This story is maleXmale, yaoi. Don't like, don't read... but you should give it a try :D

Rated M for adult contact in later chapters.

{ORIGINALLY TITLED BIND ME TO YOUR WORLD}{There is also an excerpt of the sequel added to the end.}

[This story has been edited since it was first posted. Mostly spelling/grammar corrections, no plot changes]



Chapter 1: One floor too far

Kole was looking for a new start - a fresh start.

But his start turned out to be as fresh as a watermelon set on a hot shelf for five-too-many days; it looked fine until you touched it and it crumbled in on itself.

His anxiety had manifested in to sweat that stained the cheap suit he'd found in the back of his closed. It pressed, cold to his skin.

Kole was just out of high school with a degree only a week old. He'd left home for his new start and a job. The drawled voice of his interviewer still rattled through his mind. The man had thanked Kole for coming and told him 'we'll be in contact' – but his tone told Kole, 'thanks but no thanks'.

At the moment, Kole didn't remember what job he'd applied for. This fourth rejection was only one more, but when would it turn into five… into ten… twenty? He was young, relatively smart, and more than willing to spend five days a week at a dead end job – so why was he jobless standing in an elevator?

Kole's mind was numb.

His only company in the elevator was a red sucker; carelessly abandoned in the corner prier to the owner finding its chocolate center.

The elevator beeped to announce the passing of floor 16, then 15. Floor 14 was when the florescent light began to flicker, catalyzing the pounding in Kole's head.

He looked at himself in the blindingly reflective walls of his cell. He was tall – but not too tall, had sandy blond hair, a young and pleasant face – nothing to suggest he was untrustworthy or lacking in ability. He looked into his large, bright green eyes and tried to make and expression that screamed dependably.

At the eleventh floor, his concentration was broken as the elevator rattled and stop to receive a second passenger. The man was tall with chestnut highlighted gray hair and a belly that suggested food was never far from hand. His features were northern European, and his skin was darkly tanned and shaded by a large white Stetson. In Kole's opinion, the man was two-boots-away from looking like a well-done cowboy.

The cowboy greeted Kole with a slight nod. Kole returned it with a small half smile, and the effort almost cramped his cheek.

At the tenth floor, a second man stepped on. The middle-aged man was well dressed in the manner of a businessman. He was shaved and only had a slight hint of gray hair to crown his stern face. The first stranger gave the businessman the same greeting he'd given Kole, but Kole only granted the man a quick glance since his last greeting had taken too much effort.

Three and a half uneventful floors passed before the elevator abruptly lurched to a stop. Kole stumbled to the side and supported himself against the cold, steel wall. Before he could do anything more, there was a flash like lightning that momentarily blinded him. But all he heard was a limp thump like a collapsing body.

Kole turned his head, still holding himself against the wall while blinking spots from his eyes. In the center of the elevator, the cowboy lay on the floor twitching, his hat discarded in the corner. The businessman stood over him with the same stern expression he'd entered the elevator with. He reached out his hand to the collapsed man but there was a second flash of light and he jerked away stumbling back. Kole though he'd seen this second flash came from the cowboy's hand, but there were too many gaps in his vision to know for certain.

When it seemed the businessman began to melt under his suit, Kole was convinced something was wrong with his eyes. But when he saw what stood in the puddle that had once been the man's clothes and skin, Kole had to question his sanity.

Where a man had stood, there was now a demon-like creature with gray skin that hung in wrinkles from its boney body. Dark, black eyes glared forward and a fanged mouth scowled. The creature hissed and stepped back a pace, then another with a posture that suggested pain and defeat. With one last backward step it pressed itself to the wall near Kole. The creature's stench of cold, rotting meat reached Kole's nose and jump-started his sense of self-preservation. Kole tumbled into the corner and franticly pressed his fingers against unreasoning buttons. He dared to glance at the creature to see if it noticed his attempt to flee. But with no regard for Kole, it was melting once again, but this time into the wall through which it disappeared.

Kole stood breathless for several moments till he noticed the cowboy had stopped twitching. Kole hesitated moving toward the man, fearing the cowboy would in turn transform into something equally revolting but with increased interest in damaging Kole's well being. But when the man's skin remained intact, Kole rested his shaking knees next to him and rolled him onto his back. The man looked at him with half closed eyes and a small grin that amazed and nearly terrified Kole; no man should smile after seeing that unless they were mentally breaking down.

"I guess I let my guard down." The man's voice was forced with a slight hint of humor.

"Wha-?" Kole's voice cracked and he had to breathe deeply before finding more words. "What was that? Where did it - ?"

Kole silenced his voice when the man strained to hold up his hand. "You must do something."

"I'll get help." Kole reassured, despite the elevator being stuck.

He was about to get up and try the buttons once again when the man stopped him. "No. You must deliver something for me."

"What? You should be more worried about yourself!"

The cowboy didn't listen to Kole. The cowboy proceeded to grab his own left index finger with his shaking right hand. Slowly he bent the finger backwards, it continued to bend as far back as it could till it disconnected with a "pop". Kole was about to feel the added terror at witnessing a self-administered, impromptu amputation, but he didn't see any blood. The finger was gone and in is place there was a small stub as though the finger had been lost years before. In the man's right hand, where the removed finger had been moments ago, he held a small skeleton key. It looked to be made of ivory, intricately carved with vines spiraling to both ends.

The man handed the key to Kole who was too confused to consider rejecting it.

"You must take this to Marek." The man's voice was stern and grated.


"Yes." He whispered. "Go to the last floor. Then wait another. He will find you."

"Marek will?"

But the man had already spoken his last words. His eyes clouded over and he slumped, relaxed onto the floor.

The man was dead.

Kole watched as the man's body disappeared, sinking into the floor. Kole's body trembled and he could do little more than blink and breathe.

The elevator jolted him out of his trance when it started to move again.

6… 5…

He followed the elevator down, uncertain of what else to do. Kole looked at the key in his hand. A small black inscription was carved along the stem, but he'd never seen the language before.

The elevator reached the ground floor and continued down to travel through the basement levels. No one else got on.

'Go to the last floor. Then wait another.'

Kole was about to reach the last floor. What was he supposed to do then?

The elevator stopped at "P3". The doors opened to reveal underground parking and a cold breeze that had come from the winter outside.

Kole held his breath as the doors closed. He assumed the elevator would take the return path and take him back to ground level, and he nervously gripped the key in his fist hoping it would do what it should. But it continued in the same direction it had been, going downward.

Again the elevator stopped and the doors opened. A hot breeze greeted him in the elevator and lured him into the hallway. It was a short, door-less, windowless hallway that turned to the right.

Maybe 'Marek' was somewhere down the hallway.

Kole would find him, deliver the key, and leave. Then promptly forgetting everything he'd seen.

Determined, he headed down the hall and took the turn.

In front of him was a single door. It was made of wood and well worn like it belonged to an old house instead of inside a building with hidden floors. Reluctantly, Kole approached the door and opened it.

It was an illusion. It had to be. How could a giant desert under an open blue sky fit inside a building?

Disbelieving, Kole stepped through the door into the sand. It felt real under his feet and the hot sun warmed the top of his head. He took another step and looked around but saw nothing other than sand. A breeze in the distance tussled some of the fine dust creating a small sand cloud that twirled in the air then settled back down.

The door shut and he spun around in surprise. It was the same door he had walked out of, but here was no hallway, let alone building, behind it. It was a door set in the middle of a desert.

Timidly, he opened the door again. He could see into the hallway that could not be seen from the outside. Leaving the door open, he walked around it experimentally with his hands outstretched. He didn't run into anything behind the door. There was no invisible hallway, nor any hallway to speak of unless you looked through the door.

The door shut once again. Kole walked to the front of it and was about to open it when he heard an odd sound. It was a sound that reminded him of an hourglass. Kole looked to his feet and immediately jumped away from the door. There was a sinkhole surrounding the door and it was sucking it into the ground. Realizing his only chance of escape was with that door, Kole desperately tried to open it once again, but the sand was already consuming it. Desperately he tried to dig at the sand as it slowly swallowed the door, but it was hopeless, and Kole watched the dark wood sink out of sight.

Kole knelt where the sinkhole had been.

What was he to do?

This should have been an illusion or his imagination, but the sun beating hard on the back of his neck felt too real.

Kole clutched the white key he'd been given, slowly growing angry at the inanimate object. He chucked it across the sand and watched it fall several feet away. Kole sat motionless for several moments till he sighed and stood up. He wandered across the sand to pick it back up.

What was he to do?

He didn't think about it for long before something struck him in the back of the head. It was hard enough to knock him down, but he was still conscious. Laughter reached his ear and he turned his head to the deep voice.

Five men stood over him. They were dressed in light fabrics that had once been bright colors but were now bleached out from the sun. The fabric wrapped all around their bodies and faces, the only skin exposed was dark and the eyes that looked down on him were darker. They were large, muscular men, reeking of intimidation.

One of the men spoke in a gruff voice. "Didn' think we'd find som'n like this."

"How'd he get in the middle of here with nothin'?" said another.

"Some'n probably dumped him here."

Kole couldn't see the first man's face, but Kole had the nervous feeling he was grinning under the wraps of fabric.

One of the men reached down and grabbed Kole's arm roughly. Kole pulled away, and the force causing him to roll in the sand. Laughter came again before the hands grabbed him a second time. But this time, the grip was firmer and wouldn't let Kole go despite his struggles and protests. Coarse rope wrapped around his wrists and he was forced to drop the key from his hand. The man pulled him up and pushed him forward, and he found himself facing five strange creatures – at first they looked to be camels or horses, but it may have been a mix between them. His captor pushed him in the direction of the four-legged creatures

"Oy, what this?"

"Junk's all."

Kole twisted his head to see one of the men bend over to puck up the key. But just as the man's finger brushed its smooth surface, a spark emitted from the point of contact. The man cried out in pain, clutching his hand, and stumbled back, falling onto the sand.

The fallen man was soon forgotten when another of the men called out in anger and the others turned to face him. Kole was able to twist his head in the direction to see what had caught the man's attention. It was a dust cloud that was headed in their direction. Looking closer, it was more of the strange four-legged creatures with riders.

Each of his captors pulled out what looked to be long daggers from inside the folds of their clothing.

The newcomers sped toward the group. They had grater numbers, at least ten men, and Kole's captors braced themselves, knowing they were outmatched. The newcomers were wrapped in similar clothing, but the fabric was made from pure white cloth instead of muted colors. Bearing similar daggers, they dismounted just before reaching Kole's captors.

Kole was discarded, thrown to the ground. As fumbled and twisted his hands in hopes of unbinding his wrists, he watched as blood splattered to the sand.

No one was killed, but the five men were soon captives themselves.

One of the men in white fabric stood clean. He'd fought with the other men, but he was the most skillful; he hadn't been cut, nor had any of the assailants' blood landed on his clothes.

He turned his head to Kole who had been till that point unnoticed. He took a step toward Kole but then something else caught his eye. The man changed his course and stood over the key, half buried in the gold sand. He bent his body to look closer at it, but did not touch it.

The man turned back to Kole and walked toward him. He untied the fabric around his face to reveal darkened skin and eyes nearly as black as his long, raven hair. The youth in his face suggested he was only a few years older than Kole, but his expression held maturity much older. The way he carried himself and the way the others looked at him suggested he was the leader of the newcomers.

"Did Ebenezer give that to you." The man's voice was firm but not unpleasant. When he spoke he pointed to the key.

Ebenezer? Was he the man on the elevator?

Kole tried to calm down his heart rate while attempting to persuade his tongue into functioning.

"He… he's dead." Was all Kole could manage.

"I know." He said with an unchanging tone.

One of the men approached his leader. "Sire, these are only common criminals. Slave traders by the looks."

The man nodded to acknowledge the statement.

"Are… are you… Marek?"

The man looked back at Kole but did not say anything.

"He… he told me to give it to you…"

The man was silent a moment before speaking. "What killed him?"

"It…" Kole paused, unsure of how to explain the creature. But through his silence and uncertainty, the man seemed to find the answer he was looking for and gave Kole a nod.

He turned from Kole and called to one of his men as he walked back to the strange camel he'd been ridding. "Take care of these men. I will go on ahead."

"Yes, Sire."

From a crude saddlebag on the camels back, he and pulled out a bundle of light blue fabric. He walked back to Kole and tossed the bundle next to him on the ground. "Change into those."

Shaking, Kole stood and unfolded the clothes. He guessed they were meant to fit him like the clothes on the other men, but he had no idea how they'd managed the folds and twists with the obscurely shaped fabric. Feeling self-conscious, he slipped out of his clothes then experimented with the new fabric. The man grew impatient and moved next to Kole to help him wrap the intricate folds.

The man was several inches taller than Kole, and his arms wrapped skillfully around Kole's body.

Kole's heart, which had begun to calm down, quickened again for unknown reasons.

"Pick that up." Kole was commanded before the man turned back to the camel. Kole followed the direction and picked up the white key. Unsure of what to do next, he followed the man.

"Are… you Marek?" Kole asked again.


After responding Marek motioned toward the camel and Kole made an attempt to climb onto the huge creature. He felt a strong hand against his leg that helped him slide into the crude saddle.

Kole wanted to go back home, but the door was gone. He knew he had no other choice but to follow these strange men and the mysterious 'Sire' called Marek.

He was about to wonder how he would ride such a creature, but then he felt Marek slide onto the mount behind him, and his warm body pressed against Kole's back. The creature was long and the two men fit easily between the two low-rising humps. Marek reached around Kole and he grasped the rains.

They sped into the desert.



The sun was slowly reaching the top of the sky as they continued to ride. It would have been near night at home, but it wasn't yet noon in this strange place. He wished to know where he was or at least where he was headed – but he had a mind not to ask.

A sliver of green peered at Kole from across the horizon. He'd heard of mirages and assumed the green, rippling strip must be one. But as they continued to ride, the strip grew and Kole could make out lush plants along with tall stone buildings. It was like an oasis.

They continued toward what looked to be a modest city surrounded by oversized, green foliage and giant, stone barrier. Though he didn't know what was planed for him beyond those walls, Kole was grateful to see civilization instead of a never-ending desert.

When they reached the city, they crossed through a large gate that was open only long enough for them to enter. Kole looked around to see many houses and small building, but there were few people along the dirt roads. It must have been the hot noon sun that kept most in the shade.

Kole was so intrigued by the pants and buildings that he didn't notice the large palace they were headed toward until it was practically leaning over them. Kole could have stared in amazement for hours if Marek hadn't slid from the animal and interrupted Kole's trance. Marek slipped his hands around Kole's waist and lifted him down. Kole wanted to bark out in embarrassment that he could get himself down, but by the time the words formed in his mouth, his feet were already on the ground.

A man dressed in clothes a similar color to Kole's came from the side of the palace and took the camel away leaving Kole and Marek at the entrance of the palace. Kole glanced at the Marek's face before following him through the large doors. Marek's expression had been stern, but now frustration added creases to his handsome face.

The entrance hall was enormous with a ceiling the height of several stories. Hallways expanded-out like a maze and several staircases spread out to different levels. Colorful paintings stretched across every surface except the floor, which was made from equally radiant, colored stones.

"Send for my elder sister, her husband and their son." Marek spoke to a man dressed in a deep crimson color. He was older but kept his head bent in respect, so Kole guessed the man was a servant. "Make sure the guard is doubled and they only travel by day."

"Yes, Sire." The man hurried away just as a female servant approached Marek.

"Where is Lanan?" Marek asked the woman.

"He is in his study, should I send for him, Sire?"

"No. I will go to him."

Without checking to see if Kole was following, Marek headed down one of the many hallways. Kole was at his heals, scared of being lost at one of the many turns. They moved right and left and climbed several staircases. If he'd need to escape these strange people, it was too late now; he was more lost than he'd been when he was in the desert.

Finally they came to a large door that was carved from a dark wood. Marek pulled the floral decorated handle to open the door and stepped inside with Kole behind him.

There was a large desk at the center of the room nearly consumed by books and paper. Bookshelves lined every inch of the wall save for the large area that was taken up by a glass window overlooking part of the city. There was also a man in the room. He was dressed in a pale purple robe, had dark skin like Marek, and his hair was long and white to match the age apparent on his face.

He looked at Marek curiously before his expression changed to dissatisfaction.

"So 'they' made it to the other side." The man's voice was quiet and harsh as if he'd had a sore throat for many years.

"Yes. It was as we thought, but they got to Ebenezer before he made it back."

The old man turned his dark eyes on Kole. "He's from the other side."

Marek's body shifted with irritation. "Yes."

"The Council will not like that."

"Nothing we can do about it."

"Unfortunately, the Council will wish to find something to do about it."

Kole shifted nervously but forced confidence into his voice. "What's going on?"

Marek turned to face him as if he'd just noticed his presence. The old man who must have been Lanan spoke while gesturing to one of the several armchairs. "Please sit down."

His voice was casual despite his expression. But Kole followed the suggestion.

Lanan sat in a chair adjacent to him while Marek positioned himself in front of the window, looking over the city.

"I understand this in all new to you; very few people in your world know about this one." The man paused as if waiting for Kole to respond, but no words crossed his mind or tongue. The man continued. "Our two worlds are hidden from each other and only a great power can form a passage between the two. You happened to experience that power when you came here – that key you hold allowed you to come here."

Kole still didn't say anything, and his silence urged the man to continue. "You see this key is a very powerful object. It is the key to the energy that keeps this city thriving. Being so, only one person, the Key's Keeper, can touch. When Ebenezer died, he passed that responsibility onto you."

"But I don't want it." Kole held out the key hoping the old man would take it, but he didn't move.

"You are the Key's Keeper till you die, no one can change that. When you die, you will pass it on to the next guardian."

"But why me? Why am I the guardian now? I'm not from this… this place!"

"It's because you are unlucky." Marek spoke once again. "You happened to be in the wrong place."

"If this key belongs to this world, then why was it in mine?"

"It was for protection." Lanan explained. "It is the key to something very powerful so many people wish to have it for themselves. If the Key's Keeper passes into you're world, people who are after the key cannot follow."

"But what about that thing? I've never seen…"

"It's a dark familiar. There is a sorcerer that wishes to gain great power. Until recently we've been able to stifle his efforts, but it seems he's managed to send his familiars into your world. Lord Marek was supposed to meet with Ebenezer this morning but he meet you instead."



Kole was unable to get any more information from the pair. A servant had entered the study to guide him to his room while Marek and Lanan had a private discussion. Kole had half the mind to search his way back to the study and demand more answers but when he reached his room the large bed caught his eyes and he could not resist its luring, soft comfort.

Still wearing the foreign clothes he'd been given, he collapsed onto the feather mattress, clutching the odd, key. He sunk in several inches and fell asleep almost immediately. He was comforted by the thought that he'd wake up in his cheap apartment on his cheap mattress in the world he knew.

But as we've seen, Kole isn't so lucky.