Music from the celebration blared outside of his tent, the sound barely dulled by the thin flaps of fabric. He had no doubt that the festivities would continue until the sun rose, with more people trickling in from the Lakeside Clan as the evening wore on. Such was the way of his people – eager in both love and hate. A new wave of cheers rose outside and Yuni smiled. The lovebirds had finally returned, judging from the catcalls of a few boisterous males.
They were a fine pair, Yuuen and Emba. Strong in body and heart, and well matched. They were balanced. His son couldn't have found a more suitable mate, and in a way he'd seen this happening right from the start. It was inevitable, as inevitable as his unwanted attraction to the Lakeside Clan's chief.
Yuni glanced across the tent to where Selem was lounging, a pipe much like Yuni's own in hand. Selem's eyes never strayed far from Yuni, but he was used to that. Ever since the day Selem had rescued him from that pit trap, Selem had always been watching him. The other chief smiled and Yuni found himself smiling back easily.
"I'm glad our paths finally crossed again." Years, maybe even months before, he wouldn't have been able to say it. The pain of leaving Selem, of being betrayed by Selem, had stayed with him, hiding in the back of his heart. As he grew older, he had learned to see things as they were instead of the way his heart panted them, but that didn't stop him from aching inside. That had faded some after Yuuli was born, and then Yuuen had come along and stolen the pain away with the brightness of his smile.
"Thank our sons." Selem's voice was heavy with wistfulness, and Yuni knew he must be thinking the same. As much as leaving Selem had hurt Yuni, he knew it had hurt Selem the same. "They had the courage to do what we could not."
He didn't know how long he'd been waiting for Selem to say that, to point out the failings in their own hearts that had kept them apart, but Yuni found he could only smile through the brief twang of pain Selem's words had cause.
It hurt less than he'd imagined it would.
A thought struck him and he chuckled, thinking back to earlier that night when Selem's daughter had sat next to Yuuli. They had still been sitting next to the fire together when the two chiefs had retreated to Yuni's tent.
Selem raised an eyebrow, silently asking Yuni to share.
"We're tied, you and I, so tightly even our blood calls to each other. First Emba and Yuuen and soon, I imagine, your daughter and my oldest son."
Selem laughed loudly at that. "And then our clans truly will be tied. Our separate clans will be no more."
A wistful smile crossed Yuni's face at the thought, but he was careful to keep his words further divorced from the notion of having Selem always by his side. "Do you think you could stand that, ruling with me?"
"In a way, that would be our own marriage." Selem reached across the tent to run his hand down Yuni's face.
It had been years since Selem had last touched him like this and Yuni couldn't help but close his eyes. This was more than he'd ever hoped for since leaving the cave as a child, thoughts of his clan forcing him away from Selem. Fabric shifted and then there were lips pressing against Yuni's asking to be let inside. He opened his mouth and it was like they were children again.
Selem pressed him down onto the fur rug and he forgot that they were both clan chiefs. It had been so long, and while he didn't regret marrying his wife, he had missed this. Selem was.... Selem. Bold and exploring, his hands were already working their way beneath Yuni's clothes. Even with his wife, it had been nothing like being with Selem. Selem was all hard lines where his wife had been soft curves. There was strength in Selem's touch, a domineering force that Yuni longed for.
He pushed Selem back enough that he could breathe again, gasping in large gulps of air. The sudden distance didn't deter Selem, he just smiled and latched his mouth onto Yuni's collarbone. Yuni gasped, his hips rocking up into Selem's.
Selem still remembered how to make his blood boil.
"Do you want to?" The words where whispered soft into Yuni's neck and he had to bite back a groan.
Yuni smacked Selem on the side of his head. "Do you really need to ask that?"
The way Selem smiled made Yuni roll his eyes. He should have known Selem was teasing him. Selem loved to tease him, loved to make Yuni react and loose his temper. It'd been so long, he'd forgotten how well Selem knew him.
Selem spit into his palm with a smile before settling in between Yuni's legs. He reached down and grabbed Yuni's erection, sliding his slick fingers over Yuni.
"Selem." He'd missed this. Women just weren't the same.
"You can touch me too, you know." Selem was grinning down at him and Yuni punched him again.
Then they were kissing and he forgot why he was annoyed at Selem. He slid his arm between them to mirror the way Selem was touching him. While age had improved his temperament, it did nothing for his hormones. Within minutes he was writhing against Selem, trying to get Selem to move his hand faster. He sped up his own pace, pumping his hand rapidly over Selem's cock but Selem's hand didn't change from its slow glide. It was maddening, and he tried to tell Selem that but Selem wouldn't let their mouths pull apart.
Release snuck up on him like a cat in the brush. He was too busy trying to goad Selem to realize how close he was. Selem squeezed his hand around the base of Yuni's erection, dragging his hand upwards and Yuni couldn't stand it anymore. He shouted into Selem's mouth as he came. Liquid spilled into his own hand and he let his body still.
He sank into the rug as Selem pulled away. For a long moment they just looked at each other. A smile graced Selem's lips but his eyes were distant, roving over Yuni's face like he didn't believe they were here. Yuni knew he was frowning, though there was no real anger to it. He was just.... he wasn't sure what he was feeling. He was more relaxed than he'd been in years, and it felt like a giant weight had lifted off his shoulders.
There was no more rivalry between their two clans. For the first time, they would be working together, sharing in their harvests and hunting. He didn't have to worry about his clan going hungry, not with Emba and Selem.
"I'm glad we're together again," he whispered, his voice low to keep the words just between them, something special that only they shared.
"Me too," Selem whispered back, brushing his lips over Yuni's forehead in a tender kiss. "Me too."