This is Issue #124 of DeathWatch, an ongoing Serial. Click that link to go find ‘A Beginning’ and read from there, if you need to catch up.
* * *
In his own chambers, Immanis grew still, and closed his mouth, no longer interrupting. He laid a hand over Jet’s, resting his fingertips against his own skin, feeling his pulse, feeling Jet’s. The braziers burned, and an untouched glass of aetheris slowly evaporated, the silverblue distillate fading as the night wore on.
From where they lay tangled on the floor, Jet slid his hands over his Prince’s shoulders, and pulled away the robes covering his skin, revealing the tattoos that whorled over Immanis’s body, from throat to toe.
Immanis pulled the white silk from Jet’s frame, freeing the man beneath him. The fabric came free from broad shoulders, and puddled to the floor beneath them both. Silently, he bared bronze skin, until he could lay his naked body against Jet’s, trembling, his eyes wide.
Skin to skin, Jet leaned up and kissed Immanis slowly, one hand reaching to tangle in the Prince’s long black hair.
Immanis’s lips parted, and he breathed in the scents of cinnamon and fire, blood and tears. “My Jet,” he whispered against the Guardian’s mouth.
“My Immanis.” Jet’s voice was low and sweet, made rough with urgency, fueled by an aching that could not be quelled by anything but touch. He twisted, shifting, and rolled Immanis to his back, covering the Prince’s body with his own. With hands, lips, tongue, he sought to open Immanis, to make him vulnerable, to let him tremble and be held. Each wanted to take all the time in the world, and each wanted the other to rush. It seemed hours later when he moved the Prince again, laying him to his stomach, kissing all along the nape of his neck and down the length of his back, his breath warm against the Prince’s back as his lips touched lower and lower, reaching the curve at the base of his spine, and then returning, higher and higher, as Jet finally laid himself against Immanis, shivering.
They moved against one another, and the discovery of pleasure was both urgent and gentle; when Immanis surrendered, when he let himself be entered, they both froze, panting, Jet holding to Immanis’s hips, Immanis holding himself up, reaching back to hold one of Jet’s hands against his body. Unable to remain still, they both began to shift, to press closer, to settle skin to skin again, and ultimately, Jet laid his belly to Immanis’s back, and pressed his lips to Immanis’s shoulder, complete. They moved slowly, carefully, until they could not stop themselves, and when Immanis reached to bring Jet’s hand to encircle him, they writhed on the floor, a sweatslick tangle of naked flesh and unrestrained desire.
Immanis closed his eyes and bowed his head, then reached up to tangle his hand in Jet’s hair. “Noli — noli,” he breathed, and Jet froze again, worried — Immanis was saying ‘Don’t–‘ but it sounded like begging, and he nearly pulled away again until Immanis tightened his grip and cried out lowly, “Noli prohibe, my Jet, my love, don’t stop, don’t–”
The need was too great, the pleasure too keen — Jet held to Immanis, held him up, bodies straining, fingers twined, toes curling against the floor, and once he shifted again, Immanis pushed back, crying out in both desire and something akin to shock. Jet felt the sudden heat, the rush of it over his fingers curled with the Prince’s. The sensation overwhelmed Jet, and he lost himself quickly, muffling his cry with his teeth against Immanis’s shoulder. The pulse of it left him dazed, still holding to Immanis, and they sank to the floor in breathless wonder, weaklegged and shaking.
Jet could not bring himself to pull away; he kept his lips against Immanis’s skin, and breathed him in, still trembling, whispering quiet meditations on the nature of their joining. He could think of nothing and no one save his Prince; the whole of his life before the instant they touched seemed to have been wiped away.
There was no undoing what had been done; while Gemma and Lucida lay in one another’s arms, spent and delirious after lovemaking, so too did Jet and Immanis, quietly murmuring to one another, speaking of the evening, of the coming morning, of what their lives would become now, now that they had one another.
They grew so caught up in their talk, they never got up off the floor, and when Immanis shifted to be able to better look at Jet, neither of them could stop as they clung to one another again, and sought out every movement, every gesture, every expression they could think of, to pleasure one another. Their cries drifted into the gardens, into the hall; when they reached their peak, the wedding guests cheered — everything was cause for them to celebrate, and they thought it was the newlywed couple, no matter which of the pairings could be heard.
They lay in one another’s arms for hours, as the braziers burned, Jet beside Immanis, his golden eyes half-lidded in a satisfied contentment. With their hands twined, bodies twined, they listened to the wedding guests out in the far gardens, the musicians hired to play on through the night, and when Immanis found himself restless, he twisted to pull Jet closer, and pressed his mouth to Jet’s, murmuring, “Again.”
Jet could taste blood and aetheris against his lips, and he felt his heart thunder in his chest, “Again?” Jet wondered, not hesitant, but liking the way it felt to have the Prince need him.
“Again, my love,” Immanis pled, his breath hot against his lover’s skin. “Again and again until the sky lightens. Until the day takes you from me. Lucida will need you; Ilona will need you–“
“–but for now, I am yours,” Jet finished, nodding, and leaned in once more, to quiet his Prince with a kiss. The morning would come too soon; if all he had were these moments, he would take them with all due desire.
* * *
Out in the hallway, leaning against the doors alone, having sent away the guards on lengthy errands of utmost import, Secta stood watch. Faithfully, he waited the hours until daylight, heart pounding, and quietly shepherded his master and his Prince, allowing them to have the time they needed to finally let their two hearts become one.
* * *