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Eternal I: The Language of Seduction

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Posted to the RareSlash mailing list August 29, 2002

Title: Eternal I: The Language of Seduction
Author/pseudonym: Caroline Crane
Fandom: The Forsaken
Paring: Sean/Nick
Rating: NC17
Status: new
Archive: yes to list archives
E-mail address for feedback: caroline_crane@hotmail.com
Series/Sequel: part 1 of 3. That's it. I swear.
Other websites: http://desiderium.slashcity.net
Notes: Another day, another fandom. This started much differently than it's turned out, but once I was nearly done with the first version I really wanted to see this particular scene fleshed out. So instead of one fic through Sean's eyes I ended up with a total of three. What can I say, I like poetry.
Summary: Sean learns a little more about Nick's past and their relationship takes a new direction.
Warnings: yes, most certainly, for a lot of the movie I suppose



Come live with me and be my Love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
That hills and valleys, dale and field,
And all the craggy mountains yield.

        -- from "The Passionate Shepherd to his Love", Christopher Marlowe

        You wouldn't know by looking at him - or even talking to him, really - that Nick was the type of guy that would know anything about poetry. Not that I can talk; I didn't go in much for that kind of thing in high school. I kept my grades up just enough that I wouldn't stress my sister out with calls from the school, but otherwise I didn't care about much besides making movies.

        So it's not like I was all that excited when we found that old, dog-eared paperback somebody had left behind in a motel room outside Reno. Or maybe it was Tahoe, I'm not sure. We'd been on the road together a few months by then, and we were still doing the whole 'pretending to be just friends' thing. I figured he had to know why I'd followed him; I mean three months of just driving around on the off chance we might end up on the same road at some point had to tell him something, but he never made anything of it so I figured he just didn't want to deal.

        It's funny how everything changed just because of that stupid book. I think it made me fall even more in love with him, to tell you the truth, and at the time I didn't think that was possible. I mean I knew I loved him; I'd wanted him since the first time I saw him, and by the time he ditched me in the hospital I'd fallen hard enough to ditch my whole life and go after him. Maybe that makes me crazy, I don't know. But I found him, and that's all I cared about at the time. It's still all I care about, because he's all I care about.

        Still, it was hard those first few months to keep my hands to myself when we were together all the damn time, not to mention sharing a bed every night. The sick thing is that part of me kind of enjoyed the fact that the virus was getting to him more and more, only because it meant I had an excuse to touch him. I felt bad whenever I caught myself looking for reasons to put my hands on him, even if it was just to hold him up while he puked or wipe sweat off his forehead when he had a fever. It made me feel like some kind of creep that I kind of got off on being able to touch him, but I wasn't about to pass up the opportunity.

        The night we found the book was one of his good nights; he wasn't coughing much and he'd spent most of the day joking around about what his resume was gonna look like when he got his life back. That was another thing that surprised me - he actually thought about the future, what he was gonna do when this was all over. I mean I thought about it - maybe a lot more than I should - but I didn't expect to hear it from him. When he introduced himself as a slacker who did as little as possible I guess the image just kinda stuck, he'd been on the road so long that he looked the part and I guess maybe part of him believed it. But there was no denying that he was a smart guy, he'd have to be to track the Forsaken as far as he had.

        Most people would've thrown in the towel long before he did, but we both refused to even talk about giving up because even though we never talked about it, we both knew what would happen if we quit. Part of me couldn't help thinking that he felt the same way about me that I did about him, only he didn't want to do anything about it until he was sure he could finish whatever we started. Maybe I was lying to myself, but it was the only thing that kept me going some days. That and him, because even if he never wanted me I couldn't just let him become one of those...things. Not without a fight.

        When we stopped at that motel outside Tahoe or Reno or wherever the hell we were, we both still expected to find his Forsaken and dust the fucker, and listening to Nick joke around about what happened after we did had put me in a pretty good mood for once. We picked up some food and brought it back to our room, neither of us really wanting to deal with a bunch of tourists at any of the restaurants around the motel. Well, maybe that was his excuse, but I was more than happy to go along with anything that meant I got Nick all to myself for awhile.

        As soon as we got in the room he stretched out on the bed, and by the time I washed a little of the road dirt off my face and took a leak he was asleep. I'd never tell him, but I loved watching him sleep. I could sit there all night and just watch him, watch his eyelashes curling against his skin and watch his chest rise and fall. Maybe it was just knowing he was still alive and breathing that made me feel better, but part of it was that it was the only time I really got to just look at him. If I stared too much while he was driving he'd start looking at me kinda weird, so I quit doing that almost as soon as I found him again.

        When he was asleep it didn't matter, though; I could stare at him all night if I wanted and it wouldn't make a difference to anybody. That was when I noticed the book, it was sitting right on the edge of the nightstand next to the bed. At first I thought maybe it was his, but I didn't remember ever seeing him with a book before. I stood up and crossed to the head of the bed, trying to ignore how close it brought me to him while I picked up the book and flipped it over. When I saw that it was some kind of poetry anthology I figured it couldn't be Nick's, and I started to put it back down again.

        I'm still not sure what made me stop, maybe it was just because I was sick of watching old movies with crappy reception on the motel TV. Maybe I just didn't want to turn on the TV and wake him up, but whatever the reason I picked up the book and stretched out on the side of the bed he wasn't sprawled across. It was nice to be able to sit that close to him without making him wonder, but we'd been comfortable with each other pretty much since the beginning. I guess it's hard to be shy when you're worried about turning into a bloodsucker. He'd probably would've laughed if he heard me say that; he'd probably even say that was the one thing that should have made me nervous about sharing a bed with him, but it never even crossed my mind that if he turned I'd be in a lot of danger.

        It's not like I told myself he wouldn't hurt me, I just didn't think about it because it wasn't gonna happen. We were going to find his Forsaken and waste the fucker and then I was gonna take Nick back to L.A. with me and never let him out of my sight again. That was the plan, anyway, I hadn't run it past him yet but I was hoping he'd go along with it. It wasn't like he ever talked about going back home, he'd mentioned his mom a few times but he didn't make it sound like they were real close. So I figured if he didn't have anything to go back to he might as well come out to L.A., at least there he had me. If he wanted me after we got him better; there was always the chance he wouldn't want me around once we found what we were looking for, but I didn't let myself think like that much.

        For awhile I just flipped through the pages of the book without paying a lot of attention to what was on them. It was bad enough trying to concentrate on poetry when Nick wasn't stretched out less than a foot away from me, and anyway I was more interested in watching him sleep than in reading. It wasn't like I ever understood that kind of stuff anyway, but at least it gave me something to do with my hands besides see how close I could get without actually touching him.

        I'm not sure when I went from wanting him to being totally obsessed; I guess three months on the road with nothing on my mind but finding him was enough to do it, but when I did find him again it just got worse. He was there all the time, we never talked about it but somehow we just agreed to stick together. Maybe it was a safety thing for him, but for me it was more worry that he was gonna try to ditch me again. I don't think he wanted to leave the first time, I think he just wanted to show me that I didn't owe him anything. Or maybe he knew I'd follow him, and he wanted to be sure I was doing it because I wanted to.

        Either way I did exactly what he expected me to, and the sick part was that I was grateful just for the chance to sit there and watch him sleep. I was still staring at him when he woke up, his eyes snapping open suddenly like he'd been having a nightmare. He sucked in a deep breath and started coughing, turning onto his side with his face kinda half buried in the blanket. I didn't think before I reached over and started rubbing his back, and by the time I realized what I was doing I figured he wouldn't mind. At least he'd know I was just trying to help, and when he got sick it always made me feel pretty helpless so I had to do something.

        When he finally caught his breath I pulled my hand away and got up to get him something to drink, hoping he wouldn't notice how close to him I'd been when he woke up. He pushed himself back against the headboard and watched me cross back to the bed, flashing me this kind of half smile when I handed him a cup of water. "Thanks, man," he said once he'd swallowed some of the water and set the cup down on the nightstand.

        "No problem," I answered, sitting on the edge of the bed and trying to look at him without making it obvious that I was looking for signs that he was getting worse. I forgot about the book I'd been leafing through until he looked down at the mattress and picked it up.

        "Where'd you get this?"

        "It was on the table," I said, gesturing behind him. "Somebody must've left it. There's some weird shit in there. I mean I don't know shit about poetry, but there's a whole poem in there about a finger."

        He let out a laugh that sounded like it hurt a little, but he shook his head when he caught me starting to get up. "I'm alright," he said, and it didn't matter whether I believed him or not because he knew more about taking care of himself than I did. I'd learned a lot over the past few months, but he'd been doing it for over a year. "There's a lot you can do with a finger, you know."

        I felt my jaw drop and snapped it shut as fast as I could, hoping he didn't notice my reaction to what he'd just said. I couldn't tell from his expression if he meant what it sounded like he meant, and there was no way in hell I was gonna ask. Part of me really, really wanted to, but I was way too scared of waking up one day and finding him gone again to push it.

        "Stephen Crane," he said, snapping me out of my shock long enough to focus on him again.

        "Huh?"

        "Stephen Crane," he repeated, flipping through the book until he found what he was looking for. I leaned forward a little when he turned the book toward me, and damn if he hadn't found the exact poem I'd been talking about. "'Ah, God, The Way Your Little Finger Moved'. It's not about a finger...not really, anyway. It's about being so crazy in love that even something like the way a person moves their finger can make you want them."

        That explanation I could understand; maybe not before I met Nick, but now that I'd spent a few months with him I knew what it was like to want someone so much that even watching him sleep turned me on. "Since when do you know anything about poetry?"

        "I used to have a life, you know." He said it real quiet, looking down at the book the whole time. It made me feel bad for asking, like I'd just called him stupid or something. That wasn't what I meant, but I wasn't sure he'd believe me if I tried to explain it.

        "So in your last life you were into poetry?"

        He smiled at that and looked over at me, but I couldn't tell from his eyes what he was thinking. "I was into a lot of things. Some of this stuff," he said, holding the book up for emphasis, "but mostly more contemporary stuff. You ever get stoned and try reading 'The Naked Lunch'?"

        "Can't say I have," I answered, grinning as I tried to picture Nick as some kind of post-modern intellectual.

        "You should try it sometime. You gotta get high before you can figure out what the hell the Beat Generation's talking about, but it's worth it. Love's a big theme even for some of those guys. 'The weight of the world is love'. That's Ginsberg, you won't find it in this book. Mostly this is the dead white guys."

        He handed it back to me and I settled back against the headboard, trying hard to ignore the way our shoulders pressed together when he shifted next to me. I still didn't see the appeal of reading a bunch of poetry, but at least it gave me something to look at so I wouldn't have to work so hard not to look at him. A few pages into the thing I raised an eyebrow and looked over at him, swallowing a gasp when I found him watching me. "I thought you said this was dead white guys."

        "I said 'mostly'." He shifted even closer to me and I held my breath while he leaned sorta half over me and looked at the page. "Elizabeth Barrett Browning, she's close enough to a dead white guy. She married one of 'em, anyway." All I could do was nod when he straightened up and looked over at me again. For a second I could almost believe he was thinking about leaning forward and kissing me, but before I had a chance to make a total fool of myself he started talking again. "'If thou must love me, let it be for nought/Except for love's sake only'."

        "What...what's that mean?" I winced when my voice cracked, but if he heard it he didn't say anything.

        "It's about undying love. If you love for love's sake then it's supposed to be eternal. Shakespeare wrote the same thing in one of his sonnets. 'Love is not love/Which alters when it alteration finds,/Or bends with the remover to remove'."

        I still didn't know what the hell he was talking about, but when he looked away I figured that was all the explanation I was gonna get. The weird part was that he was quoting this stuff off the top of his head, like he'd spent a lot of time reading poetry before he got bit. He almost seemed like he missed it, and it made me wonder how much I didn't know about him yet.

        "So you were like...smart," I said, and fuck if that wasn't the stupidest thing I'd ever said. He laughed again but didn't look over at me, and all of a sudden I felt like I'd missed a huge part of the conversation. "Sorry. I didn't mean that the way it sounded."

        "Yeah, I know what you meant." I expected him to be mad, but when he looked at me again he was smiling. He reached over and pulled the book out of my hands, dropping it back on the table where I found it. "None of that shit matters, Sean. It means whatever you want it to mean."

        I had a feeling he thought it mattered at some point, and maybe he still did. Maybe he wanted to believe it still mattered, and the weird thing was that when he said that stuff out loud I could kind of see why he liked it. I mean when I read it in the book it didn't mean much to me, just a bunch of words swimming around on the page. But when he said the words out loud it was almost like I could feel them, like they meant something because it was him saying them. "Like I said, I don't know shit about poetry. But it sounds pretty cool when you say it out loud."

        That must have been the right thing to say, because he upped the wattage on his smile and turned toward me a little. "Yeah, well, when you get home you should quit watching movies long enough to pick up a book once in awhile."

        I made a face at him that made him laugh again, and it felt good to know it was me making him smile. He'd been in a pretty good mood most of the day, but there were days when he'd go whole stretches of time without talking. Lately they'd been getting more and more frequent, and every time I had to watch him brood I got a little more worried that we weren't gonna find his Forsaken before it was too late. It was easy to forget what we were doing while he was grinning at me like that, though, and I heard myself talking before I even realized I was thinking the question. "So you got any more of that stuff stored in there?" I asked, reaching over to knock on his forehead.

        It was hard not to react when he caught my wrist and held on, his eyes locked with mine while he pulled my hand away from his face. My mouth went dry and I licked my lips, and when his eyes moved to my mouth I knew I hadn't been imagining all the tension between us. I wasn't sure if it was just because it had been so long for him - I knew how long it had been for me, but for all I knew he hadn't had sex since he started this quest of his. It wouldn't be hard for a guy like him to pick up somebody on the road for the night, but I didn't want to know that kind of thing. All I cared about was that he wanted me, and if this was the only shot I got I wasn't about to pass it up.

        "I know one you might like," he said, and he was so close I could feel his breath on my cheek. I tried not to let him see me shudder, but I had a feeling he already knew exactly what kind of affect he had on me.

        "Yeah? Let's hear it."

        "You sure?" he asked, and when I caught his expression I suddenly wasn't. I thought I knew where this was going, but it was all happening fast and if I was just imagining the whole thing I might find myself waking up alone in the morning. I could have laughed it off and he would have let me off the hook, but there was this voice in the back of my head telling me I might never get this shot again. I nodded and turned toward him, ignoring the butterflies in my stomach and sending up a quick prayer that I wasn't reading into the way he was looking at me.

        He grinned and shifted even closer to me while he spoke, and I knew if he didn't want me the way I wanted him there was no way I was getting out of this without embarrassing myself.

        "'I like my body when it is with your/body. It is so quite new a thing./Muscles better and nerves more. '." He paused and I was sure I was never gonna breathe again when he leaned over and opened his mouth against my neck. His lips felt hot against my skin, but the burn let me know it was real and I wasn't just having another one of those dreams where I woke up worrying about what he'd heard me say in my sleep. He kissed the skin just below my ear before he pulled back enough to talk whisper into my ear.

        "'I like your body. I like what it does,/I like its hows. I like to feel the spine/of your body and its bones, and the trembling/-firm-smooth ness and which I will/again and again and again/kiss'." Another kiss, this time on my jaw, and all of a sudden I wasn't so sure I was awake. If it was a dream I didn't want to wake up, maybe not ever, because even his voice did things to me that no poem could ever describe. When he started talking again his mouth was right next to mine, so close his cheek brushed against mine every time his jaw moved.

        "'I like kissing this and that of you,/I like slowly stroking the shocking fuzz/of your electric fur, and what-is-it comes/over parting flesh . . . . And eyes big love-crumbs'." I didn't know what the fuck he meant by 'electric fur' or 'love-crumbs', but I was beyond caring about the actual words. All I knew was that I could turn my head...just a little, less than an inch, and we'd be kissing. Mouth on mouth, the way I'd pictured it and dreamed it a thousand times since I first laid eyes on him. Since that first moment he walked up to the Mercedes and asked me for a ride, and all I could do was picture him bending me over the hood of the goddamn car and fucking me 'til I couldn't remember my own name.

        "Nick..." His name came out of my mouth before I realized I was thinking it, but I wasn't really surprised. His name was always right on the tip of my tongue, along with a lot of other things I tried not to say out loud because I knew they'd come out breathy and a little desperate and sounding an awful lot like some high school girl with a crush. Which was exactly how I sounded, but when he kissed the corner of my mouth I didn't care. I didn't care about anything except how much I wanted him and how long I'd waited for him to do something, anything to let me know he wanted me too.

        "I'm not done," he said, pulling away just enough to look at me. The funny thing was that he looked just as desperate as I felt, and all I wanted to do was pull him back down onto the mattress with me. I wanted to tell him to forget the poem, to forget talking at all and just feel for as long as we could. I didn't give a damn if we ever left the shitty motel room again, as long as he stayed right there with me.

        Instead I just nodded again and let him talk. Maybe that makes me weak, but at that point I would have done anything he asked and if he wanted to finish his poem I could wait long enough to hear the end. At least I hoped I could.

        "'And possibly I like the thrill'," he said, still looking at me like he was waiting for my reaction, "'of under me you so quite new'."

        I didn't bother trying to hide the shudder that rolled through me, but it didn't matter because he was still looking at me like he was waiting for something. Before he had a chance to change his mind I was on my knees in front of him, pushing him back up against the headboard. He didn't try to stop me when I leaned forward this time, and I took hold of his face and tilted his head before I covered his mouth with mine.

        His mouth felt hot against mine; I knew it was the virus, but it snapped me back to reality long enough to pull away and look down at him. "Nick..." I knew I wasn't earning any points for originality but it was hard to make myself stop long enough to ask him if he felt up to this. After being so close to him without doing anything about it for so long it was hard not to ignore the fact that he was sick and just take what I'd wanted for so long, especially since he was the one that had more or less offered. "You're burning up," I finally said, running my fingers down the sides of his face to feel the heat under his skin.

        "I'm not delirious or anything if that's what you're worried about." He was grinning but I could see the worry still in his eyes, the same worry that hadn't gone away since I first found him on his way to Denver. "I know you want this as much as I do, so shut up before you remind me why we haven't already done it."

        "I don't want...I mean I want this, God I want this," I said, all in one breath like I was in a hurry, and in a way I was because I knew if I talked too long I'd talk him back out of something he probably hadn't planned on ever going through with. "But I don't want to make you worse."

        When he grinned it was all teeth and something darker than I'd ever seen on him before, and just for a second I knew what I was risking. I'd already given up my life, though, and if I had anything left to give I knew he could have it. So if we never found his Forsaken and he did turn...well, I'd just have to take that risk too, because I couldn't leave him. His hands were on my hips, and before I even felt him move I found myself flat on my back underneath him.

        "I'm good," he said, and I swallowed the urge to make a dumb joke about just how good I imagined he was. "So shut up already."

        There wasn't much else I could do when he kissed me again, but I didn't really want to try any harder to talk him out of it anyway. I never really wanted to talk him out of it, I guess I just wanted to know for sure that he wasn't doing it just because he knew I wanted it. When he ground his hips against mine I could tell how much he wanted it, though, and I pushed all my questions to the back of my mind and focused on memorizing the way he tasted.

        There was a chance he'd wake up in the morning and decide this was a mistake, and just in case he changed his mind I wanted to commit everything about him to memory. My hands moved up under his shirt, tracing the curve of his back up to the hollow between his shoulder blades. He made a breathy little noise against my mouth when I trailed my fingers over his sides, and I smiled against his lips when I realized he was ticklish.

        "Don't you fucking dare," he growled, and I wanted to tell him that pulling his mouth away from mine was enough of a punishment to make me forget I ever figured out he had a weakness.

        I pulled my hands out from under his shirt and held them up, grinning up at him when he rolled his eyes and grabbed my wrists. He pinned my arms to the mattress on either side of my face and leaned forward again, his chest warm and heavy against mine as he pressed his mouth to the side of my neck. And it was weird to lie there under him knowing what he could do to me, how much a part of him wanted to do it. The drugs kept that part of him pretty much dormant, but I could see them working a little less every day and anybody that knew what was going on would have thought I was crazy to let a potential future vampire lick my neck.

        The thing was, I knew him. Even though we'd only known each other a few months and I didn't know much about his life before he got bit, I knew who he was and I knew he didn't want to hurt me. Hell, half the reason he walked away from me the first time was probably because he was giving me a chance to back out of something that had started before I even knew he was infected. He was a lot braver than me, either that or he just didn't need me as much as I needed him. All I knew for sure was there was no way I could have walked away from him, I'd proved that much by chasing after him all that time.

        His mouth was moving down my neck, and when my collar got in the way he finally let go of my arms long enough to push my shirt up over my stomach. His fingers burned a pattern in my skin as he pushed the fabric up higher, letting me up long enough to help him pull it over my head. He was moving way too slow, but it was that sweet kind of torture that I never wanted to end. As soon as my shirt was gone I slid my hands under his shirt again, flattening my palms against the small of his back and pulling him forward.

        He let out a little hiss when I rocked up against him, his eyes sliding closed for a second before he pushed himself up long enough to pull his own shirt off. And yeah...that was what I'd been looking for. His skin felt like it was on fire, and when he slid back down on top of me I felt like I'd been draped in a living, breathing Nick blanket. I knew I should probably make him stop and at least try to cool him down a little, but he didn't look like it was bothering him. He didn't look like he even noticed, in fact his attention was pretty much focused on my mouth.

        Which was fine with me, because kissing Nick was better than I'd imagined it would be and I was pretty sure I'd never get enough of him. Only neither of us were sure how much time we really had, and when he crushed my mouth with his again it felt almost like he was trying to make up for lost time. I wrapped my arms tight around him and pulled him even closer, one hand on his back and the other making its way under his waistband.

        He groaned against my mouth when I worked my hand inside his pants, my palm meeting the smooth skin of his ass. I swallowed a laugh and made a mental note to find someplace to do laundry, not that I was complaining about him going commando. We'd been pushing way too hard, though, and even though we couldn't afford to let up I knew we were going to have to if we didn't want him getting worse. So using laundry as an excuse to slow him down a little would have to work, and if it didn't I had a whole new way to distract him now.

        His tongue was still in my mouth when I felt him tense, and for a second I thought maybe I'd hurt him somehow. Then he pulled away, panting and trying to get off me. It was pretty hard to do with my hand still down his pants, though, so he settled for resting his head on my shoulder and breathing hard against my neck. "Shit, we can't do this. We gotta stop, Sean."

        "You stop right now and you don't have to worry about finding your Forsaken," I shot back, but I let go of him and he rolled off me onto his back. "What's the matter? Because if you're sick okay, but if you're just feeling guilty or some shit like that I'll kill you myself."

        "It's not that. I mean yeah, this is probably a bad idea for a lot of reasons, but I've wanted you since that first day. I just don't think we should do this without protection. There's always the chance there's gonna be blood..."

        As soon as I realized what his problem was I was off the bed and digging through one of my bags. It took longer than it needed to because my hands were shaking, but I finally found the box of condoms I'd had stashed in there forever. When I came up with the lube I'd picked up before I starting looking for him I turned around again, trying hard not to laugh at his expression.

        "Do I wanna know why you're carrying that stuff around with you?"

        "Haven't you ever heard that hope springs eternal?" I asked, letting him pull me back onto the bed. He was shaking his head like I'd just pulled something over on him, but once he got me on my back again he reached for the button of my jeans.

        "You're crazy," he said, but his voice sounded far-away like he'd forgotten I could hear him. He leaned forward and buried his face in my neck, his lips brushing my ear and then my jaw as he worked my zipper down. I let out a gasp when he finally wrapped a hand around my dick and squeezed, bucking up into his grip as soon as his fingers closed around me. I might have come right then just from the months of anticipation if he hadn't pulled back to look at me again, his hand moving slow enough to tease but not fast enough to end things before they really started. "Three fucking months, Sean. You really are crazy."

        It wasn't like I could argue with him, at least not about the crazy part. "It's been...more like...six months," I said, the words coming out in a series of little gasps. I knew what he meant, but three months of looking for him was nothing compared to the torture of waiting for him to come around.

        He made a noise that sounded like that didn't really help prove my sanity and pulled his hand out of my jeans long enough to grip the fabric and pull it down my hips. I lifted off the mattress to help him, dropping back down as soon as he got my jeans and boxers down to my knees. I kicked them the rest of the way off while he climbed back over me, bracing his hands on either side of my face and just looking at me for another minute. On anybody else I might have thought that was kind of creepy, but I had a feeling Nick was doing the same thing I was; trying to remember everything. It made me wonder if he'd still remember this if he turned, how much of his old life he'd take with him when he gave up his soul.

        Thinking like that made my chest ache, though, so I slid my hand around the back of his neck and hauled him back down on top of me. His mouth found mine again, and I parted my lips and slid one leg around his waist to pull him even closer. We both groaned as we rocked our hips together, and I could feel him fumbling around on the mattress for the lube I'd dropped near the pillows. I reached over my head and found the box of condoms, tearing my mouth away from his long enough to get it open. He was flushed and breathing heavy when I looked at him again, and I couldn't remember a time he'd ever looked more beautiful.

        His hair was even longer now than it was when I met him, and I reached up and pushed some of it back from his forehead. He caught my hand and pulled it away from his hair, turning his face into my palm and pressing a kiss right in the center. And fuck if it wasn't romantic, Nick kissing my goddamn hand and then looking down at me again like he couldn't believe I was there. Hell, I couldn't even believe I was there, even after three months I couldn't believe I'd actually found him. Him wanting me I'd never wrap my brain around, not even if he spent the rest of his life proving it to me over and over again.

        He pulled the condom out of my hand and leaned over again, pressing his lips to mine before he pulled back to look at me. "How do you want this?"

        I swallowed the most obvious answer, 'every way I can get it'; decided against 'any way you want' and 'just fucking do me already' too. I could have made a joke of it, but he looked totally serious and I had to admit it was kind of nice of him to ask. Finally I settled on the direct approach. "I want you to fuck me, Nick. I've been thinking about it since that first day you asked me for a ride."

        He grinned like that was exactly the answer he'd been hoping for, although I had a feeling I could have said anything and he would've gone along with it. It felt weird to know he wanted me that much - good, but definitely something I was gonna have to get used to. It wasn't like guys like Nick fell into my lap every day; in fact I wasn't sure there were any more guys like Nick, but all I needed was the one I already had. I just had to make sure I didn't lose him, no matter what happened to me.

        I reached between us and unzipped his pants, helping him struggle out of them and kick them onto the floor. I'd spent a lot of time picturing him like this, but my imagination didn't do justice to the real thing. I never would have gotten the hollow of his hip joint right, or the way his hip curved just enough to fit my hand perfectly. I couldn't have come up with the scar on his collarbone or the birthmark on his thigh, and no matter how many times I got to see him that way I knew I'd never get tired of the view.

        The view got even better when he pushed himself up on his knees, kneeling between my legs and running his hands up my thighs. It didn't even feel weird to have him looking at me like that, like he was trying to memorize me the way I was memorizing him. When I thought I couldn't take it anymore his hands left my thighs, one of them gripping my hip and the other one closing around my dick again. I let out a low groan and squeezed my eyes shut, but as soon as I felt hot moisture close around the head of my cock my eyes flew open again.

        And...Jesus, the sight of Nick's lips wrapped around my dick was more than I could stand. His hand was pressing into my hip hard enough to leave a mark, and I realized I was already trying to thrust into his mouth. It took everything in me to keep myself from bucking up hard and choking him, but focusing on staying still distracted me enough to keep me from coming right away and totally embarrassing myself. I still didn't last long, but there was no way I could have when Nick was sucking me off the same way I'd imagined a hundred times.

        Only it was a thousand times better than anything I'd ever imagined, because he was warm and solid and real and his thumb was rubbing little circles over my hipbone. I didn't know whether to scream or cry or shout his name like some gay porn cliché, but in the end all I managed was something that sounded almost like a moan. I expected him to pull off before I came, but instead of pulling away he took me even deeper into his throat and swallowed around me. That was all it took to push me over the edge, and a few seconds later I was shaking and trying to catch my breath.

        He swallowed around me again before he pulled off, and when I felt his lips brush my stomach I couldn't help smiling. I buried my hand in his hair and hauled him forward, leaning up to cover his mouth with mine and taste myself on his tongue. He groaned into my mouth and fumbled for the condom again, tearing the foil open and pulling away long enough to slide it onto his cock. I found the lube and squeezed some onto my fingers, closing my fist around him and pumping a few times while he kissed me again.

        When he couldn't take it anymore he pushed my hand away and nudged my legs further apart, pushing my knees toward my chest. He started to reach for the lube but I shook my head, catching his hand and threading my fingers through his. "Just do it," I said.

        He opened his mouth like he was gonna argue with me, so I wrapped my legs around his waist and pulled him forward. As soon as his cock slid against my skin he groaned and gave in, reaching down to line himself up before he pushed inside me. His whole body was flushed with the effort of trying not to just slam into me in one stroke, and I had the feeling that even if I told him he didn't have to be gentle he would have anyway. It was another one of those things that surprised me about him, because I never would have known by looking at him that he was the gentle type.

        I was starting to wonder if he was ever gonna move again, though, so I squeezed my muscles around him a little to get his attention. "Nick, move."

        A shaky nod was the only answer I got, but he sank a little further inside. It still wasn't enough, though, so I angled my hips and thrust up to pull him the rest of the way inside me. He let out a gasp and looked down at me, his mouth open like he wasn't sure what had just happened. I would have laughed at his expression if I wasn't too busy focusing on how good it felt to have him inside me, and when he finally pulled it together and pulled out of me again I stopped thinking at all.

        He went slow at first, almost like he was scared of breaking me or something. I guess he was trying not to tear anything and I wasn't sure how worried I should be about how nervous the thought of my blood made him, but any shot I had at rational thought went out the window when his thrusts started to pick up speed. There would be plenty of time to worry about it later, when he was shaking and sweating in his sleep and I was watching him and wondering how much longer we had. At least I'd be able to touch him now instead of clenching the sheets in my fists until my knuckles were white.

        I spent a lot of time trying not to touch him, but that part at least was over now. Or it would be as long as he didn't change his mind in the morning and decide it would be better if we pretended this never happened. I leaned up far enough to pull him toward me and press my mouth to his, kissing him hard before I let him go. I thought about saying it out loud, telling him exactly how I felt so there wouldn't be any question. He might not even have minded hearing it right then, but it would probably just complicate things in the morning. Besides, I had a feeling he knew I loved him, or at least he had an idea. He'd been thinking about the fact that I followed him for three months, anyway, so he must have drawn some kind of conclusion.

        One last deep thrust and I watched his eyes close, his whole body tensing against me. I tightened my legs around his waist to draw him as deep inside me as I could get him, part of me wishing he hadn't bothered with protection. I knew I couldn't say that to him, but it would have been something to feel him come inside me. When the last shudder rocked his body he collapsed onto my chest, his skin still burning up and slick with sweat. I ran a hand through his hair and let him lie there for awhile, until I felt his heartbeat slow down against my chest.

        Long before I was ready to give up the warm weight he pushed himself off me, moving extra careful when he pulled out of me. I knew I was gonna have to take a shower before I could get to sleep, but I didn't get up right away. Part of me hoped he'd come back once he'd tossed the condom, climb back on top of me and let me hold him for awhile. Cuddling wasn't usually my thing, but it was kind of reassuring to have him there with me where I could feel his heart beating through his skin. I had no idea how much of that I was gonna get, and I didn't want to give it up any sooner than I had to.

        When he came out of the bathroom again I pushed myself up on my elbows and watched him cross the room, matching his grin with one of my own. He stopped next to the bed and pulled the bedspread down, nudging my leg until I moved off the covers and let him pull the sheet down too. The sheets were old and worn through in a few spots, but they looked clean enough and they were cool against my skin. He stretched out on the cotton and turned toward me, and for a second I thought he was going to say something. My heart stopped beating while I waited for him to tell me it couldn't happen again, but instead of talking he slid an arm around my waist and pulled me toward him. I only remembered to breathe again when he stopped kissing me and closed his eyes, his arm still tight around my waist.

        Maybe he was right, maybe we shouldn't have started something we might not be able to finish. The longer it took to find his Forsaken the more I could tell he was starting to lose hope, so maybe he was just grabbing what life he could before he ran out of time. But if that was what this was I was gonna make sure I made every second count; I'd already given up my whole life for him, what else did I have to lose?

***

        Author's Note: 'I like my body when it is with your' is by e.e. cummings. The poem is quoted in its entirety, although I fixed cummings' punctuation quirk because it was being spoken, not read. Blasphemy, I know.

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