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So I had this idea.

I thought it would be really hot if I hid in the shadows and grabbed the MVD major as he left mess and dragged him into the dark so we could make out - I mean, he was walking alone, for Christ's sake, and just begging for it.

He was the one that told me to be a stranger, after all.

Well, it didn't quite turn out the way I thought - his partner noticed me grab him, and so did this other guy, who turned out to be some kind of killer, and hey, I never did find out what was up with that, come to think of it.

Ultimately it worked out just fine, and we headed back to my room to finish what we started.

That was even more interesting.

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: Aryol locked the door, then turned and leaned against it, studying the MVD officer.

He was of half a mind to surge forward, to trap the man's mouth with his, to cage his body against the wall. Kiss him, like they'd kissed up against the tank, hot and burning, outside and in the cold.

But perhaps one ambush was more than enough tonight.

Aryol glanced down to unzip his jacket, but looked up at the man after a moment, smiling faintly.

"Make yourself at home," he said.

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: "Thanks," drawled Nika, taking off his cap and hanging it over the bedpost.

He unbuttoned his cuffs, first one, then the other, looking up from under his forelock of hair with a vaguely langorous smile.

Then he loosened his tie and sat down in one of the minimalist chairs that flanked the fogged-in window.

"You don't have anything to drink, do you comrade?"

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: Aryol shook his head, ruefully.

"Sorry, no," he said. "I don't usually drink."

He pushed away from the door, pulling off his field jacket as he did so, tossing it over the back of one of the chairs. Underneath he wore a camo jumpsuit, which he began to unbutton.

"Though I don't mind if you do, if you want to grab something from your quarters."

Aryol walked up to where the man sat and insinuated himself into his personal space, letting one leg press up against his thigh, looking down at him with a faint half-smile.

"Though you look pretty comfortable where you are. Want me to grab it for you?"

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: Nika looked up, lazily.

"I suppose I could do without a nightcap, and survive..."

He tipped his chin back, making an indecisive noise.

"But you know, I love the taste of a good liqueur. It's such a succulent compliment to other...savory flavors."

Liadov lifted an eyebrow and reached for the soldiers dog tags, raising his eyes, running his tongue lightly along the edge of one.

"Like Specialist."

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: Aryol breathed out and reached to graze his hand through the man's thick hair, letting the long strands trail between his fingers idly.

He watched through half-lidded eyes as the man did obscene things to his dog tags with his tongue.

"You really are a wanton fuck, aren't you?" Aryol murmured roughly, bringing his hand down, hooking it around the MVD officer's chin.

His eyes gleamed.

"Did you even know it was me, back then? Or do you always fondle men who grab you and drag you off into dark alleys?"

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: Nika laughed softly, lowering his eyes in a parody of diffidence.

"I made a call," he murmured. "It was a calculated risk...but I think the odds paid off in my favor."

He let the tags fall gently back against the man's chest, between the sides of his slightly gaping jumpsuit.

Liadov's lips parted, seeking the palm that cupped his face.

"Don't you?" he whispered.

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: "Absolutely," Aryol murmured.

He shivered at the whisper-soft brush of lips against his hand, then laughed quietly, shoulders shaking once.

"Last call," he said, grin playing at the corner of his mouth, lopsided and wry.

"I can still go get your liqueur, comrade. Or you can. We still have enough clothes on to let a trip across the hall be socially acceptable. But if we don't do it soon..."

Aryol pulled at the collar of his jumpsuit, exposing the dusky skin of his throat.

"...the clothes are coming off."

He unzipped his jumpsuit to midway down his chest. He wore a grey tank underneath.

"Unless you want to get naked and streak the hall," he said, voice turning, sounding almost thoughtful. "I could do that."

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: "I'll let you decide," said Liadov, shrugging. "If you like the taste of liquor on a man's breath, then by all means, let's get it."

His eyes chased the zipper slowly, as a sly and licentious smile bloomed beneath the angle of his nose.

"But if you prefer your taste unsullied by vice, then...I'll forgo it. Just for you."

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: "Oh, I like the taste," Aryol said, chuckling. "Especially on you. It's like sin, on your mouth."

He drew in a deep breath, and let his tongue run over his lips, remembering.

His fingers traced across the operativnik's throat, drawing light and idle patterns.

"It just gives me weird dreams, when I drink it myself."

Aryol shrugged, smirking a little. Eased his body back, to relieve the ache of their nearness, at least for the moment.

"So where do you keep it, and what do you want me to get?"

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: Nika raised a brow.

"In my medium sized black valise, beneath the bed."

He paused.

"Cognac, or brandy, either will do."

He pulled the keys from his pocket and pressed them into the soldier's hand.

"And while you're away...I suppose I'll get more comfortable."

He glanced at the room.

"Any specific place I should get comfortable, comrade?"

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: Aryol followed the man's gaze around the room, but then returned, and he looked down at him, considering.

"I kind of like you right there," he murmured. "Makes me want to sit in your lap."

He cocked his head.

"I could tie you to the chair, if you wanted, and do all sorts of things to you."

Aryol grinned.

"Or if that's not comfortable enough, the bed," he said. "I have some ideas about that too."

He leaned down then, and brushed his tongue across the man's lips.

"You can decide. I'll be right back."

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: Nika paused, as the door closed, considering.

He had no qualms about being restrained.

In fact, it was better that way. It took some of the emotional intimacy away from the act, and replaced it with visceral intimacy.

It wouldn't do to become overly animalistic with a man whose name you didn't even know.

Decorum. Cognac and restraints, and passion that was ornate and sublime and unearthly.

That was the kind of debauchery they both seemed to incline toward, and Nika did feel an intense desire to feed the beast.

At the same time, part of him wondered. After tonight, and this whole...debacle...if maybe he shouldn't unbind himself a little. Let down Samson's hair without fear that he might tear down the whole temple.

Perhaps he deserved a little intimacy.

No one would know, after all...

Except that he would know. But....was that really untenable?

Liadov rose and crossed the room, unbuttoning his shirt, and slowly unbuckling his belt, letting them hang open, dishevelled, as he considered.

Let the cognac smooth his temperament even more.

Let the soldier drown his thoughts in those dark eyes, in the scent of musk and the brush of forbidden down and too-soft flesh.

It could go any way, for all Nika cared tonight.

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: Aryol returned a few minutes later, the bottle of cognac suspended carefully in his grasp, and once more, he shut and locked the door behind him.

He paused there to look at the man, gaze lingering on open shirt and fly, how inviting that looked. Halfway undone, and begging to be given the full treatment.

Aryol held up the cognac to show the man what he'd chosen, then moved to the cabinet, where he'd spotted a few glasses earlier. He fished one out, and walked over to the man, offering it to him.

"Hold this, would you?" he asked, then worked at unscrewing the bottle.

"You're restless," he added, after a moment.

Pausing, he looked up and met the operativnik's gaze, dark eyes quietly piercing, but only for a moment before he lowered his eyes and gestured for him to give Aryol back the glass.

"All right?" he asked, quietly, almost not a question. Let the man answer the way he wanted.

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: "Yes," replied Nika, without hesitation.

He loosened his tie further, a hook and pulled of gloved, tapered fingers, then broke away from the gesture to finger the dark locks at the back of the soldier's neck, and lean casually against the wall.

"How tall are you, Dark Eyes?" he asked, amused.

There was not a great difference, but he hadn't thought ask or appraise when they were fucking in the alley up against the wall, or when he was buggering the gorgeous young fuck across the writing desk- or for that matter, when the Black Operative was giving him a thrashing that morning. Scale was lost in a horizontal world.

Nika himself was six foot one. Not astronomically tall, but rather so.

Now that they stood face to face again, and lingered, it brought curiosity to his mind.

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: Aryol paused, looking up, smiling at the question, which felt somehow sweetly personal, though outwardly it sounded simple enough.

"Five-eleven," he said, and poured the cognac, spilling the amber liquid into the glass. Just a splash, for now.

He sat the bottle back on the table, then looked at the man, gave him his full regard.

"You're taller than me," he commented.

He hadn't noticed before, really. It wasn't like standing next to Lynx. Another one of those quietly deceptive things about this man.

Aryol found his realization pleased him. It was like learning a secret.

He raised the glass then, as if toasting the MVD officer, then tipped it back and took it into his own mouth, holding it, not swallowing.

He leaned close and brought their mouths together, let some of the liquid wet the man's lips, in offering.

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: "Negligibly," breathed Liadov, against the touch of cognac-glazed lips.

The sweet sting enticed his senses, as did the promise of earthy satin indulgence in that mouth.

His tongue flicked lightly, fleetingly along the inside rim of the soldier's lip, tasting and teasing all at once.

"What's your favorite color, Black Eyes?"

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: Aryol's tongue stroked the man's, and he let the warmth of the cognac pass between his lips.

He pulled back slightly, tasting, licking his mouth. The flavor of the cognac was rich and buttery, and reminded him of sex. It made him want to drink a little, though he knew what would happen if he drank too much. A few swallows was fine, but anything more than that, he tended to have strange and vivid dreams.

Aryol grabbed the bottle again, and paused to consider the man's question as he poured a proper glass and offered it to him.

It was not something that anyone had ever bothered to ask, before. It was not something he'd really had the luxury to consider.

"Yellow," he said, finally, and then cocked his head, smiling slightly, wondering where he was going with this, though somehow pleased he was.

It touched him, in a strange way, perhaps just because it meant the man wanted to know him.

"And...you?" Aryol asked, almost carefully, studying the man's face.

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: "...it varies. I flirt with crimson. But I always come back to blue."

He leaned in, taking the glass and taking a measured sip, letting it gently sear his insides out in the most pleasurable way.

"Ice blue. Pale, pale blue, like winter midday sky. Like taiga lakes."

Nika paused, running his finger over the rim of the glass, evasively.

"But you know, I'm beginning to think I could be persuaded to like black a good deal."

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: Aryol smiled, pleased again.

It cast his expression with a particular youthful freshness, made him almost look younger.

"That's nice, comrade. You make it sound beautiful."

He considered.

"I like yellow because it reminds me of the sun. Warm light. I usually don't get to see much of it."

Aryol's gaze wryed.

"Black is night and death. Sleek as silk and bitter as coffee. Old, and familiar."

He paused.

"I like it, though."

He reached out and caught the end of the officer's tie, tugging at it playfully. Aryol undid it the rest of the way with skillful hands, then pulled it free and wrapped it over his own neck.

Questions like these were easy, unloaded and almost inconsequential, easy to ask and answer without fear of hitting any sore spots.

"You know what's good," he murmured, tipping his chin at the cognac. "You know...how to enjoy yourself."

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: "Want some?" asked Nika, indolently, and proffered the glass into his hand, without waiting to see whether the soldier would drink from it or not.

His hands curved around the ends of the tie and he smiled slightly, looping it over itself and tying it deftly into a militsioner's knot.

He had fastened another man's tie before, and so this deceptively rarified skill was not confined to himself.

It looked amusing, a proper and flawlessly executed necktie, against a low-bared and muscled soldier's chest, bronzed unevenly by the weather.

And yet, it appealed to him too, and he stepped back slightly to admire his work.

"I like exquisite things that bring joy. No matter where I find them. I dust them off and take them home."

His eyes raised slyly.

"What's your favorite animal?"

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: "An eagle," Aryol said, ironically, not having to think about that one. "Above it all, seeing everything. Grace and beauty in flight."

He grinned, fully enjoying this game now. It made him feel younger, more carefree, less weighted by things on the ground.

Aryol looked down at the tie the man had knotted around his neck, and laughed softly.

"Looks good," he said, and raised the glass in his hand to sniff at the liquid, drawing in the rich and honeyed scent.

Aryol took a tiny sip, just enough to wet his mouth, like taking in a man's essence during sex. He savored it like a man's seed, licking his lips, enjoying the aftertaste.

He glanced up at the man again.

"You?" he asked, "Favorite animal? Something fierce and beautiful, I imagine."

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: Liadov regarded the soldier obliquely.

"Not especially. I suppose I should lie. Say something grand and predatory. I notice all of you Special Ops cheloviki have names like 'Medved' and 'Lyev'."

His grin was fleeting and it shone.

"But in bare truth, comrade? ...I confess a fondness for the artic fox."

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: Aryol couldn't help but smile in response.

"Foxes are clever," he said. "There's no shame in that. Quiet and sneaky, too. Sounds perfect for Special Ops."

He offered the glass back to the man, but paused to to grab the bottle from the table and top off the amber liquid within.

Moving over to the bed, he sat down on top of the coverlet.

"Easier to sit, in order to think," Aryol explained, and paused to consider. He was quiet for a while, mulling over the idea.

"I know," he said. and flashed an easy grin. "What's your favorite food?"

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: Nika turned, as the soldier passed, following him as if following a vapor trail of ethereal pheromones.

He leaned against the bedrail for a moment, then swung himself around to join the brunyet.

Keeping a whimsical eye trained on his unnamed comrade's face, he smiled, and sipped.

"I like sashlik," he said, after a moment. "But I like to graze, above all. White truffles, caviar and creme fraiche."

He leaned forward.

"And you...?"

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: "Mmm," Aryol said. "Sounds good. You like food like you like everything else."

He considered that, leaning back, stretching a little.

"Exquisite things," he mused. After a few moments, his smile turned more lopsided, and he caught the man's eye.

"I like dessert. Rice pudding and custard. Mousse and compote. Those are the things we don't get in the field, that we have to do without. It's rare when we get them, so..."

Aryol chuckled, and shrugged.

"And I love a good Turkish coffee. But that, at least, we can have in the field."

His face was animated, eyes lit, head tilted, mouth curved upward into a full and pleased smile. He regarded the man, his MVD lover, fondly.

"This is fun. We should go back and forth choosing questions."

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: Liadov's eyes narrowed in a light and untroubled laugh.

"All right," he said. "But...should we observe...limitations?"

He paused, licking his lips slightly.

"Creme brulee," he agreed. "That would be nice on a night like this, don't you think?"


"Or flaming brandied cherries."

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: Aryol's eyes lit up.

"Oh, yeah. Both of those sound great."

He cocked his head.

"I've never had flaming brandied cherries before, though. But I bet I'd like them."

Aryol settled back to get more comfortable, sighing contentedly.

He glanced at the man.

"What kind of limitations? Like, avoid certain subjects?"

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: "Well..." Liadov said carefully, easing down onto the bed to lie on his side, head on his hand like a dreamy Greek, "I suppose it depends on how much we want to know. Or...how much we don't want to know."

His eyes moved over the soldier's half-shed jumpsuit, the slight sable down that pelted the muscled terrain.

He wanted to bury his lips and nose in that chest, inhale musk and feel the flex of young, smooth muscle.

Hear the quickening of that unfamiliar heart beside his ear.

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: Aryol smiled and reached out to run his hand through the man's hair, a slow brush through silk, from temple to nape.

"I like not knowing...it's kind of interesting, to wonder," he said thoughtfully.

He continued to stroke the man's hair, idly, in even, gentle strokes. It was thick and long, full at the crown, tapering to fall in slips around his face, which only added to his youthful appearance. Even this close up, it was hard to see his age.

"I know you're thirty-five, and you work for the MVD. You like to tie your lovers up and you enjoy nice things of all kinds. You're hunting a killer. You found one tonight, but I guess it was the wrong one. There's a man you love, but you can't be with him. But besides that, you're not afraid of anything."

Aryol smiled slightly, and leaned forward to bring his lips to the man's in a fleeting kiss.

"It's like I know and I don't know," he murmured. "The important things, the things that matter, I do. But the everyday details..."

He trailed off, grinning. "...no idea. But I kind of like it that way."

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: Liadov smiled slowly.

"I like the way you put that," he said. "I feel the same. Like a friendship in reverse- perhaps someday we'll be introduced."

He closed his eyes briefly as he was kissed, and his hand caught the soldier's shoulder and rolled him closer.

"But for now, only banalities, comrade. Let's see how close we can get without...going all the way."

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: Aryol followed the man's guiding hand, shifting to move closer, and lay stretched out parallel. He propped his head in his palm in a mirror of the man's pose, then laughed, playful good humor sparking in his gaze.

"Sounds like a deal. Only..."

He leaned forward again, so their faces were close, lips brushing across the man's again.

"I could just kiss you instead," he murmured. "Get to know your body. What you like, what makes you feel good."

Aryol craned his head forward, and kissed more in earnest, though still slowly, exploring.

"What makes you come," he breathed against the man's lips.

He reached a hand out, slipped it across the MVD officer's half-exposed chest, and fingered a nipple, rubbed it between thumb and forefinger.

Aryol chucked.

"Though you probably like most things. As long as they're good."

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: "I like some very bad things too," Nika hissed, softly, lowering his eyes.

He felt his prick stirring valiantly under the front of his trousers, like a cobra responding to the methodical beat of a fakir's ankle.

The snake charmer offered him delicacies with dusky lips and a sultry gaze.

Nika was disinclined to dissent, feeling the wealth of pleasure stealing over them, and the ease with which it came.

He shuddered out a wordless encouragement against the tingling in his chest, localized and poignant. He liked the way this man touched him, the way this man proceeded. It agreed with his own method.

"...You grew up too fast," he murmured, vaguely.

Liadov's hand slowly wandered south, massaging the soldier's inner thigh.

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: Aryol chuckled, low and soft.

"I bet you like them," he said, indulgently, privately thrilled by the man's admission of liking some very bad things.

Aryol was willing to bet that no matter how depraved of a scenario he thought up, the MVD major had tried it before and liked it.

That was interesting. He had to admit is intrigued him, especially after Leshoivk, who tended to want to repeat the things that he liked. Not that Aryol was complained much about any of it.

He let his hand play sensuously against the man's chest, tweaking both nipples, rolling them under his fingertips, working them to the brink of pain, but not indulging.

Aryol paused and rested his hand flat against the man's chest.

"Lie back," he murmured. "I want to do things to you."

He paused, grin flashing, wicked and sly.

"While I have you in bed with your clothes still on."

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: Liadov obliged, weaving his fingers into the man's tousled ebony locks.

"You're newly minted, aren't you," he intoned, quietly fascinated. "A man, surely- a good soviet...but it hasn't been long."

He didn't ask how old his comrade was. He could guess well enough.

"You can do whatever you want, Black Eyes. Anything your little black heart desires."

Nika knew what his own black heart was beginning to want.

It was more indecent to him than anything he'd done before.

"I'm yours, comrade."

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: Aryol looked up, and met the man's sultry, sleepy gaze, holding it for a long moment.

"Of course you are," he murmured.

He moved so he lay atop the MVD major, who was not so unapproachable or untouchable as anyone who knew what the uniform meant might think. The MVD had a dark mystique that he was peripherally aware of, though he'd grown up in an environment that made him exempt.

"I'm younger than you," he admitted, shifting so they both could be comfortable, supporting himself on his elbows so as to not crush the other man, though he was hardly frail.

"You probably don't want to know how young."

Aryol bent his head and took one of the man's nipples in his mouth, teasing, pulling, sucking. He worked on it with a fierce and localized ardor, alternating between soft and feathery pleasure and near-pain.

He paused to breathe, licking the operativnik's chest more idly, tracing the contours.

"I guess it depends on what you consider the marker of a man," he said, his breath hot against damp skin. "The first time I took a life, I was fourteen."

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: Liadov shuddered, both in quiet horror and sublime supplication.

"That's far too young," he whispered, arching slightly.

It hurt him, to hear that. To know it.

He exhaled, easing the pads of his fingers along the young stranger's back.

"...And the first time a man took you to his bed?"

Nika was uncomfortably sure he knew the answer to that.

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: Aryol lifted his head to meet the man's eyes, and saw quiet compassion in them. Understanding and empathy. He was touched, that the MVD officer would care, that it would mean something to him. This man, who carried his own burdens.

His own gaze was rueful. There were things that seemed normal to him that to others, were painful. Leshovik had reacted similarly when Aryol had told him the same thing.

"You probably don't want to know that either," he said, softly, and took in a slow breath, reaching his hand up to stroke the man's hair, once more enjoying the silken texture.

Aryol shrugged, and gave a slight lopsided smile, tempered and warm, cognizant of the man's discomfort.

"But it's all right. It was a long time ago now. And...bad things happen to everyone. I just got them out of the way early."

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: Liadov felt the soldier's touch, and it felt pleasing as the brush of satin, but it did nothing to warm his indigenous chill to the circumstance. He was repulsed at the thought that he had led with restraints and deviance with the stranger, assuming him to be a normal young lion with a healthy need, and not a pathologically inured toy.

"Reciprocity. Here's my confession, since you've made yours so blithely."

He closed his eyes, and pressed his lips to the young soldier's brow, lingering.

Even as he made the superficially chaste gesture, he was conscious of the parting of his lips.

"I've. Never. Killed a man," whispered Nika, almost caressingly, as he relocated tendrils of dark hair from the Black Operative's forehead with delicate fingertips, and smoothed them back.

"...But I've sent countless men to their deaths."

He paused.

"...And someone killed for me once. I'm culpable for that."

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: Aryol smiled, a little.

"Someone has to do it," he told the man, searching the gaze that seemed so troubled. Almost as if he were ashamed to have never taken a life directly.

He let himself enjoy the man's tender touch on his head, the fingers that brushed through his hair. It felt intimate, natural, but rarely had Leshovik touched him that way.

"Better it be you, who is strong enough to do it and not let it consume you, than someone it would cripple."

Aryol placed a kiss on the MVD operative's chest, then laid his cheek there briefly, with the soft affection shared by lovers.

"Better it be you, than someone who would enjoy it, and make those people suffer."

He drew in a slow, even breath, and listened to the man's heartbeat, finding it to be a steady and pleasing tempo.

"People like us...it's almost our duty to do these things. Because we can," Aryol murmured.

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: Nika was quiet, brooding for a moment.

The young man misunderstood him, hastened to reassure him.

He hesitated before speaking, almost thinking it didn't matter.

"Surely you can't be comparing...enforcing the law toward criminals and...being an indiscriminate and blood-soaked mercenary."

He smiled.

"I've drawn my gun, but I've never needed to kill anyone, solnyshko. Despite the nature of my work. I consider that a feather in my cap, a job well executed...so to speak."

Nika paused, delicately, but his words were pointed.

"...You kill innocents. Because a shadow organization tells you to kill them. And that's justification enough for you."

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: Aryol thought about that, frowning, considering. He raised his head to meet the man's gaze.

"No...they're not the same at all. But it just seemed like you felt bad about it. That you had to send them to their deaths. I mean, you could regret that people commit crimes at all, but you can't change that. Given that it happens, and that there has to be some kind of punishment, even if they're otherwise good people and just made a really bad mistake, then it's a job that has to be done."

He shrugged, and his chest rose and fell against the man's.

"Or maybe they're not good people, like that man tonight. I don't know."

Aryol drew in a slow breath, and laid his head down on the operativnik's chest again. He was quiet for a while, thinking.

"It has to be enough justification, for me," he said, finally. "I have to believe that somehow, it's helping, even though that's never cut and dried. I don't want the world to be a worse place because I'm in it, comrade. I just want to do my job."

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: "You'll never know, will you?" murmured Nika, softly.

He let his head tip back.

"Tell me this much, Black Eyes," he intoned. "...Are you older than twenty-five?"

He closed his eyes, wanting the man's touch to resume, wanting to surrender to man's baser drives once more and lose himself in uninhibited pleasure, flesh without consequences-

But there was no such thing, was there, after the first night.

The more you repeated something, the less you could eschew investiture at some level.

That was why he never repeated his liaisons deliberately. He might have really enjoyed a man, to the point of wanting more. And yet- if he was on the stroll, or on the bridge, and he saw the same man giving him the eye, he would decline a repeat.

Familiarity bred concern for him, not contempt.

But it was unwise, in any case.

Here, however, there was nothing for it, and he had to reconcile himself to that fact.

He had broken form.

"There's no such thing as flesh without consequences, Black Eyes."

Nika kissed the soldier's mouth, and his own was trembling.

"Help me make peace with that."

February 2009

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