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“Gross Indecency: An Otherworld Novel” Chapter Two

August 26, 2015

Gross Indecency: An Otherworld Novel will eventually be edited and put on sale, but for now, I figured as we worked on it, we would also release the chapters for free. 🙂 Call it an experiment. One chapter a month will be put out here, Tumblr, and a couple of other outlets. However, if you support us on Patreon, you get to see the chapter a week or two before it become publicly available. So… support us! 😀 You get lots of fun bits and bobs in addition to fiction.

Right now, Gross Indecency is 128 pages (42,583 words) long, and that’s not even half of the planned novel. 😉 It’s a kinky romp with exiled faeries, so anything goes.

***

Blurb: When Malachite, a battle-weary Sídhe prince of the Lunar Court, fell for Rime, a darkly seductive Solar Court satyr with a haunting gift for music, their love threw the Faerie Houses on both sides into an uproar. Forced to choose between love and obligation, Malachite turned his back on his family, preferring exile with Rime over his duty as a noble of the Aos Sí.

Now, banished from their homelands among the Fae Folk and forced to live among humans, Malachite and Rime must find a way to survive and succeed in the mortal realm with their fellow exiles. Hiding in plain sight, they put their otherworldly talents and charms to use in the most appropriate place possible: they start a small adult film company and begin producing porn. But work is only the beginning of this glimpse into their erotic and often kinky lives in modern day London.

***

London, England, 2015

Malachite unlocked the door to their flat and led Rime inside. Silence had settled between them upon the completion of Rime’s release paperwork, and Malachite had no desire to remedy the discomfort he felt radiating from Rime. If Rime wished to speak, Malachite was certain wild horses couldn’t keep the Satyr’s trap shut.

He’d left Rime to stew for a few days, not that he’d had much of a choice. His choice, actually, had been to refuse to take Rime’s calls from the jail cell. Instead, he’d allowed their voicemail to answer the frequent attempts. Another small punishment in a long line of small punishments he’d doled out over their separation. Malachite had not abandoned him, though. He’d hired the best solicitor money could buy, and the solicitor had managed to wrangle a magistrate to hear Rime’s case quickly and rule for a hefty fine.

A fine Malachite had solemnly paid. Malachite doubted Rime appreciated any of it, as he’d never bothered to thank him in the past, and Malachite didn’t expect a thank you now. He tossed his keys onto the hall table and kicked his boots off before unbuttoning his coat. His movements were stiff, his eyes forward, and his lips compressed in a thin line as he hung up his umbrella and coat before entering the kitchen.

Before he’d left to retrieve his unfaithful lover, Malachite had put on a pot of thick soup he’d found in the fridge—he assumed Cloud had been providing Rime with ready to heat meals. Around his ankles, two cats twined, meowing softly up at him. These were the two cats he’d brought with him from Italy when Rime had called, and so far, they’d not terrorized the three existing household cats.
It was home.

It was good to be home.

At least, it was as close to being home as was possible for any of the exiled Fae.

Despite the comfort of cats, familiar scents, and the carefully chosen furniture he’d picked out when they’d bought the place, anger still burned in his chest. Seething, simmering fury that had been eating away at him over the last two years of his life. He hadn’t even been this furious over his expulsion from Annwn. Finally, Malachite looked over at Rime, who still stood just inside the living area, looking particularly pathetic and small. It was an odd look for Rime, and one Malachite didn’t think he wore well, and he sighed. “Are you hungry?” he asked, voice clipped and eyes hooded.

“Yes,” Rime nodded, brushing a strand of long, frosty blue hair behind his ear. It didn’t escape his attention that Malachite had hot food waiting for him. It warmed his heart while making his guilt all the more acute. He took a few steps toward the kitchen after removing his slushy, mud-crusted boots in the foyer, and his feet were immediately accosted by two slim cats. He eyed them with amused confusion as he looked from them to Malachite. “New cats?”

“New to the flat, but not to me,” Malachite said as he ladled out the soup into bowls. “Alessa and Fausto. I bought them when I bought my flat in Florence.” He set the bowls on the bar, adding bread and butter to a plate, and then slid onto one of the high stools. “Sit and eat, Rime,” he instructed, dipping a piece of bread into broth.

Rime did as he was told with conditioned ease. Malachite’s orders were always followed in such a way: efficiently and without question. An awkward silence fell between them as they ate, and though Rime occasionally looked up at Malachite, Malachite never locked gazes with him. It was uncomfortable, and Rime was never uncomfortable.

Malachite cleared away the dishes when they finished, washing and setting them in the drying rack. He wiped his hands, fed the cats, and then headed toward the bedroom. “I’m going to take a shower.” He felt filthy after walking back to the flat. Damn English winters. Malachite paused in the doorway, looking over his shoulder at Rime, who still sat at the bar, eyes on the cats. “Are you coming?” The annoyed impatience was clear in his tone, his frown deepening a touch.

Blue eyes blinked a few times. “Would you like me to?” Rime asked with a note of hopeful hesitancy.

“When have I not?” It was their habit to bathe together, unless one had to get up much earlier than the other. “You smell of jail, and if you expect me to touch you at all tonight, then your ass had best be in that shower stall in five minutes.” Malachite didn’t stay to clarify any further. He walked through their bedroom, and then into the bathroom. Before stripping, Malachite turned on the myriad shower heads and let the room fill with steam.

Rime smiled to himself as he approached the bathroom, removing his clothing as he went. By time he stood in the doorway, he had stripped completely. The bathroom was opulent, an extravagant focal room of their flat constructed largely in sandy travertine tile. Their shower dominated the space, enclosed with plates of smooth glass and equipped with a varied array of shower heads. One wall was completely lined with mirrors, making the space seem even larger, though they were quickly fogging over with the steam. The air was thick with moisture, and Rime ached to let the hot water wash over him. Even a week in that damn holding cell had been too long.

Malachite was already in the shower when Rime stepped up to the glass door. Rime paused a moment, and then opened the shower and slipped inside. He moaned as he stepped into the streaming, almost scalding water. He couldn’t help the sigh of pleasure that escaped him, and he placed a hand on Malachite’s hip, leaning close to his lover’s back. “I don’t expect you to touch me tonight,” Rime whispered into Malachite’s ear, the words almost lost to the rush of water. “I don’t deserve you.”

“What is or isn’t deserved won’t be debated tonight,” Malachite said, turning to face Rime. He’d always hated that Rime was even a fraction of an inch taller than himself. “You and I will be having a much different discussion.” His voice carried a hint of cold malice to it, and something flickered in the stormy, gray eyes. “Wet yourself so I can clean you thoroughly.”

The tone of Malachite’s voice unsettled Rime. Though he wasn’t frightened by what he heard, he knew instinctively that his time apart from Malachite, and his time in jail, was to be the least of his punishments. Rime doused himself with the hot water, knowing there was no escape from whatever penance Malachite demanded of him.

As soon as Rime stepped from the water, Malachite roughly handled him, facing Rime away from him. Within moments, thick suds bubbled in Rime’s impossibly long hair, the white almost obscuring the gentle blue. The room was soon scented with spices, warm and soothing, unlike the hands that combed through Rime’s hair. Malachite used a detachable head to rinse the hair, and then slicked it with conditioner. Rime’s hair was a vanity they both indulged in, and even in his anger, Malachite didn’t mistreat the cascade of summer sky he’d lovingly tended to for so many years.

Malachite had worded his order specifically, and he was pleased Rime followed it. He stood there, unmoving, as Malachite wove a wet braid of his hair so that it wouldn’t tangle. When he was through, Malachite soaped up his hands. He used an abundance of soap, scrubbing Rime’s back, arms, and chest, and then dropped to his knees to wash Rime’s legs, front and back. He added more soap to his hands and, in a low, gruff voice, he said, “Bend over and spread your legs, hands on the seat, and don’t move.”

Without a word, Rime obeyed, turning to the side and bending over with his hands braced against one of the shower’s stone seats. His breath had sped the moment Malachite’s hands had touched his skin, and he closed his eyes as he bowed his head between his arms. There was tension, and it sang in the air between them, a melody Rime could easily hear in their breaths, their heartbeats.

Malachite soaped Rime’s groin, his fingers tugging harshly at the hardening cock nestled there. Perhaps he spent longer than needed fondling and cleaning Rime’s dick, and perhaps he didn’t. His hand then moved to the soft, vulnerable sac beneath, pulling and scrubbing with hard fingers.

There was no mistaking Malachite’s mood; it rang clear in his tone, his expression, and his touch.

His fingers drew up Rime’s perineum, his touch slippery with soap, and with excruciating slowness, he circled the hole between Rime’s ass cheeks. “Don’t clench,” he warned, and it was the only warning given before two soapy fingers slid ruthlessly into the confines of Rime’s body.

Rime didn’t clench as he was penetrated, just as ordered. Instead, he forced all his tension into his harsh breathing. In and out. In and out. He could endure. He would endure. Whatever Malachite offered, he’d take. If this was the prelude… His fingers twitched against the stone, and he moaned as he held on as tightly as he could.

Malachite raised an eyebrow as he thrust his fingers in and out. Rime, throughout the years, had been a heavily used lover, and despite exercises meant to keep muscles toned, there was a certain looseness about his body. That looseness was distinctly different now. “Two years have done wonders for your ass,” he muttered as he slid a third finger inside. A small smile twitched at his lips. “Should I use the enema?” he murmured, and the way he spoke said he would use it whether Rime agreed or not.

Glancing over his shoulder, Rime nodded with another moan as he was stretched wider. It was something Malachite did sometimes, both to clean out Rime’s ass and, in cases like these, as a form of subtle humiliation. Rime had never particularly enjoyed the process or the sensation, but it was personal, something Malachite could use to his advantage. A few moments later, Rime felt the metallic nozzle of the enema shower attachment slip into his passage, and he was immediately flooded with barely warm water.

It took a count of ten. It was something they had worked out years and years ago. A count of ten meant Rime would be full enough to be uncomfortable, but not in pain. “Clench.” As soon as Rime’s muscles complied, Malachite withdrew the nozzle. “Go take care of it,” Malachite said as he rinsed the metal head before returning it to its place. He heard Rime exit the shower stall, and while his lover dealt with the unpleasantries of the enema, Malachite set to quickly washing himself.

He heard Rime re-enter the shower, and Malachite eyed him. “Bend over once more.” In silence, Rime bent, presenting his ass to Malachite again. Malachite used more soap, penetrating Rime with unrelenting fingers. When he was done, he rinsed Rime’s backside, washed his own hands, and began to shut off the water. “Dry off, then go sit on the bed and wait for me,” Malachite ordered without looking at Rime. “I’ll join you in a moment.”

There was little emotion, and even less affection, in Malachite’s voice and manner, and it only served to unsettle Rime further. Arousal was unavoidable, but along with the joy Rime felt at having his lover back, he also felt a glimmer of anxiety that no other could inspire in him. This was no simple foul mood Malachite had developed due to work or the complexities of his family. The darkness Rime felt in Malachite’s spirit was his fault. He had been more than unfaithful, and he was about to reap what he’d sown two years ago.

Malachite entered the extravagant bedroom with its lush bed and went to one of three closets in the room. As his eyes roamed the many shelves and hooks, he spoke. “I think there is a discussion we have avoided having since that first Lughnasadh together. Maybe that’s my fault, maybe it isn’t, but the fact remains, the words need to be said. Finally.” He chose his weapon and returned to the bed. “On your hands and knees, forehead pressed to the bed, ass high in the air.”

Rime eyed the very thin, sturdy cane in Malachite’s hand. A shiver ran the length of his spine as he moved into position, understanding the pain and pleasure he was about to receive. His body was eager to feel all that it had lacked over the last two years—he was very nearly crazed for it—but his mind was less sure. There would be pleasure, oh, yes, but this was ultimately a form of punishment. Malachite knew him far too well, knew that for a satyr, punishment had to be particularly garish if it was to penetrate past a spirit that reveled in excess to begin with. Only through such extremes could he hope to gain any wisdom or insight.

The cane moved lightly over Rime’s rounded ass, the touch a gentle caress. “Do you know how much I love you?” he asked nonchalantly as he drew the cane back. “Do you even care?” The first strike of wood to flesh was firm, but not painful. Malachite had honed this skill of his with the rabidity of the fanatically devoted when he’d learned of Rime’s preferences.

Rime’s body shifted slightly with the blow, a quick sting sparking along his nerves. His heart ached at the questions; he knew Malachite wasn’t asking rhetorically. Malachite actually expected an answer. “I know… and I care,” he breathed.

“You have an odd manner of showing it,” Malachite snapped, his wrist flicking swiftly, the cane falling perfectly across the skin where the first blow had been delivered.

Rime clenched his eyes shut as guilt rose in him again, choking all words that sat lodged in his throat. What could he say?

Malachite began a languid pace that built in intensity, his strikes concentrating on the meaty portions of Rime’s ass and thighs. “You should feel guilty, and I won’t grant you pardon from it. Not yet. I withheld my tongue when I loved you, and I withheld my tongue when you sought other lovers without me. I’ve withheld so much that I should have expressed. I withheld it because I was afraid. I’m quite tired of being afraid, and I’ve grown weary of indulging your every whim.” His arm swung with more force as the anger roiled blackly within him. “But mark my words, Rime,” he said, his voice low and commanding. “I am not weary of you.”

The first moan escaped Rime’s lips as the harsher blow sent a bright streak of pain through his senses. He could hear Malachite’s mind humming loudly, and he knew through those wordless thoughts that blame was not placed solely upon either of them. It was a fact that soothed a bit of his unease as another blow sent him rocking forward, his forehead pressed into the mattress of their bed.

All sound ceased but wood against flesh and the pitiful, muffled cries from Rime. Malachite struck again and again until welts formed and sweat dripped down his face. He panted as he gazed at the pale bruises already forming on Rime’s body. “I hate you,” he hissed, hitting with renewed strength, the strikes echoing in the quiet room.

The phrase was familiar and carried more meaning than most could convey through those simple words. Malachite’s anger was clear, but in that statement there was a deep, abiding love that accompanied the rage. It was that emotion that forced a loud, sobbing cry from Rime as the well-aimed blows hit the abused, welted flesh just below the swell of his backside. It might not all be his fault, but so much of the mess did lay at his oblivious feet.

A shudder ran down Malachite’s spine at the cry. It was one of the most beautiful sounds he had ever had the privilege to hear, and he’d heard many. Rime’s buttocks were a mass of welts and bruises, the flesh tender and red, ready to split. He tossed the cane to the floor and walked to the side of the bed. “On the floor,” he said, words breathless. “On your knees, hands laced behind your back!”

Rime obeyed shakily; the movement caused pain to ripple through him sharply, steal his breath away. His cock was hot and heavy between his legs as he pushed himself from the bed and dropped instantly to his knees. His fingers twined together behind his back, brushing occasionally against the angry, smarting flesh of his ass and thighs. Rime looked up at Malachite, his pale eyes shimmering with unshed tears.

The pain and regret, love and need Malachite saw in Rime’s eyes was breathtaking. He couldn’t stop himself, and he reached out to cup a flushed, damp cheek. His thumb rubbed along Rime’s jaw, and then over his lips. “Open,” he ordered, voice thick, and his own sex was erect and eager. “Open wide and relax your throat. This will be the first lesson of the night.” Because there were several more to be learned before he offered Rime his release and forgiveness.

There wasn’t a moment of hesitation as Rime opened his mouth, and, with a final swallow, released all tension from his throat. The gentle touch to his face was, in its own way, a reward, a gesture of love he treasured.

Malachite’s thumb dipped into Rime’s mouth, gliding over even teeth. “This is mine,” he whispered, a fire blazing in his eyes as he held Rime’s gaze. “No other will trespass between these lips unless I say they may.” He took himself in hand and guided his sex into the hot mouth ready to accept him. His eyes fluttered as he pushed himself inside until lips surrounded the root of him, and he moaned loudly as Rime’s wet warmth surround him once more. “No other,” he hissed, hands cupping Rime’s throat as he slowly withdrew until the head of his cock pulled at lush lips. He paused, and then plunged back in with another soft, musical cry.

Rime all but melted at Malachite’s words, shuddering at the possession. He reveled in the utter domination that colored each word, each movement that pushed Malachite into the depths of his throat. It was a side of Malachite he’d never before seen in all their years together. There was an unwavering confidence that overcame Malachite as his pace increased, and Rime was helpless in its wake. His breath was short, and his jaw began to ache as he struggled to keep his eyes locked on Malachite’s and ride the ebb and flow.

Malachite pushed Rime just beyond discomfort, until he knew Rime’s jaw would still be smarting by the next night. A wet sound accompanied his withdrawal from Rime’s mouth, and Malachite bent at the waist, capturing those slick lips with his own. He savagely kissed Rime, tongue plundering and claiming, the anger and hurt and absolute love he felt fed into the mating of lips, tongue, and teeth. He parted, eyes glittering, thumbs pressing on the pulse he felt hammering in Rime’s throat. “To whom does this belong?”

“You.” Rime trembled beneath Malachite’s hands, forcing the words through his burning throat. “It’s yours, Malachite.”

“Good.” Malachite gave a final squeeze to the pale throat. “On the bed, hands and knees, legs spread wide,” he ordered as he righted himself. Malachite went to their bedside table and withdrew a bottle of lube. “I should fuck you until you’re raw, and then leave you wanting,” he muttered as he stared down at the bottle, his back to the bed.

Rime took several deep breaths, desperate to regain some semblance of control. Still shaking, and unbelievably aroused, he moved from the floor to the bed, wincing when he tried to swallow. He slowly positioned himself, spreading his legs a bit wider this time. He closed his eyes and prayed to the Old Gods that Malachite would take pity on him, not leaving him wanting. He hadn’t been asked a question, and so he chose to remain silent, his lips numb and throat hot.

Malachite turned to Rime, his gray gaze dark. “You have so very little to say tonight, Rime. Usually, I can’t shut you up even with my cock shoved down your throat.” He mounted the bed behind Rime, dragging his nails across the welted, scarlet skin.

A tear fell from Rime’s eyes as he screamed in a pain that transcended the physical. Still no question, and so he kept his silence.

Malachite poured the cold, viscous fluid down the crevice of Rime’s backside, and then added a generous amount to his fingers. He pushed them into Rime, three fingers spreading Rime wide. “This is mine.” He hooked his fingers and dragged them over the raised flesh within the passage, stroking mercilessly. “No other will trespass into this tightness unless I say they may.” Malachite thrust in and out, rubbing that bump with unerring precision. “None, Rime, do you hear me!”

Each touch of those fingers inside caused Rime to cry out into the coverlet. Sparks of light threatened to overtake his vision, but he gripped the sheets and forced back the pleasure that would normally have sent him over the edge. Every movement acknowledged Malachite’s words, and he pushed back hungrily against the slick digits.

Malachite tortured Rime in the sweetest, most heart-wrenching ways. He replaced fingers with cock, shouting a vulgarity to the ceiling. His fingers bruisingly gripped Rime’s hips as he brutally took him with body and words. “Two years I fucking waited for you, and you couldn’t bother to come after me until you had to! Two years!” Tears hovered on his lashes, and the pain he had endured threatened to suffocate him. “Only when I could do something for you did you even call! Nothing has changed… nothing will ever change.”

Rime sobbed as he was forcefully taken, something he hadn’t experienced in what seemed like centuries. Every nerve was on fire, glowing red with pain, and he finally broke his silence. “I’m sorry,” he whimpered pathetically, weeping into their sheets. “I should have… earlier… I’m so sorry…”

The pounding of flesh and the sound of sobs permeated the room, and Malachite clenched his eyes tightly against the pain he sensed from Rime. There were times when the mating bond complicated everything. When he could feel how distraught Rime was, it made holding onto his rage that much more difficult. “Why?” he demanded. It was the only question that had burned in his mind since the first week of their separation. “Dammit, why?”

“Shame!” Rime choked out. “Shame and arrogant pride!”

Malachite pulled out, shoved Rime onto his back, and then knelt between his legs. His face hovered above Rime’s tear-stained one. His fingers delved back into the slippery passage, relentlessly working that bundle of nerves. He knew how much it had taken Rime to admit that, and while he wanted to acknowledge it, he refused. Rime deserved no relief from him. Not yet. “To whom does this belong?” he said, the words all but spat in Rime’s face as he rammed his fingers into him.

“You!” Rime gasped. He ground his teeth together, his whole body tense as he tried so hard to keep himself from coming.

Leaving Rime’s hole, Malachite traveled down his lover’s body, lips hovering over the dark, engorged shaft resting unspent between tense thighs. “This is mine.” He lapped at the fluid smeared on the tip and Rime’s belly. “No other will trespass here unless I say they may.” Malachite drew Rime into his mouth and slid down until his lips wrapped around the base of him. His touch now was gentler, kinder, though the unspoken command remained between them: Rime wasn’t permitted his release until Malachite gave him permission.

Rime screamed Malachite’s name as he writhed beneath him. The tenderness was a stark contrast to the pain and violence that had colored Malachite’s actions all evening.

Malachite drew on him for several minutes, bringing pleasure where he’d only brought pain. His fingers caressed thighs, hips, and one teased the space between navel and groin. It was a unique aspect of his wild Satyr, an erotically hypersensitive patch of skin. Arousal settled insistently between Malachite’s legs as Rime screamed for him again. He craved completion as much as he knew Rime did. He wanted to spend himself deep inside Rime, though, claim him as his all over again, but that would have to wait.

The lessons were not yet complete.

Malachite lifted his head, hand still stroking that patch of skin while the other fisted wet, hard flesh. “To whom does this belong?” Malachite asked, voice guttural and deep.

“You…” Rime whimpered, his breath catching each time Malachite’s fingers brushed the skin of his abdomen. His whole body quivered with unspent need, and it took every ounce of self-control he possessed to stay his climax.

“Good.” Malachite poured more lube into his palm and smeared it along Rime’s cock. “There are only two more lessons for you to learn tonight,” he murmured as he straddled Rime’s waist. Gritting his teeth, Malachite sat back on the glistening shaft, shoving away the pain as he took himself without any fingering. “This… is yours…” he panted when his ass rested against Rime’s thighs. “Look… look at me, Rime… this is yours…” Malachite clenched his muscles around Rime to emphasize his point, his hands splayed over Rime’s stomach.

Rime’s tear-lined eyes grew wide with shock and pleasure. Malachite didn’t often offer this pleasure to him, and to feel it now, after so long apart and with such pain between them… He didn’t know what to do with it. His shaking hands gripped Malachite’s hips and held tightly as if Malachite were the only port in a raging storm. “Mal… achite… Ah!” Rime’s toes curled as he tried to keep himself in check. The order hadn’t been given… not yet. Not. Yet.

Malachite took one of Rime’s hands from his hips and wrapped it around his cock. “This… is yours.” Malachite leaned forward, lips near Rime’s. “And this… is yours…” he breathed before taking Rime’s mouth in a shattering kiss. His tongue swiped against Rime’s briefly, and then he righted himself. “I am… yours. To whom do… you belong?” Malachite asked as he began to rise and fall on Rime’s cock, encouraging Rime to stroke him in return.

Once he received his answer, that was.

“You! I belong… to you… only you!” Rime cried, his voice trembling with the strain. His grip on Malachite tightened, and he did his best to pump his cock despite the pressure building inside him. The friction of Malachite’s body pushed him to the very edge of his sanity, and he was finally reduced to a sobbing mass of over-stimulated nerves. “Please… Malachite! Please!”

Malachite was so close, skating that vibrant brink of pleasure he’d denied himself all night. The brief reconnection in the jail cell was nothing compared to this. With amazing grace, Malachite dismounted Rime, and then rolled Rime onto his side and lifted his leg. “If we are to find release,” he growled in Rime’s ear while he pressed himself to Rime’s hold, “then we will find it with my cock piercing you!” He thrust in and moaned, his eyes rolling up. “You are mine, and don’t ever forget that fact! Mine!” His hips snapped forward rapidly, his hand fisting Rime’s shaft. With a heartbreaking sob, emotion overtook Malachite, and he bit deeply into the junction Rime’s throat and shoulder. Tasting blood, he cried out to their bond, Come, beloved! His body tightened, and his hand yanked forcefully at Rime’s cock as orgasm washed through him like white fire, blazing and purifying. His seed pulsed into the clutching body, marked what Malachite claimed for his own while he wept softly against the bloodied throat.

It was with a shattering sound somewhere between a scream and a painful sob that Rime finally found his release. His vision was engulfed in brilliant light, his hearing consumed by the rush of his pulse. He arched against Malachite until the blinding moment of climax passed, leaving him limp and trembling in Malachite’s arms.

Pounding hearts and rasping breath, broken by soft sounds of grief and relief, filled the space between them. Malachite clung to Rime, whispering over and over, “I love you. I’ve loved you for so long… Don’t be with others without me, Rime. Work is one thing, but what you did… what you did was unforgivable…”

Rime’s heart broke, and he turned just enough to bring his lips close to Malachite’s. “I’m sorry. I love you… I’m sorry…” he sobbed before pressing an almost chaste kiss to Malachite’s lips. His soul called to Malachite’s, begging to be held, to be cherished again. Satyrs didn’t take bondmates lightly. He’d gone against the advice of everyone in his tribe who had warned him that bonding with one of the Aes Sídhe—especially one of princes of the Lunar Court—was like gelding himself. The Aes Sídhe were possessive, needy, and bonding with one would slowly smother the Satyr’s soul.

But that hadn’t been what Rime had found with Malachite. He’d found his place at Malachite’s side, and now, after two years of neglecting their bond, Rime needed to feel it open up between them. He let the song of his spirit rise, become deafening, offering itself up to Malachite just as it had the night of their bonding.

Malachite’s gold-tinged spirit immediately enveloped Rime’s frosty one, soothing with unseen fingers as physical arms wrapped around him tightly. Their songs merged, became a duet that was as complete and as rich as any symphony. His mind wrapped around Rime’s, whispering, You are everything to me, Rime. For you, I forsook Death when all I had craved was peace. For you, I lived. For you, I live. “You are forgiven,” he whispered against swollen lips. “Lesson taught, lesson learned.” His thumb and forefinger stroked Rime’s right middle finger. “I want rings. I bound my spirit to yours, as is the way of our kind, and yet you never gave me a ring, never asked for one from me. I want one, even if those of this world won’t understand its meaning… you and I will.”

Rime’s chin trembled, and he clenched his teeth as he turned in Malachite’s arms. He hugged Malachite close as he sobbed into the crook of his neck. So many times Malachite had said he’d wanted nothing but the release of death, to follow his brothers through the cleansing fires to be reborn, forgiven, washed of all sins. To be the reason for Malachite’s life was the greatest purpose Rime could ever have. It meant the world to him. Despite all the years spent together, he found himself falling in love with Malachite all over again in that moment. I love you, Malachite. My bondmate, my world. You’re everything to me. He pulled back enough to look into Malachite’s stormcloud eyes, and a small smile broke out on his flushed, wet face. “As soon as I can move, we can go ring shopping like humans do.”

“Ring shopping?” Malachite chuckled. “After the fine I paid to haul your ass out of jail,  you’ll be working overtime for Briar.” Malachite slipped from the bed, disappearing into the bathroom.

The sound of Malachite’s humor was like healing balm to a deep wound in Rime’s soul. He remained on his side, chuckling softly to himself even though the subtle movements caused shocks of pain to shoot all along his body. Fuck, it had been a long time since he’d been so thoroughly punished and used. Even if he hated what had led to it, he reveled in the aftermath.

Malachite returned with washcloths, a jar of salve, a glass of water, and a bottle of aspirin. He gently cleaned come and lube from Rime’s ass, and then wiped Rime’s groin and belly. “If you want to shop for rings together, then shop for them we shall.” He kissed Rime’s shoulder, pressing a cool cloth to the angry bite on Rime’s throat. “But I want platinum.”

Rime hissed, smiling through the pain. “Anything you wish, Mal.”

A sharp, herbal scent filled the room when Malachite opened the salve. A smile blossomed on his lips when Rime called him Mal. “Anything we wish,” he whispered, smearing the numbing ointment onto Rime’s buttocks and thighs, working it in with tender fingers.

Rime whimpered. Malachite’s care was something that still made Rime feel awed and utterly loved. Satyrs had a way of making bloodshed into art, and Rime had sacrificed his flesh to such games countless times. But no other had taken such loving care of him. It was one thing Rime had never taken for granted, even after more than seven hundred years at Malachite’s side. “I love you, Mal.”

“I love you, too,” Malachite said, offering the glass of water and aspirin. “Take these, and then we’ll go to sleep… next to one another.” He’d craved that simple contact, the act of Rime lying in his arms as dreams claimed them. “I’ve missed holding you.”

Rime swallowed the pills, and then he leaned over to place a kiss on Malachite’s lips, caressing his cheek softly with his free hand. “I missed you every moment of every day. I missed singing with you.”

Malachite took the glass from Rime, set it on the nightstand, and then turned out the light. The bed was welcoming, the sheets soft and smooth against his still-flushed body. Malachite tucked them both under the thick comforter and nuzzled Rime’s cheek. “Is the lesson complete?” he asked, stroking Rime’s hair. Before Rime could respond, the mattress sagged under a significant weight at their feet. Tûg purred loudly as he settled in the hollow of Malachite’s legs, and soon, the other four cats joined the first on the bed. “How could you miss me when you had them?” Malachite snorted, pulling Rime close and holding him gently, ever aware of the welts striping Rime’s body.

“None of them could ever replace you,” Rime murmured, though there was a smile on his face as the cats surrounded them. “No one shall ever replace you, Mal. I won’t fuck around without your permission, I promise.” He closed his eyes, settling in Malachite’s arms, feeling at home for the first time in too long. “The lesson is complete.”

TBC…

***

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