My White Knight Is A Cowboy
Summary: The stead was a brilliant white, but Akito's rescuer acted more like a rugged cowboy than a noble knight. Not that he cared too much; the way Raily wanted him to repay for his services made his toes curl...
Disclaimer: All characters are mine and cannot be used without permission.
AN: Just experimenting a little with my writing technique. Nothing overly fancy here, mind you, I just wanted to try my hand at writing a short story. Please let me know if you like it. Comments are always helpful and encouraging.
His heart was literally pounding in his chest, his throat hot and dry from exertion and exhaustion. He was breathing so hard that he was literally panting to draw in much needed air. He wasn't sure how much longer he would be able to push himself forward, to continue to run at this hectic pace.
But given the alternative of letting himself be at the mercy of the gang of notoriously dangerous and destructive youths that were chasing him, he didn't see much choice other than to keep running.
He was somewhat grateful that he wasn't living within a major city, whose gangs are well-known for their loves of knives and guns, but in this small country town, these 'gang members' like to use their fists and vandalising ways to intimidate the townsfolk. And beating up that sickly thin kid from school who was from a seemingly more well-off family then they were wasn't that much of a shock from their standards.
Well, gangs aren't notorious of picking someone who could put up a fight, were they?
But unlike the cities, the houses and buildings are few and far between. Even at his own home, his nearest neighbour was half a mile away and 10 kilometres out of town. There was no way he could run to the safety of his home where his parents and sister were no doubt worried sick about him.
"You can't keep running forever, Akito!"
He didn't need to be told that. He was born with weak lungs, so he knew far better than anyone how much strain he could put on himself. And already he was pushing his body too far.
A small hole in the ground, however, soon stopped him from running any further and caused him to quite literally crash into a wooden fence that was formally used to keep livestock within the designated paddocks.
And just like said livestock, he was trapped also.
Akito leaned heavily against a wooden fence as he breathed deeply, almost choking as he tried desperately to get more air into his lungs. His messy black hair fell over his blue eyes, his body trembling; whether it was due from fear or adrenaline, he didn't know. But the way his legs felt hot and tired, there was no way he could run any further...he was stuck, trapped and completely at their mercy.
"Well well," one of the male youths Akito recognised to be a schoolmate called Jack sneered at him as he and his gang formed a semi-circle around him, all of them panting lightly with twisted smirks on their faces. "What's wrong, Akito? Out of breath already?"
Akito's chest burned as he gave a few spluttering coughs, his body truly not used to, or capable for that matter, of such stress. He pressed his back against the large wooden fence, his arms spread out over the top of the fence in effort to keep himself on his feet. They may be about to give him the beating of his life, but he wasn't just about to lay down and take it.
Why they wanted to kick him down, he didn't know. They don't have a reason other than they wanted something to entertain themselves with for a short while.
"Oh come on, Akito," Jack said to him in a hugely mocking tone, simply enjoying himself far too much. "Why don't you give us a bit of a challenge?"
The next few comments from Jack's posse Akito didn't pay much attention to; numerous swearwords used in the most uncreative manner, sneers that were supposed to be degrading and several chest-beating motions. They weren't anything nearly as important as trying to get his breathing under control, his weak lungs convulsing wildly in his chest.
Suddenly, over the sound of his erratically beating heart, he heard a strange noise, almost like hooves belonging to a horse, hitting the ground at a running speed. It was soft at first, but it quickly grew louder and louder, drawing closer and closer. Then, there was a rush of air from his side and something large and white flew past, seemingly a foot from his head.
What happened after that was like slow motion, Akito's blue eyes taking it all in with an unblinking gaze.
A large white stallion, giving a shrilling neigh and kicking up a cloud of dust with its large, powerful hooves, skidded into the small circle, colliding with a couple of the troublemakers, sending them tumbling over onto the dusty soil. The gang was clearly surprised by the large animal, those on the ground rolling away from the heavy and powerful hooves in an attempt not to get trampled.
But it was what was upon that horse that caught Akito's unwavering attention. Sitting tall with his head held high was a man with sandy blond-hair that was tied into a short ponytail at the nape of his neck. He was tall and broad, yet not overly muscular.
The horse suddenly reeled back onto its two back legs, its front legs flailing about dangerously in the air. Such an abrupt action would have caused any experience rider to fall off, but the blond-haired man merely tugged on the reins, causing the horse to pull to the side, landing heavily right in front of Akito before coming completely calm and docile.
Akito could do nothing but cling onto the fence like a lifeline, staring up, way up, at the man sitting calmly upon the white horse.
Sharp, piercing green eyes surrounded by dark, think lashes on a face with hard and chiselled features looked down at him from his lofty height, his back straight and his shoulders broad with power. He looked as wild and untameable as the horse upon which he rode.
Was he what Knights in Shining Armour look like?
Then, Akito suddenly found himself being lifted off his feet, an arm like steel wrapped securely and, much to his surprise and embarrassment, easily around his waist before literally being swooped up by his knight and placed side-saddle upon the white horse...between his rescuer's legs and half on his lap. A dark blush spread across Akito's features as the arm stayed around his waist, the muscles bulging and moving seamlessly under tan skin, pulling him up against a rock hard but warm chest that was covered by a thin white shirt, keeping him still and safe.
He felt so small being held against such a broad and powerful body, and yet he also felt a sense of safety. He had no strength left in him to put up much of a struggle at all, so hoped that this man was to be his rescuer.
"You're safe now."
That was all Akito needed to hear, relief causing him to fall bonelessly against the strong chest.
Tilting his head back to look up at his savour more closely, a feeling of familiarity fell over him and his eyes widen in surprise. He knew this man! He was Raily, a reclusive horse breeder and tamer. He was rumoured to have been a successful CEO who had moved into town in order to start a new life and to get away from all those hungry gold-diggers a man of his fortitude would no doubt attract.
He wasn't exactly friends with this man, no one really was, but he knew of him and would try to be polite should they ever meet.
But, he had no idea that this man could be so...cool! He really was like a knight in shining armour that his older sister constantly gushed about; sweeping him off his feet and into his arms.
Oh sure, he should be disgruntle that Raily was treating him like some sort of a princess or a damsel in distress, but it was way better than the alternative. He wasn't stupid enough to try to take on a group of five damaging teens all by himself.
"Hey," Raily said as he turned those deep green eyes toward him again, using his other hand to pull on the reins and guide his horse so that they were facing the group head-on. "Are you alright?"
A blush flared on Akito's cheeks, his eyes widening ever so slightly with embarrassment before nodding. "Ah, yes, I think so."
"Good," Raily said as he tightened his grip on him, pulling him even closer against his chest. "I'll settle it from here."
Akito could only nod as Raily continued to look at him with those seemingly all knowing eyes of his before finally lifting his head up to peer down, in a rather intimidating manner at the other males who had managed to pick themselves up, quickly returning to their overly cocky gangster like personas.
Raily's eyes were narrowed in such a daunting manner that it caused a shiver to race down Akito's spine.
"This is private property," Raily stated gruffly, his tone hard and giving the indication that he was in no mood for such troublesome pests. "I suggest you leave."
However, that only caused the group's rebellion toward any kind of authority figure to kick in.
"What? Are you supposed to be a real cowboy or something?" one of the teens asked in a mocking tone, swaddling up towards them in a rather obnoxious manner, a smirk on his lips as he fellow hoodlums laughed around him.
Akito heard his rescuer grunt in annoyance before a sharp crack rang out, causing Akito to become startled and press himself against the cowboy's chest in an attempt to hide. He then realised what had happened when he cast his gaze back over to the group of troublemakers; Raily had just shot one of his pursuers, which happened to be the leader of the group, in the leg, causing a wretched scream to be heard as he collapsed onto the ground in a withering, painful heap!
"These bullets are real enough," the cowboy knight answered dryly.
H-he just pulled out a...gun? Where did he pull that out of? He doesn't have a side holster or something, does he?
White knight, nothing! He was rescued by a cowboy! A cowboy was his sister's second favourite romance hero.
A chorus of profanities immediately followed, the guys waving their arms around in obscene gestures, thumping their chests with their hands and fists, trying far too hard to be one of those dangerous drug and street gangs they had watched on television.
But Akito's rescuer wasn't remotely intimidated; he merely levelled his gun again, firing off yet another round, this time aiming at no one in particular, the gunshot echoing like a crack from a whip through the night air. The bullet hit the ground in the middle of the group, causing them all to jump back like frightened mice.
"If I ever catch any of you causing trouble again," Raily rasped out to them, his voice husky and dangerous. "I will personally show you the true meaning of fear."
Like rats that they really were, they picked up their fallen leader and scurried away, promising revenge in the high-pitch tone of voices that only reminded Akito and Raily that they were still only teens.
Raily only snorted, again not intimidated or amused by the youths as he flicked the safety back on his gun and put it away, tucking it into the belt of his jeans. His other arm stayed strong and true around Akito's petite waist, having absolutely no trouble keeping him protectively against his chest.
"I'll take you home," Raily suddenly stated as he tugged on the reins again and making a clicking noise with his tongue.
As the horse started to move into a fast trot, Akito could only utter a small; "Ok" in reply.
As he slowly found himself relaxing under Raily's tight grip, Akito found himself being lulled by the movements of the horse, Akito even going as far as lifting his hand to gently touch the horse's mane with his fingertips. He knows next to nothing about horses and their breeds, but he still found them to be majestic creatures, even more so now.
"What's his name?" Akito asked over the sound of trotting hooves.
"Her name is Ambrosia," Raily replied, momentarily gazing down at him before looking forward again.
"Ambrosia," Akito repeated as he patted her mane a little harder, the horse giving a shrill as if in reply. "That's a pretty name, especially for such a beautiful horse."
Akito took a moment to peer up at his savour through his dark bangs, his heart fluttering when he notices a rather fond smile briefly appearing on Raily's lips, his eyes still as piercing and intense as he stared forward.
Then, all too suddenly, Raily pulled on the reins, Ambrosia coming to an obedient halt. "This is your house, right?"
Startled, Akito lifted his head to look around, quickly realising that yes, this was in fact his house. It was a small, three bedroom house that he shared with his parents and older sister. It was small to the standards of some, but it was cosy and homely, so that was all that really mattered.
But, how did Raily know he lived here?
"Ah, that's right," Akito quickly replied.
Raily nodded and then lifted him weightlessly off of his lap before lowering Akito down safely and gently onto the ground, Akito squashing that feeling of disappointment he was uncharacteristically feeling.
Maybe...he would be able to spend more time with Raily. As, you know, as a thank you for saving his skin or something.
"Thank you so much," Akito said with genuinely sincerity as he turned to gaze upwards at his rescuer. "What can I do to repay you?"
"There's no need," Raily replied dismissively.
"But I have to!" Akito insisted as he stared up at Raily with pleading eyes. If rumours about Raily was true, than the man was probably wary of those who wish to offer their thanks, fearing that they'll just use it as an excuse to get closer to him.
But Akito was genuinely grateful to Raily.
"You saved me," he continued. "Surely there is something I can say or do to show you that I am sincerely grateful?"
Raily looked down at him as a few silent minutes stretched out between them. "You really want to repay me?"
"Yes, I do," Akito replied firmly.
"Very well," Raily said simply, his chiselled features hardly changing, but his eyes gaining a new kind of intensity.
Then, like he had done moments ago to save him, he swept Akito up with his strong arm again, lifting him up effortlessly to place him on his lap. As Akito opened his mouth to utter some sort of question on what he was doing, Raily leaned his head down and captured Akito's mouth in a deep and heated kiss. Akito was naturally shocked at first; he had no idea that this man would want this kind of payment from him. But as Raily's mouth moved against his, his talented tongue passing the serrated line of his teeth and devouring the warm interior of his mouth, he quickly melted into the kiss. Akito all but fell limp in Raily's strong hold, allowing the older, stronger man to send waves of pleasure through his body from a mere kiss as their lips moved hungrily together.
Raily finally ended the kiss with a long caress of his tongue along the roof of Akito's mouth, parting with a long string of saliva between them, which he broke by licking his lips.
Akito's head was quite literally spinning, his features burning hot, his breathing coming in soft, short pants. Of all the ways Raily could have asked as a payment, this was not what he was expecting. Not that he had any right to complain, of course.
That was...one hell of kiss.
Carefully, Raily placed him back onto his feet, Akito stumbling slightly and leaned against the fence that surrounded his property for support. He had never felt so unravelled by a single kiss before in his life. If Raily was able to make him feel such heat with his tongue, what could those large hands of his do?
Ah, don't go there!
"Try to stay out of trouble," Raily said as he straightened himself, his white mare thrashing her head as if in agreement.
Dazed, Akito could only nod, his mind still not quite grasping the world beyond that of the amazing, toe-curling kiss. However, the sound of horse hooves hitting the hard pavement brought him back into some sense of reality and he snapped his head up just in time to see Raily slowly trot away.
"Wait!" he called out, causing Raily to pull on the reins, halting his mere before turning his head slightly to gave over his shoulder at him with a questioning look.
"But, what if I get into trouble again?" Akito found himself asking, his chest aching, as if longing to be in those arms again.
"Well," Raily drawled as the corners of his lips curled up into a small smile before he turned back around. "I guess that means I'll just have to rescue you again."
A rather happy, relieved laugh passed Akito's lips as Raily signal his stead to start walking again, slowly disappearing into the darkness. And he stayed there, outside his house, his hand holding onto the fence in a tight grip until he could no longer hear the hooves of Raily's brilliant white stead.
If anyone was to stumble across him now, they'd think that he had just returned home from a hot date or something.
Pushing away from the fence, Akito shuffled his way through the front gate and down the long driveway of his family home. The front door was unlocked, signalling that someone was home.
Seemingly out of the blue, his sister enveloped him in a crushing hug, tears rolling down her cheeks as she sobbed out how scared she was and how grateful that he was ok. She also mentioned something about how the other people in town told her what was happening and how pissed off she was that they didn't do anything to help, finishing her teary ramblings with a promise to give those people a vicious talking to.
She then abruptly pulled back, placing her hands on his cheeks as she let her blue eyes analyse him from head to toe. "You are ok, right?" she asked quickly.
Despite the dust covering his clothes and face, turning his black hair into a dusty brown, Akito smiled. "I'm fine, really."
"What happened?" she asked as she ushered him further inside the house, toward his bedroom. "How did you get here? What happened to those bastards? How did you get away unharmed?"
Akito continued to smile. "I was saved by a cowboy."
His sister looked at him blankly. "Seriously?"
"Yeah," Akito replied. "It was Raily."
"The handsome and supposedly ungodly rich horse-breeder from down the street?"
"...Ok, you've got to tell me everything."