Shadows, there were always shadows in the dark place, sometimes it seemed love hid in the shadows with them. “How many years has it been now?” Josef traces a benign hand down the length of Mick’s torso as they lie together on the bed.
Josef’s voice holds a note of concern, even for this night Mick seems more distant than usual.
Mick doesn’t answer right away; he’s lost in a kaleidoscope of memories, watching dark images as they flicker across the ceiling above him. Josef remembers those images too, Mick collapsed in the hallway, presumed dead from the gunshot wound in the middle of his forehead, and Beth…
“It’s been eight years to the day.”
“I’m sorry,” Josef brushes a stray lock of hair from Mick’s forehead; he doesn’t know what else to say.
“You say that every year,” Mick manages a small smile, off centred and fleeting as it is, and then presses his lips against Josef’s own.
Josef isn’t buying the casual act; he can taste desperation. He allows Mick take the lead, just for a moment, lets Mick deepen the kiss, before he seizes control.
“I don’t want to have to think about it,” Josef hears Mick saying to him then. He’s more than happy to comply; the events of that night aren’t exactly high on his list of ‘things I like to reminisce about’ either. Not that Mr cynical and jaded four centuries running would ever admit just how much those memories still disturbed him - if he hadn’t gotten there in time, before the police showed up with their yellow tape, and too many questions, if only he’d managed to talk Mick out of investigating the head of a local crime family. So many things he could have, should have, done.
Josef’s hand closes around Mick’s cock, the other lock spans Mick’s wrist, holding them above his head. He bends his lips to Mick’s throat, nips at the sensitive skin he finds there, two pin prick droplets of blood chased with his tongue.
“Make it hurt.” Mick lets out a low growl. It’s always the same, make it hurt; punish fuck me into oblivion so I don’t have to think…
Anything so I don’t have to think.
Josef always stops just short of complying; he prefers a more controlled release of emotions, approaching with finesse, teasing just the right amount of endorphins from Mick’s synapses as he shallow slices his way across Mick’s flesh with one sharpened fingernail.
Mick growls again, deeper this time, the sound vibrating guttural through Josef’s chest. He arches upwards, thrusts into Josef’s open fist, the scent of testosterone and sweat mixes with the blood from his already healed wounds.
Josef tightens his grip on Mick’s wrists, his other hand teasing the length of Mick’s shaft, “I thought you didn’t want to think.”
“I don’t.” Mick shakes his head; he feels a momentary surge of panic as images rise unbidden in his mind.
It doesn’t go unnoticed.
Josef’s smile is disarming as he replies, “then maybe you should stop trying to.” There’s a flicker of something else though -- jealousy, irrational.
Eight years and still he thinks of her.
Josef kisses Mick then, his tongue probing the recesses of Mick’s mouth. He releases his hold on Mick’s wrists, feels Mick’s arms slide around his neck, Mick’s fingers digging into the muscles of his shoulders as they continue the kiss -- harder, deeper once more now, their lips tingling, tender and bruised as they’re pressed together.
It’s never enough, not tonight, not this night. “I need more,” Mick pleads with frustration as he momentarily breaks their embrace. “Come on, man, help me out here.”
Josef quickly slices another sharpened fingernail across Mick’s skin in response, watches as Mick’s expression changes with the flood of brain chemicals. He repeats the action, dips his fingers in the flow of blood, bright streaks of red smeared across Mick’s chest and face, before he dives in for another kiss. And Mick is buzzing now, rushing on a cocktail of endorphins and adrenalin as Josef flips him onto his stomach and scruffs the back of his neck with his fangs.
Memories, there were so many memories, even after eight years Josef still isn’t sure where he stands with Mick. Mick never did return to his apartment after that night, leaving it like a time capsule, his clothes and furniture left in place until Josef had bought in an auctioneer a year later. That was how things had started between them, not with a whisper, but with the bang of a gavel.
Josef grabs Mick’s arms and pins them roughly either side. He bites down a little harder on the back of Mick’s neck, before pressing his lips against Mick’s ear, and whispering dark seduction.
“Want me to see if I can screw you through this mattress? I think I could you know.”
Josef doesn’t wait for an answer. He spits into the palm of his hand, coats his own length with makeshift lubricant, and enters Mick roughly from behind -- makes it hurt just enough to feel good in all the wrong places.
When they’re done Josef is certain Mick will push him aside, stagger off alone to another room, and get roaring drunk on Whiskey chased blood. It’s the same ritual repeated each year. For now he steps up the pace, feels the first stirrings of his own orgasm rising from the base of his spine as he begins to lose himself in the sensation of Mick’s body -- Mick’s scent, Mick’s hair, the way it feathers soft against the side of his face, the feel of Mick’s skin against his own -- Mick’s arse clamped tight around his cock, and Mick is pleading then, pressing back against Josef’s thrusts, his fingers digging into the mattress beneath as the pace shifts frenetic. Josef thrusts forward a few more times, and then once, hard. And they’re falling off the face of the earth together then, fangs embedded deep in each other’s flesh, and then silent, and down.
Josef rolls onto his back, tucks one arm behind his head. “I might try and catch a little freezer time.” He waits for Mick to leave; instead Mick stretches out alongside him, his head nestled against Josef’s shoulder, one arm laid casually across Josef’s chest. “You okay?” Josef asks then, “You don’t usually stay through the afterglow.”
Mick shifts a little closer, mutters something about there being a first time for everything. “Things are just different, they feel different;” he admits then, “don’t tell me you haven’t felt it too.”
Eight years, eight years and Mick was finally falling in love; Josef wants to laugh out loud.
“Does it scare you?” Josef asks instead, his fingers curling in Mick’s hair.
Mick thinks for a moment, his brow furrowing as he contemplates speaking the truth. “A little, I guess.”
Shadows, there were always shadows in the dark place…
“I’m sure you’ll manage.” Josef resists his usual cutting wit, he doesn’t need to point out his own feelings in the matter, Mick has known since the beginning. “Come here,” Josef turns to Mick then, cups his hand beneath Mick’s chin, tilts Mick’s face towards his.
…Sometimes it seemed love hid in the shadows with them.
Sometimes love could bring those shadows into light.