Even though the wound was healed, his cheek still itched. Kenneth ran his thumb over it, thinking but not saying the words to the aether that would alleviate discomfort. Healing was a basic skill, but in the confusion of being struck he wasn’t sure he had done it correctly. It might still bruise.
“Are you alright?” Thorn asked. The halls they walked through were dim, the electric lights giving off a droning hum that Kenneth was beginning to think only he could hear. The quiet, though, was appreciated after the throng of people at the duel. The one he had ruined with his ignorance.
“I’m fine,” he said with a sigh. “Only my pride still hurts.”
Thorn shook his head as he stopped outside his door, turning a metal key in the lock. “And why is that?” he asked when the door popped open. “Because you lost the duel?” He raised an eyebrow.
“No!” Kenneth said, sitting down in the chair by Thorn’s bed with a groan. “Fires, I’m really mucking this up.” Thorn closed the door and leaned against the wall across the room, the dim light playing off his dark hair and shining on his metal hand. “It’s because I know nothing,” Kenneth continued. “We made a deal, Thorn, remember? We become Enforcers to help gain equality. But I learned tonight…It’s hard to help when no one trusts you. And they don’t trust me for good reason.”
“That’s not true,” Thorn said. He moved across the room, taking Kenneth’s face in his strong metal hand and tilting up his chin so Kenneth had to look up into his dark eyes. Kenneth loosened his jaw, his skin tingling at the touch and power in Thorn’s hand. “You’re a good man, Kenneth. They can’t see that because they have their own fears, their own experiences. It’s unfortunate, but no one is at fault. Not even a noble mage like you.” He let Kenneth go, his clockwork hand giving the tiniest of whirrs. “It’s just something we have to work at. And over the next week, we can. Tonight was a good start.”
Some of the dragging weight unbound itself from Kenneth’s shoulders. “You think so?”
“I do.” Thorn grinned, moving closer again and tilting Kenneth’s chin up more gently. “And I think that watching you, a pretty little noble mage, flail around with a sword was very cute.”
Kenneth’s face heated, even as he felt himself begin to stiffen at the unmistakable gleam of lust in Thorn’s eyes. “Cute?”
“Yes. Very cute.” Thorn leaned down and connected their mouths, shoving his tongue between Kenneth’s lips so hard and fast that Kenneth almost choked. He nearly melted in the chair, overwhelmed with desire for the man currently kissing him.
The aether around him fizzed, his magic flaring as he moaned into Thorn’s mouth. Then the lights vanished with a pop and the sound of shattering glass in the corner.
“Fires!” Thorn jumped back in the pitch darkness. “Kenneth…” he growled.
“I’m sorry, I-“
“That’s enough. On the bed.” Thorn’s voice snapped like a whip, sending a lash of pleasure down Kenneth’s spine. “I’ll just take you in the dark then.”
Kenneth didn’t need to be told twice. In two steps after standing, he had crossed the tiny room and let himself fall onto the bed on all fours. Thorn was there immediately, his hands exploring, ripping at the fabric of his robes.
“You put on a good show for the others, Kenneth,” Thorn said. “But now I want you to put one on for me. You’re my mage, after all.”
The possession in Thorn’s voice sent precum dribbling from Kenneth’s cock, his hardness tight and uncomfortable, aching, between his legs. “Yes,” he moaned. “Take me, Thorn.”
He closed his eyes, then opened them, the darkness complete in the room save for the aether that swirled in his vision, something only he could see that cast no light. It wound around him and Thorn, resonating power with every beat of his heart and throb in his cock. His heart pounded, magic bursting in his body. Fires, he needed Thorn.
“You’re warm, Kenneth,” Thorn said, his hand moving between his legs, stroking his ass, and finally entering him, fingers scissoring inside. Kenneth cried out, arching his back, and moaned.
“Are you ready?” Thorn asked. His fingers left, and then he leaned over, not entering yet, and Kenneth turned his head to meet the kiss. Heat exploded, Kenneth gasping into the kiss, and sparks from his hands lit the bedspread as the aether whirled.
“Kenneth…” Thorn said, his voice wavering, the kiss broken. “What was that?”
Damnit, he was losing control of his magic again. And he wanted, needed, Thorn so badly! “I need you,” he said. “Please, please Thorn. I need you. I can’t control it.”
Thorn paused, the silence torture. “Then let me control it,” Thorn finally said. “Don’t think. Just let me give you what you need.”
Kenneth closed his eyes, letting the darkness swallow him, ignoring even the aether and the magic that burned in his blood. Instead, he focused on Thorn—on his touch as he put his hands over his shoulders, on the weight of him, and then on the hot thrust when he went inside.
“Pay attention to me, Kenneth,” Thorn gasped. “No magic. I just want to hear you.”
Kenneth moaned, his body on fire, and he screamed as Thorn thrust, just as Thorn had told him to do. “Yes, Thorn, take me!” The bed creaked, and Kenneth lost focus of everything, even the magic. He was Thorn’s, and he could control it because Thorn controlled him. “Take me, take me, yes!”
Heat exploded, the tightness overwhelming, and Kenneth’s muscles clenched, his breath leaving him as his cum splattered the bedspread. At the same moment heat entered him in hot spurts, Thorn gasping in his ears.
Kenneth’s body shook, and he let himself sink onto his stomach on the bed, his own stickiness below him. He didn’t care. The magic settled, his body spent. Thorn lay down next to him, stroking his cheek in the dark.
“You kept it under control, Kenneth,” he said with a laugh. “I’m glad.”
Kenneth took a deep breath and smiled, his body heavy. It was only because of Thorn.