I'm not sure if I'm prepared to forgive him quite so easily, but how can I help but fall into familiar patterns? His hard, thinly muscled arms are around me, promising to keep out the world. His messy, dark hair tickles my face; my heart beats against his.
The kisses start out slow, tentative, a gentle brushing of lips. One hand grips his hip while the other is pressed flat against the area between his wings on his back. I count the vertebrae there, reveling in the fact that I can do that again. It's been ages. It's MY fault that it's been ages. I let myself get swept up in Dylan's manufactured perfection, and look where it landed me. My entire life fucked up. It's always been messed with by the School and random people who want to exploit my abilities and talents. But who I love is MY own choice. I can't let anybody take that away from me. Fang is mine, I am his, and that is the most indelible fact of my life. I was SO fucking stupid to think it could have been any other way. I'm starting to think that maybe my decision making was somehow altered by the School for that amount of time. Maybe the same way I have the Voice? At any rate, I'm back in Fang's arms, and this is home to me.
You know me, you know I repress my emotions until they burst out of me, usually in an angry rage. ("I'M IN A RAGE!" should be my official slogan.) My desire for Fang has been repressed for weeks. It runs down my body and gathers around my navel, like hot honey. The heat builds as our limbs tangle, our tongues tumble, our hearts pound. Suddenly the honey passes the boiling point and ignites. A sharp intake of my breath stops Fang from running his hand up my spine, which is the EXACT FREAKING OPPOSITE of what I want to happen.
Out of breath, Fang quietly says, "Max, maybe we should….slow down? We need to talk." Well, no freaking DUH. Miscommunication is at the root of our troubles.
I tuck a piece of his dirty hair behind his equally filthy ear. Fang starts to speak, but I clap a hand over his mouth as I have so many times before. His lips are puffy underneath my palm, as grungy as his own skin. "How long has it been you've bathed, dare I ask?" I inquire, my ulterior motives carefully hidden.
He peels my fingers back from his face, grasping them in his strong hands. "I'd rather not say. You might think I'd been raised by wolves or something."
"You look really dirty. You may have to get a skin graft, in fact." I smirk.
Fang raises an eyebrow. "Instead of skipping straight to surgery, how about you help me get clean?" He drops his voice so that only I can hear him, even though there's no one else in the room. Our respective flocks are in a couple buildings down, in the room Fang has for his Flock. My mom is watching them, under the assumption that Fang and I are "talking things out". As far as I'm concerned, the talking can come way later.
As soon as Fang and I caught up with each other in the street after the fiasco with Angel, it was all we could do to get in the elevator of my hotel before I fell into his shoulder sobbing. He held me, crying, on my bed in my hotel room for God knows how long before we inevitably slipped into our old cadences.
"I think that can be arranged easily," I whisper. My throat is rough with tears and I pray to whatever's out there that it translates into a sexy tone, instead of making me sound like I've been smoking a pack of cigarettes a day for the past thirty years.
Fang grins that half-grin that makes my heart tumble in slow, purposeful somersaults. I clear my throat. "Before we, ahem, DO anything, I have to know something."
He nods, hesitantly. Hesitant is a weird look on Fang.
I look him square in his eyes, dark and liquid like melted midnight. "That letter you wrote me. Was it true?"
Fang wraps his arms around me, squeezing me hard because he knows I can take it. "Every single word was the absolute truth, Max. I'm in love with you and I'm never going to be in love with anyone else. But you know that. So why did you go off with Dylan? You know he only loves you because he was programmed to! But *I* love you because there's no way I could exist without loving you. I am Fang because you are Max."
He buries his face in my shoulder while I cry out. "I'm in love with you too, you numbskull! Dylan was a distraction, NEVER anything more. What are we waiting for?"
"Hell if I know," he says, clearly relieved that the emotional stuff is out in the open. "Now, about that shower…?" he trails off, taking my hand and leading me towards the giant, fancy bathroom.
"Gladly," I manage to get out before I've jumped on him and firmly attached my mouth to his once again. We quickly get swept up in a fervor, losing our articles of clothing one by one, thoughtlessly.
Our socks. Peeled off and thrown somewhere towards the corner with the toilet.
His shirt. Goodbye, filthy rag!
My pants. Whatever.
My shirt. Mmm, it's glorious to shake my wings out, as always.
His pants. Uhhhh…what was I saying?
We pause for breath to find ourselves in our underwear. I've got him pressed up against a wall.
"Hold that thought," he says, cheeks as colored as I'm sure mine are. "I saw a vending machine in the hallway." At first I'm astonished and slightly hurt that he can be thinking of food at a time like this, but then it dawns on me that he's talking about a condom vending machine. Well then, who am I to stop him?
He picks up his jeans from their perch on the sink, digs a few euros out of a pocket, and kisses my forehead before ducking out the door in a robe.
I have a few minutes, so I brush my teeth quickly. I finish just as he returns, in record time.
"You would not BELIEVE the weird looks I got," he says amusedly.
"I'm sure we've seen weirder."
I catch his gaze as my fingers work at the knot on his robe. He drops the stack of condoms on the counter, then moves his hands to my hips. He hooks his fingers around the elastic of my underwear, sliding them down. I kick them off once they're around my ankles.
What an eager beaver! Fang's already trying to undo my bra, looking for all the hooks on the straps. The bras that I have to wear to accommodate my wings are SUCH a pain. They're the convertible ones that you can change into whatever kind of straps, but I need them because regular ones don't go around my wings. These I can just undo the straps and reattach them over my shoulders.
Once he's got that figured out (quick learner, that one is), he kicks off his boxers. I stand back and appreciate the view while I get the shower running. He grabs all the little bottles and boxes, and I think we'll need all of them as dirty as we are.
Our bodies and lips meet in a fervor, excitement renewed. We've had sex enough times before that our bodies know what's coming. Already I can feel fluids running down my legs, and Fang has a raging erection. No words are needed. What Fang and I need right now is to let our bodies talk. LET'S GET PHYSICAL, DAMNIT!
We stumble into the shower stall. We hold each other steady; the last thing we need right now is another injury. I can see at least much blood crusted on us as there is dirt.
We wash our faces first. His long, hard fingers massage my face as I caress his forehead, cheeks, nose, all the angles I've missed for too long. His lips follow where his fingers were. I moan at the sensations: fingers, lips, hot water pounding at my back, the pressure of his penis against my stomach. His wet hair, matted with what is quickly becoming mud, drags across my forehead.
I grab a bottle of soap and dump a large handful out. I start at his narrow shoulders. He's always been slight but strong, of course, and I find that irresistible. I rub my hands down over his arms, stopping at his calloused hands to kiss his fingertips before starting at his shoulders again, this time working my way down his back. I massage his back, concentrating on where his wings meet his back and carefully picking twigs and things out of his dark feathers. I gently dig my thumbs into his wing joints and he moans, "More." I dig them in farther and I'm rewarded with an incredibly load groan, the likes of which I've only heard from him the first time I ever performed fellatio on him.
After ensuring I've thoroughly worked all the kinks out of his shoulders, I start once more from the front. I take extreme pleasure in ensuring all of the muck is cleaned from his pectorals, his abdominal muscles, his hipbones. I leave his penis alone for now. I work my way down his legs, kissing his hipbones, behind his knees, whatever strikes my fancy.
I look over him, inspecting his skin to make sure all of the dirt has been removed. Satisfied with the results, I return to his nether regions. I place my hands on his hipbones, relishing the sharp angles as I kiss all around his navel, working my way down. I only tease, never satisfy. This elicits deliciously frustrated murmurs of my name from Fang's mouth.
Fang lifts my hands from his hips and helps me up. I see that trademark Fang glint in his eye, and the honey starts boiling again.
"My turn to get you clean, my dear," he says softly, innocently, but I know better. Nothing about Fang is innocent.
He begins in much the same way that I did, but he stops at my breasts. His head bends over my nipples and I feel the honey getting hotter low in my stomach as he swirls his hot, deft tongue. I stroke the back of his neck. He raises his head, and we kiss in a frenzy for the umpteenth time that night.
He soaps the rest of my body up rather quickly, seemingly impatient to get to actual sex. I don't blame him a bit. My nerves are all on end, ready to go. I'm more than ready for the main event. I grope outside the shower stall for a condom packet. I grab one and tear it open with difficulty since my hands are wet and shaking from anticipation.
Fang steps out of the spray and takes the open condom from me. He slides it on, fumbling. I'm reminded of when we consummated our relationship, several long months ago. We were both so nervous, but we were more than ready and we had to grab the only chance we were going to get in a while. I had been sick with the stomach flu for a few days, and Fang stayed behind to take care of me while everybody else went on an outing to a big city a few hours away. Little did they know that I'd only been sick the first day, and the rest of the "sickness" had been build-up so that I'd be allowed to stay behind with as little suspicion as possible, and of course Fang stayed behind to take care of me. Mom had given me a knowing look when she came back, but seeing as how she'd given me a very in-depth, specific talk a couple weeks before, I knew that she knew we were being careful. Nobody was sure what would result from a recombinant DNA pregnancy, or if I even could get pregnant in the first place.
After what seems like a cruel eternity, Fang has the condom on and he gathers me in his arms again. He holds me tight for a few moments before kissing my wet hair and setting me down on the wide ledge. I separate my knees and plead to Fang with my eyes: "Please, now. Before I snap and pin you down and MAKE you love me."
He gets my signal loud and clear. He positions himself between my legs and steadily slides into me. I knock my hipbones into his; the honey is positively roiling now. We gain back our rhythm quickly, just as we did before. Fang is hitting nerves that I forgot existed, that Dylan couldn't even dream of finding. I was so stupid. Fang was OBVIOUSLY the only one meant to love me.
We're both breathing heavily, moaning, groaning, making the most heavenly racket in the world. Our mouths rove over each other's bodies. I rediscover my favorite spot on his neck and I stay there. I'm reminding myself what it means to love the most perfect man in the world and to be loved by him.
Soon enough, I feel that familiar explosion building in my lower body. The thrusting of our wet bodies gets more erratic. Fang pants in my ear, "I missed you so fucking much, Max. I missed you." I look up and FANG IS TEARING UP. Seeing him so vulnerable, because of ME, sends me rocketing over the precipice. The most intense orgasm I've ever experienced starts between my legs where Fang is still moving in and out, but spreads to the rest of my body like a wildfire. If I didn't know that I was in a shower, I could swear I'm at the very center of a towering inferno. My legs, which had been tightly wrapped around Fang's waist, fall limp as our tempo slows. The feeling of sex with Fang is even better than flying – it's like defying gravity. Our sounds of utter pleasure mix and mingle in a symphony of passion and satisfaction.
He withdraws slowly and carefully from my vagina, and I collapse into his waiting arms. Isn't it said that makeup sex is the best sex? Because although I don't have much to judge against, unfortunately, that was absolutely in-fucking-credible. My body is trembling from the aftershocks. We sit there for a while, pressing our lips to each other's skin and whispering "I love you" over and over again, as if we're afraid we'll forget it again.
I speak up after a while. "Isn't there a Jacuzzi in here too?"
Fang pokes his head out of the shower door for a second to look. "Yup. You wanna soak for a bit? I'll wash your hair for you."
I smile. "I'd love that."
He shifts uncomfortably. "Can you go start it while I clean up?"
I say yes and go to start the Jacuzzi. Wheeee! Pushing buttons is fun!
I climb in and Fang follows soon after, sans condom. We've gotten rid of our unbearable sexual tension and we're content to just be in each other's company now. I lean against his chest. The muscles are lightly sculpted, not at all large and grotesque. Fang's got the long lean body of a runner, and I find that so much sexier than big, bulky muscles.
"Let me take care of you, Max. I've failed before. I want to fix that more than anything," Fang says soothingly.
He rubs my wet hair with shampoo, gently scratching my scalp as we talk.
I take a deep breath and speak slowly and deliberately. "Fang, why did you feel the need to run off? I know your intentions were to save the world, but look at the mess it got us in. Explain yourself."
I dip my head underneath the water to rinse, and when I resurface the look on Fang's face is conflicted. I take a wet hand in mine and squeeze it, waiting for him to speak.
"I was getting too emotional, Max. I couldn't control my anger for Dylan. He thought he could waltz into our lives and sweep you off your feet. He expected to PROCREATE with you," Fang spits.
I protest, "You know I never wanted anything to do with Dylan. He made me THINK I did, but I never really did!"
Fang closes his eyes and his voice comes out sounding strained. "That was always supposed to be me. I've been with you our entire freaking lives, through good and bad. I'm happy when you're happy, and whenever you're hurt I want to pummel the person who did it. I'll be whoever you need me to be, but I WANT to be your boyfriend. Hell, when we get older – if we get older – I want to be your husband. If you want kids, I want to have kids with you. It was always supposed to be ME, Max. Dylan threatened that and I freaked out."
I stare at him. "Fang, you stupid BOY! I freaking want you to be my boyfriend! I want to get married eventually and have your children! Leaving won't change that!"
"I left because we were both getting distracted and it endangered the ENTIRE PLANET. We were being selfish! You aren't a selfish person, Max! I couldn't let you be a selfish person because of me!" Fang says torturedly.
"I may not be able to concentrate with you around, but it's even worse when you're not around! All the worrying, anger, longing…it gets to me. And I hate that you seemingly felt like you couldn't talk to me about it. We're a team, Fang, equal partners. I'm in charge of the Flock but I'm not in charge of you. You KNOW that, damn it!" I say, angry.
Fang softens his stare and pulls me close. "Max. I know that. But you read my letter. I knew if I tried to talk to you about it, you'd ask me to stay and I just can't say no to you. I thought I was doing the right thing. Can you forgive me, love?"
I pull my face, wet with tears and water away, from his chest. "You know if you ever leave again, I WILL find you and duct tape you to my side," I threaten.
"I promise I will never leave you again, sweetheart," Fang declares. The mood immediately lightens as I feel the painful emotions I've been carrying around disappear, to be replaced with relief and intense love for the man I've had all of my life and will have for the rest of my life. The joy of that thought fills my chest with helium.
Our banter returns as I wash his hair, and by the time that I've confirmed that yes, his hair actually is still black, not brown, we've become comfortable with each other again. There's no tension (except maybe sexual, and that's the fun kind of tension) and we just enjoy being Max and Fang again.
Later, after we've dried off and gotten dressed, we climb into my hotel bed. We kiss slowly, languidly, savoring each other's taste and texture. Our lips get puffy and sore eventually, so we revert to cuddling. My cheek rests high on his chest and our arms are securely around each other, our legs tangled so that I'm no longer sure which legs belong to whom.
"I love you, Fang," I whisper.
"I love you too, sweetie," he whispers back.
"Whatever happens from now on, we face together. You're never leaving me again," I say.
"We'll stay together, no matter what whack job tries to exploit us," he assures me.