This is Issue #41 of DeathWatch, Book II: tentatively called Heart Of Ilona, an ongoing Serial. Click that link to go find DeathWatch, the first in the series, or start from the beginning of Book II!
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He came back to himself as he tasted salt against his tongue, and was startled from his reverie as he eased back from Secta enough to focus on the tears running over his cheeks, his jaw. “What… What is it?” Jet wondered.
“Secta,” Secta whispered tearfully. “I am only your Secta. I am not …your Kieron.”
The word on someone else’s tongue made Jet flinch. He stepped back and caught sight of himself in the mirror then, and saw the bestial gleam of his golden eyes, and turned from his own gaze. “How do you know that name?”
“You were saying it, just now,” Secta said, his voice low, ashamed. He stared down at the floor, miserable, confused.
Jet stepped back, and moved to pick up the towel, laughing darkly at himself, “Forgive me, m–Secta. I have forgotten myself, and I..” He looked up at the other man, embarrassed and hardly knowing how to handle himself. “I have treated you abominably, you–”
Horrified, Secta stepped forward, reaching for Jet, moving to drop down to his knees, one hand gripping Jet’s wrist. “This is untrue, my Guardian, it is your right to use me as you–”
“No!” Jet snapped, feeling the heat of Secta’s hand on his skin. He pulled his arm up, but Secta was stronger now, than he had been. He did not manage to pull away, but instead, pulled Secta up against him. “You are my famulo, not my slave,” Jet insisted, moving to gently push Secta back.
“I am yours,” Secta said. “You yourself have said it. I am your Secta,” he said. “I am yours. I am yours!” he insisted, shifting to try to take better hold of Jet.
Jet was careful as he squirmed out of Secta’s grasp and tried to pin his arms to his sides, his brows knitting in concern. “I do not own you. I will not,” he insisted in return. “Don’t fight me.”
“All the same, I am yours,” Secta panted, twisting to hook a foot around Jet’s leg, trying to gain a bit of leverage, needing to prove his submission was not weakness, but choice.
They struggled with one another, Jet trying to pin Secta, to still and silence him, so that he could listen to the simple fact that Jet believed him to be a man unto himself, not owned, while Secta tried to do the same, but to teach Jet that the notion did not end there. He was a servant, true, but the development of late, the way his blood had been changed?
It did change him. It changed everything.
Jet lost his balance as Secta pushed, and they tumbled to the slick tile floor, wrestling, thrashing, neither of them willing to surrender. Past feverhot, fire on their tongues, fire in their eyes, they fought with one another, frustration mounting.
Neither knew who hit first, but it went from wrestling to punching in a matter of moments. They traded blows only briefly, however, before it went back to grappling, each trying to outlast the other. Secta took a fistful of Jet’s hair and wretched his head back before bringing it down against the tile, to try to stun his fighting partner, while Jet palmed Secta’s skull, and tried to knock his head against the floor, to do the same.
Growling, each of them bared their teeth at the other, beast-like, panting, clawing. At one point, Jet pinned Secta down, his belly to the other man’s back, and bit against the back of his neck.
Secta’s cry was sharp, and when he bucked backwards, his elbow against Jet’s ribs was, as well.
The guardian rolled to the side, and was stunned when Secta twisted to come after him. They rolled together, then, and Secta ended up beneath Jet again, panting, glaring up at him.
They stared at one another for long moments; Jet glared down at Secta, catching his breath. He tried to get himself ready, tried to find the words to explain to Secta why he needed to simply submit.
Beneath him, Secta rolled his hips, pressing himself up against Jet, never breaking the stare.
Jet sucked a breath in through his teeth, stunned.
Secta leaned up and nipped Jet’s lips, then laid down once more, looking up at him, his chest still heaving as he struggled to catch his breath.
Jet stared down at Secta, glancing down at where they laid hip to hip, and then looked to Secta, watching him, gold eyes meeting gold eyes.
Secta rolled his hips again, then purposefully tipped his head back and bared his throat, saying, “Your Secta.”
Jet stared down at Secta for a long time, taking in the look of him, looking at his face, delicate like Kieron’s, almost effeminate like Kieron’s.
Not at all like Kieron’s.
He nodded, saying softly, “My Secta.” He bowed his head and gently kissed where he could still see the pulse at Secta’s throat. He then turned Secta’s face toward him, and kissed him, as he’d once kissed Kieron, as he’d once kissed Immanis.
Secta clung to Jet briefly, overwhelmed at the surrender at last. He returned the kiss with eager hunger, his hands seeking to touch Jet, to offer himself up, breathless in a matter of moments.
When Jet took his hands and pulled them away, then moved to sit up, obviously moved, Secta tried to cover his confusion and disappointment; he didn’t have to try for long — Jet led Secta from the bathroom to his own bed, moving to lay him down, and pull away the last of the clothing that Secta still wore.
When Jet laid himself down, skin to skin, with Secta, Secta reached up to slide his palm against Jet’s cheek, smiling almost shyly. Before he could speak, Jet leaned down and pressed his lips to Secta’s again, silencing any further hesitation from either of them.
Slowly, purposefully, Jet moved to learn Secta, allowed Secta to learn him, allowed himself to turn away from the memory of a love that seemed little more than a long-ago dream, after all that had happened since that first kiss.
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