Chapter 33

"I said pass the beer," a slurred voice mumbles, and then a loosely clasped hand comes into my field of view before I realize that Josh is indeed talking to me.

"You're drunk," I retort, making absolutely no move to reach into the cooler next to me and hand him the object of his desires. It's not my policy to give a drunken man more than he can handle.

"Yes, and I plan to get drunker; now please pass me a beer." His hand wiggles in front of me insistently, tempting me to bite it off. I would too, considering my less that social mood right now. Seba and I must be the only two sober people here since Elizabeth snuck off a while ago to make a phone call, though I don't know who she'd be calling at this hour in the night.  There must be at least twenty people in here if not more; the TV's on way too loud, but the heavy metal music playing over it makes it inaudible and the air is so stuffy, the cigarette smoke seemingly imbibing every pore of me.

"Beer," Josh insistently pleads. Anything to make him stop whining, and against my better judgment I pass him the refreshment. There is the distinctive pop of the can opening, a satisfied burp, and the pleading stops shortly thereafter.

I, however, am not interested in anything and anyone other than the sexy man sitting across from me. His white shirt is undone three buttons down, giving me a teasing peek of well-toned chest framed by a loosened blue tie. Add in the carelessly rolled back sleeves and I want to scream with the tension I feel building up inside me. Sebastian looks so positively delicious that I could walk up there and kiss him senseless right now, before anyone would be the wiser.  Naturally, I can't do that.  Instead, I must sit patiently until that busty half-drunk blonde gets her grubby hands off my boyfriend who is trying his best not to be insulting. At least I hope that's the reason why he hasn't moved away from her, because I think we might have a fight on our hand if things prove otherwise.

Taking another small drink of the same beer I've been nursing all evening, I wear my mask of indifference.  I'm not about to let some tipsy bimbo make me lose my cool. Besides, this is a day of celebration.  The graduation ceremony, all three agonizing hours of it, at first went by quickly, and I cheered after Elizabeth's speech, proud of our class valedictorian, but by the time they got to the p's my butt was numb, and I kept trying to catch glimpses of Elizabeth and Sebastian in the front rows, cursing the damn alphabetical seating arrangement. Thus, it was with much relief that the final name was called, and I cheered as loudly as everyone else, although perhaps not for the same reasons. I just wanted to get out of there and spend the rest of the day with friends.

Unfortunately, that meant Sebastian, Elizabeth, and I ended up dragged by Josh, Keith, and some others to a big party at a nearby hotel.  Some seniors had rented two adjoining rooms. Add liquor, music, pizza, and more people, most of whom I don't know, and it was instant party, except I'm not much in the mood for such a big gathering. However, it's our last big shebang together, and some of my friends I might never see again, so I went along despite my instinct to flee the crowd.  Sure, we still have summer vacation, but I'm a realist, and I know people naturally drift apart, so I should try to make the best of the situation.

"Hey, Eric brought a karaoke machine!" someone I don't know shouts over the music, drawing a mix of groans and cheers from the room.

I, for one, hate singing in public.  I'm an artist, not a pop singer, so I devise a brilliant plan to avoid being coerced into embarrassing myself. "I'm going to get some air," I announce.

"But…" Blondie begins to protest, then proves she's not so air headed after all by shutting her mouth when I glare at her. I don't like leaving Sebastian in her clutches, but what can I do?  And if I stick around much longer watching her giggle and hang all over him I might say something not so very nice.  "Seba, do you want anything?"

"I.. uhh.. yes! I'd like something… to drink.  And I.. uhh.. .need to pee!" he exclaims quickly, pushing Blondie off of him.

"Hey," she whines then calls jokingly after Sebastian, "need a hand?" but he's already halfway across the room.

That does it! I stalk out of the room, accidentally hitting Blondie and a few other people in the shoulder as I weave my way to the bathroom.  Pausing outside the closed door, I look around and knock.

"Yes?" Comes the muffled voice of Sebastian from inside.

"Yo, it's me. Little pig, little pig, let me in."

The door creaks open, and Sebastian pulls me in and shuts the door. "Thank god you got me away from there!"

Despite Seba's relief I'm still in a cranky mood from having to sit there and watch that girl paw at him while unable to do much about it, so I reply dryly, "Someone had to. You sure weren't trying very hard yourself."

"What?" he asks, his voice raising a few octaves. "What was I going to do? It's every boy's dream to like blonde and busty. They would have thought I was messed up if I told her off."

"You could have thought of something," I insist, leaning against the sink.  "You could have told her earlier you needed to get some fresh air, had to pee, wanted to get some pizza, or maybe had a nasty contagious skin rash. The possibilities are endless."

Resting his hands on my waist, Seba nudges me to look at him. "You're so cute when you're jealous," he says, kissing the space between my neck and my collarbone.

If he thinks he's going to win me over that easily he's… aw hell. He's right. Closing my eyes, I enjoy this moment alone, and my own hands find their way to Sebastian's waist.  When I open my eyes again I'm looking into his warm hazel eyes, and my anger melts away. "Damn it. I just can't stay mad at you."

"Of course you can't. There no use in wasting precious time when we could be doing this." 

Before I can ask "This what?" his lips are pressing insistently upon mine, demanding entry. Without complaint I give in.  I open my mouth and his tongue spares with mine, filling me with the taste that is so utterly Sebastian.  My baser instincts take over as the kiss deepens, and my hands run down the length of Seba's back. He sighs softly against my mouth as his hands tangle into my hair. It has been way too many hours since I've done this, and sitting there for half the night starring at his disheveled self made me only want him more.

"You're so handsome," I whisper as the kiss ends, a beautiful flush adorning Seba's face.

"Speak for yourself."

The urge to kiss him senseless takes hold of me once again, and desire takes control.  I'm pressing him into the wall as my hands roam all over his body and my tongue plunges into the hot recesses of his mouth.  In the background the beat of the music pounds and laughter and singing reverberates through the walls, but easily I tune them out, savoring the familiar taste and feel of Sebastian. Now this is how I wanted to celebrate tonight, not crammed into a stuffy, smoky hotel suite with strangers. This is…

"Sebastian, are you in there?" The pounding on the door makes my heart stop.  "Seba-boy, open up!"  I groan and sit down on the toilet seat.  Sure, I adore Liz, but her timing sucks.

"Liz… what is it? I'm kinda busy in here," he answers in a wavering voice.

"Oh?" She sounds amused. "I don't suppose you've seen Tobe-chan around, have you?"

"Maybe," he retorts, his voice piqued with amusement, and I smile up at him.

Liz pauses. "He's in there, isn't he? You're both in there!" Her voice rises a notch in volume.

"Of course not, what kind of depraved pervert do you think I am!" Seba exclaims back. "You know I can't pee in company!"

"Liar. You've got Tobe in there, and I know it. My woman's intuition tells me so. Now open up and let me in, you dweeb."

"We can't compromise the valedictorian in such a manner. Rumors might get around!"

"I'm taken. Besides, you two are the ones here with the shady reputations, and if you don't let me in I'll post online in every forum I can find that picture from that Halloween when I coerced you into wearing my Mom's pink bathrobe and bunny slippers."

I stand and Seba makes an attempt to grab me, but slipping from his grasp, I unlock the door and crack it open. "Get in, quick," I say quickly and drag her in much in the same manner that Sebastian manhandled me a few minutes before.

"So," Elizabeth begins, looking from one of use to the other, "I leave you alone for ten minutes and you end up fondling each other in the bathroom? It figures."

"What do you mean by that?"

"Oh come on, Tobe-chan, the way you two kept looking at each other in there all night… I know you two well enough to recognize lust when I see it."  She giggles.  "It was so cute!"

Out of the corner of my eye, I can see Seba shifting uncomfortably. "It's really not my fault. Damn testosterone… it makes me horny," he mumbles, his cheeks reddening slightly.

"Then why don't we leave?"

"And go where?" I ask.

Liz smiles broadly, her eyes sparkling with mischief.  "I got us a room. It can be just he three of us. We can grab a few beers and some pizza then watch movies and gossip like hens all night."

"That sounds good," Seba agrees immediately. "It's an infinitely more appealing idea than facing Blondie again. I might just be forced to run out screaming in fear. She didn't seem to want to get the hint when I told her that I am happily involved in a successful relationship. According to her logic, all that can't be seen or repeated aloud is fair game to be had," he continues, a small frown marring his beautiful features.


Liz's eyebrows shoot up.  I shrug and explain.  "She's some girl we'd never met before, possibly from another school – a friend of a friend or something."


"And what?"

"What'd you do?"

"Nothing, Lizzie, my Dear.  There's nothing I could do. Besides, it didn't matter."

She narrows her eyes, not believing my feigned indifference.  "Liar. I know you better than that; you may act cool, but I bet you were jealous as hell." I merely shrug again, and since she knows I won't be of any help, she turns her attention to Sebastian.  "So Seba, what happened?"

"Oh, nothing much, except she was ready to make my wildest fantasies come true. Too bad for her my fantasies don't involve women," he relates coolly.

"God, I hate people like that," I mutter, my mood darkened again by the memory.

"Ah ha!" Liz exclaims, pointing at me.  "So you were jealous!"

"Whatever." Time to change the topic. I don't want to come off any longer as the obsessive, possessive boyfriend. "So are we going to go or hand around in the bathroom exchanging witty barbs all night?"

Elizabeth is clearly contemplating teasing me a bit more, but I guess she's as anxious as I am to blow this pop stand, and she nods.  From her back pocket she takes out two card keys and hands one to Sebastian.  "Here. Room 269"

He looks questioningly at her, the card in his hand. "Aren't you coming?"

"I'll be up in a few minutes. I have to make a phone call first then I'll dash back here, grab some food and drinks, and meet you up there."

"Sounds good to me," I say and snatch the key card from Sebastian.  "Come on lead foot, before Blondie and her two brain cells figure out you're still missing and come looking for you… unless that's what you're hoping for."  Before he can answer, I slip out, cutting off his retort with the bathroom door.  "Slowpoke Sebastian," I tease through the door, and happily leave the busy room.

The hallway in comparison is quiet, blissfully so, the noise from the party muted by the thick walls and plush wall-to-wall carpeting.  I'm well around the corner and halfway to the elevator before I hear the door behind me open and close again, the commotion of the room momentarily escaping and spilling out into the hallway in full force.  Then the relative peace returns, broken only by the weak base beat from the party and the muffled sound of sneakers on carpet. The silence is disturbed by the ding of the elevator, and the metal doors open. I can hear Seba's footsteps stopping behind me.

"You better behave this time," Sebastian murmurs, coming up behind and snaking his arms around my waist. "We don't want to be caught again," he adds, but I can hear the smile twisting his lips in his voice.

With the pressure of "keeping up appearances" gone, I take a deep, relaxing breath.  I didn't realize how wound up I was getting, making small talk with strangers – for Keith and Josh and the few we knew were not always around – and smiling that pleasant though counterfeit little smile demanded of such social interactions.  It's tiring.  I do enough of that at work without having to dance this dance during my free time as well.  "Don't I always behave?"  My hands run along his arms and my hands rest on his, covering them gently; I like the quiet strength in his hands, and the warmth of his body, but even when we can't physically touch, I like just knowing he's there… except, of course, when some bleach blonde bimbo is busy ogling him.  Then, I admit, I get a little bit jealous.

"Yes. You always behave… behave badly," Seba grins into the crook of my neck and as the doors of the elevator close behind us, I feel the tantalizing heat of his kisses upon my neck. "Hurry up and pick the floor or I might be forced to behave very badly too."

In one fluid motion I push the button taking us to the second floor and return Seba's kisses.


The door handle presses into my back as Tobias pushes me against it, doing his best to chase all coherent thoughts from my head with his demanding kisses. And since I can't get enough of them and of him, it takes a few seconds before I realize that we do indeed have the key to this blessedly empty room where a comfortable and fluffy bed awaits a massive make-out session. 

"T-tobe-chan…" I groan as he suckles at the skin between my neck and collarbone. "Inside… we c-can go inside," I expel a hissed breath and clutch his shirt as his tongue traces the length of my neck.

"Mmm." He fumbles with the card, sliding it into its slot.  The little green light flashes, then Tobias pushes the door open and we stagger inside, clinging onto each other like drowning men.

"The door…"

"I see it," he mumbles against my flesh, kissing, suckling, and working to undo the buttons of my shirt. There's a frantic, desperate nature to it all, but I can understand.  Liz will be up soon, so we haven't much time alone, and there's no way we're going to make out with her around. She'd be giggling and squealing and snickering nonstop both during and for hours afterwards.

"The... desk!" I yelp, feeling the corner of the desk hit me in the hip.

"Sorry!" He touches the injured spot.  "Are you… okay…?"  The kisses stop.   "What the…?" 

Bewildered by this and the surprise in his voice, I crane my neck and look behind me to be greeted by a large vase of bright pink and white flowers with glossy green leaves.  It's an impressive arrangement, but it seems too lavish to be another hotel amenity.  Reaching around me he plucks a small card from between the fragrant blossoms, and a feeling of nausea and apprehension settles in my stomach as I watch Tobias rip open the envelope.

"What does it say?" I breathlessly ask, though in my heart I already know the neat message inscribed on the card. I've known it ever since Liz pounced on us in the bathroom with that look on her face like she'd just won a million bucks.

With a smile similar to hers, Tobias sets down the card and grabs both my wrists securely immobilizing me within his grasp. "Surprise and happy graduation! Consider this my gift to the two of you, so make like bunnies and don't disappoint me. Love, Liz."

My cheeks burn with the confirmation of my suspicions. I struggle to fight hard against the wave of shyness that washes over me and leaves my skin all goose bumpy. "I-I guess this means she's not coming up?"

"Sure as hell hope not. That'd be pretty awkward, wouldn't it?"  He captures my lips with his in a deep kiss that leaves us both breathless.  Our eyes lock, and I can't look away.  Then something happens.  Something foreign flashes in Tobias's eyes, something, if I didn't know him better, that might be seen as unease.  "I… I'm going to… go wash up."  He caresses my cheek, plants a light peck on my lips then steps back. "I… I'll be right back."

With Tobias in the bathroom, I walk across the room and sit heavily upon the bed.  I swallow awkwardly, trying to calm the frantic beating of my heart. This is it, no interruptions, and suddenly I feel the weight of my inexperience burning underneath the anxious desire.  For the first time ever we don't have to take into consideration the outside world.  Here we are, just Tobias and Sebastian, two young adults in love. The realization of what we are about to do settles like a great weight upon my chest and I sigh heavily.

It is in such times of unease that my brain works frantically to occupy itself with other thoughts but the essential. Thus, my eyes settling upon the assortment of flowers, I smile at the irony behind it all. You see, it's ironic how of all the flowers in the world it's rhododendrons that sit on the table; they are after all the flower of deceit.   But in a way, they are appropriate for the consummation of this moment, because we have been nothing but deceptive towards everyone else but each other and Liz. And funnily enough, Liz through deceit got us this room and pushed at the walls of the invisible tension buzzing around us. Tonight, sitting in that chair and starring at him I felt my desire bubble inside me and shrink in the face of my fear. Thankfully, Elizabeth noticed our stalemate and took things into her own able hands – she wasn't elected Valedictorian for nothing –  thank God yet again for friends like her. My eyes settle back on the rhododendrons, and my thoughts yet again turn to their most appropriate meaning. Deceit has been a part of our lives this past year, sometimes with good intentions behind it and sometimes out of sheer fear. Tobias and I both hated and used it at our convenience, but how much it'll play a role in our future I don't know, and no one can predict that. For now, there is no need for its shield, and tonight I have no other intention but to be truthful and honest with the man that I love. 

I'm nervous.  Wringing my hands I try to dispel the butterflies in my stomach.  Maybe if I walk a bit?  No sooner do I stand up, however, then I feel the need to sit down again, and I plop back down heavily upon the bed.  Maybe I should take off my shoes. Yeah. That'd be a good idea.  It might help me relax and…

"You okay?"

Tobias is standing framed in the doorway, the harsh light from the bathroom rendering him into little more than a silhouette.  I can't make out his expression, but his voice is laced with concern.  There's a lump the size of Cleveland in my throat, and it's with effort that I swallow and stammer a reply. "Y-yeah, w-why wouldn't I be?"

"I dunno."  Silence.  "It's just… I… " Tobias sighs heavily, switches off the bathroom light, and crosses the room, but he doesn't stop by the bed.  Instead he stands by the window and looks out through the gauzy drapes for several seconds at the evening sky, the light of the city rising up from the horizon.  Finally, after a long torturous silence, he asks, "You're okay with this?"

"If you're thinking that you're forcing my hand, you're not," I answer, my voice steady and confident, but that doesn't last for long.  Although I want to get up, I find that my legs refuse to support me, and I stammer onwards in my speech. "I… I'm just nervous you know? I mean… I h-haven't done this… it's… just anxiety… it'll pass," I exhale in one singular and broken breath.

"Would if make you feel better to know I'm nervous too?"

Tobias nervous? Sex fiend Tobias?  Even now, compared to me he's the epitome of cool, calm, and collected, but upon reflection I realize he has been acting a little odd.  His abrupt need to go to the bathroom and his unexpected hesitancy make sense now.  Though he doesn't show it as obviously as I, Tobias has his doubts as well. 

"Come here," I smile and pat the empty space next to me. "We don't have to do anything if we don't' feel like it. I'd just like to cuddle for now." My face is burning as my inner voice tells me the utter stupidity of that sentence. We both know things are not going to stop at that invisible barrier we both agreed to before. Not tonight.

Still facing away from me he bows his head and chuckles then says something under his breath.  With a swift motion he draws the curtains closed, turns around, and smiles at me.  Three quick strides carry him to my side, and the bed sags a little under his weight.  "Sebastian…"  He runs a hand through my hair.  "The night is young, and I don't think I'll be satisfied with just that, not this time."

It's funny how he always calls me Sebastian in times when he is feeling most serious. Otherwise he uses my pet name, or nickname, whichever one suits his varying moods. Therefore I know better than to protest the quiet and very serious affirmation of his desires. I would be a fool to when a similar desire burns underneath my shyness. "Oh, well that's also fine," my hands snake around his waist. "I'm yours to do with as you please with tonight."

"Anything?"  He strokes the curve of my back and grins roguishly.

Then it all begins with a kiss.


It began with the lightest of kisses, a sweet tender parting of lips that metamorphoses into a full blown, no holds barred, act of passion. Resistance, even if I wanted to, is futile, and I yield to Tobias, glorying in his taste and his touch.  His tongue, warm and pliant, runs over my teeth and explores my mouth with gentle urgency, a sign of things to come.  Our desires are similar, not just the warmth of hands held, but the heat of skin upon naked skin and the feel of two heartbeats against one another. 

Breathing grows heavier now, and nimble fingers undo buttons and peel cloth back to expose bare skin.  With a feather light touch Tobias runs his fingers along my body, tracing the jaw line, moving along the slope of the neck, and following the collarbone to the hollow between the two.  He wraps his finger around the silver chain from which hangs the Celtic ring, Christmas present from him and symbol of our love.  The chain from which his own gift hangs I can glimpse above the neckline of his shirt.

"Beautiful."  Tobias licks his lips, and I reach up, latticing our hands together loosely, and pulling him closer.  "God," he speaks in an awed voice, "you don't know how irresistibly perfect you are."

Stretched out upon the bed, the air feels chill against my heated flesh, and I know I must be blushing like mad, but it can't be helped.  "T-Tobe-chan…"

His eyes, normally brilliant green, are now dark, and the irises are large and fathomless.  He laughs, a deep, sensual throaty sound, and runs his tongue along my chest, teeth grazing against skin, and muscles involuntarily twitch as he lingers over nipples and other sensitive spots. "Seba-kun, you're lucky I adore you so or I'd kick your delectable ass you for calling me 'chan'."

A laugh bubbles to my throat when I open my mouth.  I try to tell him something that is quickly forgotten as my breath hitches and a deep, shuddering, involuntary groan slips past my lips as his tongue and teeth tease sensitive skin. Through the haze of heat coursing through me, I can feel Tobias smiling against me. He's enjoying this as much as I am.  His tongue flickers against mine in a battle for dominance, and another moan escapes me as I shiver with pleasure. 

When he pulls back and I catch a glimpse of his desire-filled eyes I tremble. I knew the strength of Tobe's desire was great, but until this very moment I had not imagined the true intensity of the longing and yearning that resides inside him. It's frightening and intoxicating to know that this exceptional creature before me wants me so wholeheartedly. I could drown forever in the stormy green eyes to be soothed forever by the winds of his love for me. I'm falling in love with him all over again as he hovers over me, smiling so sincerely and exuding so much love and care that it melts away the last bit of shyness and apprehension wedged inside me. My heart swells, and the dam breaks, the ardor of my own passion, desire, and love flooding every corner of who I am. I don't think I've ever loved more clearly, more passionately and more wholly than I loved at this moment. The image of his form shrouded in fluid darkness is branded into my mind, my heart, my soul, and my whole being. Never again will I be able to I recreate the utter magical perfection of this one moment, drinking the image of each other, memorizing the curves and angles of each other's body in the weak lamplight of a hotel room.

Suddenly needing to touch him, to run my hands down the smooth curves of his back, I reach for him, wanting to touch him as he touched me, and wanting… no needing to run my hands along every curve and angle.  A fire burns below my belly, quenchable only by one thing.  Where his body presses against mine I want more, stronger contact.   Driven by this undeniable need, my hand moves beneath fabric, ardently stroking what I find there, and Tobias gasps. Such a delicious sound.  It's my turn now, and any remaining clothes are cast heedlessly aside, baring the seed of my desire.  My hands rake down the sides of his body, feeling the smooth contours of his torso, leading down to his waist, the firmness of his hips, and settling upon the curved slope of his lower back. I tighten my grip on the warm flesh beneath my palms, feeling a shiver course through him, and I smile.  Resting my hands upon his legs, I lower myself kissing and suckling upon his inner thighs, feeding off the sweet ambrosia of passion, and drawing forth more delectable sounds from my lover. There is nothing more invaluable than watching Tobias writhe in the throngs of passion and knowing that I am the one that can make him abandon the inhibitions of his usual self. He is mine, and I am his, and tonight we need not hide behind required shells of propriety.

What began with awkward uncertainty develops into concentrated determination.  Concerned only each other, we carry on with the endless touches and caresses heedless of the passage of time and the only sounds are that of our own union. The contours of identity blur in the face of searing passion and I lose sight of where I end and Tobias begins. It is as if we are one fluid consciousness folding and closing upon itself, drowning under the insurmountable weight of our mutual pleasure. Passion matches passion; hands reach to stroke and grab, bodies slip and slide unctuously against one another, clasping each other in a desperate terror of separation, trapped in each other's embrace and so wonderfully bound with no desire to escape.  Hands roam my body – his or mine? My consciousness is too hazy to tell – exploring without shame, feeling the flex and bunching of muscles and touching the ember of pleasure that sends white-hot stars in front of my eyes, blinding me. 

Then movement becomes all the more focused and our cries a little more urgent – again I cannot tell the sounds apart. No more time for games, embarrassment or unfulfillment has no place in our haven of pleasure.  This moment is ours.  Succumbing to the darker, more feral nature of man, our motions become more frenzied as the ravenous beast rattles the bars of its cage, needing release and yearning for the near spiritual brilliance that accompanies it. The months of denying each other such things break all barriers down, and come flooding ravenously out, the want, the desire, the need for pleasure, climax, and satisfaction.  And so as our love is consummated I call out in helpless ecstasy to the sky, fingers dragging down his back against the pleasure and the pain, causing Tobias to arch against me like an abandoned Apollo flooded in the half-light of the room. An exclamation – protest or praise I know not – I hear echoed from his lips and, in a way, a declaration of our devoted adoration to each other.

Glistening with a thin sheen of sweat that nearly glows with the testimony of our sentiments, I pant and squirm in Tobias' arms, seeking a comfortable position.  Finally I settle down, resting against the crook of his bent arm, exhaustion sweeping sweetly over me.  He pushes back damp strands of hair from my face and kisses me softly on the lips, whispering, "I love you."  It's a sentiment I return, and those three words I sigh out without hesitation.  I'm rewarded with another smile so breathtakingly endearing it's as though the sun rose in the middle of this dark night.

I'm content to stay like this for however long, just loving the feeling of being close and being together. My arms wrap around him, holding him tight and desperately close; he must never leave. To stay like this forever would be a dream come true.

"Forever…" I utter dreamily. Just as I'm about to fall asleep, however, Tobias sighs softly. "What's wrong?" I ask hazily.


He doesn't think I'm going to let it go that easily, does he?  "Tobe-chan," I say seriously, my hand resting on his chest, feeling the calming up and down movement of his breathing, "you know I'm going to keep on asking. Why do you make this hard?"

"Meh. I think too much. I don't want to spoil the moment with my brooding."

Sitting up, I stare down at him with concern. "What's wrong? You…" I pause not knowing how properly phrase my next question, "you… didn't … like it? Was it bad?" I ask looking away, my cheeks burning with heat. Thankfully the room is now covered in darkness so he can't see me blushing. 

"Of course not!" Tobias sits up as well, pushing aside the rumpled covers.  With his hand on my chin, he turns my head back to face him.  "I could die right now and be happy, Seba-kun. It was perfect, love, absolutely perfect, but…it's like a dream.  I keep thinking I'm going to wake up and none of this will have ever happened.  Everything will be as it was at the beginning of the year, except it'll be worse, because I'll have the memory of this dream reminding me what things could be like."  He lets out a derisive little snort and leans back against the headboard.  "Don't mind me; I'm a tortured soul, and my skeptical nature has taken over my common sense again."  Despite this dismissal, his attempt to downplay his concerns yet again, his hand seeks mine, perhaps seeking some sort of tangible proof that this is real.

I scoot over to him and wrap my arms around his waist and my cheek once again finds its niche in the soft fold of his shoulder blades, a place seemingly made just for it. "Don't say that, it's not a dream," I murmur softly, closing my eyes. "It can't be a dream, I know you feel it too, right here," I tell him, pressing my hand against the beating cavity of his chest.

He enfolds me in his arms and lets out a deep breath.  "If it is a dream, I'll kill the first person who wakes me." There's another brief silence.  "I was also thinking about fairy tales."

"Oh?" I ask, the sudden change in topics startling and intriguing me to the point where the onomatopoeia was the only coherent thought I could produce.

"They never say what happens to the princess and her prince charming after the last page.  They just end it with, 'They lived happily ever after,' but how can that be 'the end'?  Isn't that just a whole new beginning rather than an end? And is there such a thing as 'happily ever after'?  How do we know they didn't end up bickering all the time over taxing the peasants, or the prince didn't start staying out late drinking with his fellow knights, or the princess didn't have an affair with the court minstrel?"

I laugh, and push him down on the bed, then straddle him and clasp his hands before replying. "None of that happened, stupid, because the prince and the princess loved each other until they became stopped over with age and unable to have sex. But by that time it was too late to even think about splitting up, so they stayed together until the very end.  How do I know you ask?  Well, because true love never dies. Occasionally it flickers or dims, but all can be repaired with a bout of sweet ol' luvin'," I tell him, tracing playful circles on his chest.

He laughs.  "You're such a hopeless optimist, Seba-kun.  I love it. I love you…. Princess.  You know," he continues with a wicked grin, "back in ye ol' days, they used to use a chastity belt to ensure their lady's fidelity and preserve her honor.  Doesn't sound like a half bad idea if you ask me. Better safe than sorry, don't you agree, fair maiden?"

"But I'm already ruined," I pout, "utterly and hopelessly ruined.  No one would want me, and I don't fancy seeing my penis on a leash," I smirk. "I'm gentle, treat me as such."

"You forget who you're talking to.  Everyone else may believe you to be the delicate flower, but after tonight I know better.  If anyone needs to be leashed around here, it's you," he growls playfully and tries to push me off.

"If I'm leashed, you're leashed," I laugh, and press my weight more upon him. "You're the sex-fiend here. I must have my assurances you won't run off with some trollop."

"Now why would I do that when I've got a blonde haired, hazel eyed trollop of my very own already right here?"

"That, sir, is going beyond the pale!" I murmur in a falsetto. "Methinks you have overstepped your bounds!" With a huff, I roll off of him, tweak his nipple as punishment – drawing a satisfying yelp of surprise – and wrap myself in a blanket. "You'll be sleeping by yourself tonight," I add in my most serious voice.

"Owie. You must be taking lessons from Liz on how to be mean."  Tobias chuckles and embraces me, blanket and all, from behind.  "But I'm horribly, hopelessly, head over heels in love with him.  The thought of being with anyone else or, worse yet, without him, is inconceivable," he whispers by my ear, his breath stirring the small, fine hairs along my neck.

Resting against him, the playful mood dispelled, I shift trying to be free of the blanket. Finally succeeding, I turn and return his embrace. "Well that's good, because he loves you just as much, and the thought of your parting brings him no happiness either," I murmur and kiss him sweetly on the lips.   There is a silence in which he makes no witty remark, and, drawing him even closer, I whisper, "I love you Tobias, now and forever, even when we're both old, wrinkled, and impotent." 

"Forever and ever? Is that a promise?"

"Forever and ever," I smile at him, "Happily ever after until death do us part."

"Sounds good to me. Now since you seem to be all rested up I say it's time to perfect this happily ever after," Tobias replies with a grin, his hands tracing down the curves of my body.
 "You'll hear no complaint from me," I answer with a smile, and draw him into another kiss.


(AN: I can make no promises, for I have another unfinished project waiting for me, a rewrite of my first work posted on fictionpress, but I'd like to know if there is any interest in a sequel.  I have an idea set six years in the future; it would contain significantly more angst, but would you still read it?)