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The last few days waking up started to feel like a chore to Viago. If it were up to him, he’d try to sleep in again, but he made a promise. Between him and everyone in the house, he stated that even if he didn’t feel like getting up, he would do it anyway. So when his alarm went off, he snaked his arm out of his coffin to silence it. With the simple push of the lid, he was up and out of his room.

Feeling self-conscious, Viago sat on his favorite chair, twirling and fidgeting with his hands. The longer he sat, the harder it got to sit still. Several invasive thoughts plagued him the longer he sat. The voices in his head repeatedly told him he wasn’t good enough, that he didn’t deserve Vladislav or Deacon in any way. That they didn’t love him, they were only toying with him. Even though he knew differently, the thoughts started to way Viago down. While his mind trapped him in this vicious cycle, he failed to notice Vladislav walking down the stairs.

Vladislav, on the other hand, immediately noticed Viago’s distress, walking over; he snapped his fingers, trying to get his attention. “What’s the matter?”

Biting his lip, Viago cased his gaze towards the floor. Stilling his hands, he shrugged his shoulders.

Even though Vladislav felt a wave of concern flood into his still heart, he still couldn’t help rolling his eyes as he bellowed,” Remember what her face said; if you start to spiral down, you need to speak your mind. Otherwise, you’ll fall deeper into a pit of despair.” Reaching over, Vladislav took Viago’s chin into his hand, as he forced the other to look up at him; he continued,” I’d hate to see you fall into such a pit, my love.”

Viago struggled to look directly into Vladislav’s eyes. Even though his face was tilted up, his eyes stayed cast down. His frown deepened while he muttered,” Nick’s therapists’ name is Seara.”

Acknowledging his mistake, Vladislav sighed,” Right, Seara.” Kneeling, he cupped Viago’s face with his hands. “My love, please look at me. Tell me what plagues you.”

Finally, mustering up the courage to look the other in the eye, Viago felt tears gather at the corners of his own. His bottom lip started to tremble as a tear slid down his soft cheek. Sniffing, he croaked out,” Why do you even love me?”

Visibly taken aback, Vladislav asked,” Why wouldn’t I?”

More tears slid down Viagos’ gentle face as it slowly started to break further. Choking out he tried to ask,” But I-?”

Vladislav shook his head as he bit out,” But nothing. Your smile is the best I’ve ever seen. Your heart is the kindest in the world. And your soul is the strongest of all.” Rubbing his thumb over Viagos’ cheeks, he tried to wipe away the tears, continuing with a softer voice, he leaned closer,” And of course.” Moving one of his hands, he rested it over Viago’s heart.” The fact you’re you. That’s why I love you.”

A small smile started to tug at Viagos’ lips, sniffing his voice wavered slightly,” I love you too.”

Closing the distance, Vladislav pulled him into a kiss. It was slow, tender, and loving. When he pulled away, he mumbled,” Next time you need reassurance, no matter what time, day or night, you come find me.”

Nodding Viago leaned forward, catching another kiss before promising,” I will.”

Purring in approval, Vladislav stood, pulling Viago along with him. “That’s what I like to hear, my love.” Taking Viago’s hand into his own, he gently tugged him along. “Let us talk more in the kitchen. I’ll make us some warmblood; in fact, I think there are some fresh leeches in the fridge we can snack on.”

Smiling, the voices in Viago’s head grew silent as the warmth of Vladislav’s voice filled his entire being.” That sounds nice.”