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on any starless night

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Marius was humming.

Not just while he puttered around the Château, or while he searched for a book on the many shelves in the room he’d made for himself there. Like… everywhere. And, hey. I’m as happy-go-lucky as the next guy. I can be downright annoying with my eternal singing and occasional dancing. But it’s Marius.

When he started humming on a hunt one warm spring night in Paris, I snapped.

“Okay, out with it,” I demanded, abandoning my pursuit of a low level methamphetamine dealer and turning to Marius with an exasperated expression, complete with hand gestures. “Why is your life suddenly a musical?”

He barely reacted to me, indeed just sort of slowed down and dragged one well-worn biker boot along the grimy sludge that was a Parisian alleyway. We were dressed like street toughs tonight, with leather jackets and carefully broken in jeans, the whole nine. His hands stayed in his pockets as he leaned back against the sagging brick wall. His smile only grew, got a touch more wistful.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said, which was utter horseshit and we both knew it. I gave him a scathing look with no real heat and crossed my arms over my chest, eyebrows raised as if to say I’m waiting.

He grinned, and I was suddenly reminded of television shows about high school children.

“Life’s just been good lately. You know?” He started off walking again, slow as a mortal on vacation, toothpick caught uselessly between his perfect teeth, probably sharpening into a tiny stake on his fangs.

“No,” I replied, hurrying along to catch up as I mirrored his posture, hands sliding into my own jacket pockets. I clasped the iPhone in my right one, resisting the impulse to check and see if Louis had texted me. “I can’t say that I do know.”

We ventured out onto a street, joining the late night crowd of people shuffling along the damp sidewalk. The humming resumed almost immediately, and I nearly stamped my foot.

“Come on!” I said with a laugh, walking ahead a few steps so that I could turn and walk backwards, eager to unravel this mystery. I hated secrets. At least ones kept from me. And despite his immense wisdom, Marius had a pretty shit poker face. “Tell me. Does this have something to do with one of your darlings?”

He scoffed, his pace stuttering.

“One of my darlings? Says the man who has a veritable harem on each continent!”

A sore subject for both of us. I gnashed my teeth and forced myself not to take the bait.

“That’s a yes, right?”

His face smoothed out again, that smile reappearing. I bumped into someone in my backwards traveling and turned to apologize, flashing a devilish, lingering grin at the lovely boy we were quickly passing.

“I would say I’m sorry, but it was well worth it,” I said to the possible runway model in French, only looking away when he smiled and blushed appropriately. Marius endured this with a fond shake of his head, waiting until he had my attention again before he spoke.

“Fareed is a very generous man,” he said, his boots scuffing on the sidewalk like a mortal man’s might. “He gave me a priceless gift.”

I blinked at him, knowing I looked like an especially pretty sexdoll when I did it like that.

“Hot twins?” I asked.

He scowled at me.

“Lestat, really. Why are you the very worst?”

I shrugged.

“Nobody else seems to want the job.”

“No. Not twins. And not triplets,” he rushed to say when he saw me open my mouth. “The hormone injections. He was kind enough to administer to them to Amadeo and me recently. It allowed us to have an… unforgettable night. That ended up extending into an entire weekend.”

I came to a full stop. He nearly walked right into me.

“You fucked,” I said flatly.

His mouth opened in the most satisfyingly scandalized expression.

“Why do you young ones insist on--”

“Oh, come off it, Gramps,” I cut in. “Put your teeth back in. Are you seriously telling me that you and Armand had sex? Like… you put your dick in him and looked lovingly into each other’s eyes and--”

He flicked a hand at me dismissively, growling as he brushed on past me and kept a quick enough pace that I had to jog to keep up.

“Why do I ever try and talk to you,” he mumbled under his breath.

I gasped suddenly, grabbing hold of his sleeve.

“Oh god, Marius. Please tell me he’s on the pill.”

“How did you survive into adulthood?” he demanded, his eyes wide, furious and amused all at once. “How did no one hold you under water and drown you? How did your mother not leave you in some village market to be raised by strangers? How has Louis endured you for so long?”

Another shrug, this one accompanied by a winning smile.

“He thinks I’m pretty,” I said.

A pause.

“Okay, but seriously. Seriously, Marius. Are you joking with me? Did this really happen? Did you--”

I thought of Louis again. Always. I thought of Louis and those injections and I was furious suddenly that I hadn’t thought of it before. That Marius thought of it before me.

“I thought of it immediately,” he said with a gentle laugh in answer to my racing thoughts. “The difficult part was gathering the courage to broach the subject with Amadeo. And the strange feeling of loss when the hormones wore off.”

His face clouded over then, and I didn’t dare read his thoughts, but I couldn’t help that I picked up brief flashes of his nights with Armand: red velvet hiding them in near darkness; Armand writhing under Marius making soft, broken sounds that I couldn’t have thought up myself; their hands clasped as Marius took him from behind, Armand’s small body practically buried in the bed beneath Marius; Armand’s delicate boy wrists tied with strong ropes of fiery red, fingers curled; Armand’s sinfully young ass riddled with red--from bites, from hands, from a paddle, and some type of rod or cane.

My eyebrows shot up as a wry smile took over my face.

“You kinky bastard,” I said with full respect, dipping into an exaggerated bow. He didn’t glare at me this time; indeed, he looked rather pleased with himself.

“I shall never forget those nights,” he said with an uncharacteristic sigh.

“You can still tie him up and beat him. You don’t need extra hormones for that,” I reminded him, trying to be subtle about the fact that I had taken my phone out. The screen flashed intensely bright on the dark street, and I knew my cover had been blown. I unlocked the thing and went about my task anyway, pride be damned.

“Your Louis already knows of it,” Marius told me just as my preternatural fingers flew over the keyboard. I stopped and glanced at him out of the corner of my eyes, reluctant to believe him. “Amadeo confided in him just after it happened.”

“And how do you know this?” I demanded, shoving the phone back into my pocket in annoyance.

Marius smiled, one of his broad shoulders lifting in a youthful shrug.

“I can read his thoughts. He’s directed quite a few at me on accident, it seems.”

I scowled to myself, brooding now and intent on settling into it. I zipped up my jacket and pushed both hands into my pockets, my boots landing heavy as I sought out another empty alleyway.

“You’re upset that he hasn’t spoken to you about it,” Marius said, ever the observer. I rolled my eyes only because he couldn’t see it.

“Well, if it’s something he was interested in doing, I’d expect him to. But obviously, that isn’t the case. So, what the hell.” I was mumbling by the end, making a quick turn into an alley and lifting straight up off of the ground and into the overcast sky, pleased in some distant way that there weren’t any stars visible that night. I felt Marius follow suit more than I actually saw him, and I pushed myself higher and faster, heading back to Auvergne, to my home, to my lover who apparently was disinterested in being carnal with me.

Well, fine.

The rain had started up again by the time we descended, and I landed on the slick battlements and continued on towards the hidden door in the fourth tower that led to my wing without missing a step. I heard Marius land softly some feet away, heading towards his own rooms, probably. He knew better than to say anything further to me, but I felt a general wave of affection and a farewell from him nonetheless.

It was pleasantly warm inside the Château, and I peeled off my jacket and dropped it carelessly somewhere along the well-lit hallway to my apartments. My apartments where, of course, Louis lived with me.

He’d offered at the beginning to take a separate space, had settled on a room that had been no more than a pantry when I was a boy, one with no windows and very little room for anything more than a full sized bed, but I pulled rank at once.

Louis is mine, and I am the Prince. That has to count for something, surely.

The door to our vast room was open when I came upon it, and Louis was there on the Louis XV sofa at the far end of the room, sprawling as prim as anyone ever could over the plush, intense violet cushions. He’d purchased the thing and had it brought up to the room, and I didn’t need telepathy to know that he’d chosen the color as a tribute to me.

My chest ached dully at the memory as I stood in the doorway and watched him, all my sullen temper leaving me in a slow exhale.

He’s simply too beautiful to be mad at for long.

“Lestat,” he said warmly when I entered the room, closing the book in his hands and standing to greet me. He hadn’t yet awoke when I rose just as the sun was setting, but I could tell that he’d fed, could see it in the glow to his bone china pallor, in the brightness of his eyes. I needed my own sofa, one of impossibly deep emerald.

“Whatcha reading?” I asked as he crossed the space between us and dropped a kiss to my cheek, his lips soft and lingering while I fussed with the zippers on my boots.

“A book about Rasputin. Sit,” he said, pushing me to sink down in the chair at my messy desk, a space no one dared to touch, not even Louis. He sank to his knees and set about ridding me of my clunky boots, and I relaxed in the chair and let him, taking the time to study him, to admire his nimble fingers, the fine brush line of his nose, the full, natural pout of his bottom lip.

It was upsetting to me that I really hadn’t thought of it. Hadn’t even considered it a possibility. And why not?

“What is it?” he asked when my boots were off and my socked feet were touching the Aubusson rug. He sat at my feet right there on the rug, his legs drawn up to his chest, arms circled loosely around them. His black wool pants were relatively new and without holes or broken threads, and his sweater was well-fitting and cashmere, a blue so deep it seemed black. His hair hung free about his lovely face, the texture and color of it so very familiar to me, unchanging after all these years.

I took a deep comfort in the constance of my Louis, no matter how I liked to lecture him about his wardrobe.

“You’re beautiful,” I told him truthfully, a bit embarrassed by how wistful it came out. He scoffed but it was a gentle thing. A smirk tugged at his mouth as he shook his head, ready to get to his feet again, probably return to his book.

“Alright, forget I asked,” he sighed.

“You knew about Marius and Armand,” I said before he could move an inch, my left hand fidgeting with the stacks of printed papers on my desk, absently aligning their corners. “About--”

“Yes,” he said. It wasn’t guilty or heated, just an acknowledgement. I gritted my teeth, fangs digging into the inside of my bottom lip. I refused to pout.

“And you’ve known for awhile?”

“Armand told me just after it happened, I suppose. It was a week ago, maybe less.” Louis has never been good at gauging the span of time. If the sun didn’t drive him to unconsciousness every morning, I doubt he’d sleep very much at all.

“I see,” I managed, my voice tight. I steadfastly avoided his eyes, annoyed that all the papers were now perfectly lined up and I had nothing to do. I stood up and moved past him swiftly, pacing before I knew what I meant to do.

Louis stayed seated on the floor in front of the now empty chair though he turned to face me, and I felt his eyes on me as I made an anxious circle about the room, gathering up thoughts and words and my damp, tangled hair in a loose bun with the elastic I kept around my wrist.

“Does this upset you?” he ventured, sounding so honest and innocent that I almost laughed.

“That they had sex? Not in any specific way. Hell, I’m happy for them. God knows Armand’s wanted it for centuries.”

“I doubt the wanting continued after he was turned,” Louis said rationally, like this was the discussion we were going to have, the reason I brought it up at all.

“What about you?” I asked, spinning on my socked heel and coming to a stop as I faced him, resisting the instinct to put my hands on my hips. I raised my eyebrows.

“I…” he trailed off, looking adorably lost, his brows drawn together as he sought to untangle my meaning. “It doesn’t upset me. Did you think it would? I’m pleased for Armand. I do love him, Lestat, as do you. But I harbor no hidden desires to be with him. I’m with you. I’ve always been with you, in one way or another. You know this.”

He was frowning now, concern etched all over his face. He stood in a single, smooth motion, and he was approaching me before I could brace myself for his presence.

“Lestat--”

“Did it never occur to you that maybe we could do it?” I finally asked, my voice echoing in the vast but cozy room, all the velvet in it doing nothing to dampen the sound. “Do you find me so repulsive? Are you that sexless?”

The last two questions stung him, as I meant them to. But I immediately regretted saying them.

“No,” he said quietly, his eyes lowered, hands clasped together in front of him. I stood two feet away and hated myself for putting that look on his face. “No, of course not.”

“Which part?” I asked, softer this time.

“I don’t find you repulsive. You know I don’t. You’re as beautiful to me as you were on any perfect night we shared two hundred years ago.” He didn’t come closer, but I saw how tensely he held himself to stay where he was. “And… I’m not sexless. I never had the tireless desires that you’ve spoken of having as a mortal, but that doesn’t mean I…”

He paused, caught in an uncharacteristic moment of awkwardness. It nearly drove me to my knees, seeing him like that.

“Why, then?” I pleaded, making up the distance between us with a single step, my arms sliding around his lithe waist, hands dipping low to rub at the arch of his back, the very top of the curves of his ass. He moved against me, his body reacting to every minute touch like they were orders. He still couldn’t meet my eyes.

“You know I’m an absolute moron,” I said as I kissed his face, nuzzling at him as he returned the sweetness with kittenish drags of his cold nose. “Sometimes things don’t occur to me until they’re said directly. You must believe me when I say that it has never occurred to me to take advantage of those injections for mere pleasure. I only found out about Marius and Armand tonight. And when Marius told me that you knew…”

It was his turn for kisses, and I dipped my head and accepted them gratefully, tucking my nose into the silk of his sable hair. His arms were about my neck, and we moved together like a slow dance, one that has never needed any music.

“Do you think me the type to bring up such a thing, Lestat? That I could ever voice such desires out of nowhere, even to you?” I felt his smile against my jaw, the words spoken so close to my ear. I tightened my hold on him and closed my eyes. “I could never be so presumptuous. I would never assume that you would want me in some temporary, mortal way. You could spend such a night with anyone. You have a whole court of creatures who would give up immortality to be under you for an evening. Who am I to put such a request to you?”

“You are mine,” I said, the words dragging low in my chest and hot against his ear. “Do you hear me, darling? You’re mine. You are. In a way no one else has ever been, or could ever be. You share my bed. My life. You possess my heart wholly. You are mine, that’s who you are to put such a request to me. And more than that.”

I leaned back and opened my eyes, waiting until he did the same, until he tipped his head up and met my gaze, uncertainty still clouding his face.

“I am yours,” I whispered, and I meant it too much to speak it any louder. It seemed he heard the slight tremor in my voice because his lashes flickered as he pushed up onto the balls of his feet to stand even with me, to make the embrace secure when he tightened his arms around my neck.

It was only when our foreheads touched and our mouths were so near as to ghost that he spoke, and it came out sounding like relief.

“Make love to me,” he said, simple and without seduction, silk soft. “Please. I want nothing more. I’ve thought of it so many times in the last few days. Take me to your bed--”

“Our bed,” I murmured, leaning down to grab him by the backs of his thighs and lifting him up onto my body. I made for that very bed while our eyes held.

“Make me yours in the one way we never could before. You must know how I need you.”

He bounced when I dropped him on the bed, and he arched up when I joined him there, lowering into the familiar cradle of his spread thighs. I kissed him without artifice, without hunger for anything but the press of his mouth and the taste held within. It didn’t matter that this was the royal bedchamber of the crowned Prince of an unofficial, eternal people, that it was filled with genuine, priceless pieces of furniture and first editions of ancient books and jewels that perhaps belonged in museums. It didn’t matter that this was my childhood home, that there were duties to which I surely should be attending, didn’t matter that my hair was damp under his gentle hands or that we were thousands of miles away from the place this should truly be happening, our home in the city where I made him mine forever. It didn’t matter that the coverlet beneath him was hand-stitched or that the sheets were freshly laundered, the thick white candles lit all around us. I would have kissed him just as deeply on a cold stone floor, on an unforgiving straw mattress like the one that used to be in this room, or soaring a hundred feet in the air on a starless night.

I loved him, as always, in spite of everything. Or maybe because of everything.

He’d worked the elastic out of my hair and was stroking through it from root to pampered tip by the time I realized it was loose, and I gave him the whole of my weight and rocked against him just to feel the motion, just to feel the press of flesh and bones and to let such an animalistic movement simulate what neither of us desired yet.

He moaned soft and low into my mouth anyway, his heart speeding up as it knocked intimately against my own chest. I continued my movements, rocking on top of him and letting my hips press in, all while I lost myself in his eyes and listened to the slick glide of our bodies moving on the coverlet, listened to his quick breaths and the sounds he fought to keep in. My cock was hard but not hungry, but it felt nice, dragging against him. It felt exquisite.

My hand was in his hair, tucked in and holding him cradled in my cupped palm. He fell quiet beneath me, going as pliant and still as mortal sleep, his mouth deliciously slack while I fed from it without teeth.

“I would turn myself inside out, if it pleased you for just a single moment,” he whispered when I’d moved on to his neck, my hands seeking out the hem of his sweater so I could pull it over his head. His chest was slim and smooth as a boy’s, every part of his body lean, skinny in an underfed way that some people had to starve for. Louis had always been naturally so, never had to try to achieve a waist so small that it fit in the complete circle made by both my hands.

No, Louis starved for other things. Other reasons.

“I like your insides just where they are,” I told him, my mouth brushing over one of his nipples, already shiver hard and Rose Pompadour in color, like they’d always been. I licked it before drawing it into my mouth, closing my eyes to savor the sharp intake of his breath, the tiny, aborted sound he cut off in his throat. I could feel his heart against my lips, could taste the blood thrumming under his skin as I nursed at him like a newborn. He must’ve sensed something in me because his hands slid over my head, my back, drawing me in closer, holding me.

“Do it,” he sighed, dreamsoft.

It probably wasn’t a pretty sight, but I opened my mouth to expose my fangs, lips drawn back. I let the dagger sharp point of one sink right into the center of his nipple, the flesh giving way with no resistance. A hurt little noise escaped him, but he arched up into my mouth just as the first spill of blood left the puncture of his breast and started to slide down his pale chest.

I chased it with my tongue and latched on again, already dizzy with the swoon before I even swallowed my first suckled mouthful. He rocked beneath me, his arms clutched around me so that I could do nothing but move with him, all my focus on the nectar spilling over my tongue, on the taste of him which has never changed, despite all that’s happened.

I bit into the raw point of flesh in my mouth, my teeth slicing into it over and over again, opening up the small curve of his breast until he was all but gushing, until my swallows were full, luscious. I could have drained him until every drop of his blood was inside of me and I knew it, knew it like I knew the sounds of his pleasure and his pain and the way I knew how sweet his kisses grew when he was truly desperate for me.

A perfect horror was left behind when I lifted off of him, his nipple a chewed up, mangled mess, the focal of a smear of blood that still oozed and dripped as his skin fought to heal from my violence. I watched it happen, my hands framing his delicate chest, thumb stroking absently over the other, intact nipple. He allowed this, kind enough to forgive my strange reverie as I breathed hard and dipped down to lick him clean, feeling the sharp, heavenly shiver that came from the winespill taste of his blood.

“Why did you stop?” he asked after a long moment, his hands never once leaving my hair, fingers working until the thick waves of it were silken and soft once more. I looked up at him at last, marveling at him as I always did, wondering idly if it might’ve been this way between us back during our family years, if I had given him the truth he sought. I wanted to ask him if he would have forgiven me all my rashness and blunders if I had been transparent for him, been of some kind of use to him.

Pointless, that. All those questions, all those thoughts. And too painful to be brought up, on this or any night. I had this now. Had him now. And I would withstand fire and daggers and decades of loneliness and haunting the earth as a wraith once again just to ensure I’d get his quiet dedication and his love for a single night beyond this one.

I made myself long above him and reached his mouth with my own, giving him a kiss that belonged in a marriage bed, such as ours. I felt his smile beneath my mouth, his hands stilling at last in my hair. Had Louis ever smiled for me like that all those years ago?

“Because I can never get enough of you,” I told him, soft and truthful, my mouth tender as it traveled over his white skin, kissing at the palest lilac webs of veins beneath. “And so I have to stop myself or else I could lose control all too easily.”

This answer seemed to please him because his smile grew though it was strangely shy, like he wanted to argue over his own hold on me. I kissed his nose, the subtle arch of his brows, made the journey across his hairline to his temple where I felt the soft thump of his heartbeat.

“And can you have me tonight?” he asked, and the coloring on his cheeks deepened when I drew back enough to meet his eyes, seeking clarification. I grinned at how bashful he was, talking about it. Virginal, almost.

“Hmm?” I asked, trying to look innocent.

He sighed, so mortal and flustered. His eyes slipped closed and I moved in immediately to kiss at his eyelids, to touch with my tongue the secret movements of his eyes beneath the paper thin skin.

“Fareed,” he said, his arms slipping around my neck, holding me closer. “Can he be summoned tonight or--”

“My precious darling, my truest love, do you really think I’m going to begin my night of having you at--” I glanced at the eighteenth century Comtoise clock near the fireplace, the one Louis takes care to wind every eighth night. “At two in the morning? When we’ll only have three, maybe four hours together at most?”

Louis’s eyebrows shot up.

“You want more than four hours?”

“We will begin at sunset,” I declared with all the royal authority I possessed, sitting up and pulling him with me, though I kept him close. “And we won’t stop until the sun forces us to do so.”

He looked doubtful and wonderfully confused, as if he couldn’t think of enough activities for us to do over the span of a night that would last from dusk to dawn.

“I think sex will bore you more than you’re expecting, my dear,” he said gently, using the pet name to soften the blow, which I found hilarious. I laughed outright, taking the punishment of his glare, and I dragged him out of the bed and toward his violet sofa.

“If there’s one thing I know in this whole world, Louis,” I said, sinking down onto the sofa and begging him to me, handing him the large volume he had been reading when I interrupted, “it’s that you could never, ever bore me. Not with that face and this luscious body of yours.”

Scowling, he hit me with the book, but he settled against my chest, leaning back as he opened the paperback history again.

“We’ll see,” he said, drawing his legs up to prop the book up.

My hands slid down his still bare chest, seeking out his nipples and licking my lips when I found them, when I caught them between thumbs and forefingers and started to play with them.

“Read to me,” I said.

His back was already arching for me, and he stared at the open pages for a long while as he brought himself under control and attempted to focus on the words in front of him. His voice was only a bit shaky as he started to read.

 

-

 

Fareed, as it turned out, was in America for the next several days, having meetings with the higher ups at Gregory’s company and discussing the creation of some kind of drug or another that may help us blood drinkers endure the late evening or early morning sun a bit better. Far be it for me to begrudge him this invention, but every night spent with Louis without having him the way a virile mortal man might was sheer torture.

Louis, the calm, exquisite center of my universe, was as unflappable as ever, not seeming to share in any of my impatience, not even seeming to care much for the large book I dropped on his lap one night a few days after our decision, one filled with various images of men going at each other carnally and very creatively.

The Joy of Gay Sex,” I’d told him, turning to a page I’d marked as particularly interesting. He’d glanced over from the open journal that he was carefully scrawling into, his expression not changing as he noted the illustrations.

“Hm,” was all he’d said. I’d taken the book away and pouted for the rest of the night.

A fortnight had passed when Louis found me in the great hall which served as our ballroom on Friday nights, dressed in lounge clothes and seemingly indifferent to the gowns and finery of those around him. All eyes turned to watch him as he made his quiet way towards me, to where I sat near the harpsichord and enjoyed each note as they left it. Louis was exquisite even without a bespoke jacket and his hair brushed to a shine, and I couldn’t help the pride that accompanied my exasperation as I watched him approach.

“Good evening,” I said rather formally, dressed in my usual red velvet and lace, though I was lounging like a petulant kept boy. My eyes slid over his long, thin body, moving first down and then up, only meeting his eyes when I was done. I smirked at him, relishing his gently flushed face.

“Might I speak with you?” he asked, keeping his voice soft though, in a room full of vampires, there wasn’t a volume at which he could speak that wouldn’t be overheard by all. I kept my lazy sprawl, my foot resting on the edge of a very expensive sofa. Everyone looked on. I was nearly delirious with exhibitionistic joy.

“You might,” I replied, toying with him with a fiendish little smile. He didn’t sigh but I saw the impulse cross his face, his expression shifting from polite into pleading.

“Privately?” he whispered.

“Oh, come on,” I said with another quick once-over that ended with the tip of my tongue pressed to the sharp point of one of my fangs. “You can speak here, my love. I don’t want to keep anything from the Court.”

I expected a comeback, one that I would play at reluctance while giving into, but he astonished me by sinking down to his knees right there in the ballroom, his belly pressed to the side of my sofa. He reached out to take my hand, and even though his face was unmistakably heated, he didn’t hesitate in any of it.

I saw more than one pair stumble in their waltz steps.

“Lestat,” he said so soft it was barely a breath, his eyes large and filled with all the light in the room and on me alone, “I can’t bear it any longer. I can’t wait anymore. I need you. I have tried to be patient, to wait for Fareed to return, but I--”

I flew to my feet and brought him with me, my heart racing in my ears, deafening me to all else. There wasn’t a soul in the room that was not watching, that wasn’t seeing this and understanding it for what it was. I felt vicious in my sudden possessiveness of Louis.

“Hush, darling,” I murmured, drawing him to me and all but lifting him off the ground in an effort to crush him against me, “not here. Come. Let’s return to our rooms, shall we?”

He was so beautiful, so elegantly subservient that he might’ve been a queen consort of any era in history. And he was mine.

I all but buried him under my arm, in my embrace, and I sent out a snarling dare to anyone present to look at Louis as we passed. Let them try. I would savor blood drawn from any of them if they disobeyed.

Louis, deaf to my thoughts as always, fell quiet and soft at my side, his arm looped around my waist, and it seemed he was content for the moment just to be here, to have my attention wholly. I pressed a kiss to his cheek and whispered a promise against his skin before we even left the ballroom.

“I will call Fareed tonight. Let’s spend the night together. What would you like to do? Where would you like to go? To the village? Into Paris? La traviata is being performed tonight at the Opéra Bastille.”

“I hate that place,” Louis sighed, glancing over at me so we could share a mournful look. “It’s hideous, Lestat. And no boxes.

The petit bourgeois in him came out in the look of disbelief that graced his face, in the horror that any opera house dare to exist that didn’t have separate spaces for the extremely wealthy. I held in a full-fledged grin that made my cheeks ache.

“An abomination, to be sure,” I agreed solemnly with a nod. “Well. What shall we do?”

Our rooms were just as we left them, the bedroom beyond lit with the flickering, golden glow of a dozen candles. Louis had opened the windows to let the cool night air in, and the smell of the Auvergne countryside stopped me in my tracks, fed my soul in some vital way just as it did every single time I recognized it.

A miracle that I was here. That I had Louis here with me.

“Let’s watch that television show you were speaking of last night. The one about sweets and a contest?” He was already dressed for a night of lazing about, and he started in on ridding me of my court clothes as soon as we’d closed and locked the door behind us. I let him strip me like a servant, only speaking when he got to my pants that he slipped open and unlaced with uncharacteristic impatience.

The Great British Bake Off?” I said even as he slipped a lovely hand into my pants and closed his fingers around my cock. I raised my eyebrows at him when he pushed in close to me, his mouth soft and urgent as he kissed along my chin, my jaw.

“I want to suck on it,” he said quietly against my ear, his hand twisting and working slow at my cock that was feeling nothing that my hand or my back wouldn’t feel, just a general, unremarkable pleasure at being touched, especially by one I love the most.

I opened my mouth to ask him why, but he kissed me before I could speak.

“I know, it doesn’t really… I know you don’t want me yet, that it isn’t the same right now, but I can’t stop thinking about it. It’s obsessing me. I just want you in my mouth. Please, Lestat. Please grant me this.”

I closed my eyes and savored the feeling, the unsure touch of his eager hand and the breathy plea of his mouth at my ear. If any immortal creature could have defied his own biology and gotten hard with want for another being without aid of any kind, it would have been me in that moment, for him.

“It’s yours,” I said against his cold cheek, holding his narrow hips between my hands without realizing I had even reached for him. “Go queue up the television, my love. Let me change into something less formal and I will join you.”

I caught my own reflection in the full length, gilded mirror after changing into something just as comfortable as Louis’s clothes, the most deliciously soft bamboo cotton lounge pants and a faded t-shirt, a relic from my ill-fated, brief days as a world superstar, one that would make Louis smile when he saw it. I was gorgeous, no doubt, as beautiful as I’d ever been, except maybe those breakable years between childhood and adolescence when I had been so angelic and lovely that it drove more than a few of the men in the village to brief madness.

My brothers had teased me mercilessly about it. Secretly, I had preened. In this very room, in fact.

My feet were bare and made a soft noise against the polished wooden floors as I made my way to the front room where Louis and I had set up a sort of theater for two, the sofa some hideous, modern thing that was more comfortable even than our bed and a television that Louis had carefully chosen over all others available on planet Earth. The sofa was piled with blankets and pillows and my sweet lover, and the smile he gave me in greeting was enough to make my knees weak.

Oh, if those dirty old village men could’ve seen my Louis.

“Find it?” I asked, settling in among the blankets and letting Louis arrange us how he wanted us. He handed me the remote control where the show in question was queued up on Netflix, waiting for me to press play. He pushed the covers back from me and stretched out on his side, pushing at clothes until he had my pants down and my shirt shoved up. I huffed out a breath of surprise and no small amount of lust, slouching on the cushions to make my lap a little easier to reach.

“This damned shirt,” he mumbled as he cradled my cock and balls and extracted them from the cotton pants, his free hand on my stomach, clasping both the shirt in question and the taut skin beneath. I laughed and settled a hand on his head, not daring to breathe or blink in case either caused me to miss something he was about to do.

He didn’t tease, didn’t worship or show off for me. He simply took my cock in his mouth, enveloping it in the damp, relative warmth of it, and started to suckle at it.

I drew a deep breath and let my head fall back against the couch, staring up at the ceiling, at the gentle dawn painted there, stars still visible and shining. The wet, rhythmic sound of his sucking made my loins tight, made a fine shiver of pleasure course through my body.

“Mind the teeth,” I warned him just to have something to say besides ridiculous, loving poetry, my fingers tightening in his hair just enough to tug gently, playfully. I hissed as I felt the side of one fang slide over the side of my cock, slicing one of the thicker veins that ran along it. Blood flowed, and the sucking became animal and earnest. Wetter. I groaned and gripped his hair hard and let him feed from me, my hips strained up to push into his mouth, loving the workings of his throat around my cock, the way he struggled not to choke.

“Darling,” I crooned warmly, my smile drunken and unchecked. I’d pressed play on the television at some point though neither of us paid it any mind, and it was when Louis’s fang sank into my slit that I sent out a pleading call to Fareed across the ocean, not too proud to beg when in this position.

Get back here now please immediately emergency your Prince needs you. Bring your magical syringes.

I sent him the vivid image of what was currently happening in my living room, of Louis’s head buried in my lap and the rapture of my own face as I let him feed from me.

There. More efficient than any phone call.

 

-

 

“Careful,” I said under my breath, but the tone was serious enough that Fareed hesitated. He raised his perfectly groomed black eyebrows at me, and the smile that played at his generous mouth was more charmed than mocking.

“Lestat,” Louis sighed, sitting straight in the chair at my desk while the rain fell ceaselessly outside, “please.”

“There’s going to be a small pinch of pain,” Fareed explained more to me than to Louis, as if to a child. “It is a needle after all.”

I’d already had my little series of injections and was waiting for the effects to kick in, so nothing could distract me from overseeing Louis’s turn from my deceptively casual lean against the silk paneled wall.

“Be gentle,” I replied, not willing to relent on this, no matter how irrational. And nevermind that I planned on ravaging Louis as soon as immortally possible and inflicting more discomfort on him than Fareed’s tiny needles ever could.

Louis watched me while Fareed slipped the needle beneath his moonglow skin, his eyes shining even as he shook his head at my behavior.

“And when have you ever been gentle with me?” he asked softly, his open expression taking any sting out of the words. I pushed away from the wall and made my way toward him while Fareed readied the second syringe, and I took care as I leaned down and lifted the heavy fall of Louis’s hair to expose his neck, skin so unblemished and white that anyone who just met him would think he’d been kept under glass his whole life, that he’d never been through anything cruel or violent or ruinous.

But I had always been there. And I knew better.

I kissed his skin, still so soft compared to my own, still with such a human pliancy that I almost fooled myself that he was mortal, that this was like that very first night all over again.

“Do you remember when I found you wandering the muddy streets of the Vieux Carre? You were so drunk that one drop of your blood would’ve had me intoxicated instantly.”

I was in his lap, knees pressed to the cushion on either side of him, his head clasped in my spanning hands as my thumbs stroked over his cheeks, his mouth, and finally dipping inside to pet at his tongue.

My own, I sighed silently.

“You’ve always told me that my blood was intoxicating, liquor or no,” he replied, teasing, but it was true; I had said it, and I always felt it. We searched each other’s eyes as the third and final injection went in, and I became aware of an unfamiliar heat building low in my gut.

“Do you remember what you asked of me?” I said, dropping my voice to suit the smallness of the space between us. Fareed busied himself with putting away his syringes, with checking over vitals of some sort on his tablet, but I knew he was lingering. Knew he was fascinated by us, as a doctor and as a man.

I knew all of this but it was a distant thing, so small in comparison to Louis, to those eyes on me, those hands resting now on my thighs.

“You said it yourself, I was very drunk,” he replied, skin warming beneath my hands.

“You wanted me to take you,” I told him, the heat a living thing in me now, something that spread out with licking tendrils that shivered behind my balls and along my cock, something that made my hips tight and graceful, aware that I wanted to move, to thrust. To possess and claim and adore. And I knew no way to switch our positions without disturbing us completely.

“You asked me to follow you into that alley. You offered yourself up to me. Presented your back and closed your eyes and said ‘please’.”

“You exaggerate,” he said shyly, his long lashes fanning along pale skin as he closed his eyes. I wondered if he could feel me, the way I hardened for him, the way my hold on him shifted from immortal to lustful man. The pad of my thumb caught on the tip of his tongue, stroking over the curl of it there before he closed his lips around it and started to suck, gentle and soft.

I wondered if he knew what he did to me in these moments, when he was so sweet like this, so bendable to my every whim. I wanted to tear him apart with my bare hands; I wanted to sink my teeth into the meat of his neck and rip his throat out. Wanted to slip my tongue into thickest artery of his still beating heart and swallow his lifeblood fresh from the fount.

“You wanted my cock. You loosened your breeches and said something pleading and I wondered if I could give it to you. If I could make my body work that way for just that moment. I wanted you so badly that I considered it. As it was, I just pressed right up along your back and thrust against you while we were both bare. It was enough for you, it seemed. You guided me to take you in hand and work you to completion. It lasted less than a minute.”

“Lestat,” he whispered, his face hot, flush with the new desire working through his system. He struggled beneath me, writhing like a damsel in a gothic novel, his hands folded into the velvet of my jacket, clutching me, keeping me close.

“Do you feel me?” I asked, my voice low as I rocked against him, pressed myself to his stomach. He made some noise then, some wretched, hungry sound that felt like pain.

“Please,” he said, echoing his long ago prayer and completing the circle of our story with a single word. I climbed up off of him and reached for his rawboned wrists, and we stumbled together like drunken youths as his mouth sought mine and I attempted to lead us to the bed that was waiting for us, waiting to host this momentous union of ours.

I was vaguely aware of Fareed, of this quiet, jewel-eyed man sitting on the edge of my desk, still watching us, but I didn’t pay him the slightest mind, not for a single second; I didn’t care if he stayed and watched, didn’t care if this was being broadcast on the internet for the world to see, didn’t care if I never saw another being besides Louis de Pointe du Lac for the rest of my eternal life. I had a single focus, and he needed me as I needed him.

“Tell me how it feels for you,” I said, my hands on his hips, holding him securely as I walked him backwards to the bed, not stopping until he fell down on it, his hair a wide, shadowed halo about his head. I started with his pants, with his modern cut black wool trousers, with the expensive, Lestat-purchased cotton briefs beneath. He was flushed all over already, well-fed from two mortals I’d lured over in the very early evening before Fareed had arrived, even his smooth, tight belly mottled with pink when I unbuttoned his shirt and stripped him of it.

He was bare for me suddenly, and he lifted his legs until his feet caught the edge of the bed, knees bent, thighs spreading so I could glimpse everything I craved in that moment, every part of his body I had yet to truly desire before this night.

“Hurts,” he said, his bright green eyes finding me like searchlights as one of his fine, well-bred hands slid down his chest and pressed in low on his stomach, below his navel. “Like an ache inside me. Like I need to press down to soothe it, but it doesn’t help much.”

His cock was filling out against his hip, exquisitely shaped and just as beautiful as the rest of him, something I had seen before hundreds of times in our shared life but had never made me feel like this; like I needed to have it in my mouth, like I wanted to see it shuddering against his belly while I rutted into him like a big bad wolf.

“I think maybe you’re mistaken about the source,” I murmured, toeing off my overpriced Italian sneakers and the socks underneath while I worked open the jeans that made me look like a university student, the briefs beneath electric violet, flashy just for Louis. I saw his eyes dart to them and I smiled.

“Show me,” he said, his legs spreading wider, my brilliant, precious boy. My child. My only eternal lover. The backs of his thighs were as pale as the rest of him, the muscles in them working as gracefully as a dancer’s. I saw the toned, lush cheeks of his ass spread with the movement, saw the hint of what lay in the shadows between them, where he was begging my attention to with all the allure he possessed. Which was a staggering amount, as anyone who saw him knew.

As I knew better than anyone.

“Keep going,” I whispered, my eyes locked in now as I hurried to strip the rest of my clothes off, ignoring my cock for the time being that was hard enough to sway in front of me, dripping on the side of the down comforter Louis chose for our bed. “Spread for me. Show it to me, Louis.”

Another soft sound, one only heard by animals and monsters like us, and his hands made their way down the sides of his body until he reached his ass. He took one soft cheek in each hand and pulled, spreading them away from each other and bringing light to the place that had been hidden only seconds ago, presenting his secret to me like it was mine to keep.

I was fully naked, as was he, and I knelt by the bed like evening mass, eyes on my altar. I could hear the harsh exhales of his breathing.

It was tiny, heartbreakingly so, only a wink of curled flesh of the youngest pink, something that seemed impossible on a being verging on ancient, like Louis. Like me. Scant hair covered it, the same dark and soft smattering as on the ripe bulge of his balls, just reminding us both that he was indeed male and not some angelic thing of a middlesex like he usually seemed to me, beautiful as he was.

I felt the moment my mouth flooded with pink-tinted saliva. My erection pressed firmly to the side of the bed as I leaned in and nestled my face to him, nose tucking just beneath the curved swell of his perineum so I could inhale the dark, heated scent of him.

Louis,” I ground out, my hips straining forward, hands sliding up to cover his, helping him spread his ass, pushing hard so his hole was unobstructed and so vulnerable, so exposed to my hunger.

My inhales sounded like snarls. I will never forget the exotic, hot smell of him. Not even if immortality was truly mine.

“I love you,” he breathed.

I kissed him, open mouthed and licking, my lips dragging over the tight furl of wrinkled muscle as I brought them together. He shook all over, his lower body lifting up off the bed and towards me, into me. The sound he made was unchecked and stunned, his thighs trembling when I went right back in with my lapping, probing kisses. Strange to taste a part of him I never had before, that he should taste so familiar and yet so foreign. I’d done this before, to both women and men, but I’d never craved the taste like I did with Louis, never groaned like a beast on the hunt at the first taste of its prey, never starved for it like sacred blood.

I let the saliva stand in my mouth, flooding it and coating my tongue with the flavor of him, my eyes closed, all my focus inward. I swallowed and I felt my cock pulse, felt the jerk and lift of it, the electric pull that shivered through my balls.

Yes. Yes, this.

“My God,” he gasped, clutching at me, hands flying over my hair and my head in a desperate attempt to hold on. His body was tightly arched and tense as a violin string, his face hidden beneath the wild mess of his hair. I worked at his hole with my tongue, hands holding him wide open, my face buried in deep so I could sink in as deep as he would allow me. “Lestat. Lestat, please. Please, please, please.”

Even riding my face, he was polite.

I stood up and brought his ass with me, pulling on it to tip him up on end so that it was presented to me, his knees pressed practically into his chin, his arms wrapping on instinct around his thighs.

Pulling back to admire my work, I wanted to weep at how beautiful he was, at how deep his pink was now, at the dip and soft gape of his perfect asshole that seemed to me the only thing worth existing for at that moment. He was suck softened and shiny with my spit, and the little opening twitched and mouthed at me, begging for me to keep going.

I knelt on the bed and let his body rest along my chest, and I dropped kisses over all the skin I could reasonably reach before diving back in, letting my tongue harden just enough to start to work inside of him, opening him up with a growing fervor; I would not be denied. Not this night or any other. I would get inside of him in every way I possibly could.

By the time I drew back again, some time had passed, and the wax from the tall candelabra near the bed had started dripping on the floor. His tongued open insides were violent pink now, bordering on scarlet, and he was shivering all over, his eyes both frantic and mindless, his fingers twisted deeply in the thick mane of my hair.

“And how am I supposed to continue, hmm? How am I supposed to leave this, my love? How could you ever expect me to exist anywhere else but right here?” I licked at him with the flat of my tongue over and over, my arms wrapped around his upside down waist, keeping him propped up so I could feast.

He struggled against me, no match for my strength whatsoever, but all he was doing was attempting to reach for me, to grab the thing stiff and impatient between my legs and rub at it while I fed on him. I felt the tapered tips of his fingers stroke over my cockhead and I moaned, the vibrations making him shake some more.

“Is that what you want?” I murmured against his buttersoft little hole, the tip of my tongue dipping inside of him obsessively. I pushed my hips forward to let him reach me better.

He nodded, nonverbal as a child and twice as needy, and a single twist of his wrist had me straining into his hand, sliding him along the bed as I tried to get closer. I turned him so his head rested on the pillows, and I pulled his legs around my waist as I lowered him back to the bed and sank down on top of him, warm in the cradle of his body.

“Please,” he said again, mindless and soft, his mouth falling in sweet kisses along my mouth, my jaw. I felt him, slick and hot, that place I had focused so much of my obsession, only this time it was against the long, thick line of my cock. I pushed against him, rutting and moving our bodies together, drawing a helpless series of sounds out of him that I licked up as I sought out his mouth and fed from it.

I remembered this, remembered what it took to penetrate another man. Remembered the sweat and the violence and the kisses that broke skin and stole every breath from my body. That wasn’t this. Those men weren’t Louis. Not even my Nicolas. Louis had always brought something out of me that no other being on earth or any other plane ever had. When I cupped the back of his head and held him so I could look into his eyes, it wasn’t a restrained movement. I wasn’t holding anything back. Louis, for so many years now, had been exactly this open with me. This wasn’t anything new for us. It was merely a deepening of what always has been.

Even though he couldn’t know my thoughts, he knew me. I felt the slight tug on my hair as he wrapped a curl of my hair around his forefinger, letting it go with a unfurling glint of gold at the corner of my eye. His mouth was soft with a smile.

“I don’t need anything,” he said, his legs tightening around my waist, his body lifting up off the bed. I felt the tip of my cock catch on his hole, and I stilled to keep it there. He was open and wet only from my tongue, and I was experienced enough in this to know that we needed something more, if this was to be comfortable for him.

“But--”

“Lestat,” he sighed, drawing me down with his arms and his legs, hugging me close so that I had to straighten my legs a bit and sink down deeper on top of him, “I promise. You cannot possibly hurt me. And even if you do…”

His lips shivered against mine. My eyes fell closed and I tasted his breath, my hand slipping down on instinct to take myself in hand, to angle myself in against him.

“I want it,” he whispered against my mouth, the small, licked soft opening I sought entrance to pulsed against my cock. I heard what he didn’t say, heard the words breathed passed my lips as if he’d spoken them.

I need pain if it’s from you. I need it as cruel or as tender as you’re going to give it.

I knew it was going to hurt. Knew it like I was the dagger into Louis’s delicate flesh. I opened my eyes to watch the moment I entered him, to watch the full extent of pain and fulfillment pinch at his exquisite features.

With a considerable amount of my immeasurable strength, I held myself tight and pushed forward, only breaking through after a long, quiet moment where we strained together, our bodies warring, neither backing down.

I sank into him like relief, my selfish hunger and desperation to feel parts of him I had never touched causing me to be less gentle than I had intended. A broken cry left him, a sound so young that it nearly made me frantic, something I felt sharp against my heart.

“Louis, Louis, Louis,” I murmured, not yet comprehending that I was inside of him, that we were locked together as we never had been. His head was thrown back, throat bared, his eyes closed. He was breathing hard, the frenetic pounding of his heart visible in the carotid artery on his marble white throat, that beautiful place vampires love, that gushes blood so beautifully. I fought my eternal greed for him and focused instead on comforting him, on helping him relax beneath me.

As much as I’d dreamt about taking him this way, sometimes against his will in my cruelest thoughts, the reality of him demanded nothing but my love.

“Talk to me,” I pleaded, gathering all his hair back in my hands and kissing along his face. The way his deep, mysterious insides felt around me was indescribable. I could feel the subtle ridges of the tight channel into which I was nestled, could feel the living quiver and grip of it. His rim was stretched wide and holding me close, keeping me inside.

“You feel…”

He trailed off on a sigh, the thick falls of his lashes fluttering as his eyes rolled back in his head, the whites of them visible in the tiny cracks of his lids. He convulsed around me, his thighs shaking as he rocked in the trap between my body and the bed, and the warmth of come that spread against my stomach took the last of my overconfidence, my prideful determination to be the best lover of his entire life.

I lost myself inside of him, digging in so deep I wondered if his body would give way completely, and I felt each flexing jump of my cock as I pulsed into viscera that held nothing at all but me. I hadn’t even thrusted into him once, hadn’t done anything but push inside and dump a thick load of fresh semen that still had my balls tingling.

“God, how embarrassing,” I mumbled, ducking my head to nuzzle into his neck, hiding there while I rocked against him and savored the way he squeezed at my cock.

He was shaking still, his hands jumping along my shoulders and my back, but at last he hugged me, kissing my forehead until I missed his mouth too much not to seek it out with my own.

“I still feel you,” he whispered against my lips, the wetness of my come inside of him making it squelch as he grinded down on my cock, moving the thick of it around in his glorious body. “You’re still hard--”

“Christ,” I gritted out, straining forward and pushing so hard our ribs dug in together, those flexible bones bending as we tried in vain to meld completely.

“Still hard for me.” He was trembling again, his long fingernails digging into my arms, breaking skin and sinking into the cuts. “Keep going. Keep going as long as you can. Lestat, you feel so wonderful. This feels--”

He cut off with a stuttered gasp, head falling back once again like I’d snapped his neck. He held tight to my shoulders and panted up at the ceiling, the claws on his hands sliding down, tearing into my flesh and making me bleed.

I pumped into him, barely pulling out but eternally pushing in, grinding more than outright thrusting because he felt too good to leave, he was mine and this was home and nothing could have prepared me for this, for him. Not any sexual experience I’d ever had, as a man or my strange times as a vampire, nothing, could have prepared me for having Louis.

And perhaps it was true that the drinking of blood was an intimacy that surpassed all sexual encounters, that the ecstasy of feeding as a vampire eclipsed any carnal joys I’d felt as a mortal, but I knew the truth now, after all these years: draining the blood of every creature in existence paled in comparison to this. Sex was one thing. Being as in love with Louis as I was changed everything. This wasn’t just sex, wasn’t just life or death or blood or possession.

Ours was an incomparable intimacy. The tears filming in my eyes said as much.

We moved together now, the speed picking up as he opened up around me, as he made more room for me and took me even deeper. I grabbed hold of the top rung of our wrought iron bed and pulled myself up, shoving my hips in and pumping into him viciously hard, the sweat beading on my body, pooling at the small of my back.

“Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes--” he chanted, eyes rolling back in his head again, his legs wrapped around me so that he was lifted up off the bed, holding on while I pushed him against the headboard and up, not stopping until he was propped up on top the bed railing and I could hold on to the sturdy bar of the bed’s canopy with one hand, the other supporting his back as I crushed him against the damask wallpaper, velvet sliding along his silken skin.

“Beast,” he said, a slow, brilliant smile like a sunrise overtaking his face. I all but stood on the bed, kicking pillows out of the way except the one I shoved under his body, protecting his bottom from the unforgiving iron bed frame. He spread his legs wide and let me hold him up, giving himself over to me completely and trusting me to keep him steady, to keep him safe.

I was grateful for the stone foundations of my father’s castle. I didn’t worry about bringing the place down around us as I tensed my thighs and held him tight and started to work him open one jolting thrust at a time. He was lifted up off the pillow by the carved out slams of my body into his, his feet bracing on the top of the frame so he was practically squatting there, held up by our momentum while I fucked into him soundly.

I wondered jealously and with no small amount of pain who else had been here, who’d had him like this when he was a lost young man, who else he’d offered himself up to in a dark alley like he had me. It didn’t matter and I knew it; it had never mattered. Not in the face of this. It drew violence out of me nonetheless; the strength of my thrusts hurting even my bones, leaving reddened bruises and raw burns on my skin where it impacted with brutal power against his.

I could only imagine how he was feeling.

It hurt to look into his eyes but I made myself, hurt to feel so much for a single being, but there was no avoiding it. No hiding here. The deep green practically glistened when our gazes locked, and my body slowed to a pleading, desperate pace as I searched his eyes and saw a bright red tear slip down one cheek and then the other.

“Promise me you’ll never do this with anyone else,” he whispered, his body moving tight against mine, jarring rhythmically against the wall as I worked into him like I was digging my grave there.

“My beautiful Louis. Oh, my love. My whole heart.” It broke me to hear him say it, to hear such insecurity from a creature I loved so wholly. “I have never done this with anyone else. Never this. I’ve never made a love like this with a single other being.”

I reached between our bodies and wrapped my hand around his cock, giving it a squeeze that made him flutter deliciously tight around my own throbbing inside of him. His eyes slipped closed as he focused on where I was touching him.

“Promise me,” he repeated, too soft. His breath shivered in his throat, his arms linked loose around my neck. My entire soul ached.

“I promise,” I breathed, leaning forward to kiss his face, soaking in the scarlet salt of his tears on my lips. I kissed and kissed and kissed, drinking up the tears and licking away the gathering sweat, unworthy of his mouth because I made him feel this way, I made him doubt, caused this fracture between us during our long years apart. “Louis, I promise. No one else. No one.”

“Only me,” he panted, straining against me again, bearing down on my cock and using the press of his feet on the headboard to work himself on me, shaking again already for how deeply I was rooted, and perhaps for the way I was playing with his pretty cock between us.

“Only you.” It was as deep as a vow and we both knew it. My pace picked up again, the hot drag of my cock inside of him soaked with the come I’d already given him, the sounds of it obscene in this ancient room. I imagined telling an adolescent Lestat that he would make the truest love here, that he would lose himself inside a man with whom he shared his very soul and had for over two hundred years. He would’ve laughed me right out of France.

“How do I feel?” Louis’s words were blurred, nearly lost, because I felt his lips dragging over my collarbone and the defined curve of deltoid, kisses falling away as he just mouthed at me, my skin slick with his saliva when he continued on, moving beneath my arm to the scant blond hair there.

The way I thickened inside of him felt obscene, almost monstrous. He started to carefully lick into my armpit, no taste or scent there that might be on a mortal man, but the worship of it was just the same. Unmistakable. I held tighter to the railing of the canopy overhead and closed my eyes, focusing on the feel of his wet mouth and tongue over skin so neglected and sensitive that it felt once again like he was inside me somehow.

“How do you feel?” I said back, my nostrils flared as I crowded him against the wall, the bedframe shaking around us in tiny jolts. I was pushed so deep up into his body that it seemed I was melted into him, fused there permanently. His mouth made a sloppy, soaking wet sound under my arm. I felt his spit dripping down my flank.

“You feel like the revelation that founds a religion. The discovery of a new galaxy. You feel like a first kiss and the deepest parts of a rose and the warmth of candlelight after decades of artificial glow.” Useless, spouted poetry, but it came from the heart. The words didn’t touch what I really wanted to say, what I wanted him to understand, and I fell still and quiet and reached for him, pressing our foreheads together so I could inhale his breath and lap in between his lips with my covetous tongue.

I felt his cradling insides around me like a heated heartbeat. I wondered if I felt like a living pulse deep inside his virgin tightness, if he felt the twinned rhythms of us like I did.

He was breathing shallow and fast against my face, sweat sliding down his cheeks. I barely registered that he was no longer against the bed or the wall at all, that he was only hanging from my body, wrapped up snug around me and letting me hold us both up.

“You feel like the man I love and have always loved.” I meant it too much to speak above a whisper, and I let him take over for a moment as he sought to move us from our precarious perch on the headboard and back to the bed. He turned us when we got there, guiding me down on my back so my head rested against the pillows and he was above me. His eyes wouldn’t let me go as he spread his legs once again and straddled me, one of his gentle hands holding my cock steady so he could feed it up into his own, exquisite body.

My hands fell hard down on his split thighs, gripping tender flesh so tight that it seemed I might sink right down inside, beneath skin and muscle to the bone. It was my turn to arch, to writhe and beg beneath him, and I would have sworn in that moment that I felt impossibly deep inside of him, tucked into a place not meant for this.

I wanted this, wanted him, every single night. Somehow.

He started to move above me, his knees pressed into the soft bedding so he could rock in my sprawled lap, my cock being worked around inside of him like I was paying for the privilege. Or like maybe I’d given my soul for just a single night with him.

Impossible to describe him like this, how delicate and feline he was in his movements, how graceful his hips and the undulating curves of his body as he rode me, his eyes fluttered closed, hands braced on my chest. His hair shone and glittered with sweat that fell like rain on me, his mouth softly parted and a wanton shade of pink that bordered on red. His nipples were stiff on his pushed out chest, his cock curved up and touching back on his belly, the head of it so desperate for release that it was nearly violet with blood.

I remember distinctly the plush pillow beneath my head, the velvet of the duvet on my backside and thighs, the ancient scent of beeswax and the warm night air beyond our refuge. All of these things were facts, things my body noted but I did not pay any mind to at the time, not at all. I was wholly focused on him, on helping him use me as hard as he needed, on the exact movements of that body I loved so dearly moving on top of me like an insatiable angel, like the sweetest succubus.

“So beautiful, my love,” I sighed, my hands moving up his body to feel the rhythm as he rode me, fingers brushing his nipples and gripping his hips and clutching at his soft ass. I looked up to watch him become demure, shy in the face of my honesty even as his movements intensified, became something feverish and lewd. I felt the warm splash of slick that seeped from his cock and landed on my stomach, felt the way he shivered around me, opening up completely and allowing me in a further quarter of an inch, maybe just an eighth. No matter. I was inside of him to the root. Inside of him as far as this part of me could get.

“I wish you could see yourself,” I told him, thumbs sliding up along his ribs, pressing into the expanding cage, delighting in how I could see each bone. I pressed my heels to the bed and lifted my hips up, giving him a more solid seat to ride. “We need a mirror in here. One above the bed and maybe another behind it. You j-just… you need to see what I see. You need to know.”

I rocked with him now, lifting up to meet his desperate thrusts, his every contained cry and curling, shivered out moan snatched up greedily by me, all to keep. He brought one of my hands up to his face, nuzzling into my palm and resting his cheek against it before he turned and caught my fingers against his lips, looking pure and untouched once again as he took three of them into his mouth and across his tongue, cradling them there and sucking on them firmly.

I marveled silently at how bloodless this was between us, how utterly focused on these mortal parts of ourselves and the mysterious connection they forged. I didn’t feel even a faint hint of his fangs, only felt his slick tongue and the harmless bone of his other teeth. He sucked on my fingers like he needed to, as if maybe it was grounding him. My eyes lazed, happy as a cat as I watched him, letting the heavy heat building low in my body spread and spread, letting it take over slowly.

It wouldn’t be long now.

He moved as beautifully as any woman who has ever sat atop me, moved with just as much surety and allure and disregard for trying to appear masculine while he rode my cock. He was simply breathtaking, all balletic curves and soft moans and long, dark hair that fell like the night about his face.

I braced my hand low on his stomach and pressed in, giving him something to work against, to lean into as he surged forward and then back again, urgently chasing yet another completion. His belly was tight but ever so slightly soft, perhaps the most human, vulnerable part of him, and I swear I felt the swell and pressure of myself working there inside of him, felt where he was encasing me, keeping me.

I was overwhelmed suddenly, brought once again to tears with uncomplicated, pure love for him. Why couldn’t we have had this all those years before, when it was only the two of us in that muddy, sinking city we love so much? Why hadn’t we known then what we would come to mean to each other, what this would evolve into? Why hadn’t I loved him right then, given him exactly what he needed?

I vowed to never, ever deprive him again. Not of anything.

He curled down over me and I came to life then, grabbing at him and pulling him in so close I could taste his breath. My hands fell to his ass once again, fingers digging in and prying him open, touching along the stretched out passage into his body that he was allowing me to occupy. I pulled him up by that grip and held him just barely above me, just enough to lift my hips and snap them roughly up against him.

Louis fell boneless instantly, cut from strings. He spread his thighs around me and shoved down deep on my cock.

“Harder, Lestat. Harder. Please. P-Please harder.”

I dug him out with surgical precision, fucking him so hard it bordered on cruel. My next orgasm ruined me, the miraculous cream spilling forth and into Louis’s insatiable body, all of it frothing along his rim and splashing over our thighs but I didn’t stop. Couldn’t stop. He was holding his own cock just beneath the head, thumb pressed up tight to the large nerve along the bottom, and he was squeezing in sweet, mesmerizing little pulses.

His climax seemed to take him completely by surprise because he shouted as it overtook him, the sound so loud it made all the flames of candles around the bed jump. I felt the wet splashes again, felt the way he choked up tight and quivered around me, his thighs shaking against my hips.

One hand held fiercely tight to his ass but the other wrapped around him, keeping him close; close enough that I could feed on his aching, exhausted cries, on the whimpers that followed when he got too raw to have me working inside of him still.

He relaxed on top of me, his hips still faintly trembling, curling with a mind of their own to keep my cock inside. I kissed his face and his hair and his mouth, using every synonym for beautiful that I knew in both our shared languages. He hummed into the kisses, pleased and sated, his mouth so open to me that I couldn’t help but imagine what it would be like to devour him, to start at his mouth and eat him alive, not stopping until I had sucked the marrow from his bones and swallowed the jewels of his eyes.

Horrible thoughts. Violent, fanciful ones. For once, I was grateful he couldn’t read them.

“I can barely move,” he murmured as I ran my hands up and down his back, feeling his muscles loosen with every gentle pass. “I think perhaps we’re done for the night.”

“I’m giving you five minutes to recover,” I told him, grabbing a handful of fleshy ass and gripping it hard just to feel him tighten up around me, “and then I’m cleaning you out with my mouth and figuring out the best way to ask you a favor.”

He grunted, a soft, sleepy sound while he wound his arms around my neck and tucked his face in there, his voice so soft when he found it to speak.

“And what favor would that be?”

“Oh, nothing big,” I replied with a dismissive shrug before I returned to my petting and my ass fondling. “I just require your ass on my face. The particulars are unimportant.”

I felt his eyes widen, lashes tickling at my neck. He froze in my arms, and I didn’t have the energy to hide my grin.

“Now why on earth would you want--”

The softest sound stirred on the other side of our vast room, and both of us snapped to attention, our heads turning like hunters looking for prey. Fareed was standing up, frozen on his way to the door, his face inflamed, green eyes wide and guilty as he blinked at us.

I grinned, the tips of my fangs digging into my bottom lip.

“I-ah. I assume you don’t require further assistance from me, Prince?” Fareed said, gathering up his dignity as quickly as possible. Louis groaned and reached for the chenille blanket usually kept on the bed for his chilly feet while reading and yanked it up to cover his exposed body, that place where I was still nestled inside of him visible to Fareed completely.

His face buried itself in my neck, and I had to hold in an explosion of laughter before it ruined his mood for the rest of the night. I cupped the back of his head and held Fareed’s gaze, trying my best not to preen under the knowledge of our audience.

“No, Dr. Fareed. I believe we can manage from here, thank you.” My free hand smoothed down the covered line of Louis’s body, squeezing gently at his ass through his little blanket. I let Fareed watch because I was incorrigible.

“Very well,” he said softly, heading for the door again before a single sound from me stopped him once more in his tracks.

“Fareed--”

“Yes, Prince?” His hand was on the door handle, the tension in his body visible from our bed.

“Wasn’t my Louis beautiful?” I asked, the words coming out sweet instead of teasing like I’d intended, and I felt Louis’s soft sound of protest against my throat, the threatening nip of his teeth there. I pressed an errant kiss to his damp, love wild hair.

“My Prince, he was beyond all beauty,” Fareed said, solemn enough to be scripture. Fareed gave a quick bow and dismissed himself, his glowing dark skin flushed as red as his nature would allow. It was only when the door closed behind him that Louis slid from my lap and collapsed beside me, glaring over at me with the mild sort of annoyance he reserved just for me. I smiled in a full display of my wickedness that I reserved just for him.

“Lestat, really--” he began.

“I love you in ways that will survive the end of time itself,” I told him, and I meant it. Impossibilities seemed destined for me. Our love was merely a gilded part of that. I reached out and touched his cheek, my thumb stroking along the fine angle of his jaw. “Now, come sit on my face.”