The air was colder than it would normally be. A thin frost was already spreading over the road, coating the little black pebbles in a film of grey until the gravel glittered like semi-precious stones. Horses snuffed at the frigid air that made the inside of their nostrils itchy, sending up white plumes of smoke into an already foggy atmosphere. The mountaintops jagged peaks peered out from behind rolling clouds until they became the ghosted black outline of yet more barren rock. Malic stared at them as he rode passed, the iron cuffs on his wrists sticking to his warmer skin. It burned with the threat of frostbite and yet he ignored it. His mind loomed elsewhere beyond the blackness, beyond the mountains, beyond his home town where the soft snow floated down - their inevitably destination. No, his mind was somewhere back a hundred or more miles in a southerly direction. There had been warmth, even in the dilapidated cabin with its thin wooden walls; there had been heat with the taste of lips and blood and pine needles fresh with misty rain. Malic longed for that feeling again, no matter how much the memory was tinged with the ache of barely-healed injuries. There had been warmth, there had been a too brief happiness, and there had been his Commander.
"Keep on the trail," a gruff familiar Latin chided at him until he broke from the happy dream he had indulged in. His eyes glanced to his right, seeing his tall childhood friend glaring back at him. Brodric was unmovable as a mountain. He didn't look young at all. Then again, Staphelm had a way of making a person old well before their time. "Do you want to fall off the edge of the mountain again?" This remark was more as a jab, supposed to bring shame, but Malic didn't listen. With his hands still cuffed, he tugged the reigns of his horse a little bit to the side to satisfy his comrade's worrisome nature. No, couldn't have the prisoner falling off the cliff - his uncle needed him still. Marriage alliances required both parties to be alive.
Elsewhere, in a warmer place, Zanarin stared out the window and fought a restlessness he couldn't understand. Ever since leaving the cabin and having his young soldier taken from him, there had been this strange twisting in his belly. He had not experienced such a thing since his first battle. This nervousness and fear. His hands gripped the window sill; knuckles going white. He did not like this feeling. Why was it driving him to this? He should be in bed, resting. Yet he was standing here staring out on the growing darkness. Having returned home, he had been ordered to rest. Such a low, grueling journey had earned him this time to regain his energy. Zanarin couldn't bring himself to sleep.
It had come as a shock to him to hear that Malic was betrothed. The reason for his running away. But to hear it, to see him being hauled off to some pre arranged marriage after all that they had been put through. It had... hurt. Zanarin frowned, brows drawing together in agitated disgust. Why did it hurt? The boy was just a soldier, a one time thing. Swept into the whirlwind of the young man's desperate passion.
But it hurt... and he felt alone.
Loneliness hadn't yet gripped Malic yet, but he knew it was coming. His skin was still fresh with the smell of Zanarin, his lips still tingled with those kisses, and his hand felt warm where Zanarin had clutched it in the moment they were surrounded by his kin. Zanarin gave him up reluctantly, promised in his self confident tone that he would retrieve Malic if it were possible...'Come for me,' Malic prayed softly in his mind, the thought too precious to leave his lips. 'Come for me, save me, take me home.' But wasn't home where he was going? No, that demented old man's place was not his home. It was cold there and he never had anyone to talk to. His father hated him and his uncle did the same. Abhorred him, actually. Was it Malic's weakness that disgusted them so much that he should be married to some foreign woman across the border? No, it was simply that willfulness in him that had started this whole search in the first place. It was his inability to be weak which made those who were themselves cowards and miscreants hate him. He didn't care...All was honest and good in Zanarin's eyes. His Commander praised him, didn't he? His Commander cared about him....didn't he?
"He'll come for me," Malic whispered to nothing but the howling northern wind as it welcomed him to the iron gate of the Tenshihana border. It was not his home, but it was a familiar sight. The tall structure was manned by at least fifty of his own people - Icevic clan, not his own, but still his people. Their dark grey gazes rained down on him from above as he sat small upon his horse. His shackles hurt. So did his heart. So did his mind. So did his body. Everything hurt with the absence of that warmth.
Zanarin stared out at the darkening night. The cold, dark shadows draping across the world outside. His room became darker, seemed to grow smaller till only the small patch of light from the lantern was the berth of his room. He felt encased, trapped and desperate. He remembered the look in the dark eyes of the young soldier. How he had stared at him with such desperation and fear. Like he was being dragged from heaven into the very depths of hell and only he could save him. The commander shivered and touched his lips. They still tingled. He could remember so easily the kiss that the two of them had shared. The touches. His cheeks flushed and he glared out at the night. Pah... foolishness.
But... why did it feel so wrong without the dark eyed man here?
A stillness in the courtyard left such a wrong and bitter taste in Malic's mouth. They were all staring at him, those beyond the wall. It was as if they knew that he no longer belonged there - as if his wings were loose and already stained the foreign, beautiful color which Zanarin's sported. Yes, that must have been it. From where he sat, he looked around at the grey world beyond his little aura of color. The brightness which had been bestowed upon him by that one piercing eye - a flawed gaze some might call it, but it was perfect in Malic's memory - now left him as the only man with any change in hue here. No wonder they were staring with their monochromatic minds somehow puzzled at his curious nature. Such a notion left him sitting more upright in the saddle whilst he was led further along the road. The town beyond it seemed nothing more than gray clay shacks with inky charcoal smoke rising from white pit fires. A boring world. Devoid of life, of reason, of warmth...Malic clenched his fist and gripped to the horn of the saddle. It was so unfair that, having seen for himself the wide array of pigments his life could have been, he was once more forced into the greyscale of the past. He would die of such conformity. What had once been his lifeline, his security was now strangling the life out of him.
The black shadows reminded him of his eyes. That deep, dark color that would pull you in and threaten to drown you in the intensity of that gaze. He still felt the same trembling, wanton sensation that came over him when those eyes had raked down his body. The way that they had made him tingle. He had not even needed to touch him to make Zanarin feel. But these emotions, so strange and new for Zanarin, caused the man such distress. He had never had any need for such things. Never in his long life. One night stands had always been the only thing he had needed. But he wanted to explore this frightening new feeling. To conquer it. The only way was to have him back in his grasp. Malic was so far away though. So very far. Was he thinking of him right now?
Malic couldn't stop thinking about Zanarin, even as they stopped to camp he was somehow searching for the horizon for a pair of brilliantly colored wings. The pain that followed in knowing that he'd never see such a thing left him numb. The cold kept creeping up over the mountain tops and flowing towards the valley where they were headed. It would be a long ride until they could reach the nearest workable portal to send him to House Starc. There he would no doubt stand trial before that insufferable man, Urlander. Just the notion of having to be judged by those cold black eyes left an anger in Malic's heart. Urlander had no right to judge him...Only his Commander had the right to tell him if he did wrong. Yes, that's right. This insane loyalty he was now sporting had nothing to do with this old world anymore - a world to which his loyalty should have never belonged. Only to his Commander, his Zanarin, his warmth....
"That black eyed bastard has bewitched me." Zanarin breathed against the glass, brows knotting as growing restlessness pooled in his belly. He wanted to go. To spread brilliant blue and gold wings and fly to where the young soldier was. How he hated this feeling of urgent need. Zanarin closed his eye and grit his teeth. This emotion was maddening. Malic, had truly bewitched him and Zanarin, no matter how tough he was or how much he angrily shoved the emotion aside, was being drawn back to him. He had to talk to the head of House Starc. Had to steal the black eyed soldier back. He needed to confront this chaos of crazed emotion. How to get him back though? What in the name of the gods could he offer to that horrible man that would get him back the boy? Zanarin's forehead met cold glass, the surface smooth and chilly.
It wasn't nearly as chilly underneath the blankets as it was outside, but Malic still felt cold. He pressed himself against the worn cot and stared at the side of the tent. He could hear the sound of a cold rain falling down - probably would turn to snow in a few minutes as the night's temperature continued to drop. Despite the comfort that came with the colder climate, even the rolling mist of Malic's breath didn't offer him any sort of physical relief. He wanted heat and that is very unusual for a Starc to say. Heat and smooth skin and that mouth pressed against his. Kisses, wet and burning, and rough hands from years of hard work with a blade. That is all Malic desired to the point of being a dangerous single-mindedness. With the clatter of chains he reached down against his groin and hastily undid his pants. He'd been dreaming about Zanarin again...but that wasn't enough. His fingers were cold against his own heat, making the experience somehow lessened. Nothing could compare to his Commander's fire – nothing.
The cool glass was soothing. Zanarin was able to close his eye and imagine that he was back with the soldier, pressed close. His cool body warmed by the passion spilling forth from the lad's eagerness to please him. Zanarin shivered, remember each and every sensation as if they were happening again. How cruel to think he might never be able to experience that passion that Malic put into his touches. Was it that which had so enchanted him? How every touch had burned, each word leaving the others lips spurning Zanarin's body to burn with heat? One hand slipped down into his trews, pressing to his warm, warm sex. His fingers felt different than Malic's had, but it did not stop him from pretending. It was not the same.
"D-Damnit... I want him back... I should have kept him." But how do you keep someone with you when they are forced out of your hands?
"A-ah....Z-Zanarin..." Malic breathed the name secretly as he worked his hand along his sex. It was nothing in comparison to the real thing, but somehow whispering that name made some devious desire within him unfurl like a flower. He teased along the throbbing shaft of his cock despite the hindrance of the shackles. The organ was hotter than the rest of him, tipped with wetness. This he smeared over his head and down to his base, making the actions a bit more slick and less chafing. His hips bucked beneath the heavy woolen blanket. His jailer snored quietly on the other side of the tent. He didn't disturb Malic from his dreams fortunately.
Head still resting against the window, chilled by it, Zanarin began to rub at the little pearl crowning his sex. His mind was full of desires and memories. The slick press of tongue and lips, the soft silkiness of a member rubbing between the tender lips of his sex. He shivered, pressing his thighs together as his hand increased its pace and he felt wetness against his fingertips. "G-Gods... Malic..." He breathed the name out, barely a whisper, yearning welling from him in droves. Pale teeth clenched, his eye watering. Such frustration and lust. But his heart was fluttering like a little bird against his ribs. A deep, burning need welled up in his gut.
It was so hot that the burn made it impossible to think. Malic merely continued to thrust into his hands as he panted out his Commander's beautiful name. Again and again, beating back the frost with the heat of his desires. He could imagine that soft puss spreading for him, those thighs trembling around him as they hugged his waist, long arms full of power crushing him to a heaving chest...He was going mad. He was going mad and he loved it as his teeth dug into his lower lip and his shoulders rippled with strain. It still wasn't enough. It couldn't even compare....Not warm enough.
Hot breath puffed against the glass. The warmth steaming it up as the cool night pressed itself eagerly to the cool panes. Zanarin's body shook, fingers rubbing harder and harder as a finger slipped into his body and rubbed at nerves inside. It was not enough. His body desperate for something he could not currently give it. He hated this. To want anyone so bad that the ache would not recede! Zanarin felt his legs shake and knew he would sink to the floor any moment. He cursed and clung to the window, gasping out Malic's name breathlessly. Damn that black eyed son of a bitch! Damn him!
The damn throbbing just wouldn't stop as Malic whimpered helplessly in his cot. His focused harder on the thoughts of Zanarin - smooth flesh, his adorable brightly colored curls of hair, his taunt ass with slender hips. It wasn't enough! Malic furrowed his brow and arched against the creaking mattress while his mind searched to find Zanarin's face in the blackness of his mind. Pouting lips were moist against his, those thick lashes brushing against freckled cheeks lightly hinted with a blush, his brows fiercely knotted to the bridge of his noble nose...The image was barely even grazing the surface of his needs. Still he caressed his throbbing cock in the hopes that some release to take away the pain of loneliness.
Those dark eyes. Those damn eyes. Zanarin felt himself shaking. The very memory of those eyes upon him nearly enough to send him over the edge. They had caressed him in a manner that shook him to the core. Those eyes and those hands, sliding over him followed by teeth and lips and tongue. The strange expression upon the normally stoic man's face. The way his touches had shocked him and excited him. Zanarin's thighs shook and trembled, breath panting out against the glass harsher and harsher. I-I must bring him back...! Zanarin bit his bottom lip hard enough to bruise it; fingers working himself up into a meltingly good orgasm. Malic's eyes remained in his memory. Staring.
The imaginary Zanarin was staring back at Malic in his mind, but he seemed so far away. His pale body writhed beneath the Starc as he thrust in and out of that beautiful womanhood - Malic somehow able to hear the wet squelching echoing in his ears. He whimpered and suddenly went still, a hot spray of seed spurt out from his fingers and against the mattress beneath the cotton blanket. He lay flat and listened to the thrumming of his heartbeat, half imagining it was Zanarin's beneath his ear. Despite himself tears began to well. They spilled over his closed eyes as his brow knotted in an expression of pure agony. All at once the loneliness hit. He curled into a ball. He sobbed. And then he fell asleep.
In a daze, Zanarin only knew one thing. He had to get Malic back. He had to have the Starc in his hands once again, somehow, some way. He pulled his hand shakily from his pants and brought his fingers to his lips. They tasted sweetly of himself and reminded him of how Malic had tasted so often when he had kissed him. His heart throbbed painfully. Tomorrow. Tonight he had to sleep. He felt so tired, so useless. After undressing, the hybrid slipped into his bed and huddled there. It was terribly lonely. He missed the warmth he had grown familiar with. Falling asleep was hard that night.