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Mike Celluci stumbled out of a dark alley in one of the seedier neighborhoods of Toronto. He leaned against a wall, disregarding the dirty brickwork that was leaving smudges on his suit jacket - it was already stained with something far worse. He dropped a long crowbar to clatter on the asphalt and put his hands on his knees while he drew in deep, cleansing breaths.

"I can't believe we're still alive," he puffed. "I can't believe how much that thing bled, too. I'll have to burn this suit."

Henry Fitzroy walked out of the darkness with far more grace and aplomb, even though his own clothes were splattered with the same foul matter. The corner of his mouth quirked upward as he pulled a rag from his pocket and wiped the ooze from his sword.

"Speak for yourself, Celluci. I wasn't alive before we killed that beast, and I am quite happily still not alive." He surveyed the grimy detective. "But I agree, you are quite a mess. I'm afraid you were in the way when I hit its artery."

Mike's head jerked up. "I hit the artery," he growled. "You got it's leg. Arm. Appendage. Whatever the hell it was."

Nostrils flaring as the scent of sweat and…something else…wafted toward him, Henry clamped down on his own temper, reminding himself that he was supposed to be 'the mature one', according to Vicki. "The important thing is that it's dead. It wouldn't have taken long for it to progress from devouring stray cats, and dogs from backyards, to attacking people. I…appreciate your assistance, Detective."

The taller man frowned, then relaxed, dredging up a slight smile. "Yeah, I guess you're right. It'd certainly make my job a lot harder if that thing graduated to bigger prey." He picked up the crowbar and they turned toward his car, parked a few blocks away after tracking down the creature to that area.

"I never thought Vicki's missing pet case would turn out to be anything so exotic and unusual as an actual monster when she told me about it," Mike said quietly.

"You should have seen her face when I refused to let her come with me tonight."

"She made you call me, didn't she?" Mike asked.

Henry glanced at the detective. Even though he could see the mortal man's face clearly in the darkness, his expression gave nothing away. "She did. And as much as it pains me to admit it, she was right not to let me attempt to slay it alone, and her sprained knee would have made her a liability in the fight."

"Oh, shit, that reminds me – " Mike dug in his pocket for his cell phone, and moments later was reassuring Vicki that "yes, we're both fine, the monster is dead, no one saw us, for heaven's sake, Vicki, would you stop being such a mother hen!"

Henry wasn't even attempting to hide his smile when Mike finally got irritated enough to simply hang up on her.

The ride back to Henry's condo was conducted in an almost comfortable silence. When the car pulled up in front of the building, he instructed the detective to pull into the underground parking garage.

Mike pulled into one of the visitor's spaces and turned off the ignition, but left his hands on the wheel. Henry could smell the sudden apprehension coming from him, and was finally able to identify the odd scent accompanying it as an uncertain arousal.

He'd felt it before, knew that the mortal needed time and space to come to terms with their careful truce, and with the unexpected and somewhat unwelcome attraction for each other that they had discovered. Once, he'd have sworn that Michael Celluci was exclusively heterosexual, and that there would never be anything but animosity between them. But Mike's half-conscious surrender after Henry had drunk his blood – a not entirely voluntary donation – had stirred something in both men.

"I have that picture of Vicki for you," he told Mike, making sure his tone remained calm and unthreatening. "The one you so admired."

Mike nodded, making an effort to relax. "Thanks. I appreciate it."

 

***

 

He wandered around the main room of the apartment while Henry sorted through the stack of mail he'd picked up from his mailbox on their way into the building. A particular picture hanging on the wall caught his eye: about the size of an eight by eleven portrait, the image was conveyed by soft charcoal shadows rather than hard outlines. It was a man's face, captured in sleep; peaceful, but with a suggestion of desperate weariness, as if the sleeper was recovering from some illness or traumatic experience.

"Do you like it?" Henry's voice behind him made Mike jump, but he couldn't tear his gaze from the portrait.

"It's me." He'd intended to say it out loud, but it came out as a whisper.

"I'm very pleased with the way it turned out," Henry murmured.

Mike started to turn away, but the vampire was closer than he'd realized, and he stumbled. Inhumanly strong hands caught his arms, steadying him, and Mike found himself inches from the other man, staring into dark eyes made brilliant by some inner light. His entire body flared with a sudden, intense awareness, as though every cell had become mysteriously magnetized toward Henry Fitzroy.

The hands on his arms, he knew, could be as rigid as iron or as soft and gentle as feathers, and he craved their touch with a longing that was both terrifying and exhilarating.

"Celluci?" Henry frowned. He began to step back, but Mike's hands clasped his arms and held him there. The taller man fought to control the tremors running through his body.

"Michael?" He kept still, and Mike realized the vampire was deliberately letting him make the first move.

Mike lifted one hand, fingers cold and trembling, palm sweaty, to trace the sharp line of Henry's jaw. The scent of arousal sharpened, and then Mike leaned slowly in to brush tentative lips first against Henry's cheek, then at the corner of his mouth. Then he pressed his mouth gently, carefully, almost chastely to the vampire’s lips, flinching slightly when Henry opened his mouth and kissed him back just as gently; cupped Henry’s cheek with a hand that was no longer cold, urging him to tilt his head to allow Mike better access to him.

Mike closed his eyes, leaning into the slow, sweet, tentative kiss, caught by the odd sensation of cool lips and warm mouth and a slight hint of beard stubble. Idly he wondered if Fitzroy had to shave, or if vampirism freed him from that daily chore, but the thought slipped away, lost when Henry slid his hands from Mike’s arms down to his waist, curving one around to the small of Mike’s back, moving them closer together until he could feel the hardness of their erections rising between them.

The difference in their heights forced Henry to yield slightly as Mike swayed forward, deepening the kiss. In response, Henry pressed forward, swiping into Mike’s mouth with his tongue. Grabbing the vampire’s face, Mike kissed him hard, tongues fighting and tangling as Henry kissed him back with equal passion and fury.

They broke apart only when Mike ran out of air. He jerked back, shoving Henry away with shaking hands on his slim shoulders.

“What am I doing?” he gasped, eyes wild with fear and uncertainty. “I – I’m – I can’t do this, it’s wrong, I’m not – not – “ He breathed deeply, trying to calm himself. His hands clutched at Henry’s shoulders even as he kept him at arm’s length. “Are you – doing this to me? Making me –“

“No,” the vampire told him quietly but forcefully. “I would never do that to you, Michael. I would never force you or deceive you. I might give you fear, but never this. This is…entirely your own doing. Your own desires.” He gripped one of Mike’s tense wrists lightly, caressingly. “There’s nothing wrong about it, no sin in pleasure. It doesn’t define you, or make you someone other than who you’ve always been. You’re simply discovering something new about yourself. A potential that has always been a part of you has awakened.” He reached inside the enclosure of Mike’s arms to trace the line of his jaw.

The brittle rigidity of Mike’s arms melted away, and Henry stepped forward, wrapping his arms around him in an embrace that was more brotherly than seductive. For a long moment, Mike rested his forehead against Henry’s while the tremors running through his body slowly subsided.

“I want this,” he whispered. “I want it so much, but I don’t know if I can...“

“Let me,” Henry murmured to him. “Let me show you. If you want to stop, you have only to tell me, and I’ll stop.”

“Swear? You swear you’ll stop if I can’t –“

“I give you my word.” Henry pulled back to give Mike a solemn look. “You have my word as the son of a king, Michael Celluci. I will not force you. I will not influence you. If you ask me to stop, I will stop.”

Mike drew in a shaky breath and nodded, then hesitated as another thought struck him. “What about Vicki?”

“What about her?” Henry smiled. “If she were here, she would probably want to watch us.”

A snort of laughter burst from him. “Yeah. Yeah, that sounds about right.”

“But now,” Henry told him firmly as he slid his hands from Mike’s back down to the swell of his buttocks, “now is for us.” Mike gasped as Henry pulled him closer to feel the warmth rising from his body, to feel the hardness at his groin that had begun to subside grow firm again.

Their mouths met again in slow, sensual kisses. Coats slid off to land on the floor, followed by shirts as each sought out naked skin to touch with restless, seeking hands. When Henry brushed cool fingers across his nipples, Mike gasped into his mouth, shivering with pleasure this time instead of fear. Running his own hands across Henry’s back, feeling muscles like steel cable sheathed in smooth, yielding flesh, he was once again struck by how easy it would be for the vampire to overpower him – but this time, the thought was almost titillating instead of frightening. He shied away from it nonetheless, concentrating on the physical sensations as Henry somehow found that one sensitive spot just under his ribs on the right side, the place Vicki loved to tickle lightly with delicate fingers. He moaned when the cool fingers passed over it, shuddered when they paused and returned to the spot. Instead of the sensation that hovered between pleasure and pain when Vicki tickled him there, he was almost overcome when Henry massaged him there, falling out of the continual kisses to mouth distractedly at Henry’s neck, his fingers tightening convulsively on Henry’s narrow hips.

His body responded eagerly to the caresses, uncaring about the identity or gender of the person who was touching him. He was hard and tight now, both his own clothes and Henry’s no more than an uncomfortable nuisance preventing him from feeling the exquisite sensation of bare skin rubbing against his own.

 

***

 

Mike’s hands fumbling at his belt surprised Henry, but all the mortal man’s fears and misgivings seemed to have been swept aside by his desires, and Henry, for his part, was more than happy to oblige. There had been something growing between them since he’d tasted Mike’s blood, something unexpected, something different from anything he’d ever known before. Mike seemed to have developed an odd…awareness…of Henry, of the press of his Hunger, forcing the vampire to be especially careful not to influence the man.

And he hadn’t brought that influence to bear, despite the temptation to do so. Once his instinctive animosity toward his rival for Vicki’s affections had been set aside, he’d noticed that Michael Celluci was an attractive man, intelligent and moral, a man whose conscience fought with his desire to keep both his one-time lover and the city he served safe from a perceived threat.

In short, a man he could admire, and that only strengthened his growing physical attraction.

Henry gently pulled Mike’s hands away from his belt and stepped back. The detective’s eyes shot open, confused, but Henry smiled and led him towards the bedroom, Mike following automatically like a sleepwalker.

The room was dark, and although Henry had no problem with that, he thoughtfully switched on the lamp on the bedside table so that Mike could see. Pupils blown wide with passion, Mike watched with eager eyes, but stood passively as Henry unbuckled his belt, then undid button and zipper so that he could push the beige suit trousers down until they slid down to the floor. Gray cotton boxer-briefs did little to hide Mike’s obvious desire; a small but growing patch of darker gray stood testimony to the fluid leaking from the tip of his erection.

Henry knelt, grasped Mike’s hips in his hands, and pressed the tip of his tongue to the wet spot, hearing Mike gasp above him and grab for Henry’s shoulders to steady himself. He pulled back, smiling, and took the opportunity to remove Mike’s shoes and socks, and help him to step out of the puddled trousers. He could smell the desire, the sudden sweat on Celluci's skin, and felt a corresponding Hunger rise in himself. Leaning forward again with every intention of repeating the previous action, he was stopped by Mike’s hand on his cheek.

“Don’t – don’t tease,” Mike said hoarsely, and blushed a fiery red, brilliant on his fair skin. “If you do that again, I won’t be able to – I’ll come pretty much right away. And I want to – to see you. I want to touch you.” He pulled Henry to his feet.

Focusing on the task with an intensity that Henry found charming, he popped open the metal button and pulled down the zipper with the kind of care only another man could understand. The black jeans fit more closely than Mike’s trousers, and the detective knelt to push them down.

 

***

 

Henry's black sneakers and socks were easy to slip off, and Mike had to smile at the thought of Henry trying on shoes in a brightly lit mall, and the image helped to ease the increasing urge to grab himself and bring on the rising orgasm with a few quick pumps of his fist.

Underneath the jeans, Henry wore black silk boxers, and Mike had to smile again at the cliché even as the sight made his breath shorten and his body tighten. He brushed a tentative hand over the cock that tented the thin material, heard Henry breathe out a moan above him, and grasped the waistband, pulling it down and over Henry’s erection before his thoughts and fears could make him hesitate.

The organ was pale, as white as the rest of Henry’s skin, rising up from a scattering of dark pubic hair. He stared at it, fascinated and terrified. The vampire stood absolutely still, as if sensing that any movement would be more than Mike could bear, and finally he gathered the courage to touch it.

The skin was almost velvety soft, the length of it firm and as cool as Henry’s fingers, as pale as the rest of his body even though it seemed to be engorged with blood. He ran a curious finger from the flared head down to the tight ball sac, wiry hairs tickling his finger, and he heard Henry hiss through his teeth.

“Now who’s teasing?” Henry asked quietly, amusement and lust deepening his voice. He urged Mike to stand up and pushed him toward the bed.

They climbed onto the wide bed, sliding across the smooth sheets, and Mike found himself lying back against the pillow and raising his hips as Henry knelt over him and pulled his briefs down over his hips. Dropping the underwear off the side of the bed onto the floor, he leaned down to take Mike’s mouth in a kiss that started slowly, but swiftly built in passion until Mike was grasping at Henry’s shoulders, then his waist, trying to bring him closer.

Finally, Henry lowered his pelvis to Mike’s, their cocks side by side, and they both groaned at the feel of skin and pressure. Henry held his torso up on tireless arms, and Mike stared down at himself, fascinated by the sight of his own penis, thick and crimson and wet with pre-come, resting snugly against Henry’s long, paper-white hardness. The contrast was oddly beautiful, and he shoved his hips against Henry’s to see them move against each other.

The sensation that rolled over him like a wave of pleasure made him sink back into the mattress. When Henry bent his head to Mike’s chest, he arched up into the mouth that licked and sucked at his nipples. And when Henry ground his hips against Mike’s, cocks rubbing together, the drag of skin on skin made him moan in rising ecstasy.

He clutched instinctively at Henry’s back, running his hands in long strokes over the smooth skin, feeling the muscles shift with every movement. The light tug of teeth on one nipple just when Mike’s hands had reached the small of Henry’s back made his arms stiffen, hands squeezing the yielding swell of Henry’s ass.

The vampire gasped, lifting his head from Mike’s over-sensitive nipples. Mike regained a little awareness and squeezed again, bucking his hips up at the same time, and opened his eyes to catch the expression on Henry’s face: eyes turned to black, fangs bared, and yet his expression was both lustful and tender. A memory of Vicki, pinned beneath Mike in the same position he himself was in now, surfaced through the waves of exquisite sensation rolling through his body, prompting him to spread his thighs to allow Henry to press harder against him.

Both men groaned at the increase of pressure, writhing against each other. One cheek in each hand, Mike used his grasp on Henry's buttocks to take control of their movements, lifting his head to nip and lick at lips that still lacked human warmth despite the heat of their activity. For a moment, Henry seemed to be lost in pleasure, letting Mike speed up the sweet friction of their bodies.

 

***

 

Henry leaned down, kissing almost hard enough to bruise, sharp teeth catching at the thin skin of Mike's mouth, forcing his head back against the pillow. He slowed the motion of cock against cock until he lay utterly still on top of the detective, savoring the shiver of Mike's skin as the mortal panted, as a pleading sound was forced from his throat, as he flung his head back, Henry's mouth slipping down across his jaw to lick at the straining tendons of Mike's neck.

He reached back to take Mike's hands by the wrists, using his superior strength to bring them up over Mike's head and press them into the mattress above the pillow. Feeling the broad chest beneath him shake as Mike shuddered and gasped, muscles straining not to free himself, but to accept the confinement, Henry gently kissed the throbbing pulse in the neck bared so willingly to him.

Henry rolled his hips slowly, savoring the scrape of Mike's cock against his own, the living flesh burning and throbbing, his own need building swiftly with a cold fierceness. The Hunger rose with equal swiftness, eager for the taste of blood and the bliss of orgasm – eager for Michael Celluci's blood, Michael Celluci's bliss. Unable to hold back any longer, his hands tightened around Mike's wrists, his groin thrust against Mike's hips. As he brought them both to a soaring height of ecstasy, a piercing sweetness that was almost painfully intense, his teeth broke the taut skin of Mike's neck and blood filled his mouth with a taste like a hot copper penny laid on the back of his tongue.

 

***

 

Eyes wide open but blind to everything around him, Mike could only accept the exquisite sensations flooding through him: the weight that pressed him into the soft mattress, the smooth, dry body that slid across his sweat-slicked skin, the gentle but unyielding force that held him down. The feeling of restraint only heightened his excitement, his willing surrender to a strength greater than his own a vital part of his pleasure.

"Please," he gasped, desperate for release, for the man above him to move again, "please, I need – I need –"

Mike cried out his release with a ragged shout, the small sting of teeth piercing his neck combining with the release of pleasure driving through his cock, semen spilling onto his stomach and chest in surges that made him shudder. Like a burst of white heat up his spine, the orgasm seemed to burn through him, except for points of chill at his neck, wrists and groin that made the blaze under his skin seem even more fiery. The exquisite fire rushing through him subsumed all thought, all awareness.

And finally it began to recede, slowly, leaving tiny lingering sparks that seared their way outward from his cock and his neck. He gasped and trembled, feeling light as a charred leaf and achingly empty. Grateful for the weight of the man above him, almost afraid that he would float away without it, he became aware of the gentle lap of a tongue over a place on his neck that stung slightly.

Cold hands as unyielding as manacles loosed their grasp on his wrists, sliding down over his arms and across his shoulders to wrap around him, holding him close through the aftershocks that still tingled under his skin. A soft mouth kissed him tenderly, and he opened willingly to it, tasting blood – his own blood, he realized dimly. He responded as much as he could despite feeling completely spent and limp, petting the smooth, muscular shoulders above him with numb hands.

Sight and mind returned as the weight keeping Mike from floating up to the ceiling rose and left him sprawled across the bed. A minute later, Henry returned and cleaned the mess from his belly with a damp washcloth, then climbed back onto the bed. Still too overcome to move, Mike let the vampire rearrange his limbs to allow Henry to lie beside him, enfolding him once again in strong but gentle arms.

"Michael?" Henry's voice murmured in his ear.

Mike closed his eyes, covering the hand lying on his chest with one of his own hands.

"That was," he whispered hoarsely, "amazing." He could feel the vampire smile against his back.

"And…you have no regrets? No fears or misgivings?"

Mike snorted. "Don't think I've ever come that hard in my life. What's there to regret?" He sighed. "Look – I don't know if I'm completely okay with this, but you didn't make me do it, and I can honestly say I enjoyed every second of it. But it might take me a little while to get used to the idea. Just one thing…"

"Yes?"

"Only my mother and my grandmother call me Michael. It's kind of a turn-off when you do it." He arched slightly back against the body that felt deliciously cool next to his heated skin.

"I understand," Henry replied, the smile evident in his voice.

"Just don't do it next time," Mike mumbled, his spent body sinking into welcome sleep. He was barely aware of the way the slim body behind him went still.

"Next time?"