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Vampire Kisses

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Geralt looked to his left where the figure he had expected to see there still lay silently, peacefully. For once. Seeing Regis’ face in a state of complete sleep-induced relaxation was a rarity, but a rather welcome one. Usually, the vampire never found enough sleep. Geralt’s knowledge concerning the immortals’ need for sleep seemed to be utterly incomplete; after a few nights without finding rest, Regis did look exhausted and proved to be a lot more irritable than usual.

The witcher propped himself up on his elbows to admire the sight from a different angle. Eyes closed, face relaxed and expressionless, hair tousled and in absolute disarray, Regis looked far removed from the poised yet tense man he presented himself as during the day.

Geralt bent down to breathe a soft kiss on Regis’ forehead.

He saw the smile that had, within the tiniest split of a second, formed on those pale lips – too late. A witcher’s reflexes were nothing compared to the speed of a vampire, and the fact that vampires had the ability of skipping the phase of drowsy sleepiness still clinging to one’s consciousness immediately after waking up did the rest.

In the blink of an eye, Regis had turned the tables in his favour and had pinned the witcher down beneath him, mischief making his black eyes glisten like a child’s. A child who was up to no good. Letting his eyes wander down Regis’ face, Geralt could see the wide grin that did not hide a single tooth in the vampire’s mouth. Another welcome rarity… But not one Geralt was able to enjoy in his current situation.

“What are you?” the witcher complained while struggling to free himself from the vampire’s iron grip who only laughed quietly at the futile attempts. “Twelve?”

Regis chuckled. “A bit older than that.” Now he was the one to bend down and kiss Geralt, never losing the smile that graced his lips while doing so. A soft-spoken “Good morning” was whispered against the witcher’s lips.

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Regis’ gaze fell upon the ruin of a once pretty face. What Dettlaff had not dared do with her corpse, he very much had done with her likeness on the wall of the toy shop. Although Regis had not been there to witness it, the marks of a fist having been slammed into the brickwork were all too obvious and told a story of their own. They were certainly not the work of the vampires who had wreaked havoc in the city.

“I had attempted to find you,” he began because there was nothing else for him to say. Dettlaff had not called him there, did perhaps not even wish to see him. It didn’t matter. His words received no answer. “You were gone for weeks. Where have you been? Why have you returned?” Another attempt. No answer still.

Regis took a step towards the workbench where Dettlaff was standing as though nothing had changed at all. Dettlaff’s hands were clenched around the wood of the table, knuckles protruding, stretching the skin of his hands. Weeks earlier, the both of them had already been like that – Dettlaff refusing to face him while listening to his advice. An advice that Regis had come to regret deeply. His very actions had been what had brought about an ending to the story that could have been avoided easily, had he not been so… utterly stupid. “I have come to take you with me.” Another step forward, hand outstretched towards his brother in blood – a gesture Dettlaff could not see, but rather sense.

The other vampire’s body tensed. A silent warning. Not a single step further than this.

Regis had always known how to break any and all of his boundaries. And he had no reason to be afraid. He reached for Dettlaff’s arm, but his fingers grasped the empty air instead. Dettlaff had turned around, so fast that Regis’ eyes had not been able to follow the motion.

Burning eyes found Regis’ own. Human in appearance, yet aflame with anger and pain a human could never imagine to feel… to suffer. A pain and a longing for closeness that needed to be relieved in the only way Dettlaff knew how to – through unrestrained aggression.

Regis found himself seized, vigorously pressed against the workbench, and, in an instant, Dettlaff had pressed his lips to Regis’ mouth.

It was not a kiss; it was an assault, and Regis was helpless in it, unable to keep up. His hands were shakily searching for support, his quickened heartbeat making it hard to breathe. Not that Dettlaff had left him space to take in any air at all. The music box – pushed by Regis’ insecure hands – fell to the ground and gave one more miserable sound before falling quiet.

The grip of Dettlaff’s hands on him – desperate and unwilling to suggest mendacious gentleness – paired with the way his lips continued to take and take roused something in Regis that he had thought long forgotten. Feelings he had buried deep down, for Dettlaff had only ever had one woman’s name written on his heart, and now he had ripped this very organ out of his own body and laid it into Regis’ hands. “Oh, for fuck’s sake, make me lose that taste.” That taste. Her taste.

Regis was more than willing to comply. Lips turned to teeth, then, as he finally managed to reciprocate the kiss. There was blood in his mouth. He could no longer tell whether it was Dettlaff’s or his own, but it did not matter any longer. He swallowed it greedily, every drop, though it was not the blood he desired most in this moment.

Both had long lost their human shapes because they were nothing more than lies, and there was no place for lies left anymore. A growl reverberated in Dettlaff’s chest, and – to his own surprise – Regis echoed it, sinking his teeth into Dettlaff’s already bloodied lip, opening his eyes and locking their gazes as they went still for a second. One moment of gentleness occurred between them as Regis lifted one hand to twine his fingers into Dettlaff’s hair and leaned his forehead against the other’s, finally finding the time to gasp for air.

Then, the moment was gone. Dettlaff stepped back, looking at Regis as though he had never seen him before. Confused. Irate. Not regretful.

Regis mimicked the movement, taking steps forward where Dettlaff seemed to flee until he did not run away any longer, but let Regis catch up. Dettlaff wiped away a single bead of blood that had dribbled down Regis’ chin. There was no room for explanations. Both lacked the breath to speak a single word.

As Regis wanted to lift his hand, everything he was left with was the lingering touch of skin turned into dark red fog that quickly vanished. “You will find me again, if that is still what you want,” were the last words, whispered by a voice with neither mouth nor tongue.

Regis understood the gravity behind his decision as he made another step.

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“Come with me,” he offered, and she looked up at him before letting her eyes fall on the hand he extended towards her. An inquisitive look on her part made him continue. “I need some fresh air. Would you care to join me?” He flexed his fingers pleadingly, and she took his hand to let him pull her to her feet ignoring the winks and giggles from the girls she had previously talked to.

The cave was not exactly huge, barely big enough to give all twenty-three of them shelter, but they did not mind being close to each other. They were friends, after all, and one was always more willing to accept a lack of privacy while traveling.

He nearly pulled her with him out into the open, shooting her glances all the while, eyes glistening eagerly like a little boy’s. He was so entirely caught up in his own joy. Taking the route over the Blue Mountains had been one of the group’s better ideas, she found. There were no humans here for him to feast on, and though at first that seemed to bother him to some extent, the constant climbing and playing around distracted him sufficiently, and the upset look he had had about him the first days of their journey vanished quickly enough.

It were moments like these that reminded her of why she had fallen in love with him. The few nights he was not drunk as a lord he would spend with her, gazing at the stars and wondering in which direction their world was to be found, dreaming up fantastic stories about woodland beasts and deep-water creatures that could possibly live there. When he was in particularly good mood, he would let her peak over his shoulder while he was working on whatever it was he liked tinkering around with at times.

It took a bit of climbing to get out of earshot of the other vampires. She didn’t let go of his hand until he turned around to face her, positively beaming. “Do you trust me?” he asked breathlessly.

“I do,” she replied. “But, Emiel, what-?”

“How much?”

“Enough to not ask what you’ll do? Is that enough?”

“It will do.” While speaking, he walked a few steps away from her and pulled his shirt over his head in one quick gesture.

She smiled and shook her head. “I doubt this is the right moment to-“

“No, no, wait!” He was back at her side with two quick strides, taking her hand into his own again, his grip even stronger this time. “Come.” He was running, and without quite realizing what she was doing, she followed him, closer and closer to the cliff. There was the realization that he was not going to come to a halt, and then already the sinking feeling that came with the fall. The biting wind was everything she could feel…

Not quite everything. There were Emiel’s lips, pressed tightly to her own. She was in his embrace, upside down, falling fast, and yet nothing of it mattered. She was safe, had probably never felt so alive before, and although time seemed to go by so much faster, there was no space in her mind for such trivial things as the gravitational pull. Nothing could hurt them here.

She felt a slight ripple go through Emiel’s body, and she deepened the kiss, finally opening her mouth, prompting him to do the same. And then she was enclosed by his wings, shielded from the wind for one single moment before he spread them to slow down their fall.

“You’re crazy, a madman,” she mumbled against his lips as he stopped them in mid-air, effortlessly floating on one spot, mocking the sharp rocks at the foot of the mountain that had prepared to impale them. Kissing him had become so much easier without a storm seemingly trying to rip them apart. She opened her eyes to meet his. “Absolutely off your rocker, Emiel Regis.”

“Yes, I wouldn’t have jumped off that cliff with myself. But you did. That says more about you than it does about me, don’t you think?”

She simply rested her head against his chest, knowing full well that they had to return to their group and yet dreading the moment her feet would touch the ground again.

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Regis had been the one to initiate their relationship. This was the version of the story they had both agreed on, and it was the one closest to the truth. But now that everything was said and done, Regis found himself at a loss more often than he wanted to. Geralt had always been an open book to him, but that had changed after both had admitted to desiring more than the friendship they had shared throughout all these years. Now, Regis was no longer able to read Geralt’s face and easily decipher his emotions, and he began overthinking each and every action, be it as tiny as a simple smile in the witcher’s general direction. It had been a long time since he had last truly loved someone, and all of his former lovers he had lost because of his own stupidity. Should he truly make it another one…?

His insecurity reached its peak one afternoon when he found Geralt reading  at the large table in the main hall of Corvo Bianco and wanted nothing more than to steal one quick kiss that would only be their second one.

Regis pulled one chair closer and sat down right beside the witcher, waiting for some reaction acknowledging his presence. Greying brows furrowed a bit when Geralt refused to even look up from the pages. An unintelligible grumble – albeit a friendly one – was everything the vampire received.

A silent sigh made Regis lift and lower his shoulders, making his tense joints crack embarrassingly loudly in the silence. The vampire winced. Geralt lifted one hand without looking up, gave him a quick pat on the shoulder and returned the hand to his book.

Regis made the decision then and there to not simply wait until the witcher would grace him with a whit of his attention. He closed the distance between their faces, slower than entirely necessary.

A hint of amusement made Geralt’s mouth twitch slightly, but he made it a priority to continue concentrating on his book.

Regis leaned in, his lips nearly touching Geralt’s neck, and—

—asked a question. “What are you reading?”

Geralt lifted his head to look at him in the most irritated way he could manage. “Seriously?”

“What did you expect?” the vampire asked, and were it not for the tremble in his voice, Geralt might have believed that he had actually been mistaken in believing to know about Regis’ true intentions.

“A kiss, what else?” was the harsh answer. He would not spare the vampire this embarrassment.

Regis’ mouth opened without a word coming out. Then, he caught himself again, coughed slightly. “Ah, well, that is-”

Geralt leaned forward to finish what the vampire had been so reluctant to start, and felt satisfied with the small gasp he could coax out of Regis at the soft kiss. Geralt saw Regis blink rapidly, once, twice, thrice, unable to close his eyes himself.

He drew away, put a comforting hand to Regis’ cheek, the book in his lap momentarily forgotten.