harry’s fingers slowly withdrew from between his lips, the digits smooth trailing wet down his lips. Harry panted with him as his chest heaved. His hands slowly moved over his form and pulled tired, hungry sounds from Draco as they rested.
Harry finally pulled away. He carefully extracted from Draco’s sore passage and turned him around to face him. Draco couldn’t see him, which made things once again awkward when Harry just wanted to stare at him and be seen as well. Harry settled for kneeling and licking up Draco’s cum from his tight stomach. His tongue greedily ate up every drop while Draco whimpered and watched the white fluid disappear from view.
Harry moved lower and nuzzled into Draco’s spent cock, not wanting to irritate the likely sensitive flesh. Draco gave no sign of protest, so he lapped at the softening flesh and cleaned more thoroughly than the shower alone. He moved to his balls and pushed Draco back against the wall to rest and lift his thigh over Harry’s shoulder so he could reach his sack and entrance with greater ease. He tasted his new mate and the way Draco’s natural scent and his now pervasive one mixed in his tightness and slowly dribbled out.
Draco gave a low whine when he realized what Harry was doing. He grabbed blindly at his messy, sweaty hair and clutched while Harry continue his deranged, long tongued assault on his sore hole. Harry seemed determined to recollect his seed and suddenly turned Draco and pushed him face first into the wall so he could have better admittance to his entrance and passage.
Harry licked at him with zest; Draco wasn’t certain what it did for Harry, but he imagined it might be just as maddening as when Draco sucked him off and gotten all of Harry’s sex scent on him. Maybe the smell of Draco made Harry fucking mad for him too. Hell, maybe it was the smell of them together, hole and cum joined and feeling so right.
Draco went to reach behind him so he could see for himself. Harry caught his straying hand and bit firmly and licked. He stood and invisible fingers pushed into Draco’s mouth without warning. They were warm, bitter and musky tasting. Draco groaned and his eyes rolled back from the flavor of exactly what Harry was seeking, but now mixed with his saliva. It filled Draco’s senses and made him impossibly dizzy. Still, it wasn’t as overwhelming as when Harry caught him in the hallway. Without Harry to amplify the mating call it didn’t ache the same unbearable way even if it did ache.
Harry turned him again and picked Draco up. He lifted him with ease while Draco wrapped long, shaking legs around his waist. Harry nearly tried to take them through the bathroom door until Draco convinced him to wait a damn moment so he could work the handle. Once in the bedroom Harry threw Draco down on the bed. His shower wet skin prickled cold now out of the steam of the bathroom but he was quickly warmed when Harry climbed up his form. His kisses were desperate as they pressed their bodies together.
With a groan, Draco suddenly pushed him off. Bleary eyed, he stared around his room in confusion. Another loud knock, repeated and worried, sounded from the door leading out to the hallway. Draco glanced at the clock, swore and then smacked at Harry’s returning hands that were trying to keep him bed-bound and beneath him.
Sure, Harry had quieted the fucking mating urge a lot more. Either that, or Harry just wasn’t as dependent on it now he knew Draco would give in without it. It didn’t mean the git wasn’t still determined.
“Quit it. Harry!” Draco snapped. Only to laugh when Harry lifted him off the bed and dropped him down again with a bounce. “Oh fuck, you are so god damn powerful,” he murmured appreciatively as he stared up in Harry’s general direction, his eyes heavy lidded and full of wonder.
The door again pounded, making Draco nearly jump at the sound. “Crap.” He scrambled up and eluded hands he couldn’t see coming but could sense well enough to avoid. He grabbed a bathrobe from behind the bathroom door, slipped it on and cinched the belt securely. He carefully unlocked his door and peered out into the hall.
It was Blaise, his hand raised as if to knock again and eyes wild in fear. “Draco? Are you? Did you?” He pushed the door open without finishing his thought and walked into Draco’s room and looking him over like he didn’t believe he was real.
Draco flushed when he realized he was covered in bites all over his neck. Potter had a damn problem keeping him blemish free. And well, he certainly didn’t mind how the marks were created at the time. “What?”
“You’re late,” Blaise said finally. He seemed to deflate as Draco showed no signs of serious damage. “I was knocking for ages and you didn’t answer. I thought… I don’t know what I thought.” Blaise ran a shaky hand through his hair and his fingers tangled in his magically straightened black locks he let flow free that day.
Draco shrugged. He was starting to understand what Blaise must have thought and he didn’t know how to handle it. He shut the door to his room; he didn’t need passersby to gawk while he got ready for class and tried to explain to Blaise he wasn’t going to kill himself. No matter how upset he might seem. He wasn’t that person anymore and there would never be another Voldemort to run from quite so aggressively. Which was all well and good, but Harry didn’t seem to be done with him just yet. Draco groaned as he was pulled from his bureau and clothes and up against Harry’s chest.
“Harry, you’ve had your turn. Now I have to deal with the rest of the world,” Draco grumbled. He wasn’t angry at Harry but more at the daily mundane life which insisted on interrupting them. “We’ll finish this later…” Harry’s mouth trailed over his jaw, hot and compelling. “Damn it, you pain.”
“Shit, Potter, keep it in your pants for five seconds,” Blaise muttered as he turned his head to give his poor pink friend some privacy. “I was worried about Draco. Before Pansy and I left last night, he agreed to have breakfast with us.”
A dark laugh burst out of Draco as Harry’s hands caressed through his robe, between his thighs, over his tightening balls and pressed against his entrance. Draco grabbed Harry’s hair and twisted harshly. His smile was wicked as Harry continued to press fingers right against his hole and wiggled ever so gently to remind him what they could so easily do, audience or not.
“You know what, Blaise? Get the fuck out. We’re in the middle of something and your shit concerns can wait until I’m fucking satisfied for a change.”
“Satisfied? What, are you two shagging now?” Blaise asked darkly. He glared over his shoulder and then quickly looked away. Draco’s expression was a cross between ferocious and lusty. It wasn’t a look Blaise had ever seen on his well-controlled friend and not necessarily a bad look on him either.
“Yes, as a matter of fact we are.” Another odd laugh bubbling out of Draco, followed by a slow exhalation as Harry’s fingers pressed more insistent against his hole.
Blaise whirled, hand covering his eyes with just enough to peek through and find Draco’s flushed face. Once he realized there really was nothing to see, Blaise dropped his hand completely. “I thought you weren’t going to? He’s a Kalistar and dangerous! What has he done? Has he used his allure to snare you, Draco? Do I need to get Snape or Dumbledore down here?”
Harry’s power raised up. With one hand hot between Draco’s ass cheeks, he used the other to push raw magic toward the annoying interruption. Draco snorted and tightened his grip on Harry’s hair. “Stop, Potter. He’s my domain, not yours.”
Blaise watched with brow furrowed as Draco reached his tongue out and seemed to licking Harry from chin to forehead. The sudden pressure and whirl of power in the air stopped and papers settled back again as Harry relented. “What the fuck is wrong with you two?”
“Nothing,” Draco drawled. He pulled his attention from Harry to glare at Blaise’s judgmental expression. “As long as no one fucking interferes, we are perfectly fucking fine. Go on to class and I’ll catch up later.”
Blaise shook his head, his eyes narrowed at Draco’s surprisingly harsh tone. “Draco, if he’s really a Kalistar, you shouldn’t be alone with him. Definitely not doing what you two are doing. He could be manipulating you.”
Draco laughed again, the sound less hysterical and more angry. “Funny how everyone seems to know how dangerous the Kalistar are but no one has bothered to say what the fucking Vesper do. I’ve got the fucking ring on, Blaise. And Potter here does whatever I ask, as long as I ask just the right way. Now get the fuck out and mind your own business.”
“So what, I’m supposed to believe you’re manipulating him now? Don’t you see how fucking messed up that is, Draco?” Blaise insisted.
Draco growled when he realized Blaise wasn’t going to let the fucking thing go anytime soon. Shit, he just wanted more sex; it wasn’t some fucking crime. Sure, he was skipping class for it but who the fuck cared? Draco scowled when he felt Harry move away. He thought the sexy beast was giving up, only to realize Harry was seeking out his pen so he could communicate properly with Blaise.
Blaise watched warily as Harry clicked the pen open and floated it toward the nearest piece of scattered blank paper on the floor.
Zabini, I’m trying to have sex with my boyfriend. You’re not invited, so go fuck off.
Blaise glowered and put his hands on his hips. “Fuck you, Potter. Until I know he’s not killing himself and you’re not raping him, I’m not fucking leaving.”
“For fuck sake, Blaise!” Draco yelled and threw his hands up in the air. “You’re out of your fucking mind.”
“I’m out of my mind? For the last goddamn week Pans and I’ve been trying to pry out what the fuck has gotten you all quiet and dead inside like the last time. All you told us was Potter transformed and has been aggressive with the damn mating call. What exactly do you want from me? All we could assume was that he forced you. Especially since you told us what he was last night, and then kicked us out so we had to research on our own. The Kalistar are dangerous—Like, top level, don’t fuck around with, run away as fast as you can if ever seen! If you don’t fucking communicate, how are we going to be able to help you?”
Draco was about to snarl an angry retort about how he didn’t need anyone’s nosy fucking help, when Harry started writing, the pen drawing Blaise’s eye.
You’re right, Zabini. I should have come to you after Malfoy raped me. It was wrong and I was just so ashamed and hurt. It felt so damn good and
“You’re a fucking sod, you dickweed,” Blaise hissed. He stamped on the parchment but avoided the pen in case he damaged it. “This isn’t some fucking joke. We’ve been worried. Hermione said you were obsessed over Draco before you left school last year. That the beast was just starting to show and it was messed up in the head. You’ve both been avoiding talking to us about it. The whole situation is fucked up and you’re spending too much time alone together.”
Draco heard enough. He was the one miserable the fucking week because Harry hadn’t been spending time with him but hiding outside the door. “You know what’s fucking messed up? I find some fucking happiness and you’re suddenly worried over me. If you’re so worried, then realize just how much better I am today for having Harry, and leave it at that.”
Blaise paused and gave his friend of the last six years a thoughtful look. “Honestly? If it weren’t for the ring, I wouldn’t even be sure you were human anymore.”
Draco stared at Blaise’s very serious brown eyes, and couldn’t help the laughter that bubbled out of him again. Fine, he sounded fucking crazy. And he felt… god he felt so fucking good and crazy and he really, really, really wanted to finish what he was doing with Harry before his friend decided to take it upon himself to dictate his goddamn life.
Zabini, you say it like it’s a bad thing. Fucking look at him. He’s gorgeous and wild and not putting up with anyone’s shit, including mine. Do you really want him back to before, all gray, quiet and sad?
Blaise’s nostril’s flared as he glared at Harry’s scrawl and bent down slightly to read it all. “Yeah, and what happens when you bite it, Potter? You just going to leave him here, some crazy, out of control version of himself because you couldn’t keep your hands off him?”
Draco snapped his hand up. The lights flickered ominously and everything went very still. His face was stone, just like when he nearly hexed Nott in the Great Hall.
You really might want to rephrase that, Harry wrote. Draco is who he is and I haven’t changed him. I just happened to be around to enjoy as he woke up.
Blaise was only angrier; Draco seemed even more irrational when Potter was blamed. “He shouldn’t be waking if he’s wearing the ring. Why is he getting more like, like some wild beast?”
Blaise was staring at the paper as he waited for Harry to answer but it was Draco who spoke. “Because that is who I’ve always been, before my parents trained it out of me with so much fear and sense of duty that there was nothing left. I am a fucking beast who cries, bleeds, fights and fucks. I feel! And I have been denying it a long fucking time because I was too afraid.”
That’s my dragon, Harry wrote, the words larger and flowing in beautiful script instead of his normal scrawl.
The laughter was bubbling up again, nearly impossible to contain but it wasn’t dark. As Draco let it go he could see, truly, just how joyful it was, this feeling inside. “My control has just been another prison. I’m done playing the fucking good son, good heir, good child, so I wouldn’t be another victim to Voldemort. He’s dead and I’m done. If I need your help, I’ll ask for it. Otherwise, worry about your own damn problems and leave me be.”
A war seemed to wage in Blaise as anger and confusion swirled in his dark eyes while he stared at his old friend.
“You’re not weak, Draco, I never thought that. If it was weakness, I don’t think I ever would have feared you would go through with it. You’re too strong. You go against the natural order of things to do horrible things to yourself, like what you did last summer.” Blaise looked away and took a deep breath. “Maybe it’s that beast inside you who is the source of it, who can let you do so much wrong out of pure determination.”
Draco’s lips curled into a snarl. “Still, you judge what I do as right or wrong instead of just accepting it was my fucking choice to make. What is right and wrong when you live in a world run by a monstrous dictator who could have killed us all with ease? Your opinion never mattered. No one’s did but mine. What is anyone to say of the value of my life, when it’s my life? I didn’t go against the natural order; I went with my natural order. I’m sorry you still think you have some say in that, but you don’t. I’ll accept you as a friend but not the ruler of my life.”
Draco’s words only made Blaise angry. He couldn’t handle his concern being turned, in Draco’s mind, into manipulation instead of just being the love he had for his friend. So what if he was trying to control Draco by keeping him alive? At least he would be alive! “You’re fucked, Draco. Fine, fight to die. What the hell do I care? You just gave it all away to your mother anyways. Go play beasts with Potter and pretend you’re not getting married and tied in a couple of weeks. I was concerned. We all were.”
“Your concern does not give you the right to run my fucking life,” Draco said steadily. His anger drained with the more conviction he felt. “I’ll deal with my mother when the time comes. In my way because it’s my right to do that as well. I’ll interact with Harry as I see fit and I don’t need your fucking opinions on the matter. And if you insist on continuing with your bloody prying shit, no matter what your intentions are, I’m going to cut you out of my life. Another choice I get to make where you get no say. Do you fucking understand yet?”
Blaise nodded curtly. Anger blazed even brighter in his eyes. “Well I get some fucking choices in this as well, Draco. One of them being whether I want to be around someone who doesn’t give a fuck about my opinions. At the moment, it’s definitely a no.” With a final glare, Blaise left and snapped the door shut behind him.
Draco stared at the door a moment but didn’t feel regretful at all. His fucking friends wasted their goddamn year thinking he was going to kill himself. They had tried to get him to be something alive when they really had no say in the fucking thing. Draco loved them but not enough to bow to them and their wants over his own. He needed to mourn and numb and be as miserable as he did. He was fucking sad; and there was nothing wrong with it. Draco glanced over when the pen clicked and began to write.
You are fucking sexy when you stand up for yourself.
Draco smirked, and ran his hand through his half dried hair. “I’m sure it’s nothing like the way you used to be, fucking burning from the eyes every time I pissed on one of your mudblood friends just to rile you up.”
So that was on purpose?
“Oh yeah, you have very demanding eyes.” Draco wanted to ask then, why Harry hadn’t tried to interfere when he went home to kill himself last year. But he imagined it was the same reason the infuriating Gryffindor pushed back when Draco was fighting Dumbledore and Jaz for Harry to be allowed to come back. Harry understood his own reasons for doing the things he did. Even if he didn’t understand Draco’s, he at least respected them. Draco would have to do the same.
Draco walked over to the papers on the floor and crouched down next to Harry’s body heat. “Here’s my dilemma. If I give up on the whole marriage thing and you die, I’ve got nothing to fall back on. I don’t think she’d do it, mother needs me too much. But being disowned, homeless and with my name run through the mud is really not some fairytale way to live. She’s promised that as the only option to Vellamorn. I need time to figure out how to get around it.”
Harry took a long moment to reply. His left hand moving out to flow over Draco’s bent leg while he tapped the pen on the floor. And what about if I really am fucked around humans? Is that how you want to live, outcast by your mother, tied to a pariah and forced to live in absolute seclusion? Yeah, I’ve got money and shit but is that enough to put up with never being around people again?
Draco shrugged and bit his lower lip. “As long as you’re alive, I really don’t give a fuck. Just, um, maybe we should also consider the possibility that I may be the fucking crazy one around the scent of human flesh,” he added nervously.
I have. I wanted to talk to you about keeping the ring on.
Draco rolled his eyes. “If you live, it’s coming off. I’ll break up with the bitch first thing, maybe get a place in order where we’ll be safe, but then the bloody thing is off and you are all mine.”
Harry tossed the pen aside, wrapped his arms around Draco and kissed him deeply. Draco tried not to think about how moot it all was; Harry was likely dead, and if not, Dumbledore might just finish him off just to be on the safe side. Right now it all felt fucking fantastic and he didn’t want to ruin it with reality.
Harry needed to leave. There was no other option besides staying and taking what he wanted from Draco. Once Harry threw Draco in his room, he started walking and kept going. He jumped out the nearest window, stepped out into the night and walked away from the castle.
While he walked, he yelled. He roared first into the hallways and then to the night sky. “I was fine—fucking fine! I sat hours in that hallway, fucking fine! My god, what the fuck is wrong with me! How does he fuck me up like this!”
One look was all it took. Draco had stepped out Snape’s door, his eyes fixed on the floor, fingers gripped lightly to the door handle as he pulled it shut. Harry watched, unable to look away, even with Draco’s glow dim and his beast confined by the ring. Moments later Draco looked up, straight ahead, his silver eyes fixed right where Harry was resting across the door. Draco’s expression was open and completely unguarded for one short, frozen moment.
It was the look of prey. Just feet away and completely blind to the peril before him, Draco slipped out the door like he didn’t know he was waiting for him. Something hot shuddered through Harry, dangerous. It flared when Draco stumbled and struggled to walk, and had to lean against the wall just to move. Weak prey so easy to chase. So oblivious…
Harry found himself stalking forward. He followed and watched while Draco wavered down corridors. He pressed into Draco’s space just so he could know he was there, sense him, fear like he was supposed to. But Draco wasn’t afraid. He tried to be reassuring like it was concern to bring Harry behind him inching closer, breathe deep of his scent and wait for him to slip.
With just one hand to pin him, Draco finally—finally—understood what strength was before him. His felt Draco’s heart race, the way sweat dripped down his chin, his crystal eyes so wide. Harry drank it in and was nearly lost. His pretty, pale Draco was so eager, so wanton and easy. All Harry had to do was take him, have him and nothing would ever come between them again. Not Narcissa and fiancées, not meddling professors and specialists. Not even jewelry or barrier magic or fucking doors or clothes. Nothing would keep Draco from him after that.
Except, when he bit Draco in his initial quest to taste the blood of his very soon to be mate the flavor was wrong. Draco’s blood was bland, nearly unappetizing, and hardly tasted like him. It was the ring. He remembered Draco’s blood tasted perfectly delicious just the other day when he tasted off his arm.
Harry’s confusion by the lack of connection was enough to pull him from his haze, and let him hide Draco away.
“Fuck, will it matter? I could just go back. Take the fucking ring off of him. It’s not like he’d fight me… Stop. Stop thinking like that! Bad. That’s fucking bad, shit thoughts!”
Harry crouched and touched the soft ground with nothing to slam his fists into. “Not a toy. He is not a toy. He’s a fucking full human being with god damn thoughts and emotions and the right to choose things. I need to stop this fucking thing inside of me who doesn’t care.”
His power bubbled up and roared around him as it frothed in wrathful waves. Harry looked up and watched the bright, dark energy lick the air, jolting with his anger and need. That was the problem, wasn’t it? All those god damn perfectly good reasons for not touching Draco Malfoy did not take into consideration the one intense, undeniable, aching need he had to touch him.
He needed Draco.
Harry took a deep breath and then another, and slowly his body began to relax. Somehow naming it calmed the rage inside. Not the need—that still burned like an inferno—but he didn’t have to rage against himself and the world over it. As long as he could identify and accept he needed Draco and not act on it, perhaps he could continue on. He was already existing without so many things he once thought he needed; air, food, water, sleep, conversation, affection. Hell, some things he’d gone without for much longer than people were meant to, such as love from a family and parents, security from deranged murderous wizards, companionship with someone who truly understood him.
Touch. How long truly had he gone without touching another human being? There were the rare quick embrace from Hermione or a Weasley spaced far between. Before Hogwarts was just his parents. No Dursley had a touch for him besides a punishing one. He survived without these things.
Touching Draco was the only life spark he ever felt and his body kept seeking it out. Even when his mind fought to keep some sort of propriety. He knew he could still survive even without fulfilling this new need.
As if his body was in disagreement, power sparked painfully through Harry’s chest. It was so intense, it was like being stabbed. He clutched his chest and gasped in pain. His eyes fell on movement in the trees up ahead at the edge of the forest.
It was glowing and white, like Draco. But it wasn’t him, not human at all. Sleek and sinewy, it looked like some sort of cross between a deer and a dragon. Its scaled body was dotted with feathers, legs elegant but not as long as an actual deer. The ends were tipped with claws instead of hooves. It was almost dog-like but not quite that either, its body longer. It had a serpentine tail and feathered head. When it noticed Harry staring back, it revealed sharp, deadly teeth and growled menacingly.
Something in him bristled up and Harry growled back. The sound was low, angry and spoke of how much fucking bigger and meaner he was. At the noise, the creature backed away and disappeared into the forest.
It had to be what Malfoy spoke of. Creatures who lived in the Forbidden Forest only he could sense but couldn’t see. Dangerous creatures who could hurt Harry while in his condition and could hurt Draco anytime they pleased. Draco would be blind to them until they were right upon him.
He stared out into the dark for the next hour and waited to see if the thing would return. It didn’t. Harry couldn’t leave, not with creatures like that around as a possible threat to Draco. He would have to find a way to control himself. If not, he’d avoid Draco completely. Maybe… maybe the barrier was the right thing after all.
Harry turned back to the castle and walked slowly and with intent. Was he so weak he couldn’t protect Draco from himself? He was staying to protect him from potential threats when Harry was certainly the most dangerous thing with access to Draco. He would have to figure out something, a resistance to the need. Things couldn’t continue like this.
Draco was nearly asleep as he waited for Harry. He sat sideways in the open doorway of his room, his quill and parchment spilled out on the ground in the hallway. Sleep called but was elusive. His body was still a goddamn mess of want and his brain was quickly spiraling toward mad.
Harry remained sitting across the hall from Draco. He hadn’t moved since Draco stood in his doorway hours too early for breakfast in rumpled school clothes and with hair in disarray. He found if he stared at his bare feet peeking out from the bottom of his jeans, and tapped them on the stone floor to remind him to pay attention, he wasn’t overwhelmed by the urge to run across the hall and molest Malfoy. It was more a need to take a leisurely walk before fucking him senseless. It seemed some sort of improvement after all these hours.
“Damn it, Potter. Fucking talk to me,” Draco growled wearily. He’d been sitting there a good twenty minutes now. As much as Harry pretended not to be there, Draco could tell how his invisible aura was much stronger than before. Harry’s power flickered and disturbed the magic in the area.
“What, exactly, am I supposed to say to you, Malfoy?” Harry growled right back even though Draco couldn’t hear him. “I’m sorry? I don’t even fucking know if I’m sorry. And if I am sorry, I’m not sure for which part. Is it what I couldn’t seem to stop, or what I didn’t get to fucking finish.”
“I need your goddamn help. Please, just fucking try. Please.” Draco sighed dejectedly, his head lowered to meet his hands. “Just talk to me.”
“I can’t, you stupid prat!” Harry yelled in frustration. “I can’t fucking touch you. Didn’t you used to be smart? I’m pretty sure Hermione said you were competing with her for top scores last year. How are you so fucking dumb?”
Somehow, Harry’s one sided argument was only pissing Draco off more. “I know you’re there, you pain in the ass. I can feel your fucking power. Potter, get over here. I’m not afraid of you, so get the fuck over here!”
Harry moved from his sitting position into a crouch. He kept his eyes on the ground, determined to look anywhere but at Draco. “You ever think I might be afraid, you idiot? There is something fucked in my head right not. You fuck me up, Malfoy. Shit… it’s really good. Really fucking good.” He carefully raised his gaze when Draco huffed loudly.
“I can wait just as long as you can. Where the fuck are you going to go, Potter? Who the fuck are you going to talk to? Just… Just come over here, okay? Take my hand and stop being a child about all this.” Draco held his hand out in Harry’s direction. His gray eyes peeked out at the seemingly empty corridor. “Come on,” he called softly and wiggled his fingers in invitation.
It was the damn stupidest thing ever for the situation, but Harry couldn’t help and slowly sidle over to Draco. He reached his hand out and carefully brushed his fingers to the pale, outstretched ones before him. Draco felt the soft touch. He suddenly wrapped his hand around Harry’s and pulled sharply. Harry’s eyes went wide and he swore loudly when he lost his balance and crashed into Draco’s prone form. “Fuck! Malfoy!”
“Caught you, you stupid ass.” Draco used his free hand to figure out the tangle of invisible limbs before him. He found a messy pile of hair, released Harry’s hand and pulled him up by his head. “Do I strike you as the forgiving type, Potter?” He asked silkily while wrenching Harry’s thick locks hard.
“You’re out of your fucking mind. Shit!” Harry gasped when Draco pulled his harder. If he was trying to hurt him, he was fucking failing. Harry was pretty sure he never experienced anything quite so amazing as Draco hissing in his ear while he twisted fistfuls of his hair.
“Do you even understand how you left me? I went through hours of torment just because you ran away.” Draco found Harry’s mouth, his warm breath puffing over his face. “It was fucking rude of you. Do you understand, Potter. I do the teasing in this relationship, not you.” Draco closed his eyes and moved to the source of Harry’s gasping breaths and kissed him soundly.
Certain Draco had lost his mind, Harry kissed him back. He groaned when Draco insisted on wrenching his hair whenever he put too much force into the kiss.
“I needed you, you ass. Fucking needed you,” Draco whispered between hot kisses. He held Harry in place the best he could when Harry grabbed him by the waist and pulled him closer. “The ache… Harry, it’s going to kill me. Even now…”
“Sorry. Really sorry, Draco.” Harry was full of need for him but he hadn’t expected Draco to need him back just as much. The idea made him hot, fire roaring inside of him. Hell, maybe Draco even more than needed him. He was shaking so much just from his touch. “Fuck… fuck, tell me you feel it too,” Harry demanded against his lips. He pulled from the kiss so he could lick and bite down Draco’s neck. “Need you to fucking need me…”
Draco moaned as Harry’s mouth moved over his skin. He twisted Harry’s hair again and pulled his face back up. “Keep your hands above my waist and that fucking tongue off of me, you perv,” Draco insisted heatedly. He kissed Harry again, deep and hungrily. Draco was either very compelling, or Harry really liked it when the annoying prat told him to do things. Harry obeyed and moved his hands up from where he was squeezing Draco’s firm ass, and refrained from licking him in all the lubricious ways he really wanted to.
When Draco was satisfied he was behaving enough, he released Harry’s hair. He leaned back on the ground and grabbed quill and paper. With his feet, he pushed into his bedroom, hampered slightly when Harry crawled up his body and continued to kiss him. “Slowly. Gotta talk to you.”
“Later,” Harry grumbled. He bit at Draco’s bottom lip; his teeth clamped and then released while Draco whimpered.
Draco refused to be deterred. He grabbed Harry by the hair and pulled hard until he stilled his movements. “I fire called Jaz. He said you’re confused. Out of control, like me.” Draco kicked at the door to his room and managed to shut it once Harry moved his legs out of the way. “Said… said I could fix it.”
Harry closed his eyes and thought of all the many ways Draco could fix the ache burning through him. It made him burn hotter, the need pulse ever stronger. Harry slid a hand down Draco’s thigh. He massaged the tense muscle and dragged fingers up.
Draco growled and grabbed the straying hand and placed it back at his waist. “Focus, Potter. I need to tell you what I want. And then you… you need to give it to me.” Draco smiled wickedly. His head fell back on the floor and he peered up through heavy lidded eyes and loose strands of hair.
He licked his lips, his gaze focused on where he could feel Harry’s breath puff against his shoulder. “As long as I don’t ask for, god, for that fucking delicious thing you were doing to me in the hallway—which is why your tongue really needs to stay in your mouth,” Draco said shakily. “As long as we keep tame, but with you still fulfilling my needs, Jaz thinks it will satisfy the mating drive.”
Harry grasped Draco’s hand and pulled it to the discarded quill. Once Draco picked it up, Harry scrawled out just how flawed the plan was.
I already know what you want. What you need.
Draco raised himself up onto his arm to read. “Fuck, I’m pretty sure you’re an arrogant sod who doesn’t know shit. So you better start listening to what I say,” he said sternly. “Right now I want you to kiss me and keep your hands at a fucking respectable level. Got it?”
Harry stared at Draco’s flashing silver eyes and swollen pink lips. He slipped his vision into the fifth dimension so he could see the pretty feather and shiny scales on Draco’s bare flesh. He loved the variations of hues on his bright skin, glowing and otherworldly. He really wanted to kiss him. If he could prove just how good a kiss could be, he might convince Draco to stay with him. Hell, he might convince him he wanted so much more.
Yeah, he could do that. He’d kiss Draco until he begged for more.
Draco felt the shit almost immediately when the ache in his body changed to reflect Harry’s intent. Jaz called Harry a master when it came to the mating call. He was able to manipulate his chosen into just about anything by amplifying the ache associate with mating. During courting, the aggressor would look for challenges and respond to what he perceived his mate’s needs were to make sure he fed them properly. Since Harry had caught him in the shower, he must have become fixated on just how much Draco would enjoy anal sex. To remain intact, Draco needed to get Harry to focus on something else.
At the moment Draco no longer felt the unbearable ache to be filled by Harry. Instead now he just felt an impossible need to be kissed by him. It was still overwhelming but at least it could be remedied much easier and didn’t involve him bending and begging for Harry to fuck him.
“Come on, Potter. Fucking kiss me… fuck, please. Get over here.” Draco closed his eyes a moment. Well, he wasn’t bending at least; begging seemed just a little beyond his control at the moment. He pulled Harry’s hair and growled when Harry insisted on hovering. His hot breath was lined with Draco’s mouth but he refused to descend and cross the distance. “Oh, you just love to draw this out, don’t you?” Draco murmured and tilted his head invitingly. “What happens when you give me what I want?”
“Then I fucking own you.” Harry ran fingers through his hair and gently twisted the silky strands. He flicked his tongue out and lapped over Draco’s lips. Draco moaned and tried to get closer, but Harry held him still. “I already do, Malfoy. You’re mine. You just need to figure it out still.”
“Come on,” Draco whispered. His breath caught when Harry slowly pressed his lips to his. He opened readily, his lips parting to Harry’s questing tongue which me met with his own. A shudder took Draco’s entire body and he fell back flat on the floor. Harry kissed him deeply, slowly, his lips sliding hot over his. Draco’s head felt too heavy to lift. “Stop,” he moaned. He arched, his body grinding against Harry’s. His hard flesh felt too hot to touch everywhere they met.
Harry kissed his cheek and let Draco breathe and pant, and make all the desperate noises he liked. “I can make you come like this, beautiful. I can make you scream like this, beg like this. All I have to do is ask and you’ll give me that stupid fucking ring and be mine.” His mouth plundered Draco’s again, swallowing down his gasps. Draco whimpered hungrily. His fingers grasped at the back of Harry’s neck and pulled him closer.
Harry slid his hands down Draco’s sides. He reached down his long legs and pulled them up so he was settled between his raised knees where scales were even larger on Draco’s bright skin. “You want me. You want to be mine, Draco. Even before when I didn’t have enough sense to tell, you were begging for me. You lured me in with your fucked up, erratic behavior and then cut me to pieces with that cruel tongue of yours.” He licked up Draco’s chin, then plunged into his moaning mouth to taste him thoroughly.
“Harry… I think. Oh, fuck. I’m gonna…” Draco shuddered and his hips bucked up against Harry’s body. Harry continued to lick and suck his swollen lips while Draco rocked against him and rode out his orgasm.
Draco moaned weakly with his eyes squeezed shut as he realized what happened. Just a kiss. A kiss had got him off. “Oh, fuck.”
“Fucking told you, you bloody tease,” Harry rasped out. He bit Draco’s lower lip and held it between his teeth. Draco jerked and groaned as teeth broke his skin blood filled their senses.
“Yes… fuck, I could have you right now and you wouldn’t fight me.” To prove his point, Harry grabbed Draco by the thighs and spread his legs wider so he could press his throbbing erection against his entrance. Draco cried out, his fingers digging into Harry’s shoulders. “You lured me over here just to do it to you, Malfoy. You held your hand out so I’d come back and fuck you. All you have to do is admit it, beautiful.”
“Oh god… oh fuck… Get your hands above my waist, you fucking opportunistic pervert,” Draco growled out. His protests were lost with the way he rocked his hips down and rubbed against the searing flesh pressed against his hole.
Harry chuckled. With one hand he grasped Draco’s narrow waist, and with the other, twisted his nipple. He rocked his hips forward with a groan. His lips sealed to Draco’s and muffled the rude swears being cursed at him.
“Potter, you sick fuck… stop,” Draco growled. His eyes closed when Harry rubbed his cock against him, this time with enough force his entrance yielded ever so slightly to the pressure. “Oh fuck, that’s good. So fucking good… I’m going to fucking kill you,” he mumbled heatedly.
“You want it, you gorgeous prat.” He bit Draco’s ear, then licked to the soft flesh right below. His thumb rubbed over Draco’s other nipple he was twisting a fetching shade of red. “Beg me, and I might stop. Fuck, beg me and I’ll fuck you so hard, Draco. I’ll give you everything your body needs.” He bit Draco’s bottom lip again and licked the blood beading there.
Draco’s entire body was trembling with want. He reached up and grabbed two fistfuls of Harry’s hair. With a twist, he pulled himself up and pushed Harry down so he wasn’t moments from being fucked senseless. “You will fucking kiss me and that’s it. If you don’t fucking listen to me, you don’t get to fucking kiss me!”
Draco lost his train of thought with a moan when Harry’s mouth pressed to his tender nipple. His hot tongue flicked out, tickling and tormenting all at once. “Damn it.” Draco shook himself and tightened his hold on Harry’s hair. He twisted until Harry’s mouth stopped its torture. “Listen and fucking do as I say!”
Harry moaned shakily. Something about Draco being so forceful and commanding made him dizzy. “Alright, you fucking pain in the ass. Fine. Kiss, fine.”
Draco sighed in relief when Harry kissed him once again and soothed the fiery ache that built whenever he wasn’t being kissed. Between the long, delicious wrestling of tongues and nibbling of lips, Draco tugged and Harry’s hair and demanded softly until Harry found some sort of control in his mating call. Eventually, he was able to extinguish the madness burning between them.
“Oh, thank god,” Draco panted as the intense ache finally left him. He grabbed Harry more forcefully and pushed his larger form off of him. He grabbed the quill, which was now bent and leaking black ink on the ground, and the crumpled piece of parchment. “How do you feel? Better? Saner?” Draco pulled at Harry’s hand until he responded.
Yes. I still want to fuck you, but just in a normal way. Not a deranged, dying if I don’t way.
Draco nodded and pushed his blond hair from his face. “Alright… okay. We can make this work, Harry. All I have to do…”
Harry interrupted him by gripping Draco’s hand tight as he wrote. No, we can’t. The beast is too powerful and I can’t depend on you to stop it. And I can’t seem to stop myself.
“Fuck you,” Draco snapped. “Get some fucking self control and stop making shit difficult.”
I’m trying but it’s too hard. I need to stay away from you.
“What, and take away the one fucking amazing thing in my life right now? Fuck you, Harry. No! It’s just fucking sex and there’s no reason to go running for the hills every time you want me.”
It is not just sex, you gorgeous idiot. It is me making you mine. Stealing that stupid ring, fucking you, biting you and keeping you. Harry stopped and glared at Draco while he read. Fuck. And stop moaning like that. This is not going to work. I can’t keep holding back.
Draco’s eyes were hazy and his lips parted to pant. He didn’t answer right away. “But I miss you. All day today. Yesterday when you practically ignored me. And now, now you’re not even in the same room but hiding outside the door.”
Harry pressed his palm to the side of Draco’s glowing face. Draco leaned in and let his eyes close. He kissed him softly, then pulled back to write. It will only feel worse when I die.
Draco scowled, his eyebrows furrowed in sorrow. “You fucking ass, you’re not going to die. We’re going to figure this out.”
It’s getting worse. My heart stopped earlier. I can’t have you just to leave you. I won’t do that to you. The best I can do is avoid spending
“No!” Draco hissed. He smacked his free hand over the quill and ink sprayed everywhere. He pulled his hand from Harry’s grasp and with clear intent, pulled the silver dragon ring off his finger. “I don’t fucking care if you’ve given up. I haven’t. I fucking refuse. It was months of you being lost and suddenly you find me when you need the most help. I’m not fucking playing, Harry. I’m going to right you and get you back, no matter what.”
Harry licked his lips and watched Draco’s eyes flash in a familiar, enticing way. “You’re being irrational, you stupid prat. Fucking crazy and throwing your life away for someone already dead.”
“I know how this works now.” Draco eyes were downcast as he stared at the ring. “All I have to do is tell you what I want. Pull your hair or pinch your side. It just takes a little pain mixed with a command. You won’t be able to stop yourself.”
“You’re fucking out of your mind.” Harry groaned and got to his knees to escape the crazy idiot. “I’m dying. You can’t fucking compel me to live. All mating will do is fucking hurt you when I die.”
“Get over here, Potter.” Draco held his hand out. “It’ll be quick. Fuck, it’ll be good, too.”
Harry glowered. It was a threat, even if Draco didn’t understand. He wouldn’t do something that would hurt him in the long run. Harry’s power rose up. “I won’t do it, Malfoy. You can’t make me; I’m not that weak yet.” His magical aura flooded the room, whipped papers around and Draco’s hair into his face. Harry surged forward and grabbed the magic imbued ring and placed it on Draco’s finger. He kissed him once, and lingered, staring into the sadness Draco did nothing to hide.
It would hurt more if he stayed. He knew it. They both knew it.
Harry whirled. He used his power to open the door and refused to look back when he shut it behind him. This was the only way.
Draco stared at the closed door. A numbness settled over him without Harry’s hot presence to keep him feeling alive. “Fuck.”
It was clearly the wrong move given Potter was once again running. “Damn it.” Draco sighed heavily and buried his head into his hands. He just kept fucking it up.
Without the damn insufferable mating ache, he found something underneath, something empty and yawning inside of Draco beyond anything he ever felt. It was a hidden pain no longer hidden, now exposed and raw and fucking terrible as he bled inside.
Was it hope? Was it what was left of those flashes of potential growing inside when he heard Voldemort died trying to kill Harry? Was it that fucking retarded, childish dream of when he came back to school Harry would be there with nothing left to separate them, now torn to shreds after months of him being dead? God, he was such an idiot.
Draco groaned and curled up on the floor. He stared blindly at the pattern of stone blocks as he waited for the hour to tick by when it would be time to go to breakfast and class. He didn’t want to be alone anymore. He didn’t want to marry Serene, raise a family of monsters and once again be surrounded by people and still be so fucking alone. He wanted Harry. He wanted to fight and kiss, and maybe one day fuck as long as he felt so amazingly alive with the one he missed.
This feeling now, without Harry, was certainly more dead than the morning Draco woke many months ago. He was determined that day, full of anger and pride for a life still his. But Lucius caught him. Draco was nude, blade in hand, blood already flowing scarlet across his skin and to the floor.
There was understanding in his father’s eyes with his anger and Draco wondered now if he knew because of the beast chained inside. Lucius didn’t try to convince him to take the dark mark. He offered a solution to keep him alive. Draco still didn’t fully know why he took it, except… except he failed. So many months of planning and he failed in his one chance to own his life. And maybe being reborn as some family puppet wouldn’t be so terrible, as long as he wasn’t Voldemort’s puppet.
“What can you do if you’re dead?” Lucius asked when he twisted the blade out of Draco’s hand. He grabbed his arm and pulled him up to stand. Draco bled out around the healing spells struggling to keep up with his spraying wounds.
In that moment, Draco was certain the answer was ‘live.’ Now it was clear all he could have done once dead. He just wasn’t alive anymore. It was backwards and crazy, but Draco knew being dead would be more alive than how he spent the last of his life since after that moment when he sliced his arteries with determined precision.
Draco got up shakily and stared at the ring once again on his finger. If Harry was so afraid of him becoming a beast, then he would have to leave it on. Harry might never touch him again otherwise.
He went to the bathroom to clean himself off. He tried not to look like he stayed up all night unbearably horny wondering if he was going to die without relief. For those moments he felt alive, when he feared he was going to die. Draco got his school things together, then cleaned up the mess of ink and threw out the parchment on the floor.
He stopped at the door, leaned his head against the wood and breathed deeply. He made a fist, stepped back and punched the door as hard as he could. Draco grimaced from the pain, his knuckles bleeding and sore. He took another deep breath. When he punched the door again, a laugh exploded out with his gasp of pain.
“That’s where we train.” Gilda pointed to a clearing near the outskirts of her village.
Devlan’s eyes followed and took in the cluster of sirens beneath the colorful canopies of cloth used to mark the clearing. Some were grappling barehanded while others watched, cheered, and lounged in the packed dirt waiting for their turn. It was late afternoon and it seemed most of the activity was done, replaced with the feeding happening at the base of the waterfall.
There weren’t a lot of structures on the top of the plateau. Most were built into the sides of the canyon, accessible by ladders, carved stairs and the complex tunnel system. At the top, Devlan found the area dusty and exposed to the elements. Beyond the coarse grass and scruffy brush that grew around the river, there were giant trees whose root system reached seemingly miles to get their needed nourishment. But even the huge sequoia seemed dwarfed by the rest of the land, flat orange earth that seemed to stretch out forever golden dust glow.
“The school is behind them, the large building. We learn of the world there beyond the battles.”
“And sorcery?” Devlan had seen little magic from the sirens so far. Some fae, magic was so deeply ingrained, to walk was to command the elements to move beneath their feet. Besides the allure the beautiful women used against their prey, he’d seen little of the power when it came to the village.
“There is a place for that as well,” Gilda said with a nod. “A temple by the tower. Only a few of us have the gift enough to expand on it. Our Clan has been away from the Arc Fault for too long.”
“That’s nonsense superstition,” Devlan said with a pointed look.
Gilda shrugged and led him back into the soft pine needles beneath the giant trees and toward the cliff face that was the center of her village. The summer heat was only starting to abate as the sun sank for the horizon. Gilda was dressed in an orange leather tanktop tied around her neck. She wore a matching short skirt with a stripe of light gray fur trim that ran down the front. The leather was tattered at the edges and tickled her thighs as she walked. The feathers in her hair were switched out to match the deep orange and joined a few sparkling gold beads to glitter among her long dreadlocks. She was barefoot, toe rings and an array of hand-braided anklets decorating her otherwise bare legs. The blades on her back were the same as the ones she wore when visiting the Hierarchy and looked at home as she moved easily with the deadly weapons.
“The Elders speak of a time when all of Siren’s children were feathered and glorious in power.” Gilda teased one of her dirty-blond dreadlocks forward and ran her thumb down the feather decorating it. “We have no wings, Devlan. Not any more. It’s easy for you to claim superstition when your Clan came straight from the Arc Fault. You’re the only one left yet you’re powerful enough for the Hierarchy. It’s no coincidence. Power stays in the source and the gods bless those who live there.”
“Coming from the clan with two chosen just this year.” Devlan scoffed and grabbed Gilda’s upper arm. He ducked his head low so they couldn’t be overheard by anyone walking by. “You know as well as I power has been fading as far back as the books go. If the source is the fae gods, then they’re all dead.”
“It is the gate,” Gilda muttered back, her glare tight on his mocking expression. “All power came through the portals and now it doesn’t flow. Gods don’t die.”
Devlan’s expression changed, something dark flashing in his eyes for a moment. “The ones on the Arc Fault aren’t all powerful, Gilda. They’re not gods just because they have a plot of land close to a portal. They die, just like everyone else.”
Gilda sighed when he pulled away and started walking. “I was not speaking of your Clan.”
“But it’s true,” Devlan said after a moment, the bitterness nearly gone from his voice by the time she caught up to him. “Look at that snot-nosed elf who grew up on the continent. Do you really think he could best you in a true battle? He didn’t have a spark of bloodlust in him to suggest he even understands a weapon.”
Gilda didn’t look convinced. “They are warriors there. More powerful than anything this earth has seen. They have protected the gate for ages, gifted by the gods to…”
Devlan growled under his breath and Gilda trailed off with a glare. “Do not speak so highly of a place and people you have never met. They are no fucking different and your hero worship is disgusting. You hold the same amount of fae blood as they do. Stop putting them above you just because of the place of their birth. It’s the same fucking planet.”
Gilda pursed her lips, her eyes fixed on two young sirens staring at them up ahead. She pushed Devlan sideways so they would walk around them and not be heard. “You know you’re speaking blasphemy. Could you be less loud about it?”
“Fuck your Clan’s idea of blasphemy,” Devlan shot back, but he did at least lower his voice. “How can I have a rational conversation with you if you speak from texts instead of experience? For all we know, your goddess decided wings were so last millennium and phased them out. Fuck, maybe one of the Children of the Light came down and slaughtered my clan because he had a grudge against…”
Gilda slapped her hand over his mouth and stared him down. “You are insane to speak their names in such a way. You’re asking to be cursed.”
Devlan pulled her hand from his mouth. “You’re afraid of shadows long dead. They came to this planet and fucked. That’s all. They had sex and bared children and didn’t even hang around to see if their descendants lived. It’s hardly worthy of a damn altar every five feet.”
“They are the source of all power—Damn it. I can’t talk to you when you’re like this.” Gilda turned away, her hand combing through her dreads fitfully.
“Fine. I can say the same of you,” Devlan muttered and buried his hands into his long leather jacket. He was dressed all in black, his preferred monotone of color. The heat didn’t bother him as much as the sun did, and he found it easier to cover up as much skin as possible during the day.
Devlan’s chest was bare beneath his jacket and painted in the symbol of his first clan to keep the Elder sirens happy. His boots reached above his calves laced with a similar design to the laces that ran the length of his leather pants. Devlan hadn’t actually met the Elders no matter the stupid ritual marking, and was glad Gilda was intent to prevent it. It was obnoxious enough he had to deck himself in some old ass ritual just to walk into the place as a guest.
It would have been different if we was born there, but no, the whole damn village wanted to treat him like some fucking god chosen just because his mother bore him on the Arc Fault. Ridiculous. He was determined if close enough to any other of the villagers to reveal just how imperfect those born on the Arc Fault could truly be.
They walked together in silence, his gaze taking in the scenery. The plateau was decorated with colorful silks and there was a feeling of lightness and joy everywhere, even if everyone he’d met so far was weighed down with weapons. They wore the blades like an extension, just another part of their identity, because the siren’s smiles were all genuine and easy flowing. Well, when they weren’t looking his way. Then they all became some level of obnoxious shell-shocked, flabbergasted imbeciles. It was bullshit and he hated it.
“Are you in need of nourishment?” Gilda asked as the cliff side drop came into view in the distance. “There are men below if you have a preference.”
Devlan didn’t answer right away. He wasn’t in a hurry to explain how he couldn’t feed. He liked Gilda but couldn’t trust her with such a dangerous secret. He couldn’t trust anyone.
Gilda paused and turned to him, her gaze questioning. “Your energy is different. Very different. Has something else happened?”
Devlan tilted his head and considered. “Does it remind you of anyone?”
“Remind?” She furrowed her brows. Gilda closed her eyes to focus on him. In moments she gasped and took a step back. “Oh Devlan. What have you done? You’re saturated in him. Don’t tell me you fed from Vesper?”
Devlan didn’t answer. Fuck, he hoped it was only his imagination but it seemed Vesper’s energy had marked him like he feared. It pulsed through him like a radiant elixir. Devlan couldn’t remember ever feeling this strong, this untouchable. But the strength pulsing through his body didn’t fool him of the fact it would eventually fade and be spent like all consumed energy. He needed to find a solution to this Evanel problem, and soon before he descended into the madness of starvation.
“It wasn’t a feeding,” Devlan finally said when Gilda continued to look as if she was debating either to cry or slug him. “Malice wanted to give me an incentive, a power boost, to make sure this plan happened. We never actually touched.”
Gilda shook her head in disbelief. “You have put yourself in so much danger. You are putting us all..” She trailed off, her gaze moving to behind him. Devlan turned and rolled his eyes when he saw Corinth. She broke away from her group of friends who were dipping feet into the river that led to the waterfall to stalk toward them. She was dressed in a sky blue bikini top that made her dark skin seem of polished wood. The light sarong playfully flowing around her legs did nothing to soften the scowl on her face as she glared Devlan down.
“You have the nerve to come here now? Do you know what you’ve done? What danger you bring?”
Devlan held his ground, a condescending smirk already twisting his lips when Corinth stomped in front of him. A litany of blue feathers that matched the many shades of the geometric pattern of her skirt colored Corinth’s hair. He almost made a joke of her stealing from bird’s nest for the vanity of it all, but thought better of it. Corinth was right. He was putting the entire village in danger.
“I was wondering when you’d stop hiding from me,” Devlan said.
“Hiding? No. I’ve been looking for a curse,” Corinth snarled, her voice shrill in anger. “There is nothing in the books vile enough for one such as you. We all know you had the two of them, Devlan! The night of the Hierarchy, you had Vesper Malice and now you welcome that demon here!”
Devlan shared a look with Gilda, who shrugged. “There have been rumors. The three of you were hardly discreet.”
“I didn’t touch Malice. No one has touched Malice,” Devlan said steadily.
“Then why is the demon hunting!” Corinth’s shout broke off halfway and tears sparkled in her eyes. Gilda looped an arm with her shoulders and pulled her aside, their heads ducked. She spoke soothingly while Corinth tried to get herself together.
Devlan took the time to look around, wondering just who might be listening to Corinth’s little break down. Most of the village was down in the basin enjoying their happy feeding orgy. Once night fell, they would seek to feed the humans who bothered to stick around and then have their campfire entertainment.
They had structures down in the basin for the prey where they could sleep and store their goods and food. Some prey chose to live their, like permanent groupies. The sirens lived symbiotic lives with their happy prey but none of the humans were allowed up on the cliff side unless they were taken as mates. Even then, most chose to stay in the structures around the basin because of how overtly hostile the sirens were to outsiders in their territory. Devlan found the practice backwards. The sirens might bend enough to see humans as equal enough for mating but they never fully accepted them into their community. The Clan came first and it demanded they stay separate.
Incubi didn’t care the shape or form of their mates; if they were mated, they were welcome into the community. Elves were the same; well, at least, his adoptive clan was. There were more than a few humans and random fae among the seemingly ageless elves of his clan. A siren would have been welcome, not that the sirens would ever leave their clan. More superstitious nonsense to put some above and others below. He couldn’t stand any of it. Ever since running into that obnoxious Nicholas, Devlan’s anger always seemed at the surface, ready to explode whenever he thought of the many ways elves tried to make the incubi feel less than.
Corinth was calmer when she turned back to Devlan. “This is madness. Vesper touched no one. Why is that creature seeking us?”
“This is not the place,” Gilda said tightly.
“Do you really think a demon like Heiden cares if he follows his own arbitrary, fucked up rules?” Devlan asked quietly. “I’m telling you, Vesper is in love with the kid. I doubt Heiden would ever let such a thing pass. He will torment Vesper to his very end with ease just by killing the one he loves.”
“Fuck.” Gilda’s hand inched towards her bladed back but she didn’t actually draw her weapon. “Evan is defenseless against a being like Heiden.”
Corinth’s expression was cloudy as she pitched her voice lower. “We all are. Vesper killed Devlan by asking this of him. He’s killed us all.”
Devlan didn’t have the heart to disagree. He believed as much, even if he refused to voice it. “Have either of you heard from Asher Vah? Has he made plans to arrive?”
Corinth threw her hair over her shoulder, the strands braided into what appeared to be hundreds of slender, dark snakes among her colorful feathers. Her brows were pinched in worry even though her voice was haughty. “You really think Asher is foolish enough to come running to his death? He’s a survivor, nearly a senseless predator. He’d sell us out to save his own skin.”
“Perhaps, but I have no doubt he’ll be coming,” Devlan assured.
“He’s the reason this happened in the first place,” Corinth hissed. “If he didn’t…”
“What? Try to feed from Evan?” Gilda interrupted. “Or is it’s Evan’s fault for not being strong enough to break away? Smart enough to not have gotten so close? If he wasn’t strange the way he was, would none of this have happened?” she asked with a defiant glare. “Hunters will hunt.”
Corinth huffed and crossed her arms over her chest. “I don’t know. All I know is I have a life planned out. I went to the Hierarchy for connections, not my death.” Her glare cut into Devlan for a moment, then Corinth whirled and began to walk away. “Keep him from my family’s dwelling. All of them,” she hissed in parting.
Devlan watched her go, his expression blank.
“You can’t blame her. She’s not prepared for this,” Gilda said quietly.
Devlan glanced her way but didn’t speak. None of them were, but it didn’t mean the danger was going to pass because of it. “I didn’t come here to doom your village.”
“I know why you came here,” Gilda said, a new edge to her voice. “I can’t promise the Elders will help. I’m not even sure if involving them is wise, given the circumstances.” She met his eyes. “You didn’t bring this to your home.”
“Asher Vah is half demon. He might have some leverage into how they work, how to negotiate,” he reminded.
Gilda snorted and they started walking again. “If he shows.”
“He’ll show. Even if it’s just to feed off of our corpses, the brat will show.” Devlan was hoping it would be before. Asher had been effected by Evan that morning at the Hierarchy. He acted the fool as much as a blood drinking demon could, just for the excuse to touch the seemingly null Evanel. If he could convince Asher Vah Evan was in danger, he might convince him to be reckless once again in all of their favor.
“Have you contacted Evan yet?”
Devlan shook his head. “I’ve tried every night since Malice reached out to me. I can’t get to him.”
Gilda was silent for a few beats. “Dead?”
“No, I sense him. I just can’t…” He couldn’t bring himself to reach out. Every time he got close to where he sensed Evan to be, Devlan just couldn’t take the last steps to reach him on the dreamscape. Something was holding him back, a feeling of danger, and he couldn’t find the source. “I was hoping to be able to use your tower. The…”
Gilda sighed heavily. “You planned this.”
Devlan didn’t bother to apologize. “You really think I would put up with all the obnoxious hero-worshiping otherwise? I can’t reach him on my own. I need a place of spiritual power to center around. One preferably not being haunted by all your Elders. It’s just for the night, Gilda.”
Growling under her breath, she eventually nodded. “I’ll ask. Just promise you’re being straightforward, Devlan. This is not a place you want to fuck around with. The Astral Tower is Siren’s inheritance.”
Devlan didn’t bother pointing out Gilda’s clan stole the damn thing from another fae clan when they immigrated over hundreds of years back. They reached the cliff side. The desert stretched out in all directions, bands of beige, gold, purple and brown striping the canyon walls that led below into the large basin. The sounds of giggling could be heard above the thundering of the waterfall.
“Do you have any incubi in the area?” Devlan asked, his eyes fixed on the tower of crystal in the center of the basin. In the late afternoon light, it glowed olive, the color fogged with white and glittery on the smooth edges. It was over 50 feet tall, and other paths of color trickled like tributaries over the massive crystal tower. The sirens built a structure out of stone, wood, and clay that wrapped around the natural formation with stairs to lead to the top. At the base was a stone platform in the water guarded by three fierce sirens. Around them the others swam and stretched out on the rock ledges to tan and feed from their entranced prey.
“Incubi? Devlan…” Gilda shook her head in exasperation. “Why? Are you looking to battle or fuck? Is this why you scent of Vesper? Are you in some mating craze?”
Devlan groaned internally. “Fuck, don’t even say that word. Fuck that. I’m just curious about the locals.”
Gilda glared at him suspiciously but eventually answered. “A few of the female incubi come by with permission when they’re struggling to find food. They aren’t really local though; their clan is scattered hundreds of miles out. The males are more rare. You know how aggressive and vain they can get. The Elders don’t welcome fighting; it makes the prey uncomfortable.” She gave him another side glance when he didn’t respond. “Devlan, you’re worrying me. You’re not acting like yourself.”
He took a deep breath in. “I’ll leave by morning,” he said curtly. “I just need the tower and then I’ll be done putting you all in jeopardy.”
“Damn it, Devlan. This isn’t your fault.”
“It will be.” He dodged Gilda’s hand when she went to pat his shoulder. “If I stay, if I involve you, it will absolutely be my fault. The demon doesn’t need a feast. Three is more than enough.”
Gilda looked like she wanted to say more but held herself back. He was right and she was smart enough to know it. “Come down to the basin. Even if you’re not hungry, the energy will be good for you.”
His lips pursed, Devlan eventually nodded. He would welcome the distraction of what he had to do next. There would be no excuse once he used the tower. He would find Evan, track him down, and the two of them would be running from Heiden for the rest of their lives. Either that, or maybe he’d get lucky and Evan was already dead.
Devlan scowled. He couldn’t feed. Evanel stole his ability to continue on living unless he ensured the weak thing’s safety. Devlan didn’t care at this point if the guy was as ignorant as he seemed. This was his life being fucked with. He didn’t care how long it took, he would make Evan pay for manipulating him.
Dorian woke slowly to the sounds of snickering. Living in a dorm full of magic-charged patients warned him how dangerous a noise that was. Still, it was hard to pull himself awake. He was exhausted and his bed wonderfully warm.
He blinked up at the sunlight flooded ceiling he couldn’t quite place and focused on the person standing over him.
Fox peered down at him and grinned a wicked fanged smirk. “Hey there, sleeping beauty. Find yourself a nice pillow?”
It was way too early for riddles. Dorian turned over, determined to ignore him, only there was an elbow in his way. An elbow not connected to him. Wylie was stretched out underneath him. His chest moved in a slow, even rhythm as he slept. “Yeah… A damn nice pillow.”
Fox barked in laughter. He chuckled as he bent over. Dorian sighed. Crap, he was so never going to hear the end of this.
Once his laughter was under control, Fox pointed to the open door to his dorm room. “Thought you two might want to get a room, like, literally before all the guys get up. Unless you want to hear months of just how cute you two look cuddled up like kittens?”
With a faint blush, Dorian glared halfheartedly at the snickering shifter. “Thanks.” Fox broke into another laugh at Dorian’s grim tone. Damn, the happy little brat.
He pushed up from his very warm nest of Wylie, and tried to straighten his hair into some sort of order. If he was going to endure being laughed at, he was going to have perfect hair at the time, damn it.
Dorian got to his feet unsteadily and grabbed the couch to keep from falling. His body felt bruised all over as if he survived a car crash. It happened the last time he’d lost control of his magic; the current moved through him so intensely it fried a bit of his flesh as it flowed. He’d heal after a day or so but for the moment he could barely walk. His thighs and ass… Right.
Dorian blushed scarlet and glared at the still sleeping Wylie. There was no way in hell he’d ever let him fuck him in his dragon form again. Some things were not meant to come in such large sizes no matter what nature provided.
“Everything okay?” Fox noticed the large streaks of dried blood on Wylie’s arms, and his nose picked up the scent of smoke and char. “One of you didn’t end up in the bonfire after we went to bed, right?”
“Let’s just say it was a rough night.” Dorian shook his head slowly. “Wylie can tell you if he wants. It’s kind of some heavy shit and I don’t think it’s my right to tell it.”
Fox yawned widely and stretched. His t-shirt rode up on his narrow frame. “Hey, just as long as you guys are okay. I was half expecting you to either kill each other, or totally fuck after the shit you said last night at the party.”
Dorian frowned grimly. Fuck. The bonfire felt like a week ago. Everything seemed so certain then. He tried to push Wylie away by showing how shifters didn’t belong in his family’s world. It made so much sense at the time. Now… Now he just felt unbelievably lost.
He turned his gaze back and Dorian couldn’t help but notice Fox didn’t seem to hate him as much as his words had warranted. “I’m sorry about that, Fox. It was a shit thing to say and wasn’t meant for anyone else to hear. You know I don’t think of shifters that way even if some people in my family do.”
“Hey, I know, but don’t think you haven’t fucked things up for yourself, man.” Fox shoved his hands into his pockets and rocked on the heels of his bare feet. “You’re going to have to get our resident werewolf the most awesome, never before heard CD ever if you want that kid to say two words to you again.”
Damn, Justin was so sensitive. He was probably more upset to think Dorian was arguing with Wylie than anything else. He had some bridges to unburn and magic wasn’t going to be able to help.
With a sigh, Dorian turned back to the couch. Wylie managed to have a furrow in his brow even in sleep. He didn’t remember how he ended up sleeping next to him, not that he was complaining. But it was getting close to breakfast and there was no way he was going to let himself get caught in such an embarrassing position.
Dorian leaned down and ran his fingers through Wylie’s short, white-blond locks. The blue hair dye was completely faded now. “Come on, Wylie. Your back is going to kill you if you sleep out here.”
He was out cold, likely regenerating from his eventful evening. Dorian cast a spell to imbue his body with greater strength, then leaned down and lifted Wylie from the couch.
Fox stared at him wide eyed. “When the hell did you get so strong!”
“It’s magic, dolt.” Dorian grinned wickedly. He stepped around Fox and nearly knocked him down with Wylie’s long legs. “Remember it the next time one of you loud asses decides to stay up all night howling at the moon.”
A month at the Academy and Wylie’s side of the room was still so sparse. Wylie already had such an impact on the guys around him, yet he looked ready to leave at any moment. It was sobering and Dorian carried him the rest of the way in silence. He spelled the blanket aside before placing Wylie on the bed.
Wylie went full dragon last night with his first successful transformation. The Academy fixed him like it fixed everyone Dorian had watched come in and then move on. Surely Wylie would be moving on like all the rest.
“Hey, if you want to stay and sleep, I won’t say shit,” Fox said from the doorway. His voice was free of laughter.
Dorian straightened and shook his head. He pulled the blanket up over Wylie’s sleeping form. He wanted to be alone. So much had changed in the matter of a night and he didn’t know where he fit anymore. Wylie found a way to help him fix his magic levels only to be well enough to leave for good.
It was all just so fucked-up.
Dorian was tired and he stumbled to his own bed. He patted Fox on the shoulder in passing. Vincent was still asleep. Dorian kept as quiet as possible as he kicked off his shoes and slipped under his blankets. His bed felt as good as it always did, but this time too large, too empty.
He didn’t want to think about losing Wylie. He had just found him; he didn’t want to lose him.
It was the day after Wylie fell asleep and Collin McPherson came down to talk to Dorian. They sat in the lounge while the others were in their classes. Wylie slept all of yesterday away and was still sleeping. Michael assured Dorian he was just in a healing sleep but it didn’t make it any less frustrating.
Dorian was both relieved Wylie was still sleeping so he could avoid talking about him leaving the Academy, and frustrated his magic had already surged back to full power and was threatening to overwhelm him. He could feel his magic bubbling strong in his core again. It was a wealth of power waiting for his guard to slip so it could escape and wreak havoc. It was just so hard to think properly about Wylie when his magic wanted to explode every time he had an emotion.
Dante wandered over to where Dorian was sitting on a large, cushy couch and climbed up next to him. Collin was welcoming enough but Dante was very withdrawn and quiet without Wylie. He kept hovering by Wylie’s bed while he slept. Fox managed to supply Dante markers, crayons, and a very elaborate coloring book full of huge-eyed unicorns he would not disclose the origins of no matter how many people tried to guess.
Collin was sitting across from them in the comfortable setting. His blue eyes looked particularly sharp. It was his game face, and the man’s wide shoulders were tense, with his jaw set. Dorian could only assume things weren’t going so well with the search for Dante’s family since the owner of the Academy insisted he be present for the meeting as well.
Collin looked at the small boy who was leaning lightly against Dorian’s shoulder, and confirmed his suspicions. “Michael is talking to your relatives now, Dante. He ported overseas to find them personally. I’m afraid it’s as bad as we suspected.”
“They sold him?” Dorian couldn’t keep the disbelief and anger out of his voice.
“Well, nothing is fully confirmed just yet, but a large amount of money showed up into one of the Salvadors’ bank accounts a half hour after Dante was taken. We don’t think it’s a coincidence.”
Dorian was appalled. He’d hoped against hope it was just a misunderstanding, that Dante confused things when being stolen away. But no, his relatives actually sold him.
He wrapped his arm around Dante’s shoulder. Dante rubbed his forehead into Dorian’s side and refused to speak. “He doesn’t have to go back there, right? They’re clearly unfit to keep him.”
Collin nodded in agreement but his expression was sober. “We’re working on it. These sorts of matters are very tricky. For one, we can’t find any record of Dante’s birth. We’re looking for records of his parents, but those are missing as well. Usually, there’s something to trace to help us determine just what he might be.”
“He’s a sorcerer,” Dorian said automatically. He looked down at Dante’s bowed head. “Right?”
Collin’s expression said otherwise. “Dante is something more than a sorcerer. Dr. Rob can’t pinpoint it, but he isn’t fully human. That his eyes turn black when he was using his magic suggests, well…” He spread his hands out wide. “You know why your eyes turn black when you lose control, Dorian. It’s a very species-specific trait.”
Dorian inhaled sharply and didn’t answer. He instead pulled Dante tighter against his side. He might be some sort of demon hybrid. And if he was, there was no way anyone could be allowed to know. Demons were slaves to sorcerers with no rights. They didn’t even exist in most people’s eyes, including the law’s. No, there was no way Dante was leaving the Academy when there was a sorcerer out there who expected to pick him up at the wharf.
“Will the Academy take him in?” Dorian asked quietly. For the first time he had to wonder. Shifters and sorcerers were dangerous enough, but a demon?
“He’s young. Possibly too young to consider the dangers around him and realize he’s hurting others.” Collin sat back with a troubled expression still on his face. “He could be uncontrollable.”
Dorian stiffened at the suggestion and looked down at Dante again. If Dante was listening to a word, he didn’t reveal it. He kept his head buried into Dorian’s shirt. “If the Academy can’t take him, I’ll speak with my parents. I come from a long line of sorcerers with demonic blood and I can trust them to do right by him. They might even know of a way to help contain his outbursts.”
Collin smiled gruffly. Dante’s small fingers coiled around Dorian’s wrist. “Yes, well, Dante might not give us a choice as to where he wants to be. I was told he’s very attached to Wylie and clearly he’s taken to you as well. I expect we’ll be housing him for the next five years as long as we can ensure his previous guardians don’t interfere.”
Dorian met his gaze in confusion. “Five years? Why five?”
“Because that’s how long Wylie will be in our care. I suspect his shadow is going to wish to be wherever Wylie is.”
Dorian must have misheard. “Hold on, just… Wylie is going to be at the Academy for five years? But he already fixed his transformation problems. Why would he stay an entire five more years if he…?” No, it didn’t make sense and he was confused as hell.
“The conditions of Wylie’s stay here are a bit unique, but let’s just say it has to do with how I met him.”
“You mean when you were shot,” Dorian blurted tactlessly. “Is that why? Did you, like, adopt him or some shit?”
His eyes widened and Collin coughed. “No, nothing like that. Wylie’s far too old, I’m sure, to want something like that.” He swiped at his brow and added gruffly, “Wylie is welcome here for as long as he chooses. But for now, he is court ordered to stay for at least five years.”
Five whole years? It felt like the world flipped all over again just in the matter of one sentence. Dorian must have been squeezing too tight because Dante squirmed out of his hold. He landed on the floor and wandered towards Wylie’s closed door.
“Is this bad news?” Collin’s eyes sparkled with hidden mirth when Dorian continued to stare at him with a befuddled expression. “Would you prefer I ship him out? Maybe some sort of military school—”
“No! Not funny, you old bastard.” Still, Dorian couldn’t stop his smile. Hell, he might have to get a collar to handle this news.
Five years with Wylie. Five years to figure out their shit and see how it would work between them. Five years without having to worry about holding Wylie back from going off and doing his own thing while he was stuck at the Academy. Not that Wylie couldn’t just port to a job or something… Hell, if they got things right, Dorian might be able to actually leave the Academy for good one day. Wylie could siphon his excess power so he wasn’t dangerous, and he’d be able to fucking live an actual life.
He realized too late just what the hell he was doing. He was sitting and planning their life together like some crazy, lovesick moron. Dorian immediately stood. He hadn’t even talked to Wylie yet. Fuck, he’d have to tell his parents. Oh, god, what the hell was he thinking?
And seriously why the fuck hadn’t Wylie told him? Idiot!
Collin watched with a small smile as Dorian got up and began to pace around the lounge while he muttered under his breath. He picked up the bottle of water he left at his feet and took a long drink. Dorian made two more rounds until he came back to stand in front of him.
“Definitely five? He’s not, like, going to get to leave early cuz of good behavior or community service or anything?”
“Definitely five,” Collin replied, as straight-faced as possible.
“Yes!” Whirling, Dorian looked around the room until he found Dante. He was staring at Wylie’s closed door while he fiddled with the null-collar around his throat. Dorian crossed the distance and opened the door. He kept it spelled shut just in case a particular lion happened to try and sneak in and maul the sleeping Wylie while he was in class.
Dante stepped into the dim room. The shades were pulled down to keep the sun out while Wylie slept. He immediately walked up to the bed, crawled up, and snuggled up beside Wylie. It was adorable as fuck but Dorian couldn’t help the small stab of jealousy with Dante being in the exact spot he wished he could be. Little brat.
He was smiling again, he realized and sighed in exasperation. Idiot. He was being a total idiot.
Wylie couldn’t sleep. The bonfire ended an hour ago and the others were all settled and asleep in their dorms. Wylie crept into the lounge, no longer able to listen to Fox’s even breathing. He secretly hoped Dorian might wake up and talk to him, but he remained stubbornly asleep and in bed.
He was unwilling to turn the TV on and wake anyone, so Wylie powered on one of the computers instead. He hadn’t checked his email since getting to the Academy and apparently Vincent’s invite was as racist and welcoming as you could get.
Wylie never got to Vincent’s email. His attention caught on a heading dated nearly a week ago.
Beck’s In Danger
“What the fuck?” He glared at the computer as if he could get the information that way. Wylie hesitantly clicked the link. His dread grew. It was from Adam, the little tech genius that got them past security during the initiation. “Fuck… Fuck, come on!”
Wylie snarled. He stood so quickly his chair clattered to the ground. His heart pounded in his chest.
Diego pinned everything on him. He said he shot the guy and ran with the cash. Since they couldn’t take revenge on Wylie, Beck, as his boyfriend, was going to have to take the heat for it. Adam was pretty sure that meant death. Roth was in a foul mood and he hated disloyalty above all else.
Fucking Diego, the worthless piece of trash. He should’ve killed the gangster. It would’ve been nothing to let his claws cut too deep and tear that idiot’s throat out. Fuck… Fuck!
Wylie looked at the email again and found the address Adam left him. It was the warehouse on the pier Roth owned. They were doing it at midnight. Fucking midnight tonight. If he waited just one more day to check his email, Beck would’ve been toast.
Fuck… They were going to kill him.
He shut the computer down. He began to pace as his mind whirled.
It was 11:20. He’d never get there in time. The Academy was a fucking three-hour drive from the city. The warehouse was by the docks and added another half hour to the drive.
It was all his fault. He was the reason B got into the gang. Wylie made Beck feel invincible and promised to watch his back through everything. He was his shield so no one in the gang messed with the idealistic kid. Then he just left him high and dry, and ran off to live in the fucking lap of luxury at the Academy. He hadn’t even fucking thought of B since getting there.
One month was all it took for him to become a complacent little shifter who fucked around with magic, and transformations, and some fantasy of Dorian Black. All the while, Beck was terrified, interrogated and beaten. God, he was the fucking worst. B never made him feel less, never showed any reluctance to his fucked-up demon arms. He didn’t care about his poverty or lack of parents. Not only had Wylie wronged him, he lacked the decency to realize it.
He knew he wasn’t in love with Beck, not after the heart-wrenching shit he was going through with Dorian. It didn’t mean B deserved to be punished only because he left to play hero. If he’d gone back to Beck that night, just got in the fucking van and sped away from the stranger he wasn’t responsible for, his life would be completely different. For the first time, Wylie questioned if he made the right choice.
Midnight. By midnight, Beck would be dead.
Dorian was having trouble sleeping. His words at the bonfire ran through his head like a song on repeat. There wasn’t any other option. It was the only way. He kept telling himself every time the misery welled too strong. Saying the worst was the only way Wylie would finally get a clue. They couldn’t be together and it was time to get over this shit already. He destroyed what little foundation he had with Wylie—but why couldn’t he just stop thinking about it? He did what needed to be done. Now he needed to get the fuck over it.
There was a click from his door handle opening. Dorian turned his head and watched as light spilled into the dorm. Wylie’s form was silhouetted in the doorway. Damn it. Damn it, why did his heart have to race so fucking fast?
Dorian schooled his features and fought the anticipation tingling through him. He’d yell the fucking Academy down until Wylie got it through his thick skull they were never going to be anything. He slid out from under the covers and crossed the room, only to pause from his intended rant when he caught sight of Wylie’s expression. There was no softness, no desire. There was nothing but a tight frown to his mouth and something damn near desperate in his eyes.
“I need your help.”
He glanced back to where Vincent was sleeping. Dorian quietly closed the door and followed Wylie out into the dimly lit lounge. “What?” He watched nervously when Wylie began to pace.
“I need you to show me how to use the portal.” Wylie pointed toward the arrival chamber where the large mirror kept for travel was located.
“What… Now?” Dorian looked at him in disbelief. “It’s the middle of the night.”
“I need to get somewhere, asap, and I can’t figure out how to turn the fucking thing on,” Wylie snapped. “I wouldn’t have bothered you otherwise. I can’t trust anyone else to not tell the masters.”
Dorian blinked dumbly and stared up at him. How the fuck could Wylie still trust him? He was an absolute asshole. That Wylie was just talking and hadn’t punched him was a feat all its own.
Dorian was completely thrown. “Where do you need to go?”
“It’s not important.” Wylie briskly walked away. “I just need you to turn the damn thing on.”
Dorian shook his head and quickened his pace to catch up to Wylie’s strides. “I don’t actually care; I just need to know where to key in. You can’t just turn a portal on. You need to use magic to reach another mirror closest to your intended destination.”
Wylie shot him a sideways glance full of wariness and gave him the address.
“I need more than that. A description would be best.” They reached the portal. The large mirror took up most of the wall in the foyer and was designed for many to travel at once. “Tell me as much as you can remember and that will help me key in.”
Wylie seemed even more resistant and his words came out haltingly. “It’s a warehouse. It’s worn down. The red brick is crumbling in spots, and the wood rotting in others. There’s a stack of crates, wooden, that are new by the entrance.”
“What’s in them?”
Wylie glared through the mirror and met Dorian’s gaze challengingly. “Is it important?”
It wasn’t, but Dorian was growing more and more curious as to what Wylie was porting into. “Very.”
Wylie huffed and squared his shoulders. “Mostly computers. Small, high-priced tech you can resell on the street without people looking twice at you.”
“Guns?” Dorian ignored Wylie’s warning glare.
“Probably, but not in the crates. That shit doesn’t hang around long. It’s by the wharf.” Wylie tried to get things back on track. “There’s an auto place next door that chops cars. It has heavy machinery running all hours of the day.”
“Why do you feel the need to go to this place in the middle of the night again?” Dorian’s question came out much harsher than he intended. He wasn’t supposed to give a fuck about what Wylie was doing with his life, even if guns and a fucking chop shop were involved.
“I just do,” Wylie gritted out. He refused to meet his gaze. “I owe a friend.”
Anger hit Dorian in a sudden wave and spurred him to action. He keyed the portal as close as he could to Wylie’s intended destination. The drop point ended up in the auto place next door. There were plenty of mirrors for repair, and some large enough for transport.
“You know I can’t leave it open. Once you cross, the portal closes and you won’t be able to get back.”
“Fine,” Wylie said curtly and took a step towards the portal. Dorian quickly jumped in front of him and blocked his path.
“You’re coming back, right?”
Wylie inhaled sharply. He eventually shrugged and kept his expression cool. He was either going to have to beat the fuck out of Roth, or pay off what the gangster thought he owed for bailing on the McPherson job. The Academy wouldn’t want him back after that kind of fuck up. “It’s not important. Just go back to bed and pretend none of this happened.”
“Like fuck!” Dorian pointed at Wylie’s chest. His face was clouded with anger. “This place is across the fucking state. What if you get hurt? How are you going to find your way back? You don’t know how to portal!”
Wylie glared him right in the eyes and growled out quietly, “What does it matter, Dorian? It’s not like I have parents waiting up to give a shit. Right?” He pushed past and stepped into the portal before Dorian could reply.
The image of the warehouse dimmed. Dorian was faced with his own angry, wide eyes staring back at him.
Was Wylie leaving because of what he said? Had he hurt him that fucking much? Wylie was tough; not the type to cry over shit like…
Dorian sighed and combed through his hair brusquely. No, at the bonfire he chose his words well to hurt Wylie as much as possible. He meant it to hurt. Of course it had.
Fuck. Dorian scowled at his reflection as the familiar feeling of self-loathing threatened to consume him. Somehow his resolve was breaking. It was almost as painful as what it cost to build it in the first place.
Wylie didn’t want his help. He hadn’t asked for it beyond getting the portal to work. For all he knew, he’d just get in the way if he tried to follow after him. He should go to bed. He should forget any of this happened and think of a plausible lie by the morning for why Wylie wasn’t at the Academy.
Dorian stared at his reflection. He was unable to meet his own eyes. It would be nothing for him to port in and port out. Wylie might not know how to summon a mirror, but it was easy for him. It really would be nothing…
Except it would be giving in after he promised himself not to.