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TBDH : Dancing with Wikhn - Alternate Scene

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In the tall tower of tinted windows and luscious carpet, Harry followed along with Dahlia's group as they were led to a guarded elevator. It took them upstairs to an exclusive club where everything was pure elegance with shadows, glowing lights and pulsing, rhythmic beats.

It was only then that Harry realized Dahlia's legacy and ranking was the sole reason they were allowed inside at all. The Gheyo Ace was very powerful in spite of her short figure and scarred face. She beckoned for him to step through at the doorman's permission. Harry stepped through the glowing doorway as they filed in. She waved a hand to the room at large.

"Have fun. If you need something, I'll always be within your sight." She offered an arm to her companions and someone stepped forward to escort her. Harry watched her move easily through the crowd of dancing Gheyos, gravitating towards the center of the floor. He watched her as she moved, body swaying perfectly in time with the strange music that slid easily over his ears.

The atmosphere humming around them, all but crackling with the sheer aura of so many powerful dragels crammed into a small space. The company was polite, though somewhat unnerving when Harry realized that it was Gheyo territory for the very real reason that every individual present was of a Gheyo ranking. He found himself staring up at the lighted ceiling or down at his too-shiny shoes to keep from looking in the wrong place. He didn't have to be a Ravenclaw to confirm what his magic had already told him. Power was intoxicating, yes, but it was not worth his life to get carried away before the night had even begun. Everything he'd seen so far of the fighting-side of the dragels had spoken of strict loyalty, fierce possessiveness and unwavering faithfulness. These were fighters in every sense of the word who took their duties and rankings very seriously. A look of curiosity could be misconstrued as accusatory if he did not know the finer points of dragel etiquette. At the moment, he was too preoccupied to worry of such details and so he opted to take the safe route of not putting himself in such a situation in the first place.

Instinctively, he'd known stay close to Dahlia and her group, working his way around until he was hanging out by the fringes of the dancing bodies. Here, it was safe to look around and Harry indulged himself for the moment, unable to rein in his curiosity. There was so much more he wanted to know of the dragels and their mysterious society and now, he was seeing a completely different side of them that he'd never expected.

In the dimmed rainbow lights, he saw Gheyos of every kind in every shape, form and gender as they moved around each other easily. His sharp eyes picked up on the fact that they all kept a respectable bit of distance from Dahlia's mismatched group, including him. He almost smiled then. They had to be respecting Dahlia's wishes or rather, whatever she'd said before showing her proof of admittance to the bouncers at the door.

Once he understood that, Harry didn't bother to avoid some of the lustful and curious stares. He was safe to look and there was no penalty for doing so. He wanted to know more about these beautiful creatures, especially now that he could see that the Gheyos were not just fighters. Oh Merlin no, they were so much more. Some were quite lovely and exotic, with tattoos and strange hair colors and jewelry dripping from pointed ears and well-toned bodies. Some of them had bright eyes, warm smiles and so many scars that Harry flinched inside, unable to scale back his empathic reaction to the fact that such scars only came with great pains. Time passed before he realized that he probably should stop looking, but found that he could not tear his eyes away from such personal tapestries. The scars practically called to him.

His Submissive dragel nature clamored inside for him to choose a strong, sturdy specimen and comfort it in any way that he could. His wizard side reminded him that he was a stranger to everyone present, except for Dahlia and her group. His dragel reminded him that there was an eligible Gheyo present among those friends, if he was interested and so Harry gave up on talking himself into a corner. He'd learned that indulging his instincts usually brought good results and repressing them usually meant embarrassing consequences when he least wanted them. Considering that his current inclination was to find someone strong enough to protect him and not too prideful to accept that he would defend them in turn, Harry resigned himself to an evening of mental gymnastics. If he could keep himself suitably distracted with more practical things, he would not have to fight the urge to actively hunt.

He didn't bother to remember the names or the faces of anyone apart from Dahlia's group. It only made his head throb with the promise of a headache if he kept up the tangled train of thoughts in his head. He did his best to stay near to Dahlia's group, sometimes moving over to stand near the lovely brooding dark Fae known as Wikhn.

Compared to Harry, both Dahlia and Wikhn were comfortable and relaxed in this new place where apparently all they had to do was talk and dance. Though he didn't care to admit it, Harry felt awkward near their graceful movements and easy camaraderie. He soon discovered that it was quite plain that gender didn't really matter when it came to dancing and that just about everyone knew to dance. It was a very obvious difference from what he knew of the Wizarding World. His previous experiences with dancing had been disastrous and in the public's eye, courtesy of the Triwizard Tournament. He tamped down a shudder. Thinking of that time would remind him of the graveyard, his parents and Cedric. He really didn't want to think of that. It was over a year ago after all, he was sixteen year's old for Merlin's sake! He could do this. He had to.

Stop being so maudlin, Harry! He scolded himself, clenching and unclenching his hands when he felt his fingers morphing into claws and then back to his human-hands. A wavering Halfling form was not a good sign and he looked around, hoping for a distraction of some sort. Even if it meant he'd find himself flirting with some random stranger, courtesy of his previously suppressed instincts—no thanks to Dumbledore—he didn't think he'd manage to make it through the evening on his own steam if he kept this up.

"…are you bored?" Wikhn's velvet voice in his ear made Harry startle.

He turned on the dark fae with the best glare he could muster, even as his nerves settled. He wasn't usually caught off guard, but at the moment, he'd been working on alternately pulling his empathy close—because having it stretch out was giving him a headache—and testing the bonds between Theo and Charlie, to know how his Bonded fared. It was a new habit that he was starting to learn.

The results filtered back to him. His Alpha, Theo, was fine, content and animated. His Beta, Charlie, was curious and overjoyed at something or the other. Harry was relieved that they were fine and he was glad to know it. He now found himself directing an elbow in Wikhn's direction, much in the same fashion that he'd seen others do before he could catch himself.

Wikhn dodged it with an easy smile that held a hint of shadow and a touch of promise. It was the first time he'd shown anything other than the indifferent mask of his Gheyo ranking.

It made Harry want to stare at him.

The music and dimmed lights seemed to have brought the dark fae alive in a whole new way. "You aren't dancing." Wikhn circled around to stand in front of Harry, hands held out in apology. "I did not mean to startle you, but you did not appear to be that deep in thought."

"I don't dance." Harry retorted, ignoring the hands. He forcefully pushed away the lingering thoughts of the few times that he had. It was a bundle of madness that he had no desire to explore just yet. Tangled up with his magic and threatening to leak out, there were so many memories he wished he could forget, but knew that he probably never would.

They were the events that had shaped him into what he was now, he would simply have to live and bear his scars as they came. Wikhn's request hung in the air and Harry hesitated. He rather thought that if Theo was asking, perhaps he'd chance it. Maybe. Probably not. Theo was likely a good dancer, being a Pureblood Slytherin and all, but Harry was certain that his own dancing was probably best suited to dimmer-than-present lights and only behind closed doors. Very tightly closed doors. And probably with Theo wearing a blindfold.

"It's good for you," Wikhn drew closer, wiggling his fingers invitation. "Promise I won't trample your delicate feet," he teased.

Harry snorted. "My feet are not-!" He turned away, arms crossed so that he did not have look at those pale hands that reminded him of Theo, yet were so completely different at the same time.

Wikhn's faint smile softened even more, to something almost like gentleness. "Come," the word held promise and protection in the same instance. He reached forward.

Harry didn't protest when one of Wikhn's arms circled around his shoulders and drew him towards the dance floor. He didn't unfold his arms, even as he felt himself being gently hugged by strong, wiry arms, Wikhn's pointed chin resting lightly atop his head. They swayed together for several minutes. Then Harry found that his feet, while awkwardly shuffling at first, were now attempting to follow the aimless one-two step of the Gheyo.

Wikhn held him until the song changed over twice, before he drew back, prying Harry's folded arms open to lace their fingers together. He kept an easy smile on his shadowed face as he playfully danced Harry around, vivid fuchsia eyes flickering to their feet every so often.

Harry followed his gaze down to their feet, finding it easier to mimic the steps as he did so. His smaller hands tightened around Wikhn's cool ones. He took note of the fact that Wikhn was wearing shiny, high-heeled black boots and moving effortlessly. His magic buzzed around him, seeming to concentrate around his ears as if knowing he wanted the music to turn down by a few degrees.

"Too loud?" Wikhn inquired, drawing him close then stepping back, repeating the step until Harry was able to copy it somewhat. "We can move to that quadrant." He tipped his head towards the far end of the club on the opposite side of the dance floor.

"Don't think it would help," Harry mumbled, tongue poking out between his teeth as he concentrated on stepping forward and stepping back in time to the beat and Wikhn's movements. This was surprisingly easier than he'd thought. Wikhn was a good dancer.

"The floor is divided into four, each quadrant has a different level of volume." Wikhn lifted their hands up and then paced back an extra step. "Twirl."

"What?"

"Twirl," the dark fae repeated, patiently. "Like this." He lifted Harry's hand high and twirled under it himself. "Have you never danced before?"

Harry scowled.

"Dancing is almost like breathing to us," Wikhn murmured, a moment later when no answer was forthcoming. He moved them along the edge of the dancing crowd and then prompted Harry to twirl again.

"Why?" Harry fought the urge to add on a few more words. Wikhn was currently being nice. Nice for a dark fae, at least. He didn't want to ruin the moment by blurting out something stupid.

"Because twirling is fun." Wikhn's eyes sparkled merrily.

Harry gave him a look. That was definitely not what he'd been asking.

Wikhn's lips twitched. "Because dancing is fun. It allows you a degree of fluidity and grace that only results in the ease of movement when one is comfortable in their own skin. As a Gheyo, flexibility is required." Wikhn explained. "Most of our practice drills are set against a rhythm of sorts. In my case, I suppose I am lucky to be fae. It helps. Now stop watching my feet, it won't help. In and out, twirl." He directed, moving easily around Harry. "Use your hips and shoulders. Stop thinking about it."

Harry squeezed his hands in protest, a little harder than necessary. "Easy for you to say. How exactly do I stop thinking?"

There was an amused huff from above and then Wikhn twirled him in close, Harry's back to his chest, their arms overlapping. "Close your eyes and listen to the music."

Harry swallowed.

"And if you need something different to think about, I'm sure I could oblige." Wikhn purred into his ear. "You're trying too hard. Dancing isn't some exotic mystery. It's simply listening to the music and appreciating it with your body."

Harry felt his cheeks grow warm and he was suddenly glad at their new positions kept Wikhn from seeing his face. Some of Wikhn's advice helped though and so Harry listened. He heard the unfamiliar tune, now growing on him, a steady beat, a secondary beat, a base rhythm that was easy to follow, if you were looking for it. He realized that the slow shuffle Wikhn was keeping them in, wasn't really out of sync with the other dancers on the floor, but rather simply in time with the pulsing tones. The warmth in his cheeks crept up to his ears and Harry was doubly grateful for the fact that the lack of lighting meant that any blushing wouldn't be visible.

Wikhn was all tall and lean muscle in a way that Charlie was not. There was definite strength in his sturdy frame and it was more than obvious in every single move he made. Harry could feel that broad chest, slender hips and talented legs as they moved together, the noises of everyone else, fading away. Fae or not, Wikhn exuded a mysterious aura that curled around Harry's magic, promising dark, delicious things and teasing him in a way that was just innocent enough to be shy of seductive.

The steady thump of Wikhn's heart added a second layer to Harry's shifting consciousness. He felt his empathy uncurling and stretching out to touch the dark fae, to seek out something, anything—Harry didn't know what. This was the second dragel he had felt such an immediate connection with and it made something inside of him sing for joy. He'd never thought that finding another part of one's soul could be compared to an angelic chorus, but it certainly felt that way. He could already feel himself respond by instinct and the sway of Wikhn's deliciously purposeful magic.

Dark or not, it called to him, whispering those dark promises in his ears, stroking along the steady, burning flicker of Harry's magic. In that moment, Harry knew that if there would be anything between them, he'd have to accept the darkness that came with this potential Bonded. Wikhn's eyes, while a lovely, odd shade of pink, held the faintest traces of sorrow. It made him wish that he could make the dark fae smile—really smile. Harry licked his lips.

Wikhn shifted them, twirling him away and back, one arm resting snugly around Harry's waist, holding him close, both of them now chest to chest, hip to hip. Harry found his hands feeling their way up to rest atop Wikhn's shoulders, fisting in the give of the fabric there, not quite enough to hold, but enough to scrabble with. The Gheyo was just tall enough for him to embrace, comfortably, without having to stretch too far.

Harry felt his magic hum and ripple, stretching out and away from their private movement as Wikhn's second hand finally settled a little higher up, possessive, almost in the way that his scarred fingers curled at the nape of his neck. Harry stretched up on tip-toe, then settled down, leaning closer to breathe in the scent of metal and winter-wind, so he could commit it to memory.

Every one of his Bonded held a different brand of magic and a distinct scent. Theo was chocolate and steel, a compliment to his Earth nature. Charlie was fire and musk, an obvious nod to his Fire element. Wikhn was a cold winter night, with wisps of chilled air and maybe a hint of some sort of evergreen, but his magic—Harry felt a giddy thrill ripple through him, Wikhn's magic was something different altogether. It was the purity and innocence that oozed strong threads of Fae magic. He was almost drunk on the aura of it.

Wikhn's hand on his neck squeezed gently, comfortingly, stilling his excited quiver. Harry leaned back ever so slightly into the touch, accepting the gesture for what it was. Only an Alpha had the right to use such an intimate touch. Only an Alpha or a Bonded Gheyo.

Harry didn't notice if or when the music changed. He was only hyper-aware and hypersensitive to every move and flex of Wikhn's body pressed against his. Everywhere that they touched, sparks of warmth seemed to leap between them. They moved in slow synchronization, two steps forward, one step back, a half-step to the side. The dark fae's hands had warmed and now, they were firm and sure as they held Harry close with the utmost of care.

Something that might have been a sigh, escaped his lips as Harry finally let his head tilt forward to rest his forehead on the cool breastplate of Wikhn's flexible dress armor. It was chilled and smooth, contradictory to the warmth that Harry had felt from Wikhn. It smelled faintly of another scent that Harry could not quite place—except to think that it reminded him of winter, real winter—snow and ice and magic.

Only a few necessary parts of the chest were covered with the shell-like material, the rest was done in a strong, leather-like material that vaguely reminded him of dragon hide. His magic stretched out again, innocent and curious, brushing ever so lightly over the steady thrum that Harry could identify as Wikhn. He trembled in the gentle embrace when he felt the Gheyo's magic respond in a calming, soothing pulse that definitely was not rejection. A shaky breath huffed across the shiny piece of shell beneath his cheek and Harry couldn't help himself, he looked up.

Up close, Wikhn's pink eyes were an exotic wonder on their own. The irises were definitely pink, but with such rich vibrant color that it could not be mistaken for the blood-red hue of a vampire. It had lightened to a near coral shade now, as Harry stared into the colored depths, fascinated as the round pupils seemed to stretch into something of an oval-shape. Fringed by thick, dark lashes, accented by sharp, angular features, Wikhn's scars were very faint, but they were there just the same. A small crescent shaped line of white along the left side of his cheek, to his ear and a few tiny starbursts along his right temple, as if sparks had lingered too long and left their kiss on the dark fae's impossibly pale skin.

These scars were personal, for they could only be seen up close. Harry licked his lips even as his own gaze was drawn to Wikhn's thin, delicate mouth, for in spite of the very obvious strength the Gheyo displayed, there was simply something about the young man that screamed of fragility beneath that brooding intensity. Up close, Wikhn gave off of the air of a warrior expertly trained and so giving in his nature that he would sacrifice himself in a heartbeat if it were for a cause he truly championed, even if it should cost everything he had to offer and more. Harry felt his heart ache for him. It was the kind of feeling he'd had when standing in the graveyard and staring down Voldemort. A desperate hopefulness, even as all seemed lost.

Emerald eyes blinked once, twice, attempting to digest all of that and forcing himself to break that hypnotic pink-eyed stare as Harry tried to sort through the sudden rush of information. He belatedly realized that his empathy gift must have stretched a little further and deeper than he'd intended. Most likely it was the result of their magic brushing together. He wondered if Wikhn had noticed. It had almost felt too private.

Sneaking an upward glance, Harry felt his cheeks heat once more when he realized that Wikhn calmly stared back with the faintest hint of amusement visible. His lips quirked into a ghost of a smirk. Harry started to speak, but couldn't find any words worthy of breaking the moment and ended up closing his mouth with an audible click of his aching fangs. Now that he'd decided that Wikhn was someone he wanted, his dragel-self saw no reason to take it slow. It wanted Wikhn and would have him, as soon as he could be bothered to initiate the bonding process.

Blood. Fae blood. Harry felt his pulse quicken, hammering in his ears. He'd been too preoccupied to think of asking Theo for a feeding before they'd split up for this wretched Hunt. Now, it seemed that his body had chosen the worst possible time to remind him that a few mouthfuls of rich blood would not be amiss. Harry hoped his thoughts didn't show on his face as he searched Wikhn's, committing the faint scars to memory and mentally vowing to be sure that the young Gheyo did not acquire any more. Wikhn was too lovely for such unnecessary marks.

Wikhn's faint smile did not waver as he continued to dance them around the room in slow, steady movements. Emboldened after a time, Harry lifted his chin and returned the dancing stare with a look of his own. He watched those pink orbs darken from pale coral pink to something a little darker and brighter that made him want to squirm in ways that were entirely inappropriate for their given surroundings.

Something beside them drew his attention and Harry watched Wikhn turn away and say something a language so fluent and musical, his jaw dropped. He was distantly reminded of another potential Bonded's haughty manner, coupled with unbridled, ethereal beauty. Wikhn was every ounce of that loveliness to look at, without a fraction of the sharp sarcasm. Something clicked gently, softly, inside of him and Harry found himself finally starting to really relax.

He wondered if this was what the older Dragel had meant when she'd warned him that he would find someone for certain, on this first Hunt. He found that he couldn't really mind. After all, he'd spent time with Wikhn in his different roles—at the health clinic, at the beach with their new friends and now, here, the entire day. Granted, it wasn't that much time, but Harry couldn't shake the feeling that there was something familiar and right about it all.

If he could hold Wikhn with the same possessiveness that he saw in other Submissives and their respective Gheyos, if he could just listen to that velvet voice speaking in that lovely, musical language, he was fairly certain he could die happy. Content, at least, if not happy.

So when Wikhn turned back to him, Harry stood on tip-toe, stretching up to close the gap of inches between them and pressed his moistened lips against Wikhn's cool, thin ones.

For a moment, it seemed as if everything stilled and Harry felt his heart hammering in his chest as the lips beneath his did not move in anyway at all. They did not accept nor reciprocate and when he rocked back on his heels, Harry's hurt was tempered not by the carefully blank look on Wikhn's face, but the confusion in those brilliant pink eyes.

If he'd known the Fae for longer, he might have thought that the young man was shocked.

Wikhn's hands tightened for a fraction around Harry's slim figure, before he took a careful breath and bent his head to touch his lips to Harry's ear. "This is not a good idea," he murmured, voice as velvet-smooth as ever.

Harry felt his face burn. Before he could clarify or protest or something, Wikhn leaned down to return the favor with slow deliberation.

Wikhn's thin lips were light and gentle, before he pulled back, a very clear question on his face. "You barely know me," there was a hint of warning in his voice. "And you're playing with the wrong kind of fire. This is only your first day actively hunting. There are plenty of others. I'm hardly a worthy specimen and I don't want to burn you." Those pink eyes began to shift from that bright, cheerful hue to something almost red.

"and if I don't care?" Harry heard himself ask. He disagreed with the Gheyo's declaration. Wikhn was definitely a worthy specimen and in more ways than one. Anyone with a brain could see that. Anyone with even a sliver of heart.

"Burns scar." Wikhn murmured the words against the corner of Harry's mouth. "I'll burn you and you'll like it."

Harry felt his breath hitch. There was nothing he could say to that, because Wikhn was right. He would like it. "I-"

"and You shouldn't. You're too young for these kinds of scars. You shouldn't have to bear them."

Harry couldn't stop the bitter laugh that escaped him. "Never stopped me before." He muttered. "Sorry. I won't-" his apology was cut off in the second kiss that followed, this one was entirely unlike the first. Warm, wet and with purpose, Wikhn's hand on his neck slid upwards to cup the back of his head, holding him at just the right angle for the intimate dance of lips and tongue that followed.

When they parted, Harry panted softly, giving a little shove against that armored chest. "W-what was that?" He half-sputtered, as the rest of his mind tried to catch up to what had happened before his thoughts had short-circuited.

"You were going to say something stupid," Wikhn touched their foreheads together. "I thought I had better distract you."

Harry licked his lips, mentally reliving the moment a dozen times over in the space of a few heartbeats. That was more than just a plain ol' snog. That had been so much more. "What about burns and scars?" He challenged, pushing back to feel Wikhn's other arm curve up from his waist to splay open-fingered on his back, supporting him, but not releasing him and somehow, more possessive than it should have been. "I thought you said you didn't want to burn me."

"If you're playing of your own accord, then it's not a game anymore and I'm not the one responsible." The dark fae hummed. "Besides, if you want it, it's not like I didn't warn you." His eyes fairly glowed. "Consider that our warning. As long as you're aware of what could happen, there's nothing that says I have to stop now."

Harry snorted. "Really? So it becomes my fault?"

"No. It means you're not innocent from the blame if you are burned. I will add that just because it burns, doesn't mean you'll die." Wikhn half-growled.

Those wicked lips curved into a closest approximation of a smile that Harry had ever seen. It took his breath away and Harry knew in that second, that he was lost to whatever would happen next. There was no reason for him to fight this. The look of self-satisfaction and clear appreciation on Wikhn's face made Harry's toes curl.

He settled for pulling Wikhn down to his height for another round of snogging.

Warmth bled into him, magic wrapped around him and Harry let himself bask in the minutes that followed. Wikhn was even better at this than he was at dancing and he was a very good dancer. Only when he needed to breathe, did Harry release his grip on those armored shoulders. He settled instead for curling his hands around that pale neck, digging his fingers into the dark fae's spiky black locks and tugging hard. He was rewarded with a faint growl of approval, before he acknowledged the presence of a hard, cool wall behind him.

Harry broke the kiss long enough to see that Wikhn had maneuvered them off the dance floor and into a semi-private corner, standing a way that shielded him from immediate public view. It made him smile. He trailed his fingers down the front of Wikhn's overtunic, longing in his eyes.

"You'll have to be very clear and very firm," Wikhn breathed. "There can't be any room for misinterpretation." He referred to the fact that they'd yet to acknowledge just how far this encounter was headed.

Harry found that he could manage a laugh after all and it helped to relax him just a bit. "Does this always have to be so formal?" He gestured between them. "It doesn't feel like courting."

"Lack of romance or more mathematical than you'd expected?"

A grimace settled on Harry's face, the conflict remaining in his eyes. "It's like a business transaction and it—it shouldn't be. This is our futures we're talking about. Our lives we're intending to join together. We have the same red blood and the same beating hearts." He sighed. "Hearts that should have the same hopes and wishes and dreams as any other individual in this world."

"Realms." Wikhn corrected, gently. "When you're over here and now that you're one of us, it isn't a single world anymore. Having it laid out in plain terms makes it very easy for both parties to know exactly what they're entering into. It is meant to protect us both." He smiled. "Don't think of it as a business transaction, it is only a necessary requirement on the way to your desired end. It makes things happen."

Harry found himself nodding. He could accept that explanation for now, even if he didn't personally agree with it. His mind was made up, the fact that his magic had accepted and his instincts were pulling him towards Wikhn was just further confirmation of what he'd already decided.

Wikhn reached over, cupping Harry's cheek with one scarred hand. He rubbed his thumb over the ivory skin and leaned forward. "Since I'm your first Gheyo, I'll make it easy for you." He nipped one ear with his fangs, giving a bite, but not drawing blood—yet. "I absolutely refuse to take you in a public venue though, so you'll have the suffer the indignity of claiming me here first, before I will 'port us anywhere else, understood?"

"Claiming mark?" Harry verified. He understood that exchanging claiming bites could be considered a private and intimate moment, not meant to be shared with the public at large. True Bonding marks were never, ever done with a public witness. He also understood that as the Submissive, taking the initiative was his proof of showing that he desired Wikhn of his own accord and he was not being coerced into something against his free will.

"If you would," Wikhn said, smoothly. "Wherever you'd like to place it. I don't have a specific request."

Harry felt himself trying to smile. He studied Wikhn's armor thinking of what a hassle it would be to undress without the help of magic. His dragel-self did not like the thought of exposing any bit of Wikhn to the eyes of the other Gheyos in the club. Wikhn was his—or would be his very soon, anyway. "Neck?"

"Quick, aren't you?" Wikhn murmured. But he was already reaching up and undoing the buttons for the complicated collar of his formal attire. In a matter of minutes, he folded the black velvet back, fingers catching on the ornamental gold braid as he tipped his neck to the right. "I won't insult you by asking if you're sure, Submissive."

The use of their formal ranking was enough of a hint for Harry to know how serious the moment was and he appreciated the sincerity behind the standard statement. This was the first shift from casual conversation to a formal proposal. "And I will not insult you by assuring you that I am, Gheyo." He answered in kind, stretching his jaw to show off the dainty fangs creeping out from his gums.

Their positions were reversed in a moment and Harry was surprised to find that his fingers trembled as he reached over to hold the collar open. Wikhn's arms slid around his waist and drew him close with an encouraging nod.

"I offer you all that I have and all that I am," Harry pressed his face against the newly revealed skin of that pale neck. He took a shaky breath that evened out as the new scent began to envelope him and his dragel instincts processed it as harmless. He pressed his lips to one choice spot. "Do you accept me as yours and all that it entails?"

"I accept." Wikhn's low voice seemed to hitch as his head tipped back to rest against the wall. His hands fisted in the bunched fabric of Harry's dress robes. He closed his eyes.

Harry notched his fangs in that willing neck.

Magic sang and roared around them, something broken inside of him meeting with something broken inside of Wikhn. Together, they made one whole and that was proof enough that they belonged to each other for now and whatever the future held.