Actions

Work Header

The Royal's Consort

Chapter Text

It's too fucking early, it's Seth's first thought as he jolts awake. He's disoriented for a good minute as he looks around his bedroom, the thick tawny curtains opened just slightly teasing the salmon and golden hues of a sun just rising. He slowly sits up the bed, rubbing his tired eyes and releasing a tired yawn. He'd worked until two in the morning last night—joys of being a bartender. Not. Turning on his side, the Iowan's eyes meet the offensive 07:15 flashing in red on the bedside clock. He briefly wonders why he's woken up so early in the morning when two knocks sound at his front door.

Oh.

There's someone at his door. Seth groans into his pillow before getting up. He slips on an oversized t-shirt that stops below his knees and makes his way to the front door. He didn't have that many friends other than Dean and Xavier and curiously wonders who could be knocking at his front door so early in the morning. Bypassing the kitchen, he looks into the peephole and is met with a pudgy woman with a pixie haircut. He doesn't recognize her and is somewhat hesitant as he unlocks the chain and opens the door. Click. Click. Tanned hands immediately go to drowsy brown eyes. "Aaah. What the – the fuck is wrong with you?!" he screams, voice dry.

There's a small chuckle before the woman's shrill voice answers. "Oh. Oh, I'm sorry. Just wanted a more clearer pic of the Prince of Lanuola's consort. I didn't know he was into guys…he's so private after all. But wow, I can see why he chose you. Things must be serious if he's appearing in public with you – hey did you know that you're the first one he's made a 'public appearance' with? Are you guys getting serious?"

Seth shakes his head in bewilderment, what the fuck is going on? He moves his hands from his still burning eyes and spots his neighbor, Mrs. Frank, peeking outside her door that's slightly ajar. He rolls his eyes and fixes his gaze on the middle aged woman at his front door. "Lady – mam. No offense but who the fuck are you? Why the fuck are you at my door at fucking seven o'clock in the morning? Don't you have a husband and kids you should be playing happy family with right now?"

The lady just laughs and playfully nudges Seth's shoulder. "I'm Vicki. I'm here to do an article on you. And gosh, you're funny. I don't have kids doll, I'm too young for that." She says all in one breath.

The word article rings in Seth's still drowsy mind. Article. What article? He rubs his temples and looks at Vicki's conniving hazel eyes. "What article? Are you sure you got the right address?"

"Yes. Seth Rollins.135 Ridge Avenue, Palmer Heights, Apartment 36C. Look I'm sure no other paper's approached you yet. And that's good, it means I get to report on you first…" Vicki's eyes sparkle conspiratorially and she smiles at Seth. "Means I'll finally get that Editor-in-Chief position I've been wanting. What d'you say…help a girl out." She takes a recorder out and pressing the record button, extends her arm narrowly missing Seth's mouth as she shoves the black object in his face. "So a source of mine—who I can't disclose—spotted you looking very cozy with Prince Roman at Lakefield Park yesterday. Got the pictures to go with it. So Seth, are you dating him? And how long? I mean he's a very private guy, hardly ever seen in public—I was lucky that this source even got a picture of you two."

Okay now Seth's really confused. Prince Roman. Cozy pictures. The park. What the hell is this woman talking about? Maybe she escaped a mental hospital. No, she looked too good and put together for that. "La – Vicki, I'm sorry but I don't know what you're talking about. Look I mean you have my address and name but maybe you're looking for another Seth Rollins? I – I have a shift at noon so I'm just gonna go back to bed. Good luck on searching though." Seth smiles at her, patting her shoulder and stepping back inside.

"Oh, but I have proof Seth!" Vicki shouts before Seth can close the door. She rummages inside her black Gucci, taking out a crumpled photo. "See, you can't hide it Seth. My publication will pay you, if that's what you want; though that would be useless. I mean you are seeing a wealthy Lanuolan Prince whose family owns an exotic island.

Seth snatches the picture and looks at it, it's grainy, clearly taken on someone's cellphone. It features him in his jogging clothes and the hot dude he ran into yesterday. Seth doesn't really think it's a cozy picture—like sure, the guy's hands were on his waist but that was only because they'd collided into each other. Seth could admit that he looked like a teenage girl being talked to by her high school crush in the picture. But who could blame him? The man he met yesterday was fucking sex on legs.

He was a hot as fuck exotic Adonis. So fucking hot—tall, muscular. And although he'd been wearing a loose fitting tank top, Seth remembers briefly touching rock-hard abs when they collided. The guy's golden brown skin glistened in sweat and Seth remembers his chiseled face. Intoxicating brown eyes that had Seth wanting to bend over the park benches to allow the hunky man to have his way with him. So yes, Seth had been close to cumming inside his briefs just at the sight of the man. But he'd hoped as he was talking to the guy that he wasn't that obvious. Guess he was—the crumpled picture in his hand testified to that.

"Look. I'm sorry to disappoint you Vicki. There's no story here, okay. The man was just a guy I crashed into at the park. He helped me up, checked if I was fine, apologized and moved on. That's your story. I don't think it'll be interesting though. You should probably find something else, like what do they call that TV show with all the plastic surgery family?" He motions with his hands for Vicki to help him out but she just looks at him dryly. He shrugs and snaps his fingers as he remembers. "The Kardashians. My friend Xavier said the youngest got a child—isn't that what you people are into?"

"No. That's old news. Look, I'm not asking for much here doll. These pictures I got from my source show a lot more than strangers who 'crashed' into each other at the park." Vicki says getting in Seth's face and he takes a step back. "When did you start dating? What's he like at home? Have you met the Royal family yet? Speaking of Royal families—will you be attending Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding with him?" she taps her foot impatiently on the floor. "Come on Seth, don't just stand there gimme something!"

"I can't believe I woke up at fucking seven o'clock for this shit. Listen to me woman." He grabs her shoulders and shakes her with each word. "I. Don't. Have. A. Story. For. You." He lets her go and shuts the door in her face when she opens her mouth, probably to ramble some more. God, what a loud mouth.

He definitely can't go back to sleep now—Vicki's rambling took the sleep right out of him. A fist bangs at his door before Vicki's shrill voice sounds from outside the door. "I know you're lying Seth Rollins. I'll write that story with or without your help. Expect to see it, front page of The Daily Times tomorrow morning!" The sound of her stilettoes then disappear with each step she takes away from his door.

"Aaaaah! Fuck!" Seth screams in frustration. He throws the crumpled photo, aiming for the door but it only flies weakly in the air before falling down at carpeted floors. Why did it feel like a windstorm was coming?

Chapter Text

A few brown stands whip Seth's face as the brunet jogs his way back home. Gray clouds slowly filter the sun, signaling the coming of rain and the Iowan picks up his pace. It wouldn't do him well to reach home cold and wet, especially since he had a late shift at the club today. He makes a turn at the end of the children's playground and nods his head to the song playing on his phone.

The park's exit is a few meters away and he can already see the huge Lakefield Park sign at the park's entrance when he bumps into something rock hard. An embarrassing scream leaves his lips as he flails, trying to grab onto something to stop from falling on the dirty ground. Large hands grip his waist and Seth feels himself being pulled into a solid muscled chest.

"My apologies. I should've watched where I was going. Are you okay?"

Seth's mind is still jumbled and he removes his earphones as he looks into worried mahogany eyes. The Iowan's heart thuds in his chest as he takes in the man's golden brown skin and chiseled features. The man looks like an exotic Adonis with his lustrous jet-black hair that's tied into a messy bun, almond shaped eyes and the sharpest jawline Seth's ever seen. His face is framed by a semi-thick beard that brings attention to his lush pink lips.

Seth bites on his bottom lip as his eyes fixate on the thick salmon lips that he now notices are moving. Oh. Hot Adonis dude is talking to him. He shakes his head in embarrassment and feels his cheeks growing hot.

"I'm sorry, what?" his voice trembles as he asks the question.

"Are you hurt?"

Hot Adonis dude then places his smooth big hand on Seth's forehead before trailing it to Seth's cheek. The touch burns Seth's skin—his breath hitches in his throat and he feels a stirring that he really shouldn't be feeling in such a public area. A moan that Seth disguises as a cough slips out of his lips when the hot man's big hands rest on his waist once more.

"I-I'm fine." Seth finally answers in a raspy voice.

Relief morphs on the man's features and he lets go of Seth's waist. Seth's heart sinks into his stomach in disappointment as those strong big hands leave him. "Good…good." Hot Adonis dude says. A smile that makes Seth's knees weak is gifted to him. "I'm going to be on my way now. Take care."

Hot Adonis dude turns away from him and jogs in the opposite direction towards the lake. "Uhm…wait!" Seth shouts before he can stop himself.

Seth jogs toward him when the man stops to look at him in perplexion. "I – I am hurt." He stutters.

"Oh?"

Seth steps closer to him, getting in the taller man's personal space. "Doctor said I'm lacking on a bit of vitamin D…" he trails off nibbling on the man's ear before continuing. "I think you'd be the perfect person to assist me." Seth says seductively, guiding the hot Adonis's hands towards his ass.

Hot Adonis dude moans when Seth sucks sensually on his neck. "I need you to pound me. Can you do that for me?" looking around he sees that there's a few people around. "I want you to take me in front of all these people. I know we just met but I want you to own me in front of them…Please." He begs.

Seth gasps when he's turned around and bent over a park bench. The rain Seth was desperately trying to escape now falls heavily at the park as Seth feels the translucent droplets pelt his bare ass. "Yesss." He hisses when he feels the hot man's thick head tease his entrance. His mind goes haywire when inch after inch of thick cock enters him slowly. A few eyes peek at him and he can practically see the people drooling at the hot sight he must be making with the hot man behind him.

"Fuck, fuck, fuck." He cries in ecstasy when hot Adonis dude pulls out until the head is at his entrance before slamming roughly into the velvety warmth again. "Unh…unh. Aaah. Wh- unh. Y-your aaah fuck! Y-your name."

"Roman."

Ring. Ring.

Ring. Ring.

Seth jerks out of his sleep induced state when he hears his phone ringing. "Fuck!" he shouts when he spots the tent down his nether regions hidden by the blankets. "WHAT?!" He was not in a good mood. He'd missed out on a damn good orgasm because of whichever idiot decided that it was okay to call him while he was having the raunchiest dream of his life.

A chuckle sounds on the other side of the line and Seth groans in annoyance. "What do you want Dean? I know for a fact that we don't have classes today."

Dean chuckles again before answering, "Whoa. Trouble in paradise already?"

"I'm serious Dean. I came home at fucking three a.m. and…" he trails off as he looks at the bedside watch. Seven flashes in red digits and the brunet feels like crying. Three hours. He's been asleep for only three hours and now Dean's ruined his sleep for him. "What is it with you people and waking me up at fucking seven in the morning? This can't keep happening, for fuck's sake!" Seth bellows.

"Geez. So sensitive. Calm your grumpy ass down. I just called to say I'm disappointed in you."

Seth pinches his nose in frustration, Dean was really testing his patience. "What did I do this time Dean?" the brunet asks tiredly.

"Prince Roman."

Seth's body reacts as his cock jerks in interest at the mention of that name. "W-what about him?" he asks, stifling a moan.

"Don't play stupid Seth. Why didn't you tell me you were fucking dating a royal?" Dean shouts into the phone.

Seth's immediately sitting up on the bed at Dean's words. His heart feels like it might combust and he asks, "Dean…Dean, what are you talking about?"

"Seth come on. I know that Xavier's your best friend but I expected that you'd tell me something as well. We do attend the same college after all. Why didn't you tell me that you were seeing a wealthy prince?"

"I'm not." Seth says seriously.

"That's not what The Daily Times is saying though." Dean accuses.

The newspaper rings a bell in Seth's mind as he tries to place it. A curse escapes his lips when he remembers a short pudgy lady with a pixie haircut who looked like she was going through a midlife crisis. "Fuck! Fuck! FUCK!" Seth screams leaving his bed. He paces back and forth in his small apartment as he thinks back to his conversation with Vicki. "What am I going to do? Oh god, what do I do?" he whispers to himself.

"About what Seth? What's wrong?" Dean's worried voice rings out on the other side of the phone.

It's then that Seth realizes that his friend was still on the line. "Dean, listen to me…" he whispers. "I-I am not seeing anyone. I-I…this lady came to my apartment yesterday…said she saw some pictures. I didn't think she was serious Dean. Oh god, everyone's probably read it. What if people notice me?" 

He can hear some shuffling in the background as Dean answers. "Calm down, babe. How about I come over, yeah? You can explain everything when I get to your apartment."

Seth's nodding his head before Dean can even finish what he's saying and then realizes that Dean can't see him so he needs to say something. "Please." He whispers anxiously.

"Okay. I'll be there in twenty."

Their conversation ends with a click as Dean ends the call. Seth sits on his bed, shaky hand still clutching his crappy phone. He looks down at his thighs and realizes in disdain that his erection's already been killed off by news of an article being written about him. This Vicki woman was ruining everything for him, first his sleep, then his erotic dreams and now his bloody erections. Great.

"You look like hell." Dean says, immediately Seth opens the front door.

"Thanks." Seth responds. He rolls his eyes and exhales frustratedly when Dean pulls him in for a hug. Mrs. Frank from the opposite apartment gives him the stinky eye as the Iowan pulls away from Dean. "What, woman?" He asks dryly.

"I wonder what that handsome young prince saw in you. You're a rude young man." The old lady mumbles.

"My ass. It's the best he's ever had." Seth retorts.

Mrs. Frank shakes her head as she gives him the finger. "I'll pass, Mrs. Frank. I don't do dry wrinkly tacos."

Dean who's been watching the whole encounter quietly chuckles and pushes Seth inside. He issues a quick apology to Mrs. Frank before closing the door. He follows Seth to the kitchen and places a box full of donuts on the counter. "You're going to hell. Why do you insist on fighting a defenseless old woman?" He asks.

"Oh please. She's anything but defenseless. D'you know the venom that old witch can spew?" Seth asks as he turns on the kettle. He takes two plates from the cupboard and rinses them. He then hands the plates to Dean who dries them and evenly puts the donuts on each plate.

"Oh come on Seth. She's a little grumpy but that's it. Leave the poor oldie alone, you're not far from reaching her age you know." He laughs when Seth nails him with a glare from hell.

"Fuck off."

The pair make their coffee before moving into Seth's tiny living room. They settle on the old black couch and Seth moans at the sweetness of the jam donut he's munching on. "You're welcome." Dean says, amused.

Seth only moans in response, his mouth still full with the donut. "Thank you Deano. This is so good."

"I know." Dean responds as he takes out his phone. He taps on the smartphone a few times before throwing the gadget at Seth. The brunet almost drops it as the phone bounces in his hands a few times. "Why are you giving me your phone?" Seth queries.

"You're so slow sometimes. Look at the screen and read what you find there." Dean rolls his eyes at his friend.

Seth chokes on the donut he's eating. Oh no. What had Vicki done?

The Daily Times shows a picture of him and this Prince Roman, the hot man's right hand is on his forehead as Seth looks him in the eyes with a lovesick look. And even though the Prince was only checking to see if he was fine—the brunet can't deny that they did look quite intimate in the picture. His eyes widen in horror as he reads the headline. Prince Roman finally finds love in the arms of a beautiful bartender. Was this woman serious?

Seth reads the article and wonders how the woman was able to get his personal information. They'd gotten his age and his place of work. As his brown eyes scan the paper, a sigh of relief escapes him when he sees that nothing's been mentioned about his family. Or more accurately—his mother. He didn't need his dirty laundry hung out like that. "What am I going to do, Dean? These are all lies. I-I just crashed into the Prince at the park. This woman's lying, she's making it seem as if I'm seeing the man. And as amazing as that would be, I am not seeing him. I don't even know what he was doing at that park. Don't people like him have backyards as big as parks in their mansions? What if he thinks I'm a gold digger?"

The auburn-haired man gives Seth a sympathetic look. "Calm down babe. Why would he think you're a gold digger? He doesn't even know you. Besides, you know how these reporters are; they'll write anything to get their paper to sell. Why don't you lay low? Tell Hunter you can't come into work today?"

Seth shakes his head frantically. "No, no, no. I can't do that. My rent's almost due and Sami's gone on vacation with Kevin. I don't want to find myself explaining why I'm short on rent to Mrs. Frankenstein." The brunet says nodding his head in the direction of Mrs. Frank's apartment.

"Fine." Dean sighs. He takes a sip of his coffee and smiles softly at Seth. "Just be careful. You're like famous now. A royal." He teases.

"No, I'm not. God, I hope this mess dies down soon." Seth says. His phone rings from the bedroom and he gives Dean a puzzled look. "That can't be Xavier. He knows not to call me before nine. I'm coming."

Once inside his bedroom, the brunet frowns when he sees it's a number he doesn't recognize. "Hello?"

"Seth Rollins?"

"Yes. Who is this?"

The voice on the other end of the line sounds just like Vicki's—conniving. "I'm Alicia Fox with The Real Gossip. I'm calling regarding your new relationship with Prince Ro –"

Seth hangs up before Alicia can finish. He absentmindedly takes his phone with him into the living room. Dean's turned on the TV and watching a documentary about lions when Seth enters. The auburn-haired man looks at him and sees his annoyed expression. "Who was it?"

"A sly fox." Seth grumbles. A small chuckle escapes him when he says that.

"Ohhkaaay."

Seth plops down on the couch again and shrugs. "It was a reporter. Wants inside info on my 'relationship with Prince Roman.'"

"Wow. I feel like Meghan Markle's best friend right now…although that's Xavier's position. But I come in second place, right?"

"You're crazy."

"I know, it's the reason Antonio can't get enough of me. Speaking of my daddy—I gotta bounce..." The auburn-haired man pauses for a minute before adding,"On Toni's gigantic dick."

Gagging sounds leave Seth's lips. "I didn't ask that, you whore. Leave my apartment!" He says standing up and pushing Dean out of his apartment.

His phone rings again just as he's closed the front door. He goes back into the living room and picks it up. Seth doesn't recognize the number again and is almost hesitant as he slides his thumb across the screen to answer. "H-Hello?"

"Yes. Seth Rollins. You're speaking to Michael Cole, I work for the Independent –"

Seth hangs up again not bothering to listen to what this Michael Cole had to say. These leeches all had the same tone of voice. They all sounded like sly, conniving, hungry wolves. Seth wasn't about to be tricked into saying something that they would only twist and use against him. When his phone rings again with yet another number he doesn't recognize, he rejects the call again. He shoots Dean and Xavier quick texts that his phone will be off the whole day. He decides to send Hunter the message as well.

As soon as he gets confirmation that all texts have been received, Seth switches his phone off, taking out the battery. He then goes back to his bedroom and reads the digital eight-fifteen flashing on the clock. He'd covered Xavier's shift last night and had worked two late shifts back to back with only a few hours of sleep. He decides to catch on a few hours of sleep, Hunter had scheduled him for six until late so he'd still have time to clean his apartment. The place looked like a pigsty as he hasn't had much time to look after the place between college and bartending.

Immediately his head hits the fluffy pillow, Seth's eyes droop tiredly. Darkness overtakes him and he drifts off to lala land.

Seth enters The Black Vault fifteen minutes before his shift starts and immediately trails his way into the locker rooms. The Black Vault is one of the hottest and trendiest erotica gay bars in Tampa. It has three dancefloors, two on ground level and one on the first level where there's also six VIP areas, complete with cages for dancers and strip poles. The first level also includes six private rooms for those wanting to engage in more 'private' matters. Seth has been in those private rooms quite a few times as well, when his rent wanted to show him that he was just like his mother—a whore who'd do anything for money.

Seth's heart drops at his feet as the thought crosses his mind. His mind slowly drifts to dangerous thoughts and he's thankful when the door opens and in walks his best friend.

"Well, well, well…if it isn't the Prince's consort," Xavier teases. "I have to say, I'm disappointed that you didn't tell me you met a fuck hot Prince to keep you warm at night."

Seth rolls his eyes as he turns away from Xavier so that the brown skinned man can zip up his spandex vest. "I don't have anyone to keep me warm at night. It's that bitch reporter…coming up with all those lies. Do you know how hard it was for me to get here today? People were looking at me and pointing fingers, Xavier." Seth groans as he slips on his black and pink spandex tights. "Some of them wanted my pictures and a little boy even cried for one…that woman's turned my life upside down."

Xavier looks at Seth apologetically as he slips on his own uniform. "I'm sorry, babe. Why didn't you just ask for the day off, lay low for a bit."

Seth's dismissing the idea even before Xavier can finish. "Dean said the same thing but I can't. My rent's due next week. Sami's gone on vacation and I don't want to deal with Mrs. Frank. She hates me, you know that."

"If you're stranded, I could help you out. I can speak to Ran-"

"Don't bother." Seth interrupts as he zips up Xavier's vest as well. "I'm almost there anyway. I'll have the full amount by Friday."

Xavier eyes him with a disbelieving look but says nothing as he shoves his duffle bag into his locker. He waits for Seth to do the same before they exit the locker rooms on the second level that's only for personnel and Hunter's closest friends. "So we're tending on the first level tonight." Seth says.

Xavier ignores him for a full minute as they go down the marble stairs, watching the gyrating bodies dancing erotically under the red and blue lights flashing on the dancefloor. The curly-haired man looks at Seth worriedly. "I'm serious Seth, I can help you if you're in trouble. I don't want feeling like you have to go to the private rooms."

They go behind the counter and they both greet another bartender, Kofi, before Seth gives Xavier a quick hug. "I haven't been there in months Xavier. I don't plan on going back there anytime soon. You're so young, you need to stop stressing so much. You'll be old and gray by the time you're my age."

"Man, you're making it sound like you're ten years older than me or something. You're twenty-nine and I'm twenty-two. Stop it."

"I was still born in the eighties."

Xavier sticks his tongue out at him as Kofi chuckles besides them and serves a tipsy woman in skimpy latex. "Whatever."

A little while over eight, Kofi bids them goodbye when his shift's over. They look at the man with the dreadlocks make his way to the second level where Hunter sits on his 'throne' and watches over everything happening at the club. "He's going to get his ass split in half, isn't he?" Xavier laughs when Hunter follows Kofi to the hallway.

Seth chuckles and follows Xavier's eyes. "Yup." He nods.

A sultry smile forms on his lips when a man in a crisp suit nears the bar. "What can I get you?" the brunet drawls.

"Whiskey…and a little private time when you take your break."

"Whiskey coming right up." Seth responds, ignoring the last part of the man's statement. He places the drink on the counter and flinches slightly when the big man deliberately brushes his fingers against his own.

The man who's built like bricks and has white-blondish hair chugs the brown liquid down his throat and licks his lips while nailing Seth with an intense gaze. The gaze repulses Seth but he still smiles tightly, he needed all the tips he can get. "So what'd you say pretty boy, join me in the private rooms later tonight?"

Seth tilts his head and sees Xavier staring at him with worried eyes. He smiles and shakes his head reassuringly. Looking back at the big man, Seth gives him an apologetic smile. "I'll pass."

"Come on…it'll be great. Remember how much fun we had the last time. You were so hot and tight. Money's not a problem, you know that."

The brunet's body heats up in shame but he still shakes his head—attempting to hold his ground. "I said n-no. I don't do that anymore."

He feels small and dirty when the man laughs at him—a harsh condescending chuckle that has Seth wanting to hide in a dark corner. "What? You've suddenly gained morals?...I wonder why," the pale man then holds his chin and pretends to be contemplating something. "Oh, I know. What are the papers saying? You've met a 'Prince'" another condescending laugh sounds before he continues. "I wonder what your Lanuolan Prince would say if he found out about your other activities. What would he say if he knew you whore yourself out for money, I bet he'd dump you like the scum that you are…now listen to me. I want you to come join me in the private rooms on your break. It's not a request." The man orders.

"No." Seth whispers. "I don't want to, I'm not going."

The man's sky blue eyes turn cold as he glares at Seth. "Where's Hunter? I'm going to report you for bad service. I'm a client goddamit, you can't turn me down!" the man shouts, leaving the bar area for the stairs leading to the second level.

"Are you okay?" Xavier asks over the loud music.

"F-fine." Seth stutters.

Their conversation ends there as they get back to their jobs and watch the gyrating bodies dance sensually to Rihanna's Rude boy.

It's not even ten minutes later that the man with the bulging muscles left for the second level that he's dragged down by security. "I'm a fucking client. You can't do this to me you sons of bitches!" His gaze again connects with Seth and he nails Seth with an icy glare that has the Iowan shivering cold. "You! I'll fucking get you for this, you righteous whore!" the man shouts as he's dragged to the ground floor, disappearing from Seth's view.

The whole world seems to stop as all the attention falls on Seth. "WHAT?" the brunet screams over the loud music. "WHAT THE FUCK ARE Y'ALL LOOKING AT?"

"Seth, calm down." Xavier says softly placing a hand on his shoulder.

"I – I have to go. I'm sorry Xavi, I can't do this."

"Hey, it's okay. The bar's closing in an hour anyway. I can make it on my own until then."

"Thank you. P-please tell Hunter, I'll see him to-tomorrow." Seth says shakily as he allows the younger man to pull him into a hug.

Seth leaves the bar area, bypassing Hunter's office where he can hear Kofi's screams. The dark skinned man sounds like he's in heaven and hell at the same time. He briefly wonders if the two are now going steady—they've had this thing going on for the past two years and it's a surprise that Kofi isn't pregnant yet with how much the two fuck like rabbits.

Entering the employees' locker rooms, Seth takes out his bag and pulls on his baggy sweatshirt, deciding to leave his tights on. He ties his brown mane into a messy bun and leaves the second floor. Xavier smiles and waves him goodbye as he passes the first level for the ground floor. At the employees' exit, he fist bumps a couple of bouncers and smiles at them.

Seth strides towards his rusty silver Volvo in The Black Vault's employees parking. Getting in the car, he's just exited the parking area when a light flashes in his eyes. He stops the car and looks around. Another flash sounds and before Seth knows it, multiple flashes come from every direction. There's a knock on his window and he jerks in shock as many faces look into his car. There's a ruckus as the damn paparazzi snap his pictures. A groan escapes his lips. Oh no…not this again. "Seth Rollins. You're a male carrier, right? Is it true that the Prince's already planning a family with you? How did the royal family react when they found out that you work for an erotica gay club?"

Those are some of the questions the brunet hears being shouted. These vultures—how did they found out he was a carrier? "Has the Prince met your parents? What kind of role model do you think you'll be to the kids belonging to the Lanuola kingdom?" Seth sighs and turns the volume up to drown out the paparazzi. He puts his car into gear and drives off.

Chapter Text

Seth's barely closed the front door when his legs give out and he falls butt first on the ground, his back leaning against the white oak door. One shaky hand moves thick brown hair away from a cold face before the brunet props his arms on his knees, his head resting on them. Don't cry he tells himself even as the tears threaten to disobey his instruction—attempting to break free from heavy eyelids. God, he was weak.

One month. He couldn't even survive one month without being lured back into temptation. But what could he do? It's been one week since Vicki's article. A week since his life was turned into a public spectacle…and things had only gotten worse. How many times was he followed this week by the media and people he didn't know? How many times was he hounded with questions he had no answers to? How many times had he appeared in news and gossip sites with more false information written about him and his 'relationship' with the Prince?

The whole thing wasn't only affecting him emotionally—it was putting a strain on his financial life as well. Seth could count the number of times he made any tips week. So many people flogged The Black Vault but few left him any tips—apparently he didn't need them. He was dating an exotic wealthy Prince after all so what difference would a few dollars make to someone who had thousands more in the bank?

So he couldn't be blamed, he was human after all. He had human needs—food, water, clothing, a warm place to stay. These whole misunderstandings and debacles with the media left him a desperate man—one who would do anything to survive. It's the reason he went back there. It's the reason he'd…

Seth's hand goes to cover his mouth as he feels nausea creeping up from just thinking about it. He'd only eaten four slices of bread in the morning and his stomach was in knots from hunger pains but it still didn't stop the bile from increasing. Seth stands up on wobbly legs and makes it to the bathroom in time before he falls on his knees again. His hands clutch the toilet in a white-knuckled grip and his thick brown mane curtains his face as he spills acid inside the toilet.

Everything hurts.

One shaky hand lifts to flush the toilet before the brunet crawls towards the bathtub and rests against the egg shaped tub. "No, no, no. Please don't," he whispers to himself when his eyes betray him and a tear slips out of his left eye. Pain. His heart clenches painfully. His hands are trembling, his throat constricted and lumpy. His lips tremble when he bites on them in an effort to not make any sound. Sure his eyes have betrayed him—the tears are like an overflowing river now but he can't let out a sound. That would just be stupid, because if he lets out a sound then he'll eventually lose his breath from all the crying.

And so Seth cries silently, finally giving in to his mind's sadistic torture as it travels on its own accord to the night's earlier events.

Seth smiles at the long-haired chubby man, with an expensive looking suit, making his way to the bar area, "Hey there…what can I get you?"

The man's eyes travel to Seth's chest area, reading the brunet's name that's embedded in pink on his black spandex vest. Seth doesn't miss how the man's eye fixate on his lips as he answers, "I'll have a…Jack and Coke."

Seth nods his head, getting the man's drink for him. "Anything else?"

The man takes a sip of his drink and licks his lips in a way that Seth finds creepy. "Actually yes," the man replies. "I want to get a taste of your ass."

Seth's dumbfounded for a second. The man's so random, he thinks. He clears his throat and is about to decline the offer when his mind reminds him of what's waiting for him at home.

Hunger.

He'd finished the last four slices of bread he'd had just that morning. And then he'd spent four excruciating hours in college on virtually an empty stomach because he couldn't afford to spend his last money on expensive college food. And it's not because he's been reckless with his money, on the contrary, Seth only spent his money on essentials. But the customers at the club haven't been all that giving lately and Seth had soon realized that it was because for some dumb reason the club's dimwits thought that he didn't need anymore tips because he was 'dating' a Prince. So what'd he need their petty tips for?

The man is still looking at Seth as the brunet shakes away his thoughts. He doesn't trust the wily glint he sees in the man's blue eyes and looks away from him. His eyes land on one of the club's dancers, Fandango, as the man gyrates his body to the sensual beat of the song playing in nothing but a skimpy gold thong in a cage. The man's twerking his ass like his life depends on it and Seth looks away, conflicted brown eyes going back to expectant blue ones.

Just until this whole media mess dies down…you need the money, he tells himself.

He forces himself not to think about how much Xavier will be disappointed in him. Forces himself to not look at said man, who's a little distance away from him, yelling excitedly to Kofi about something Randy did for him. "Okay," he says barely above a whisper, not caring whether or not the chubby man heard him.

"Good." So the man did hear him. "When's your break?"

Seth's eyes goes to the black watch on the first level, it reads 11:44, "Fifteen minutes." He responds.

"I want you to join me…Private Room 12B."

"Okay," the word leaves his lips with difficulty. It sounded constricted, forced and he prays that Bray didn't hear it.

Bray nods and finishes his drink before paying for it and heads in the directions of the private rooms.

~

Seth's insides twist in knots the minute the club's watch reads midnight. "I'll see you guys in 30," he says looking at his colleagues.

Kofi smiles and nods his head whilst Xavier pouts, "Aren't you waiting for me?"

Seth shakes his head no. "I'll be stepping out for a smoke anyway."

Xavier eyes him up and down suspiciously, "I thought you said you quit smoking," the chocolate skinned man says.

Seth has to make a conscious effort not to fidget. Xavier was so perceptive sometimes—he had this ability to see through people's bullshit stories. And it pissed Seth off to no end. What to say? "I-I did," he mentally curses as the response comes out stuttered.

One thick eyebrow lifts in disbelief, "Oh?" Xavier asks.

"I just had a test I'm really nervous about." Seth explains. It's not exactly a lie—he had written a test earlier that day. But he wasn't really nervous about it—he knew he'd aced it. Seth Rollins couldn't be a dumb whore after all. He sighs as the thought comes to mind and leaves the bar area when Xavier nods his head, albeit hesitantly.

Seth makes sure that Xavier is distracted by one of the customers at the bar area as he maneuvers his way around the gyrating bodies on the dancefloor, heading in the direction of the private rooms. He fails to see Kofi's curious brown eyes following his retreating form.

He only has to wait for a few seconds after he's knocked on the black door for it to open. The chubby man clearly means business as he's already taken all of his clothing off, save for his expensive looking silky boxers. "Aaah Seth…feels like I've been waiting forever." The man drawls. "Come on in," he adds opening the door a little wider.

Seth steps inside before he can change his mind and hears the door close and lock behind him. His back remains turned on the man and he jumps a bit when thick hands grip his waist firmly. "I'm Bray." The man's hot breath fans in his ear.

Seth stops himself from recoiling in disgust. Instead he gives a small nod and allows Bray to turn him around. The kiss Bray initiates catches Seth off guard and he chides himself. He's a goddamn prostitute—he should always be prepared for things like this. The kiss is hard, painful—Bray is practically eating his lips. He bites on them, drawing blood and invades Seth's mouth, shoving his tongue down the smaller man's throat. Seth takes it all, he doesn't complain. He has no right to—he needs the money.

His feet move as Bray leads them towards the bed. His calves touch the bed and Bray turns him around. He gasps when he's bent over the bed, his feet still firmly planted on the ground. Bray's impatient as he roughly tugs off Seth's work tights. Seth closes his eyes and clasps the bedsheets, he distantly hears the sound of a condom wrap ripped open. "Aaah!" he screams when Bray shoves inside him. No warning. No prep. Nothing.

All breath leaves him as the fat man behind him starts driving in and out of his hole without giving him a chance to adjust to his size. His eyes remain shut and he bites on the bedsheets to keep from crying out. This is what whores deserve. Bear the brunt. And so Seth takes it, even as the pain threatens to knock his lights out. "Y-you're so tight." Bray stammers behind him whilst grabbing Seth by his hair and pressing a thick hand on the small of Seth's back causing it to arch painfully. "Fuck! I-is this w-what drew that fucking P-Prince in? He got hooked on your tight ass, huh?"

Seth doesn't respond, he's too ashamed to. His neck cracks when Bray shoves his head back on the bed, angling it to rest on one side. He face is crushed into the mattress as Bray tears him apart with his dick. Seth senses when the other man's about to finish as his rhythm becomes sloppy. His breath hitches when Bray finally comes inside the condom and pulls out of him.

Seth moans in pain as straightens uo slowly after pulling his work tights back on. He tucks his flaccid dick inside his pants and pulls the zip up. Bray's footsteps sound as he comes back from the bathroom, "You're a great fuck." Bray's husky voice rings out as soon as he steps out the bathroom.

Shame fills Seth's entire being but he turns around, a fake smile forming on bruised lips as he looks at Bray. "My break's almost over."

"Course." Bray replies. He picks up his dress pants from the elegant maroon couch and takes out $50. "This should be enough. You are bending over for someone more richer after all," says the chubby man. He gives Seth the note and gives him a once over, "Now get the fuck out of my room. I paid for it."

Seth's scurrying out of the room then, rushing to one of the toilets in the hallway. Disgust in himself creeps up, he smells like sex and Bray and he itches to get the smells off of him but he can't. He's only going to reach his apartment around 03:00. He swallows harshly, the bile threatening to come up. He's trying to gain some balls to look himself in the mirror when the door opens and in walks Kofi.

"You gotta stop doing this to yourself Seth…" Kofi starts. "You can't sell your body for money forever."

Kofi's words ignite an angry fire in Seth. Kofi doesn't know what he's talking about. He knows nothing. "Just like you sell your body to Hunter who still fucks other people?" He scoffs.

Kofi's eyes widen, the brown pools swimming with unshed tears. "I-I'm just trying to help Seth," the dark skinned man whispers.

"Fuck off! How can you help me when you can't even stop your fucking 'boyfriend' from using you like he uses almost everyone's hole in this fucking club!" Seth shouts.

The tears spill out of Kofi's hurt brown orbs then. The older man nods his head and goes inside one of the empty stalls. "Shit! Shit, I'm sorry Kofi. I-I didn't mean it." Seth shouts, guilt and regret plaguing him.

"'S okay," comes Kofi's emotional reply. "My shift's ended. Could you…could you please go tell H-Hunter that I left?"

Seth nods his head even though Kofi can't see him. "Of course. I…I'm sorry again." Seth says one last time before exiting the toilets.

The sobs he was desperately trying to keep at bay start as soon as tonight's events come back to mind. So many derogatory words bounce off his mind.

Trash

Worthless

Dirty

Plaything

Slut

Seth grasps his hair in an effort to get a grip in reality. His silent cries have turned into heavy sobs and he cab slowly feel himself losing his breath. Calm down. Seth, calm down. He repeats over and over again in his head but it doesn't help. He'd sold himself again. For a measly $50. Seth cries until his eyes become droopy. He cries until exhaustion kicks in and he collapses on the cold hard floor, his world darkcovers. His mind finally switching off. If only for a few hours.

~

It's the sound of the front door opening that wakes him up the next morning. Only two people have his house keys—Xavier and Dean. He slowly gets up the floor, finding it extra difficult as he feels the effects of last night's activities. He shakes his head. No. He's not going to think about last night.

"Seth?"

Seth recognizes the voice as belonging to Xavier. "Coming." He replies hoarsely. He then covers his hand over his mouth and cringes at his morning breath. Seth decides to brush his teeth before exciting and heading in the direction of the kitchen.

Xavier looks up at him when he enters. "Hi," he smiles and motions for Seth to join him on one of the stools at the kitchen island.

Seth's eyes travel to the McDonald's meals on the kitchen counter as he limps his way towards Xavier. The other man frowns at his funny walk. "You're limping."

Seth rolls his eyes as he takes a seat next to Xavier. "Really? I didn't notice."

"Don't be a smartass." Xavier chides. "I just want to know why."

Seth stalls by munching on his breakfast. He swallows and takes a sip of his coffee before answering, "I got hurt in the bathroom, stubbed my toe against the door."

"That shit hurts Seth. How come I didn't hear you scream?" Xavier asks accusingly

Seth goes for what he hopes is a nonchalant shrug. "I couldn't even bring myself to scream. Hurt too much."

Xavier huffs. "Mhm…"

"So what brings you here at…whatever the time is?"

"It's our joined off day. Figured we'd do something fun together. Dean said you guys don't have a class today. Your lecturer went away for an early weekend?"

"Yup." Seth replies before taking a bite of his burger. He covers his hand with his mouth. "So what'd you wanna do?"

"I'm not sure. Randy said there's this – "

"Hold that thought. I'm coming," Seth replies when his phone starts ringing.

Seth heads in the hallway where he left his bag last night. He searches the black bag and retrieves the gadget at the bottom of his backpack. Dean's goofy face and name appear on the screen. "Dean." He answers.

"What did you do?"

The tone of Dean's voice worries Seth—it sounds urgent, scared…disappointed. But why? Seth wracks his brains trying to remember if he'd offended Dean these past few days but comes up with nothing. "What do you mean?" he asks worriedly.

"Seth, your fucking name is all over the tabloids! They're talking about you whoring your body out to The Black Vault's customers. How the fuck did they know that?! D'you realize how this tarnishes your name?! Seth, my god, I thought you said you were done! So how?!" Dean shouts into the phone.

Seth's whole world shatters and falls in a million pieces around him. He can feel the blood drain from his body and his heart fall with a thump at his feet. "W-what?" he whispers shakily.

"They have pictures. Pictures, Seth!" Dean's shouting continues. "How in god's name will you get out of this mess?"

"I-I don't know. I – I…" Seth trails off, not knowing what to say. Last night's bile rapidly increasing as Seth drops his phone on the floor and rushes towards the bathroom. He vomits this morning's food and grips his stomach in pain as he continues gagging and vomiting. He distantly hears Xavier asking what's wrong and assumes that he must've dropped his phone where the younger man could see it.

His vision is blurry and he feels Xavier's gentle caress on his back as the younger man rubs it in circles. "Let it out…'s okay." Xavier's voice soothes. Seth gags and dry heaves again—his midsection hurting. There's nothing left to discharge. He sits back and rests his tired body against the bathroom. "I'm so sorry, babe." Xavier whispers before pulling Seth into his arms.

Seth can feels the tears pushing behind his eyes—the salty liquid wanting to escape past his eyelids, like they did last night. "N-no…" his voice cracks when the liquid substance finally trails down his cheeks. "No. I – they won't leave me alone. T-they…they're s-showing the world what a bitch I am. I'm a fucking tramp and n-now the world knows it. They know that I'm worth –"

"Shh…shh. It'll be okay." Xavier soothes, hugging the crying man close.

"No. No it won't." Seth cries, shaking his head frantically. "It won't be okay as long as they don't l-let me be. I'm not fucking famous Xavier! I didn't a-ask for this." Seth's rambling continues, his eyebrows furrowing in sadness. "Why me?"

"I don't know, babe. I'm sorry," Xavier replies, kissing the older man's messy hair.

"Why won't he say anything? Why won't he clear this up? He can end this and all he's been is quiet. W-why?"

Xavier's confused as to who exactly this he Seth is talking about is until there's a lightbulb switch. Oh. The Prince. The curly-haired man would be lying if he said he didn't wonder the same thing. In the seven days that news of Seth's supposed 'relationship' with the Prince broke—there's been no word from the other man. He's been mum on the issue while Seth was harassed by the press, day in, day out. Seth was being stalked by strangers and The Black Vault's been flooded by so many people this whole week—all of them wanting to see the Prince's 'lover' face-to-face.

Xavier wasn't the one being followed but even he felt tired of the people's pestering. Two days ago they'd gone for a walk in the park with Dean when two reporters began snapping pictures of them. They hadn't been doing anything interesting and they'd still appeared on numerous publications later that day with articles about their 'lazy walk at the park' written along with pictures posted as proof.

Xavier's heart went out to the man he considered his brother—he could only imagine the pain Seth was going through. And yet through all this, Prince Roman remained silent as if the royal son of a bitch didn't realize that he was the only one who'd be able to clear up the misunderstanding and get the media's hungry claws off of Seth's back.

"I don't know Seth" Xavier sighs. "Maybe he's busy with uh – I don't know…royal stuff…business?" he asks unsurely.

Seth shrugs tiredly and allows Xavier to pull him up and lead him to his bedroom. He undresses in front of him and gets beneath the bedsheets. The bed dips next to him as Xavier sits on the bed. "You don't have to stay." He whispers.

"I know."

"Then you can go."

"I want to stay." Xavier responds, stroking Seth's hair.

Seth sighs and closes his eyes. "I just want to be alone for a bit, Xav. 'M tired."

A soft kiss is placed on his forehead before Xavier's weight lifts off the bed. "Promise to call?" Xavier asks worriedly.

A small smile plays on Seth's lips at Xavier's question. Such a mother hen. "I promise." He says allowing his eyes to open and follow Xavier's lean build a he exits the bedroom and closes it with a soft click.

Left alone in his thoughts, Seth grabs one of the fluffy pillows and allows it to comfort him. His eyes slide shut once more and he prays that when he wakes, he'll be the Seth Rollins from a week ago—the twenty-nine year old nobody working hard to finish his Psychology degree and make something better of himself.

~

The next time Seth wakes up, it's already dark outside. It's not that late, he assumes, as the city's still bustling with sounds of the busy night life. The sounds usually excite him but today they do no such thing. Instead his mind keeps repeating one thought in his head.

All those people will look at you and know how worthless you are. They'll know that you're just like a her—a filthy whore. Like mother, like son.

"It's not true," he whispers in the darkness. Bray immediately comes to mind as he says that. Nausea creeps up again. He's filthy. He needs a bath. He turns on his bedside lamp on and leaves his bed. He makes his way into the bathroom and starts the bath. Removing his briefs, the brunet submerges himself inside the scalding hot water. Seth doesn't mind the way the water burns his skin—he relishes in it, anything to distract him from his sadistic mind's taunting. He embraces the pain wholeheartedly and rests his head on the edge of the bathtub.

Several minutes later, the brunet finally decides to clean himself. He uses his vanilla and orchid gel to scrub himself clean and cries when he cleans his hole. It hurts.

Once done, Seth heads back to his bedroom and puts on a fresh oversized t-shirt and tiny briefs. Although exhausted, he decides to go relax in the living room a bit. Seth scrolls through the different channels and settles on watching an action movie that only ends up serving as background noise.

His eyes drift to the coffee table and he spots his phone on it. He gives in to the curiosity of finding out the truth of Dean's words and he scrolls through the different news and gossip sites.

Prince Roman involved with a prostitute!

Prince of Lanuola's mystery park man, an escort.

Future King of Lanuola tarnishes country's pride by associating with prostitutes.

What kind of role model will the Prince's new boyfriend, Seth Rollins, set for the people of Lanuola?

The articles are endless and Seth knows he shouldn't be causing himself more heartache by reading the damn things but maybe he's some sort of masochist. Because even as the articles tear him apart bit by bit, he reads one article and moves on to the next.

The commentary on each article, though, kills him the worst. Because why would he care about one story-hungry writer's article? That's only one person. But the commentary—the commentary are the people. And the things that people are saying about him have him gasping in pain. So many hateful and judgemental comments. There's so many from 'Seth Rollins is a slut who'll only destroy Lanuola customs and traditions, he should just go back to the slums he came from' to 'Seth Rollins would only bring shame to the offspring of the Lanuola royals.' and 'Seth Rollins is a carrier right? Well the bitch doesn't deserve the gift of bringing life on this earth. He'd only embarrass his children. Prince Roman deserves so much better."

Seth chuckles humorlessly as he reads their comments because don't these people think he knows? Don't they think he knows that he deserves to die alone? Don't they think he knows that no man in their right mind would want to have kids with a fucking tainted prostitute? "I already knew I wasn't worthy so j-joke's on y-you." He stammers.

Just then, there's two firm knocks at his door and he looks at the time on his phone: 09:29. Who could be coming to him at this time of the night? "Coming." He shouts when the knocks sound again.

He blinks once, twice when he opens the door as his eyes take in the intimidating figure at his door. Seth's heart stops working for a second, his hands shake. His eyes widen and Seth realizes the man's not alone as a large man stands behind the man but Seth's gaze is focused on him as he speaks, "Seth Rollins." The man says, all deep and velvety voiced.

"H-Hello." Seth replies, heart dropping to his stomach in nervousness.

Chapter Text

The Prince's eyes roam Seth's body up and down and the brunet can't help the blush that paints his cheeks cherry red. Maybe he shouldn't have answered the door in just an oversized t-shirt and briefs—the t-shirt reaches his thighs and his briefs are tiny so they are hidden beneath the grey t-shirt.

He holds his breath when the royal's eyes meet his. "May I have a word with you Seth Rollins?"

Seth gives a small head nod and opens the door to his small apartment wider. The Prince's exotic scent assaults his nostrils oh his way in—he smells of coconuts and exotic spices—and Seth has to make a conscious effort to not inhale the delicious scent deeply. He closes the door after the big dark skinned man following the Prince enters. Seth can't help but think the man looks like that brick character from the Fantastic Four movies—he's stacking muscle upon muscle.

He leads the two men into his tiny living room but not without embarrassment. The clothes both men are wearing probably cost more than the expensive rent he pays for his small apartment. The man built like bricks remains standing when he gestures for them to take a seat on his old couch.

The Prince takes a seat and Seth sits on the opposite couch. His t-shirt lifts slightly as he sits down and the brunet pulls the grey item down. The Prince's eyes follow the movement and he clears his throat. "So…" the Prince starts, looking at Seth with unreadable eyes. "This is Manuia, my bodyguard." He gestures to the man who's decided to stand on one corner of Seth's living room. "I am Prince Roman of Lanuola but prefer to drop the titles, they bring unwanted attention. So you're allowed to call me Roman."

Seth nods his head and gives the man what he hopes is a relaxed smile. His nerves and emotions are all over the place. The last twenty four hours have been a nightmare and he's not okay. "My name is Seth Rollins." Roman's eyes remain on him.

"It seems you and I have ourselves some problems, Seth Rollins."

"I know…" Seth replies shakily. An arm goes around his waist as his mind goes back to the comments he'd been reading just before the royal's 'visit'.

Roman's eyes go to his Haute Joaillerie watch as he the time with an impatient look before going back to Seth. "I am a very busy man. So busy in fact that I hardly have time to sit down and read the news. I was surprised when on Monday morning, my second-in-command came to me with an article by a certain newspaper—I'm sorry I don't remember the name. My mind tends to block out the negative and petty. I advised him to ignore the article because a man of my stature knows better than to feed into the media's ravenous hunger for the 'next big story'. I don't under any circumstances humor the media, Mr. Rollins. It's how I've remained a mystery to them for so long. The less they know about me the better. But it seems that meeting you has ruined all that."

"I've been in my birth country for the past four days and I come back to news of your fame having increased exponentially. In just four days. I come back to news of you being a prostitute. Now I'm not one to judge people because of their job profession but when it drags my name in the mud, I have to intervene. I will not be vilified for something I have no knowledge of. Manuai…" the Prince's bodyguard makes his way to him and hands him about a dozen newspapers and magazines. Roman throws the items across the coffee table towards Seth and remains with a manila folder in his hand. "I want you to look at all these publications Seth Rollins. I want you to see the consequences of your actions—how you're destroying lives. My people and I are being castrated alive because of what? What exactly are you looking for? Fame? Money? What do you want?"

Seth's eyes downcast in shame at the Prince's words. He tries to find the words to defend himself. He is the victim. He's the one being shamed and judged and ridiculed. "I— it's not my fault." He whispers, in a shame-filled voice.

"How is it not your fault?" Roman snaps as he looks at the smaller man, whose gaze isn't meeting him. That adds to his anger—in Lanuola, it's disrespectful to not look someone in the eyes when they're addressing you. Especially someone of his importance. He's a royal. He deserves to be treated with respect. "Look at me when I am talking to you!" his voice raises a little higher. When the other man's eyes meet him—scared, ashamed, he continues. "How is this not your fault? Is it not your pictures that are flooding the internet? Is it not your face that's shown with another man? Is it not you that's bended over a bed in some room? What exactly are your intentions? WHAT DO YOU WANT, SETH ROLLINS?"

"PEACE! I-I want you all to leave me alone. Why won't you leave me alone?" Seth asks, his own voice lifting. His hands shake, in anger, in shame, in wretchedness. "Please…leave me alone."

He frowns in sadness when the Prince maliciously laughs at him. He throws the manila folder towards Seth. "Leave you alone? Do you think I want to be here? With a goddam attention-hungry prostitute. It runs in your family, your mother is one too, correct? What I don't understand is why a prostitute wants to be associated with royalty? You could've chosen anyone. Anyone! And yet you choose to tarnish my name. A reputable and respected man among my associates, among my people. I have kids and young men in Lanuola who look up to me. And you barge in my life uninvited to destroy everything I've worked and continue working hard towards. People like you make me sick. People that don't want to work hard to make something of themselves so they take the easy way out and sell their souls to the devil. I should ruin you…" Roman bellows, standing up. "…but I'm not going to. You're just some scum beneath my shoe."

He turns to leave and is stopped by Seth's, "You don't know what you're talking about." Anger burns Seth's insides because he's just as frustrated as Roman. He's the one taking the most shit from people. He's the one with no food in his apartment at the moment. He's the one who'd had to bend over for $50 because he didn't have any other choice.

Roman turns to look at him, his jaw ticking in anger. "What did you say?"

"You don't know what you're talking about! You live off Mommy's and Daddy's wealth and don't know what it's like to be born poor. You don't know what it's like to go to bed hungry. You don't know what it's like to be so desperate for money you'd do anything because your rent is due. You don't know how soul crushing it is to be treated like a nuisance because you're always begging for food. Begging for clothes. Begging for money."

"So what, you want me to feel sorry for you?" the Prince snaps looking into hurt doe eyes. The pair have somehow drifted towards each other through all the shouting they've been doing. The Prince's minty breath fans his face with each soul crushing word he utters harshly. "I'm going to do no such thing! You have no idea just how hard I've worked to be where I am today. You have no idea how hard I continue to work each and every day for myself, for my country, for my people. So don't you dare expect me to feel sorry for you! When life gets tough, you fight to make it better Seth Rollins—you don't take the easy way out. You get up and prepare yourself for battle. Life constantly works against us but someone who's got a fighting spirit in them gets up and fights. Fights to make their life better. They don't make petty excuses like you're doing."

Roman's eyes are blazing in anger, the bigger man's intimidating figure looming over him. It makes Seth feel so small and he unconsciously shrinks away in fear. Immediately he does that, Roman's imposing figure nears him again—so, so close that he can feel the rapid thumping of the other man's heartbeat. Roman's chest lifts and falls with each breath he takes.

Seth can smell Roman's expensive cologne, it clouds his senses and he trembles. And he can tell that this trembling isn't just one of anger. It's of anger and something else. Something more dangerous. Need. Seth looks away in mortification. He shouldn't be feeling things for this man. This arrogant man who's just insulted him and continues to make him feel worthless."

"You will look at me when I am addressing you!"

Seth's eyes instantly go back to him. "I…you've clearly made up your mind about me. If there's nothing else I'd like you to leave, please."

Roman's eyes have him transfixed. They burn with anger but Seth can't look away. Not again. His breath hitches as the Prince leans in slowly towards him. "With pleasure." A deep whispers in his ear. There's a cold air when the other man steps away from him. "Manuia. We're leaving." Roman says, nodding to his bodyguard to follow him.

Seth follows them into the hallway. He opens his door and is about to close it when the royal stops him, the bigger man digs into his dress pants and takes out his wallet. He takes out a $100 note. "For your failed efforts," he says, throwing the money at Seth.

"You fucking arrogant piece of shit!" Seth shouts at Roman's retreating back. He slams the door and collapses on cold hard tiles. He folds his legs and wraps his arms around them. "That rich bastard," he whispers to himself.

He's been called so many words in the past. By his mother. By his mom's lovers. By his clients. He's been even been called words by people he thought were his friends. Hell, he's just been called words and judged by people who didn't even know him. But none of those words have made him feel as worthless and as useless as the royal's had when he'd shouted at him.

And the look he'd given Seth as he threw the money at him—like Seth was an annoying pest that he wanted to get rid off. A shudder leaves his lips. Why was the world so against him? What had he done? Was this karma for someone he'd unknowingly wronged?

Seth crawls towards the $100 note that's a little distance away from him. Shaky hands grab the note, he's about to piece the damn paper in half when he stops himself. You need the money, his mind tells him. Conflicted, the brunet squashes the note in his hand and lays on the cold floor—he's been doing that a lot lately. He curls in on himself, silent tears trickling down his eyes. His tears feel like acid and he hates himself for being so vulnerable, so…weak. When his eyes slide shut—he's invaded with dreams of blazing brown eyes. Except this time, they blaze with something else. The penetrating brown eyes blaze with want and fiery passion.


 

"Don't you think you were too hard on him?"

Roman meets Manuia's eyes on the rearview mirror. "Are you questioning my authority?" he asks, his left eyebrow lifting as he waits for a response.

"Of course not, Your Highness," the other man responds as he stops the car at a red light. "I'm just…well he's the victim here as well. The hostility he's being shown is enough to break a man."

"He brought that on himself Manuia. He needs to learn that actions have repercussions."

"I'm not disputing that. But won't you look at things from his viewpoint as well? You saw his history. He didn't have the nicest childhood. Poverty is all he's known. All his life, it was only natural that he'd follow in his mom's footsteps, don't you think?"

Roman scoffs at his bodyguard as Manuia continues the drive to their hotel. "You had a worse childhood than him Manuia. I know that it makes you uncomfortable discussing your past but I must bring it up. You grew up an orphan in the streets. Living your life constantly having to look over your shoulder. How many men have…" he clears his throat, his voice going softer as he continues. "How many man have taken your body against your will. How old were you when they began doing so?"

The car grows silent but there's so many emotions suffocating the pair inside the spacy car. Sadness. Anger. Fear. Gratitude. "I am sorry for bringing it up." The Prince mutters apologetically. He sighs and focuses on the dark streets when the other man nods his head and turns the radio on, effectively cutting their conversation.

He didn't mean to upset the other man. He knew how sensitive the other man could be when discussing his past. Manuia had grown up in the streets after his parents died at age ten. His parents, who were poor, raised him in the slums where they lived a 'each man for himself' kind of life.

Roman remembers the older man telling him how he'd waited for his parents to come home one night, all alone in their tiny shack as a ten year old boy. For a long time, he'd thought his parents had abandoned him. That's what the kids at the slums would say in the three months he'd lived there following their disappearance. He'd only found out two years ago that they'd been caught in a crossfire between two gangs in the most dangerous place in Lanuola.

It hadn't even been a week after his parents' disappearance that Manuia had been raped by a well-known thug in the neighborhood. It had hurt—his tiny hole being ripped apart by a grown man who knew right from wrong.

The rape continued and soon he'd be used by anyone in their neighborhood who felt they had a right to possess his body. Grown men who'd sometimes penetrate and use him at the same time. No one in the slums helped, they'd all turn a blind eye. It wasn't their children being raped after all.

Manuia escaped after three months and lived on the streets. He learned how to toughen up and be a man. He wasn't proud for how he stole money for a brief period of time to make sure he survived. But he'd been wise with the money and started a small business at the market place.

At eighteen he'd met a sixteen year old Roman who'd ran away from the Palace because of his own problems. The two quickly became friends and when Roman had made the decision to move to America after university his parents had allowed him to take Manuia with him, who they'd noted, was a good influence in their son's life.

"Your Highness?"

Roman looks at Manuia who's stood outside the hotel's VIP parking and looking at him. The Lanuolan gets out of the car and Manuia closes the door after him, locking the car. The big man walks with Roman inside the hotel through a separate entrance reserved only for the Prince. They're met at the glass doors by the hosts who they both greet with a smile before striding towards the elevator. They enter the elevator leading to the Executive and Presidential suites.

"Have you informed Her Majesty of the latest news?" Manuis asks when the lift doors slide shut closed.

Roman looks at him and shakes his head. "No. I'm sure she's seen what the papers are saying online. She's probably waiting for me to call and her tell her everything. I'll call her once we get home tomorrow."

His phone dings with a message from Jimmy and his anger picks up again as he scans the text, "Jimmy's found the perpetrators behind the leaked pictures."

"Oh?" Manuia asks just as the elevator dings on his floor.

"Have Bobby cancel the morning departure time. I'll need to handle this before we go to Miami."

"Of course." Manuia steps out of the lift and gives the royal a toothy grin, mischief glinting in coffee eyes. "Your Highness." He bows dramatically.

"Don't do that." Roman laughs. "You look ridiculous."

He smiles one final time at the man he considers his brother as he disappears from view with the lift's doors close. The royal steps out of the elevator when it reaches the Presidential suite. He walks towards the living room, eyes on his phone, as he sends a response to Jimmy, thanking the other man for his efficiency.

The drive back to the hotel took an hour and he'd spent about half an hour at that useless brunet's house. Roman couldn't deny that the man was beautiful, absolutely gorgeous but the man was also a minx. Seth Rollins was a good for nothing attention-seeking whore who could've ruined him had he not been an extremely powerful man.

For someone who's only been on earth for twenty six years, Roman had accomplished a lot. Besides running the royal family's businesses under 'Reigns Wealth and Investments', the Prince also ran his own companies. His fortune derives from his investments in the hospitality and mining industry. He owns one of the largest privately-held oil trading company with an associate from Nigeria. He also owns one of the largest banks in Lanuola and invests a tenth of every earning he makes towards small and medium enterprises.

Roman was easily the hardest working person in the A'noai royal clan. In fact he is the most hardworking in his family, besides the King. It's how he'd managed to reach a net worth nearing $1 billion at such a young age. His mother, the Queen, always complained about him overworking himself whenever the two spoke over the phone.

And that's the reason Roman had seen red when he'd finally met the man who'd had a hand in almost tearing down everything he'd worked hard for. Roman sighs and heads into the bedroom. He removes his clothes and neatly folds them before stacking the items in his duffle bag that solely reserved for his dirty clothes. He puts the bag in it's original place and enters the en suite bathroom for a late night shower.

The shower door closes behind him and the hot water pelts his tense muscles. Roman doesn't ever remember being as tired as he felt. Then again, so many things had happened today that his body was bound to feel burnt out. He'd come back from Lanuola early that morning after spending four days there doing his royal duties. And then instead of going to Miami, he'd had to change his course of direction to Tampa.

And he couldn't even leave for Miami in the morning like he'd planned because he couldn't leave until he dealt with the culprits behind the leaked pictures. Roman steps out of the shower after he rinses the suds off his body and goes back into the bedroom. He pulls on a pair of black Ralph Lauren boxer briefs. He gets beneath the white covers and lays on his back, he slips his arms under his head and stares at the white ceiling.

His always active mind drifts from one thought to the other but it always returns to Seth Rollins. The mess the other man had created. His whole body would shake with anger every time he thought about how the other man's scandals could've destroyed him. Sleep comes with difficulty, as is the usual case with him. His eyes close and he's met with delicate blue eyes and a soft smile. "Tyler." He whispers.


 

"Mr. Lesnar, a pleasure." Roman says, gripping the blond man's big hand in a firm handshake.

Brock smiles at him, gesturing with his hand for the other man to sit down. Roman complies and takes a seat across the table. He notices how the other man's gaze keeps on shifting to Manuia who's stood at the front door. "He's my bodyguard. If he makes you uncomfortable, he can wait outside your office?"

The blond shakes his head no, a fake smile on his lips. "It's fine. How about we get into business, instead?"

"Of course." Roman's voice is emotionless, his expression blank. "How is your husband, Mr. Lesnar?"

"What does this have to do with my husband? I thought that this was a meeting about you looking to invest in my business." Brock says.

"Did you hear that Manuia?" Roman scoffs, eyes going to his bodyguard. The other man merely shrugs and Roman's attention goes back to a puzzled looking Brock. "Do you know who I am?"

"Who doesn't? Your boyfriend's all over the tabloids."

"Aha!" Roman says. "My boyfriend. My boyfriend who turned you down when you demanded he have sex with you. My boyfriend who you set up with your fat lackey because you couldn't handle your pride being bruised by a prostitute. Tell me Mr. Lesnar does your sugar daddy know what you spend the money he gives you to invest towards this mediocre petrol station on? Does he know that you fuck both him and that fat fuck he calls his friend?"

Brock turns as white as a sheet and he looks like a fish out of water gaping for air. "Your ancestors must've been unkind that they made you ugly on top of being dumb. Why would you think I'd want to invest in your business after your attempts at ruining my image because a man turned you down for sex. Your quest for revenge was completely unjustified."

"I had to do something. That little bitch humiliated me. I was dragged out of that club like a goddamn criminal. I was treated like rubbish and thrown out like one. I had to do something!" Brock snaps, his blue eyes turning cold.

Roman isn't perturbed by the icy glare thrown his way and takes out his phone instead. "Thank you, Mr. Lesnar. I've got the proof I needed." The other man frowns in confusion and Roman decides to gift him with some sort of expression. He smirks at Brock and turns his phone so the other man can see what he was doing. "Exactly. I wonder how your dearest Paul will react once he finds out that he's been sleeping with a snake. I for one hate cheaters, they're betrayers who'd give your head to the devil the moment he'd offer something better. I'm sure Paul will feel the same."

"Manuia. Please contact Paul Heyman's assistant, give him a false name and schedule a meeting to discuss possible business with him."

"Wait!" Brock speaks up going to the other side of the desk towards Roman. For an arrogant man, the big blond man shakes in nerves and terror. "Let's work this out. Paul…" his voice shakes as he utters his husband's name. "Paul doesn't need to know please. Let's work this out."

Roman stands up so that they're eye to eye. "I want you to fix this. I don't care his you do it but I want to wake up tomorrow morning to the news of the mess you created cleared up. That's all I'm giving you. Twenty-four hours. Should I wake up and find my image still being tainted by something that you started, I will end you." Roman's voice is cold as he stares Brock down. "I will ruin you so badly that even a beggar begging for breadcrumbs in the streets will have it far more better than you."

The Prince steps back, a bright smile on his luscious lips. "It was a pleasure doing business. Good day Mr. Lesnar."

Chapter Text

He watches the love of his life's back walk away from him and he picks up the pace. But no matter how fast he runs to catch up to him, it's never enough. How? He questions because they're hardly four meters away from each other and the love of his life keeps the same steady pace he had when he began walking away from him. His legs burn from all the running he's doing, his whole body dripping in sweat as the scorching sun fries his already overheated skin.

"Come back," he shouts, the tears blurring his vision. "Don't leave me. You…you – I can't live without you."

The love of his life doesn't respond and nor does he stop. He keeps walking deeper into the beautiful forest and he knows where the other boy is going. Their place. But he's never able to reach there—his feet never allow him to hike up the forest leading to their place. It doesn't stop him from trying though even as the panic sets in when the distance between him and the love of his life finally grows—the other boy trekking his way deeper into the forest.

"Take me with you. Please take me with you." He begs.

The love of his life finally turns to look at him. Cloudy wet eyes meet his own and his heart clenches painfully. He already knows what the other boy is going to say and he shakes his head stubbornly. "Don't say it! Tyler, don't you dare fucking…"

"I can't," Tyler whispers heartbrokenly.

"You promised me us. You promised me forever. Fuck you!" he shouts when Tyler suddenly disappears from him. He falls on dirty ground and cries his heart out. Tyler broke his promise. He left him again.

Roman breathes in deep as he startles awake. He sits up on the bed that suddenly feels too large and too empty. His eyes dart around the Presidential suite and even with the full moon shining through the windows, everything still feels too dark. Panic settles in as the darkness envelopes him. Breathe in. Breath out. In, out. In, out. It's not working.

His hands shake as he finally gets himself to switch the bedside lamp on. The orange light casts a soft glow in the room, and it calms the panic that had been rising in his throat. He falls back on the sweat-filled bed and stares at the ceiling. The dreams were back. But why now?

Roman notices his face is wet with sweat and probably tears as he rubs it tiredly. The clock reads 03:15 AM when he turns on his side. He definitely wouldn't be able to go back to sleep. His bare feet touch the ground as Roman walks to the en suite bathroom. He takes off his Ralph Lauren's and steps in the shower. Cold water pelts his skin and he braces his hands against the tiled walls. The cold water cools his heated skin and Roman doesn't know how long he spends in the shower, just…thinking.

About home. About the days spent there, watching the clear blue skies with him. How Tyler would wake him up early in the morning, rushing to go swim in the river, despite the water being cold in the morning. How the other boy's eyes would light up childishly at the new discoveries he'd make in the Lanuolan forests.

Roman sighs and grabs a towel to wipe his hair. He then wraps the white fluffy item around his waist and heads back into the bedroom. He uses his deodorant and moisturizes his body in imported Lanuolan coconut and exotic orchid moisturizer before pulling on a pair of grey Ralph Lauren boxer briefs. He then wears his Nike shorts and t-shirt. After sliding on his black socks, he puts on a pair of Nike trainers. He ties his damp raven hair into a messy bun and grabs the hotel key card.

Roman greets the hotel employee at the reception desk on his way to the hotel's gym. When he enters the gym it's empty like he expected as it's still early, probably around 04:15. His eyes narrow in on the leather punching bag menacingly as he makes his way to it.

Holding nothing back, the raven-haired man throws a combination of hooks, hard jabs and uppercuts at the large punching bag. He releases all his emotions onto the punching bag, wounded growls emitting with every punch and every jab he throws.

Sadness. Anger. Betrayal. Blame. Longing. The myriad of emotions assault him and he takes them all out on the black punching bag. Roman doesn't know how long he spends throwing hit after hit at the punching bag until he finally collapses on the floor. "FUCK!" the royal screams as he grips his hair.

"Your Highness?" Manuia steps forward and crouches in front of the younger man when he gets no response. "Roman," he tries again softly.

Roman looks up at him and wobbles out sadly, "He left me Manuia. He knew that I loved him and he still left."

"You know that he didn't do it on purpose, right? He just…I'm sorry." Manuia responds, rubbing the other man's back.

Roman's cries quieten down when the gym starts showing the first signs of life. "I…I need to get ready for today's flight." He accepts Manuia's offered hand and gets off the cold ground. "What time is it?"

"A little over 06:00."

"How did you know how to find me?"

Manuia looks at him weirdly. "I've known you for ten years, Your Highness. I know when you're having bad days, just like you know when I'm having them too."

They enter the elevator leading to their suites. "Did Brock keep to his word? What are the papers saying?"

"Bray's spoken up…" Manuia states glancing at Roman. "He confirmed the legitimacy of the pictures…but he claims that the incident took place about a year ago. It works in our favor since before this whole prostitution scandal broke out, Seth Rollins was known to be a bartender. The very same media that's against him now were the ones who wrote about his job profession."

"But that still doesn't help fix my tarnished image. The vultures don't care that the man sold himself a year ago. You saw what the headlines were saying. All those articles about me tainting my country's pride by associating with prostitutes." Roman points out.

"Then speak to the media. Tell your side of the story." Manuia knows what Roman wants to say and he lifts his hand up to silence him. "I know you hate the media but it's the only way. They reach the masses. I'll call Tamina so that you discuss it with her."

"Thank you, brother." Roman smiles gratefully at Manuia who steps out of the elevator when it opens at his floor.

"I'll see you in an hour!" Manuia shouts before the lifts close.

Roman nods his head and the lift doors close. Once reaching his suite, the royal gets rid off his clothes and packs them in his duffle bag. He heads into the en suite bathroom for another cold shower. After taking care of his morning routine, the Lanuolan heads back to the now neatly done bedroom.

He puts a pair of boxer briefs and moisturizes his body. He puts on a pair of grey formfitting dress pants and a crisp white dress shirt. He slips on a pair of black socks and his leather shoes. He takes his Patek Phillippe Sky Moon Tourbillon watch from the drawer and fastens it on his wrist. The Prince then places a towel on his shoulders as he looks himself on the full body mirror in the room. He moisturizes his hair and ties the raven hair into a low bun.

He grabs all his items he'd used during his stay at the hotel and puts them in a grey bag. He puts the items in a bigger suitcase and folds the towel that was on his shoulders in half, going to place it in the en suite bathroom.

Roman grabs his phone and checks the time. A sigh leaves him and he wheels his suitcase outside the suite. Bobby said the private jet would be ready as eight so they have at least an hour before they leave.

His phone buzzes with a message from Manuai who tells him he's just left his suite. The lift stops a floor below his and Manuia steps in, wheeling in his suitcase. "Tamina will be ready for you as soon as we get to Miami. I'll drop you off at A'noai Investments and head home with the bags."

Manuia puts their bags in the car trunk before closing it and going to the driver's side while Roman gets in the backseat. The drive to the airport is a light one, Manuia doesn't bring up Roman's breakdown in the hotel's gym earlier that morning. It's happened enough times for him to know that Roman didn't like talking about it until he was ready to.

They engage in small talk and Roman teases him about his new relationship with Bobby. It took a lot of time for Manuai to get used to his feelings for men. But Bobby had been persistent and Manuia had finally admitted his feelings to the other man as well. Their relationship was still new, they've been dating for a little over six months.

When they finally arrive at the airport and meet Bobby at the tarmac, Roman watches silently as the two big men embrace. He scrunches his face in mock disgust when the two kiss heatedly before pulling apart. "Can we leave now?" he asks, a soft smile playing on his lips when the big bad Manuia blushes and nods his head.


 

"Cousin," Tamina smiles, getting up from her desk to greet Roman when he enters her office.

"Are you well, kasegi?" Roman grins, crushing Tamina Snuka in a hug.

The beautiful strong woman returns the hug just as hard. They pull back and settle on the couch in her office. "I'm good. Can't say the same for you though."

Roman rolls his at her. "Making fun of the hell I'm facing, are we?"

"I'm sorry." Tamina chuckles lightly, her bright white teeth clicking together. This dumb dork, Roman thinks a fond smile on his lips. "Manuia said you're considering giving your side of the story. He briefly told me what happened, care to explain the whole story?" she asks when she finally calms down.

Roman nods and pours himself a glass of water. "Brace yourself, it's soap opera worthy." He takes a sip of his water and looks at his cousin, her brown eyes sparkle with curiosity and he decides to get her out of her misery and tells her everything.

"Wait…so you're saying the big blond sent his side dish to have sex with this Seth Rollins guy because he had denied him sex?"

"Yeah, Jimmy searched around and found the info from a source at the club."

"Wow some men completely disgust me. So what? Because Seth Rollins is a prostitute, he isn't allowed to say no when he doesn't want to have sex?"

Roman shrugs and averts his gaze to the family pictures flooding Tamina's dusky office walls. He spots her favorite picture seated perfectly on her mahogany desk—it's his favorite too and he has the exact same one in his office. It was taken on Jimmy and Naomi's wedding day. The picture isn't taken like those perfect family pictures where everyone stands still and smiles as they wait for a click of the camera.

The picture shows his large family all fighting to appear in it, all of them have silly grins on their faces. That day was happiness. Happiness is home. It's family. Not what he has here, in America, with only a few of his family members living in the country. "So what do you think about Manuia's idea to speak to the press?" he asks, his gaze going back to his cousin.

"I think it's a good idea…" Tamina starts, eyeing his reaction. She knows how much Roman hates divulging his personal life for the media's amusement. "I've seen the papers too Roman. This scandal could tarnish your image if you don't grab the bull by the horns while it's still early. This Brock guy has helped out some even if you may not see it that way. With Bray telling the papers that the sex scandal involving him and Seth took place a year ago, we could capitalize on that."

Roman's just about to answer his cousin when her office door opens and in enters his other cousin. "J – Jizzy, in the house y'all!" Tamina and him look at the door as Jimmy stands just outside it—a Cheshire smile on his face. The pair look back to each other and their heads fall back on the couch. "Hey now. Don't act like y'all not excited to see your favorite cousin." Jimmy chuckles when they groan.

"My favorite cousin's Jey." Roman says, turning his head to the side and looking at Jimmy.

"Me and Jey are one person so that means I'm your favorite cousin too."

"What?" Roman shakes his head. "Is he serious?" he asks Tamina, incredulity etched on his features.

Tamina chuckles and goes to sit behind her desk as Jimmy takes her place on the couch. "Keep me out of it boys."

Roman sighs and decides to continue with his and Tamina's earlier conversation. "So when do you suggest we call the press conference?"

"Yes! About that." Jimmy again interrupts. "You…" the mocha skinned man points his finger at Roman accusingly.

Roman's hesitant as he asks, "What? What'd I do?"

"Manuia told me." Jimmy says looking between Tamina and Roman. "Did he tell you what he said to Seth Rollins?" Jimmy asks, looking at Tamina.

"No…" Tamina replies slowly, looking at a fidgety Roman curiously.

"With the way he's fidgeting, I can tell that Manuai was telling the truth." Jimmy says.

"Get to it Jimmy, what did he say?"

"So much." Jimmy sighs. "He judged the man for being a prostitute. Called him all sorts of names and threw a $100 at him. Manuia thinks he was way too hard on the man and I agree. Just wait until aunt Patricia hears about this."

Tamina gasps and looks at Roman. The raven-haired man falls back on the couch and focuses on the white ceiling. "And why the hell did he tell you?"

"Because someone needs to knock some damn sense in your head. Roman! This is not how we were raised. Does this have to do anything…"

"No!" Roman shouts interrupting Jimmy's lecture. "It has nothing to do with that. I wanted to know his intentions were. You're a Lanuolan, Jimmy. His actions created the mess that we're trying to resolve. You and Manuia are not thinking about how Seth Rollins' scandals affect me, the companies and our country. I was just told the man to work hard towards his dreams and not take the easy way out like he was doing!" Roman snaps.

"Uce, listen…"

"He's right." Tamina pipes in. Both of them look at her in shock and while Roman's grateful to have at least one person on his side, Jimmy frowns at his cousin.

"Tamina are you trying to tell me that you condone how he treated the man? Even though we don't know him, he's still human, Tami, and has feelings. I know you're not agreeing with this fool!" Jimmy scoffs.

Tamina raises her hand in a calming gesture. She moves from her chair and goes to sit on the mahogany desk so that she's looking down on both men. "I'm not agreeing with how he handled things, J. That's not what I'm saying. And with as much as I don't agree with how Roman handled things because I do think he could've handled things so much better, I just think we shouldn't be hypocrites."

"Haven't you ever said something so bad during fits of anger that you found yourself regretting it afterwards? What about that time you and Naomi were not talking and she stayed in my house for a full week because both of you had said too many words to each other in anger. Like I said I don't agree with the way he handled things, but he was angry. He made the mistake of going to Seth's house in anger. And anger doesn't see reason. There's a reason your therapist suggested you walk away from an argument when you feel you're about to get angry. She said that because she knows that in anger we say and do things we don't mean…" She then eyes a grateful looking Roman. "Don't give me that look. You were still in the wrong Roman. Jimmy's right, we weren't raised like that."

"Is he even remorseful?" Jimmy says, eyeing his cousin.

"Roman?." Tamina eyes Roman who's reverted to not showing his emotions.

"What Jimmy and Manuia are failing to see is that Seth Rollins isn't the only one suffering a backlash from the public. Both of them have read the papers and I find it puzzling that they'd only defend Seth's honor while our country and I are being vilified." Roman takes out his smartphone and taps on it and throws the gadget at Jimmy. "Look at the negative attention I've been receiving J. Look at the slanders and stigmatization I'm facing for beingassociated with Seth Rollins."

"Seth Rollins, who is a prostitute. I'm sorry if you expected me to approach this whole thing the Disney way. This is not some fairytale, J. This is not a romance book where the peasant lives happily ever after with the Prince. This is real life and let's face it, whether you like it or not, prostitution is frowned upon in the world we live in. Why do you think it's illegal in America? Why do you think it's illegal in most countries? Why do you think both myself and Seth Rollins are facing public shaming? Have you seen the comments the people are making? Have you gone to my social media accounts to see what the people are saying? So many people's lives have been tarnished in the past because of their association with prostitutes. I know nothing about this man and yet the media is saying and I quote "Prince Roman tarnishes country's pride by associating with prostitutes." Roman chuckles bitterly. "And let's not even get started on those comments I'm sure you're seeing J."

Tamina's heels click on the wooden floors as he goes to pat Roman's shoulder who looks on the verge of losing it. "And you know what's worse?" He continues. "I have to fix this mess. I have to explain myself to millions of people. People I don't know. People who don't even care about me. I have to do that or risk my reputation being tainted. And me risking my reputation means I'd lose everything I've worked hard for. Many countries like America prohibit prostitution. Now enlighten me, which foreign business associate would want to associate with someone who's accused of being involved with prostitutes?"

"Which is why we're going to hold that press conference." Tamina says, her voice soft. "Seth Rollins needs to come to Miami. We cannot handle this without him here as well. He, like you, hasn't spoken up since this whole thing started."

That causes Jimmy to release a snort. "Good luck with that. After the way, my Prince here treated him, I don't think he wants to be anywhere near him."

Tamina looks at Jimmy and raises an eyebrow. "Oh trust me. He will come here." Roman and Jimmy look at her curiously. "You're going to go convince him," she points a manicured finger at Jimmy.

"Me? Why me? He doesn't even know me!"

"Because Roman's an idiot and he'd probably end up making the poor man angrier. You give off these crazy fun friend vibes that make people feel at ease. Roman's too uptight. You need to go J, tomorrow morning."

"This isn't fair." Jimmy sighs, rubbing his face in frustration. "Naomi will kill me."

"She'll understand. We have no other choice."

"Please, J." Roman, who's been quiet for a while finally says. "Do this for me, please."

"I'm not really doing it for you. I'm doing it for the other guy. Manuia told me how bad he looked."

Roman knows there's nothing he can say to change his cousin's mind about where he was coming from and so sighs and issues no other words besides a small, "Thank you."

"Good. It's settled then." Tamina says, going back to sit on the edge of the desk. "So you leave tomorrow. The private jet will be ready. You'll need to see him tomorrow J. Do the best you can to convince him to come back with you to Miami. I'll call for the press conference to take place three days from today. When he gets here we'll need to strategize how we'll handle the media and their questions."


 

"Hey…"

Seth turns his attention from his locker and looks at the deadlocked man who's standing outside the door. "You scared me." He chuckles and shoves his bag inside his locker. "You need anything?"

"Hunter wants to see you." Seth's heart rate spikes up at that. Could Kofi have told the other man about their fight three days ago? Seth quickly dismisses the thought. He'd apologized to the other man the yesterday when he came to back to work. Kofi had even thanked him for Seth's words that day in the toilets. They'd spurred him on to talk about his unhappiness with Hunter.

The pair had worked it out and Hunter had agreed to trying out a monogamous relationship with the African man because he did feel something for Kofi. And besides, Kofi had assures him that he hadn't mentioned Seth's name when talking to Hunter.

"What about?"

Kofi shrugs lightly. "I'm not quite sure. There was man with him when I entered. You'll find out when you get there."

"Okay…" Seth replies reluctantly. He follows Kofi outside the locker rooms and lets Kofi go to the first level his shift while he makes his way to Hunter's office. He knocks twice on the black door before he hears Hunter's, "Come in!"

Seth enters the elegant room and Hunter's attention goes to him. His own eyes travel to the man with mocha skin and curly raven hair inside the office with Hunter. He can't help but think that the man looks like that son of a bitch Prince he met two days. Don't think about him, he reminds himself.

Because after he'd gathered himself the following day after he'd met the fucking arrogant royal, he'd made a resolution. Too many times this week, he'd cried over things he has no control over. He'd taken a look at himself, his achievements and how far he'd come.

Sure he'd made a mistake and slipped up with the whole Bray scandal, and for some reason the chubby bastard had told the papers that the whole thing happened a year ago. He hadn't read the papers, another of his resolutions was to stay away from anything that caused him heartache and affected him negatively so he'd been surprised when Dean and Xavier had come to him with the news yesterday.

Dean and Xavier had suspected that the Lanuolan royal had had something to do with Bray's confession but Seth had dismissed their suspicions with a wave of the hand. He didn't think the asshole actually had a heart. He'd shown that when he'd visited him the night before.

The pair had been horrified when he'd told them about the Prince's behavior the day before but it was also their words that has encouraged Seth and spurred him on to focus on the positive. All the struggles he'd gone through and was still going through had and were still shaping him into becoming the strong man he was today.

"You wanted to see me?" Seth asks, giving Hunter a curious glance.

Hunter nods his head and motions for Seth to step forward. Seth complies and takes a seat next to the mocha skinned man. "Hello." He says to the man.

The man smiles at him and Seth can't help but return it, the man's smile is infectious. He looks like a fun person to be with despite the expensive suit he's wearing which normally makes man like him look stiff and uptight. "Hey man."

Hunter clears his throat and they both give him their full attention. "Now Seth. I called you here because I spoke to Jimmy here. He's from Miami and would like to talk to you."

Seth's curiosity is peaked and he eyes Jimmy. "You're not a reporter, are you?"

"No." Jimmy chuckles. "I'm not…but I would like to have a word Seth."

"What about?"

Hunter stands up and says, "I'll leave you two to get to it. Mr. Fatu, it was a pleasure." He shakes Jimmy's hand.

Hunter then leaves his office and the door closes with a soft click. This man must really be important if it means Hunter's leaving his office for him. He never does that. For anyone.

"So…" Seth starts, tugging on his spandex tights.

"Yes. I'm Jimmy as you already know. I…came here on behalf of my foolish cousin."

"Oh?" Seth asks, not knowing who this cousin Jimmy's talking about is.

"Yes. You see my cousin came to your house two days ago and well I'm not proud of how the idiot treated you."

Seth already knows who Jimmy is talking about and sighs deeply looking the other man in the eyes. Jimmy seems sincere and genuinely looks like a nice guy. "Okay. But what's supposed to happen? If you're here to apologize on his behalf then save it. The son of a bitch doesn't understand empathy. He was harsh and looked down on me. On my situation. He judged me despite knowing my past. Instead of understanding why'd I done what you…what you read in the papers. He ridiculed me and told me that prostitution ran in my family."

"He said that?" Jimmy whispers horrified. Manuai hadn't told him everything but he'd briefed him about what had taken place between Seth and Roman.

"Yes!" Seth shouts, the tears threatening to leave his eyes. Godammit, the bastard had such a hold on him. Even when he'd promised himself to look past the royal's words, he couldn't because they'd hurt. That son of a bitch had hit him where it hurt the most. He still struggled with insecurities of being like his mother. How he'd turned out to be like her.

He stands up and snatches a glass from Hunter's small oak table on the other side of the room, pouring himself Hunter's expensive whiskey from the cabinet. The drink burns his throat and he's about to pour himself another when Jimmy stops him. "Hunter mentioned that your shift's just begun. Be wise Seth, you can't drink at work."

Seth's hands shake in anger as he allows Jimmy to take the bottle of whiskey from him. "Your cousin…" his voice wavers as all the hurt from two days ago comes trickling in bit by bit. "No one's ever hurt me the way your cousin did when he came to my house to insult me two days ago. No one's ever made me feel as worthless as he did when he threw that money at me. I – I hate him."

"I could never say anything to you that would justify why he treated you that badly. But what I can say is that you need to try Seth. Try to move past the hurt he caused you. Because whether we like or not, people will always have things to say about us. You cannot stop someone from judging you. If they want to judge you, they will. Just like you can't stop someone from saying something you don't like or something that offends you. What you can control is how you let it affect you. What I'm trying to say is Roman doesn't matter. No one gives him the power to hurt you besides you."

"You make it sound so simple. And I know you're right but it's still hard. It's hard when someone targets your insecurities, even if he may've done it unknowingly… I don't know if he did…or maybe he just got a kick out of hurting me. I don't know." Seth shrugs tiredly and continues softly "It's still gonna take me some time to get over. Your cousin hurt me…" Seth sighs. "I was at my lowest point and he hurt me…"

"I understand. We're humans after all and we have feelings. You need your time to heal from the wounds he inflicted in your heart."

Seth gives him a small smile. "Exactly." He whispers.

"I also came to discuss something else with you."

"I'm listening"

"Have you been keeping up with online news sites or social media?"

Seth shakes his head no. "I've been trying to distance myself from that negativity."

"Well I'm sure you know how the media is. This isn't going to go away until it's dealt with."

"Okay…" Seth has a gut feeling he isn't going to like what the other man is going to say.

"Yeah…I'm going to need you to come to Miami with me. I don't know if you know the latest development with Bray."

Seth nods his head.

"What we want to do is capitalize on what he said. We'll hold a press conference and address the media and tell our side of the story. You'll get to tell your side as well. There's so many people judging you and it's only fair that you're given a chance to defend yourself, don't you think?

"I'm not stupid Jimmy. You're doing this more to save your asses than you're doing to defend mine."

Jimmy grins sheepishly and nods his head. "That is true but you're not just doing it for us. You're helping so many other people who work for A'noai Investments and RWI. As much as I hate to tell you this Seth and I don't wish to upset you because it wasn't your fault but you know how the world sees prostitutes. And with the way prostitutes are viewed, Roman's reputation could be stained beyond repair if we remain quiet. Roman represents both A'noai Investment and RWI. If his image is tarnished then the companies he represents face the same fate. And it won't help even if he resigns, we'd already have lost millions and millions of dollars because of it. And that would in turn mean job losses and retrenchments. This isn't just about him…please Seth."

Seth collapses on the maroon chair again. He couldn't do that to those people. Even if he didn't know any of them, he still knew what it was like to be out of a job and desperate for one. It's the reason he'd turned to prostitution after all. "I'll go…" he whispers looking at Jimmy's relieved face. "But I want my friends to come with me."

Confusion morphs on Jimmy's features. "Huh?"

"My friends…I want them there. I'm not going to a different city where there's people I don't know and where I'll be forced to see him again without any moral support. I'm taking them with me."

"…how many friends are we taking about here?"

"Only two. Dean and Xavier."

Seth smiles gratefully when Jimmy nods his head, his expression still unsure. "Good, so you'll pay for the flight tickets and stuff right?"

"Tickets?" Jimmy scoffs, light heartedly. "Man, we're royalty. We fly like royalty. Call your friends, tell them to be ready by nine. We'll leave for Miami at eleven…royalty style." Jimmy says smirking at Seth.

"Well okay then. Anything else you want from me? I've got to go try get some tips from those stingy customers."

That causes Jimmy to snort. "That's what y'all bartenders say about customers huh?"

"Only when it's true." Seth replies cheekily.

Jimmy laughs at that. "Alright. Stand up for me."

"What?"

Jimmy sighs and goes to Seth. "I said stand up."

"But why?" Seth asks, obeying Jimmy's request.

"Because I want to do this…" Jimmy says, pulling in Seth for a hug.

Seth's caught off guard and his hands hang limply at his sides for a few seconds, only going around the other man's waist when Jimmy chuckles and says, "You know when a person hugs you, they expect you to return it. Otherwise it just makes the whole thing awkward."

Warmth rushes to Seth's cheeks and he laughs despite himself. "Why couldn't you have been the Prince instead? No offense but your cousin's a jackass I'm not looking forward to meeting again."

Jimmy pulls away from him but not before whispering lightly in Seth's ear, "Between me and you, I think he's one too. Maybe you should tell him that when you meet again."

"If he provokes me. That fucking ass."

Jimmy's eyes remain on Seth as the brunet complains about Roman. He realizes that the other man isn't even addressing him anymore but rather speaking to himself and calling Roman every derogatory word he can think of. Jimmy stifles his chuckles—why did he feel like there was something…more to the other man's words? Seth looked genuinely angered by just the mere mention of Roman's name. But in the man's complaints and talks off how Roman was an arrogant piece of shit (Seth's words, not his)—Jimmy could hear everything that Seth wasn't saying.

This would be one hell of an interesting week for sure.

Chapter Text

"This shit's good! Daddy. Ant…" a giggle and then a hiccup. "I m-mean Toni doesn't like it when I drink."

"I wonder why," Seth mumbles under his breath. He snatches the champagne glass from Dean and gives it to Jimmy.

"We've been on air for like ten minutes and the alcohol's already going to his brain." Xavier grins softly. He takes a bite of his Mushroom and Gruyere bruschetta and covers his mouth with his hand. "And I'll have to deal with a drunk Dean alone while you go to wherever you're going," the complaint has no real heat to it. The dark skinned man then grabs the champagne flute and takes a sip of his drink before giving Seth a soft smile.

Seth eyes the movement and he returns Xavier's smile. It was easy to see why Randy fell in love with this man. Xavier had this delicacy about him that never left him. The man couldn't even talk about sex without turning bright red and being a sputtering mess. "What is it? Is it something on my face?" Xavier asks, when Seth's eye remains on him.

"It's just…Randy better do you right."

"Seth's o-older than Prince Roman!"

All eyes go to Dean as he says that. Silence envelopes the private jet for a full minute. It's Xavier who recovers first as raises his thick eyebrows at his friend—Dean says the most random things when he's drunk. "Oh?"

"Google, you guys!" the man giggles as if he finds something funny. "You're a cougar Seth. Roar!" Dean giggles falling back on the leather seat in the jet.

"Your friend is something else," Jimmy chuckles lowly, shaking his head.

"A fool is what he is." Seth responds with a small frown. "He's younger than me…no wonder he behaved like such a boy. How old is he? I didn't have time to google him like Deano boy did here."

Xavier's drink goes flying out his mouth. "Rude," he mutters, a small smile on his lips and accepts a napkin from Jimmy.

"Ouch! Don't let him hear you say that." Jimmy fake winces before laughing a little. "He's twenty six, he'll be turning twenty seven in May."

"Hey you're turning thirty in May too." Dean pipes in. "This is meant to be!" he slurs as his head falls on Seth's shoulder and his drool covers Seth's black t-shirt.

"Dean. Please…sleep."

"Three years older, huh?" Jimmy asks.

"I guess." Seth replies, looking out the window. Jimmy said they'd have to travel for another hour and thirty minutes to get to Roman's house. Then Dean and Xavier would remain behind while he went to A'noai Investments with Jimmy to meet Roman and their other cousin Tamina. Seth was thankful that he wouldn't have to meet the gorgeous son of a bitch alone cause Lord knows that would just be disastrous.

Seth sighs and rests his head on the comfy leather seat. The airplane ride wasn't going to be a long one, about thirty minutes. His eyes close and he distantly hears Jimmy and Xavier's light voices talking about any and everything.


 

"Wait is this his h-house?" Xavier gasps, looking out the window.

"It's not just any house…it's a mansion." Seth replies awed, his own eyes widening. Jimmy stops at the large iron gates and punches the password before driving the car through the dramatic driveway that's surrounded by large green trees. The mansion has two guest houses on the east and west wing. Jimmy tells them the east wing belongs to Manuia and his boyfriend. The main compound is huge—Seth can't even begin to count the number of windows he sees. The front balcony overlooks the large forest trees and an elegant fountain.

Jimmy parks the car and they climb out. A woman who looks to be in her forties meets them in the driveway and greets them in a language they don't understand. "It means hello in Samoan."

"I thought you guys were Lanuolan," Seth grunts as a drunk Dean lays his full bodyweight against him.

"Your ignorance wounds me." Jimmy rests his hand on his chest in mock hurt. "We're Samoan descendants. We live in an entirely different country but we still speak Samoan, it's diluted though."

"I'm sorry. But hey, at least I know now right?"

"Yeah…" Jimmy goes to the back of the car and opens the trunk. "I'll carry your bags Seth. You just focus on getting your friend inside. Xavier here, will assist me."

Xavier complies and grabs their bags all the while declining an offer from the Lanuolan woman who makes a grab for one of the bags to assist him. "Wow. Maybe you should marry him after all," Xavier teases when they enter the house. "How many rooms are in this place? It looks like some elegant hotel."

"Seven bedrooms, two master suites and recreational rooms, indoor gym and a whole other things I'm too lazy to mention." Jimmy chuckles, leading them up the stairs.

"Pick any room you want. Except that one..." Jimmy points at a huge black door on the right. "That's Roman's room."

The men choose three bedrooms further down the hallway. And Seth maneuvers Dean's dead weight into the bedroom they chose for him. "Take care of the idiot." Seth says, looking at Xavier. "I have to leave with Jimmy soon. But I think I'm going to freshen up first though. Dean's been panting and drooling all over me."

"Alright. He'll probably be asleep for a few hours. I'm going to speak to Masina. I want a tour of this house and then I want to see what happens in the recreational rooms."

"You already know her name. You don't waste time."

"We're practically friends now. I can't help it that people love me." Xavier bats his thick eyelashes as he enters his room.

Seth's just finished cleaning himself up again when someone knocks at his door and it opens. "Ready to go?"

Seth ties his hair into a low bun and nods his head at Jimmy. He sprays a bit of cologne on his body and exits the room with Jimmy. "We're only meeting your two people right?"

"Yup. Roman and Tamina." Jimmy responds as he puts the car into gear.

"And this press conference is tomorrow?"

"Yeah. Tamina's a strategist. She'll help both y'all turn this mess around."

"That's good."

Their conversation ends there as Jimmy turns the radio on. It's a hip hop station, playing a song he thinks is by Drake. Jimmy's all hyped up and rapping along the song and Seth can't help but smile at him.

They enter an elegant office with dusky colored walls and a mocha skinned woman looks up at them. A radiant smile forms on her lips as she stands up and meets Jimmy halfway for a warm hug. Seth can feel the love radiating off of them in waves. Family. Something he never got to have.

"Seth Rollins," the woman's voice is deeper than he expected. She walks towards him—her head held high and with a confidence that he can't help but envy.

"Hi." He says foolishly, not really knowing what to say.

The woman envelopes him in a hug as well and he gladly returns it. "We're a family of huggers Seth. I'm Tamina."

"Nice to meet you."

Tamina nods her head and grabs his hand, guiding him towards a leather couch. "Do you need anything to drink?"

"Water's fine."

Tamina looks to Jimmy who rolls his eyes but goes to take out a bottle of water from the mini fridge and a glass in the cabinet. He places the items on the glass table in front of Seth. "Thank you."

"It's all good."

Seth pours himself a glass of water and takes a sip. The water cools his throat and helps tame the butterflies swimming in his stomach. Roman isn't here. He'd come to this tall ass building having mentally prepared himself to see the other man. But he wasn't here. He unconsciously looks around Tamina's office. Her office is littered with family pictures and a few items that make it look homey. His eyes settle on a picture of her and Roman and his heart jumps in his chest. The son of a bitch is all smiles in the picture, his eyes crinkling at the corners. It's a beautiful smile—one that has the ability to deceive the stars into leaving the skies for him. "He'll be here in minute…or two. He had a meeting with an associate from Nigeria."

"Huh?" Seth reverts his gaze to Tamina and blushes in embarrassment as he realizes that she'd caught him staring at the picture with Roman. "I – I don't care," he stutters.

"I know."

Seth's got a feeling that Tamina doesn't really believe him but he shrugs her off. Because he doesn't care. Even if the guy did look like an exotic Adonis with his almond shaped eyes, and that beautiful beard and his luscious thick pink lips. Just because the man is an arrogant shithead didn't mean that Seth couldn't appreciate beauty when he saw it. "Tami, I'm sorry I'm late. The meeting with Mr. Njoku ran longer than I thought." The butterflies start again when Seth hears that voice. They seem to mock him as they swim around in his stomach with such a vengeance that he clutches his stomach and closes his eyes, trying to steady the erratic beating of his heart.

Tamina's stilettos click on the floors as her weight leaves the couch. "No problem. What did he say?"

"It went well. He's a great businessman and an even greater man."

"I'm glad." She nods her head towards Seth who's looking away from them and hasn't turned his head towards them since Roman entered. "He's here. I want you to behave Roman. I don't want you to let your emotions control you."

Roman scoffs and goes to give Jimmy a quick hug before coming face to face with Seth. "Seth Rollins." He says, causing Seth to open his eyes and release a low breath. He looks at Roman's offered hand—it's so big and looks so soft. His eyes go to Roman's who's looking at him with an expectant look and a raised eyebrow. Seth's eyes go back to the offered hand. He snorts and folds his arms, turning his attention to the stunning view from Tamina's office.

He knows he's being petty but he can't help it. This man standing in front of him now, offering his hand to him, is the same man that came to his house a couple of days ago. He's the same man who insulted him in his own house. He's the same man who made him feel worthless. He's the same man who kicked him down when he was at his lowest. So excuse him if he doesn't want to touch the jackass's hand.

"Suit yourself." He hears Roman say as the other man takes a seat next to him. Roman's scent invades him once again and he has to mentally lecture himself to not breathe the other man's scent in deeply. Does this man always smell this good?

"Jackass." Seth mumbles under his breath, scooting away from Roman.

"I'm gonna head home. I've missed my wife and child, it's been two miserable days." Jimmy says. He tells Seth goodbye and tells the brunet he gives him permission to cuss Roman all he wants causing Roman to scoff. Jimmy's laughing all the way out as he leaves Tamina's office.

Tamina sits on the edge of her desk and looks at the two men seated on the couch. They're sat so far away from each other as if the slightest contact with each other will give them both some life threatening disease. Tamina sighs and shakes her head at their childishness. "Now that you're both here…" Tamina starts folding her arms across her chest. "Let's get started shall we?"

Roman crosses his legs and remains quiet while Seth clears his throat and begins softly. "Bray was behind the leaking. I had nothing to do with it."

"We know." Roman cuts in. "Someone had to do something about the mess you helped create."

"It wasn't my fault." Seth snaps back. "I'm not a fucking psychic, how the hell was I supposed to know I was being recorded?"

"If you hadn't accepted the proposal then there wouldn't have been a reason for you to worry about being recorded," Roman replies.

"I needed the money. Since I got associated with your crusty ass, I haven't been making money at the club. If it's anyone's fault, it's yours for not telling the damn papers that we aren't involved sooner."

"Oh, so I had to leave home and everything else I was doing to come back to speak to the media because you couldn't tell them the truth," Roman glares at Seth.

Seth glares right back. "I tried telling that woman the first day you jerk!"

"And what, she—"

"My god, enough!" Tamina cuts in. "You guys blaming each other won't make this scandal go away. If anything you're just waiting time, instead of coming up with ways to handle the press."

Roman tilts his head to the side and looks at his cousin before shrugging.

"I'm listening." Seth sighs, his attention going to Tamina.

"Roman?"

"I'm listening," Roman echoes.

"Good," Tamina says, going behind her desk to retrieve two files. "This is how we're going to approach the matter." She says giving both men the files.


 

Smooth RnB music plays in the tension filled car on their way home. Manuia tries his best to lighten the mood, he hums along Johnny Gill's 'My' and teases Roman here and there. The royal returns his bodyguard's smart remarks with a few of his own but not with the snarky enthusiasm he usually returns them with. When the big man includes Seth in the banter and asks him for backup, the brunet responds but keeps it to one or two sentences.

Manuia eventually quietens down. What's the point of continuing when his two other occupants are clearly not interested in any light conversation? He looks at the two from the rearview mirror, and shakes his head. What they were both failing to realize was that they were the ones suffocating the mood with their antics. The amount of effort they were putting into ignoring each other was just ridiculous.

He punches the password at the iron gates and waits for the gates to open before entering the driveway. He parks just outside the mansion's doors and allows Roman and Seth to exit the car. "Will you need anything else, Your Highness?" he asks.

"I know you have a date night with Bobby, Manuia."

Manuia nods his head, blushing a bit. "See you in the morning."

Seth watches the interaction between the two silently. They look like they have such a special bond, in fact from all he's seen so far, Roman seems like a man who's very family orientated. He'd seen Roman's kindness with his employees, the bigger man even greeting the cleaners cleaning the building. So why was he so unkind to him? Sure he'd played a part in the prostitution scandal but couldn't the royal understand that he hadn't intended for his name to be dragged under the mud? Couldn't he understand where Seth was coming from?

"Let's go." Seth follows silently behind Roman. "Masina's probably began on dinner. You should go tell your friends to get ready." Roman tells him when they enter the house. The other man turns a corner to the right and opens a black colored door with a golden ribbon on it as Seth takes the stairs.

Seth decides to knock on Dean's door first to check if the other man is awake yet. "Dean?" he peeks into the large room and spots Dean lying on the bed with his head on Xavier's lap as the dark skinned man treads his fingers through his hair. Seth steps inside and closes the door behind him.

"How'd it go?"

"Fine." Seth collapses on the bed and rests his head on Xavier's shoulders.

"You guys are both bigger than me. You're heavy. Get off Seth," Xavier complains tilting his body away from Seth.

"Not fair. How are you allowing Dean to rest his big head on top of you?"

Dean, who hasn't said anything since Seth entered finally says something. "Because I'm sick. I feel like vomiting."

"Serves you right," Seth chuckles. "Anyway I came to tell you that the royal bastard says dinner should be ready in a few. Freshen up."

He gets up the bed and is almost out of Dean's room when Dean speaks up again. "Is he joining us for dinner?"

"I don't know." Seth shrugs looking back at them. He closes the door and heads to his own room for a quick shower. After showering, Seth puts on deodorant and lotions his body. He puts on his underwear and a pair of grey shorts and a black t-shirt. He slides on his flip-flops. He runs his hand through his brown mane and decides not to tie the curly mane into the low bun he wanted to do. Seth leaves his room and goes to knock on Dean's door and realizes that they've already headed down for dinner, if the lively chatter he hears sounding from the first floor say anything.

He takes the stairs and follows the noise until he reaches the kitchen. Dean's sat on top of the counter, his cheeks ridiculously full. "You look like a chipmunk." He tells his friend.

Dean doesn't even wait to swallow his food as he responds, "That means I'm adorable then."

"Oh, Dean," Xavier chuckles, taking the plates from Masina. "Help me out Seth."

Seth complies and helps take the cutlery to the dining room. Roman's already seated at the table when he enters the dining room. Xavier's got a goddamn smile on his lips as he talks to the other man. This damn traitor, Seth thinks as he goes around placing the cutlery. He then leaves the two idiots to talk to themselves to find out if Masina needs any further assistance. The other woman shakes her head no and Seth heads back to the dining room together with Dean.

They find Xavier already seated next to Roman who's place is at the head of the table. Dean sits on the other side of Xavier and Seth takes a seat next to him. Masina dishes their food before going back to the kitchen. She comes back with a bottle of white whine and tells Roman something in Samoan. "She's going to check on the dessert." Roman explains. "So Dean, Xavier here told me you're studying Psychology."

Seth watches as his traitor of a friend lights up and goes onto to explain why he chose to study Psychology and why he'd decided to go back to school so late. "It's my final year. Seth and I attend the same college. Xavier's studying the arts. Mostly dancing and singing but he does acting too."

"You both seem to be doing so well for yourselves, " Roman's compliment is the sun. It lights up Seth's traitorous friends' faces as they eat out of the palm of the royal's hands.

Seth isn't surprised when the other man ignores his name being mentioned. In fact, he's beginning to think that Roman's good at pretending he doesn't exist. He doesn't care though, he'll gladly return the favor. He cuts into Dean and Roman's conversation. "Dean when is Antonio coming back from Switzerland again?"

Roman tilts his head to the side and raises an eyebrow. Seth's tells himself that he's not going to allow the other man to intimidate him though and mentally curses when his hand shakes as he picks up his wine glass. His ears barely hear what Dean is saying to him as he watches Roman smirk at him. The bastard must know what he's doing. He glares at him and pushes his pasta carbonara away. He really couldn't stomach anymore food. "I'll see you guys later." He says, getting up.

"It's only seven o'clock Seth, " Xavier points out.

"I know," Seth replies. "I'm just…tired. And I have an early morning tomorrow." He eyes Roman as he says that.

"Well goodnight then," says Dean.

Xavier nods his head. "Have a goodnight Seth."

Roman doesn't say anything (no surprises there) and only goes back to his meal.

When Seth gets to his room, he immediately makes his way to the bed and gets under the covers. He sighs into the fresh smelling pillows and hugs them close. The huge bed makes him feel like he's sleeping on clouds. It's so comfy and he's grateful that he isn't sleeping in that lumpy thing he calls his bed even if it's going to be just for two days. His mind drifts to the conversation they'd had with Tamina earlier in the day.

The woman looked wise and Seth really hoped her plan worked. Although Roman had been a jerk almost the entire meeting, he was grateful that these people had the power to make this mess go away. But more than that, he was happy that them cleaning this mess would help so many people retain their jobs. Seth feels his eyelids get heavy and finally gives in to his exhaustion—his breathing becoming even.

The next time he wakes up, everything's dark and quiet. Seth sits up and checks the time on the bedside clock, it's 02:55 in the morning. He curses because it's way too fucking early for him to be awake especially since he hasn't been working but his throat is parched and he needs to solve that. He swings his legs over the bed and his feet touch the cold tiles. He slides on his slippers and turns the bedside lamp on before exiting the large room. The door closes with a soft click behind him and Seth releases a whispered, "Fuck." The hallway's dark and he struggles to find his way to the stairs. He takes the steps one at a time and finally reaches the first floor. Now where's the kitchen again?

Seth takes a left in the hallway and cheers inwardly when he finds the kitchen. He opens the fancy built-in fridge and takes out a bottle of water. He pours the water in a glass and guzzles down the cold liquid before pouring another glass again. The glass pauses halfway to his lips as hears these…sounds. Thumps and grunts that are so loud he's surprised no one else's heard them in the house…or maybe their rooms are soundproof.

He places the glass on the counter and fights himself on what to do. To investigate weird sounds or not to? Curiosity gets the best of him and he tiptoes his way around the huge house. He realizes that the house is bigger than he thought as he bypasses a lot of rooms before he finally gets to the one where the sounds are coming from.

Seth's hands tremble as he opens the door slightly. He peeks into the room and all breath leaves him at the incredible sight in front of him. A half-naked Roman maneuvers his way around the large punching bag in front of him. His body drips in sweat as he shuffles around, his synchronized movements resembling an angry dance. Roman lays a fist on the punching bag—hard—and it flies away from him before coming back full force towards him. Roman dodges it before he hits the bag with a combination of hooks, jabs and uppercuts.

Even though the room is dark, Seth can still see his glorious body from the light coming through from the shining full moon. Roman's raven hair is all over his face but Seth thinks he can see the menacing look on the other man's eye that isn't covered by his hair. Roman looks vicious—his movements resemble those of a predator attacking it's prey. He's only in a pair of silky boxers and Seth can see the big man's muscles ripple and constrict with his every movement and he spots what looks like a tattoo covering his full right arm. Seth bites on his bottom lip—despite hating the man, he couldn't deny that Roman was hot. He couldn't deny that he was attracted to him. From that day he saw him at the park. Who could blame him when the man looked like some Greek god? Who could blame him when Roman was sex personified?

It takes everything he has in him to force himself to turn away and go back to his room when Roman's growling causes him to turn his attention back on the man. Roman's still punching the leather bag but the sounds the big man is emitting capture his attention. Roman's growls have turned into gut-wrenching sobs and grunts.

Seth isn't even aware that his feet are carrying him towards the other man as he opens the room to the indoor gym wider and he enters. "Roman," he whispers touching the other man's sweaty shoulder. He doesn't know why he's reaching out to the raven-haired man because Roman's been nothing but cold to him since they've met but the sounds leaving Roman's lips break his heart and besides surely he couldn't leave the man when something was clearly wrong with him now could he?

Tormented dark eyes meet his, there's a hint of red liquid trickling down with sweat down the royal's left eyebrow. "You're bleeding." Seth whispers leading Roman away from punching bag. The bigger man flinches when Seth's hand comes in contact with his own and pulls away. Seth turns to look at him. "What is it?"

"My uh…hands," Roman's voice is rough.

"You've split your skin open," Seth gasps as he eyes the bigger man's clenched hands. "Do you have a bathroom in this place?"

Roman scoffs and snaps, "Of course there's a bathroom. What kind of gym doesn't?"

"There's no need to be rude. I'm just trying to help you…even though I shouldn't," is snapped back.

"Then what are you doing here? Did I ask you to help me?"

Roman's chest lifts and falls in anger, his breathing ragged. It's all Seth can hear in the otherwise quiet room. For a full minute Seth scrutinizes him—Roman's so so close looking down at him. Seth can see the drying tear steaks on his face but there's still a wetness in his eyes and he wants to wipe the remaining tears away but he keeps his hands hanging limply at his sides. "Suit yourself," he says. He pushes past Roman and heads for the door.

"Wait!" Roman stops him before he can close the door. "I – I had a bad dream."

"But you didn't ask for my help right?"

Seth closes the door and walks in the dark again to make his way back into his bedroom. In the darkness, he enters the wrong room and it's huge and elegantly decorated. It's probably the same size of his apartment. The bed's undone and he realizes that it's Roman's room. He quickly exits the room and closes the door. He slips in the comfy bed once he gets into his own room. Sleep evades him as he tosses and turns on the bed. "Fuck," he whispers as he leaves the bed again.

Slippers forgotten, the brunet pads barefoot towards the front door and opens it. As much as he hated Roman, he couldn't bring himself to just go back to sleep while Roman clearly needed help. And that's how he finds himself back at the indoor gym again, having been guided by Roman's grunts again. This stubborn fool. "Do you want to break your hands?" he asks.

Roman holds the punching bag, stopping it from flying towards him. He turns to meet Seth and moves his wet hair from his face. "What are you doing here?"

Seth hesitantly strides towards him. "Where's your bathroom?" he asks, ignoring the other man's question.

Roman tilts his head to the side and he looks to be fighting himself on whether or not to accept Seth's help. A big hand goes around Seth's smaller one and he follows the other man. A bright light floods the bathroom the minute they enter and Roman lets go of his hand. "First aid kit?"

Roman nods his head towards a mahogany cabinet. Seth retrieves it and looks back to Roman. "Come rinse your hands and face." The royal complies and leans against the sink once done. "Isn't a bit weird to train in the dark?" he asks handing Roman a towel to wipe his face.

"Isn't a bit weird to ogle people when they're training…at night? Shouldn't you have been asleep or something?"

"I was thirsty."

"…and you decided that drinking up my body would help quench your thirst."

"I wasn't…no!" Seth sputters as Roman smirks at him. "I heard the noises from the kitchen…I was just investigating."

Roman hisses in pain and moves away from Seth when the brunet dabs the cut on his left eyebrow with an antiseptic-dunked white cloth. "For an arrogant asshole, you're such a crybaby. How did you even manage to cut your eye?" He brings Roman's head towards him so that he isn't standing on his tiptoes with how much the other man is tilting his head away from him.

"I uh— had a uh—a…bad dream…" Roman's voice shakes and his eyebrows knit together. "I opened the door roughly and the edge collided with the side of my head."

"What was the dream about?"

"Nothing." Roman shakes his head. Seth knows he's lying—the haunted look in his eyes give him away. But Seth figures it's none of his business. He wasn't here to be the man's therapist anyway. He was here for the press conference and then hopefully he'd be able to go back to his life and never see Roman again. He chuckles lightly when he takes out the bandage and plaster. "What?"

Seth picks up the plasters. "Donald Duck?" he asks, eyebrows raised in amusement.

The bigger man's shoulder lifts and falls in an unperturbed shrug. "I love Donald Duck…" Seth can see that there's more to it than Roman simply 'loving' Donald Duck. There's a distant look in Roman's brown pools as he says that. He's sure the other man doesn't even know that there's tears threatening to pool out of his eyes. He bandages Roman's hands and throws the used items in the bin. He then puts the first aid kit back in it's original place and goes back to Roman.

"All done," he whispers grabbing the other man's hands so that Roman can see the bandages.

Roman clears his throat and looks him in the eyes. "Uh…thank you Seth Rollins." Seth gives him a small smile though Roman doesn't deserve it. Curiosity is etched on his features when Roman lifts his hands up to kiss his warm knuckles softly. Seth remains dumbfounded as Roman leans down to kiss his lips. It's barely a kiss to be honest -- their lips brush against each other timidly and they both don't deepen it.

Seth's the first to pull away and a frown taints his face despite the erratic beating of his heart. "What are you doing?"

"I…don't know."

"I'm a prostitute…why are you, a royal, kissing a prostitute?" Seth asks, his voice laced with venom as he uses Roman's words from a couple of days ago against him. Roman doesn't respond, his expression goes blank and he maneuvers his way around Seth. "Fucking hypocrite!" Seth shouts after him. He leans back against the sink as he hears a being closed roughly. Just what was Roman's deal?

Chapter Text

Seth's already awake when his alarm goes off—he'd spent the last few hours tossing and turning in a bed that suddenly felt too big and uncomfortable. After what'd happened in the bathroom earlier, his mind's been trying to come up with sound justifications on why Roman kissed him. Although it'd barely been a kiss, Seth had still felt Roman's lush lips brush against his and if he'd been bolder he would've deepened the kiss but his mind had reminded him who exactly he was kissing.

Roman; the man who'd come to his apartment a couple of days ago. Roman, who'd insulted him and his family. Roman, who'd targeted his insecurities and made him feel worthless. The same man who'd kissed him a few hours ago was the same man who'd thrown his money at him like Seth was an annoyance he wanted to get rid off. And that's why Seth had pulled away—because kissing Roman was a mistake. Roman was a hypocrite who'd asked Seth why he'd want to be associated with royalty and then he'd turned on his words and kissed him.

A nervous exhale slips past Seth's lips as he finally decides to leave the king size bed. He fixes the bed and then heads into the bathroom to take care of his morning routine. After taking care of his morning routine, Seth goes back into the bedroom and picks out his clothing for today's press conference.

Tamina had scheduled it for noon but they have to be at A'noai Investments an hour before then. They'd have to leave Roman's house a little before ten because the man's house was an hour away from his offices.

After zipping up his skinny jeans, Seth puts on a body hugging grey t-shirt and a pair of black Nikes. He runs his fingers through his brown mane and ties the hair into a messy bun. He sprays a bit of cologne on his body and goes to wash his hands in the bathroom before leaving his room.

He's still a bundle of nerves as he takes the stairs, making his way into the kitchen. He can hear Dean and Xavier's voices as he nears the kitchen. A stilted smile forms on his lips when he enters. "Hey guys…you're up early."

Xavier grins at him and hands him a bowl of fruit. "We're going with you. Manuia said Roman said we could tag along." They head out of the kitchen with the food and Seth tries to ignore the way his insides twist in knots with every step he takes nearing the breakfast room.

"That's great." He hopes his voice doesn't sound as disappointed as he feels when he enters the breakfast room and finds that Roman isn't there. The chair at the head of the table is painfully empty and Manuia sits right next to it with Bobby sat across from him. "Hello."

Both men turn to face him with grins gracing their lips. "Seth. Did you have a good night?"

Seth sits next to Manuia and grabs the orange juice, pouring himself a glass. "I think so."

Manuia nods his head at the response and goes back to eating. Dean eventually joins them, carrying a plate of an assortment of food from the kitchen. "You're hopeless." Seth chuckles.

"I'm just enjoying all this while it lasts. We're leaving tomorrow."

"True," Seth smiles. He digs into his own food and his mind trails involuntarily trails off to last night. To everything that happened last night. Seth didn't think he'd ever met anyone as confusing as Roman—why had he kissed him? Seth's not aware that he's dropped his fork in favor of rubbing his bottom lip. His eyes keep going to the empty chair and a longing tugs at his heart. What would Roman do if he were here? What would he say? Where was he anyway?

"Where's the prince?"

Manuia stops his conversation with the others and looks at Seth. "He left already."

"It's only eight," the words keep escaping unbidden and Seth can't do anything to stop them. He can't help it—there's this deep sinking in his stomach, a disappointment so deep that a part of him wants to tell Manuia to take him to Roman.

His eyes must expose his feelings because Manuia observes him curiously. Seth looks away, mortified, only to find Xavier giving him the same look. He picks up his fork and plays with his food, eyes now focused on his plate.

"Roman leaves around six…sometimes earlier. He's a workaholic."

"So he doesn't leave with you?" Fuck. The questions keep coming and he doesn't know how to stop them. He can feel everyone's eyes on him but he keeps his own rooted to his plate.

"He does…" Manuia pauses briefly before continuing, "Sometimes he just wants to travel alone."

"I see."

"Anything else you want to know?"

Shaking his head no in embarrassment, Seth goes back to eating his food even though the butterflies swimming inside his stomach make it difficult to.



"Roman?" Roman looks up to see Bayley stood just outside his office door. "They're here." He smiles at his personal assistant and confirms that he'll be leaving for the boardroom shortly.

Bayley leaves his office and Roman shuts his laptop, his eyes go to the almost empty energy drink bottle and he opens it finishing the remaining contents before throwing the empty bottle inside the small bin next to his desk. He grabs his phone and exits his office. Since his office is on the last floor and the boardroom they will be utilizing is just two floors below, the royal takes the stairs and greets some of his employees on his way to the twenty eighth floor.

Roman opens the beige door once he reaches boardroom 28A. The first thing he's met with are Seth's warm brown eyes, his heart stutters inside his ribcage and Roman isn't sure why. And so he ignores it and greets everyone in the large room, "Good morning." All the attention goes to him and a smile tugs at his lips when Seth's friends' faces practically light up at the sight of him.

"What happened to your hands?" It's Manuia who asks the question. Curiosity etches on everyone's faces except Seth who has an expression Roman can't understand. His eyes remain on Seth's for the fraction of a second before he looks at Manuia.

"Punching bag…" he shrugs. "'S no big deal."

The royal knows Manuia knows there's more to it but he tells his bodyguard to let it go with his eyes to which Manuia nods his head in understanding.

Jimmy enters the boardroom a minute later causing Dean and Xavier to squeal in delight. His cousin was going to act as the two men's guide today and take them to one of the trendiest places in Miami. Because Jimmy often went out with Naomi, the two had connections with a couple of high profile celebrities that Jimmy promised to introduce to Dean and Xavier. "I know…I know. You love me." Jimmy chuckles.

Seth gives Jimmy a friendly wave and settles on the chair besides Tamina after Jimmy and Manuia usher his excited friends outside the boardroom. Roman sits across from him.

"Now that the distractors have left…" Tamina starts, a little grin on her face. "Let's revise how we'll handle the media." Roman nods his head absentmindedly, eyes fixated on Tamina. He can feel Seth's eye on him but he isn't going to look at him. He can't.

Tamina serves as background noise because his mind drifts of to last night with Seth. He feels like such a fool for kissing the man sat across from him and a groan slips past his lips when he thinks about the repercussions that'd followed after kissing Seth. The other man had called him a hypocrite and maybe he was. He had— "Roman?"

"Huh?"

"Are you listening?"

Roman clears his throat and leans back on his chair, finally meeting Seth's eyes. "Of course cousin."

"Okay," Tamina looks at her phone and taps on it a few times. "So you know how to handle them." At Roman's nod, his cousin stands up and pats his shoulder. "Good. I got the ten most reputable media I know. I'll go welcome them."

The atmosphere between them is suffocating when Tamina leaves; the tension palpable. Roman doesn't know what to say so he just looks at Seth who for a while does everything in his power to not look at him. The smaller man alternates between looking at the amazing view from the large windows in the boardroom and looking at the door longingly. "You can wait outside if you want to."

"What?"

"The door," Roman nods his head towards it. "You can wait outside." If looks could kill, Roman would be one with his ancestors by now.

"You can't tell me what to do."

"I wasn't," Roman shrugs because he really wasn't but the man looks miserable—like he'd rather be anywhere than where he is at the moment. "I was just trying to get you out of your misery."

"And who told you I was miserable?"

"Your face, your posture…your eyes."

Seth's about to respond when Tamina enters the boardroom followed by ten people holding cameras and a bunch of other gadgets. They all fix their gadgets and cameras in preparation for the press conference. After everything's been sorted, they settle on the comfy leather chairs whilst Tamina stands at the back.

The clock hits twelve and Roman clears his throat. "I'd like to welcome you all and thank you for being able to join us," Roman smiles at the ten faces looking at him with curiously. "I've been in Lanuola the past couple of days—it's the reason there was silence on my end. But I'm back now so let's get started shall we?"

"Are you involved with a prostitute?" The question comes from a woman with blond hair highlighted in pink.

"No." The answer is simple and straightforward.

"Then what are you doing with Seth Rollins?"

"Seth Rollins is a bartender at a club. Prostitution is his past. It's not who he is now. It's not what he's doing now. He's turned his life around and I find it ridiculous that people judge him for something that he did in the past while there's so much wrong happening in the world. There's wars, there's violence, there's poverty and so many other things we should be focusing our time on rather than shaming someone who's clearly turned his life around."

"So you do admit that you were a prostitute?" The question is aimed at Seth.

"Yes…" Seth's voice shakes but Tamina smiles at him from the back and holds her thumbs up. "I was…like the Prince has said, it's my past. I left that kind of life long before I met him."

"So you are dating? With no word from Prince Roman, we've only heard speculations."

A snort involuntarily escapes Roman's lips. "That didn't stop the papers from writing unfounded articles about my relationship with Seth Rollins," he sighs when Tamina frowns at him. "We're not dating. In fact Seth Rollins will tell you exactly how we met."

"At Lakefield park. We…we crashed into each other at the park. I told a reporter who came to my apartment the first day. She didn't believe me."

"And that's how we find ourselves here," Roman pipes in. "Because one unfounded article about a relationship I had no knowledge led to people wanting to shame both myself and Seth Rollins for something that happened a year ago. The media itself played a part in assisting with the ridicule. Digital technology makes it easier to dispense these kind of scandals to the public quicker. And what do myself and Seth Rollins get in return—public shaming and reputational injury. I'm hoping we'll all work together to clear this mess. It is unfair that myself and this man suffer for something he did a year ago, is it not?"

"Definitely," the blond-haired woman replies.

"Good. After I met Seth Rollins, I realized that a lot of prostitutes are in the profession because of circumstance not because of choice. While I do agree that there are prostitutes who're in the profession by choice—I feel that the government would be better suited to work with them so that they reach amicable agreements."

"Are you condoning prostitution, Your Highness?"

Roman closes his bottle of water and places it on the shiny mahogany desk. "I'm not on one side or the other, sir. What I'm simply saying is the government should work with these sex workers. They need to have real discussions about the relevance of sex workers, their roles in society, their lives and all other legalities concerning prostitution."

"You're very passionate about this, but how about how it tarnishes your country? Your business associates?"

"And that's exactly the kind of talk I'm trying to dispel. Because this kind of talk is the exact talk that influences the masses. The media itself greatly affects how people think and view the world. These people that claim I'm tarnishing my country's pride are the same people who spend a portion of their salaries supporting the sex industry. How many people have Pornhub subscriptions? Is that not paying for sex? I think it is, I mean you're spending your money to watch someone have sex and I'm guessing that you do that in order to reach sexual satisfaction. Do people not spend a portion of their salaries at adult stores? Strip clubs? And various other sex related stores? Why then should I judge Seth Rollins for being an ex-prostitute? Like I said before I'm not on one side or the other but the reality is that prostitution is most of the time voluntary unlike pimping and sex slavery so what business of mine is it to judge how someone else chooses to use their body?"

"I believe that we should, instead of judging, focus on what's most important. Why did Seth Rollins like a million others turn to prostitution when he knows it's illegal? Why risk arrest?"

The boardroom remains quiet and Roman looks at Seth who takes over from him, "I…I didn't grow up in the nicest environment. My mom struggled with raising me. We weren't living, we were barely surviving. She had to resort to selling her body to try and make sure that we had basic necessities for us to survive. It was still hard though and when I was old enough, I had to help her…even though I didn't want to. The older you get, the less money you make so I had to help her out. I – I had dreams and aspirations but hardly anyone makes something out of their lives in our neighborhood. I managed to leave there but it's still hard when you have no assistance, no connections and when no one wants to give you a chance. It's how many people find themselves falling back into prostitution, because no one's willing to help. Instead they shun and look down upon many people like me."

An exhale leaves Roman's lips and he addresses the media. "It's because of this very reason that A'noai Investments have decided to start a foundation dedicated to assisting all prostitutes and ex-prostitutes who joined the lifestyle because life had been harsh to them. And I guess I should be thanking the media for their unfounded articles because it opened my eyes to the stigmatization that sex workers face. The foundation will work with prostitutes to assist them with their dreams, their aspirations and their goals. I've already nabbed a few associates who're willing to volunteer some of their time to helping sex workers with their goals and whatever dreams they have."

"A'noai Investments is also going to invest in small and medium enterprises started by them so that these men and women get their feet off the ground and succeed in their businesses. It's what we're doing, instead of condemning and not coming up with solutions. It's what we're doing instead of stigmatizing and shaming. It's what we're doing—we're recognizing the problem and coming up with a solution. If the solution fails, we try another one but we won't hide behind our suits and judge and shame. My father started his empire with love as his foundation. I'm continuing his legacy. We're gonna love and we're gonna be compassionate and we're gonna help and empower and uplift."
A sunny smile creeps up on lush lips because Roman knows he has them hook line and sinker.

The media remain speechless for a while before a few of them ask a couple more questions and before they know it, their thirty minutes have passed and Roman and Seth shake hands with them before Tamina leads them out again.

Roman's eyes follow Seth as the other man strides towards the door. "A word, Seth Rollins," he says before the smaller man can open the door. When Seth turns to face him, he sees how emotional the other man looks. It's a myriad of emotions that Roman can't read all at once—he doesn't blame the man. He's done what a million other people wouldn't have been able to do.

"Thank you." Seth nods his head and turns to leave again. "I'm not finished, Seth Rollins."

Seth sighs heavily and leans his head against the door before turning to face him again. "What is it?"

Roman walks towards him and stops when they're an inch apart. Seth's back is against the door and he looks up at Roman warily. The royal speaks up before he changes his mind, "I owe you an apology. I'm sorry." 

"W-What?" it's barely above a whisper and Seth's voice shakes.

Roman doesn't like the tone of his voice—it's him who caused this. "I apologize. I've wronged you and for that I am sorry."

"Why…why now? Is it because of this?" The brunet's hand points around the boardroom. "I wasn't doing it for you. I know what it's like to be jobless—I was doing it for your employees…not you."

"I know…" Roman nods, stepping even closer to Seth. "But I still want to apologize."

"Why? After all you've done. Why now?"

"Because I'm an imperfect man, Seth." And it's the first time that this man in front of him is calling him using just his name. Not his name and surname like he usually does. Seth doesn't know how to feel about that, doesn't know what to do so he searches Roman's almond eyes. For a minute, the brown pools remain blank before Seth's allowed to see the genuineness in the other man's eyes. Seth must be dreaming. Roman interrupts his thoughts, "My parents…my parents taught me that a good man—a gentleman—admits and owns up to his mistakes when he's in the wrong. I admit, I judged you wrongly. I hurt you and for that I am sorry."

"I get that you're sorry!" Seth snaps even though he doesn't mean to but Roman's confusing him. This man who was rude to him just last night is now apologizing to him. Why? "But WHY? What caused you to treat me the way you did?"

Roman walks away from him and goes to look at the ongoing life from the view in the boardroom. He doesn't want to tell Seth. The man's not even family and he'd already been vulnerable in front of him last night only to have Seth spew venom at him. But it's all he's been doing since he's met Seth—allowed his feelings to get the best of him. With Seth, with Brock, with everything…since he's met Seth.

He can hear Seth's footsteps trail towards him but he keeps his back turned to him. He hopes as he answers that his voice is level enough and does not reveal the way his heart feels like it's been out of his body and trampled upon by a billion cars, "I had a…friend. His mom was a prostitute. The whore didn't care for him and he suffered at her hands until my…until my mom brought him to Lanuola to leave with us when she died. I guess I painted you with the same brush I did her."

And that somehow makes everything worse—because this man who has his back to him hurt him for something he had nothing to do with. Seth turns him around forcefully so that they're eye to eye. "Great. Just great! So you punished me for the mistakes of a dead woman I don't know? You…you insulted me and hurt me because of your friend's mother. I'm sorry that he had to go through that, but Jesus, I went through the same thing Roman. Maybe your friend had it worse than me but you…" he tries to even his breathing. And it pisses him off how the other man looks stoic, unreadable. "You saw what I went through. You threw that folder at me, you know my past."

"I'm sorry."

"Sorry doesn't undo the hurt you caused me!" Seth stalks away from him and paces back and forth near the door. "You targeted my insecurities. You made me feel inferior—worthless. I-I was being shamed and judged because of a mistake and when you came along…I thought you would help me. And what did I get instead?" A pained chuckle escapes his lips as he continues his pacing and rambling, "I got ridiculed and judged," Seth deflates and shakes his head. "Where is Manuia? I can't be here anymore. I need to leave this place."

Roman sees the truth of the other man's words as Seth keeps looking at the door longingly, he sighs and decides he needs to apologize for one final thing before he lets the man go. "I'm also sorry about last night. The…kiss. I shouldn't have done that and I regret it deeply. You were right…I am hypocrite."

"I don't care," It hurts to utter the words because Seth does care even though he shouldn't. It hurts because the other man regrets kissing him and Seth…he doesn't even though he should. He sighs and looks back at Roman, the royal is still looking at him, poised as ever. Why does he always do that? "I want to leave…please."

Roman takes his phone out of his pocket and dials Manuia's number, "Manuia…yes. I'd like for you to fetch Seth Rollins please…thank you," his phone goes back to his pocket. "Stay here. He'll be with you shortly."

Seth makes way for him when he strides towards the door. "Thank you," Roman's hand is on the doorknob when Seth says that. Roman looks back at him briefly, he nods his head and smiles a little before leaving the boardroom.


 

Roman gets home after eight, normally he'd leave the office around five so that he gets home in time for Masina's home cooked meals. He leans his head against the back of his seat and allows his eyes to shut closed. Despite Tamina having come back to him with the positive feedback and praises from the media and the general public regarding today's press conference, he still felt burdened, heavy.

This day hadn't been a good one for him and he only had one person to blame for it.


Since his conversation with Seth after the press conference, Roman's whole mood had been dampened. The brunet hadn't even accepted his apology. A part of him was dreading seeing the other man again. He couldn't deny that he felt relief at knowing the other man was leaving tomorrow. Seth ignited in him a myriad of emotions he had no control over.

His feet are hesitant as they touch the ground—they seem to agree with him about running away for the night and coming back home the following evening when Seth and his friends have left. But Roman isn't a coward—he wasn't raised like that. He'd owned up to his faults and apologized to Seth, there was nothing else left to do.

The royal grabs his briefcase from the backseat and locks his car. His ears are assaulted with loud sounds coming from the den immediately he enters the house. The sounds make him jump a bit—it's so weird to come home to any lively chatter. He isn't used to the sound, usually it's just him alone.

"Seth, lend me your perfume, will ya?" It sounds like it's Dean who's shouting from up the stairs.

"In my blue bag! And don't bathe in it Dean—shit's expensive." It's Seth's voice he hears this time and Roman follows it. He finds Seth doing Xavier's hair on one of the leather couches while Jimmy sits with Naomi on another.

"Romie!" Naomi click on marble floors with every step she takes towards him, "I've missed you. How come you never visit us anymore?" Roman gladly accepts the embrace the dark skinned woman envelopes him in. He buries his face in her neck and breathes her in deeply, his arms tightening around her. Roman's hands slowly trail to Naomi's ass and he chuckles lightly when she returns the favor.

"Well damn…y'all never told me y'all were into some threesome shit!"

Jimmy breaks out into laughter while Xavier chides his friend lightly, "Really, Dean?"

"What?" Dean shrugs, plopping down on the couch besides Jimmy. "This hug doesn't look innocent to me."

Roman pulls back and looks at Jimmy, "What's going on?"

"Isn't it obvious, uce?" Jimmy replies. "We're going out. It's a good thing you arrived. Go take a quick shower, we'll leave in thirty."

"I don't think so," Roman grabs his briefcase that he dropped on the floor and heads for the stairs. He sighs in mild annoyance when Naomi follows him up the stairs. "Nae…I've got a lot of work to catch up on."

"It's a Friday, Roman. I've left you to your own devices for far too long. You've gone back to caging yourself inside this big ass mansion. We're going out and that's final. Go take a quick shower," she goes to his walk-in closet and retrieves a pair of black jeans and a grey v-neck t-shirt. "If you're not out in…" her eyes go to her phone before going back to Roman. "…ten minutes. That's all I'm giving you. If you're not out by then, I'll come drag you out. You know I will…"

Roman sighs and places his briefcase on a chair and removes his shoes. He goes to the en suite bathroom for a quick shower before going back to the bedroom. He tightens the towel around his waist and looks at Naomi who's typing away on her phone and giggling to herself. "I need to get dressed, Nae."

"Go ahead."

Roman groans and obliges, he knows the feisty woman won't change her mind anyway. Naomi had already seen him naked once after all. They'd been late for a family gathering and the petit but strong woman had dragged him out of the shower naked as the day he was born. He'd tried to hide his dick to which Naomi had laughed and told him his dick would make him millions as a porn star…whatever that means.

After putting on his Ralph Lauren's beneath the white towel, Roman removes the fluffy item and folds it neatly, earning a chuckle from Naomi when he does that but he shrugs her off—it's a habit he learned from his mother. To never leave anything lying around untidily.

Roman lotions his body and puts on a bit of deodorant before putting on the black jeans Naomi picked out for him. He puts on the grey t-shirt, the grey item hugging his body just right—not too much and not too little. Roman then puts on his black socks and a pair of Nikes. He slides on his gold Rolex and goes to the full body mirror. He ties his hair into a low bun and looks back to Naomi.

"Can we leave now?"

Naomi looks up from her phone and gets up. "Of course son," she taps his cheeks and kisses it softly. "Aw, my baby cleans up so nicely."

Roman rolls his eyes as they make their way to the first floor, "I'm not a child. And did you dump Leilani with Nia again?"

"She ain't doing nothing." Naomi shrugs.

They step outside and Jimmy heads towards his car, "You're riding with Seth. I'll take Dean and Xavier. Nae, get your ass over here!"

That causes Roman to panic—he can't ride with Seth. They'd probably spend the hour it takes to reach the club they're going to arguing. He doesn't let the panic he's feeling show however, and clears his throat to ensure that his voice comes out even and unaffected, "There's enough space for Seth to ride with you guys. Don't you think he wants to be with his friends?"

The others enter Jimmy's Jeep while Seth and Roman remain outside with Jimmy looking at them from outside his car, "I know you hate each other so I'm tasking you to play nice. You're leaving together and working out your differences before Seth leaves. Bye y'all." Roman watches Jimmy get in the car and drive off. The fucking bastard.

"I'm going back to the house," Seth announces.

Roman grabs his hand before he can do so, "I'll take you…I don't mind." A part of Seth doesn't believe him but he still allows Roman to guide him towards his Bentley.

"Uh…thanks," he whispers when the royal opens his door for him. Roman nods and goes to the driver's side.

Both men are grateful when they finally reach club. The tension that'd been in the car during the trip to the club had slowly been reaching dangerous heights. Despite the music playing on the radio, the pair had been overly aware of each other. Each movement Seth took, Roman noticed. And it'd only be worse when they'd stop at red lights because they'd find themselves looking at each other unintentionally. Their gazes would gravitate towards each other before they'd both look away in embarrassment for Seth and in confusion for Roman.

The club they're at is a gay club—and Roman's not surprised really. His cousin and his wife had the coolest relationship ever. And it's a pity that he wasn't looking for love because if he were then he'd want something like Jimmy and Naomi have. He parks his car in the VIP area before exiting the car with Seth. He guides Seth towards the VIP entrance and they both greet the bouncer at the doorway.

Jimmy and his crew have long arrived when Seth and Roman enter the VIP area. Naomi's sandwiched by her husband and another muscled guy in skimpy underwear. Dean and Xavier immediately pull Seth towards them for a dance while Roman goes to take a seat on one of the leather chairs.

A twink wearing a pink thong and fairy wings comes in his direction. The man's beautiful skin is illuminated by the red and blue lights flashing in the VIP room. Roman can immediately tell that the guy's into him with the way the small man swings his hips and bites on his lips as he nears him. "Hey there," The voice is too feminine for his tastes but he smiles at the small man nonetheless.

"Hello."

"What can I get you?" The man touches his shoulder and he pulls away from the touch. The action causes the man to frown a bit and Roman watches his confidence crumble. He doesn't mean to—but causal sex is not his thing. Matter of fact he may as well be asexual seeing as the last time he was interested in sex was three years ago with Nikki.

Roman orders his drink and the twink scurries off in the direction of the bar. His drink arrives a minute later and he gives the man a hundred—he has to compensate the poor boy for breaking his heart somehow.

The whiskey burns his throat as it makes its way inside his body. The club must be in frisky mood tonight because erotic after erotic song plays on the speakers. The sea of bodies grind and writhe against each other on the dancefloor

A giggling to his side catches Roman's attention—he turns his head in the direction and groans at the marvelous sight in front of him. He watches Seth dance with Dean and salivates at the sight they make…or rather the sight Seth makes.

He barely hears what song they're dancing to but he hears a few words here and there about bumping and grinding.

His hand tightens on his tumbler of whiskey as he watches Seth's hips move in time with the beats of the song. Seth's hips sway side to side and he touches his body in ways that shouldn't be allowed in such a public setting.

Roman hates to admit it but the sight makes little Roman swell in interest, although there's definitely nothing little about the predicament he's in…well there goes his asexuality. He shifts in his seat and discreetly adjusts himself through his jeans.

Fuck.

He groans when Dean turns Seth around before bending him over and the auburn-haired man grounds his front in long sinuous movements against Seth's ass. Seth gives as good as he gets and grind back against the other man before Dean pulls him back up again.

Dean pauses briefly and pulls out his phone. Roman watches as he whispers something to Seth before leaving the brunet all by himself. The blue lights illuminate his golden skin as Seth dances on his own, moving his body erotically to the another provocative song playing on loud speakers.

Roman barely pays attention to the other writhing bodies on the dancefloor because his eyes remain on the only person who has him enchanted with the sinuous way in which his body moves.

Roman chugs the water that he ordered down his throat but it does nothing to help him quench how parched he feels at the moment.

He's on his feet and walking towards the spectacular sight in front of him. Seth looks irresistibly hot with his body moving like that. All provocative and explicit. His hands rest on Seth's waist and he pulls the smaller man towards him so that Seth's back is flush against his front. An audible gasp slips past Seth's lips and he looks over his shoulder towards Roman.

"What are you doing?"

"Dancing," Roman responds pulling Seth even closer to him. The royal's hands roam underneath his t-shirt and he grinds his swelled cock against Seth's ass. Seth arches his back and pushes his ass against Roman's front, rolling his hips. The act causes Roman to growl low in his throat and hold Seth's body in place. "What are you doing to me Seth?"

"I don't know," the brunet whispers. He moans when Roman's hands turn him around so that swelled cock rubs against swelled cock, creating even more friction. Large hands go to his ass and pull him closer. The friction increases with every move their bodies make together. They both fail to notice their friends' curious eyes, both their gazes locked on each other—transfixed.

Roman licks his lips at how enticing Seth looks with the smaller man biting on his bottom lip. He leans down, needing to taste those lips and they're a breath apart when the royal pulls back. Abort. Danger. He ignores Seth's confusion as he pulls away and shakes his head, trying to rid himself of the wanton thoughts clouding his judgement, "I'm sorry Seth. I – this is a mistake."

Seth's eyes go from confusion, to realization, then hurt and finally anger. Roman looks away, he just hurt the man again. Everything suddenly feels too hot, too crowded…too much. Roman takes a step away from Seth, then two before finally turning his back on the man and heading for the exit.

The cold night air assaults him immediately he's outside but it doesn't give the chill he so desperately craves. Because he's at the VIP exit, there's hardly anyone loitering where he stands. His eyes go to the starless skies and a small exhale slips past his lips. His eyes have closed when they open because of his voice, "Take me home!"

Roman doesn't wait a heartbeat, "Of course," he begins walking towards the VIP parking lot when Seth grips his hand, forcing Roman to look at him.

"I don't get you. You're cold, you're hot. You tell me you don't want to be associated with a prostitute and then you kiss me. You say you're sorry for treating me badly and then you go and do it again. What is wrong with you?!" Roman's pushed roughly when he remains quiet, "Fucking answer me! What is wrong with you?"

You wouldn't know what to do if I told you, Roman thinks to himself but he raises an eyebrow at Seth. "I don't need to explain myself to you."

"I can't wait to leave this place," Seth says more to himself than to Roman.

"If your friends weren't busy partying right now then I'd ask Bobby to fly you back to get you out of your misery…" Roman snaps. "But we can't always get what we want, now can we?"

Seth walks away from him, and Roman thinks he's going back to the club but the brunet bypasses the entrance and continues walking down the road, "Where are you going?"

"To your fucking mansion!"

"Don't be ridiculous! It's an hour away by car. Do you really think you'll make it there by foot?" Roman scoffs and is making his way back to the club when he notices that Seth is serious. "Seth Rollins…come back. Do you even know the direction to my house? It's in a secluded area. Come back." Still Seth persists and Roman mentally curses as he changes his course of direction, following Seth.

"Hey…hey. Listen—"

Roman grabs Seth's arm forcefully when he's close enough and the other man turns in his direction but the brunet falls off the pavement and a cry of pain leaves his lips when he lands on his knee and it twists before falling on his butt onto the ground. Roman crouches on the ground and watches Seth clutch his right leg while moaning in pain. "Seth…I –"

"FUCK YOU!" Seth screams in his face, his eyes threatening to spill his tears.

He's just about to check how badly he's injured the other man when their friends join them, "What's going on?" Shit.

 

 

Chapter Text

Pain. It's the only thing that registers through Seth's mind immediately he falls to the ground. He can't help the pained sounds that falls off his lips as he clutches his right knee. He'd heard a pop inside his knee when he landed on it on the ground. He tries to stretch his knee only for him to pull it back to it's initial bent position because the pain's too much to handle. Roman's still crouched on the ground, looking like a scared animal—the look's so foreign and adorable on him that Seth would laugh if he wasn't in pain. But it hurts and this gorgeous son of a bitch in front of him caused it.

"Don't you dare touch me," he snaps through gritted teeth when the royal attempts to touch him. His pain clouded minded distantly hears footsteps walk towards them and he looks over Roman's shoulder through blurry eyes to see his friends. "I said I don't want your help. You caused this! What, do you want to injure me further, is that it?!" the screams come out breathless as he keeps having to take pauses because of the pain he's in.

A pang of guilt settles in his heart when Roman goes from looking like a scared animal to looking…hurt? Seth doesn't have much time to ponder over Roman's expression though as Dean pushes past Roman who's now stood at the back and talking to Naomi while the rest of their friends crowd him. "What happened Seth?"

Seth averts his gaze to Xavier's soft voice and wipes a lone tear, "He—he grabbed my arm and I—I fell. My knee…it hurts," he croaks.

Seth grabs Dean's arm and buries his face in his arm when Xavier inspects his knee. The pain's unbearable and he really, really wants to cry but he bites on his bottom lip and snuggles into Dean further as Xavier stretches the injured leg, "Could be a knee sprain. We should take you to the hospital. They'll be able to tell how bad it is." Xavier explains.

"You know this, how?"

Xavier snorts lightly and lets go of Seth's leg, "Randy's a doctor Dean. How many times have I told you this?"

"Don't blame me for forgetting easily." Dean attempts to pull Seth out of his arm but the brunet buries his face in deeper. Jimmy and Xavier laugh softly while Dean attempts to pry the other man off. "Seth come on," he groans in mild frustration, "You can't spend the whole night hiding in my arm. Everyone's looking at you weirdly."

That causes the brunet to pull away, his arm goes around Dean and he allows the older man to pull him up. He tries to stand on his own when they tell him to and his knee buckles towards the outside. Dean picks him up when he almost falls to the ground again, "I guess I'll have to carry him."

"Roman will ride with him to the hospital. You'll go with them Dean…make sure Seth's comfortable as can be."

Dean nods at Jimmy's instruction and walks towards Roman with Seth still in his arms. A part of Seth almost wants to tell Dean to let Roman hold him when he notices the royal's dark stare. His mind's still hazy from the pain but a part of him swears that Roman looks jealous. He doesn't spend much time analyzing Roman's ever changing expressions though and instead rests his head against Dean's chest and closes his eyes, allowing the auburn-haired man to carry him towards Roman's car.


 

"Eight weeks!" Seth's head falls back on the hospital bed, his voice shaking in frustration. "It'll take eight weeks to heal? What…what am I going to do?"

"I'm sorry. The injury only worsened because of the previous one you had. But you're lucky the injury wasn't associated with damage to the Anterior cruciate ligament, the recovery time would've taken much longer if it had." The doctor, whose name is Nia, explains.

Seth barely pays her any mind with the stress he's currently under. It turns out that Xavier had been right about him suffering a knee sprain and now this doctor—who he notices has called Roman aside—has told him that the tear would take six to eight weeks to heal. Dean brushes his brown strands in an attempt to soothe him while Xavier stands on his right and smiles positively at him, he'd return the smile if only he hadn't noticed how Roman grabs Nia's arm and pulls her in for a hug before kissing her forehead softly.

Shouldn't the bastard be kissing his forehead? Seth knows Roman wouldn't dare do it and that he's being irrational but he can't see any reason at the moment. The royal bastard injured him. He's the one that deserves the attention Roman's showering this Nia woman with. He averts his gaze to his right knee that's now covered in splints and exhales softly. Nia said he'd wear the thing so that any swelling would ease to enable the cast he'd wear after to provide the best fit. So it looks like he'd be stuck here for at least four or five more days.

But what would he do once he got back to Tampa? How would he go to work? To school? Dean and Xavier were there but they also had their own responsibilities that they had to take care of. And oh god…his rent. How would he pay his rent? "Seth…what's wrong?"

It's only when he hears Xavier's voice that he realizes he's hyperventilating and he feels a wetness on his cheeks. Great, he's crying. "My job…I can't serve customers on an injured knee. Hunter will have to find a replacement until I'm fine. R-Rent..." he trails off and closes his eyes, whispering, "Fuck," over and over again.

"I have a solution."

The deep voice catches him off guard. For a second he'd forgotten that Roman was still with them. He wipes his eyes and looks at Roman, who hasn't left where he was standing with Nia. He's crossed his arms against his impeccable chest, bringing attention to the big biceps. Seth bites on his bottom lip and gives him a quizzical glance. Dean asks the question running through his mind for him, "What is it?"

Roman moves away from the door and goes to sit on a tawny chair on the left side of the bed. He looks at Xavier and Dean before eyeing Seth. "Tamina made a suggestion after you left our offices. I didn't think it was a good one, considering you're still in school but you are graduating in a few months so perhaps it's not so bad. You know we're beginning a foundation to assist former prostitutes." It's not a question but Seth still nods his head softly, his eyes never leaving Roman's. "Tamina mentioned the importance of having a psychologist. There are mental and subconscious repercussions that some of these people have and are suffering. Tamina felt that you'd be perfect for the position because you've been a prostitute before. These people will open up easier to someone who knows what they're going through, someone who's been through the same situation."

"I'm not sure I understand what you're trying to say."

Dean snorts and pulls on Seth's hair slightly, "He's offering you a job, dimwit."

"This foundation, center, you mentioned during the press conference that it's going to be based in Miami. I'd have to leave home and move here," Seth's voice wavers in uncertainty. Surely Roman wasn't asking him to leave Tampa and move to Miami? He didn't even know anyone here. Except for him and Jimmy and Naomi. Sure, Jimmy and Naomi were nice people but he wasn't that close to them. He barely knew them. And Roman…well he still isn't sure what to make of Roman. Roman changes like the weather, cold one minute, hot the next.

"Yes. I think it's logical. You're a bartender, Seth Rollins. You need your legs to be able to do your job well. If you persist and go to work on an unhealed leg, you may be susceptible to re-injury and that means even more time away from your job. I don't mean to offend you but you know what you do when you're desperate for money. I think this is the most logical solution."

As much as it does offend him when the royal says that, Seth can't deny that he somewhat has a point. He'd sold his body to Bray because he'd been desperate for money. He can't do that again. Anything but that. "What about my clothes? My car? Hell I'm still a student. What about school? Where do I stay? There's so many things I still need to consider."

"I have connections with the chancellor of one of the best colleges in Miami, Seth. You can easily transfer and finish your degree here. Accommodation? I'll offer you a place to stay until you're healed enough and then you can look for an apartment to rent in Miami. Materialistic things can always be rebought. You can always get new clothes and a new car."

The whole thing sounds too good to be true and Seth's curious. Why is Roman offering all this, out of the blue? Maybe this is some dream—and he isn't sure if it's a pleasant one or a nightmare—that he'll wake up from. His vision turns dark when he squeezes his eyes shut. "Seth?" Xavier's calm voice tells him he isn't dreaming. He opens his eyes again, Roman's stoic expression coming into view.

"Why are you doing this?"

He receives a nonchalant shrug in return, "I'm trying to help you Seth. Everything you need to ensure you recover well, I can provide. And in the process, I'm offering you a job and a temporary place to stay. I'm offering free education as well. Think of it as you benefiting from my foundation. Plus, it's also my fault you're in this predicament…" Roman pauses and shifts his eyes to Seth's injured leg. "Though not completely but I still hurt you and I want to help."

"I'm not a charity case. I was doing fine before you came along," Seth ignores Dean and Xavier's tiny gasps. He ignores the dark skinned man's gentle chiding and focuses on Roman.

"I didn't say you were," Roman gets up. He scoffs while looking down at Seth. "I know how fine you were doing before I came along. Just…think about it. We leave in thirty minutes, I'll go update Jimmy and Naomi before we leave."

Seth's eyes follow Roman's confident strides towards the door. The door closes with a silent click after the royal exits. He can sense his friends' eyes on him. "What?"

"That was rude. So unlike you," Xavier tells him.

"Rudeness comes easier than admitting you've got the hots for someone," Dean singsongs. A tiny, "Ow!" escaping him when Seth elbows his midsection.

"I do not have the hots for anyone. Especially not him."

"Yes, you do." Xavier accuses. "I saw you two dancing. All that grinding you were doing…mhm."

"I did it with Dean too!" incredulity fills Seth's voice.

"Hey that was totally innocent," Dean cuts in, a frown appearing on his face. In fact you suggested I dirty dance with you. You told me how to touch…hey!"

Seth turns his attention away from them to stare at a bland painting on teal colored walls. His hands wring together and his cheeks burn in obvious embarrassment. "Seth…were you trying to makePrince Roman jealous?"

"No-no!" Seth's head whips back to his friends. "Xavier…no!"

"You were," Xavier says it matter-of-factly. He knows Seth enough to know that he stutters when he's lying. Plus sometimes he wrings his hands together, like he's doing now.

"I couldn't help it. That—that blond twink was flirting with him and it was just ugh..." Seth draws an arm over his eyes.

"Jello. Sethie is jello, jello. Red jello. J—"

"We get it Dean!" Xavier snaps, eyeing Dean down even though he's way shorter than him. The look causes Dean to burst out laughing and he pinches the dark skinned man's cheeks. "Dean," Xavier scowls.

"Adowable. Just adowable."

"Fucking prick," Seth joins in on Dean's laughter at that. Xavier never swears. He's painfully innocent but painfully perceptive at the same time. "I don't know why you're laughing when you still haven't decided whether or not you're accepting the prince's offer."

"I'm not," Seth says seriously.

"Don't be an idiot. You're being offered a job before you even graduate college. For a field that you studied for. How many people get that opportunity? I'm telling you now that I'd accept it if Roman had offered me the position."

"Are you sure you're my friend Dean? You're way too eager to get rid of me."

"It's just that this opportunity comes once in a while. Grab it with both hands Seth."

"Do what feels right to you," Xavier says, going to stand next to Dean.

What feels right to him…what feels right to him? Seth rests his head on the pillow and ponders on what to do. What would he be returning to Tampa for? His job, his friends, school. The comfort of being in familiar surroundings with the people he knows. And if he stays in Miami, what would he be staying for? A new job that he actually went to college for. A way better salary. He'd get to work with people and make a change in their lives. But he'd still have no friends. And who knows what staying with Roman would be like? What if they argued like they almost always do and the royal kicked him out of his house? What if he fired him over their personal issues? Then again there's also the prospect of starting afresh. Getting to meet new people. "I know what to do," his words have hope in them. He moves his arm to look at his friends. "I just hope I'm making the right decision."


 

"What'd Nia say? We saw her in passing, she was rushing to check on another patient."

Roman accepts the bottle of water from Jimmy, giving him a grateful smile, "She said a lot of things. Medical jargon…" he laughs a little and drinks the cold water. After closing the lid, he continues. "Something about a grade three MCL tear. They put on this brace thing on his right leg. Nia said it's designed to allow his knee to move backward and forward but not side to side. He'll have to keep his knee mobilized like that for 72 hours and then I'll bring him back to get a lightweight cast."

"Did he scream at you when they were prodding his knee?"

"He wanted to rip me apart limb by limb."

"Ouch!" Naomi laughs causing Roman to grin sheepishly. The brunet man had cussed him with words he didn't even know existed when Nia was working on his knee. He'd moan in pain and hide his head in Dean's shoulder, small whimpers sounding in the hospital room. Roman had felt his heart clench whenever the other man held onto Dean—he couldn't place the feeling but it hadn't been a nice one. He'd find himself wanting to push Dean away from Seth so that he could soothe the other man's pained cries. He'd felt that way too when they were at that gay club and Seth had ordered him not to help him but had gladly accepted Dean's help.

Maybe the two had something going on between them? The thought angers him for some reason and he unconsciously tightens his hold on the plastic bottle. He then remembers a conversation with Xavier, the young man had told him that Dean was dating a Swiss man by the name of Tony? No, Antonio. Yes, that's what Xavier had said his name was. But then why had their dancing looked far from innocent? At the time, he hadn't thought much of it because his judgement had been clouded by lust. But maybe Seth and Dean were in a secret relationship and Antonio didn't know about it?

"Hey, did you know Nia—Roman…hey! Roman….earth to the prince!"

It is possible. Sure they all looked like they were close but Xavier hadn't bended—

"Roman!"

"What?!" Roman doesn't mean for his voice to come out angry but thinking about Seth being with anyone is making him…angry. He doesn't know why but the damn brunet's fucking with his thoughts. He's igniting all those emotions he can't control again. Roman clears his throat and looks at Jimmy and Naomi's shocked but curious gazes. "I'm sorry. I was just…thinking."

"About what?" it's Naomi who asks the question.

"…something."

"Like what?" Naomi asks again.

"It's not that important."

"You sure uce?"

Roman smiles at Jimmy, "Yeah, yeah. 'S nothing serious cousin." His attention turns away from them when his name's called. He doesn't look at Dean, focusing on Xavier instead. "You need anything?"

"Seth wants to see you."

"Okay," he leaves his chair and goes in the direction of Seth's room.


 

There's a soft knock on the door before Roman enters. Seth looks at him, unconsciously playing with his hands. His heart beats faster with each quiet step Roman trails towards him until the royal is at his bed, "Hey."

"Hey," Seth responds foolishly. Roman's hand draws patterns on the leg that's covered in a knee brace.

"You made a decision?"

"Yes," Seth takes in a deep breath and lets it out slowly. "I'll stay…I just hope I'm not going to regret it later on."

"I hope so too," a silence blankets the hospital room after Roman says that. It's not stifling or anything, more…comfortable than anything. Seth watches Roman's index finger travel until it reaches his right foot. He holds his breath when the royal draws jumbled patterns on smooth tan skin—it tickles and he finds himself punching Roman's tattooed arm lightly. The royal grins at him and Seth can't help but return it. This man in front of him is gorgeous.

"Who was that lady?"

Confusion morphs the royal's expression, "Who?"

Seth's heart feels like it will jump out of his ribcage at Roman's gaze. The man's beautiful thick eyebrows are furrowed together, his brown eyes squinted just lightly in confusion. "The doctor," like this morning, Seth can't seem to stop himself from asking the questions. "Who was she?"

"Nia? She owns this hospital."

"Is she your girlfriend? Fuck buddy? Lover?" Seth's face turns sour when Roman laughs at him. He can tell it's at his expense and he hates it. He folds his arms across his chest and looks away, "Forget I asked."

"She's my cousin. I mean I know she's drop dead gorgeous and hey…many men fall at her feet but I don't think her husband would appreciate it if I made a move at her. My country wouldn't too. We're not into incest…even if she's a distant cousin." Roman considers Seth carefully and asks, "Why'd you want to know?"

Marriage. Roman mentioned marriage…but how come Seth didn't see her ring. His gaze settles on his lap in embarrassment. Of course he wouldn't have noticed because he was too busy being jealous about the woman's closeness to her cousin. "Just curious…" Seth hopes his voice is unperturbed as his shrug. "There's nothing else we need to do, is there? Can you get Dean and Xavier to come back here so we can leave?"

The dark stare that he saw earlier when Dean was carrying him returns and Seth wonders why. Roman couldn't be jealous of his friends, could he? Seth dismisses the idea, the man didn't look like one who got affected by a lot of things…unlike him. "I'll get you a wheelchair."

"No," Seth shakes his head. "Call Dean."

"I'll carry you. If you'll allow me to."

Roman's whole persona exudes calm as he makes the offer but his voice gives him away. He grits the words out like he doesn't want Seth to be carried by anyone else but him. He slides his hands into his back pockets and waits on Seth's response. "Fine," Seth sighs. He gasps when he's brought into Roman's solid body, the other man's scent invading him. Seth's hands are almost hesitant, scared, as he clutches Roman's grey t-shirt. His knuckles brush against Roman's firm chest and he rests his head against it, feeling Roman's steady heartbeat. The sound soothes his pain and he snuggles deeper into Roman's chest breathing in his exotic scent. Roman's arms tighten around him and it feels nice, safe. Everything else fades into nothing, including their friends' curious glances as they exit the hospital.


 

Seth blinks rapidly while looking up at Roman. He hears Xavier's tiny giggles while Dean cackles besides him on his bed. It's been an hour since they arrived back from the hospital. Dean and Xavier had left Seth alone for a while to go pack their clothing because the two men were leaving tomorrow. Dean being eager to welcome Antonio who'd be coming to Tampa tomorrow and Xavier also had school, plus Randy had been hounding him with phone calls, asking him to come back home.

The two men had promised to visit him every other weekend though and Seth had already called Hunter about everything that had happened in Miami and how he was going to be staying with the Prince for a while. Hunter, being the good boss he is, had wished him luck, only stressing about how he'd have to find Seth's replacement. The only thing left to do was to speak to his college's chancellor via video call about sorting out his transfer to the new college he'd be attending.

"What did you say?"

"I'll be organizing for you to stay in the room next to mine. With your injury, it'll be easier that way. So you don't struggle with anything."

"I don't know what they find funny," Seth smacks Dean upside the head. "When?"

"You can spend the night here. Masina will have everything ready for you tomorrow. She'll move the few items you brought along to that room. Have you decided what you want Bobby to bring to Miami when he comes back?"

"I gave him a list."

Roman nods his head and goes to stare out the window, "Your car?"

"I'm giving it to Xavier. Randy must be getting tried of fetching him every night." Xavier blushes and gives him a grateful smile.

"I still don't understand why you won't let me pay you for it. But I'm grateful. I'm sure Randy will be too…after he calms down."

"If there's nothing else, I'm going to retire for the night."

Seth shakes his head and watches Roman head to the door, "Have a good night and…thank you."

The royal nods and closes the door quietly. A small smile stretches Seth's lips as he exhales quietly. He stares at the door for what feels like forever before reverting his gaze to his friends. Curious eyes are already looking at him, both Xavier and Dean having mischievous little grins covering their lips, "What is it?"

"You like him."

"Do not," the protest is futile. He knows it and that his friends don't believe him, not that he blames them. He's having a hard time convincing himself too. One minute he wants to wring Roman's neck for a number of reasons and the next minute he wants to throw his arms around Roman and beg the man to have his babies.

"You like him," Dean repeats.

"I do," he finally admits. "What do I do you guys? I know this will sound cliché but I have never felt this way before. About anyone. I've never given myself time to actually feel something for anyone. And then this…this gorgeous royal Adonis ignites feelings in me without even trying. He's not even trying. With the way I'm going, I'll end up falling for him…maybe I should leave and go back home with you guys."

"Maybe he likes you too?" Xavier asks.

Seth dismisses him with a tiny head shake. "The man changes his mind like the weather Xav. When we were dancing, I thought he maybe a tiny part of him does. And then he was leaning his head down like he wanted to kiss me before he changed his mind and said that it was a mistake. I…" Seth sighs, looking at Xavier dejectedly. "I don't get him, Xav. When he's kind, I can't help falling, you know? I can't help it. But then he goes and screws up again, making me angry."

"But the anger doesn't overpower how much you like him."

"No," Seth agrees.

"Look, I think he likes you too." Xavier explains further when Seth gives him a disbelieving look, "You can't fake that connection I saw between you two when you were dancing Seth. You guys barely pay us any mind when you're together. And your eyes always seem to find each other… I think he likes you."

"It's probably futile," Seth sighs. "I'm an idiot for talking about feelings when there's probably no chance of anything more growing between us. I'm experiencing my first crush. That's all it is…nothing more."

"You're twenty-nine and you're experiencing your first crush," Dean cackles.

"That's it! Out Dean, get out of my room. And don't you dare come back in the morning to say goodbye. I don't want to see your homeless looking ass anywhere near me tomorrow."

Dean gets off the bed when Seth repeatedly smacks his head, "Alright, alright. Damn! I'll see you tomorrow."

"I don't think so. Night, Xav." He accepts Xavier's kiss on the forehead. Once his friends leave his room, he turns off the bedside lamp and falls back on plush white pillows. The fluffy pillows smell heavenly and he brings one close to him. Tonight's events play in his mind, and he finds himself feeling a bit nervous, and a bit scared. He just went from being a bartender living in a tiny apartment to being offered a position, working for a very powerful man and staying in said man's house—his big mansion—that Seth's sure he's still going to get lost in.

Roman had mentioned getting him a physical therapist to help with his rehabilitation. He'd be making use of the royal's indoor gym once the pain and swelling subside. Seth's still not sure why Roman was doing everything he was, but he couldn't deny that he was grateful. Every kind gesture that Roman was doing was causing the cracks on walls to spread out bit by bit. And Seth didn't know how to stop it but Roman would probably find a way—the royal is a temperamental man after all, at least around Seth.

He dreams of Roman when he goes to sleep that night—the images playing in his mind drift to different scenarios with the gorgeous man. They all end, however, with him falling in the exotic Adonis's bed, whimpering, moaning and gasping in pleasure the royal brings him.


 

His eyes snap open when his door opens roughly the following morning. Dean's the first one who comes into view, fake crying about how sad he is that he's leaving. Seth rolls his eyes and sits up, he knows he's hard when his hand brushes against his cock innocently. The dreams he'd had last night…a barely contained moan slips past his lips and he takes the white pillow next to him, placing it on his lap, "Leaving already?"

Dean continues fake crying while walking towards him with Xavier in tow. "You slept right through the morning. It's noon."

Seth's eyes widen, "Really?"

"Yup," Xavier nods.

"Where's the prince?"

"Talking to Bobby. We just came to say bye. I'll miss you so much Seth," Xavier's eyes water and he hugs Seth with everything in him.

"I'm not that far, babe. You can come see me whenever you want."

"I know, it's just…" Xavier sniffles pulling away from Seth. "I'll really miss you. Don't forget about us once you get some new friends here."

"Course not. You're my bestie…even the idiot with the ginger hair."

Xavier chuckles and stands back while Dean has his moment with Seth as well. "Don't be afraid to take what you want if he keeps giving you mixed signals. Suck that dick and ride it until he can't think straight…make him think about it even when he's working. I know what I'm talking about."

Seth sputters and pushes Dean away from him. "Dean! What if he was at the door? I don't want him thinking I'll seduce him in his own house."

"But you will," Dean deadpans.

"No, I won't. Chances are I'd get my hopes up only to have them crushed again. I'm not going to put myself through that." Seth states.

"You guys are going to fuck. I know you're not going to leave this fine man's house without getting a taste of his dick. I know that. But remember, do not, I repeat, do not get pregnant and have his babies. You'll make me a very disappointed dad if you do, get him to marry you first. Oh and the next time we visit, I want to know if you guys have fucked yet." Seth groans at Dean's bluntness while Xavier laughs softly. "I also want to know dick size, thickness and all that shit. Is he good in bed—cause I think he's great in bed—and his favorite positions, deal?"

"The things you say Dean."

"I know," Dean laughs with Xavier. He turns back to face Seth. "We should be leaving now. They're waiting for us outside."

"I love you, both of you. So much." Seth's voice wobbles when both his friends bring him in for a group hug. The pillow falls out of his lap, and his erection's slowly going down. His eyes water as he watches Dean and Xavier exit his room. It's about twenty minutes later that he hears the sound of a chopper outside his window. So Xavier and Dean were going back home by helicopter. He futilely tries to wipe his tears away when the door opens softly and in enters Roman.

"Are you alright?"

Seth wants to say yes but he isn't. His friends have just left him, though he'd made the decision to stay behind, it still hurts. The uncertainty of things to come causes his heart to tremble in fear. He's alone again. What if Roman wakes up tomorrow and changes his mind? What if things don't work out in Miami? What if this whole thing is a mistake? So many thoughts run through his mind, all jumbled and messed up and they do nothing to put his heart at ease. His arms automatically wrap around Roman's neck when he feels the royal's arms encircle his waist. "Please don't make me regret this," he whispers shakily against Roman's neck.

"I'll try my best not to," Roman's voice against his ear sends shivers down his spine. The response isn't the one he's hoping for but knowing that Roman is going to try settles the war going on in his mind. When they pull back, Roman wipes his tears away and grabs his knuckles, kissing them softly like he did that night in the bathroom. "Do you want anything to eat?"

"Are you going to make me something?"

Roman shakes his head and kisses his knuckles again, "I can get Masina to prepare something for you."

"Bummer," Seth fakes his disappointment. "And here I was thinking that I'm special enough for the Prince to prepare me something."

"If you want to die by food poisoning, sure."

Roman grins when Seth punches him lightly. "Are you telling me that you can't even fry an egg?"

He receives a lighthearted snort in return, "Of course I can fry eggs, but they're not as good as Masina's. So, can I get you anything?"

"Yes. Get me anything."

"Alright. I'll come back soon," Roman replies, his voice full of laughter, he leaves Seth's room and Seth falls back on the bed. He sighs contently as he stares at the elegant lights on the ceiling. Roman and him were already starting on a good page, he just hopes they'd be able to keep the peace for a little while longer.

Chapter Text

"What do they call these movies again?"

"Nollywood," Roman responds. They're in the den watching their third African film for the night, on a Monday. It's Seth's fault really, the brunet hadn't and still doesn't believe that Roman actually knows how to have fun. And Roman figures Seth's probably right, but he wouldn't let the man believe that he's a complete bore. Which is why they find themselves in the den, indulging in one of his hobbies—movie watching.

Both barely pay any attention to the way their bodies are touching. They're sat so close together that their bare arms are touching, Roman's in a pair of maroon silky boxers and nothing else. Seth's wearing an oversized t-shirt and Roman's Nike shorts. He doesn't own much loose clothing, and Roman had been surprised that Seth's only clothing that qualified to be called baggy were his oversized t-shirts and two sweaters. Seth is going to get a few loose clothing with Manuia tomorrow though, to look more presentable when going to college on Wednesday, besides, it would be impossible for him to wear his tight jeans over the cast that's covering half his right leg.

Seth's arm brushes against his again when he laughs at something he finds funny, "He's stealing his sister-in-law's food. This isn't going to end well," Roman finds the scene funny as well especially when the man gets caught. He turns to look at Seth who's still gleaming with mirth. Roman is left in awe of the man's beauty, even with his messy brown hair, Seth looks gorgeous. Their eyes connect when Seth turns to look at him, that gorgeous smile still lighting up his face. Roman gets an urge to bring him closer, to drape an arm over Seth's shoulders and kiss the messy mane. But he doesn't. He gives Seth a raised eyebrow instead, laughing when the smaller man merely shrugs his shoulder before going back to the movie. "She's a princess right?"

"Yes," Roman replies, his own eyes going to the movie. "That wooden handle with the hair is called a fly-whisk, it forms part of their royal regalia."

"You seem to know a lot about their culture."

"One of my great friends and associate is Nigerian. He tries to teach me a thing or two about their culture every time I see him. But it's also refreshing to learn about other cultures and how our different cultures are interconnected," Roman finds Seth already looking at him intently. The man seems to be genuinely interested in what he has to say as if he doesn't want to miss a word Roman utters. Roman smiles, before grabbing Seth's right hand to kiss his knuckles softly. It's something he does without notice, something that's quickly becoming natural to him. "A lot other countries use the fly-whisk as part of royal regalia even us Lanuolans."

"Do you have it?"

"Yes."

"Would you…please show it to me? If you don't mind."

Roman spares Seth a quizzical glance before nodding his head, "I don't mind." His arm goes around Seth's waist, helping the injured brunet up. He guides them to the hallway before stopping at a shiny mahogany door with a gold ribbon on it. Light floods the room immediately they enter, and Roman lets go of Seth's waist, allowing him to examine the room. The room's littered with gifts and royal paraphernalia from royals and associates from all parts of the world. So many different, but equally beautiful, to Roman, items flood the room's walls. Some of the items include beadwork, paintings, swords and traditional attire belonging to the various countries. There's two built-in glass closets that display some of the items and Roman watches in amusement as Seth skips from one item to the other, a child-like fascination etching his face. It's adorable, and for a while he's taken back in time to when Tyler would have the same expression Seth's currently displaying.

"This is beautiful," Seth whispers. Roman follows his voice and his eyes settle on a portrait of a young woman wearing traditional Ndebele attire. Her hair is shaved off and traditional African beads and gold bangles adorn her shaven head and her arms including her bare upper body.

"I got that from the Ndebele people when I visited their province a while ago. You should see their traditional houses, absolutely beautiful." Roman then heads to a safe and takes out his fly-whisk before going to Seth's direction, "Here."

When Seth turns to face him, they're again in close proximity, barely an inch of space separating them. Their different scents mingle, the space between them becoming cosy. It doesn't seem to bother them though as Seth takes the fly-whisk from Roman's hands. The fly-whisk has a handle made of complete gold and tail horse hair is attached to it. Seth runs his fingers through the hair, the child-like fascination creeping up again. "Roman, this is beautiful."

"It is right?" Roman smiles looking down at the beautiful man in front of him, "In Polynesian culture, it's used as a ceremonial mark of authority. But in Lanuola, only royals carry it and the elders belonging to the royal council use it when blessing a young man transitioning from the stage of being a boy to a man."

Seth's looking up at him, his face is lit up like the sun, and it reminds Roman of Seth's friends. How the pair would give him the same look, as if Roman was their sun, but with Seth it's different. The alluring brunet's warm orbs reveal an adoration that causes Roman's heart to stutter. His own eyes roam Seth's face until they stop at rosy lips. Roman gets the urge again, he wants to join Seth's lips with his own. He wants to taste them, properly this time. But he doesn't. He moves away from Seth and goes back to the safe. He takes out a few traditional items, going back to Seth.

"This is our traditional scarf. They vary in color but for royalty, it's navy and has gold trimmings with our initials on both ends. And these are coral beads, they look like the ones they use in West Africa," he takes the fly-whisk and places the items in Seth's hands, their hands touching, sending 1000 volts of current through their bodies. Seth looks away, and Roman clears his throat before continuing in an even tone. "And this is the 'ie lavalava, we wear this on formal occasions. Family gatherings and any other celebrations. If I were in Lanuola I'd probably wear this everyday. The King is a very traditional man, never wants us to stray from our customs and who we are."

"These are really beautiful," Seth runs his hand through the turquoise 'ie lavalava before giving the items to Roman who returns them into the safe. "Tell me more about your country?"

Roman looks back at him, the man's blushing, and there was an uncertainty he'd heard in Seth's voice as he'd asked the question. Almost as if he'd been scared to ask, Roman sighs and goes to stand in front of him again. "Lanuola's beautiful Seth. We're located in the South Pacific Ocean, where the weather's usually tropical and humid. We're Samoan descendants but you know how it is with the world. There's a mixture of Tongans, Tahitians and a lot of other tribes. We even have African descendants, hence the coral beads which we inherited from West Africa. Our country's not perfect, there's a few areas that need improvement but we're a really beautiful people. We understand each other, embrace our differences and we're diverse. It's what I love most about us, our diversity."

Seth gets that look again and Roman looks away this time, quite bashful. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing's wrong," there's warmth in Seth's voice. "It's just…this is the most I've heard you speak in the three days I've been living with you. It's…" Seth trails off, looking for the correct word. "It's endearing. Cute."

Seth has a point, Roman's barely spoken a lot since they've began living together. During the weekend he'd spoken a few words to the man, but Roman isn't much of a talker, really. He's not the 'keep the conversation flowing' type. But he's gotten better, he finds himself talking too much when he's around Naomi because the beautiful dark skinned woman doesn't ever shut up and pesters him until he gives in. "What do you mean cute?"

Seth laughs, it's a genuine hearty laugh that Roman realizes he wouldn't mind hearing for the rest of his life. He crosses his arms against his impeccable chest, giving the smaller man a straight face and a raised eyebrow. "It's a compliment. You just never talk much. You never have fun. All I've seen you do is work. You're a workaholic."

"I just enjoy my work," Roman shrugs. Seth nods his head, covering his mouth while yawning. "You're tired, let me take you to bed."

"And who told you I was tired?"

"Your face, your posture…your eyes," their eyes connect when Roman says that. Silence ensues, tension growing between the two them, there's humor in it though. Roman's lips slowly stretch into a smile, watching Seth mimic the action.

"You're an idiot."

"At least you don't look like you want to kill me like you did that day in the press conference,"

"You don't know that, I could just be waiting for the right moment."

"You couldn't possibly want the world to be rid of one of it's wonders, would you?"

Seth rolls his eyes, "You really are an arrogant asshole." Roman's laugh turns into a yawn, and Seth touches his shoulder. "You look more tired than I do. It's nearing midnight, and you're going to work tomorrow morning. You should get to bed."

Roman can't argue with that. He is tired, but he dreads going back to bed. Sleep isn't something that comes easily to him. His mind rarely turns off, it drifts from one thought to the other but when it does decide to switch off to allow him a few hours of sleep, he finds himself waking up not even three hours later because of the dreams. And Roman, he can't talk to anyone about it, he feels he can't. Manuia's tried to, but he doesn't know how deep the damage runs. He doesn't understand how much Tyler ruined him.

"Roman?"

"Mhm?"

"Are you okay?"

"Yes," his voice comes out hoarse and he has to clear his throat. "I'm fine. Let me take you to bed," Roman blinks his eyes rapidly to clear his blurry vision. Seth doesn't believe him, he can tell—he needs to rectify that. So he fixes his posture and blinks the emotions right out of his eyes. "I'll take you to bed now." The brunet clings to him when he carries him out of the room. He gets that urge again—to join Seth's lips with his own. Seth's arms encircle him, his warm breath fans his neck, it sends delicious tingles down his back. Roman's heart thuds in his ribcage, his stomach twists in knots, Seth's so close to him. He enters the brunet's room, light flooding the elegant spacious room.

"Thank you," Seth whispers when Roman places him gently on the bed. Roman looks down at the smaller man. He tries to understand it, what it is exactly about Seth that captures his attention. Yes, Seth is beautiful, so beautiful and the last time Roman took time to appreciate beauty when he saw it was with Nikki. But there's something about Seth. Something that grabs his attention even when the man is doing nothing at all. Roman finds himself wanting to look into the man's soulful eyes, his hand travels on it's own accord to grip Seth's chin gently so that they're eye to eye.

Seth's eyes search his own, but Roman knows how to keep his eyes blank. He knows how not to show emotion, he's been doing it for years. There's a fear in Seth's brown orbs, an uncertainty that Roman blames himself for. He's been playing with Seth's emotions. But he can't be blamed, he can't even understand the feelings he's going through. Which is why his hand leaves Seth's face and he turns away from him, heading for the door. "Have a goodnight, Seth." He's out of the door before Seth can respond.

It's midnight when he gets beneath the comfort of his covers, and his eyes slide shut.

It's not even three hours later that he wakes up, body wet with sweat, face even wetter with tears. His room's too dark. He closes his eyes and regrets doing so when the images from his dreams assault him. The wails accompany the images and his hands go to his ears. This…this is what Tyler had done to him. This is how Tyler had destroyed him, "FUCK TYLER! PLEASE C-COME BACK!" He screams in anguish, begging for something he knows can never be. He's leaving the bed, padding barefoot towards the door. He needs to get rid of his pain somehow—the gym's door is barely closed when his knuckles connect with the punching bag he bought just a month ago. Because the old one felt his wrath and got destroyed.


 

He wakes up knowing that the other man has left already, the watch on the bedside table says it's eight in the morning. Seth holds the blanket around his waist as he stares at the ceiling, a part of him wonders if he'd offended Roman in any way last night. The man had come to wake him when he left for work at 05:00 yesterday, but today…nothing. A sigh leaves him, maybe Roman had an important meeting and he couldn't come to bid him goodbye this morning. Besides, the man didn't owe him anything, especially not goodbyes. He's just being childish.

Today's the day he's supposed to go out with Manuia to get a few items for his first day at the new college, and the royal's bodyguard had told him they leave at ten. So Seth gets up, with a little difficulty because of his plastered leg and heads into the en-suite bathroom. He takes care of his morning routine, slower than usual because his mind keeps drifting to Roman. The man confuses him, Roman's been nothing but kind to him in the four days they have been living together, but he'd left him again last night. One minute the man's touching Seth like he wants him, and then the next he's pulling away, creating distance between the two of them in more than one way. When he lets his guard down, Seth can see his kindness, the man behind the stoic exterior but it never lasts for too long because Roman always goes back to being an unreadable mask. He's confusing.

Seth wraps a fluffy towel around his waist and heads back into the bedroom. He lotions his body, picking out a black t-shirt and a pair of Roman's grey Nike shorts. The man loves Nike and Seth had discovered that most of his sports apparel consists of the brand. The shorts are baggy on him, and are way past his knees—he looks ridiculous. Seth sees it when he's giving himself a once over in the full-body mirror after tying his brown mane into a ponytail. He's in the kitchen and ready for breakfast at 09:00. Yes, he took an hour getting ready as a guy. But between Roman stressing him out and his injury, one really can't blame him.

"Morning," he smiles when he enters the kitchen. "Need help with anything?"

Masina turns to look at him, a scowl marring her chocolate skin. "I don't want you helping me with anything while you're injured. Go to the breakfast room, I'll bring you breakfast." Seth wants to tell her he's fine and wants to help when she gently chases him out of the kitchen, "I'm serious Mr. Rollins. Roman said you need to rest your leg. He tasked me with taking care of you. I'm not going to let him down."

Sunny warmth shouldn't be spreading all over his body, but it does. Seth's heart stops for a minute at Masina's words before he melts. With joy. With adoration. With…love? Seth isn't sure, but something is definitely happening to his cardiac organ—the stupid thing. It thumps with fervor, and it doesn't help his case that his stomach's out to connive against him as well. The stupid thing keeps twisting and turning. Let's not even get started on his lungs—Seth's finding it hard to breathe. And not to mention his—fuck his whole body is betraying him and reacting to Masina's words because a part of him thinks maybe Roman cares.

Maybe the royal cares for him just like Seth finds himself caring for Roman. Because Seth had found himself caring for Roman that night he found the man in the gym. Even when he'd convinced himself he didn't. And he hasn't stopped since, even when the royal does and says things that hurt him. And maybe it's the kind of person he is, the ones who never stop being kind even when the world works against them and gives them a reason not to.

Masina comes in with a tray filled with assorted breakfast goodies, food Seth surely can't finish alone. He misses Dean because he knows his auburn-haired friend would finish everything on his tray within ten minutes. "Thank you," he smiles when Masina comes back with another tray with a coffee pot and orange juice. Seth isn't much of an eater and chooses to eat what he thinks qualifies as a light breakfast, an omelet that tastes divine paired with fresh orange juice.

"Good morning," Manuia comes into view. Seth's expecting to see him with Bobby but the big man's alone, and he's walking funny. Seth wants to chuckle because he knows exactly what Manuia's been up to but he's not yet close to Manuia and doesn't want to be turned into a crushed can.

"Manuia, have a good night?"

The chuckle falls off his lips unbidden when Manuia's dark skin takes on a red color. The man's blushing. As big as he is, Manuia's blushing and it's endearing. Kind of like it was with Roman last night, when the royal was talking about his country. "I know what you're thinking, and all I have to say is it's not what you think."

"And what was I thinking?" Manuia gets the 'I want the earth to swallow me now' expression and Seth laughs harder. "It's okay Manuia. I just didn't think you bottomed. But Bobby's just as big as you, maybe you guys share the responsibility?"

Manuia groans, "Are we really discussing my sex life?"

"Why not?" Seth shrugs, taking the last sip of his orange juice. He gets up and follows Manuia to the door. "So do you guys take turns? Or are you just a bottom?"

Manuia opens the door for him before closing it and going to the driver's side, "Why'd you wanna know?"

"Just curious. I can always ask Roman if you're chicken," he isn't but he's just teasing the man. Besides Manuia and Bobby look so in love, and he's not even asked them a single thing about their relationship.

"I…love bottoming," Manuia says looking at Seth through the rearview mirror. "Bobby's strictly a top."

"How long have you guys been together?"

"Six months," Manuia stops at a red light, his hands thumping lightly on the steering wheel. "I've only just discovered how fucking amazing it can feel to have a dick inside your ass though. I'd always associated the act with pain." Manuia clears his throat. "But with Bobby, it was hard at first, he was willing to bottom for me but I wouldn't do it because I thought I'd be hurting him. It's through his selflessness that I knew I had to sacrifice for him too. So a month ago, it was his birthday and my present for him was my hole."

Seth laughs at the last part, and Manuia joins in on it. "You're crazy."

"What? I'm just telling it like it is."

"As long as you're happy. I mean that's what matters right?"

"One hundred percent," Manuia says. They finally get to their first stop. Manuia gets out of the driver's side and goes to open the backdoor for Seth. They enter the mall and Seth notices that the man heads straight for a designer store. Roman didn't discuss how much they'd be spending on him, but Seth doesn't like owing people things. If they're shopping at expensive stores then how would he be able to pay Roman back? He doesn't want to owe anyone money, especially Roman. He grabs Manuia's arm before they can enter the Ralph Lauren store, "What is it?"

Seth pulls Manuia aside, they're already getting attention from a couple of people passing them. In fact they'd received attention the minute they stepped foot into the busy mall but Seth hadn't thought much of it. It's only when a click of someone's phone flashes in his face that he realizes why. Manuia takes it in stride and ignores the person snapping the picture, so Seth decides to do the same. But didn't these people have something better to do with their lives? Weren't they over the whole prostitution thing? Couldn't they focus on the latest gossip or something?

"Manuia, please. I know I won't be able to pay back the prince if we enter this store. Can we go to a cheaper one where normal people shop, please?"

Manuia shakes his head, already heading inside the store. "No can do, Seth. Roman instructed me to take you to the stores that he shops at, and this is one of them. And who told you he wanted you to pay him back?"

"I'll have to pay him back Manuia. I don't like feeling indebted to people. I don't want to owe Roman anything," Seth whispers dejectedly, while walking behind Manuia.

Manuia turns to face him, pausing while considering Seth carefully. "I think I know what this is about. Your first impression of Roman isn't who he is. He's not some narcissist who'll use this against you one day. Just…give him the benefit of the doubt. He'll surprise you."

"I – I… it's not like that," Seth stammers. Manuia gives him a raised eyebrow, it's similar to the one Roman gives him and Seth realizes how the two almost act the same way. It's just Manuia's kinder, and has a warmth about him. Roman has it also, Seth's seen it once or twice, but he can also be as stoic as a mannequin. "I just don't like owing anyone anything."

"You're not owing anyone anything. You're spending your boss's cash, he's given you permission to indulge in his cash. He wants you to splash it on whatever you want. It's what the boss wants, you can't go against his orders."

Seth knows when he's fighting a losing fight, so he surrenders and grabs the first expensive jeans he sees.

***

It's well past three when they finally make it back to Roman's mansion. Manuia asks Masina to help him carry the bags, and they're a lot. Manuia took him to store after store, helping him choose new clothing, including designer jeans that Seth just knows will fit his toned body snugly once he gets rid of the ugly cast covering his leg. And he now has a new phone, an iPhone something, apparently it's the latest one. When he'd seen the total of everything they'd purchased, he'd gasped in horror wanting to return a few items. But Manuia had to him to 'relax', they'd spent far lower than what Roman had approved. Not even ten percent according to Manuia.

"Are you hungry?"

Seth looks up from his new phone, "No." he tells Manuia who's stood just outside his door. When had the big man even opened his door? "I'm still trying to digest the $1000 meal I ate about two hours ago. It's taking quite a while though, how about you ask me that question in a week's time?"

"Haha, very funny." Manuia rolls his eyes. "Do you wanna know what makes a rich man happy?" Manuia receives a shrug in return. "When you spend his money. That makes a rich man very, very happy."

"It doesn't make it any less weird or scary for me though."

"You'll get used to it."

Seth doubts it but he says nothing. Manuia leaves him after a while, apparently Bobby needs him somewhere. Probably in his bedroom, but Seth says nothing, and instead allows the man to leave. He decides to prepare everything he'll need for tomorrow. He's still nervous about this move, about college and meeting new people. Roman had of course gotten him into one of the best colleges in Miami, and he wonders how the kids are. McMahon college is an expensive one and there's bound to be snotty brats who think they own the world because their mommies and daddies have money. He's suddenly grateful that Roman gave Manuia that card. With how cheap some if his old clothes are, he'd no doubt have ended up being embarrassed by a bunch of kids. Even if he only has his classes three days a week, chances are there'd be one or two brats who'd have made fun of him.

Yes, he's 29. Yes, people's opinions of him still affect him. Because he's still human, and he has feelings, and being made fun of isn't exactly fun…no matter what the age. He's just finished everything when his phone rings, it's a video call from Dean. Seth settles on his bed and accepts the call. A smile lights up his face when he spots Dean and Xavier's faces. "You guys fucked yet?" is Dean's first question.

Seth rolls his eyes and greets a giggling Xavier instead, "Xav, I miss you babe. How's everything in Tampa?"

Dean speaks up before Xavier can say anything. "Seth, come oooonnn! Give me something. Is he great in bed? What does his dick look like? Is he thick? Please give me something!"

"I don't know Dean. Why don't you ask him when you come over this weekend? I'm not sleeping with him."

"But you will."

"Look, I don't think so. The man's married to his work. Do you really think he has time for sex? I bet he doesn't even jerk off like most guys."

"I think he does," Dean says, mischievousness filling his voice. "I think he beats his meats off while thinking about you…"

Xavier's giggles increase rapidly, and Seth rolls his eyes again. What's happened to Xavier? The younger man's been away from him for three days and he's already changing. Isn't he supposed to be the innocent mother hen who blushes beet red at topics about sex. Seth looks at the dark skinned man, the man is glowing. Seriously, Seth's always seen the dark skinned man's beauty but this time there's more to it. "What's up with you Xav? Has Randy increased your prescription of vitamin D?"

And there it is—that blush that Xavier can't help but get when they're talking about sex. Xavier looks between Dean and then Seth before looking back at Dean. "Seth, no! W-what, you're embarrassing m-me." The curly-haired man stammers.

"He's gaining a bit too, I don't know what Randy's doing to him." Dean pipes in lightheartedly.

"Ugh,"

Seth and Dean laugh at Xavier's expense. They stop when Xavier tears up, threatening to leave and threatening not to join Dean in coming to Miami this weekend. They both apologize and Xavier goes back to being happy again, the whole thing leaves Seth perplexed but he says nothing. Seth then tells them about how he's loving Miami so far and about his clothes and the new phone. He shows them a few of the items he bought with Manuia, before Dean and Xavier tell him about their schedules and the latest gossip in Tampa. The rest of the call is spent gossiping about Roman, with Dean pestering Seth with question after question.

"Has he tried to you know, kiss you again?"

"No, Dean." Seth sighs.

"Okay, but how is he? Is he like a gentleman, like my Toni is, or is he a cold hearted 'I'm only nice twice a week' bastard, like Randy is?"

"Hey!" Xavier scowls, "That's not true, Seth tell him Randy isn't like that."

"My comments are strictly reserved," Seth grins. "And I'm not sure, Dean. Like I told y'all before, the man can be really kind when he wants to be. But he's just…Roman most of the time."

"Roman?"

"I don't know what else to say, Dean." Seth says biting on his bottom lip. "How do you describe someone who rarely shows emotion? He's a robot? A robot who's obsessed with his work? A robot who loves his country and enjoys foreign films? A robot who knows how to speak ten different languages?" Seth's voice grows softer and he isn't even talking to his friends anymore. The thoughts about all he's learned about Roman in their four days of living together comes to mind. His heart is melting again. With adoration for a big man who rarely shows emotion, and changes like a switch. His heart melts for a big man whose eyes sparkle when talking about things he is passionate about. His heart melts for the giant of a man who keeps Donald Duck plasters in his first aid kit. "He's just…Roman."

"I hope you're not falling in love with that man, Seth." Dean says in a serious tone. "You haven't even had his dick, and you're already getting these gaga eyes talking about him. It's not how it works, follow the rules."

"I'm not in love with him," Seth scoffs, his attention going back to his friends. He tries to justify himself when Dean and Xavier give him disbelieving looks, "I'm not going to fall in love with him. I'm just admiring his traits."

"If you say so."

Their conversation continues for about another ten minutes, and they sort out Xavier and Dean's arrival for the weekend. Seth bids them farewell, watching his friends disappear when Dean ends the call. He notes that he spoke to Dean and Xavier for nearly thirty minutes. It still doesn't feel like enough time, it'll never be enough time when it comes to those two. They're his best friends, they're his strength when he's weak. They're his pillars of support.

Seth decides to freshen up in preparation for supper, it's just after five, and if he's correct, Roman should be on his way back home now. Seth pauses at that, Roman's house is becoming his home. It's only been four days and the other man's house is already becoming his home, he even knows when he should be expecting Roman to come back. Look at your life, he thinks lightly, a grin pulling at his lips.

After his bath, Seth slips on a fresh oversized t-shirt and Roman's shorts. Yes, he has his own now but he'll wear Roman's, they smell like him, and well Seth, he loves smelling like Roman. The royal's scent is exotic, and manly, and Seth gets beautiful dreams when he goes to bed wearing the bigger man's shorts. That's a lie, the beautiful dreams began a while ago but they're that much better when he's wearing Roman's shorts.

It's thirty minutes after six when Roman finally enters the house. Seth is in the kitchen with Masina when he hears the door opening, and his scent assaults him. Seth's drawn to it, just like he's drawn to the owner of the powerful scent. His heart and lungs stop working with each step he hears trailing towards the kitchen. He gets the urge to go hug Roman when the man finally appears. The urge gets stronger, he wants to wrap his arms around Roman's neck and kiss him silly. He doesn't. He admires instead.

Roman is the definition of classy power in a white dress shirt with the last two buttons undone. He's in a pair of formfitting maroon formal pants and a diamond watch wraps his left wrist perfectly. A few hair strands have slipped out of his low bun making him look like a god. An Adonis sex god. "Family," Roman greets them, one hand carrying his briefcase while the other remains in his pants pocket.

As is the usual case with Masina when she's around Roman and Manuia, she greets Roman in Samoan and says a few words in the language. Seth doesn't understand and keeps his gaze on Roman, who returns the favor. The royal is talking to Masina but he looks at Seth, intensely, Seth isn't sure what the look means but he doesn't look away. "Did you have a good day, Seth?" Roman asks him when Masina goes into the dining room.

"Y-yes," Seth stutters. Roman does what he does best. He gives him the famous raised eyebrow, "Yes." Seth says more clearer this time. "Thank you…for the clothes and other things."

Roman nods his head, a smile playing on his lips. "It's a pleasure," he's outside the door when he speaks up again, "I must say I'm disappointed though."

"W-why?" the damn stutter has returned.

"You didn't even spend a tenth of what I wanted you too when you deserved it," Roman looks at him from the doorway. "People like you deserve the world, Seth Rollins." Seth's left dumbfounded as the man, again, doesn't give him a chance to respond before he leaves. The rich bastard.


 

Seth's grateful when he first lecture of the day finally finishes. He grabs his books and laptop, placing the items in his bag. He has another lecture in an hour's time for yet another two hours before he's allowed to go home. The lecturer, Mr. Langston, smiles at him on his way out. Seth returns it, awkwardly though, the man had been looking at him throughout his entire lecture, with his goggly glasses that are far too big on his mousy face.

Seth had pretended to not see the stares, it's not like every other person inside the lecture hall hadn't been staring at him as well. In fact the stares had begun immediately Roman opened his door for him and walked him with his arm around Seth's waist to his first class. Seth's still surprised that Roman actually returned home from work to escort him to college. The royal had said he couldn't miss Seth's first day, to which had Seth rolled his eyes, because he isn't a kid.

Anyway, all eyes had been on them immediately they left the Bentley. Some eyes had been awestruck, some had been jealous and some were curious. A part of Seth had felt satisfaction at the looks they'd received, his mind screaming a lot of things at the onlookers. Things like, yes hot Adonis dude is holding him like he's the most valuable thing on earth. Things like, yes hot Adonis dude is walking him to class. And yes, hot Adonis dude is with him. Childish, he knows.

He buys a light meal with the debit card Roman gave him earlier that day and settles on one of the comfy chairs at the coffee shop/bookstore he's at. He'd just wait here until the clock hit three o'clock for his last class. Roman and Manuia would pass on their way here from work to collect him. Thinking about Roman automatically brings a smile to his face. After the man had escorted him to his class, he'd still sent him a message wishing him a great day on his first day at college.

Seth sighs as he responds mindlessly to a text from Dean. Roman still confuses him. All the understated gestures coming from the man are causing his walls to break down and it terrifies him. It terrifies him how he's feeling all these different emotions for a man who hardly shows him what he's feeling. A part of him feels like he's giving his heart to someone who wants no part of it. Which is funny because Roman didn't ask for his heart to begin with but his cardiovascular organ has already decided that it wants a man who could very well hurt him in the end. The stupid organ.

He's finished his lunch by 02:40, and so decides to trek back to college for his final lecture. He arrives there ten minutes later and finds the door closed. The clock hits three but there's still no sign of the lecturer or any other students. Instead a few students take his pictures like they did earlier and some of the bastards unashamedly look at him. He checks his phone to make sure he's got the right lecture hall and yes, he's waiting outside the correct class. His dumb side tells him to peek through the windows even though he knows no one's in the class.

An internal debate ensues within him, when his phone reveals that it's ten minutes after three. He wants to call Manuia and ask the man to fetch him. He scrolls down to find Manuia's name, and bites on his bottom lip while thinking about what to do. When they'd dropped him off at noon, Roman had told Seth that he would be attending a meeting with a few world leaders and UN representatives to discuss the Ebola outbreak in the DRC. Seth knows the meeting is a serious one and Manuia had left with Roman for it, he can't possibly disrupt their meeting because he wants to go home.

"You look like you need some rescuing."

The husky voice startles him out of his thoughts. Seth looks up and sees a guy with a scruffy beard and dark brown hair. The man's wearing loose fitting whitewash jeans and a black band tank top and finishes his look with one of those bohemian looking scarfs. The man honestly reminds Seth of a hipster. "Excuse me?" he asks after a while. His voice reveals his embarrassment, he'd stared at the guy far longer than he should've.

"Your face…" the guy speaks up again. "You look like you want to get out of here."

The guy's hit the nail on the head, Seth desperately wants to leave this place. His lecturer is not here and he has to deal with a bunch of immature college kids giving him various expressions that he's too lazy to read and on top of that he has to deal with their lack of respect for his privacy. The damn brats keep snapping his pictures like he belongs to that plastic surgery family or something.

"Look I can help you out if you want to. There's a really good burger joint I know a distance away from here. It's in a chill area, so you won't need to worry about all of this…" scruffy guy nods his head towards some of the students.

Seth raises an eyebrow (Roman's expressions are already rubbing up on him.) "I don't even know you." He says.

"I'm Elias."

This Elias says that as if it should be explanation enough. As if only his name should get Seth to trust him. Seth's not a fool though, he looks into the man's brown eyes and tries to understand, if only a bit. The man's eyes are rich and warm but he can see a mischievousness in them as well. The guy overall gives off good vibes, and Seth thinks maybe he can trust the guy…only for today though. "And why should I trust you?" he asks.

"Because I'm a good guy. Ask anyone on campus. There's a reason they all choose to walk with Elias."

Seth rolls his eyes at that, a small smile playing on his lips. "I don't exactly see anyone walking with Elias at the moment."

"That's because I chased them away," Elias responds. "The only person I want walking with Elias at the moment is standing right in front of me."

That catches Seth off guard. He's silent for a while looking at the smiling bigger man, "Are you…are you flirting with me?"

"I don't know, am I?" Elias laughs when Seth groans, giving him the eye roll again. "Look, like I said, I know we just met but you really look like you need some rescuing so I can help you man. I'll take you out, we'll have some great food over a great conversation. It's a winning deal for everyone."

The internal debate ensues again, Seth doesn't think his lecturer is coming. That much was obvious when not even one student came to join him outside the class. And he can't call Manuia because the man's probably with Roman. He's not sure about Bobby's schedule but the man could also be busy with something important somewhere. The best choice to him seems like going out with this Elias. He'd return just before five so that he'd go home with Roman and Manuia.

"Fine," he sighs once he's sure of his decision. "Just…have me back here by five."

"I can drive you home after," Elias offers.

"Can't," Seth declines. "I have someone fetching me so you'll have to bring me back here."

"If that's what you want."

Seth gives Elias a wordless response by nodding his head. The other man insists on carrying his bag saying he won't look like a jackass by allowing an injured Seth to carry his heavy bag when he can do it for him. So Seth gives him the bag hesitantly and they stride towards Elias's car.

The burger joint Elias takes him to is thirty minutes away from McMahon college. And the bigger man had been right about the place being in a chill area. The people mind their own business, clearly too focused on their food. Seth isn't sure how much time has passed with him just talking to Elias. They move from one topic to the next as the hipster man stuffs him full with burgers and beer. When he'd protested after his second burger, Elias had told him not to worry. The hipster man apparently works here.

"So why were they taking your pictures. Are you some famous person or some shit?" Elias asks while looking at Seth. They're sat at one of the tables in a cosy corner where no one can really see them.

"It's a long story," Seth hopes his voice is loud enough for Elias to hear. The pub and grill has slowly been filling up with people. But they still pay no mind to him, and Seth finds that refreshing.

"But are you like famous or shit?"

"I don't know, " Seth laughs. "Everyone seems to think I am."

"Not everyone. I didn't even know you were famous during Langston's lecture. I only figured you were new because if I'd seen your beautiful face around campus before then I would've approached you long ago. I still don't even know what you're famous for."

Seth plays with the fries on his plate. "I'm not famous, I just have people who love taking pictures of me. And I have people who love minding my business."

Elias bursts into hearty laughter, ugly tears leaving his eyes. A few eyes peek at them because of the commotion but it's nothing serious and these people are kinder and respect privacy because no one snaps pictures of him and Elias. "So it's like that, huh?" Elias asks, when his laughter dies down a bit.

"It is," Seth agrees, finding Elias's grin infectious.

Elias looks at the bar area before looking back at Seth. "It's happy hour, you want me to get you some more booze?"

"I'm good." Seth smiles.

"Alright," Elias gets up and looks at the area of the pub and grill where there's a stage. "It's karaoke night too. I'm gone sing something for you. We can't have a deity as gorgeous as you leaving this place without being serenaded."

Seth rolls his eyes and chugs down his beer. The man's been flirting with him since he met him. He won't deny that Elias is good looking, and that he has a body to die for. And maybe there is a tiny bit in him that's attracted to the man because Elias is honestly a great guy. It doesn't mean Seth will entertain his less than subtle advancements though. His heart already beats for someone else.

He looks up when a couple of hands clap. Elias takes center attention on the stage a little distance away from their table. The man is seated on a stool, and a guitar rests on his lap. He adjusts the microphone with one hand and taps on it before speaking, "Hello everyone!" The hands become louder, and a couple of wolf whistles sound in the restaurant. Seth smiles when Elias's lips stretch into a grin. These people clearly love him, and they clearly 'walk' with him too. "Thank you, thank you." Elias says. His gaze goes to Seth as he says, "As most of you know, my name is —"

"ELIAS!" the crowd chants. Seth grins while taking another sip of his beer. The crowd loves this man. He doesn't blame them though, Elias exudes a kind aura. Their eyes connect and Seth lifts his beer bottle up, saluting him.

"Yes. And the song I've chosen tonight, I'd like to dedicate to the gorgeous brunet sitting on one of the tables near the corner. I met him today y'all but I think God is showing me a sign. His name is Seth Rollins, and maybe you'll help me convince him to allow me to take him on a date sometime?"

The crowd cheers again when Elias points at him. Seth's cheeks redden and he covers his face in embarrassment. The sound of a guitar reaches his ears, and Seth gasps at how good Elias actually sounds when he begins singing. Seth recognizes the song immediately, it's James Blunt's 'You're Beautiful'. His heart's beating hard inside his chest, and he finds himself helpless as the grin tugging at his lips stretches wider and wider.

So many eyes look at him, giving him that 'aww, you're so lucky' expression and Seth blushes deciding to keep his gaze on the man currently serenading him. The applause Elias receives when the song's done is deafening and Seth joins in on the clapping as well. Elias leaves the stage, disappearing from view. Seth looks away when the people's eyes settle on him again. This time he settles on familiar brown eyes.

His entire body literally freezes and the whole world falls away. Leaving just him and the man whose eyes burn with anger—even with the distance between them, Seth can see it, he can feel it. The look on the other man's face causes his heart to tremble in fear for some reason. It takes him back to that night Roman came to his apartment. Seth's heart is beating so hard he feels like it might combust any minute. His hands shake, and he wants to look away. He doesn't like the look on Roman's face, and he really wants to turn away. But he can't, not when Roman's powerful strides trail towards him.

Seth doesn't know what he's expecting the man to say or do but he isn't expecting Roman to downright ignore him and grab his bag from the chair opposite from him. Once the royal has his bag, he turns to leave, without uttering a single word to Seth. The act hurts, but Seth decides now's not the time to dwell on his feelings. He doesn't need to be a genius to know that he has to follow Roman. He struggles to get up and follows the other man wordlessly outside the pub and grill.

"Seth!" Roman's already opened the door for him when Elias shows up. Roman goes to the other side of the door, wordlessly. It's probably unwise, but Seth stands outside the car to hear what Elias has to say. "I didn't get your number." The man heaves.

"I probably shouldn't," Seth whispers.

"Please."

Seth looks back at the opened car, Roman sits at the backseat staring straight ahead with a clenched jaw. The brunet sighs and makes up his mind, "Fine."

He gets in the car after he's given Elias his number. Manuia begins the drive back home. "Evening." Seth is greeting both men but Roman remains silent, not even looking in his direction. Manuia returns the greeting but the atmosphere in the spacey Bentley is suffocating, there's an undeniable tension.

"How was work?"

It's Manuia who responds again and silence from Roman. Seth doesn't know what to do. How Roman's behaving hurts him but he decides not to address it. Not now. Manuia gives a sympathetic glance from the rearview mirror and Seth tries for a smile that ends up coming out stilted. Manuia turns on the radio, humming along softly to the songs playing. Seth can tell he's trying to lessen the tension and he's grateful for it.

But it still does nothing to calm his quivering heart. Even with the distance the royal's created between them in the car, Seth can still feel Roman's anger—it rolls off of him in harsh waves. Dread fills him when he thinks about home. What would Roman say when they got there? What would he do? An audible sigh slips past his lips as he leans his head against the window and closes his eyes. Couldn't they have kept the peace a little while longer?

Chapter Text

They get home an hour and thirty minutes later, and Roman's never left the car quicker. He grabs their bags and is out of the car in the blink of an eye. He's feeling a lot of different emotions, and a part of him is too scared to address what they mean. Anger is the most prominent, his hands still shake from wanting to break something. And then there's hurt. There's fear. And also betrayal.

The cold breeze assaults him immediately he steps out of the car but it does nothing to calm him down. Roman finds himself feeling far too hot, he pulls at the tie around his neck to lessen the stifling feeling. The last time he felt as if heart was being ripped apart was ten years ago. He felt it again today. He still feels it. He'd gone with Manuia to collect Seth from college only to find no trace of him. And then Manuia and him had spent nearly an hour looking for the man on campus. And then they'd tried calling Seth whose phone went unanswered. Manuia had finally tracked him through his phone to a location thirty minutes away from McMahon college.

They got to the location, and Roman had gone inside the pub and grill alone while Manuia had remained in the car. He'd spent about a minute being ogled by men and women he had no interest in until his eye had finally landed on Seth. The man hadn't even noticed him as he sat in a cozy corner of the restaurant with a man with long brown hair and a thick scruffy beard. Roman still isn't sure what had made him sit at the club for nearly fifteen minutes observing the two. He'd ordered whiskey and had just…sat there. Watching Seth interact with another man while his heart clenched and unclenched painfully.

He hadn't done anything when the man laughed and tucked a strand of hair behind Seth's ear. He hadn't done anything when he'd watched the two laugh and interact like old friends or…lovers. He'd done nothing but watched when the man received cheers from the crowd, as he talked on and on about Seth and wanting to take him on a date. He'd watched Seth blush and smile, while looking at the man serenading him. His heart had long felt like it was being ripped apart while watching the whole scene unfold in front of him. The anger he'd felt when Seth's eye had finally caught his—how the brunet had froze as if he'd been caught doing something wrong.

"Roman…" He's already at the front door when Manuia calls him. Roman looks back at him and gives him a raised eyebrow.

"What is it?" his voice doesn't sound like his own. The anger in it frightens him. What is Seth doing to him? His bodyguard gives him a look, before he tells him that they need to talk in Samoan. "Now?" he asks because he isn't in the mood for any light talks with the man today. All he wants to do is talk to Seth. All he wants to do is ask the man of his intentions when he decided to stay in Miami. His hand tightens around the bags he's carrying and he releases a long exhale before going back to Manuia. He passes a quiet brunet who isn't meeting his eye.

"Don't let this be like that night. Go to bed, you'll talk to him tomorrow." Manuia says when they're in close proximity.

"Are you telling me what to do Manuia?"

Manuia nods his head and folds his arms across his chest, "I'm going to do no such thing Manuia! This…this selfish bastard had us looking for him for over an hour and what do I find when I get to that restaurant? He's having the time of his life Manuia! He's with another man having the time of his life with no inten—"

"Calm down!" Manuia grips his shoulders when Roman's voice raises by the minute.

"I AM CALM!" Roman snaps.

Manuia grips his face, "Calm down, Roman. Don't let your emotions control you." Roman looks at him through blurry eyes before Manuia disappears from him as he closes his eyes. He feels worse than he did when he was in Seth's apartment a week ago. Because his heart's telling him that seeing Seth like he did at that restaurant is somehow worse than when he'd met him because of a prostitution scandal. "Look at me," Manuia's voice is softer this time. Roman obeys the instruction, opening his eyes to look at his bodyguard. "I know you. You're too angry. You want to talk to him but you'll say things you'll regret. Things that will hurt him if you say anything now. Go to bed."

Manuia's right, Roman knows he is. He knows the venom his mouth can spew when he's angry and tonight…the feelings he has are worse than anger. He's hurt by Seth's actions. And a dark part of him wants to hurt the man just as bad. He wants to feel the satisfaction of knowing that he isn't the only one whose heart feels like it's cracking into a million pieces. But he needs to obey Manuia's instruction. Because a much bigger part of him doesn't want to hurt Seth. Because he somehow feels that hurting the man would hurt him too. They've been doing so well. He wants to keep the peace.

"You're right," he says after a while. Manuia releases his face and steps away from him.

"You're going to go straight to bed?"

"Yes," he replies evenly.

Manuia pats his shoulder and walks past him, giving Seth a warm, "Goodnight."

Roman walks towards the front door, hearing Seth's silent footsteps trail behind him. His hand shakes as he maneuvers the key into the keyhole to open the door. There's still tension between him and Seth, one can slice through it with a knife. Light floods the entryway when he enters. The door closes once Seth has entered after him. Roman decides to follow Manuia's instruction without delay lest he say something he'll regret. His mind and emotions are so messed up that he doesn't even think to tell Seth goodnight.

A hand grips his arm before he can climb the stairs making his body tense. He doesn't know what Seth wants from him and tries to control his feelings because his mind keeps taking him to that fucking pub and grill. The images still play vividly in front of him. Seth and the man talking. The man serenading Seth. Seth giving the fucking man his number, right there in front of him. The work that Manuia has done is slowly becoming futile—his emotions are taking over again. And he has no way of stopping them.

Roman turns to face Seth, eyebrow raised, while his jaw clenches so tight he feels he might break his teeth. Seth doesn't say anything, he looks up at him, a myriad of emotions swimming in his brown pools. Roman can't read them all at once, he doesn't want to. He doesn't want anything to do with Seth at the moment. But Seth's hands are moving from his arm to grip the front of his suit jacket. The brunet's hands clutch his suit jacket, a desperation in the hold. Roman's eyes flutter shut when Seth rests his head against his chest. His cracking heart is beating fast against his ribcage, Seth can probably hear it but he has no way of controlling it.

He opens his eyes when Seth pulls away from him and looks up at him. His vision is blurred again and he can't really see clearly but feels Seth's hands caress his bearded cheeks. Roman is drawn to the touch. He groans when Seth's lips brush lightly against his. Roman doesn't reciprocate. Even when Seth tries to deepen it—the sounds leaving his lips begging. His right hand firmly grips the bags he's holding while the left one hangs limply at his sides.

"I didn't get your number"

The words of the man at the restaurant play in his mind—taunting him. Seth had given another man his number. Even if Seth's kissing him now. Who's to say he won't leave tomorrow? Who's to say Seth won't fall for that man? Or any other man for that matter? Roman had seen how the two had looked at each other. How they'd connected. The thought startles him out of his stupor. If he's feeling this hurt by Seth now, how much more will it hurt if he allows himself to explore his feelings for the man? This is why he doesn't do feelings. Roman pushes Seth away, much rougher than he intended. There's confusion and hurt in doe eyes as they look at him. Roman can't read it though, much too focused on his own volatile emotions.

He drops their bags on the ground and heads into the kitchen where the set of car keys hang on a wooden rack on the wall. He grabs the first available key and heads back into the entryway. He finds Seth still rooted to the same spot, the man's eyes meeting his when he appears. Roman's out of the door before Seth can say anything. It turns out that the car key belongs to his Lexus. He gets in the car and drives off with no destination in mind, except that he needs to get as far away from Seth as possible.


 

Seth perks up at the sound of the front door opening, thinking maybe he's finally returned. Disappointment threatens to drown him when Masina appears, a smile on her face when she sees him seated on the couch. It's four in the morning and Roman still hasn't returned. Seth hasn't slept since yesterday, he'd tried to, after Roman had left. He'd told himself he wasn't going to stress over that bastard of a man—Roman had gotten angry about him not telling them about his whereabouts only for him to disappear to god knows where without saying where he was going.

Granted, Roman did have a right to be angry. Especially after Seth had realized how long he'd stayed at that restaurant with Elias. He hadn't even seen the number of missed calls both Manuia and Roman had left him. Had the man given him a chance, Seth would've apologized but Roman had pushed him away again. Seth had tried to open up, he'd kissed Roman because he'd thought the man wanted him. He'd seen it in his eyes, and last night had been the most vulnerable Seth had seen Roman. He could see every emotion in the man's eyes, and he'd tried to reassure. Calm down I want you, his heart kept repeating over and over again to a man who'd rejected him in the end.

"Don't you have classes this morning?"

Seth blinks his teary eyes and gives Masina a small smile, "Uh…no. I-I don't have classes today."

"Is everything okay?"

No. Everything's a mess. "Yes,"

He tries his hardest not to fidget as Masina examines him. He's a mess and he knows it, he's still wearing yesterday's clothes and his hair faces every direction untidily. Masina's the type to mind her own business so she merely nods and heads for the stairs. Seth stares at his phone, he hasn't sent Roman any messages asking him about his whereabouts but he's tempted to. His mind keeps battling with his heart. His heart tells him to at least text the man to ask if he's okay but his mind's telling him no. He can't afford to be the only one who cares. If Roman doesn't care enough to call or text then he won't too.

"Did Roman come home last night?" Masina asks when she comes back not even five minutes after she left for the stairs.

"Uh…I-I," Seth stammers. The question's caught him off guard. Why is Masina asking? Does she know that something happened between the two of them? "I don't know."

A disbelieving look etches on Masina's features, the dark skinned woman doesn't believe him. Her dark eyes reveal her worry, guilt plagues Seth and he looks away. "That's strange. He usually tells me when he won't be spending the night at home—and that happens rarely. His bed's made up, I know I made it because he can't tell the beginning from the end when he does it himself. It's like he didn't even step foot inside his room."

Seth doesn't know why Masina's telling him all these things. He doesn't want to hear how he drove the man out of his own house. "I really don't know Masina," he whispers.

"It's alright. I'll ask Manuia when he comes through later." Masina says softly. "I still have to prepare breakfast, you're quite early though. Do you know what you want for breakfast?"

"I'm not hungry."

"You need to eat, even a light breakfast will do."

"Masina, please. I'm not hungry, if I do get hungry then I'll make myself something a little later on."

"No. If you're hungry you'll call me. Like I told you before, Roman doesn't want you doing anything while you're injured. He stressed how important it is that you rest. So feel free to tell me later on when you want something."

Seth nods his head blindly , watching the woman head for the kitchen. He readjusts himself on the couch so that he's laying on his side. The small knitted blanket that he got as a present from Xavier covers his body until only his brown mane peeks out. Masina's words make his eyes water. The same man who's showed him how caring he can be just hurt him again. But this time Seth feels like he hurt Roman too. They hadn't even said any words last night but they'd somehow ended up hurting each other. It's a rollercoaster with them.

He wakes up to the feel of someone gently nudging his leg. Seth brings the blanket just below his eyes, meeting Manuia's brown pools that sparkle in curiosity and worry. "Hey," Manuia speaks softly, crouched in front of him.

"Hey," Seth croaks.

"Roman isn't here. He didn't send me a message either, did he tell you anything?"

Seth shakes his head no, his eyebrows knitting together in a frown. "I don't where he is."

Manuia gets all investigative as he searches Seth's eyes. He seems to know what happened because he sighs while rubbing his face before looking back at Seth. "What did he do?"

"Nothing," Seth shakes his head.

"What'd he do Seth?"

"Nothing," Seth repeats.

"Did he say anything?"

Again Seth shakes his head no. He sits up on the couch, allowing Manuia to sit beside him. He grabs for his phone and checks his messages. There's a message from a number he doesn't recognize. His hands shake as he unlocks his phone and reads the message. It's from Elias. He wants to meet up because they don't have classes on Thursdays. The message says he wants to act as Seth's tourist guide, and Seth would snort if his heart didn't feel like it was being trampled on. He ignores the message, knowing very well the other man will get the read receipt but he can't bring himself to care.

There's one message from Dean, a call from Xavier and two calls from Kofi. He ignores all of them, the one person who he desperately wants to hear from has said nothing, sent nothing—just…silence. He looks back to Manuia and tries to keep his voice even as he asks, "Shouldn't you be going to work? To see if he's there?"

"It's nearing nine in the morning Seth. Roman's usually long arrived by that time. I came here to ask you because I got a call from his PA. He has a meeting in ten minutes and he hasn't pitched at work when he'd usually have arrived at six, his earliest time being five. He's not answering his calls, isn't responding to messages." Manuia gives him a curious glance. "Masina said that it looks like he didn't sleep at home. I know for a fact that I brought you two here. What happened Seth?"

"I kissed him," a nonchalant shrug accompanies the response.

"Oh, Seth…" he's already breaking down when Manuia says the words. The tears fall when Manuia hugs him close. "What did he do?"

"H-He left. It's my fault, I-I should've let him go but I grabbed his arm. A-And I kissed him. I-I thought he wanted me Manuia…" Seth trails off, his voice cracking. His tears fall without restriction and he's finding it hard to breathe. He's falling for a man who constantly pushes him away. He's falling for a man who repeatedly stomps on his heart. "Guess I-I was wrong. He l-left without saying a word. He pushed me away and left without the slightest hesitation."

"I'll find him," Manuia cooes gently. He rubs on a crying Seth's back, telling Masina not to worry with his eyes when Seth's cries draw her out of the kitchen. "I'll find him for you and I'll speak to him. I don't doubt that he feels something for you but Roman's a broken man Seth. Men like Roman are afraid of heights, they're even more terrified of falling. Roman hasn't had a relationship in three years, I doubt I can even call it that. The woman didn't even last one month. I'm not saying this to discourage you but I want you to know you're dealing with a broken man. And it's not your duty to fix him."

"I-I want him," Seth whispers against Manuia's ear.

"Are you sure? I'm not talking against Roman but there's a million other guys. From what I gathered you met someone last night. You can go for him. You don't even know if you'll be able to handle someone like Roman."

"I don't care," Seth pulls away from Manuia, wiping his tears away. His voice is shaky as he continues, "I want him, if he'll have me then I want him."

Manuia shakes his head, smiling sadly. "I'll find him for you. I'll go right now."

"T-Thank you," Manuia brings him in for another hug that Seth accepts. He clings to the big man, welcoming the comforting embrace wholeheartedly before allowing Manuia to pull back. The man is already on his feet and walking away from him when he comes back to place a gentle kiss on his head before walking away again.

Seth grabs his phone, there's still nothing from Roman. The tears are still heavy on his eyelids, and he bites on his bottom lip to keep them at bay. They'd been doing so well. Seth's been letting his guard down and allowing himself to fall for a man who's now tearing everything they built in the past six days apart. When the tears fall again, he doesn't try to stop them.


 

He knows who's stood outside his office door even before the person can speak up. Manuia's scent invades his nostrils, and aside from that, the man is the only one who can ever find him whenever he pulls the disappearing act. It's nine o'clock in the evening and Roman knows the other man must be pissed. He hasn't been home in thirteen hours. He'd spent five hours driving without a destination in mind, and he found himself in Tampa—the place where he first met Seth.

Roman doesn't remember much about that day at Lakefield park. He remembers that he'd gone to Tampa for space—a breather. He'd spent two days on the less classy side of the city and that day he ran into Seth, he'd already been awake for over five hours and running low on energy. He remembers that it was his fault he'd crashed into the man. He sighs as his gaze never leaves the neon city lights, that he's watching from the view in his office. How can someone he met two weeks ago ignite so many emotions in him?

"You're going to lose him," Manuia's voice is soft as he says the words.

"How can I lose someone who isn't even mine, Manuia?" Roman whispers loud enough for Manuia to hear. He tucks his hands in his pants pockets and blinks his eyes to clear his vision. "Would it not have been better if I'd let him go back to Tampa? I'm starting to think I made a mistake in proposing that he stay here."

"You don't mean that."

"Of course I mean it!" Roman snaps, facing his bodyguard. "What am I supposed to say, Manuia, when all I've been feeling since Seth Rollins came into my life are emotions I have no control over?"

"And what are you feeling at the moment?"

"What are you, my damn therapist now?" Roman snorts.

Manuia rolls his eyes and goes to sit on the chair across the royal's desk. "I'm here, I'm all ears."

Roman turns away from him again, he releases a long exhale, and tries to consider his feelings carefully. Manuia is probably one of the few people who can get him to talk. He doesn't even try to stop the previous day's events from taunting him. "Anger," he begins when he remembers how Seth had looked with that man at the pub and grill. "Hurt. Fear. Betrayal. I felt disrespected by him."

"Let's start with anger. Why were you angry Roman?"

"Because the mere thought of Seth Rollins being with another man angers me," Roman starts his voice growing darker with each word. "I don't want to see him with anyone else. And when I saw him with that man…all I could think about was snatching him away. I wanted to hurt the guy he was talking to Manuia. The thoughts that went through my head…" Roman shakes his head and closes his eyes. Maybe bringing Seth to Miami had really been a mistake—he already wants to violently assault someone he doesn't know.

"You were jealous." Manuia tells him what he already knows. "What about the hurt, why did you feel that way?"

"Isn't obvious?" Roman snorts, his eyes reopening. "I know I have no right to feel hurt because Seth Rollins is not even mine but when I saw him with that guy…" the lumps are coming back to his throat, making it a challenge for him to continue. "The last time I felt that way was with Tyler. On the day of the funeral. I could only watch Manuia, I could only watch as it felt like my heart was being ripped apart." Roman's clears his throat. "But of course I have no right to feel that way. Seth Rollins is not even mine to begin with."

Manuia remains silent and Roman finds himself wanting to continue. To release each and every emotion he's been feeling the last few hours. "I don't scare easily Manuia. But I remember how hard my heart beat against my chest when I saw Seth Rollins sitting in that corner with that man. It scares me…that I fear to see him with someone else. And then there was the betrayal I felt. It's funny how a part of me feels betrayed by a man who isn't mine. How seeing him with another man felt like he was betraying me even though we're not together. I felt betrayed that he was allowing that man to touch him. I felt betrayed every time he blushed. I felt betrayed by every giggle and little gesture. He rarely does that for me but he'd done it for a man he'd met less than a day."

"That's because you keep giving him mixed signals!" Manuia's voice raises unconsciously. "I've seen how you interact with him Roman. Yes, I'll admit that you've been kind to him these past days. But what about last night? What about when he tried to open up and you pushed him away?" Roman turns to face him, his eyes widened. "Yes, he told me about the kiss! How you pushed him away and left without telling him where you were going. Now I find it funny that you did that, considering how pissed you were when we spent over an hour looking for him. But because the man's too kind for his own good, the only thing that's been stressing him is finding out whether you're okay or not!"

"I know you feel something for him Roman. And you know it too. But I'm telling you this now and I'm not going to hide it from you—you're going to lose him! If you don't get your act together and stop running then he'll find someone else. Someone who deserves him, someone who'll treat him like royalty. And no, they won't need to be a prince. Stop running, don't you think you did it enough with Nikki?"

Roman's eyes water but he says nothing. His eyes go to stare at his feet, and he listens to Manuia. "He's not going to hurt you. You don't need to be on guard all the time—allow yourself to fall. You already are, I see how you look at him when you let your walls down. Was it not you who told me to give Bobby a chance despite my past? Despite my h-hurt?" Manuia's voice cracks in frustration. "Please Your Highness, don't let the past keep you from experiencing something beautiful. You already know how beautiful love is, you're surrounded by it. Why not experience more of it? Why not share yourself with someone?"

"Give him a chance, don't let him be a missed connection. It's what you told me about Bobby, remember? It's your turn now. Follow your own advice."

Roman looks up and Manuia is crying—and Manuia rarely cries. "You make it sound so simple Manuia. Here's this man, I've known for two weeks. And the mere thought of him with someone else kills me. Here's this man, I've known for two weeks. And I am intensely drawn to him. And the feelings I have for him…" Roman rubs his face tiredly. "I stand to lose more than him. I've loved once Manuia and look where it got me—broken and burying those I love. If I fall in love with Seth Rollins and he changes his mind tomorrow, what happens to me? If he does the same thing Tyler did, don't you think that would be the end of me? I don't know what you want me to do."

"Leave him be! If you don't know what you want then leave him the fuck alone. Stop sending mixed signals. Stop wanting him one minute then rejecting him the next. Don't hold it against him when he meets people. You're confusing him, and it's not fair on him."

"Did he say that?" Roman grits out, his stare locked on Manuia's.

"No!" Manuia shouts. "I'm instructing you to do it because you clearly don't want him. You'd much rather watch him with someone else than take a chance with him. So let him be. He's beautiful, everyone can see it and if someone approaches him because they appreciate what they see then allow him to be happy."

Roman nods his head and purses his lips together, "As you wish, brother."

Manuia gives him a disappointed look. "I never pegged you for a coward, Roman."

"If being a coward means guarding my heart against heartbreak then I'll proudly remain one." Roman's not even finished what he's saying when Manuia walks out on him. Roman turns back to face the city lights, one hand moving out of his pockets to rub his face tiredly. He considers Manuia's words and finds himself snorting. How could the man even tell him to leave Seth Rollins alone? He'd missed Seth the minute he stepped out of his house. Seth Rollins owns a part of his soul and he doesn't even know it.


 

Seth wakes to the feeling of someone looking at him, his eyes dart around the dark living room until they land on his eyes. His freezes from his position on the couch as he looks into Roman's eyes, relying on the light coming through from the moon illuminating the otherwise dark living room. His heart thunders in his chest as Roman looks back at him without saying a word. The brown orbs are calmer than they were yesterday and it lessens his fear. He can still remember how Roman's eyes had blazed with anger at the restaurant. He still remembers how scary the man had been when he'd been speaking to Manuia.

Seth sits up so that he's face to face with Roman who remains crouched on one knee in front of him. He doesn't know how many minutes pass as they simply look at each other without saying a word. Seth knows it's probably very late though, he'd again waited for Roman until eleven when he'd forced himself to sleep because he has a class in the morning. He wants to ask a lot of questions. Where has Roman been? Why didn't he call? Why did he just leave…like that?

The words that come out instead are, "Do you care for me at all? Even if it's just as a human being because I don't u-understand why you keep hurting me. What did I do wrong?"

Roman doesn't respond, he keeps his knelt position, his eyes still locked on Seth. Seth knows he should be freaked out by how the man keeps looking at him in the dark blankly. Roman resembles a mannequin, he's unmoving. Seth is angered by the action, however, because Roman looks like he doesn't care at all. His right hand moves on it's own accord to connect with Roman's cheek hard—the impact of the strike resonates in the quiet room but Roman doesn't even move. The only sign that he felt the impact of Seth's hand connecting with his cheek is when his jaw locks and unlocks.

"What is wrong with you?!" Seth shouts. "Of course," he nods to himself, when Roman remains quiet. Seth gets up with his blanket in hand and walks away from Roman. The man clearly isn't interested in saying anything to him. He struggles up the stairs but makes it to his room eventually. His eyes go to the watch on the bedside table, the digits flashing 02:18 in the morning. He sighs knowing he'll probably be falling asleep in class in the morning. He decides to take a quick bath though because the last time his body tasted water was on Wednesday morning and it's now the early hours of a Friday morning and he smells.

The bath takes longer than expected, a lot of thoughts churning over and over in his head. His mind keeps telling him that maybe coming to Miami had been a mistake. Roman and him hadn't even lasted a week before this whole mess began, and if this is how bad their first argument is, then he dreads knowing how bad their arguments will be. He thinks back to how horrible Roman had looked—despite the blank eyes, Seth had seen how red they were. As if the man hadn't slept a wink, but he'd refrained from asking when the man had ignored him. He still wishes he didn't care, because caring hurts so much when the person doesn't return the gesture. It hurts when that he'd been worried about a man, who'd ignored him as if something to be disregarded.

After ensuring that he'd cleaned his body as thoroughly as possible, Seth steps out the bath and wraps a fluffy towel around his waist. A smaller towel dries his wet hair before he hangs it on the towel rack and goes back into his room. His eyes land on the figure seated at the foot of his bed, right in the middle of the king size bed. He releases a tiny gasp because Roman's scared him. The man sits with his hands joined together as he stares straight ahead. "What are you doing here?" Seth asks.

"I want us to get an understanding on one thing Seth Rollins," Roman's voice is firm as he begins. "You do not lay your hands on me. I don't care how angry you are. You're permitted to shout at me. To call me every derogatory word in the dictionary but you are not going to physically come at me. I would never put my hands on you and I expect the same from you. Are we clear?" the tone leaves no room for argument—it's calm but hard, and firm.

Seth nods his head, looking at the man from his spot, just outside the bathroom. "Yes."

Roman gets up, trailing light footsteps towards him. He only notices now how the man looks like he's taken a shower as well. His eyes have cleared a bit and he's only in a pair of black boxers. Seth knows he's taken a shower when Roman stands right in front of him and the man's heady scent assaults him. He's not going to breathe in deeply to get more of it though, instead he looks up at the Lanuolan who looks down at him with a look akin to tenderness. Seth isn't sure so he remains in place, his left hand gripping the towel around his waist firmly. Their closeness is making Seth nervous, he wants to maneuver his way past Roman but the big man has him surrounded with no way of escaping.

"The last twenty four hours, I've probably felt more than I've felt in my life Seth." Roman says, looking him in the eyes. "With you I have to struggle with what I'm feeling half the time because I don't understand. I…Manuia came to me, to shed some light." When Seth looks away Roman grips his chin gently so that they're looking at each other again. "It took seeing you with another man for me to realize how I feel about you. I…felt like I was being killed a slow death. I don't know what that guy can offer you. I don't know what a million other guys on earth can offer. And I know I don't deserve a chance with how bad I treat you, but I would be grateful if you gave me a chance to show you how much more better I can do. Because in a world full of men who can offer you the world, I can offer you more than that. I can offer you the galaxy. I can offer so much more Seth."

Seth snorts and pulls his head away from Roman's hand. "And it would never be enough if you didn't offer me your heart. Because that's what I want the most—it's what I crave to have."

"If you want it then it's your Seth. Anything you want is yours."

"Until you go and do something else. I can't even tell if you're being sincere."

Roman grips his face, his eyes searching Seth's. "Look at my eyes Seth. See the truth of my words in my eyes. It's right there, baby, and I want you to see it."

Seth obeys the instruction, he looks into the brown orbs that reveal so much emotion like they did two days ago. And Roman's allowing him to see—everything. "What you and I feel Seth, you can't fake it. You can't run away from it—I tried to and look where it got us." His hands trail down Seth's arms, making the smaller man shiver from the warm touch. Roman leans down to kiss a bare shoulder. "I want you Seth, with everything in me. I'll worship the ground you walk on if you give me the chance."

Seth's heart is beating inside his chest. Silence ensues when Roman pulls away and their eyes remain locked on each other. Even in the silence, their eyes reveal so many things. Nothing needs to be verbalized, their connection speaks for them, telling the story better than any words could ever say. Seth doesn't stop Roman when the man leans down to capture his lips, his arms lock around the Lanuolan's neck instead. And whatever fireworks you read about in those romance novels is a lie. Seth feels a fire within him instead, it's a small fire that grows rapidly with each glide against Roman's tongue. He feels like his body is being set alight, he's being awakened and shook to his very core.

He feels Roman's arms tightening around his nude waist, and says a silent prayer at the back of his mind that his towel doesn't fall. Roman's devouring his lips—kissing him as if his life depends on it. He's making all these sounds and molding their bodies together. Seth pulls away when the feelings he's feeling overwhelm him. He opens his eyes and meets Roman's dark pupils. The royal's breathing is harsh and his lips are glistening in saliva. The man caresses his cheek gently causing Seth to lean into the touch. It's electrical, he feels, everything feels charged and his heart surges in joy when he feels Roman's lips against his again. The man's softer this time, his lips teasing Seth of how things could be. How things will be. "I really like you." Seth whispers against Roman's lips when the kiss finally ends.

"I really, really like you too Seth Rollins."

"We sound like preadolescents, don't we?" Seth laughs.

"I don't care baby."

The term of endearment again. Seth smiles and places a soft kiss on a tattooed pec. Another bout of silence where they just look at each other causing Seth to fidget by the minute. "What is it?"

"I have an early class tomorrow," Seth whispers.

"Why didn't you tell me? I would've taken you to bed long ago." Roman grabs him by his arm and leads them to Seth's bed. Seth's brought to a warm chest when they settle. Roman's arms rest on his waist, trailing dangerously close to his bare ass. His towel unknotted the minute the man pulled Seth close to him. "You've got a great ass," Roman whispers kissing his forehead. The royal's hand plays with Seth's supple skin and maybe it's too soon for them to be like this but Seth can't bring himself to care. He doesn't respond to Roman but allows the man's steady heartbeat to reassure him. Yes, Roman is here and he wants this. Yes, he's here and he wants him. 

Chapter Text

It's the early hours of the morning, and Roman finds himself staring at the ceiling blankly. Seth's right next to him, the brunet's arm holding onto his bare waist in a tight hold—almost as if he's afraid that Roman will disappear if he doesn't cling tighter. At least, that's what Roman thinks the hold on him means. He can feel Seth's steady heartbeat against his side, while the smaller man's breath comes out in small even puffs—in, out, in again and then out. Seth's breathing against his neck, sends little tickles to the sensitive part of his skin.

Roman doesn't really know how much time has passed since Seth's fallen asleep but he knows it's been a while. And he should be asleep too, he knows that. But his mind has been churning all these different thoughts in his head. And they all revolve around the brunet currently asleep on his chest. He'd admitted his feelings to Seth and it had felt great—a while ago. But now left alone in his thoughts, Roman can't stop the fear that claws at him. Is he really going to do this? Again? Is he going to allow himself to be vulnerable—to fall?

Love is a weakness, Roman knows firsthand how much destruction it leaves behind once lost. When he lost Tyler, the blond had left a void in him, a hollowness so deep that Roman had promised himself to never allow himself to be in a position where another person would have such a power over him ever again. And now he finds himself here again—trying the whole love thing out with Seth. He finds himself here—giving his heart out and allowing himself to be open to heartbreak, and pain, and loss. An unconscious groan leaves his lips at the thought. What if things go wrong?

There's a shuffling beside him, Seth moving slightly away from him to settle on his own pillow. Roman turns his head to the side to glance at him. Even in the in the dark, he can make out the outline of Seth's face. The brunet's lips are slightly parted as he breathes directly into Roman's face. Thick long eyelashes rest perfectly on his cheeks and he looks so peaceful, and so beautiful that Roman's heart falters a bit. If he ever lost Seth…

He doesn't finish his train of thought, his heart finishes for him. His heart folds together—clenching painfully. Roman turns on his side fully to kiss Seth's lips gently—and the tightness lessens. Relax, I'm here. Seth's lips seem to reassure him, even though the man's still sleeping. His lips then travel to Seth's cheek, his lips being tickled lightly by the man's light beard. Seth doesn't move an inch, his breathing as calm as ever—it's infectious and Roman mimics his breathing feeling it calm his heart. He pulls back after a second, to appreciate Seth's beauty one final time before he gets out of the bed quietly and decides to get started on his day.


 

"This is what he looks like," Roman hands two manila folders to the two men in his office. "I want you to follow him—everywhere. He goes to the toilet, you follow him there. You and Ted are professionals, I expect both of you to be as discreet as possible. I don't want him feeling like he's being followed. Do we have an understanding?"

Ted replies first, "Yes." He pages through the folder, looking at Seth's picture.

The second guy, who's name is Cody, nods his head and holds the folder up, "We won't disappoint, boss."

"Excellent," Roman moves from his desk to stand in front of the two men. "You're to do this only when myself and Manuia are not with him. If you find anything suspicious, you report back to me. He's still new to Miami, I don't think he's made much friends yet. So he'll probably be spending his time between college and home for a while. But like I said, he goes somewhere, you tell me. You find something suspicious, you tell me." When Ted and Cody nod their heads in understanding, Roman gestures for both of them to follow him to the door. "Pleasure doing business, gentlemen." He exchanges firm handshakes with them both before they leave his office.

Roman goes back to his desk once the door closes, silently. It's nine in the morning and he knows Seth's first lecture is just beginning which means Manuia won't be in the office for another thirty minutes maybe. Thinking about Manuia reminds him that he owes the bigger man an apology. And he owes him a thank you too, because had it not been for his bodyguard then he would've lost Seth. And Roman, knowing Manuia as well as he does, knows the perfect way to apologize and thank the man at the same time. He calls Bayley's line and waits for his P.A to pick up, she answers within the first ring. "Boss?"

"Bayley," Roman starts in a warm voice. "I need you to do something for me."

"Shoot."

"Can you order panipopo from that restaurant on Lincoln road. Two boxes please, and get a coffee for me and a double espresso for Manuia. He should be here in about thirty minutes, everything should have arrived by then."

"Alright, do you need anything else?"

"That's all. Thank you, Bayley." Their conversation ends when the call disconnects. Roman looks at his schedule to confirm the time for his next meeting. It's in two hours from now so has enough time with Manuia. Roman thinks back to the meeting he had not too long ago with Cody and Ted DiBiase, the two married bodyguards he's just hired to follow Seth around. He knows Manuia will be pissed once he finds out but Roman tells himself that he's just looking out for himself as well as Seth. Because should anything happen, Roman wants to be able to stop it in time. He isn't going to allow history to repeat itself—he's not going to go through the pain again. He has the power to do something now.

The meeting at eleven is for a business proposal from a man who needs an investor(s) to fund his fashion line. Usually when he's very busy, his investment banker handles the proposals to determine if they will be beneficial to A'noai Investments too. Yes, Roman doesn't need the money with how well he's thriving from his own chain of companies and the family companies but he isn't going to invest his money where he won't benefit. And in this proposal, Roman can tell that the man, Mike Mizanin, doesn't think Roman deserves even five percent in returns, especially with the amount he wants Roman to chip out.

It's a good proposal, the clothing brand's name is catchy, 'The Miztourage,' Roman reads. Roman sees nothing wrong with it, clearly Mr. Mizanin knows what he's talking about but he's also way ahead of himself in terms of starting shop. The man wants to open his store at one of the luxurious malls in Miami, Bel Harbour Shops. Roman thinks that's reaching too far a bit, Mr. Mizanin isn't even a well-known designer in the fashion business yet and he's already talking about competing with the likes of Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci and Giorgio Armani. Roman doesn't doubt that Mr. Mizanin will—one day though, not now. The man needs to start small, get his name out there, market his brand to the people who will actually afford to buy his clothes now before thinking about selling to the rich and famous.

There's a knock on his door before Manuia enters, Roman looks at the watch wrapped around his wrist and notices that he's been looking at Mr. Mizanin's proposal for about twenty minutes. It's definitely too long and the man had added bits of unnecessary information about himself that Roman isn't interested in. To motivate why Roman should invest in his business, the man has said things like, "I am A-list." To "I can wear the hell out of a suit." Roman rolls his eyes, the guy talks about himself way too much.

"What has you rolling your eyes so early in the morning?" Manuia laughs, as he settles on the leather couch in Roman's office.

"I'm having a meeting with a narcissist in about an hour—not looking forward to it. You should see this guy's proposal—it's brilliant but he talks about himself way too much." Roman moves from where he was sitting to go join Manuia on the leather couch. His bodyguard looks better than he did last night, more calmer and it makes Roman smile at him. "Faanoanoa tele, brother." He says with every genuine bone in his body.

"I'm sorry, too." Manuia says, pulling Roman in for a hug. "Seth was just…it broke my heart to see him that way and I got angry. I'm sorry for forgetting my place and raising my voice at you. I'm sorry for swearing."

Roman shakes his head, "That's nonsense and you know it. I mess up sometimes and I behave like an asshole. If you see it then you're permitted to raise your voice at me. You're allowed to put me in my place, Manuia."

Delicious smells assault Roman's nostrils even before Bayley can knock on his office door. The smell has reached Manuia too because the man breathes in deep before letting out a deep moan, "Your Highness, why am I reminded of home?" Bayley enters juggling two white boxes filled with panipopo on one hand and two large Styrofoam cups holding their coffee on the other hand. "Is that what I think it is?"

"Yes," Bayley smiles cheerfully. "Two boxes filled with coconut goodness and your favorite espresso from that restaurant you love. What'd Roman do to you? He never buys you this unless he's apologizing for something."

"I resent that statement," Roman says with no real heat to his words. Bayley knows he's joking too, because she sticks her tongue out at him while placing their food on the small mahogany desk in front of them. "Manuia knows it's not true. Right, brother?"

Manuia winks at Bayley, a small shrug accompanying it. "Roman would never buy me so that I can forgive him." The lilt in his tone betrays him.

Sarcastic bastard, Roman thinks to himself, laughing. "I'm having a wonderful morning. I'll let you slide."

"Enjoy, you two." Bayley says before walking out of Roman's office.

Manuia opens his box and brings the freshly baked goods to his nose, "Mhhh…these I will devour." His index finger scoops the coconut cream on the bun before he licks it off his finger, moaning uncontrollably. Roman can only stare—bewildered. Manuia's eyes have closed and he genuinely looks in heaven with all the moans he's making. The man's doing it on purpose—he must be—the sounds grow louder with each passing second. "Manuia, they're good but not that good. You're moaning like Bobby's shoving his dick down your ass or something. Quit it—I don't want to think about you having sex. I'm still haunted by the last time I caught you." Roman caught them having sex one night. In his car. To say he was angry would be an understatement—he'd been enraged. But he can never stay angry at the two of them for long. But Roman thinks maybe Manuia can't keep quiet during sex because it's his moaning that had alerted him that Monday night. It's a hard image to forget—his big ass bodyguard bouncing up and down on Bobby's dick like a—nope, you're not going there, he tells himself.

Manuia laughing causes him to look at his bodyguard, "Your face," Manuia cackles. "Come on, Your Highness…people have sex all the time. It's not my fault that you subjected yourself to live porn."

Roman grimaces, "Can we change the subject?"

Manuia takes pity on him, his laughs die down a bit and he sips on his espresso. It's way too hot for both him and Roman to be drinking any hot beverage but they both don't care—it's routine for them to eat this way. "Look at what the tabloids are saying," Manuia gives Roman his phone after the man wipes his hands with a napkin.

Former prostitute, Seth Rollins, spotted at elite college in Miami.

Roman frowns at the headline, he scrolls through some of the sites saved by Manuia and most of them are speculating about Seth's stay in Miami. "Someone will need to fetch him. His last class is at one right?" Manuia nods affirmative. "You won't be able to fetch him. You're attending that World Peace dialog with me. Bobby—"

"Flew to Boston with Tamina earlier this morning," Manuia sighs, a sad look etching on his features. "He's coming back on Sunday. It'll be one hell of a long, boring weekend for me. I miss him already."

"I'm sorry," Roman says dismissively. His thoughts are on Seth, he doesn't want a repeat of Wednesday. He doesn't want to find Seth waiting somewhere with some man. Roman knows that he's going to spend the whole dialog worrying and thinking about who Seth is with but he's also going to be worried about Seth's safety, which is most important. He hadn't thought about making arrangements for the man to be fetched—he's been on his own for far too long. "Contact John. Have him fetch Seth."

Manuia takes his phone back from Roman, "As soon as we're done here."

"Do you think it's alright for me to send a text now? So he knows who will be fetching him."

"I mean if he has his phone on silent, it shouldn't be a problem."

Roman nods and puts his coffee aside, he goes to get his phone on his office desk to send Seth a quick message. He finds John's picture from an app that stores all the bodyguards' pictures and sends it along with the message. "Done." He looks at Manuia.

"So he told me you're both on good terms…"

Manuia's curiosity is barely concealed and it causes Roman to snort a bit. The man is just dying to get info on his personal affairs. "We are."

"Really? That's all you're giving me? After all the tears I shed?"

"I'm immune to emotional blackmail, Manuia, you should know that by now."

Manuia sighs exaggeratedly, "Just give me something, Your Highness. How's it going between you two? Did you kiss?"

Roman knows Manuia isn't going to stop pestering until he gives in so he decides to speed up the process—for both their sakes. "I…confessed my feelings," he begins quietly. "I confessed what I feel and then I—I, uh," Roman clears his throat and then in the quietest of voices says, "I kissed him." It feels weird confessing it to another person. It tells Roman that what happened not even twenty-four hours ago is not a dream. Seth—everything that's happened is real, Seth wants him. And Roman wants him too, scared as he is, he wants Seth with everything in him. "He's just so beautiful Manuia. He's so perfect and I—I can't believe he's…mine." The last part is whispered in awe. Manuia's giving him a tender smile, making him turn away in embarrassment. His bodyguard looked like a proud mother for a minute and it was too much for him.

"And you're his," Manuia says, testing the waters. He needs to know that Seth isn't the only one invested in whatever they're beginning. Manuia needs to know Roman's allowing himself to fall—that he isn't just claiming Seth's heart and not giving the brunet his in return. There's silence for what feels like forever with Roman not saying anything. For a brief period of time, Manuia thinks maybe Roman has changed his mind. The man still has his back turned to him as he stares at the Miami view.

"I am his." Roman says finally and it's said so quietly, Manuia strains to hear the words. Roman's gaze never leaves the beautiful view as thoughts of Seth continue to invade him. Yes the fear hasn't disappeared and nor have the doubts but he genuinely feels for Seth. So much more than he felt for even Nikki, when they dated three years ago. And maybe it's the reason he'd never even bothered to fight for her when the raven-haired vixen left him for John Cena, the same man he's now hiring to act as Seth's chauffeur/bodyguard. He remembers the woman crying and screaming at him—about all those nights he ignored her. About every time he mistreated and hurt her, almost like Seth did last night. He didn't care much then, a part of him that doesn't want to get hurt tells him not to now, but he's going to try. For Seth he's going to try because with him it's different. Seth is different. "We're each other's."

He doesn't know when Manuia stood up because his giant of a bodyguard is now right behind him. "I'm proud of you, Roman." Roman gives Manuia a solemn nod, his hands find their way inside his pockets when Manuia pats his shoulder. "It's ten-thirty, I'll leave you to get ready for your next meeting."

After the click of the door sounds, Roman turns to grab his phone from his desk. He'd told Seth last night that he'd treat him better and he meant it. He's going to worship the ground Seth walks on for as long as the brunet grants him the opportunity. A voice sounds on the other end of the line, "Welcome to The Zulu. You're speaking to Florence, how can we brighten your day?"

Roman chuckles at the greeting, the tone's too cheery, this Florence sounds exactly like Bayley. "Hi Florence. I need you to create something for me. A gift of sentimental value—as an apology to the one I've wronged."


 

Finally, Seth thinks when his final lecture ends. He'd been falling asleep throughout his entire lectures because he got only got a few hours of sleep last night. He's already thinking about the comfort of his bed as he grabs his bag and hightails it out of the class. He takes his phone out of his pocket and unlocks the flashy gadget to read the messages on his phone—there's four of them. One is from Roman, reading the man's name causes his heart to skip a beat while his stomach twists in knots. He can't help the way his body reacts to the man—he's drawn to him.

From the three remaining messages, two are from Dean and one is from Kofi. He feels a tiny bit bad when he ignores all their messages in favor of reading the one that looks most 'important'. His hand's trembling as he opens the message Roman's left for him. Seth Rollins, Seth doesn't mean to roll his eyes at that but he can imagine Roman's voice as he reads his name.

Your last class is at one. Go to the university's parking area—your driver will be waiting there. His name is John Cena, I have attached his picture to this message.

Seth reads the message probably three times—everything sounds like an instruction to him. And where is the lovey-dovey stuff? Firstly, Seth woke up alone, the cold sheets next to him had told him that the man had left long ago. He'd been worried that maybe Roman had changed his mind, but Manuia had reassured him that it wasn't the case. Roman, being an early bird, probably hadn't wanted to wake him; it's what Manuia had told him. And so Seth had let it slide, but now…he isn't even going to get any 'Hey baby' or any 'I hope you had a great day at college'. The man sent a similar message two days ago, what's changed between then and today?

Granted, this is Seth's first relationship so he doesn't know much about relationship dynamics, but don't couples do that in relationships? Even Xavier, dating that cold bastard Randy, gets sweet texts from him. Sure, Seth isn't expecting Roman to be a complete romantic but didn't the man mention something about worshipping the ground he walks on, yesterday? Seth deserves even a bit of pampering. Yes, he nods to himself, Roman needs to treat him like a Prince, after all the man's put him through. "Hey, you." Seth knows that voice. It's right behind him, so close in fact that the owner's breath is warm against his ear sending an unwanted shiver down his spine.

Seth turns to face the culprit, "Elias!" His voice comes out too high-pitched.

"So Seth, for how long are you going to stomp on my bruised ego?"

"Huh?" Seth shakes his head, bewildered.

"Your number…you gave it to me but you're not responding to my calls or my messages. You know back in the day, people would just give you the wrong number and one would be able to take the hint. I don't know man…am I reading the signals wrong?"

Seth notices that as usual, a few—no it's actually a lot of eyes this time—are peeking at them. They're standing at the parking area and Seth should be trying to find this John Cena, Roman spoke of but instead he finds himself standing with a guy who's now looking at him like Seth's genuinely hurt his feelings. He fails to notice how Elias has grabbed hold of his right hand, and how the man's now carrying his bag for him. He thinks back to Elias's question, did he read things wrong? No, not really, his mind tells him. Elias is attractive, he's got a great body, he gives off good vibes and he looks like a nice guy who Seth would've dated—if his heart didn't belong to another man. It's Roman he wants, the man's not perfect and he still needs to prove himself but Seth can't let him go without trying. They're both willing to try and it's enough for him.

"Look Elias…" Seth starts softly. Elias seems to already know what Seth's going to say because his eyes downcast, and he looks like a kicked puppy. Seth swallows the lump in his throat, he doesn't want the man to feel bad. Maybe in another universe… "I'm with someone right now. You're a great guy and you were the first guy who talked to me when I came here. You're the first one who made me feel welcomed and for that I'm grateful. But I—I, there's someone else. I'm sorry if I gave you false hope."

"Is it that Prince?"

It takes a minute to sink in Seth's head, "What?"

"I googled your name after you left that day. You're a former prostitute and you're linked to that Prince. But the papers were saying you're both denying having a relationship. Has it changed? In that expensive car, he's the one that was standing outside the car with you. The one who looked angry and went to sit on the other side, right? Are you dating him?"

"I—I, um, n-no. He's uh," Seth mentally curses at his stammer. Elias's eyes sparkle suspiciously with each word he stutters so Seth takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly. "The guy I'm seeing…he's not from around here. He's from Iowa."

"And you guys are in a long distance relationship?"

"…yes."

"For how long?"

The questions are getting annoying now. "Uh…six months."

"And yet, you let me take you out. You let me serenade you and do all these flirty things knowing very well that you have a man. Surely, something's going wrong in your relationship if you'd allow another guy to do that." Elias says. "I'll sound like a jerk saying this, but it's good for me. It means I still stand a chance."

And Seth isn't really sure how to respond to that, "We're doing more than fine. I'm just not good at reading body language. I didn't know you were flirting with me." Even he doesn't believe his lie. He's not surprised when Elias gives him a 'You couldn't come up with something better' expression. "It's true…" he's really not helping his case at the moment.

"Didn't say it wasn't." Elias shrugs. "But I'm still keeping my fingers crossed. Y'all haven't been dating that long. If your boyfriend doesn't cherish the beauty I see in you, then you'll be walking with me pretty soon. You'll be waking up in my bed too. I'll give you the world."

"Because in a world full of men who can offer you the world, I can offer you more than that. I can offer you the galaxy. I can offer so much more Seth."

Roman's words play in his mind. He has Roman—he doesn't need the world, like he'd told Roman last night. And so Roman had given him his heart, what Seth had wanted. It's enough, really. "I'm sorry Elias, really I am. There's someone else."

"And not once have you said you're in love with him. I stand a chance Seth, I know we've known each other for three days but I like you. I'm not the type to back away when I see something I like, I go all out for it—full force. I'm not giving up."

The hug Elias envelopes him in is unexpected. One minute they were talking and now he has Elias's arms around his waist, tightening. Seth doesn't hug back, he's too scared to, and he doesn't know why. He's just dumbfounded…even when he feels Elias's lips brush against his neck slightly before the bigger man pulls away from him. "Let me escort you to your car," Elias says, grabbing his hand.

Seth pulls his hand away and looks around crowded parking lot until he meets a Bentley that looks like the one Manuia normally drives. The number plate is different though and so is the man standing outside the car. He's the John, Roman spoke of. The man's huge, with his bulging muscles hugging the black blazer he's wearing snugly. He's also wearing a white shirt coupled with a thin black tie and formfitting black pants. Oh, and Seth can't forget his sunglasses. And his arms are folded against his chest, making him look like a true bodyguard but he looks a bit too serious for Seth's liking.

"Mr. Rollins," John's deep voice says, when he catches sight of Seth.

"Hey…and it's Seth." Seth smiles. "And this is Elias, a friend of mine."

John nods his head and shakes hands with Elias before turning his attention back to Seth, "You ready to go?"

"Yes," Elias gives him his bag and Seth raises an eyebrow. When had the man even taken his bag? "Uh…thank you? I'll see you on Monday."

John's closing his door for him when Elias turns to face him, "Have a great weekend Seth." The man says before walking away from him.

John takes off his sunglasses once he gets in the car. His deep blue eyes meet Seth's on the rearview mirror. "So Seth, any place you want me to take you to or is it straight home?"

"Straight home, please." Seth whispers, his eyes fluttering shut.

***

"—llo" Seth's voice is groggy as he answers his phone. He'd hit the sack the minute he reached home around two-thirty. He still feels like he hasn't gotten enough sleep. He blinks his drowsy eyes and looks at the large window from his room. The sun is still shining—bright as ever so it probably isn't that late.

"Seth Rollins,"

It's him. Seth's never cleared sleep out of his system faster. His body reacts instantly to his deep velvety voice, and Seth finds himself sitting up to lean his back against the headboard. There's a warmth in the pit of his stomach, in fact, every bone in his body feels alive. He's helpless against the small sigh escaping his lips, "Roman." He whispers.

"Yes," even though he can't see it but Seth can feel the warmth in his man's voice. He can hear the man's smile with just that word uttered. "Did you get home safely? Was everything okay with John?"

He doesn't mean to smile the way he does but Roman cares. He cares enough to ask. "Yes and yes." He replies. "How's work?"

"Fine," the tone's dismissive this time but Seth can tell it's not in a bad way. Roman sounds like he wants to talk about them, Seth isn't sure, but it sounds like it. "Good, as long as you're comfortable. We're going out at six, will you be ready by then?" The man doesn't like asking. Seth's dismissing the last part of what Roman said, him asking if Seth will be ready means nothing. The man just told him they're going out. And his tone—it leaves no room for argument, like last night. Not that Seth will argue with Roman wanting to take him out. He's just glad that they'll be spending more time together. But is this like a date or are they just going out? Seth's not sure.

"On like a…date?" He doesn't like how his voice sounds unsure, it lacks confidence.

"Yes."

"What should I wear?"

"Your clothes." The line's silent for a while before Roman lets out a small laugh. "Oh... Do you have any formal wear?"

"No…" his tone's embarrassed this time.

"Don't be embarrassed. It doesn't matter anyway. Casual wear is fine. I'll see you at home, alright?"

"Alright," Seth sighs. "I'll be waiting."

The call isn't dropped, Seth hears Roman's steady breathing before the man speaks up again, "I'm lucky to have you Seth. I'll prove to you…how serious I am about you. I…goodbye Seth." The phone remains against Seth's ear after Roman's hanged up, his mind still processing Roman's words. Why is this man making him fall harder? The hand that isn't holding his phone goes to his belly when he feels a fluttering there. His eyes close and he just…allows himself to feel. Everything. He welcomes every beautiful emotion that assaults him as he thinks about the royal who owns his heart.

When Seth finally leaves his bed, it's five o'clock, and he's done a few things since then. He entertained Elias's messages for about ten minutes. They had a flowing conversation, and the man had invited him to come through at The Grill Lounge tomorrow but Seth had politely declined. His friends are coming to visit him tomorrow. Speaking of Xavier and Dean, he spoke to them too. For close to an hour this time. As usual, Dean had asked him if Roman and him had fucked yet and in turn Seth had told the man to go fuck himself. He hasn't told them about the latest development with Roman—he's too scared to. Seth is afraid that he'll somehow jinx everything and he doesn't want that. He really likes Roman, he's too scared to lose him. He knows that he will have to tell them at some point but for now he wants to keep their relationship to himself.

Seth's taken his shower and is picking out an outfit when his door opens. He fails to hear it as he rummages through his closet looking through the new clothes he bought with Manuia. He wants to look good for Roman. The royal always looks good even when he's just wearing a pair of boxers. And Seth doesn't want to embarrass him, which is why he's picking from his new clothes. Roman's probably going to be wearing some expensive brand and Seth wants to look just as good as him. He startles slightly when he feels large arms encircle his waist pulling him into a strong chest. Roman's scent engulfs him and Seth closes his eyes, resting his hands on top of the big ones that rest on his stomach.

"You smell so good," Roman's deep voice rumbles against his back. The royal has his face buried in his neck and Seth's body is reacting again. Roman's lips touch the sensitive part of his neck while his right hand lifts up to rub on his nipple. Seth moans, it's undisguised and full of need. He turns in Roman's arms and leans up to kiss his full lips. He cups the man's cheeks, loving the feel of Roman's beard beneath his touch. Like last night, Roman's devouring him—his hands tighten around Seth's waist and he kisses Seth passionately. Seth never knew kissing could feel this good, he tries to keep up with how hard Roman goes but the royal seems to be reinforcing his dominance over him. Seth doesn't mind though as he lets Roman lead before the man pulls away and buries his face in Seth's neck again.

"Hey," it's whispered. Roman has pulled away from him and they're looking at each other. Seth says nothing more as he gazes into Roman's brown eyes, they're piercing—as if gazing into his soul. The silence between them says so much, it's a moment so intense but still so tender and so intimate. They're being vulnerable—Seth sees it in Roman's eyes and he knows the other man can see it in his own brown irises too. Seth feels bare and stripped of everything except what he's feeling for the man in front of him. "Roman," he whispers, when the Lanuolan captures his lips again. It's so gentle and so loving that a tiny whimper escapes Seth when the kiss ends.

"Get dressed. I'm going to take a quick shower and I'll meet you in the living room." Roman says, he kisses Seth's forehead softly before heading for Seth's door. The man stops for a second at the door before going back to Seth to kiss his lips again. "I'm so lucky." Seth can tell Roman's whispering the words to himself. His heart stutters in what's starting to feel like love…but it's too soon. What is Roman doing to him? His mouth welcomes Roman when the man's warm tongue finds it's way into Seth's mouth again. Seth can't really describe what he's feeling now—it's a mixture of joy, of ecstasy and everything just feels charged…with Roman. The man makes him feel like an electric current is running through his body, filling his body, his bones and his veins.

"We're never going to leave this place if you keep this up," Seth chuckles when Roman comes back yet again after having left for his door a few seconds ago. He leans away from Roman who leans forward to steal his lips for yet another kiss. "Go get ready. I deserve to be taken out."

"You deserve more than that," Roman says. Seth doesn't mean to let the royal kiss him again but the man's words defeat him. He's helpless against the royal's words. Roman does leave…eventually, while Seth quickly gets dressed. Seth puts on a pair of beige chino-styled Ralph Lauren shorts that aren't too tight to ensure that they slip past his cast but they're not too loose either. He then puts on a light Nike sweatshirt that's grey in color. A pair of black Nikes accommodate his feet, well the one that isn't injured. He sprays a bit of cologne to ensure he smells good. There's still a bit of time left before they leave so Seth fixes his hair, a pleased grin tugging at his lips when the brown mane frames his face in thick curls that drop at his shoulders.

Masina is making her way up the stairs when their eyes clash. Her foot stops on the first step before she pulls it back and stands on the ground watching Seth walk down the stairs. Seth's face heats up, if he's judging correctly, Masina looks in awe of him. She's looking at him like he's a beautiful creature. "Masina." He greets her once they're face to face.

"Wow," is the first word that Masina utters while she looks Seth up and down. "I always knew you were beautiful, Mr. Rollins but this… "Oe matagofie—you're gorgeous."

"Thank you," Seth smiles.

"So you and Leati fixed things…" Seth's caught off guard. How did Masina even— "I'm not blind Seth. The quiet ones are the ones who know first. We're the ones who observe. I just choose not to say anything sometimes. But I knew you crying had to do with him. So I'm taking it, you've fixed things. You look like you're going on a date."

Seth's defeated, he can't deny it. But he still hesitates a little, he's still afraid of jinxing this. He's so happy. "We…talked and fixed things." Those are the only words he can muster. Masina already knows everything anyway, like the woman said, she's an 'observer'.

"I'm glad. Leati deserves love, he's so quick to give it to others. Family and friends but never a potential partner. You can change that Seth."

"You think so?" Okay, so the lack of confidence is back but who can blame him? Seth needs all the reassurance he can get. And these people are the ones who know Roman better than he does.

"I know so," Masina responds. She pats his cheeks gently before going upstairs. Seth watches her until she disappears from view. He goes to settle on the couch while he waits for Roman. He thinks about turning the TV on but decides against it—Roman should be down soon. That leaves him with nothing to do, because he left his phone in his room too. He doesn't know much about dates but he does know how rude it is to use your phone while on a date with someone so he figured he'd just leave it all together.

Seth forgets how to breathe when Roman comes into view. He has no words to describe how gorgeous the other man looks in dark blue jeans and a grey v-neck t-shirt that's hugging all the right muscles perfectly. The royal's hair lustrous black hair is tied into a man bun and a few hairs are already out of the bun. A black watch hugs his left wrist and he finishes his look with a pair of black Nikes. Roman's right arm flexes a bit, teasing his beautifully tattooed thick bicep when he moves his black jacket from his right hand to his left. Seth wants to say to hell with the date—he really does. He wants to tell Roman to take him to his bed so that the royal can show him how much of a man he is but he doesn't. "You look amazing," is what he says instead. His voice comes out breathless and he unconsciously licks his dry lips before biting on his bottom lip.

His damn cardiovascular organ remembers how to function again when Roman walks with an undeniable confidence and authority towards him. But his heart's not functioning like it's supposed to—there's an unsteady rhythm in it. It beats so fast that Seth thinks it'll jump out of his throat before it stills for a minute too long before beating slower and then faster before it stops again and then it—fuck, Seth can't really explain what's happening. All he knows is Roman's stood in front of him now and he's holding his hand out while giving Seth a penetrating look that makes Seth warm all over.

Seth hesitates a beat, his gaze never leaving Roman's as he exhales shakily. The hand remains offered, Seth accepts it, feeling a jolt of electricity run down his entire body. His body is reacting again—like it always does when he's around Roman. Seth searches Roman's eyes when the royal lets go of his hand and steps away from him a bit. Roman's eyes look him up and down, intensely, it causes Seth to look away bashfully. "You're enchantingly beautiful, I have no words."

"Thank you," Seth whispers, allowing Roman to grab his hand once more. The royal guides them to the front door, allowing Seth to exit first. They walk hand in hand before Roman stops at a red Maserati, it's a beautiful car, and a loud color from all the black cars the man owns. Seth is waiting on the royal to open the car but finds himself trapped between it and Roman instead.

Roman's looking at him now—the intensity in his brown orbs has returned. There's a current that hangs in the air, one that's so intense, they both can't help how their souls are drawn to each other. Seth leans up to meet Roman's lips, the kiss is heated. Seth's giving as good as he gets this time—gliding his tongue against the royal's. He sucks on it and nibbles on Roman's juicy bottom lip. The need to breathe separates their lips and they royal moves his to Seth's neck. Roman places butterfly kisses on the sensitive part of his neck, causing Seth to moan. He clings to Roman's neck when the bigger man initiates a hard bite on his neck, "Roman." Seth's voice comes out strangled.

He feels Roman's lips kiss the bitten area repeatedly before the royal hugs him tighter, breathing him in. After a while Roman pulls back and opens the car for a still shaken Seth. He goes to the other side of the car and gets in as well. "So how was your day, baby?" Roman asks as he begins the drive to wherever they're going, Seth's isn't sure, the man hasn't told him anything.

Seth's not sure how long it takes for them to reach their location. He'd been too busy having an easy going conversation with Roman. When he laughs, Roman laughs like a little kid—he throws his head back and shakes his head, his lush lips stretching wide, reveal sparkling white teeth. It's an exotic look on the man's features that Seth would find himself grinning too.

Seth averts his eyes from Roman to look at the place they're at. He gasps audibly when his eyes take in the stunningly elegant restaurant. It resembles a glass house, there's two levels and he can see how classy the place is from how nicely dressed the occupants in the restaurant are. 'Thierry's,' he reads the name of the restaurant. He doesn't even know when Roman left the car but he blinks his eyes when Roman's large physique blocks his view. The man's offering his hand to him again, Seth grabs it but before he can do anything Roman kisses his neck briefly before giving the valet driver his car keys.

When they enter the restaurant, Seth knows they're underdressed, their clothes are not fitting for a restaurant of this stature at all. He can tell by how some of the rich, snobby occupants look at them with their noses upturned and in a sneering gesture. He snuggles deeper into Roman's embrace and looks away. "Welcome to Thierry's. Do you have a reservation?" The gorgeous lady at the host booth asks once they reach there. Seth doesn't miss the distaste in her eyes at their choice of clothing. He almost expects her to chase them out of the place but she says nothing more.

"Yes. The second level, under Reigns."

And the girl's eyes widen, "U-Uh, yes sir. I-I mean sirs." Seth isn't sure what's caused the stammer all of a sudden when not too long ago she looked at them like they were unworthy of being here. "Right this way." She guides them to an elevator ( yes, it's crazy. The place has a freaking glass elevator) and when they step out of the elevator, Seth thinks he's died and gone to paradise. Could this place be anymore gorgeous?

Apparently yes, he think to himself as he looks at his surroundings. The second level is an al fresco styled area, allowing one to breathe in the Miami air and appreciate the view. With the day waning, the skies take on a mixture of indigo and salmon hues and everything is so perfect. "I took the liberty of ordering for us." Roman jolts him out of his hypnotic state. Seth turns to look at the royal, watching his charmingly beautiful brown eyes sparkle—the light he finds in them draws him in. Daring him to explore every emotion he finds in the brown depths.

"Oe matagofie," Seth whispers because Roman really is gorgeous. And as clichéd as it sounds, the skies tease his beauty, making the man look like an ethereal god. Seth's beginning to think that maybe the man is a god, no one's this beautiful—this perfect.

"Who taught you that?" 

"Masina," Seth responds, "Thank you." He says when Roman gets his chair for him.

"It's a pleasure."

"So what did you get for us?"

"It's a surprise." Roman smiles, kissing Seth's knuckles softly. "I told them to give me about fifteen minutes because there's something I need to say first." Seth remains quiet, he looks into Roman's eyes and waits for him to continue. He doesn't though and a short man with long pink hair comes towards them. Roman stands up and accepts a small wrapped box from him, the man speaks enthusiastically in French before standing on his tiptoes to kiss Roman's cheeks. The man's heading for Roman's lips when Roman says something in French (And yes, he sounds so hot), the man rolls his eyes but backs off and disappears to wherever he came from.

"Who was he?" Seth asks, when Roman sits down. His tone of voice is deceptively even. But the two had talked like people who had a history. Because no man just kisses you on the lips when nothing happened between you two before, right?

"A friend," It's all Roman says but Seth wants to know more.

"Was he like a friend who was more than a friend?"

"I've never dated him if that's what you're asking. And I don't do friends with benefits. I don't do casual sex, Seth."

He feels chided, Roman's tone was hard, Seth looks away. "I'm sorry,"

"It's fine," Roman grabs his hand again. "I want to apologize too Seth. Last night…I didn't apologize for leaving like that. I am so sorry, for every hurt I've caused you. And I know you haven't forgiven me for that night," Roman hold his hand up when Seth opens his mouth to say something. "I don't hold it against you Seth. You're entitled to feel that anger. You're allowed to resent me for what I said—but I'm still sorry. And I'm sorry for all the other times too. I'm sorry for last night Seth. I got you this," Roman opens the beautifully wrapped small box and takes out a beaded bracelet. "In the Zulu culture, color represents something. You can tell a story with the different colored beads. So I got you this to tell you that I'm sorry and that I feel for you. The red—it represents how I feel for you. Red is an intense color…as are my feelings for you. The white represents my dedication to you—I pledge to be faithful to you for as long as we're together Seth."

Seth doesn't like how his throat constricts with every word Roman utters, Roman blurs from his vision, and he doesn't even know when the tears have fallen but there's so much emotion in Roman's voice with each word he says. He sounds so genuine, "The blue it, uh," Roman clears his throat and blinks his eyes rapidly. He looks to be at war with himself. "It symbolizes the loneliness I've felt before you came into my life Seth. Before you—it's just been me. Even with a few of my family here, I still went home alone at night. With you here, I-I hope we make this work. I love having you with me Seth. And the green means contentment—you don't know how content I am right now…with you. The, uh, the shape" there's embarrassment in the deep voice this time and Seth swears the royal looks like he's blushing. "The triangular design of the bracelet, it uh, means you're taken. You're mine Seth and I'm yours too for as long as you want me."

Roman's moving from his side of the table to get to Seth, he crouches in front of him and wraps the bracelet around Seth's right wrist, fastening the item. It fits his hand perfectly, Seth realizes. Roman kisses his wrist before he pulls Seth up so that they're both standing. The royal cups his cheeks and brings Seth's face in for a gentle kiss. Roman doesn't seem to mind how Seth's tears smudge his face as he nibbles softly on Seth's wet lips. The moment's tender—it's more than Seth had ever envisioned.

Roman's arm draws him close by his neck and Seth hugs his waist, breathing this perfect man in. He wants to say so many things, his emotions are all over the place and he wants to tell Roman he thinks he's falling in love with him but it's too soon. He wants to tell Roman that he owns his heart but the words can't leave his lips. So many words seem to want to escape from his lips but he says nothing. He hugs Roman tighter instead, and allows his heart to do all the talking for him, hoping that their closeness will tell the Roman everything he wants him to know.

Chapter Text

Seth wakes up to a cold bed—the space where Roman had been laying just last night with his arm around him is now painfully empty. He sits up on the somewhat disorderly bed, running a flat palm on the creased white sheets as he wracks his brains, trying to figure out just why exactly Roman isn't beside him. It's the weekend after all and a glance at the bedside clock tells him that only ten minutes remain until it hits five o'clock in the morning.

Last night had been perfect, after Roman's apology, they'd had a five course meal—French cuisine that had been mouthwatering. And Seth had found out sometime during their dinner that Roman had reserved the whole second floor for them—to ensure they had privacy. Roman even sacrificed wearing formal wear to a restaurant he knew very well didn't accept casual wear to ensure that Seth didn't feel embarrassed. And when they'd come back home, Roman had bypassed his room to join Seth in his. They'd even—

His body heats up and Seth shakes his head to erase last night's memory. But it can't be erased—not when he's moving off the bed and feels the telltale signs of dried cum on his back. No, they hadn't had sex—or penetrative sex, rather. They would've, they'd been so close to having it, after a particularly heated shower. The only reason things had come to a halt is because Roman doesn't own the right equipment for sex—no lubrication and definitely no condoms either. He apparently hasn't had sex in three years, so it's understandable. Even after they'd both confirmed they're clean—they'd decided to wait. Seth is a carrier, he doesn't want to get knocked up so soon after their relationship. There's still so much they need to learn about each other. Seth's sure Roman hasn't even told Jimmy and Naomi about them and he doesn't mind—it's not like he's told his friends either. It's still too soon and they need to enjoy their relationship first before they invite other people to divulge in their personal affairs. Dean definitely would and he has a feeling Naomi would too—the woman has a strong personality and she looks like the type to poke and prod until one has no choice but to give in.

So the only thing they'd done last night was a hand job for him while Roman rubbed himself against Seth's ass until he finally came on Seth's back. Like Seth's said before, last night? Absolutely perfect. So where is Roman now? Seth slides on a random t-shirt he picks off the floor, it's baggy, clearly belonging to Roman. He laughs lightly as he remembers how the royal had complained about him dropping their clothes on the floor. It's Roman's pet peeve—he hates it when things are left lying around disorderly. He slides on a pair of black slippers and leaves his room. He passes Roman's room, for some reason, his gut's telling him that he'll find Roman where he found him that night he patched his hands up.

His heart sinks at that because he remembers that day perfectly well. He still remembers Roman's cries and how wrecked the man had looked. He still remembers the torment in Roman's brown orbs. He just hopes that Roman is fine. His feet carry him to where the gym is and he opens the mahogany and glass door. The indoor gym is elegance personified—there's state of the art equipment. And a boxing ring, three treadmills and so many other things that Seth would mention if his mind wasn't focused on finding Roman.

His eyes find Roman when they go to the backdoor, that's entirely made of glass, allowing him to see Roman's large build that's stood outside, in nothing but navy shorts. His raven hair rests on his shoulders and his eyes seem to be fixed somewhere in the distance. The early morning teases the golden color of the sun, mixing it with what's left of last night. Seth opens the sliding door quietly and stands behind Roman for a while, appreciating the beautiful forest trees, creek and a greenhouse in the distance. He wonders how long Roman's been up—how long he's been here. The morning air has a slight breeze to it but everything else is a picture of quiet serenity, making him wonder if maybe that's why Roman came here.

Roman still hasn't noticed him and not once has he turned to the side, he keeps staring straight ahead, his hands stuffed in his pockets. Seth decides after what feels like forever to make his presence known. He slips his arms in between Roman's wind-chilled body and hugs his waist from behind, kissing the bigger man's back softly. "It's really beautiful out here," he whispers, not wanting to disrupt the peaceful atmosphere. He gets no response in return, but tells himself that there's nothing to be worried about. Maybe Roman just wants to bask in the silence and breathe in the calm of the forest. So Seth says nothing else and stares at the infinite shades of green, his arms never once moving from Roman's waist.

"You should be in bed," the words are spoken softly. And it's probably been over thirty minutes they've been standing in the open that Roman says the words. Seth's body is already covered in goosebumps from the breeze and he wonders how Roman isn't cold.

"I missed you."

Roman remains silent again and Seth isn't really sure what's going on with him. That time he patched Roman up, the man had said he had a bad dream. Did he have another bad dream again? If yes, is it a recurring thing? He wants to ask the royal, but a part of him fears being dismissed. What if Roman doesn't want to share?

Said man turns in Seth's arms so that they're looking at each other. His lips are painted in a smile that feels all too fake to Seth, his dark liquid eyes are devoid of emotion. Seth feels uneasy, "Are you okay?" he asks softly.

"Yes," Roman leans in to join their lips before Seth can ask anything else. Seth knows it's mean to distract him but he allows it. Like usual, the kiss is fiery and passionate and loving. But it's harder than usual too—Seth knows he'll be spotting swollen red lips for the rest of the day. Even around his friends.

"Is anything the matter? You…I don't know. I just feel like you're not okay." Seth says once the need to breathe separates their lips.

"I'm fine Seth. Everything's okay." Roman steps away from him, shuts his eyes and breathes in deep. Seth knows their conversation is over when Roman opens his eyes—they're clearer, and tell him to drop it. "Are you okay? Do you need anything?"

"You." The sun bright smile that stretches Roman's lips warms Seth's heart. But he thinks maybe Roman's bipolar or something—he looked like he was drowning in sadness about a minute ago and he's now smiling and looking at Seth like he's the stars and the moon.

Roman pulls him closer by his waist, one big hand trailing beneath the baggy t-shirt Seth has on. "You look good in my clothes," the royal says. His right hand cups an asscheek, before groping and rubbing on it lovingly. Seth grips his shoulders when Roman places a butterfly kiss on the place between neck and shoulder. "All I want Seth, is to feel your warmth. I want to feel you welcome me home." Roman's turning him around with each word he utters. "Bend over a bit." Seth obeys, he bends a bit, spreading his legs, and balances his hands against the glass walls. "Beautiful," Roman grips his shaft firmly causing Seth to moan. They'd done this last night as well, just because they can't have penetrative sex, doesn't mean they can't have a little fun.

Roman's strokes start slow and teasing, he runs his hand up and down Seth's length feeling the brunet's shaft harden beneath his touch. He runs his thumb on the thick mushroom head, rubbing on it in circles before rubbing the leaking slit. Seth cries out loud and thrusts his length into Roman's hand that's now pumping him faster and harder from base to tip, the royal twisting his hand every so often when he reaches Seth's mushroom head, "Feels so good." Seth's moans brokenly. Roman pulls Seth's hips back to him with his left hand, the hand going down to massage Seth's balls, his long hard strokes never cease as he moves his left hand lower to tap on and tease Seth's perineum, a spot he knows is rich in nerve endings.

Seth screams when a fistful of his hair is gripped in a painful hold. Roman joins their lips, his hips pressing Seth against the wall to grind his length into Seth's bare ass. His strokes are untamed as are his thrusts into Seth's ass. And it's so dirty, the way their bodies move, the way their tongues glide and suck on each other. "You're never going to walk straight again, Seth. Once I have you, what I'll give you is all you're ever going to want. Your mouth," The words are doing something to him, shivers of lust run down Seth's spine. A gush of precum spills out of his heavy shaft and he shudders as Roman continues, "Your mouth Seth, it will be a vessel for my dick. I promise you, that."

Seth feels like he's going to lose a bit of hair with how much his hair is being pulled, but it somehow increases his pleasure, all his senses are being stimulated. Roman's stroking and teasing his length in long vicious strokes, he's pressing him against the window with each thrust his clothed dick makes into his ass. It doesn't help Seth any, how Roman keeps grunting and breathing into his ear, making his body feel like a burning furnace. Seth accepts the hard kiss Roman initiates, the royal running his skilled tongue along the roof of his mouth, causing Seth to moan uncontrollably.

Roman only releases his mouth when breathing becomes a necessity. Seth's head is pressed against the wall, and the brunet arches his back, pushing his ass back to Roman's clothed dick, he gyrates against the royal's length and succumbs to the pleasure of Roman's hand working him.

Their moans and grunts sound in the peaceful area, the sounds increasing with each stroke and thrust that brings them closer and closer to fulfillment. Seth comes first, with a splash on Roman's hand and the transparent walls, he screams Roman's name. Like last night, Roman's vicious in his strokes, and wilder in his thrusts. His left hand grips Seth's hip in a bruising hold and he thrusts into Seth's ass so hard, he may as well be fucking him. Seth's cheek presses deeper into the walls with each shove Roman's shaft makes into his ass. A drawn out groan leaves Roman's lips when he comes, Seth feels it too, with the way Roman holds onto him tighter and squeezes his shaft harder, almost to the point of being painful.

Time seems suspended as they come down from their high—Roman's hands rest on his waist, his head resting on Seth's shoulder. Once his senses return, Seth's eyes widen as a thought comes to mind, "Roman! What if they saw us?!" He's more worried about Masina than he is about Manuia and Bobby. Masina's slowly starting to feel like the mother he never had and he doesn't think he'd be able to look her in the eyes if she saw them—somehow. Roman's chuckling into his shoulder and it frustrates him to no end. "It's not funny, I don't think I'll ever be able to look Masina in the eye if she saw us." Seth groans.

Roman turns him around again, he grips Seth's brown mane, gentler this time, and brings a worried Seth's lips to his. "Relax. Masina has her own compound—a distance away from here. Near Bobby and Manuia's compound. It's a Saturday, she's probably still asleep or doing whatever it is she does on weekends. She rarely comes to this part of the house anyway." He hugs Seth against him and breathes him in, a deep sigh leaving his lips. "Go take a shower. I'll clean up this mess."

***

Seth steps inside the shower immediately the water heats up, he braces his hands against the granite walls and allows the hot water to pelt his tired body. It's still too early for him to be awake, especially on a weekend, but maybe he's already getting used to the idea of having Roman beside him because his body had seemed to sense that the other man wasn't beside him somehow, and he'd just jolted awake. Or maybe he'd just missed the warmth of the royal.

Seth isn't going to lie though and say he isn't worried about Roman, because he is. He knows that what they did not too long ago was used a distraction. Why Roman feels he would need to hide some things from him, Seth isn't sure. But he also knows not to pry—for now, at least—maybe Roman feels it's too soon to share. And it's not like they've had the time to have a heart to heart about their pasts and their lives. Last night's dinner was lighthearted, they'd teased each other and Roman had told him about the things he's passionate about. They'd talked about the foundation Roman's beginning, and how the developments are coming along. They'd talked about school, how Seth's adjusting, but Seth hadn't mentioned Elias when Roman had asked if he's made any friends yet. He doesn't think Roman would appreciate him having Elias as a friend somehow.

"Fuck, you scared me." Seth jumps, when Roman's arms tighten around him. He elbows Roman's stomach when Roman laughs lowly. "You're insatiable." He says, feeling Roman's length tease his cleft.

"I am," Seth can hear the smirk in the royal bastard's voice. "It's all your fault, Seth."

Seth stops his hand from gripping his length, "Well you're going to have take care of yourself. I have to get ready for my friends, they're coming today, remember?"

Roman groans, taking the bodywash from Seth, "I remember. I'll be sharing you with your friends for the next two days. I'm just beaming with joy!" Seth doesn't miss the sarcasm in Roman's voice.

He turns to face the wall when Roman tells him to and allows the royal to wash his body, Roman's gentle in his ministrations. Seth moans softly when Roman crouches on one knee behind him and washes his ass and legs, the man bites and sucks on his ass lightly before getting up to face him. "I met them before I met you so you'll have to share me with them. Haven't you heard? Sharing is caring."

"Like hell, it is." Roman snorts, allowing Seth to wash his body as well. The brunet gestures for Roman to bend his head slightly so he can wash the royal's lustrous jetblack locks. He laughs at Roman's groan of pleasure when he massages his scalp. "I'm never washing my own hair again. You're so good at this."

"As long as you pay me. Nothing's free in this world."

"Is my dick payment enough?"

Seth grabs a fluffy towel to wrap their bodies together, "If you talk this dirty in a normal conversation, I wonder how dirty you talk during actual sex."

"You'll find out soon enough," Roman kisses the back of his neck and grabs the towel from Seth. "I'll meet you at the breakfast room. I'll go get dressed."

Seth nods his head, allowing Roman to exit his room. He pulls on a pair of black boxer briefs and black shorts. He then puts on a grey loose fitting tank top and ties his hair into a messy bun. He sprays a bit of cologne and slides on his flip flops. He isn't sure what Dean and Xavier will want to do once they get here, but he hopes they're not planning on going sightseeing or doing something crazy. In fact, all Seth wants to do is have a relaxed day at home, with his boyfriend. But of course, he can't have everything he wants, now can he?

He wonders whether Roman and him will be able to be discreet enough about their relationship. He hopes so, otherwise Dean, the arrogant brat, won't let him hear the end of it. He grabs his phone and leaves his room. It's nearing six-thirty in the morning and his friends won't be here for another five hours. Still plenty of time for him and Roman to act all loved up and cuddly and shit. The thought causes Seth to grin to himself. The delicious aromas of different foods hit him when he nears the kitchen. He finds Roman in the kitchen with Masina, their backs are turned to him and the royal has his hand on the middle-aged woman's shoulder as they speak softly. He's reminded of a mother and his son as he looks at the two, the love between them is pure and so genuine. He remembers Masina's words—about how Roman's quick to give love to family and friends. Her words are true—he sees the truth of them as he looks at the two.

Masina laughing heartily takes him out of his thoughts, he notices both Roman and Masina's eyes are on him. Fond smiles on their faces, he was the topic of their conversation, he can tell. He gives Roman a raised eyebrow causing the royal to grin boyishly, "She, uh, she—"

"I don't know why he's acting all shy all of a sudden. You're good for him, Seth. Make sure he remembers how to have fun, he's so serious, half the time."

Seth blushes, but nods affirmative to Masina. "I'll try my best." He goes to join them near the stoves, "What are we eating?"

"What do you want?"

"Hash browns, scrambled eggs and pancakes. Do you guys have mango juice?"

Roman frowns in distaste, "You drink mango juice?"

"It's my favorite kind," Seth's words are accompanied by a moan. His tongue's practically tasting the goodness that is mango juice.

"Roman's not a big fan of anything with mangoes. He loathes mango juice with a passion." Masina says.

Seth's eyes open at that, "Really? So does that mean you guys don't buy anything with mango? You guys don't have mango juice?" There's lighthearted disappointment in his voice.

"Masina will get it, she's due to buy the grocery anyway. Right, Masina?"

The dark skinned woman pats Seth's cheek gently, while Roman kisses the other one. Seth feels so loved, it's endearing, he's being wrapped up in all these different beautiful emotions. "I'll get it today."

Roman grabs his hand and leads them to the breakfast room. "We're having a BBQ later. Naomi sent me a message. And it's no use trying to argue with her. She's so damn stubborn."

Despite the complaint, Seth doesn't miss the love in Roman's voice when talking about Naomi. "You seem very fond of her." He thanks Masina when she places a plate filled with his breakfast in front of him. Seth pours syrup on his pancakes and hands the bottle to Roman who takes the bottle from him but not without kissing his knuckles softly.

"She's like the sister I never had."

"So you'd squeeze your sister's ass. Isn't that a bit weird?" The words rush to Seth's mouth before he can stop them. Roman's chuckle turns into a choke because of the juice he was drinking. Seth rubs his back, his eyes widening. "Shit! I'm sorry—"

"It's fine," Roman wipes his lips with a napkin. "I should've swallowed first. So you were watching me on that day, huh?" the arrogant asshole is smirking, an expression that says 'I'm the shit' etching his features. He leans back on his chair and sips on his juice, while waiting for Seth to respond.

"I was," it's no use hiding it. "You were an arrogant, Adonis looking, son of a bitch."

"I prefer Roman looking, Adonis is not an attractive name."

"You just prefer Roman because that's your name."

"Of course, Roman sounds so much better. It has that zeal, and it doesn't hurt that the owner of the name complements how powerful the name sounds."

"Whatever," Seth rolls his eyes. "So do you only have brothers then?"

"I'm an only child," Roman says. "But I consider Manuia and the twins my brothers."

Okay, Seth didn't know about any twins. Who are they? And how has he not met them before? Or maybe they live in Lanuola like most of Roman's family. "There are twins in your family?"

"Jimmy and Jey."

"Jimmy's a twin?!" Seth's voice reveals his awe. He's never been around a lot of twins, the only twins he knew was during his highschool days, a long time ago. They weren't identical though, and their personalities couldn't have been more different. They were girls and one was thicker than the other, also more popular because of how loud she was. She didn't take nonsense from anyone, and protected her twin like crazy. He doesn't remember their names though. They started with P, he thinks. "What does his twin look like?"

"Like Jimmy. They're identical but I can tell them apart. Not a lot of family members can though." Roman laughs and he gets a distant look in his eyes, as if reminiscing about the old times. "When we were younger, we looked so alike that my mom couldn't tell us apart sometimes. So when one of us did something wrong, we'd pretend to be each other. We wore the same clothes too, so our parents would go around in circles trying to find the culprit until they basically punished all of us because we wouldn't rat each other out."

"Oh my god," Seth laughs, covering his mouth with his hand. He bets Roman was cute as a child and he can just imagine three replicas running around and confusing their parents. "I feel sorry for your parents. I'm sure it was worse for your sitters."

"You don't even want to know. We were a bunch of rascals, I can't count the number of times we got spankings from our parents."

Seth shakes his head and smiles, Roman's eyes are sparkling again. In that way they always do when he lets his guard down. "You sound like you had a great childhood."

"I did," Roman clears his throat and pushes his empty plate away from him. "It was…nice."

Not so enthusiastic this time, in fact the bright look Roman spotted just a few seconds ago, dims a bit. Seth decides to change the topic, the tone of Roman's voice tells him it wouldn't be wise to probe further. "So when are Naomi and Jimmy coming over?"

"Around ten." Seth grabs their plates, following Roman who's grabbed their glasses. "They are coming with their daughter, Leilani."

That makes Seth nervous, he's not really good with kids. "What does she look like?"

"A younger version of Jimmy. You'll love her. She's a little ball of energy." He probably will but Seth wonders if the kid will love him too. Xavier would probably stand a better chance, he exudes a warm homely aura. The exact opposite of Randy, but it's how they gel so well together. Where Randy's cold and rude, Xavier is warm and kind.

"I'm not that great a cook but I can man the grill. I can also make a few delicious salads. So I can start on a few things before Jimmy and Naomi get here." Seth says.

"It's a bit early. We'll start at nine," Roman grabs his hand and leads them out of the kitchen. "We can go for a swim, the water's warm enough. Or we can just relax outside. Or whatever you want to do really." They exit the kitchen, entering the breakfast room which has the sliding glass door leading to the modern terrace with an outdoor fireplace and a cliff-edge swimming pool. There's a few green plants decorating the area, a few grey and green bean couches are scattered around as well. Roman leads them to the elegant emerald couches and they settle together, both of them laying on their sides so that they're facing each other.

Seth watches the different shades of brown dance in his boyfriend's eyes. Okay, so it's the second time he's calling Roman his boyfriend. They haven't even discussed what they are to each other. "Roman, what are we?" The question shoots past his lips before he has the chance to stop himself.

"What do you want us to be?"

Seth shakes his head, Roman isn't going to do that to him. He needs to be the one who tells Seth what he wants them to be. Seth already knows what Roman is to him, he's called the man his boyfriend in his head twice now. But still—Roman needs to say it first. So that Seth doesn't embarrass himself. "What do you want us to be?"

"Boyfriends," the word leaves Roman's lips so easily. "We're boyfriends." The royal nods his head to himself, as if he's decided and no one can change his mind.

Seth leans in to kiss his boyfriend's lips gently, their tongues glide against each other softly, they're sealing their new relationship status with a kiss. Seth sighs against Roman's lips when the kiss ends, "Boyfriends it is, then." The tender moment is interrupted by the ringing of a phone. Seth knows it's his and it's in his back pocket. "Please get it for me." He tells Roman because it's a mission for him to reach behind his pocket.

Roman complies, and gets the phone with a little difficulty. He hands the phone to Seth without looking at it. Seth's heart thuds inside his chest when he sees it's Elias who's calling. Roman's looking at him, eyebrow raised in curiosity and Seth's grateful when Elias hangs up before he can answer. "Who was it?"

"A friend from Tampa," Seth replies, not meeting Roman's eye. He doesn't want to lie to Roman but what if the man overreacts? What if he leaves like the last time? Seth isn't in the mood for a fight. Who knows how bad it will get this time? He looks at Roman, the man's orbs are unreadable, but he hopes Roman believes him. His heart's still beating inside his ribcage as Roman joins their lips.

"Your heart's beating kinda fast."

"It happens every time you're around me." Seth says the words against Roman's lips. The royal gets a lazy grin that does something to Seth, he rests his head on Roman's shoulder, feeling Roman's arm tighten around his waist. His eyes go to the Zulu bracelet Roman got for him, "I never thanked you for my gift. For the whole of last night actually. Everything was perfect, so thank you."

"Anything for you, baby."

"Can we just enjoy this? The silence and the fresh air and the nature?"

Roman doesn't respond, but he kisses Seth's forehead and tightens his hold on the brunet's waist. Seth feels the royal's steady heartbeat and allows Roman's intoxicating scent to envelope him in sunny warmth.

***

Seth's working on his second salad--warm new potato and artichoke salad--when he hears the front door being closed loudly and Naomi's loud voice, warning someone to stop running around the house. The loud little patters run around the house accompanied by a small voice shouting, "Unca Roman! Unca Roman!"

Seth looks back at Roman, who's getting the Dijon mustard from the fridge. A grin paints his lips when a little girl runs into the kitchen and jumps into Roman's arms. Her thick curls bounce when Roman throws her into the air before catching her again. "Hey Leilei," Roman buries his face into her neck to make fart sounds.

"Ugh! The brat doesn't listen." Naomi enters the kitchen, looking as beautiful as ever in a yellow sundress, a denim jacket and white strapless heels. Her hair runs down her back, and her make-up looks all natural. She's gorgeous. "Oh hey boo." Naomi walks towards Seth and kisses both his cheeks. "What are you making?"

"Um the salads," Seth blushes a little. He looks back at Roman who's still holding Leilani in his arms. The little girl looks exactly like Roman, but she also looks like Jimmy. She's doe-eyed though with rosy cheeks, her complexion resembling Naomi's lightly. Seth's mind goes to Bambi as looks at her. She's adorable but creepy too. She keeps looking at him with her big eyes, reminding Seth of that night he woke up in the living room to Roman looking at him. He gives the little girl a small wave, causing Roman to grin, the royal whispers something into Leilani's ear and lets her stand on her own feet. The little girl runs towards him and before Seth knows it his left leg is being hugged tightly by the little creature. "Uh, hey little one." He pats her shoulder gently and looks back at Roman. The royal shrugs and greets Jimmy who's just entered the kitchen.

"Seth, my guy. I see Leilani's met you, huh." Jimmy looks at the two. Leilani is following Seth towards the fridge where the brunet's placing the last salad in the fridge. "She's not a people person. What did you bribe her with?" Jimmy laughs.

"Uh, nothing." Seth shrugs, tidying up the mess he created. "I'm not even used to kids, to be honest. How old is she?"

"She's five."

"I'm right here, you guys!" Leilani pipes in.

Roman laughs and goes to help Seth with the mess, "She's too intelligent for her good."

"Can I watch Donald Duck, unca Roman?"

"Yes, sweetheart." Roman bends to kiss the little girl's cheek softly. "You know how to use everything, right?"

Leilani jumps up and down, causing her thick brown curls to cover her face. "Course, I do. I'm a big girl, unca Roman." Roman moves the curls from her face and kisses her forehead softly one final time before allowing her to run off in the direction of the living room.

"So how are you adjusting to Miami?" Jimmy asks.

"It's going okay," Seth's eyes unconsciously shift to Roman, a timid smile tugging at his lips when he notices that Roman's eye is already on him.

"Just okay?" Naomi asks, curiously.

"I mean, I can't complain." Seth shrugs. "Everything's just going…okay."

"Mhmph." Seth turns his attention to Naomi, she's eyeing him. Her eyes gleam with something Seth can't read. He decides to pay her no mind.

"I brought the meat, uce." Jimmy gestures to the counter on the other side. "I'll get started on it." Jimmy opens the drawers, and takes out two bowls and the spices. "Where is the giant?"

"He should be heading back here. He accompanied the pilot to fetch Seth's friends." Seth rolls his eyes, Roman's really not looking forward to sharing him. He's been complaining since earlier this morning. There's no real heat to his words though, probably because the man knows he's the only one Seth wants. Seth hopes Roman knows it, because he really doesn't want anyone else.

His phone chirps with a message, and Seth sighs in relief to see that it's not Elias. The man hasn't tried to call him again and he's grateful for it. He doesn't want to spend his time worrying about Elias calling him. He unlocks his phone and reads the message from Dean, they're on their way and should be in Miami in thirty minutes. "Dean says they're own their way." He tells Roman. They are taking the dirty dishes to the dishwasher. Roman discreetly stands behind him and grips his waist lightly. "What are you doing?" Seth questions quietly. He looks around, and Naomi's working on the meat with Jimmy, they're both loud as hell, and throwing the spices at each other. They've got a loving, fun relationship, Seth can clearly see it in their actions.

"I want to taste your lips."

"You can't," Seth moves away from him. "Do Jimmy and Naomi even know about us?"

"We'll tell them once we make it past a month."

Seth can't argue with that. At least they'll spend this month getting to know each other better. "Okay. So until then, you can't touch me in front of them. They'll know something's up."

Roman grabs his right hand and begins pulling him out of the kitchen, "Let's go to my office then."

"Roman, wait." Seth pulls his hand away. "I think Naomi suspects something." He looks at her and she's no longer focused on Jimmy but rather looking at them curiously. "Just go on your own. You'll have me later tonight."

"You promise?"

Seth rolls his eyes, "I do. Now go join your niece or something."

"Sir, yes sir!" Roman salutes him and disappears from the kitchen. Seth smiles after the royal idiot, Roman looks happier than he did earlier this morning. It makes Seth happy too, Roman's happiness is his happiness.

Dean and Xavier arrive fourty-five minutes later, Seth can hear the sound of the chopper outside. He looks out the large glass windows and sees the helicopter land on the helipad, a distance away on the manicured grounds. "Those your friends?" Jimmy asks, when he comes back from the backyard.

"Yes," Seth's grinning wide. He spots Dean's ginger hair as he steps out of the helicopters after Manuia. The man has a small suitcase in his hand, and he almost falls but Manuia balances him while Xavier grabs his bag from him. Seth hopes the man isn't drunk, it's too early and that would just be embarrassing. He waves from the window when Xavier spots him, the smaller man is glowing, he also looks a little bit thicker.

He goes to meet them at the front door when he hears it opening. "Deano." Seth jumps into his friend's arms and is grateful when Dean doesn't fall with him. Good, it means he isn't drunk. He giggles loudly when Dean spins him around. His slightly opened eyes zoom in on Roman who is staring at the whole altercation with an unamused look on his face. Seth rolls his eyes and sticks his tongue out at him.

"Hey, princess." Dean laughs at Seth's groan. "You guys fucked yet?" he whispers into Seth's ear, his eyes locked on Roman.

Seth pushes him away, sweet Xavier is next. "Hey, you." Xavier punches his arm lightly.

"I missed you so much, Xav." Seth crushes the smaller man into a hug, and kisses his thick black hair softly. "How's school? How's work? How's everything going in Tampa?"

"Slow down with the questions, cowboy." Xavier laughs. "How about you get us settled in first?"

Seth facepalms, "Of course." He looks at Roman who's stood near the stairway. "I'll go show them their rooms?"

"Alright. It's a pleasure seeing you two again," at least the man's nice enough to tell his friends that. Seth rewards him with a flicker of a smile. At least Roman's trying.

"Follow me, you guys." Seth leads them up the stairs. "Pick any room you want, like the last time."

He notes that the two pick the rooms they did the last time. They come back a few minutes later and they all head downstairs. They meet Leilani running into the kitchen. "Who's the elf?" Dean asks.

"She's not an elf," Seth rolls his eyes. "Her name's Leilani. Remember Jimmy said he has a daughter?"

"Really?" Seth looks back at his friend. Dean looks genuinely lost to the news. "You don't remember?"

"No," Dean shakes his head. They enter the kitchen to find Naomi and Leilani alone. "She your daughter?" Dean asks Naomi.

"Yup," Naomi confirms. "Here, eat this for now, sweetie." Naomi gives Leilani a small plastic plate with three cookies.

"This isn't what I like though," Leilani complains all the while accepting the plate from her mom.

"This is creepy as hell. This little kid looks like Roman, except her eyes are huge as fuck."

"Dean!" Seth shouts, horrified.

"Mommy! He said a bad word." Leilani goes to Dean and opens her left hand. "Pay up. You owe me a dollar."

"She's joking, right?" Dean's question is met with silence, everyone's looking at him. And Leilani's bugeyes narrow in on him. "Fine!" Dean sighs. "I can't believe I'm being bullied by a child and you guys aren't even helping out. Aren't you supposed to be my friends?"

Xavier shrugs and looks away. "Ooh, what are these?" The dark skinned man walks towards the counter. He grabs a snack of cucumber toppers. Xavier moans, his eyes closing at the delicious goodness that explodes in his mouth.

"Do you guys think we can take this party outside?" Jimmy enters the kitchen. He picks Leilani up and sets her plate on the counter. "Where'd you get this?"

"He said a bad word. 'S good for me, I got a dollar."

"Why this little—"

"Dean!" Seth speaks up again. "Look, let's all just go outside, okay?"

Xavier takes the tray with cucumber toppers with him. "Fine by me. I need the sun."

Seth gives him a weird look but says nothing. The backyard is huge, there's tennis courts and a basketball court not too far away. There's another pool, different from the one where him and Roman were resting earlier. It's just as huge and has fancy slides. Dean runs back into the house, shouting, "I gotta change for the pool!"

It earns laughter from everyone outside. "Roman, you'll handle the meat on your own, man. I think I'm gonna join him." Jimmy says, eyeing Dean. Seth's dimpled friend is back and is cannon balling into the pool.

"I wanna join too!" Leilani shouts, running after her father.

"I'll go change into something less," Naomi goes in the direction her family left to.

Seth looks at Xavier, the dark skinned man is seated on the chairs, the tray filled with cucumber toppers sat on his lap. He nibbles on the snack while typing away on his phone with the other. Roman's manning the grill on the other side, and Seth bites his bottom lip. Roman looks good, he's wearing black trunks and an apron. Sweat runs down his strong back, his raven hair falling on his shoulders. Seth watches the way his muscles ripple with every movement. Seth goes to him and touches his elbow lightly. "I thought you said you don't know how to cook."

Roman doesn't respond immediately, he looks around before leaning down to give Seth a quick peck on the lips. "This, I can do. All I have to do is make sure the meat doesn't burn." Roman flips the steak on the grill.

"You look so hot doing this," Seth whispers. "There's only one thing that'd make you look hotter."

Roman raises an eyebrow, "Oh?"

"If you babarcued the meat in just the apron and nothing else," Seth whispers into Roman's ear seductively.

"We'll have to do that one day. You'll walk around naked and look all sexy for me and I'll wear nothing but the apron."

"It's a deal." Their eyes lock on each other. The pull tugs them towards each other, and they've forgotten about their surroundings. Roman's lips are practically brushing against Seth's when they're disrupted by a small voice.

"Again!" Leilani giggles. Their attention turn towards the pool. Dean is doing flips in the water, causing Leilani to giggle and mimic the older man. They both head to the slides, Leilani getting a piggyback ride from Dean. Dean lets the little girl climb first and she disappears into the slide, before landing with a splash inside the water.

"Your friend's crazy." Roman chuckles, looking at Dean. The auburn-haired man is now playing chicken with Leilani on his team while Naomi and Jey are on the other team.

"I know," Seth laughs. "I love him for it."

"Love?"

Seth looks back at Roman, "As a friend." He explains, touching Roman's arm gently. "I love him as a friend. Nothing else."

Roman nods his head, "Go join them. Naomi's getting all investigative again. She knows something's up."

Seth goes to sit besides Xavier and slides on his sunglasses. "You're awfully lazy today."

"Just tired."

"What? Randy isn't allowing you any sleep?"

Xavier snorts in return and places the empty tray besides him on the ground. "More like I'm keeping him up."

Seth slides his sunglasses up to look at Xavier. He's surprised by two things. First, Xavier doesn't like talking about sex. And second, Xavierdoesn't like having sex that much. So yes, it's a surprise that the younger man is the one demanding it from Randy. "Really?"

"I just—I don't know what he's done to me." Xavier smiles. "Maybe he gave me Viagra or something. I want to have sex all the time, you know?"

No, Seth doesn't know. But he's got a bit of an idea though, with the way things are with Roman, he won't be surprised if he ends up wanting sex all the time like Xavier. He's gotten a hint of what Roman's about, and he can't wait for the real deal. "Not really but as long as you're both enjoying it."

"Randy knows what he's doing in the bedroom Seth. I mean I know he's my first, but I don't think I'd ever want another one after him. He's perfect and he takes care of me. He's all I've ever wanted."

Seth's seen it, Randy genuinely loves his friend. It must be Xavier's innocence that drew the man in. The two have been together since Xavier was nineteen and Randy was thirty two. Yes, Randy's thirteen years older than Xavier but they make it work. Like Seth said before, they gel well because they're perfect opposites. "As long as you're happy."

"You know I am." Seth brings Xavier in for a hug before kissing the man's cheek. "This is gorgeous." Xavier says, grabbing Seth's right hand to look at his bracelet. "Where'd you get it?"

And the stammers begin, "I, uh, y-yesterday… I bought i-it at this African store."

"It's gorgeous. Maybe I should get Randy one, you'll take me, right?"

Seth mentally curses, he doesn't even know where Roman bought the bracelet. And what if it's super expensive? What if Roman bought it at those expensive stores they shop at? "I don't know the street. But I'll ask Manuia, yeah?"

"Cool."

"Food's ready!" Roman shouts.

Seth gets up and walks hand in hand with Xavier. He looks around and spots Manuia with a plateful of meat and a beer on the other hand. He shakes his head and pats his tummy when Roman's bodyguard looks at him. "You eating all that food on your own?"

"Obviously, Bobby will help me get rid of the calories."

Seth rolls his eyes. Of course, what else would Manuia say? He grabs his plate from Roman, their hands touching lightly. "Thank you." He tells the royal.

"Only the best for you," Roman grabs his plate and they walk side by side towards the patio to join the others.

Roman takes the seat next to Seth, a glass of whisky in front of him. It makes Seth wonder if Roman drinks beer at all. "Seth, did I tell you about the scandal involving Prof. Del Rio?"

Seth takes a bite of his burger and covers his mouth, "What'd he do?" He asks, chewing on the meaty burger.

"So you'll love this," Dean cackles. "Oh god, I wish you'd been there! So you know he was fucking that girl who sits at the back of the glass. The one with the black hair, Paige."

The whole table's quiet everyone waiting for Dean to continue. "Yeah?"

"So his wife, she—" Dean starts cackling again. "Oh god, it's on tape. I-I don't know how she found out but she followed him to Paige's place. And then shit got nasty. There was kicking and screaming, and Paige was left in her underwear. Del Rio, you can see his tiny dick on camera. I don't even know why those two were fighting over someone who clearly looks like he can't satisfy anyone with that teeny weeny thing he calls—"

"Wait! Where's my daughter?" Naomi breaks the conversation.

Everyone's eyes widen, all of them clearly having forgotten Leilani could've heard the whole conversation. The sound of water splashing alerts them that the little girl's swimming all by her lonesome. "She looks so bored by herself," Naomi sighs. "Roman you need to settle down and start a family soon. My daughter needs someone to play with."

"Haha. You should Manuia that. He's the one with a partner, not me."

Manuia looks horrified and shakes his head furiously, "Hell no! I don't want those things. They're just, ugh, let Dean continue with the story."

"Thank you," Dean chuckles. "Now as I was saying before I was rudely interrupted, Prof's suspended buuut the wife didn't end there. She put his pictures all over campus, the pictures all said, 'He can't make it past five minutes. Professor Two Minute Noodles'.

The table bursts out in laughs, "You're lying." Jimmy guffaws.

"Hey, I swear," Dean has a shit eating grin on his lips. "Seth knows the two were having an affair."

"They were," Seth confirms. "I just never thought, it'd end so badly."

The conversations on the table are flowing, there's laughs, there's teasing and Seth remains quiet. He observes his friends, how well they're getting along with the people Roman considers his family. The atmosphere causes his heart to flutter in joy, there's so much love radiating off of everyone. He feels Roman's hand crawl to his thigh lightly before the man grabs his hand to join it with his bigger one. Seth looks at him, Roman has a lopsided grin gracing his lips. He's drawn to the man looking back at him like he's the stars and the moon. He wants to kiss Roman's lips but he can't, not in front of everyone.

Roman seems to know what he's thinking. The royal gestures with his eyes towards the house. Seth nods his head softly and looks back at his friends. "I've got a business call to make. Please, excuse me." Roman leaves the table and goes towards the house.

Seth eats his baked fries for a while, he makes sure that at least a bit of time has passed before getting up as well. "I forgot that I need to call Kofi. He sent me a message to call him urgently. I'll be back in a minute." The others hardly pay attention to him but Naomi's curious ass eyes him with an expression that reminds him of Elias. It says, 'You couldn't come up with something better'. He wants to roll his eyes at her and tell her, "Bitch no," but he says nothing and heads towards the house.

He finds Roman waiting for him at the front door. The door opens and Seth enters, it closes after Roman's entered. His lips are devoured the minute the click of the door sounds, Roman pulls Seth closer and gropes his ass. Seth moans at the feel of Roman's big hands fondling his ass, he doesn't even know when they've moved but he finds himself being slammed against a door, not too hard though. Roman grips his hands and pins them above his head, Seth struggles against the stronghold. Roman doesn't let go and moves to Seth's neck instead. A particularly hard bite causes Seth to groan blissfully.

"You're the hottest sight, Seth." The words send a shiver down Seth's spine. He grinds helplessly against Roman's hard shaft, a breathless groan sounding when their shafts grind together, creating sweet friction. Roman opens a door, pushing them inside before closing it. They resume their grinding, and Seth gasps when he finds himself being turned around and slammed into the mahogany door. He closes his eyes, feeling his shorts being lowered. His aching shaft rubs against the door, it's sweet assault on his senses.

He hears Roman's own shorts falling to the ground, the royal joining their hands on the door. The grinding against his cleft begins, and Seth succumbs to the pleasure. His breathing is heavy, delicious tingles race down his entire body as Roman holds his hips in a bruising hold. Seth's own hand travels to his heavy dick, he strokes as hard as Roman grinds against him. He can feel Roman breathing down his neck. Roman's right hand lifts to tease a nipple beneath his tank top. Seth cries out loud, his head falling on Roman's shoulder. A whimper leaves his lips when Roman feasts on his neck, his hard ministrations never once ceasing.

They come eventually, in tandem this time. Seth's face is soaked with sweat and he breathes harshly, his head resting on the door. "They're probably wondering where we are."

"They can keep wondering," Roman wipes the door with a few napkins and disposes of them in the bin. He leads Seth to the leather couch in his study. Seth finds himself straddling the royal's lap. He plays with the hair at the nape of Roman's neck. He allows Roman to join their lips in a swift kiss, "I want your friends to leave my house."

"Way to ruin the moment," Seth shakes his head. "I told you before, you're going to have to share me. Besides I go to bed with you at night."

"You do," Roman's wandering hands find themselves inside Seth's shorts. His hands are possessive as they rest on the soft skin. "And you're mine."

"Yes. And you're mine, too."

"I am." Roman says the words with a pleased grin covering his lips. Seth cups his cheeks gently and looks into his eyes. Roman's eyes reassure him—he's not in this alone. They're in it together. Roman wants this as much as he does. Kissing Roman feels like breathing in air after being deprived of it for so long, Seth feels lighter. Roman makes him feel lighter, unburdened. Once the kiss, Seth hugs the man's neck and rests his head on Roman's shoulder. Roman's hands are still firmly planted on his ass, unmoving. Seth finds that he doesn't mind. He closes his eyes and plants his lips firmly against Roman's neck, deciding that they could stay cooped up in Roman's office a little while longer.

Chapter Text

"Hey Seth, a couple of my friends and I are going to a chill area not too far from campus. You in?" Seth hears a voice ask behind him and it belongs to—you guessed it—Elias. He balances the bag on his shoulder more firmly so that it doesn't fall off and turns to face the bigger man. Seth looks around Elias to see some of these 'friends' the man spoke of—no one's standing with him. There's too many kids crowding the campus grounds though and some of them stare at him and Elias. Seth isn't sure if it's because they still think he's famous or because they're fans of Elias.

"I don't think so," he finally tells the hipster man. It's a Monday and his classes end at two which means he gets to go home early.

"Oh, come on Seth," Elias has an easygoing smile on his lips. "You're not still avoiding me, are you? Don't you think you did that enough during the weekend?"

"I…w-wasn't avoiding you," Elias's smile turns into one of amusement. The bigger man doesn't believe him at all. "Okay so what if I was? I told you my friends were coming to visit. So why did you call when you knew I'd be preoccupied with them?"

"Cause I wanted to offer y'all my services. You know…take y'all around the city. Show y'all some interesting places. We would've had a great time Seth," Elias sighs dramatically. "But you turned me down."

"Maybe another time," Seth gives Elias a small grin and turns away from him. He should get going, John's probably waiting for him already.

"How 'bout now?"

"I—"

"I ain't takin' no for an answer Seth. Damn man, aren't you tired of routine? Go out, have some fun a little. You're in one of the greatest cities in the world and you ain't seen much of it." Seth gives him a raised eyebrow. "I can tell you haven't seen much of this place. Don't even try to hide it."

"I went out yesterday," the words come out defensively. He's not a complete bore like Elias is implying—at least that's what he thinks Elias is implying.

"Really? Well that's great man. Where'd you go?"

"Bal Harbour."

Elias laughs for a good minute and Seth's about to smack that annoying laugh away when the man speaks again, "Oh, where the rich folks go? Come on Seth, those places don't count—especially for people like me. I'll admit that it's a fantasy of mine to shop there some day, it's a beautiful location after all, it's like being in a tropical wonderland, ain't it? But I still know a lot of cool places I want to take you. Places where atmosphere's relaxed and everyone's minding their business. You get to have a good time. Like that time at The Grill Lounge."

Seth considers Elias's words, he doesn't want to admit it but the hipster man's right. He hasn't seen much of Miami and going out with Dean and Xavier yesterday was a nightmare. His two friends insisted on going shopping and because Roman is Seth's future 'baby daddy' (Dean's words), they had to spend his money like a trophy wife spends her sugar daddy's money (Dean again).

So yesterday, Dean had realized his lifelong dream of driving an expensive car. He drove Roman's Maserati Gran Turismo as they made stop after stop at expensive malls and restaurants. Xavier on the other hand, had also realized his lifelong dream of spending money on expensive brands like Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel and Gucci. Roman had been very kind with his money, allowing his friends to spend all that cash, Seth knows that the royal had done it because he was happy that his friends were finally leaving though. Roman hadn't even bothered to hide his joy when the helicopter finally took off with Dean and Xavier.

Anyway, the point Seth's trying to get at is that he hasn't seen much of Miami. And maybe going out with Elias isn't be such a bad idea. Despite the drama that had followed after, he had had a great time at the pub and grill that Wednesday. And something good came out of spending time with Elias that day, he'd gotten a boyfriend. And besides, Roman knows that Seth doesn't want anyone but him. But Seth won't go anywhere with the man without seeing these 'friends' of Elias. He doesn't want the man to get any ideas—this isn't a date or anything like that.

"Where are these friends of yours?"

Elias snaps his fingers and Seth sees a flash of purple and before he knows it, he's being brought into the tightest of hugs by someone short. Seth looks down, bewildered, while Elias and a couple other guys who've appeared from nowhere laugh. "Hey," the person hugging him, a lady with purple hair, says.

"…hey," Seth struggles out of the tight hold on his waist. "Can you ease up a little? I can't breathe." He wheezes.

The lady laughs awkwardly and pulls back, "Of course. I forget my own strength sometimes."

The men with Elias laugh again. One of them, he's shorter than Seth and has short brunet hair with a thick beard, not like Elias's though, steps forward and hugs the lady's waist. "Don't let her small body deceive you. Sasha's strong as hell. I'm Finn by the way."

Okay, so short woman with purple hair is Sasha and brunet dude with an accent is Finn. Seth accepts Finn's offered hand, "Nice to meet you—both of you. Remind me not to get on her bad side, yeah?"

"Yeah, trust me, you don't wanna do that. Sasha considers herself the boss of our little group. I'm Bo," says another guy with long brown hair that's tied into a ponytail. Seth notices he's dressed in the same t-shirt as the last guy he sees in Elias's squad. That one has hair that's reddish brown if you look closely. "And this here is Curtis, he's my boyfriend."

Seth hopes he doesn't forget their names, there's Sasha, Finn, Bo and Curtis. They look like a nice bunch but he's never seen them before. Do they even attend the same classes? "Nice to meet you all. The only person I've spoken to since I got here is Elias. I needed some new company."

"Ouch," Elias places a hand on Seth's shoulder. "You just keep bruising my ego, pretty boy."

Pretty boy? So he's pretty boy, now? What is he, a goddamn teenager? Seth gives Elias one hell of a looking down, it probably isn't that effective though—the man's taller than him. And he gives Seth that amused smile he gave him a while back.

"So you're the one that's got Elias looking like a lovesick puppy?" it's Sasha who asks the question. She has a sly smile painting her lips.

"I, uh, don't know?" Seth looks back at Elias.

"He knows I like him but he just keeps giving me the cold shoulder." Elias is dramatic in his antics again. He eyes his friends sadly and juts his bottom lip out a tiny bit. He looks ridiculous.

Thankfully Bo tells him just how ridiculous he looks, "Cut that shit out, man. You look creepier than you normally do."

Elias punches his shoulder but obeys. He turns his attention to Seth, "So you in, Seth?"

Seth nods his head before he can stop himself. "Yeah. I'd be bored at home anyway." Elias cheers, earning a round of snickers from his friends. Seth changes his course of route and follows Elias and his friends. He accepts Elias's offer of carrying his bag, and takes his phone out of his pocket. There's a message from John, the man's asking where he is. Seth rolls his eyes—John Cena, ever the efficient bodyguard/driver. He sends a message telling the muscled man to fetch him at 05:00. He's honest and tells the man that he's going out with a couple of friends.

John replies less than a minute later, telling him alright and that he'll be back at the college, ten minutes before five. Seth puts his phone back in his pocket after that. There's no need to send Roman a message—he's probably busy with work.

***

"So where'd you meet Elias, Seth?" They're at an eatery/bowling alley sort of place. It's a beautiful place, very hipster-ish and vintage. They sell great food, there's beer and the music's not something Seth would normally listen to but he'll admit that they've great music taste. The Fix is the name of the restaurant. Seth wonders how Elias finds these places—they're so cool and laid back. Like that time at The Grill Lounge, everyone's having a great time and minding their own business. Elias is bowling with Bo and Curtis not too far from where they're sat but the hipster man is losing terribly.

Seth turns to look at Sasha, "Um, at the college."

"Cool," Sasha nods her head. She gulps down her second beer for that day.

A snicker escapes Finn, who's sitting with his arm around Sasha. "Ya know, he wouldn't be losing this badly if he actually kept his eyes on the game. Bo and Curtis are wiping the floor with him."

Seth looks to where Finn is pointing. Curtis is hugging Bo and kissing his cheek repeatedly while the longhaired man keeps yelling, "B – Team! B – Team!"

"Did you give him a love potion or something? He keeps looking at you, Seth." Finn says again.

Finn's right, Seth can see a light disappointed look etching Elias's features. He has his hands on his waist and he turns to look at Seth fully, lifting his right hand to give Seth a wave. Seth waves back, and Elias's face lights up, he nods his head to Bo and Curtis and then makes a sign of a gunshot to his own head. "Come save me!" Elias yells to him above the 80s song playing on the speakers.

Seth shakes his head, he takes another sip of his beer. "Oh come on, Sethie." Sasha rolls a strand of purple hair on her finger. "Make my poor friend happy for once. Do you know how long the lovesick puppy's been pining after you?"

"Sasha…" Finn starts.

"Chill, Finn." Sasha places a small kiss on Finn's cheek and rolls her eyes at him. "He needs to know. Anyway, as I was saying, Elias has spoken nonstop about you. He always gets this creepy dreamy look on his face—it's just weird." Sasha shakes her head and blinks her eyes as if she wants to get the image out of her head. "I've never seen him like this with anyone he brought to us. Us being, Finn and I—we're everyone's parents. Just give my baby boy a chance."

"I have a boyfriend."

Sasha's face falls in disappointment, "Nooo."

"Yes,"

"How? When? Who? Whyyy?"

"She's so dramatic," Finn chuckles.

"How can you laugh at a time like this? Our son is unhappy. Everyone in our squad has a partner. My…my baby doesn't. Seth reconsider, please?"

Seth stares at her, bewildered, is this woman serious? Duh, his mind tells him—Sasha is looking at him expectantly after all. "Uh…"

"Seth, I need you to save me." Elias comes to his rescue…or maybe not. Seth feels his hot breath fanning his cheek, the hipster man's lips are so, so close to touching his skin.

"You'd probably lose worse than you're losing now. I suck at bowling."

"I'll teach you, man. Please, please come help me wipe the silly smirks off those clowns' faces."

"Don't be a spoilsport, Seth. Go help my son," it's Sasha, again. Seth wants to smack the mischievous little smile she has on her face away. But that would be so ungentlemanly of him so he glares instead.

He gulps down his beer and begrudgingly nods his head, "Just two rounds and then I'm out."

"Yes!"

"Don't be so excited," Seth leaves his chair and follows Elias to where Bo and Curtis are. "It's just two rounds."

"That's a great reason to be excited. The gorgeous deity is agreeing to playing two rounds with me."

"Seriously?"

"I always appreciate beauty when I see it, Seth. You're not just beautiful. You're gorgeous, pretty, fine as hell, handsome, ravishing. I could go on and on."

"Please don't," Seth grimaces.

Elias laughs but says nothing else. "You came to get your butt kicked, Seth?" Curtis asks when Seth and Elias are close enough.

"Nah, I came to hand you lovebirds here, your asses."

"Bring it!" Bo screams, excitedly.

Seth spoke to soon, Elias and him are losing—terribly. He was supposed to go back and join Sasha and Finn, the two are currently sucking each other's faces off, after the second round. But Seth doesn't know how many rounds he's played. He's still bad at this.

"You can do it, Seth. All you have to do is…" the rest of Elias's words fade into nothing. His heartrate quickens, unbidden, as Elias rests his hands on his waist. The man purrs each word into his ear, his lips brushing against Seth's ear. Their bodies are practically touching as Seth can feel the man's front against his back. He pulls away from Elias's hold and throws the ball again, it's a fail and he sighs, allowing Curtis to have his turn.

The game continues for a while before Curtis speaks up, "I think we've kicked your asses enough for one day. I'm parched and I'm fucking starving—winning tends to do that to someone."

"Man, please." Elias laughs, he leads Seth towards their table, holding onto his waist. The hold is so light that Seth fails to feel it. "You're right about the food though. You need anything, Seth?" he asks once he's helped Seth into his seat.

"Whatever you're getting."

Elias nods his head, he signals for the waiter to come get their orders. "So Seth, what are you famous for?" Finn asks, clasping his hand around his beer bottle.

"Nothing," Seth laughs, he thanks the waitress for his food and bites into his cheeseburger. "Who told you I'm famous?"

"We read," Finn says. "But I've gotta say man, I commend you for what you did in the papers. You did what a lot of people wouldn't have done."

"Curtis and I were talking about you the other day, about how brave you are. Think of the millions of people that will benefit from the foundation you and that hunk of a man are beginning."

Seth smiles through his glass when Bo mentions his hunk of a boyfriend. "I'm just helping where I can. Nothing special."

Bo snorts, "Nothing special? Do you know how many lives you guys are helping? It's a really great thing Seth."

"Karaoke?" Elias asks the group at the table.

"Yup!" Sasha stands up. "This one's for you, sexy thang." Sasha smooches Finn heatedly causing the boys to wolf whistle. "Morons!" She points at the lot on the table.

"What's she singing?" Elias asks, his arm going to settle behind Seth's chair.

"Berlin."

"Take my breath away?"

Finn fist bumps Elias, "You guessed it."

"Prepare for the dramatics," Elias leans into whisper in Seth's ear.

"What?"

Sasha begins singing and their table dissolves into guffaws and snickers. "Does anyone recognize the song she's singing?" Bo questions sarcastically.

"Does she realize that her singing's not as musical as she hears it in her head?"

"Oh, fuck off!" Finn pipes in. "She's great at this, much better than Curtis over here."

The song ends, the crowd cheers, clearly charmed by Sasha's antics even though she really is horrible at singing. "My turn," Curtis stands up.

"That's my baby!" Bo shouts, clapping his hands exaggeratedly.

"Led Zeppelin?" Sasha asks once she joins the table.

"Yup," Finn groans. "You did great out there, my cottage pie."

"Yeah?"

"Yeah." Seth watches the two interact. Their sucking each other's faces off again—he imagines how hard it must be to separate the two.

Led Zeppelin's 'Whole Lotta Love' plays on the speakers and Curtis begins singing, it sounds a whole lot worse than when Sasha was singing. Seth breaks into laughter, he can't help it—Curtis can't even get some of the lyrics right. He prances on the stage and points at Bo, dancing and gesturing for him to join him on the stage. Bo complies and goes to join his boyfriend and Seth doesn't think he's laughed harder. The two men are comical in their movements, they're grinding against each other and causing the crowd to wolf whistle loudly.

Everyone of Elias's friends goes to have a turn and Seth turns the offer to go sing down. He's not that great a singer and if he sang the heavy metal songs he normally listens to, he's sure everyone's eardrums will be damaged. Elias goes to sing for a second time, the crowd cheers, he's clearly famous with this crowd too. He sings John Mayer's 'Half of my heart' and Seth's again left in awe of how well Elias sings.

"The guy missed his calling. He'd make a great singer." Finn says.

Elias comes back and settles besides Seth again. "So…" he bumps his shoulder against Seth's. "How was I?"

"Great," Seth grins. "You're a great singer."

"Would you mind if I took out my phone and record you say that again, pretty boy?" Seth rolls his eyes, he aims his fist towards Elias for a punch but the man grabs his fist and gives him a warm smile. Elias's eyes crinkle at the corners, he joins Seth's hand with his for a millisecond before pulling away. "I'm really glad you're here, Seth." The man says in a soft voice, his eyes never leaving Seth's.

"You know it's a friendly outing, nothing else, right?" Seth questions because the man has a fond look in his eyes and looking at Seth like he's seeing one of earth's best creations.

Elias's eyes dim a bit and he sighs, his arm going back to settle behind Seth's chair. "I said I'm not giving up, man. But for now, yeah, I know you have someone." The man says nothing else and they focus their attention on Elias's friends. Seth engages in the conversation, here and there, but he mostly focuses on his food. "Your boyfriend's here," a warm breath touches his ear.

Seth tilts away from Elias to look him in the eyes, "What?"

Elias only gestures with his head to a spot behind Seth. The brunet turns away from him to see what Elias is talking about, it feels like déjà vu when he meets familiar brown eyes. Seth blinks his eyes rapidly, maybe he isn't seeing straight, Roman can't be here. He is though, Roman is seated alone at a table not too far away from where he's sitting with Elias and his friends—a glass of whisky in hand. The royal gulps it down, his gaze never leaving Seth's. Like the last time, the whole world falls away and it's just them. Seth tries to search Roman's eyes for any emotion—his brown orbs are unreadable and Seth's left helpless. He can't even tell what the other man's feeling.

Roman signals for a waiter and pays for his drink before getting up and walking towards Seth's table in confident strides. He sure has the attention of most of the patrons at the restaurant, they must be drawn to the power he exudes in just his walk. Once at Seth's table, Roman eyes everyone carefully. The conversation on the table has died, everyone's looking at him. "Gentlemen," he says looking at everyone except Elias who's sat next to Seth. "My mother taught me to always save the best for last," Roman grabs Sasha's hand, placing a soft kiss on her knuckles. "To the beautiful lady, good day."

Sasha blushes red, blue and pink, the table snickers. "H-Hey."

"Fuck, you're hotter than I imagined! Curtis, you won't hold it against me if I ask him to fuck me just once, will you?"

"Oh god, Bo!" Curtis's hand runs to cover Bo's mouth. "He has no filter, I'm so sorry. You…don't need to fuck him, he was just joking. Uh, haha." Curtis is as awkward as ever despite everyone laughing, except Roman's who's staring at both men with an arched eyebrow.

A panty-wetting smile stretches Roman's lips, "I see. It was a pleasure meeting you all," The man's still giving his attention to everyone but Elias. He looks at Seth, eyebrow raised in expectation. "Seth?"

Seth rises from his chair, grabbing his bag that Roman takes from him. "I enjoyed today. Thank you for showing me a good time. I, uh, I'll see you around." Elias, the sneaky bastard, gets up to give him a hug. Seth accepts it, awkwardly, he pulls away when Roman clears his throat. "I'll see you guys on Wednesday?"

The occupants at the table nod affirmative. Seth allows Roman to lead them outside the restaurant—the royal's hand firmly planted at the small of his back. They get to the car and Roman opens his door for him—front seat, so they're not riding with Manuia today. The door is closed before Roman goes to the other side. Seth takes his phone out to check the time—it's freaking four-thirty. Why's Roman out of work so early?

Roman gets in the driver's side and closes the door. Seth's about to ask him why he got off work early when the royal grips the back of his neck and pulls him in for a kiss. The kiss is hard—almost punishing. Seth feels Roman's hand tightening at the back of his neck as the royal ravages his lips with his mouth and teeth. They're both panting when the kiss ends, Roman rubs on Seth's bottom lip, parting the soft skin with his thumb. Seth's still dazed from the first kiss when Roman leans in for another one, it's soft but seductive and full of need. It lasts longer than the first one with Roman's lips traveling to his cheek and then his neck. Seth shudders at the feel of Roman biting into his skin before the man's skilled tongue soothes the pain. One final swift kiss is placed on Seth's lips before Roman pulls back completely and begins the drive back home.

Well at least the royal's kissing him. That's got to be a good thing, right? It means Roman isn't angry about Seth going out, or more accurately, chilling with Elias. He hasn't snapped so maybe he realizes that he's the only man for Seth. "I want you to stay away from that hipster." And Seth spoke to soon.

Seth turns to face him, Roman's the epitome of calm, he keeps his gaze focused on the road and says nothing else. "What?"

"The hipster—with the beard and the long hair—he knows you have a boyfriend, correct?"

"Yes," Seth answers, albeit hesitantly.

"But he still doesn't respect that. He's not only disrespecting you but he's also disrespecting me, as well as our relationship. I want you to stay away from him."

"What?! No!" Seth shakes his head. Sure, Elias is the touchy feely type but he's also a genuinely nice guy. He's the first friend Seth made and it doesn't hurt that Elias's a cool guy—he's laid back and makes Seth feel at ease. Surely, he can't just cut the guy off when he's done nothing wrong—except being overly touchy. Besides, just who the hell does Roman think he is? He's not Seth's father, he can't be out here throwing instructions at Seth and expect him to obey. To hell with that! "I'm not going to stay away from Elias, Roman. He doesn't even know that we're dating plus he's a friend—a very great friend. I enjoy his company and besides…" Seth folds his arms across his chest. "You can't order me around."

"I'm not ordering you around, alofagia."

Yes, Roman's got a Samoan nickname for him. A term of endearment, really. He started using that name yesterday and Masina said it means darling. And Seth would probably be melting right about now if Roman wasn't pissing the hell out of him. "Then what are you doing? Because it sounds like an order to—"

"Your friend—" Roman cuts in, turning to look at Seth briefly. "He doesn't seem to know about personal space and boundaries. Even if he doesn't know we're together, he still knows you have a boyfriend!" Roman's voice lifts a little. "You're taken, Seth! Your friend needs to learn to control his hands. He can't keep touching you as one does a lover. And you're wrong for not setting boundaries—with him more than anyone else because he's attracted to you."

I do have boundaries."

"I beg to differ. Cut him off until you get a lesson on personal space and what it is. You clearly don't know what that is if you're allowing random men to just touch you freely without you seeing anything wrong with it. I'm not going to stand for it, Seth."

Seth feels anger bubbling his insides, the emotion's accompanied by so many other feelings. He's stuck between frustration and wanting to cry. He's stuck between wanting to yell at Roman and bashing the royal's head against a wall. He remains silent for a while—allowing the tension to seep in the quite car. Alone in his thoughts, Seth remembers that he'd wanted to ask Roman why he got off work early. He can't do that now, he probably won't get a response. But other questions play in his head as well. How in hell's name did Roman know where he was? What was he doing at that restaurant anyway? And the way Roman had led him out of the restaurant…

"So what—you went to that restaurant to claim your territory? Do you know how much you embarrassed me?"

Roman laughs but it's without humor, "I embarrassed you?"

"Yes! Who knows what Elias's friends are thinking? You just popped out of nowhere and practically instructed me to follow you. And then you put your fucking hand around me. You did that because Elias was there. I'm not a possession, Roman."

"You're imagining things, alofagia."

"I'm not and you know it, Roman. Don't patronize me."

Roman sighs and stops at a red light, "I don't have time for petty arguments, Seth. The solution here is simple—stay away from Elias. He's attracted to you and maybe it's because I've only ever had two relationship in my life but I'm failing to understand how you entertain someone who clearly wants more than friendship with you. You said yourself the man knows you're in a relationship but he doesn't care. He won't stop wanting you or maybe you want him too? You're very keen on keeping him as a friend."

Shock sluices through Seth, almost as if a bucket of ice cold water has been thrown at him. He considers Roman, who's gone back to driving, eyes focused on the road. But there's a tension in the quiet car, a tension so thick, one can slice through it with a knife. Roman's gripping the steering wheel in a white-knuckled grip, it's the only sign that gives away how he's feeling because other than that the man looks deceptively calm. Seth doesn't know why Roman is angry when he should be feeling that emotion—and Seth is angry and a whole lot other things.

They're arguing again…over something as trivial as who his friends are. Friend, his mind corrects him. "I can't believe you'd say that, Roman. You're talking about disrespect and yet you don't realize how you're doing the same thing. You're disrespecting how I feel about you. I don't know why you'd do that when you know that you're the only one I want. I don't know why you'd doubt my feelings for you."

"Seth—"

Seth effectively cuts the royal off by turning the radio on—it's a fucking jazz station. Roman and Manuia's favorite and Seth wants to change the station because he wants to make Roman feels as uncomfortable as possible but it feels like too much effort. He's too upset and he wants to be anywhere but where he is at the moment but he's stuck in the car with an arrogant prince for the next hour. He turns away from Roman, grateful that he didn't tie his hair today, it curtains his face away from Roman and it feels like he's in his own world.

It can't be more than five minutes later that he feels Roman grab one of his hands. The man kisses his knuckles like he normally does and holds onto his hand for the rest of the trip home. Seth hates to admit that it makes his heart stutter. Of all the men in the world, why this one? Why did his heart settle on a confusing, jealous but loving royal?

When they get home, Seth pulls out of Roman's hold, grabs his bag and Seth exits the car before Roman can say anything. Yes, he's still angry and will remain angry, he'll calm down eventually—just not now. Masina's cooking, there's delicious smells coming in the direction of the kitchen. It's probably close to supper then, but Seth decides that he won't be having any tonight. He ate enough burgers at The Fix anyway. He goes to the kitchen to give Masina a quick hello, "Talofa, Masina." He greets, kissing her cheek. Hello is one of the few words he can say in Samoan.

"Seth, did you have a good day?"

"It depends on what you consider a good day," Seth says under his breath.

Masina's eyes reveal her curiosity and she opens her mouth to say something. Roman beats her to it, "Masina, the kitchen smells heavenly. What are you making?"

"Leati, what are you doing here? You're home early," Masina looks over Seth's shoulder, surprise etched on her face.

Seth leaves the kitchen but not without glaring at Roman. He doesn't want to stay to hear what Roman will say. He has an assignment he needs to finish anyway. The clock in his room reveals that twelve minutes remain until it's six. Seth decides to take a quick shower first, he removes all his clothing and walks to the shower naked as the day he was born. He changes his mind and decides to use the bathtub instead. He sprinkles a few bath salts inside his water and throws in some rose petals. The heavenly smelling water calms him, his eyes are closed, his head rests against the bathtub. Manuia's kind of music fills the bathroom and everything's so peaceful.

He's blocked all thoughts of Roman and Elias and everything that has the potential to stress him out away. When the water turns warm, Seth decides to finally wash his body. He's thorough in his ministrations and steps out of the bathtub once done. A small towel dries his hair, a bigger one covering his waist. He's glad to find that Roman isn't in his room when he leaves the bathroom—Roman seems to spend a lot of time in his room after all. The royal only goes to change in his room before coming back to Seth's.

Seth ties an indigo cotton robe with Roman's initials to his body and grabs his bag to get started on his assignment. He works on his assignment for close to an hour when his phone chirps with a message. It's Elias, Seth sighs, but opens the message nonetheless.

Elias: Hi. Did you get home safely?

He's almost done with his assignment so Seth decides to respond. Yes.

Elias: Are you free tomorrow?

Well, they don't have classes and Seth knows everyone's going to be at work except Masina. He could spend time with her or maybe Naomi's available. She told him that she works from home most of the time. His phone dings before he can respond to Elias's message.

Elias: Thought we could do something. We can go to South Beach or check out Lincoln Road. Go cycling or rollerblading or whatever.

Seth laughs, he can't do any of those things. Not with his injured leg.

Seth: Can't. Not with my leg.

Elias: Shit, I forgot. Forget the cycling and stuff. I'll show you around, act as your highly reliable tour guide. We'll check out a few galleries, get a few items. And I'll even feed you. Only thing you need to do is show up.

Seth bites on his bottom lip, Roman told him to stay away from Elias. And the man always seems to find him whenever he's hanging out with Elias and then proceeds to act like an asshole afterwards. But then again, Roman can't tell him what to do. Elias is a friend and Seth can't stay cooped up in Roman's house like a prisoner. He has a life and a friend's offering to show him around. Mind made up, he responds to Elias's message.

Seth: Sure. What time?

Elias: Great. Twelve alright with you?

Seth: Yeah. You'll send me the location?

Elias: I'll do it now. So I'll see you tomorrow?

Seth: Yup.

Elias: Alright man. Enjoy your night and try to dream about me ;)

Seth rolls his eyes—this stupid, stupid man.

Seth: Goodnight Elias.

Elias doesn't respond after that so Seth finalizes what's left of his assignment. He finishes nearly an hour later. He closes his laptop, getting up to go place it on his work desk. He then calls Kofi, he hasn't spoken to the dreadlocked man in a while and he doesn't want Kofi to think he's being avoided or something. They talk for a while about any and everything and Seth gets the urge to visit Tampa. He misses the place, he misses some of the people there. People like Kofi and then there's Sami and Kevin—he hasn't seen them in a while. Also, he needs to see Mrs. Frank, maybe visit her with Roman so he can rub it in the old bitch's face that he's dating a hunky royal. She'd probably sneer and say something bitchy.

Seth laughs to himself, he really does miss Tampa. The place was his home for nearly ten years. Maybe he should ask Roman to visit the place with him. And maybe they can go to his favorite locations and they can also visit The Black Vault—see Hunter and some of his former coworkers. Seth nods to himself, he'll propose the idea to Roman—when he's less angry at him. For now though, he's still mad and he's hurt. Hurt by Roman's actions and his words—it's like the man doesn't think before he says something. He doesn't even think when it comes to actions. Seth still doesn't know how Roman found him at The Fix. He still doesn't know what Roman was doing there. Was it a coincidence or was Roman following him? Does Roman even trust him at all?

Stop, you're only hurting yourself. He should listen to what his mind tells him because he can feel himself getting worked up. A relationship without trust is as good as dead. He hasn't even given the royal a reason not to trust him so why? Maybe it was a coincidence, his mind tells him. Seth releases a shaky breath, maybe it had been a coincidence. Making assumptions in his head won't get him anywhere. He'll ask Roman once he's calmed down.

There's a knock on his door before it opens, revealing the one man he doesn't want to see at the moment. "You missed dinner," Roman says.

Seth notices that the man is carrying a tray, on it is a white bowl, a bottle of wine and two wine glasses. Seth folds his arms across his chest, "I wasn't hungry," he tells Roman in a flat tone.

Roman places the tray on the bedside table and settles on the bed. The royal's taken a shower, Seth can smell his heady coconut scent and he wants nothing more than to settle in Roman's arms and breathe him in but he won't. "Are you still mad at me?" Roman draws Seth into his arms against his will. Granted, Seth doesn't try to fight him much. He leans back on Roman's chest, arms still folded against his chest.

"Have I no right to be mad at you? What you said hurt me."

"I'm going to be honest, alofagia. I don't know what I did wrong but I'm sorry."

Seth tilts his head to the side and looks at Roman—the bastard's brown orbs reveal how serious he is. "You accused me of wanting Elias, Roman. That means you doubt how I feel for you. That hurt more than everything you did today because that means you don't trust my feelings for you. Do you even trust me? I still don't know what you were doing at that restaurant. Were you following me around, Roman?"

"I wasn't following you around." Roman's eyes are blank so Seth doesn't even know if the man's telling the truth. "Trust…" Roman laughs bitterly. "I learned not to trust anyone a long time ago. People break promises—they make all these promises and then they abondon you. I trust no one but myself, Seth."

What Roman says should be upsetting him, but he can't find it in himself to be upset. It's Roman's tone of voice that causes an ache in his heart—it sounds crushed and Seth can feel how Roman's shaking slightly. Roman's eyes are still blank but Seth can feel his sadness, he can feel the storm brewing within the other man. Seth turns to face him and cups his face. And a part of him, understands, he thinks. A part of him understands Roman's anger. "I would never abandon you, Roman."

He's not expecting Roman to grip his waist and place him on the bed. The royal doesn't believe him, Seth knows it. His heart breaks and he wants to know who or what hurt Roman so deeply that he feels like he can't trust anyone. Not even the ones he loves. And then he remembers Manuia's words—he's dealing with a broken man here. Seth's still caught up in his thoughts when he feels a weight leave his bed. Roman's walking away from him, "I mean it, Roman." Seth says before Roman can reach the door. "I just—I feel for you so much. It's you who'd probably leave me because I don't see myself leaving you…for anyone, especially Elias."

A deep sigh sounds in the otherwise quiet room, Roman leans his head on the door and remains quiet. Seth does nothing else, he keeps his ass perched on the bed and waits on Roman. He's not sure what the other man will do, he could still just walk out of Seth's room and push him away. Roman turns to face Seth after what feels like forever. The stoic exterior is still on but he walks back to the bed and grips Seth's face so that the brunet is looking up at him.

The hard kiss Roman initiates comes as a surprise but Seth accepts it nonetheless. He allows Roman to push him back on the bed, his robe being undone by shaky hands. Roman gets in between his spread legs and presses him into the bed. Roman must've taken off his boxers because Seth feels the man's thick cock rub against his. Roman's kissing him all over, initiating bruising kisses on his neck and soothing them with his tongue.

If feels so good, Seth can't deny that. He keeps thrusting into Roman's fist and clutching onto the bigger man's shoulders. Despite how good what Roman's doing to his body feels, he can't help the niggling feeling at the back of his mind that's telling him that what they're doing only serves as a distraction. Or maybe he's being used as a distraction. A hard bite on his nipple sends electrical shudders through his body—Seth shakes from the unbelievable sensations. Roman's sucking on his peak nipple like his life depends on it. The royal's left hand has found it's way to Seth's ass, squeezing and caressing the juicy buns possessively.

Roman's grip on their shafts becomes harder, he squeezes their lengths tighter, the gush of precum spilling out of their cocks serving as lubrication. Seth moans with every stroke, he wraps his arms around Roman's neck and hugs the royal tighter. Roman's tensing above him, he's close, Seth can tell. He's on the verge of coming as well, Roman's grunts drawing him closer and closer to completion. His orgasm hits him hard—Seth closes his eyes tightly as he feels his toes curl together. Time seems to stop when he cums, he's reeling in pure ecstacy when the sharp pain of a big hand pulling his hair brings him back to reality.

"Roman, please." He isn't even sure what he's begging for.

The grip on his hair disappears completely and Roman leans up a bit, balancing his weight on his elbows. The royal's eyes are red-rimmed, Seth cups his cheek. "Don't leave me," Roman's voice is hoarse.

"Never," Seth whispers. He leans up to join Roman's lips with his own. There's a wetness against his cheeks—tears. Seth isn't sure what's going on with the man but he tightens his arms around Roman's neck when the kiss ends. Roman's arms are around his waist, holding him tightly as if the man's scared of losing him. And the royal's weight is heavy on top of him—the man does weigh over two hundred pounds after all—but Seth doesn't complain. Roman needs this, Seth can feel it in how Roman's holding him. He feels it in the man's gestures, how he keeps breathing into his neck rhythmically before placing the softest of kisses on his neck every so often.

They remain silent for so long that Seth is startled lightly when Roman in the quietest of voices says, "Your friend—you can see him. Just don't allow him to steal you away from me."

Maybe it isn't the time to be laughing but Seth finds himself chuckling in a quiet voice, "I really like you, Roman. Being with anyone who isn't you would break my heart." And Seth means it. Yes, they've been together a short time but Seth doesn't see himself with anyone who isn't Roman. He's falling in love with him, everyday he wakes up and he falls for the man just a little bit more. Roman moves to lie besides him and draws him close to him. Seth rests his head on the royal's shoulder, his flat palm going to rest on Roman's chest. The silence between them is comfortable, cozy. Roman's scent assaults him—it's intoxicating and it feels like home. Being with Roman feels like home.

Chapter Text

It's seven o'clock when Seth wakes up, Roman's not beside him, as expected. Seth's yet to wake up next to the other man but he knows the chances are slim. Roman is an early bird after all, but sometimes Seth worries about him—twice he's woken up in the wee hours of the morning to find Roman's spot on the bed empty. And by wee hours, he means two in the morning, it's worrying because Roman and him usually go to bed at ten and if Roman's waking up less than five hours after they've gone to bed, it means the royal isn't getting enough sleep. And that's a bad thing because in the long run, Roman's sleep deprivation will have effects on more than just his body. Seth's going to address the issue with him, he just needs to figure out when and how.

For now though, he needs to get ready for his outing with Elias. They're meeting at 11:00 and Seth could've squeezed in another hour or two of sleep but his stomach's churning in excitement about seeing what Miami has to offer. He leaves the bed, taking his bathrobe off and placing it on the bed. He walks into the bathroom to take care of his morning routine. He makes sure to brush his teeth thoroughly, spitting and rinsing his mouth before using the mouth wash. He spits the alcoholic mouthwash, his attention go to the purplish pink bruises scattered on his neck and chest and he sighs softly—Roman and his damn biting.

His shower takes less than twenty minutes, he wraps a towel around his waist and heads back into the bedroom. What to wear? It's a hot and sunny day, it's scorching hot actually, so Seth settles on a pair of navy shorts and a white tank top, it's probably unwise to wear a tank top considering the bruises on his body but Seth decides to fuck it. After pulling on his underwear, he lotions his body, sprays cologne on it and puts on his outfit for the day. For his footwear, he settles on navy flip-flops. After combing his hair, he ties the brown mane into a low bun and finishes his look with a black snapback.

Perfect, his overly confident side tells him when he stands in front of the full body mirror to give himself a once over. Seth grabs his phone and leaves for the kitchen. He's not going to eat a full breakfast meal, Elias is the type to feed and feed until one can't stomach anymore so he's just going to grab an apple and water. Masina's already in the kitchen, she's clearing the kitchen island and taking the dirty dishes to the dishwasher. "Oh, morning, Mr. Rollins." The middle aged woman greets once she notices him.

Seth can't help the eye roll that he's sure Masina saw, "I thought we were past the 'Mr. Rollins' stage Masina, seriously, you make me feel old."

Masina chuckles, her hands resting on her hips, "Right, well I'll try to make you feel younger next time. So, are you and Leati going somewhere?"

Seth grabs a bottle of water from the fridge, an apple in hand. He closes the fridge and looks back to Masina, "Huh?"

"He's been sitting in the living room for the past hour. He's not dressed for work so I'm assuming he's taking you somewhere."

Seth's flabbergasted, as far as he knows, Roman should be at work. The man's got no reason to be at home today, plus he didn't say anything about staying at home today last night. But Seth's learning a lot of things about his boyfriend. And he guesses he should add sneaky to the list. Because a part of him suspects that Roman somehow knows about his outing with Elias and therefore decided to stay at home. He isn't sure though—he's not a psychic but why would Roman stay at home today of all days?

"He didn't tell me anything," Seth shrugs. He blushes when Masina eyes his neck and escapes before the older woman can say anything. In the living room, he finds his boyfriend there—his weird boyfriend. Roman's sat on one of the couches, his eyes appear fixated on the blank screen, almost as if he's watching the most interesting thing on the blank screen. Yup, definitely weird. The man is yet to notice his presence but judging his attire—Roman doesn't look like he's going to work at all. He's wearing a navy Nike sweater (despite the hot weather), dark blue jeans and grey Nike sneakers. His hair is tied into a neat bun and he just looks really gorgeous. Seth wraps his arms around his neck from behind, kissing the royal's ear. "You're not at work."

"Decided to work from home," the response is immediate. And his voice—Roman sounds unperturbed. In fact, his whole demeanor is calm.

Seth moves from behind the couch and goes to perch himself on Roman's lap. He places his water bottle on the glass table and strokes Roman's stubbly cheek. When their lips meet, a shiver runs down Seth's spine. There's butterflies flapping around in the pit of his stomach with every gentle slide of Roman's tongue against his. Seth pulls back, resting his forehead against Roman's. "Really?" He asks, an eyebrow raised in disbelief.

"Yes."

Seth doesn't believe him, but he says nothing else and bites into his apple. A comfortable silence ensues between them, with Roman's arms circling his waist. They sit in silence for a while and he's almost done eating his apple when Roman's wandering hand creeps beneath Seth's tank top to settle on a sore nipple. Seth moans when Roman pulls and rubs on it until the pink nub is erect. "You look gorgeous. What's on your agenda for today?"

"Going out," Seth's voice is breathless. He's finding it hard to concentrate with Roman teasing his body. One hand keeps rubbing on his nipple while the man's other one trails seductively slow up and down his thigh—it keeps trailing dangerously close to his hardening shaft.

"Oh?"

Seth pistons his hips forward, trying to feel more of Roman's hand working him, "Yes." His head goes to hide in Roman's neck and he breathes against the royal's neck.

"And where are we going?"

Seth's mind is still hazy but he's sure he just heard Roman say 'we'. He pulls away from Roman's neck, looking into unreadable brown orbs. The calm exterior is still present but Seth isn't fooled one bit, the royal's up to something, Seth knows it. "I am going sightseeing." Roman's hands have long stopped teasing him but the man can hardly keep his hands to himself so they stay on Seth's waist, beneath his tank top.

"That's great. I haven't gone sightseeing in a while."

"Perhaps another time," Seth tells Roman. See, now he knew the royal bastard was up to no good. Manuia has said many times that Roman's a workaholic. Seth's said it himself, he's seen just how hard the man works. It doesn't make sense for him to just skip a day from work to work from home. And like Seth's said before—why today of all days?

"Perhaps today."

Seth folds his arms across his chest, "You're not going anywhere with me," he huffs. There's no way in hell he's going on an outing with another guy while Roman's present. It's not because Seth would do something he shouldn't but he's dating an uptight, jealous royal who thinks Elias is out to steal him away from him. The whole thing just wouldn't work out and it's just no—Roman isn't going anywhere with him.

***

Seventeen hours. Seth's assuming that's how long it's been since their last argument. It's how long it's been since he found himself angry at Roman. And he guesses the royal felt like seventeen hours was a long enough time and he had to do something else to piss him off. They're currently in Roman's Lexus, driving to meet Elias in downtown Miami.

Why's Seth angry? It's simple, really—the man who's supposed to be taking him to Bayside Marketplace—the place he's meeting Elias at—is supposedly taking care of his 'sick' girlfriend at home and can't make it. Now Seth's had John as his driver for a while—he knows how punctual the man is. So imagine his surprise when the clock hits ten and his driver's not waiting for him outside the mansion like he normally does, instead, Seth receives a message from the man ten minutes later telling him he won't be available today.

Seth would've bought his bullshit story if not for the fact that Roman conveniently offered his services as chauffeur for the day. It hadn't been that hard to connect the dots after that—his sneaky ass boyfriend stayed home and somehow got John to lie (Seth figures it wasn't that hard—the royal does pay John's salary after all), so that he could come into the picture and guard Seth's movements—it won't be a hard thing to do if he's tasked himself with playing highly efficient driver/bodyguard. What makes Seth angry is that he knows Roman did all this to monitor his outing with Elias. Clearly the heart to heart they had last night was in vain.

But Seth is still confused—how did Roman even find out about the outing, he sure as hell hadn't told him until early this morning and he hadn't mentioned Elias's name. Maybe he checked your phone, Seth dismisses the thought immediately. Roman wouldn't stoop so low. But how then? Maybe he needs to add spy to Roman's résumé. Maybe the royal has all these gadgets and technological things that hack into Seth's phone and laptop and his whole life basically. Like the FBI and the CIA. Seth snorts quietly to himself—his gaze still fixated on the passing life on the streets—all the movies he's watched are turning him into an over imaginative drama queen.

"You know I don't get why you're mad when I'm only trying to help you, manamea." The charming bastard has the nerve to call him sweetheart. Seth thinks it means sweetheart, Masina's been trying to teach him their language. Since he's going to be a royal's consort and have children with the future King of Lanuola he needs to learn about Lanuolan culture and customs. The woman's been hinting about marriage and children a lot lately, Seth's been wanting to respectfully tell the middle aged woman to chill the fuck out. They've barely been dating a week and Masina's already expecting a soccer team from him.

Seth doesn't want to, but he finds himself looking over at Roman. The royal's eyes are focused on the road, but Seth can tell the man's waiting for a response from him. He's probably going to get it but he still releases the words, "Fuck you," to the royal before turning the radio on. It's a jazz station—why is he not surprised? He's not as upset as last night though plus he overdosed on his confidence pills this morning so he switches the station to a heavy metal one without a hint of fear. Okay, he's lying, there's a part of him—very deep inside—that fears how the royal will react. He spares Roman a small glance noticing how his eyebrows knit together in distaste. He's not sure if it's because of his music taste or because of what he said earlier. But Roman remains silent, Seth takes that as a good thing—his attention goes back to the window, as he hums along softly to the tunes he recognizes.

They arrive at Bayside Marketplace and as soon as Roman parks the car, Seth's ready to exit. He wants to leave the royal fool to his own devices but the man grips his hand, preventing him from leaving, "Seth, look I'm sorry, alright? I promise you that next time I won't offer to be your chauffer. I'll let you call an Uber, instead."

Seth does a double take, is this man serious? Roman has a small grin on his face, he's trying to hide it but it's right there for Seth to see. This idiot! Seth removes his arm from Roman's grip, his heart's fluttering because of the idiotic royal but he's not going to give in just yet. He exits the car, headed towards where Elias said he would find him. He's not surprised when he hears Roman's footsteps right behind him, the man follows him like a lost puppy. He's still somewhat annoyed when he spots Elias but he's not going to dampen the hipster man's spirits with his foul mood. "Elias!" he calls out, causing the other man to turn and face him.

There's recognition in Elias's eyes before confusion steals the spot. Seth figures he can't blame him—he would be too if the person he invited pitched up with a third party without informing him. Elias recovers quickly and pulls him in for a hug, Seth hears Roman clearing his throat but ignores him. This is what he gets for pissing him off. "I wanted to take you on the Thriller Speedboat tour. I got the tickets for us but I..." Elias gives Roman a once over before his eyes go back to Seth. "I didn't know you'd bring company."

"Nonsense, we can still go. Roman will understand," Roman's facial expression is blank but he has that damned left eyebrow raised. Seth isn't sure what it means, maybe he's taking the whole 'make the boyfriend suffer' thing too far. He still loves his hair and he knows how obsessed the man is with gripping his hair, what more when he's angry? Ugh, he's conflicted. Just a little while longer, the devil on his left shoulder whispers into his ear.

"I'm sure I can get the ticket."

"They're usually sold out, a lot of people want to check out this cruise. Besides you book in advance," there's a bit of hostility that Seth hears in Elias's voice. He's sure Roman's hears it as well—the man's eyes have turned cold.

"Money talks, Mr. Samson, I could buy the whole cruise if I wanted." His voice is calm but there's a coldness to it. Much colder than the look in his eyes.

Seth decides to step in before something happens, "I'm sure Roman can get a ticket. Maybe there'll be someone selling their ticket because of an emergency or shit like that. Let's just go," both men comply. Elias is a bit hesitant though and when Roman walks past him, his eyebrow arches in a way that says, 'You're beneath me and not worth a dime of my time'. Seth wants the earth to swallow him but he gives Elias a small smile and walks with him towards their first destination of the day.

They survive the boat tour—thank god! Because Seth's still not forgiven his boyfriend, he'd sat with Elias and snapped places of the beautiful scenery. They cruised down a lot of beautiful places and the sandy shores of South Beach, viewing luxurious Art Deco mansions that reminded Seth of Roman's mansion. He'd gotten a few pictures with Elias too and a few strangers, nothing with Roman though. Maybe he's being too harsh but he's just trying to teach Roman a lesson—the man should never mess with him.

After the boat tour, they check out the marketplace, Seth gets a few items. He notices that Roman doesn't even bother to look at what the vendors are selling. Elias stops with him, helping him pick out a few items. Some of the things he's buying are for Dean and Xavier but most of them are for Roman because no matter how angry or annoyed he is by him—the man still owns his heart and deserves a gift or two. But it's also to soften Roman's heart when they reach home—the man may look calm now but who knows how he'll behave at home?

It's around two o'clock when they spot a Disney store, Roman remains outside. The royal honestly looks out of place—like he's not used to busy places like these. It's like he's not used to going out at all, Seth has a vague suspicion that he isn't. Roman's taken him out once since they've begun dating, and on the day he'd gone out with Dean and Xavier, the man had stayed behind, only giving Seth his card to spend on whatever him and his friends wanted.

"I'll wait here," the royal says. Elias has already entered but Roman's voice causes Seth to do a u-turn to check on the man. Their eyes meet briefly before Roman looks down—it's a first for him, Seth's never seen him do that. Seth can't bring himself to care about their surroundings as he cups Roman's cheeks and forces the man to look at him. Roman looks exhausted—physically, emotionally. The man just looks tired…and hurt. And he's causing it…

"I'm sorry," he whispers.

Roman gives him a smile—it's fake. Seth would like to think that he knows Roman's fake smiles now—they're always set with dead eyes. Like now. "I really am, Roman." He says, his voice thick with emotion.

"You haven't done anything wrong, have you alofagia?" it's a sarcastic question. Seth knows it is. He leans up to kiss Roman's lips softly, it takes a bit of coaxing but the royal responds eventually. Seth sighs against his lips, embracing the shivers that run down his spine. He hopes the feelings he gets from kissing Roman never disappear. Because they're amazing and they're beautiful and they make him feel wanted and cherished even when the man is angry at him. "You should go join your friend inside. He looks like he wants to knock my lights out. He wouldn't get as far as touching a strand of my hair though. I'd end him before he can even blink."

Seth rolls his eyes—the cockiness is back, he sees. "I'll buy you something nice," he enters the store and heads to where Elias is, "Found anything?"

Elias gives him a strained smile, "Nothing that interesting yet. So he's the boyfriend," Elias says it matter-of-factly. He nods his head to where Roman's standing outside the store.

"Yes," Seth admits quietly.

"So why'd you lie the first time?"

The damn questions again. "It's a long story," Seth says. He walks to where different colored bowties hang on a wall. Seth examines them and finds one with Roman's favorite ducky. It's a turquoise one—Donald Duck decorates nearly the whole tie and the words, "Aw, phooey!" are on it. It's adorable and Seth's sure Roman will hate it but he's still going to force the man to wear it. He grabs a few more items, there's a red and black Mickey Mouse bag that he's sure Naomi's little creature will love—he decides to buy it for her.

The shopping's done and dusted by three, Roman didn't buy a single thing and Seth's quite disappointed if he's being honest. Couldn't the man have even bought him a small ornament as a gift? Apparently not. The royal offers to carry his bags as they make their way to a restaurant for some much needed food. They find a table outside the restaurant and Seth's grateful—it's blazing hot. But at least there's a cool breeze outside unlike inside the packed restaurant that would most likely make them feel suffocated. He's sat with Roman and Elias is sat across from them. Roman's arm goes to settle behind his chair and a waitress comes to give them some menus. She takes their drink orders and Seth's looking at a frowning Roman when he orders mango daiquiri. Roman clearly isn't pleased, Seth leans in to kiss the frown away. He feels the arm that was on his chair travel to grip the back of his neck to hold him in place while his lips are devoured.

They pull back and Roman's got this lazy grin on his face—he looks breathtakingly ethereal with the sun teasing the different shades of brown in his eyes. "Is this some ploy to get me not to kiss you? I'll still ruin your mouth—I'm not going to let something as useless as mangoes stop me from tasting what's mine," the royal's warm breath touches his ear. A tingle runs down Seth's spine, he almost expects Roman to whisper dirty words in his ear but the waitress is back, ready to get their orders.

Elias clears his throat and places his order, Seth orders the first thing he sees, "I'll have the, uh, Vietnamese beef salad."

"I'll take the smoky chorizo burger with a side of cheese fries," the waitress jots down Roman's order and leaves their table.

Despite the lively ambiance of the place they're at, there's a tension at their table. It's awkward and stifling and Seth wants to leave both men to their own devices. Roman's arm remains behind his chair while Elias observes them with a look Seth can't quite decipher. It's Roman who clears his throat (Seth's not sure how many times they've done that today) and speaks up first, "So Mr. Samson, what do you do for a living?" Seth mentally rolls his eyes—of all the questions...

Elias sets his glass that's now half-filled with beer on the checkered table, "I own a pub and grill with a good friend of mine."

Seth moves his daiquiri away from him, observing Elias with newfound interest, "I thought you just worked there."

"I do work there," Elias laughs.

"You know what I mean,"

Elias shrugs, "I didn't think it was that important, pretty boy. It doesn't change anything, does it?"

Seth's expecting Roman to react to the nickname but the man merely looks at him, raised eyebrow and all. There's whisky in this restaurant as well, the cheap kind, but Roman seems unperturbed by it as he drinks the brown liquid. Seth blinks at him, "It doesn't," he's not even looking at Elias as he gives the response.

Their waitress comes back with their food, Seth thinks it will somehow lessen the tension—he can't be further from the truth. The whole thing reminds him of those awkward family dinners you normally see on it TV. The only sounds—other than the buzzing life surrounding them—are coming from their cutlery as they cut into their food. The strange atmosphere is broken by the ringing of a phone—it's Roman's, Seth recognizes the ringtone—it's a boring standard one.

"Pardon me gentleman, I need to take this," Seth follows Roman with his eyes. The man goes to stand a distance away from where they're seated. Seth knows it's because the royal wants to them to be in his clear view. He stares for a while, Roman's pacing back and forth, he looks tense for some reason.

"You never did tell my why you lied about not dating that man." Elias interrupts his staring.

Seth turns his eyes away, albeit hesitantly, and looks at Elias, "It's a long story Elias. I'd rather not say anything."

"He seems like the possessive type,"

Seth's sure he didn't hear the man clearly. Elias needs to repeat what he said, "Huh?"

"The man thinks he owns you. Typical rich snobbish behavior…"

Seth feels himself get angry. Who the hell does Elias think he is? Insulting his boyfriend like that—a man he doesn't even know personally. "You don't get to talk about him like that. You don't even know him!" His voice lifts a little.

Elias raises his hand, "I'm not trying to offend you, Seth. It's just an observation—I could be wrong. But I know his type—young, rich, playboy…thinks he's entitled to the world and everything on it. Guys like that almost never stay in a relationship for more than three months. The guy's going to break your heart, Seth, and you're too blind to see it."

Look at this man, they haven't even graduated and he already thinks he's an expert on human behavior. Seth rolls his eyes so hard he feels it at the back of his head. He already knows what he wants to say to the jackass but Roman's scent invades him—it's heady and it calms him. The man's behind him and a hand being placed on his shoulder confirms it, "I need to talk to you," the words are said in a low voice.

Seth tilts his head to side and looks up at Roman. He's still tense—has been since he took that call. Seth wonders what's wrong with him. He nods his head and gets up, not even bothering to spare Elias any glance—it's what the jackass deserves for talking about things he knows nothing about. Roman leads them to where he was standing. There's one or two people a short distance away from them—they're far enough that they won't be able to eavesdrop. Roman grabs his hand, "I have to go to LA. There's an emergency with one of the companies I've invested in."

"Okay…"

"The lady's construction company—one of her employees got injured on site. They're still not sure how bad it is. But this man—he's a forty year old breadwinner to a family of six, Seth. His family still needs him—he can't die on them. I want to meet his family first," Seth can see how bad the news have upset Roman. "Is it wrong of me? I just feel they're a priority. They need to be taken care of, in every way possible, should anything happen to the husband…" Roman's eyes slide shut and he groans slightly. "I hate broken families, Seth."

"I could go with you," Seth offers.

Roman's already shaking his head, "You still have college. I don't know how long this will take."

The royal has a point, "Let's go home then, I'll help you pack."

"I called Masina, she's taking care of things as we speak."

"Then let's just go home, Roman. You need a proper send off," okay, the last bit sounds suggestive to his ears. But he really just wants to be there when his boyfriend leaves but now that he thinks about it, if there's still time before Roman leaves then the man can do whatever he wants to do to him.

Roman's a bit skeptical, "What about your friend?" His eyes reveal how much he wants Seth to choose him.

"You come first,"

Roman's expressions change like a switch—the royal's smiling now…broadly. Like he wasn't stressed out a few minutes ago. When he leans down to kiss him, Seth's lips are already parted and waiting. It's softer than usual—the way Roman's kissing him. Seth feels how much this man cherishes him in just this one kiss. There's a lot of things that reassure him about Roman and his feelings for him. This man wouldn't hurt him—he tries to show him everyday how much he cares for him. In the strangest of ways, sometimes.


 

"Sometimes I worry," the voice saying the words sounds so small. They're in the Lanu Meamata forests, at the very top of the green hills. Both boys are lying on the soft grass, looking up at the turquoise skies—the smooth blankets of warm air whips past them.

Roman turns so that he's lying on his side and supports his head with his hand, he looks at the boy who'd stolen his heart the first day he entered the palace—nearly a year ago. He can't believe how far they've come, Tyler's improved a lot. He talks a lot more, not as much as Roman would like, but he's trying and for Roman that's enough. "About what?"

Tyler turns to face him, his blue eyes cloudy, "That you'll leave me. I've too much baggage, Leati. What if you wake up tomorrow and realize that you can do so much better than a dead prostitute's emotionally unstable son? I still don't know what you see in me…it scares me sometimes. How much you claim to love me—if you ever took that love away…"

Roman sits up and pulls the smaller boy onto his lap, "We're young, Tyler. I don't know much about love but I know it's what I feel when I'm with you. I don't need to realize anything, except maybe how what I feel for you grows with each passing day. I love you Tyler, that's the most fucking bluntest I can be. I love you so fucking much and I want to fucking grow old with you even though I hate the idea of being old and having back problems and stiff bones but if it means I get to experience it with you then so be it. I would never leave you, I swear to you with everything that is in me."

Tyler laughs and runs a hand down Roman's cheek, "I love you too, it scares me but I do. And if you want this as much as I do then I won't leave. I swear to you with everything that is in me too."

Roman's heart flutters, who would have thought? He's fucking sixteen and he's already found his soulmate. He gets scared too, like Tyler, they're so young. But who's to say what they're feeling isn't real? He brings Tyler's lips to his, kissing him soft, pouring all he feels into the kiss. "Pinky promise?" he asks, holding his pinky finger out to Tyler when the kiss ends.

Tyler rolls his eyes, little laughs falling off his lips. Roman loves his laugh, it's annoying in that cute dorky way. Their fingers join for the promise and Roman captures Tyler's lips again. Is it possible to be addicted to someone? He thinks so, there's times he suffers from withdrawal symptoms when they're not together. "Make love to me," Tyler whispers against his lips.

Roman flips them, his hands already skimming down to Tyler's sweatpants, "Of course, aulelei. Let me show you how much I love you."

He's wet. That's the first thing that registers in Roman's mind when he jolts awake. He's wet with sweat and tears and he's finding it hard to breathe. He sits up on the huge bed, his haunted eyes darting around the foreign room he's in. It's the hotel room—the one Bayley booked for him. That somehow makes everything worse—he's in a foreign room and everything is closing in on him. He doesn't want to think about the dream he had. He doesn't…he doesn't. When the tears flow again, they're accompanied by a low growl. Why is Tyler doing this to him? Why this dream? Why bring up all those memories? Memories of broken promises.

He's crying now, low and wounded—his hair falls around him to curtain him, to protect him from the world. He doesn't know how long he spends releasing his anguish, his hurt. The emotions drain everything right out of him and in the end he's just left feeling hollow—drowning in a pit of darkness. He grabs his phone—he has an urge to hear his voice. They spoke earlier in the day but he still wants to hear Seth's voice—he needs to hear it. A thought comes to mind and he maneuvers his way in the darkness to grab his bag that's sat on one of the luxurious chairs in the presidential suite. He takes his laptop out, and goes back to settle on the bed with his back against the headboard. He opens the laptop and goes to the app Cody installed.

Seth's room appears on his screen, it's still dark but the cameras are expensive ones—he can clearly see Seth's form on the huge bed. The man's sleeping on his side of the bed—Roman isn't sure what it means. Maybe Seth misses him. A glance at the bedside clock reveals that it's 12:30 AM, he should be asleep, but sleep's a foreign concept to him. He hesitates as he dials Seth's number, 12:30 in LA means 03:30 in Miami. It's the early hours of Friday, Seth has a class in the morning. "Babe?" Roman should've hung up. Seth's voice is husky—it's still sleep roughened—Roman thinks it sounds sexy.

He looks at the laptop, Seth's sitting up, leaning his back against the headboard once he turns the bedside lamp on. "You shouldn't have answered," he notices what Seth's wearing. A smile forms on his lips slowly—Seth doesn't own a formal shirt. The crisp white button down that the brunet is wearing belongs to him.

"Then you shouldn't have called," Seth teases. He's smiling, Roman can see it.

"I wanted to hear your voice,"

"Why don't you buy a jar and store it in there, then?"

Roman laughs, "That's too much of a hassle. Send me a recording of your voice. In it, I want you to call me daddy. Tell me how hot I am and how you belong to me and no one else."

It's Seth turn to laugh, "If you're good, I will."

Roman laughs again but his mind's creating provocative thoughts in his head, he decides to change the topic before he ends up saying sinful things to Seth, "How was your day?" he already knows everything about Seth's day, Ted and Cody give him a report everyday but he still wants to know.

"Nothing much happened. Naomi and her little creature came over and we went to the beach."

"Do you call Leilei creature in front of her mother?" Roman asks, because he knows Naomi. She'd bite Seth's head off and be all dramatic.

"Hell no!" he guesses Seth knows how handful Naomi can be. Seth sounds horrified, "I call her Bambi."

"Bambi?"

"She's got huge eyes, like a bugeyed creature. She also reminds me of Bambi."

Roman nods his head even though Seth can't see him. He's glad Seth's getting on well with his family even happier that he seems fond of Leilani. Just like Leilani's fond of him too, Roman had seen how the little girl had followed Seth around that day they had the BBQ. "Bambi, huh?"

"She loves it, Leilani, I mean." Seth explains.

"Naomi?"

"She looked at me with a look I couldn't decipher. I'll just keep telling myself that she likes it."

Roman laughs, "She won't kill you—she likes you too much."

They're silent for a while, Seth still has his back leaning against the headboard. Roman zooms in to inspect his facial features—the smaller man looks gorgeous. Even with his bed hair and tired gaze, he looks as beautiful. "I'd give anything to be with you at the moment, Seth." He says quietly.

"I miss you too."

Silence again.

"I also ran into Elias…at the beach. We talked for a while and he hugged me. I didn't return it," Seth whispers into the phone. He's biting on his bottom lip—Roman sees how hard he's doing it. He's going to break his skin if he doesn't ease up. And he already knows about the encounter with Elias. He just chose not to say anything and he's not sure why Seth's bringing it up.

"Okay,"

"Are you mad?"

Roman sighs, "Do I have a reason to be mad, alofagia?"

"I don't think so. Not if I didn't hug back,"

"I'm not mad Seth. The only reason I'm calling is because I missed your voice. I miss you and I want to be next to you."

"Call Bobby, ask him to fly you home."

"I wish I could. He flew to Lanuola with Tamina—royal business. The stand in pilot is coming in the morning."

Roman's sighs deeply, he watches Seth breathe in his dress shirt, "I really miss you Roman, you and your warmth. Even though I always wake up to find you gone."

"I miss you too, baby." He ignores Seth's last statement. He's trying to forget and it's been working so far. Seth's been helping him forget, he's not going to allow the brunet to undo all that. "What are you wearing?" anything to distract him from the dreams.

He hears the hitch in Seth's voice, "Your shirt," Seth says the words after a while. He's breathing heavily into the phone. Roman finds his own body slowly reacting, Seth is the epitome of sexy. There's something alluring about him.

"Is that all you're wearing?"

"Yes," it's whispered but full of need.

Roman groans, Seth's heard it because the lip biting has returned. "Run your hand down your body," he watches as Seth obeys the instruction, "Slowly." He orders. Seth's doing as he's instructed, he runs his hand up from his neck, slowly, sensually, and a part of his shoulder is bared as his hand trails down and down until it disappears beneath the blanket. "I don't want you to touch yourself, alofagia."

Seth whines, "How did you know where my hand was? If I didn't know you were in LA, I'd have said you're watching me through the door or something."

He has no idea how close he is, Roman laughs quietly. "I wish I was there to see you. Now put your phone on speaker and place it on the bedside table."

"What now?" Seth asks once the phone's been placed on the table.

Roman adjusts the laptop on his lap, he chooses the best view to look at Seth as he gives another instruction, "Unbutton that shirt, slowly." He can't help the lustful groan making it's way past his lips when Seth's beautiful chest appears on the screen. It's not helping him that Seth's releasing these tiny whimpers and moans, "Run your right hand on your nipple Seth, I want you to do it the way I would if I were there with you. Rub on it until it's erect and then squeeze on it tightly," Seth's moans get louder but he obeys. "Trail your left hand slowly down your chest and keep working that nipple."

Roman's hard and aching inside his boxers, a bead of precum keeps wetting the expensive material, like a faulty faucet. He thinks about taking care of himself too but decides against it—he's sure he can come from just looking at Seth pleasuring himself. His eyes go back to the laptop when Seth moans particularly loud. The bedsheets that were covering him have fallen to the ground. Roman's head falls back on the headboard as he takes in all of Seth's body. The shirt's still on but it only covers his shoulders and his arms. The rest is just skin—tempting tan skin and spread legs.

Seth's private parts are revealed to him—all purple dick and balls. Roman's hand tightens around the cellphone, "Your body…whose is it, Seth?" The tone's hard, Roman would do anything to be where Seth is at the moment. "Answer me!" he instructs when the only response he's getting are breathless moans and whimpers.

"Yours," Seth's still breathless. He's now laying on his back, eyes fluttered shut while he plays with his other nipple. His left hand keeps trailing up and down, getting closer to his hard cock with each stroke. He decides to get the man out of his misery.

"What's in between your legs, it belongs to me too. I'm giving you permission, go touch it. Start with your balls—massage them for me."

"Aaaah. Feels so g-good," Seth whimpers. He spreads his legs wider, playing with his balls, he keeps thrusting his hips forward in sensual movements. He's biting on his bottom lip, eyes still shut closed.

"Do you want to touch it, baby?"

"Please," the word is strangled out.

"Then touch it," Roman orders. "The way I would do if I were there." He watches Seth grab a bottle of baby oil in the drawer, the brunet pours a little on his shaft and disposes of it carelessly on the floor.

"Fuck," Seth moans high-pitched as he runs his hand up and down his veiny shaft. Roman is pleased to see he's doing it the way he instructed—the man's stokes start teasingly slow like Roman would do. Roman feels himself grow even more in his boxers, it's nearing unbearable but he fights for self-control. Seth's shaky breaths sound on the telephone, the brunet pumps his shaft into his fist faster.

"Squeeze tighter," Roman orders. Seth whines so sexily that Roman releases a low groan. Seth's picking up his pace, he strokes his length in long hard strokes and squeezes the head every so often. His other hand's caught between playing with his nipples and his balls. The smaller man's trembling with lust on their bed, his hips keep on pumping into his fist. "Tighter," Roman growls, his shaft feels like it's going to burst any minute but he wants Seth to come first.

Seth's whimpering into the phone but his grip on his shaft is as tight as Roman instructed. The brunet's head keeps trashing side to side, moaning brokenly. "I've never wanted to feel anyone moving inside me as desperately as I want to feel you," Roman's surprised the brunet can even manage the words. He keeps making all these delicious sounds and what he's just said now…fuck. Roman wants him too—desperately. He's not even sure what they're waiting on.

"You sure you're ready for me, baby? I'll blow your back out, I doubt you'll ever walk straight again Seth. I'll fuck you on every surface, it won't matter where we are. And I'll never stop until I have you begging for mercy."

Seth moans louder, Roman watches him as he cums—uncoordinated thrusts and all. White ropes of liquid shoot past his shaft and Seth bites on his bottom lip to contain his cries of ecstatic pleasure. "I want to hear you Seth. Let me hear you, baby."

The sounds leaving Seth's lips are enough to make Roman shoot his own load, his eyes flutter shut, a drawn out groan escaping his lips. The sensations are unbelievable as white spots blind his line of sight before fading into nothing. His breathing's ragged and sweat trails down his forehead. The coldness of it contrasts how overheated he feels. His eyes are still closed and he's still recovering when Seth's soft, "Roman?" reaches his ears.

He picks his phone up, he's not sure when he dropped it and answers, "You good, baby?"

He readjusts the laptop that's sitting on half his lap so that it's placed properly again, Seth's laying on his back. He looks worn out and he's breathing harshly. He watches the brunet move his hair away from his face.

"I'm recovering," Seth chuckles breathlessly. "You?"

"Same," the silence that ensues after is a comfortable one. "You should go to bed, Seth. I'm sorry for keeping you up for this long."

"I don't mind," Seth whispers. "Will you…stay with me until I fall asleep?"

"Anything for you, Seth." The silence starts again. It's as comfortable as before, Roman watches the brunet button his shirt up and adjust the covers so that they rest on his waist. The brunet's gone back to sleeping on Roman's side of the bed, the pillow that Roman sleeps on is hugged tightly. It's endearing and Roman finds himself missing Seth even more. He shuts his laptop and sets it on the bedside table. Seth falls asleep about fifteen minutes later, his breathing still audible on Roman's phone. It's supposed to calm him, it does…to an extent. But there's also a niggling feeling at back of Roman's mind. He can't place it but his spirit feels heavy, drained for some reason.

Roman closes his eyes, his back still leaning against the headboard, he's tired but he can't sleep. He can never go to sleep after the dreams—and now Tyler's haunting him by showing him things that should be dead and buried. His still yearns for him—he feels it in the deepest parts of his soul. Roman groans and throws the phone beside him once he drops the call that was still running. His palms cover his eyes, a groan emitting past his lips—why couldn't Tyler free him? He's taken so much from him but the blond still tortures him. When would he ever be free of all the pain?

Chapter Text

Seth runs a flat palm on the tailored suit he's expected to wear in about thirty minutes. He's attending a charity event with Roman in two hours. It's for the children's hospitals so it's for a good cause. Naomi advised him this morning that he better get used to all the event attending—it's mandatory for him to attend with Roman because they're dating. Yes, she knows, as do a billion other people. It would seem that privacy is a foreign concept to most humans. Because why else would people sneakily take pictures of Roman and him to leak them to the press?

The pictures are from the outing that Roman gatecrashed. Three days after the outing, Seth had woken up, still tired from the phone sex conversation he'd had with Roman, to a large number of missed calls from numbers he didn't recognize. He'd ignored them—he never returns a call from a number he doesn't recognize. It's only when Masina had showed him what the tabloids were saying that he knew. And it doesn't help that the pictures had been incriminating—he could clearly see himself kissing Roman outside that Disney store.

The whole thing had been a nightmare. It still is—he'd been harassed by the press and some of the students at college. The nosy brats received the news with mixed reactions—some would randomly come up to him to tell him what a great pair Roman and him make. And then there's those who looked and still look at him with displeasure because why would a hot as fuck Prince choose a 'prostitute' of all people to date (their words). And then there's the press who came to hound him with questions at McMahon college on that same Friday, they clearly don't waste time. The vultures are the definition of an early bird—they'd already been waiting for him at college even before he could attend his first lecture.

Seth hadn't wanted Roman to know about the harassment—the royal exaggerates sometimes. But of course, Roman's always a step or two ahead of him—Seth had been met with a giant of a man with a long ass beard waiting for him outside his last class the very same day he was being hounded by the paparazzi. Yes, he has two bodyguards now. John and the giant, Braun Strowman. The man's huge and very intimidating which Seth figures is a good thing. He's still being hounded by the press and Braun helps keep them at bay. Especially on days where Roman's not there to threaten their pestering asses with one thing or the other.

Oh, and the bodyguards? They're present inside his lectures too. Seth isn't sure how Roman managed to get the college to agree and he's annoyed by it to be honest. But Roman insisted that it was necessary, because he attends lectures with some of the nosy brats who deem him unworthy of dating a Prince. And who knows what they'll try? Seth had tried to explain to the royal that surely the students wouldn't be that bitter that they'd try to hurt him, and in a public space full of people no less, but Roman's hardheaded. So Seth's stuck with two men with bulging muscles attending his lectures with him.

Because Braun's tall as fuck and resembles a huge tree, they sit at the very back. Elias joins him at the back sometimes (Seth can't stay angry for too long so they're back to being friends) and so do Bo and Finn. Seth's not sure what Sasha's studying, Elias had mentioned something about a business course and Curtis isn't a student, he co-owns The Grill Lounge with Elias. Elias's friends honestly make college bearable, Seth's not sure he'd survive being stared at by a bunch of people he has no interest in knowing. Some of them have come to him, the students, they've approached him with fake interests of being friends. But Seth isn't an idiot—most of the fake fan club see him as a fast ticket to fame and fortune. So he sticks with Elias and his friends, even if they do overwhelm him sometimes.

Dean's also been overwhelming him lately—his crazy friend called in later on that day of the leaked photos and screamed through the phone for a full five minutes causing Seth temporary deafness. Seth's not even exaggerating—Dean actually screamed like some fangirl on his phone. After he'd done his screaming fest, the ginger head had of course spent twenty minutes on the phone with Seth seeking details. The first question was if they've fucked yet, it's the most important one, according to Dean. He'd been disappointed to know that Seth hasn't had sex with Roman. Seth hadn't bothered explaining that they haven't had penetrative sex but have and are doing other sexual things. Dean would only pester him about how big Roman is and how his dick looks like and the girth and all the other things that he'd like to keep to himself. Roman's his man—his assets belong to Seth and Seth alone.

Oh, and did he mention that the whole leaked photos scandal's introduced him to some of Roman's family? Telephonically though—he's spoken to Jimmy's twin, Jey. Initially, Roman had been against Seth talking to Jey and the brunet hadn't known why. But when he'd spoken to him, he knew why—Jey's as sweet as his brother but he's also one of those smooth 'I can trick you into having sex with me with only a few words' kinda guy. Seth still blushes every time he thinks about the conversation he'd had with the man. Roman says his cousin's a man whore and doesn't ever plan on getting married. Seth thinks Jey's just not met the right person yet.

And he'd talked to the parents too, well the mother. The Queen of Lanuola, Patricia or Mama (that's what she prefers to be called), is one of the kindest soul's he's met. Seth had honestly been nervous when he spoke to her this past Saturday but the woman was overjoyed and expressed how much she's glad her son found someone. According to her, Roman hasn't dated since a guy named Tyler ten years ago. Seth didn't know about a Tyler, in fact, the only thing he knows about Roman's relationships are that he's had two and the last one was three years ago.

He'd assumed that the mother didn't know about the relationship from three years ago but he'd understood—Manuia did say the relationship lasted less than a month after all. But the way the Queen spoke about this Tyler guy, Seth had been jealous a bit, the kind woman had made it sound like Tyler had been Roman's soulmate. She hadn't said much, just that the last time Roman looked as happy as he did in the leaked photos was with Tyler ten years ago. That's all she said but the way she'd said it…there's something there. Seth had wanted to ask Roman about the guy, he still does, but there's topics that are a no go area with Roman.

The royal doesn't need to tell him to back off—Seth always sees it in the way his face hardens. He always backs off and changes the topic when Roman does that. And Roman's the closed off type—he's never forthcoming about his a lot of things in his life other than family and work. But definitely not about his younger years spent in Lanuola. But like Seth's said before—he's learned to back off. Roman shares better when it's on his terms and at his own time.

He's already wearing the black suit, that was tailored to hide his knee cast thankfully, and is fixing the lustrous curls he's decided to do when Roman enters. The only thing that gives the other man away is his exotic manly scent that Seth would recognize anywhere, if not for that, Seth wouldn't have even known that Roman has entered his room. Despite Roman's large form, the royal's graceful in his movements and always silent in his footsteps—like a ninja.

Seth's heart rate quickens when Roman's arms entrap him into the royal's hard build. It quickens in joy, in adoration but it also quickens in fear. It scares him how he's consumed by Roman and everything the royal does. It scares him how Roman not only owns his heart but his thoughts, his desires—his soul. He lets his eyes flutter closed when Roman places a soft kiss on his neck. How is it possible to feel so much for someone he didn't even know a month ago? Roman's low growl causes him to bare his neck more openly and he whimpers as the royal's mouth feasts on his neck. Their eyes connect on the mirror when Roman moves away from his neck.

Seth looks into the eyes that have become his home. Even in their silence, their connection is intense as it is intimate. It feels like they're looking into each other's souls. "Hey," it's Roman who says the words after light years of silence.

"Hey," Seth echoes in a voice barely above a whisper.

"You look so beautiful," and if there's one thing Seth loves about being in a relationship, it's this. The compliments that never cease to make his heart flutter in happiness. He's never had someone who tells him how beautiful he as much as Roman does. And sometimes the royal says it at the most random of times--they'll be watching a movie or just talking about something and Roman will randomly tell him how beautiful he is. It's the same with his wellbeing, Roman will send a dozen messages at a time asking him about his day and how he's feeling. Seth feels so cherished and so cared for that it overwhelms him sometimes.

"Thank you," he turns around to face Roman. Wrapping his arms around the royal's neck, Seth brings Roman's head down so he can give the man a proper welcome. He's addicted to Roman's kisses, even the hard ones that leave both their lips bruised and kiss swollen. Seth's already expecting it when Roman's hand grabs a fistful of his hair and pulls his head backwards to plunder his mouth harder. He whimpers into the kiss, the passion is there as is the intensity. Seth's arms tighten around Roman's neck, the royal's tongue feels fucking amazing as it does things to him that leave his nether regions reacting.

He's not alone, Roman's right there with him. Something drops to the floor, it's his blazer, Seth realizes. He's not sure when Roman pulled the expensive item off of his body. They're moving, Seth isn't sure how they're managing to do that with their lips still locked together but they are. Large hands grab his ass possessively as Roman brings him even closer to his hard body. Seth moans when their hardened shafts rub together, creating sweet friction. His hands are shaking as he runs them down Roman's hard body to work on the royal's shirt.

He swears he could cry when Roman pulls away. Why's the damn royal stopping now? Half the time, the man's obsessed with him. A small whine slips past his lips, revealing his displeasure. He looks at Roman, the royal still has that penetrating gaze that sends shivers down his spine. The air's still charged and when he licks his lips before biting on the bottom one softly, his boyfriend closes his eyes and groans. Roman sounds pained and frustrated at the same time. Seth knows why when the man adjusts himself even though it's doing little to hide the prominent bulge in his pants.

"We have a…kids event to attend," Roman grits the words out. His eyes are still closed and his jaw clenches after he says the words. The man looks like he's counting to ten in his head, Seth isn't doing any better especially since he's feeling sexier knowing that he has this effect on Roman. "I have to leave, Seth. We'll be late if I don't."

When he opens his eyes, the lust fog has cleared a bit in his eyes but Seth can still see it. "Okay," he nods, looking away from Roman. It's probably best if they avoid any eye contact. "Go change, you'll find me waiting downstairs."

Seth bares his neck and allows Roman to breathe him in when the royal grabs his hair again. It lasts only for a second before Roman pulls away. He's about to say something dumb, Seth can tell. "I'm sorry for ruining your hair," the bastard has that grin he gets when he's fake apologizing for something he did on purpose. "Or maybe I shouldn't…the bird's nest kinda suits you, alofagia."

You see what he has to deal with everyday? Seth maneuvers his way around his large boyfriend to grab a pillow. Roman's already caught on and makes a dash for the door before Seth can deal with his childish ass. "You're worse than a child!" Seth shouts after him. There's a damn smile in his voice. Seth can't even muster the energy to be angry at the idiot.

***

The charity event is a success, even though there were a dozen speeches from people Seth has no interest in. He'd listened to Roman though, cheering the man's dominant self on and everything. All the attention had gone to him when Roman was talking on the elegant podium. Pictures of him were snapped by the press, and he's not the superficial type but he hopes they got his good side. This dating a royal thing is definitely becoming harder and more demanding.

They'd hosted an auction and auctioneered off hunky bachelors to the audience. All the funds made from the biddings will go towards reputable children's organizations and one of Nia's hospitals—she and her team of doctors work hard to give the best medical care to children diagnosed with chronic illnesses. Seth's still left in awe of how Roman's family cares about the public—they all seem too good to be true. How many rich families dedicate their time to the public? How many have foundations and projects set in place to assist the less fortunate?

Tamina came to report how much funds they were able to gather in the charity event, apparently it's more than they expected, it caused the crowd to cheer. It'd been about ten minutes later that she'd allowed them to mingle and get drunk…but not too drunk though (her words). So Seth's been following Roman around, as he talks to a few dignitaries he knows nothing about. Most of them seem to like him, some even include him in their conversation. Seth tries his best to answer what he does know but most of their topics are boring to be honest. Most of them remain uptight and serious even though the serious part of the event has long ended.

Seth spoke to Naomi and Jimmy in passing, they were rushing to fetch their daughter from their crazy nanny. Naomi said she doesn't trust the girl much after watching a horror movie about an evil nanny. And Roman, he's been called by a foreign dignitary from Saudi Arabia about an oil deal that he's been trying to secure. So he's left Seth to his own devices, it's been five minutes that the man's left him but Seth really wishes he would come back.

He gulps down his champagne and heads to the bar area to see if he can get something stronger. Maybe he should try out the whisky, see why Roman loves it so much. The bartender winks at him when he sets the tumbler of whisky on the counter. A small white paper accompanies the glass, Seth picks it up curiously. There's a name and a number. He looks up at the bartender, the man makes a 'call me' sign with his hand. Seth shakes his head, the guy's not even hot—he lacks a lot of things. The authority, the dominance and the power. And it's not because he's a bartender but he just doesn't have what his boyfriend has. He doesn't command respect with just his walk. He's not enchanting like Roman is.

Okay, so Roman's ruined him for other men. Seth doubts he'll ever find a stronger connection with someone else than the one he has with Roman. What he feels for Roman is unforced, it comes naturally to him. Their energy is real and it's intense and it's almost too much to take sometimes. Seth squashes the piece of paper and mindlessly slips it into his pocket. He takes a sip of the whisky he ordered and grimaces as the brown liquid sets his throat on fire.

"It's not for everyone, huh?"

Seth turns to face the owner of the shaky but smooth voice saying the words. It belongs to an old man—he looks important in his expensive suit. The man's skin reminds him of someone who's stayed in the sun for too long. His white hair looks like it's thinning. The man's still waiting for a response, he has a smile on his face that sends the bad kind of shivers down Seth's spine. "Yeah. It's definitely not for me," Seth finally says once he doesn't feel like he's swallowed fire.

"The name's Ric. I'm sure you've heard of me before,"

Seth wants to roll his eyes so hard and also wants to bring Elias here—to show the man what typical rich snobbish behavior looks like. It's standing right in front of him and too close to him for his liking. Seth moves away a bit and fakes a smile, "Uh, actually no."

He's expecting the old man to be offended but this Ric guy only smiles wider, "It's no train smash. We'll still get to know each other then. I'm Ric Flair of Flair Enterprises. It's a multi-million dollar company, with companies all over the world. I was the highest bidder in the event and it's a pity you weren't part of it. I had to settle for second rate goods instead," Seth feels his skin crawling as the man looks him up and down. The man appears to get an idea in his head as his eyes light up, "A threesome…it could work. I'll make it worth your while. Show me what your body can do and I'll pay you handsomely."

Seth thought these days were over. The days where filthy men thought they could buy him with money, "I have a boyfriend. He won't appreciate what you're trying to do. I don't like what you're trying to do."

This Ric Flair laughs like he finds Seth cute or something, "That's even better, I'll pay him too. We'll make it a foursome."

Roman's hand is on his waist before Seth can answer. He knows it's his boyfriend because he's used to Roman's powerful scent by now, like he's said before. Seth leans into him as he watches Ric's eyes widen. Seth feels like laughing, just a second ago the man thought he was a god, untouchable, and now he's trembling in what looks like fear at the sight of a man who's more than half his age. "Mr. Flair, I'm sure you'll agree with me when I say it's time you left this building," the old man looks like he's going to defy Roman but changes his mind the last minute and nods his head instead. "And if I ever see you attending any of our events, I will ruin you. You'll have everything one minute and find yourself at the bottom of the barrel the next." The words are a promise, said in the calmest of voices but so coldly at the same time.

Seth watches the man do a walk of shame until he's out of their sight. Seth moves to stand in front his boyfriend, he's expecting to see blank brown orbs but he's met with anything but that. And when Roman's eyes burn in anger, they always take him back to that first night they met. He's scared now because they burn worse than they did that night. Seth doesn't like the look on Roman's face. He's still staring after the direction that Ric went, his whole body's tense and his anger could drown the whole spacious hall the event was being hosted. Seth runs a timid hand down Roman's left shoulder causing the man to flinch before he turns his attention to Seth. Maybe his fear's showing because Roman's eyes soften a bit. "Let's go home," Seth whispers.

Roman's still watching him, unmoving, so Seth grabs his hand and heads for the exit to the VIP parking lot. He spots the black Bentley Roman drove to the event and heads towards it. He's going to the passenger's side when Roman grips his hand to stop him. Seth finds himself trapped between the car and an enraged royal. He's not sure what the man wants from him but he remains in place and waits for something…anything.

"What did he want?" the question is asked so calmly but Seth knows Roman by now. The man's anything but calm, his eyes reveal how far from calm he actually is. An arched eyebrow accompanies Roman's clenched jaw while he waits for a response.

"To b-buy m-me," Seth stammers out. Roman's eyes burn even darker, jaw clenching tighter.

"Why didn't you call me?"

"I-I thought you were still busy with the foreign associate,"

"Did he touch you?"

"N-No," Seth's heart is beating so hard. He's sure Roman can hear it and he wants to look away from the royal. He's still not completely calm, the brown orbs still have a blazing fire in them.

"You're mine, Seth."

Seth nods his head frantically, quick to reaffirm. Anything to calm the man down. He's seen how angry Roman can get before, but what he's seeing now—he's never seen this side before. "I am yours."

A cry leaves his lips when Roman grips his hair in a painful hold. He almost expects Roman to physically harm him but he chases the thought away—Roman had promised, they'd both promised to never get physical with each other. The royal's eyes still blaze in anger as they look at him. There's a minute of silence that's filled with so much tension and the only sound comes from his erratic breathing before Roman smashes their lips together.

The kiss is one of the hard ones—Seth feels like he's being punished somehow. He is being punished, Roman's lips bruise him as they find him guilty of a crime he has no knowledge of. It hurts—the internal more than the physical because it means Roman still doesn't trust him. He's being prosecuted for having been approached by a man he knew nothing and didn't care about. A week later and they find themselves here again. Seth breathes deep when Roman finally lets him go. He tries to suck in as much air as he can, his gaze never leaving Roman's. They're blank now—the brown eyes are unreadable. As is the facial expression on Roman's face.

Seth's startled when Roman grabs his hand and leads him to the other side of the car. He steps inside the car and sits back as Roman closes his door for him. He's quick to turn the radio on when Roman goes to the driver's side. The station is, of course, playing Roman's favorite kind of music. Seth's slowly getting used to it, he even knows the name of the song that's playing. It's Donny Hathaway's 'I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know'. He's not in the mood to talk, Roman must be feeling the same way because the royal says nothing when he enters the car. He begins the fifty minute drive home instead while Seth ponders Manuia's words. Does he even know what he signed up for when he agreed to dating Roman?


 

"Wait here," Roman tells Seth when he parks the car outside the mansion. It comes out cold, not the warm way he'd wanted it too. He's still angry even though a part of him, deep inside, is telling him he's overreacting. He hadn't even caught much of Seth's conversation with that creepy pervert except when the son of a bitch had propositioned Seth into a foursome. He hadn't waited for Seth to respond to Ric Flair's proposition because he'd already been seeing red when he'd spotted Seth stood with the notorious sugar daddy who doesn't hide the fact that he fucks young men and pays them for their 'services' afterwards.

There'd been a whole host of emotions assaulting him all at once when he'd seen Seth with Ric Flair. The emotions had still been there when Seth led them out of the semi-packed hall, hell there's still some emotions running through him now. The anger is always there, at the forefront, whenever he sees any man standing with Seth. He'd be lying if he said he hadn't wanted to bash Ric's nasty face against a wall.

And there's other things, the jealousy, the hurt, the fear and so many other emotions he has no control over. The fear probably overpowers every other emotion because he can't lose Seth. He's lost those he loved once, and he still hasn't recovered from it. How much more will it hurt if he loses Seth? With the ones he lost, he has to live with the fact that they're dead. But how much more will it hurt to lose someone who's alive and breathing? Roman feels like it would be worse. He can't lose Seth, not with how intensely he feels for the brunet. Because even when he tries to hold back on what he feels for the other man sometimes—the feelings are always there, getting stronger with each passing day. And this is why he'd told Manuia he stands to lose more than Seth….

Roman holds his hand out to Seth once he's opened his door for him. Seth's doe eyes look up at him, a myriad of emotions swimming in them. Roman stops trying to read them all after he sees that hurt is the most prominent emotion. He's failing at the boyfriend thing again—dismally. He panics when Seth doesn't accept his offered hand but exits the car and walks away from him. Roman doesn't try to stop him—he watches Seth walk to the front door and enter, disappearing from his view.

Roman slumps against his car, a soft exhale leaving his lips. If he's being honest, he's not even sure why Seth's hurt. Maybe it's because he'd ignored him in the car. Roman didn't mean to but he'd been trying to gather his thoughts. The different emotions had still been assaulting him, and he's trying to learn to control his tongue. To control his anger and volatile emotions when around Seth. Maybe he should apologize…

He's thought of what to do when he finally enters the house. He can hear Seth speaking to Masina in the kitchen. It's nine in the evening—he's not even sure why the woman's not at her compound. But he's thankful for it—she'll serve as a distraction while he prepares in Seth's room. He decides to start in his room first. Roman changes out of his suit, hanging it neatly on the hanger. He's only in his boxers as he heads to Seth's room. He already knows that the brunet isn't in his room yet—he can still hear him conversing with Masina downstairs.

Roman heads for the en-suite bathroom. He runs the hot water inside the bathtub and looks inside the granite counters in the bathroom. He retrieves the bath salts and heavenly smelling coconut scented soap for the bubble bath. He pours the salts into the water and adds the soap watching the white suds flood the egg-shaped bathtub. Jazz music plays on the speakers, it's not Seth's favorite, he knows. But the brunet has an awful taste in music—he can barely hear a word with all that screaming the 'singers' do.

The light in the en-suite bathroom's dimmed just right. There's a mini fridge in Seth's room and it's packed. Roman goes to grab the champagne and a champagne flute from a mahogany cabinet in the room. He goes to place the items in the en-suite bathroom. Practice, his mind tells him once everything's sorted. Right, he needs to practice an apology. I don't know you're mad but I'm really sorry, those are the first words his mind comes up with. No, if he admits that he doesn't know what's caused Seth's sour mood maybe the brunet won't accept his apology.

He practices a few more times in front of the mirror in the bathroom but dismisses all the apologies—they don't feel right. He tries again, "You're so important to me and I'm sorry for hurting you." The words sound right, they're the most genuine. "Perfect," he whispers to himself.

"What are you doing?" He's still nervous and when he hears Seth's voice he jumps a little. He turns his attention to Seth, the brunet's eyes have moved away from him to take in the picture inside the bathroom. His gorgeous doe eyes are widened and he looks so beautiful, Roman feels his heart falter. How did he ever get so lucky?

"I'm sorry, Seth." He says quietly. Shit, he didn't start the words right. Not the way he practiced them but Seth's looking at him. The emotions are swimming in his brown pools again and Roman's too afraid to read them. "I didn't mean to hurt you. You mean so much to me, please forgive me." He's being genuine. He still isn't sure if he caused Seth's hurt and if he did, how, but he apologizes because Seth's so important to him and hurting him is the last thing he ever wants to do.

Seth bites on his bottom lip, Roman can clearly see the war in his eyes. Roman panics and speaks up again, "I mean it, Seth. I'm really sorry. Don't leave me, please. Tell me what I did wrong."

He receives no answer for so long that Roman finds himself feeling defeated, he leans against the counter in the bathroom. The tension in the spacious bathroom has him wanting to run away. Seth's eyes are watering, he looks on the verge of crying and Roman—he wants more than anything to embrace the brunet. He wants more than anything to show Seth how sorry he is. How much he cares. But he's afraid—of how Seth will react to his touch.

"Did you do all this?" the voice asking the question is barely above a whisper.

"Yes,"

Seth takes a step towards him, then two and then three. Roman's heart is on the verge of exploding—he isn't even sure what Seth will do. He tries to back away when Seth stands right in front of him but he has no way of escaping—Seth has him cornered. His eyes close when Seth lifts a hand to stroke his cheek. "You hurt me so much sometimes. I don't know if I should be angry at you for how much you hurt me or myself for letting you get away with it," the bitter laugh that accompanies the words break his heart into pieces. He opens his eyes to find a lone tear cascading down Seth's left cheek.

"I'll try and do better," Roman whispers. "I promise, alofagia, I'll try to do better."

"That's all I want from you,"

Roman's still uncertain as Seth leans up to join their lips. The brunet's soft in his kisses—far more softer than Roman's normally used to. But he likes it—there's a tenderness to it that melts his heart. He's not sure when they leave the bathroom but they've managed to go back to Seth's bedroom. Their kissing intensifies, Roman's body is on fire with each touch to his body. He grips Seth's waist in a sure hold, letting his hands trail slowly to the brunet's pert ass.

Seth gasps into his mouth when he squeezes the life out of the brunet's buns. Seth's only wearing a pair of tight briefs and the black dress shirt he'd worn at the event. The energy between them is electrifying—the need to get closer increases rapidly. Roman carelessly rips Seth's shirt open, a few buttons scattering to the ceramic tiles around them. He moves his lips from Seth's lips to his neck, sucking on the most sensitive part of Seth's neck. He hears Seth's strangled moans when he bites into the tender skin, leaving bruises there.

His right hand grabs a nipple and he circles it with his fingers while his left hand grips Seth's hair to pull his head back. "You're so gorgeous like this Seth," he kisses Seth's neck and whispers the words right after.

Seth doesn't respond, a cracked moan comes out of his lips. Roman's ministrations continue, he latches onto an erect nipple. He knows how sensitive Seth's nipples are from how the smaller man always writhes at the slightest touch on the pink nubs. He's not surprised when Seth holds his head in place as he sucks on his nipples like they're one of the best things he's ever tasted—and they are, Roman loves Seth's nipples.

Seth's shirt falls to the ground completely, leaving him in just his briefs. They fall onto the bed and Roman has to balance his weight so as to not Seth's still injured leg. Seth's legs spread so easily for him—welcoming him. Roman gets in between them, he groans in barely contained arousal when Seth's length rubs against his. The friction is out of this world, he presses deeper into Seth's body to get more of the delicious friction. He has Seth's lips joined with his again while they grind into each other on the bed.

It's not enough, it's far from enough. Roman's hands travel to Seth's waist, his index fingers hook into the waistband of Seth's briefs. He's looking into Seth's eyes as he asks for permission for more than just removing his underwear this time. He's asking for something deeper, Seth's eyes search his before they widen. The brunet nods his head gently, a small sigh sounding from his lips when Roman tugs off his underwear. Roman moves away from Seth a bit to appreciate his full beauty. He's done this before but today's different, in every way.

He's enchanted as he always is when he looks at Seth. He appreciates Seth's body—how hard it is in some areas and still soft in others. He appreciates Seth's slightly hairy thighs and his gorgeous length, that's red and oozing with precum. Roman isn't any better in terms of hardness—his cock could probably drill a hole into a wall not to mention his boxers are wet with his precum. "Wow," he whispers to himself, totally enthralled by Seth's beauty.

Roman licks his lips, this sight in front of him must be the most beautiful he's ever seen. Seth on his back, legs spread, everything revealed to him—it's like an offering of sorts. Roman's right hand goes to curl around Seth's warm length. "God, Roman!" Seth's voice is strangled. He arches his back and pistons his hips forward. The precum dripping out of Seth's arousal serves as lubrication and Roman pumps faster, transfixed by the different faces Seth keeps making. The brunet's eyes are shut tight, lips pinched tightly together.

When it's too much for him to take, Roman repositions himself between Seth's spread legs. He keeps his fast strokes, feeling Seth writhe beneath him. "You're everything to me, alofagia." He whispers, pressing kisses all over Seth's face. "You're so important to me and I don't what I'd do without you," he continues. Seth's eyes open, the brunet's biting on his lips to keep from crying. But the unshed tears are there in his eyes. Roman presses their warm bodies together as his lips latch to Seth's. He kisses the brunet deeply, pouring all he feels into the kiss. He tries to show Seth—in his kisses, in his touches as they roam Seth's beautiful body—how important the brunet is to him.

"You're my world, Seth." Roman's kissing down Seth's chest as he says the words. Full lips touch every inch of Seth's golden skin, the brunet's moans getting louder when Roman gets closer and closer to his length. The words of praise don't stop, Roman makes sure Seth knows how beautiful he is with each press into Seth's skin. "Tell me what you want, baby." Roman says the words against Seth's length—his warm breath fanning the angry red arousal. The head is wet with precum, his balls sway beneath his length. Seth pumps his hips into the air and Roman's big hands grip his waist, rendering Seth helpless as he is pinned to the bed. "Tell me what you want," Roman's every exhale touches Seth's private parts. It causes the brunet to sob in a plea.

"Please,"

"Please what?"

"I need your mouth on me, please Roman." The reply satisfies Roman. He hasn't done this in ten years but he's sure he still knows how it works. Roman's skilled tongue starts with the insides of Seth's thighs, he licks and nips and sucks on the hairy thighs working his way up to Seth's length. He feels Seth humping into the air when Roman gets closer. Roman licks Seth's perineum, getting closer to the brunet's balls. "Roman, please." A smirk tugs at Roman's lips. He teases the brunet's length again, tracing his tongue up and down Seth's veiny shaft before going back to licking the inside of his thighs.

"Oh my god!" Seth's voice is barely his own. His body arches forward and he frantically pistons his hips forward when wet heat engulfs his length. Roman doesn't bother with the teasing—his sucks on the crown of Seth's cock fervently. He takes in more of Seth's length, feeling the brunet pulsing inside his throat. Seth's hands grip his hair and tightens when Roman swallows him to the hilt and hollows his cheeks and hums around the smaller man's length. "Fuck! It f-feels so good," Seth cries out. Roman's hums, and it sends vibrations through Seth's body.

Seth's moans and cries of pleasure only make him harder, Roman's so hard in his boxers and he's leaking profusely. His cock aches from the lack of attention and he maneuvers removing his boxers while still driving Seth insane with his mouth. He sucks in a sharp intake of breath around Seth's dick when cold air whips his sensitive cock. "I'm going to come, Ro…" Seth's words fails him when he tenses and spills his load inside Roman's mouth. The brunet moans brokenly while Roman savors the taste of Seth's cum spilling into his mouth. He tries to swallow everything but he hasn't done this in ten years so what he can't swallows drips down his mouth.

Seth goes lax beneath him, Roman moves up to join their lips. He grips Seth's hair and pins the smaller man's head to the bed while ravaging his mouth in a lust filled kiss. Seth's whimpering into the kiss, Roman's right hand is curling around his length. "It's time for the real stuff, Seth." Roman whispers against his lips. Seth's eyes reveal his exhaustion but Roman won't let him go. Tonight, they're going all the way. They've waited enough. His strokes are fast, they're vicious and Seth whimpers with every hard stroke Roman makes.

When he feels Seth hardening in his hand, Roman stops and grinds against him. He juggles that and opening the bedside drawer. He takes out a condom and lube—he'd bought the items yesterday. Roman goes back to teasing Seth's wet body. He kisses the brunet's lips harshly, groaning into his lips at the charged air between the two of them. Everything in the room is hot—it's not just their bodies, it's the connection between them. Everything is alight and the air itself seems to be drowning in anticipation of their coupling.

Roman coats his fingers, his hungry gaze fixated on a sweaty Seth's wide brown orbs. The brunet's lips are red and swollen, he has bite marks bruising every inch of his chest. His nipples are pinker than usual, almost red and he just looks so fucking innocent and sinful at the same time. His brown mane is wet and fall everywhere around him. "Are you ready?" Roman asks, voice breathless.

Seth's eyes soften in adoration and he gives a wordless nod. Roman's scared as he guides a finger to Seth's entrance, like he's said before, he hasn't done this in ten years. He doesn't want to hurt Seth. His index finger enters Seth slowly, he watches Seth's face for any discomfort. There's a bit of discomfort he sees in Seth's eyes but the brunet nods his head again, prompting Roman to continue. "Aaaah," the scream that leaves Seth's lips is completely sinful. Roman watches him, not wanting to miss a thing while working the man loose. His fingers keep searching until they find Seth's prostrate. The silent scream and the way Seth arches his back when Roman finds that pleasure point is so enticing Roman commits it to memory.

He adds a fourth finger inside Seth's tiny hole because he's big. There's a reason Naomi tells him he has a porn star dick sometimes and he really doesn't want to hurt Seth. He wants this to be pleasurable for both of them. He senses when Seth can't take anymore teasing—the brunet's shaking and trashing on the bed beneath him. "Tell me what you want, Seth." He instructs. There's something so unbelievably sexy about Seth telling him what he wants.

"Fuck, you. I want you," the strangled words fill the quiet room.

Roman pulls his fingers out and rolls the condom onto his dick. He hisses as he does that, he's left himself unattended since this whole thing began. After coating his shaft with lube, Roman lines his length to Seth's entrance. He spreads the smaller man's legs wider and his cock rubs up and down Seth's hole. "FUCK!" the word is gritted out. The head is in and Roman finds himself delirious with pleasure. Something about Seth's warmth drives him insane and his eyes squeeze shut, his jaw clenching hard. He's fighting for control because this—this is not what he'd been expecting. He hadn't expected it to feel so good.

His eyes are still closed but he hears Seth's broken cries—he's not sure if they're of pain or pleasure. Roman releases a deep breath and sinks in further, body shaking from how Seth's heat snugly engulfs him. "You feel so good, Seth," he wheezes, eyes still closed. Seth's arms fold around his neck, bringing them chest to chest.

Roman's still fighting for control, for him sex has never been just a physical act. There's always been a level of intimacy and soul binding connection that he's always associated with the act. It's the reason he doesn't do causal sex. And right now, being in Seth's warmth, it's overwhelming him. So many emotions are on the surface that Roman fears Seth will see them all if their eyes meet. This closeness to Seth is something out of this world. It steals his breath away to the point that Roman finds it too much to take.

"Please move. Roman, please," even the whispered words do something to him. They ignite an unquenchable fire inside his veins. Roman complies, he'd do anything Seth wants. A string of curses leave his lips with each and every slow thrust he makes into Seth's wet warmth. Little breaths of air tickle his neck with every gentle thrust he makes, Seth's exquisite warmth gripping his shaft. The brunet's tightness is out of this world. Roman has to fight for control as he pumps into Seth over and over again.

"You're so tight Seth," Roman groans, pinning Seth to the bed and picking up his pace. He keeps driving his cock in and out of Seth's rosebud, his pumps becoming harder and faster. "So tight," his breathing is labored from the feeling of Seth clenched around him. Seth's trembling beneath him, soft sounds fall off his lips from how good everything feels. The air's still charged—with so many different emotions. Roman's afraid to address them. Being with Seth like this makes him feel vulnerable—more vulnerable than he's been in a long time.

He tries to keep his composure even as he pistons into Seth over and over again—pinning him to the bed and fucking him senseless. A broken scream sounds in the room when Roman's thrusts hit Seth's sweet spot head on. The hands around his neck go to his back—tightening before blunt nails rack down Roman's back. The sound of skin slapping against skin gets louder, their grunts and moans steal the spotlight though. This—this is so much more than both of them had ever anticipated.

They're reaching another level—it's not just their bodies being one. It's their souls too—their souls are touching. There's tears brimming in Roman's still closed eyes—he doesn't know how to handle this. He wasn't ever prepared for the intensity of these feelings he has. He buries his face into Seth's neck and sucks on his salty neck, gripping the brunet's hips in a bruising hold.

"I don't know what you're doing to me Seth," he groans into the smaller man's neck. He's trying so hard to keep the emotions at bay—trying so hard to keep everything he's been feeling hidden. But it's trickling out bit by bit. And maybe this is why he's been avoiding the sex with this man currently sobbing in pleasure beneath him. Maybe he'd known all along how this intimate act with Seth would drop all his defenses.

The slams into Seth's body become so hard and so rough, the headboard starts banging against the wall. Seth's so tight and so warm and so wet, his body welcomes him so snugly—Roman feels he's home. Roman fills Seth over and over again—stretching him wide and ruining him on the inside. Seth's trembling and it's so intense. Roman doesn't know if Seth's in heaven or hell but what they're doing feels out of this world.

"Please look at me," Seth's words cause Roman's heart to stutter in fear. There's so many signals screaming in his head. Don't allow him to see, it's what his mind screams the most. If he looks into Seth's eyes—there's emotions he won't be able to conceal. His pain, his grief, his loneliness, his joy, his insecurities—every emotion will be right there for the man currently pleading with him to look at him. I can't, it's the second thought that runs through him. He can't dare allow himself to be that vulnerable. Seth already owns so much of his soul.

"Please, Roman." Roman's slowly finding himself helpless against the pleading. You owe him that much, his heart's always known better. His mom's always told him it would never mislead him. Roman moves away from Seth's neck and closes his eyes briefly, trying to gather the strength to look Seth in the eyes. He groans when Seth clenches around him and rocks on his hard length. His eyes open slowly—his vision's blurred, making him struggle to see. Seth strokes his cheeks before his hands go around Roman's arms, tightening hard enough so that they're flush against each other. "I'm falling for you Roman," Seth whispers into his ear. "I wish you knew how I much I feel for you. I wish you knew how much you owned me—body and soul."

Roman lifts his head slightly, there are tears falling down Seth's eyes. He wants to wipe them away—he wants to wipe anything that makes Seth unhappy away. Their lips entangle—it's soft, it's intimate and it connects their souls. Seth stiffens beneath Roman with each pounding that's made into his overheated body. He feels possessed and defenseless—it's almost too much to take. "Let go baby," Roman whispers, gentling his rough slams just a tiny bit. He watches Seth lose it—watches the smaller man at his most vulnerable moment.

Seth's eyes roll to the back, his mouth open in an endless scream. Roman again captures the moment, committing it to memory. When Seth goes limp beneath him, the brutal pace picks up again. Roman grips the man beneath him in a bruising hold , pinning him to the bed while using his body to take his pleasure. The screams start again from Seth, he trashes on the bed while seeking something to hold on to. Roman slams into him, filling him and stretching his hole with each forceful thrusts.

He'd meant what he said that day—he's never ever going to stop until Seth's screaming for mercy. It doesn't take long—with his dick giving Seth's abused prostate a rough pounding, the man screams for mercy eventually. He arches into Roman and scratches his back, begging him to stop. "It's too much. Roman please, please!" The words are enough to make Roman shoot his load into the condom. His whole body weight is supported by Seth when his body fails him. Seth's breathing harshly against his neck. "Roman?"

"Mhm?"

Seth's silent again for a while before he speaks quietly, "You're heavy."

His head moves from it's favorite hiding place, Seth's neck, to look the brunet in the eyes. His eyes still have a wetness in them and he looks wrecked and spent. "I hope I didn't hurt you,"

Seth shakes his head and cups his cheeks gently, "It's a good pain. What I'm feeling now was worth it,"

"I'm falling for you too, Seth." Roman says the words quietly. He looks into Seth's eyes, daring the other man to explore the depths in his brown pools. Of course there's things he holds back, he doesn't allow Seth to see everything. But he allows him to see how he feels—how strongly he feels.

A smile tugs at Seth's lips and he brings Roman in for a tender kiss, "Stay inside me a little while longer." The brunet whispers against his lips.

"I thought you said I was heavy," Roman teases.

"It doesn't stop the fact that I love your weight on top of me. I love having you in me even more,"

"If it makes you happy then I'll stay. Anything for you Seth," Roman whispers, his arms going to settle beneath Seth's waist. The brunet's arms are around his neck as they breathe each other in. It's probably five minutes later that a niggling feeling claws at Roman's heart. It claws inside his mind as well. Chase him away—like Nikki, it's his mind saying the words. Roman closes his eyes. He's not going to do it—this felt right. It still does. Despite the niggling feeling of betrayal. What he's done with Seth feels right. He hasn't betrayed Tyler. How do you betray someone who abandoned you, anyway?

He lets Seth consume him instead. He basks in the man's kind aura and allows it to settle his unstable emotions. Maybe if he allows Seth to consume him enough, he won't even have to wake up in the middle of the night today. Maybe being consumed by Seth will chase all the demons away.

Chapter Text

He's been awake for about an hour when he feels soft lips touching every part of his face. Roman's eyes remain closed, his breathing intentionally even as he allows Seth to kiss his forehead, his eyebrows, his eyelids, his cheeks, the corners of his lips before they finally rest on his lips softly. Seth's hands are curious too, they trace Roman's eyebrows, his jawline and then lips before the royal feels Seth place the softest of kisses on them again.

"Should I be worried that I will be raped in my sleep? Your hands are very curious, alofagia," Roman says in an amused tone. The hand that had slowly been trailing down Roman's chest and nearing his nether regions freezes, Seth's doe eyes meeting clear brown ones.

Roman smiles lazily, watching Seth roll his eyes as the words sink in his head. "You're here," the genuine surprise in Seth's voice tugs at Roman's heartstrings. Perhaps he should do this 'wake up next to boyfriend' thing more often—even when he's had bad nights. The look Seth's giving him tells him it would be worth it—the brunet's looking at him like he's his world, at least that's what Roman thinks the look means. He turns on his side, his left hand running down Seth's side before drawing the smaller man closer.

"I know,"

"What about work?" Seth asks, making crawly fingers on Roman's tattooed pec, "You're late for work."

Roman's lips touch Seth's forehead, "I overslept." His own voice reveals his awe. He hasn't slept straight through the night without having to wake up in the middle of the night in almost two months. They went to sleep around twelve, Seth and him. It's nearing seven now which means he's slept for nearly six hours. It feels good, really good—to wake up next to Seth like this. There's butterflies that are continuously swimming in his stomach with each second Roman spends looking into Seth's tired gaze.

"I should give you sex more often, maybe then I'll get to have this more."

Roman doubts it—he's not naïve enough to think that the dreams will stop just because Seth and him have taken things to the next level. Yes, their connection feels deeper to him. Seth has easily become his weakness. But a part of him knows the dreams won't stop—because he can never be free of Tyler. So many things bind them together. His deeply embedded feelings for the dead boy. His resentment towards Tyler for never being honest with him. His anger towards the boy for how he destroyed their future.

Roman closes his eyes, trying to drive the thoughts away. It's not fair on the brunet beside him—he can't disrespect Seth like that. By thinking about a past lover and the feelings he had-that he still has-for said past lover. "I'll try to wake up next to you more often," Roman plants his lips against Seth's soft ones leisurely.

"How come you've never before?"

Seth's wide orbs are curious, they're confused too and they're hesitant as the words leave him. Roman stares at him intently, making sure his face is blank enough that Seth doesn't see the war going on his head. He's not ready to talk about his dreams, he doesn't think he ever will be. Before Manuia, no one else knew about them. Not even his parents, because he'd gotten so good at masking what he's feeling from those who care about him. He'd learned from the best, at least Tyler had left him with something.

"Sleep is not really my thing," the words shoot to his mouth before he can stop them.

"Because of your dreams?"

Roman doesn't respond, he's too caught of guard to do so. How does Seth know about the dreams? The brunet's a deep sleeper, Roman doesn't remember a time where Seth woke up because of his dreams. Even on days he wakes up gasping in pain and utter wretchedness. And he's considered it a good thing—he never wants Seth to see him like that. Roman's face hardens—he never wants Seth to see how weak he is in the night. He's already struggling with being so vulnerable around the smaller man.

"I'm sorry for pryi—"

"Yes," the response, again, slips past his lips before Roman can stop himself. Roman opens his eyes, he's not sure when he'd closed them—he meets Seth's widened brown pools.

"How often do you get them?"

Roman shakes his head, "Often enough that I don't want to talk about them."

Something flashes in Seth's eyes, it looks like defiance. The brunet looks ready to argue with him, Roman's face hardens even more than before, his eyebrow raising. Seth seems to get the picture—a small sigh leaves him and he nods his head, "I'm not going to force you to talk about it. But I worry about you sometimes, I feel like you don't sleep at all."

Roman's lips touch Seth's forehead repeatedly before he speaks against the brunet's warm skin, "I don't want to talk about it."

"Fine," even though Seth says that, Roman can tell the man's not very 'fine' with it.

Roman remains silent, he brings Seth's body even closer to him so that the other man is flush against his side. He can feel Seth's flaccid length against his hipbone. The brunet flinches when Roman runs a hand down his spine to squeeze his supple ass gently. His left eyebrow arches in curiosity when Seth releases a low groan.

"Everything hurts," Seth explains. "I don't mind the pain though," the words lessen Roman's guilt. He doesn't have to feel that guilty for going so hard last night. Thinking about their night makes him laugh like a child beaming with happiness, everything still feels so surreal to him. "What is it?"

"We had sex," Roman's still laughing, eyes still on Seth. There's an undeniable happiness etched on his face. There's a tenderness in his brown pools as well.

"You're like a child sometimes,"

"I'm your child."

Seth releases a low chuckle "All mine," his legs welcome Roman in between them. The playful mood's changing into one of seductive need. Seth folds his arms around Roman's neck. Roman's hardening shaft pokes Seth's stomach causing the smaller man to release a tiny moan.

"Permission to enter your turd cutter, sire?" Roman asks in a British accent, rubbing himself on Seth's ravaged hole.

Seth rolls his eyes, pressing their bodies together and accepting the passionate kiss he receives from the man who's about to fuck him through the mattress, "Yes. It's all yours after all," he whispers against Roman's lips. He opens his legs wider, revealing himself to Roman.

***

"You guys finally did it," Manuia's voice is teasing. He leans back on his chair and takes a sip of his espresso, waiting for Roman's response.

"Finally?" Roman scoffs, "You waited five months."

"It's different, you're not a bottom. You don't know how scary it is to think about those big dicks attached to your bodies entering our small holes,"

Roman chokes on the coffee he was drinking. The hot liquid burns his throat but he barely notices as he looks around the busy coffee shop, a few eyes are on them. Most of the eyes reveal awe and curiosity and some of these patrons look at him like lovesick puppies. At least no one's attempting to take their pictures—that's one thing he won't tolerate. Manuia's eyes are mischievous when Roman looks back at him, "Manuia! Know your place, you can't say things like that—"

"Yeah, yeah, yeah." Manuia rolls his eyes. His bodyguard clearly doesn't buy his annoyed façade, granted his voice has a smile in it. Roman can't bring himself to be serious. He's had a great morning and he feels like nothing can dampen his spirits today. "I'm just glad you're a bit more mature now. I didn't get any knocks on my door in the middle of the night from your naked lovers so I'm taking it you actually had a heart this time."

Roman grimaces, he doesn't want to think about how he hurt his ex-girlfriend and ruined their first time for her. Although Nikki forgave him, he knows both her and John still harbor a bit of hate for him. "It was never my intention to throw her out like that," Roman clears his throat. "After the…sex, I felt guilty and I couldn't see past anything except making her leave. I'm lucky she'd even stayed as long as she did. I didn't deserve her."

"You didn't," Manuia agrees. Roman swallows the panipopo in his mouth and smiles. Manuia's honesty is so refreshing to him—even when he hates the man sometimes. "So you didn't feel guilt last night?"

"After…after it felt like something was missing. But I'm trying to do my best with this one, Manuia. The feelings I have for him overpower the guilt. Tyler…he knew how in love I was with him and he—" Roman clears his throat again, a small sigh escaping his lips. He pushes his food away, appetite suddenly lost. "I don't want to discuss him in such a public area."

"You never want to discuss him at all,"

"It hurts too much," the only thing that reveals his hurt are his eyes. Roman's exterior is stoic, his voice devoid of emotion, "I can't have that. Not today,"

Manuia knows when not to pester, "Okay. So let's talk about Seth then. He makes you happy, doesn't he?"

The smile forming on Roman's lips is completely unforced, "We're driving to Tampa today."

"Nice! A little baecation with the bae," Manuia teases, following Roman outside the restaurant. He slides on his shades immediately the sun hits their faces.

Roman pauses briefly after Manuia's opened the car door for him, befuddlement present on his features. "Baecation? Bae?"

Manuia knows Roman's serious, he's known the royal long enough to know when he's genuinely confused. "Vacation with the bae. Bae is a term of endearment, Your Highness."

Roman frowns, meeting Manuia's eyes on the rearview mirror, "But I thought bae meant—"

"Ignore that," Manuia says, already knowing what Roman was about to say. "You're not of this earth, Your Highness. That or you were seriously born in the wrong era. You're worse than your parents."

"That's a compliment."

Manuia rolls his eyes, "Anyway, which hotel are you guys staying at? Did you get Bayley to book one for you or should I call her now?"

Roman shakes his head, "We're staying in Seth's old apartment. I only discovered this morning that he kept it. It's insurance for the day I kick him out, apparently."

"I don't blame him. I would've done the same, to be honest."

"I understand too," Roman says, "I'm just worried about when we get there. To that…building," his voice lowers in worry, "He hasn't forgiven me for that night. What if the memories assault him once we get there and he realizes he made a mistake? What if he backs out and leaves me all alone?"

"He wouldn't,"

"How do you know, Manuia? You're not the one who hurt him. He hates me, brother, a part of him still hates me," a bitter chuckle escapes Roman. "I'm just nailing the boyfriend thing, aren't I? First Nikki, now Seth."

"You're trying, Your Highness and that's enough. It's enough for Seth, he may not be ready to forgive you but what he feels for you—it's genuine. I see it every time he looks at you. I see it in the way he talks to you. In the way he talks about you. Trust what he feels for you and don't focus on anything else. He knows how sorry you are and when the time's right, he'll accept your apology."

Roman's lips purse together, he tries to defeat the bad feelings clawing at his heart. If he's being honest, he's really nervous about this trip they're taking. Every hurtful word he'd uttered to Seth that night plays repeatedly in his head, like a broken record. He wants to take every painful word back—wants to remove the memory of wretched eyes looking at him away. But he can't. His heart's been beating uneasily with every passing hour, Roman doesn't want to go back there—he really doesn't. But Seth's his weakness. There's not many things he can deny the man, especially now. He feels a whole lot more closer to him—a whole lot more vulnerable. So he'd agreed to them staying in that building for the weekend, even as it caused his heart to stumble in fear. Because if Seth ever changed his mind…

Roman blocks the thought away, Seth wouldn't do that to him. The brunet is different and Roman—he doesn't think he'd ever be able to let him go. He won't let Seth go. Which is why he's going to try. Dave Koz's 'I believe' plays on the speakers and Roman realizes Manuia's turned the radio on. He closes his eyes, a small smile forming on his lips and he allows the music to calm him. What would he ever do without Manuia?


 

"Aren't you coming?" Seth stops at his apartment door to spare his boyfriend a glance. Roman's stood about three meters away from him, two small navy luggage bags in one hand and the other one resting inside his tracksuit, it's an emerald Nike one and it honestly looks good on him. His raven hair is tied into a man bun, it looks messier than usual and the man's wearing his glasses. Yes, Roman wears glasses sometimes and they make him look a billion times hotter. Which should honestly be considered a crime—the man is already a hot as fuck exotic deity.

A throat clearing disrupts Seth's ogling as Roman makes his way to him. The man says nothing, he merely looks at Seth with a pensive look etched on his face. He's spotted that look since they left Miami and Seth hadn't thought much of it, but he's getting worried. Roman's been quieter than usual well. And maybe it's because Seth feels like their connection runs deeper now than it did before the sex but the brunet thinks he knows exactly what's wrong with the man. "I don't hate you," he whispers, his arms going to fold around Roman's neck.

The royal buries his face into Seth's neck, breathing him in. Seth bares his neck more openly, allowing Roman to take comfort in his scent. He's gotten used to it—how Roman seems to think his neck is his place of refuge. "I'm so sorry alofagia," the words are whispered shakily against his neck, the royal's warm breath touching the sensitive part of his skin.

"I know," Seth's whispers into Roman's ear, "You hurt me that night, so much. Your words—they made feel so worthless, they confirmed I was my mother's son. You made me feel so useless, Roman. And the final blow was you throwing that money at me. I tried to hate you but I just never could even when I convinced myself I did. I especially don't hate you now because you already own so much of me. You're my heart, Roman. You consume me in ways I cannot explain—and if I ever lost you, I'd be losing a part of me. I adore you so, so much. I don't hate you, I never have, I never will. Please believe me."

Roman looks calmer when he pulls away from him, the pensive look is still there, only a tiny bit though. Seth leans up to place a quick kiss on soft lips before turning away from Roman to open the door to his apartment. He turns the switch on, light flooding his small hallway. It's weird to him—how this place that was his home for over five years feels so foreign now. He distantly hears Roman close the door, his feet are carrying him into the living room. There's a few things that have been moved around, Seth thinks Xavier's probably responsible for that.

He doubts Dean would even bother to come and clean his apartment, even if it's once in a while. The embarrassment is there when he hears Roman's footsteps behind him. The man gets to see what kind of poverty he was living in—again. "Please don't mind how old everything looks," Seth says the words without turning to face Roman. He heads in the direction of his old bedroom and points to a white oak closet, "You can place our bags there."

Roman's still observing Seth's bedroom when he gets the instruction, the brunet isn't sure why but Roman's examination only adds to his embarrassment. Maybe he should've just agreed to staying at a hotel like Roman had suggested. But he wants to see Kevin and Sami again, besides, a part of him has missed this place. His tiny apartment had been his safe haven for a very long time.

"Your bedroom, it's uh, really nice."

Seth's not sure if Roman's mocking him. There's nothing special about his bedroom—the walls are beryl colored. A few cheap paintings hang on the walls, he'd decided against having a TV in his bedroom so the only centerpiece of the room is his queen size bed that takes up majority of the space in the tiny room. There's a bedside table with a lone yellow vase that has a single rose in it, it sits beside the lamp. It's dark outside but the city lights cast a strange glow in the dark room. Seth decides to turn the lamp on, filling the room with orange light.

"Thank you," he says finally, deciding to thank Roman even though he still doesn't believe the man. "I'm going to take a quick shower before I head to Xavier's. Wanna join?"

Roman's eyebrows knit together in a frown, confusion etching his face. "You're leaving?"

"I told you in the car, remember? Dean, Xavier and I are having ourselves a guys night in."

The frown deepens, "You're leaving me here on my own? These friends of yours, you're still seeing them tomorrow. You can't leave me in this apartment alone Seth."

"I've missed them, Roman," the royal doesn't seem impressed with the response. Seth tries again, "I'll be back before midnight, I promise. I haven't talked to them much since you and I started dating. I've been preoccupied with you."

He receives a scoff in return, "Nice try."

"Please, Roman," Seth goes to stand in front of the royal, placing a hand on a hard chest.

"You're not being fair alofagia," Roman sighs, "What do I do here on my own? For three whole hours?"

"Think about me and my hot body," Seth removes Roman's glasses and carelessly drops them on the bed. He gets a warning growl from Roman to which he internally rolls his eyes. "Think about me and all the things you'll get to do to me once I get back. How you're going to hold my wrists," a seductive kiss is placed on lush lips, "And pin me to the bed," Seth's voice turns sexier, he bites on Roman's bottom lip gently, "And then grip my hair while you slide your big cock in and out of me," a deep moan slips past Roman's lips.

He brings Seth closer to him by his waist and squeezes his ass tightly to the point of being painful—Seth's still not recovered from everything that happened last night and this morning. "You're going to fuck me hard and rough and fast, Roman. You're going to fuck me and remind me who I belong to," when he moves away from sucking at Roman's neck to his lips, Seth isn't surprised by how his lips are devoured. Roman's rough in his kisses, he bites and sucks on Seth's lips. Seth releases a tiny whimper when Roman grips his hair—sharp pain shooting through him. But Seth's used to it now—he doesn't think gentle exists in Roman's vocabulary.

A sharp gasp escapes Seth, the side of his face connects with the wall. His shorts touch the floor, he closes his eyes and arches his back so that his ass sticks out. He doesn't know when Roman works him open or when he gets the lube and condom but he cries out loud when Roman fills his swollen hole. The royal doesn't give him a chance to catch his breath as he bludgeons inside him with deep, hard strokes. Even with the roughness of Roman's thrusts, Seth feels connected to him—they're one. The sensations are unbelievable as Roman slides in and out of him—pounding his prostate with brutal thrusts.

Roman lifts Seth's right leg up and thrusts deeper, the smaller man can't suppress the high pitched moan that escapes him. The royal's in so deep as he claims ownership of him with every rough thrust. Roman's breathing into his neck, it sets every nerve ending in Seth's body alight. His body feels like a furnace, his aching cock rubs against the wall, torturing and relieving his sexual frustration at the same time. "F-FUCK!" he stutters. He distantly fears his neighbors hearing him but he can't help it.

"You're fucking mine, Seth!" Roman growls into his ear. He pulls Seth's hair with one hand forcing the brunet to look at him while the savage thrusts continue. "I want you to remember that. When you're with your friends, I want you to remember what we did and who you belong to."

Seth's moans increase with each word uttered into his ear, it increases his pleasure and he bites on his bottom lip, right hand going to pump his leaking cock. "Fuck, Roman please," Roman's gripped the hand that was on his shaft to pin it above his hand. Seth shivers, he has no fucking idea how the man's doing that—Roman has both his hands pinned above his head while his other hand holds his right leg up. The royal's thrusts quicken, Seth's face is shoved against the wall with each stroke.

Sweat runs down his body, the t-shirt that Roman didn't rid him off making him feel like he's being burned alive. The hand pinning his hands to the wall drops to his heavy dick, with the royal teasing his slit with his thumb. "Fuck! I-I can't…Roman, I need to come!" Seth screams. The t-shirt he has on soaks his body and the sensations of Roman pounding him like a toy that's all too breakable make it too much for him to take. He's shaking all over, eyes shut tightly while he bites on his lips so hard, he's going to draw blood any minute.

Roman's lips move to suck and bite at the back of his neck, Seth whimpers feeling far too sensitive. The moans shoot past his lips, only getting louder when Roman pumps his length—viciously. "Cum for me, Seth!" Roman growls into his ear. A tingle runs down his spine, his balls tightening at the sexy instruction. Seth tenses and mewls softly when he shoots his load on the wall. Roman squeezes his length and pumps it so hard that Seth screams, tears of ecstasy falling down his cheeks. He takes everything Roman gives him as the royal uses his body. He feels like he's going to pass out any minute but he takes it, allowing every sob to slip out of his lips with each shove against the wall.

His leg that isn't lifted into the air is on the verge of giving out, Roman is holding nothing back. He presses Seth into the wall, pounding his pliant body relentlessly. When it's too much, Seth feels his body tingle—Roman's utterly possessed him. He shudders violently and tries to hold back a sob—there's intense jolts running violently through his body with each hard pounding. "Rom—" the word dies down his throat when another violent jolt flashes through him. "P-Please," he begs brokenly. "AAAAH!" the scream that leaves him can't be stopped.

When Roman finally cums, he allows Seth's right leg to drop to the floor. He holds Seth in place and roughly pounds into him over and over again—shooting his essence deep inside Seth. One hand moves to grab a fistful of Seth's wet hair, tightening as the royal forces Seth to face him. He brings Seth's lips in for an erotic but bruising kiss. Seth languidly sucks on Roman's tongue, causing the grip on his hair to tighten sending sharp pain to his head. Seth's legs give out when Roman pulls out of him but he's lifted into the air before he can fall to the ground. They're moving, Seth's not sure where they're going—his mind's not with him at the moment—but he knows that they're moving.

He's a lot more awake when he feels hot water soak his skin. There's jazz music playing in the background and he sighs when he feels Roman get in behind him. Lips touch the back of his neck, two strong arms wrapping around his waist, "That mouth you have on you alofagia," Roman lets out a low chuckle.

"It's already getting me into trouble," Seth leans against Roman's hard chest. "My ass is throbbing from all the sex. I've got a sex hangover."

Roman's lips move away from his shoulder, Seth just knows his head's thrown back as he laughs like a little kid. He's in love with the royal's laugh and how his eyes gleam in mirth when he laughs—it's an adorable look that he doesn't get to see as much as he'd like to.

"Sex hangover, huh?" Roman asks, the laughter still there in his voice.

"Yup. You're dicknifying me so damn much and so damn hard, it was bound to happen." He squirms in the hot water and feels Roman's hardening shaft poking his back. "I don't know who that hard rod is meant for but it's not going anywhere near my ass. I'm not going to allow you to cripple me, Roman. Besides, I have to go soon. It'll be nine o'clock soon,"

"Stay," Roman whispers, kissing Seth's shoulder.

"I can't. Dean's probably on his way already."

"But I miss you."

Seth laughs, "I'm right here, Roman."

"You're mine. You're supposed to be spending your time with me."

Seth struggles to turn around to face his boyfriend, his bathtub is far smaller than the one in Roman's mansion. "It's only three hours. I'll be back before you know it." He joins their foreheads together and places a soft kiss on Roman's lips. "Surely you can do without me for three hours. You do it everyday when you're at work," Roman gives him a look he can't decipher. "Actually, scratch that. You text me ten times in thirty minutes and want voice notes of me each and every hour. You can't even survive five minutes without me."

"I can't," Roman admits. He's serious, Seth can see it in his eyes. And maybe it should annoy him how he's falling for an overgrown puppy but he can't bring himself to be. If anything, Roman admitting how he can't survive without him melts his heart.

"I'm flattered," Seth brings the royal in for another kiss. "But I don't want you following me. You'll stay in this apartment or go to the shops but you're not going anywhere with me. I mean it, Roman."

"I won't," Roman's calm demeanor tells him otherwise. But he decides to take a chance and believe his boyfriend.

"Good," Seth grabs the shower gel and gives it to Roman. "Now show me how important I am to you."

***

Xavier's seriously getting thicker. It's the first thing Seth thinks when the younger man opens the door to his and Randy's home. The second thing he notices is that the dark skinned man is seriously getting more beautiful every time he sees him. And the man's not even wearing anything extraordinary. He's dressed in an oversized hoodie Seth knows belongs to Randy and one of those black tights Seth's seen him wear when he's dancing. His lustrous black hair is drawn back by a black headband. So there's really nothing special about his appearance but Xavier's still glowing.

"Ugh, you're getting more beautiful every time I see you. Randy's not playing with that vitamin D," Seth says. He brings Xavier in for a hug, chuckling at the smaller man's low groan.

"I can't breathe," Xavier huffs.

"Don't squeeze him so tight, Rollins." Seth rolls his eyes at Randy's cold tone. He hears Dean mumble something about Xavier dating an ass under his breath and chuckles. He gives Dean a look that says behave when he finally pulls away from Xavier. He notices that Antonio, Dean's boyfriend, is also giving the auburn-haired man the same look. It seems to be working, Toni's the only one that can keep Dean's crazy ass on a leash.

"Randy, it's been a while." He turns his attention to Randy and gives him an awkward hug.

The smile that Randy gives him weirds him out—the man never smiles. He's always so cold and uncaring to anyone who isn't Xavier. "How's life as a rich and famous, Rollins?"

"I'm not rich and famous," Seth shakes his head, "But I've been good, thank you for asking."

"Where's the boyfriend? Xavier speaks so highly of him, I thought you'd bring him over."

"Dean's the same at home," Antonio pipes in. He brings Dean close to his side and kisses his lips softly, "Should we be worried about anything? Maybe the man's planning on making all of you his consorts."

"If only," Dean sighs. "But I'm stuck with your bald headed ass."

Everyone laughs at that, Dean getting a cheeky grin on his lips. "I'm being for real. Seth, if your baby daddy ever considers taking a second lover, I'm game I'll drop Toni, like that," He snaps his fingers and looks at a smug Antonio.

"Like he'll give you what I give you," Antonio smirks as Dean's cheeks redden.

"Whatever," the word is accompanied by a tongue being stuck out at Antonio. The occupants in Randy's house laugh again and Seth can see a hint of a smile on Randy's lips. It's a good thing, it means the cold hearted bastard isn't so damn serious all the time.

"You guys need to leave," Xavier looks at Randy expectantly. "There's a lot of things us friends need to catch up on."

Randy's smile is sun bright, he kisses Xavier's forehead and hugs the younger man. "Eager to get rid of me, doll?"

Xavier shakes his head and wraps his arms around the bigger man's waist, "The sooner we begin this whole thing, the sooner I can chase them out."

"Hey!" Seth and Dean says the words simultaneously.

"Joking," Xavier laughs. He turns his attention back to Randy, a warm smile stretching his lips. "I love you."

"I love you too."

Seth can't see it, but he knows Randy's smiling. He can feel Xavier and Randy's love warming up their entire house. It's intoxicating and radiates in the entire place. He can't say he's surprised when Antonio brings Dean to his side. They're talking softly but with the same love Randy and Xavier are spotting. Great, he's fifth wheeling.

"Can you guys cut it out with all the fucking mushy stuff? I'm being used as a fifth wheel here," he whines. He goes to separate Dean and Antonio from each other and drags his complaining friend towards the Ortons' expensive couch. He doesn't bother trying to move Randy away from Xavier—the bigger man is intimidating and scary as fuck when he's angry. Seth's seen him being angry once when a customer at The Black Vault touched Xavier inappropriately.

"Don't forget your jacket. I'll fetch it for you," Xavier tells Randy once their passionate kissing ends. They all watch the dark skinned man disappear from view as he takes the steps that lead to their bedroom.

"So where are you guys going?" Dean asks, grabbing the remote control.

"There's a Caribbean—" the sound of the doorbell ringing cuts Antonio off. "You expecting anyone?" the Swiss man asks, looking at a frowning Randy.

"No," Randy says. He steps out of the living room, disappearing from view like his boyfriend. There's murmurs from where Randy is but not so loud that the occupants in the living room can hear who's at the door.

Randy's still not back when Xavier comes back. The dark skinned man opens his mouth and closes it, looking around. "Where's Randy?"

"At the door," Seth says.

Randy comes back a second later, face blank. "It's for you, Seth."

Dean wolf whistles, "Delivery for Seth Rollins, in the form of a hot as fuck, rich son of a bitch."

Seth smacks him upside the head, "You don't even know who's at the door." He gets up, making his way to the front door.

"He follows me like a lost puppy!" Dean shouts after him, "Those were your words, princess!"

Seth has a feeling that Dean isn't far from the truth, he's nervous as he nears the front door. If it's Roman, he isn't even sure how the man found him. The door's slightly ajar when he grips the doorknob to open it. He's met with warm brown eyes once he opens the door. Roman's standing outside, wearing maroon Nike apparel. His hair isn't tied and runs loose, resting on his shoulders perfectly. He's carrying two large plastic bags in one hand and the other carries a bottle of expensive looking wine.

"Hey," the man has the audacity to smile at him.

"I don't even want to know how you found me," Seth sighs.

"You told me, remember?" Roman still has that fucking smile painting his lips. "We're having a guys night at Xavier's—that's what you said."

Seth rolls his eyes, "And how did you know where Xavier stays? Did you follow me here?"

"No," the royal's being genuine, Seth can see it. But it only makes him wonder a bit more as to how the man found him. He won't ask though—he's not even surprised that Roman found him. He's not even surprised that the man came after him.

"Why are you here, Roman?"

Roman shakes his head, "I thought you said this thing is only for your three friends."

Seth knows where this is going, "The guy who opened the door—he's Xavier's boyfriend."

He's rewarded with a small smile and a head nod. "I, uh, came with some things. For…you and your friends,"

Seth holds back a grin, Roman looks so unsure. It's an endearing look on a man who's always so sure of himself—it's such an exotic look on him. "Really?" Seth asks softly, trying to calm the royal's nerves down.

"Yes," Roman nods his head. "I, uh," he gives Seth the wine bottle and rummages inside his Nike sweatpants, taking his phone out. "I went to the internet and typed guys night in on the search engine," Seth's helpless against the heartfelt smile on his lips. He watches Roman look at his phone while reading items off of his phone. "It said men like action movies—preferably the ones with big breasted women," a frown knits Roman's eyebrows. "I'm not sure if it's reliable but I got the movies," he hands his phone to Seth and rummages inside one of the plastic bags. "I got this," three different kinds of movies are shoved into Seth's hand. "The action one, I think your friend, Dean? Maybe he'll enjoy it."

Seth nods his head, lips hurting from how hard he's smiling. "The other one," Roman takes the movie from Seth and shows it to him. "The shop assistant said it's a romantic comedy, rom-com in short. She said your friend Xavier might enjoy it," the movie's shoved back into Seth's hand again. Roman grabs the last one, face lit up as he shows Seth the cover. "This one, I picked myself. It's a horror movie, alofagia."

Seth gives Roman a curious eyebrow, "Horror?"

"Yes," Roman smiles, "I made sure it's one of the gory ones where all the actors are making bad decisions and screaming their lungs out. Just like you love your music."

Is this man serious? Seth's eyes remain on an optimistic Roman, there's a minute of silence between them before Seth bursts into hearty laughter. He does his best not to break the items currently stuffed full in his hands as he laughs at a smiling but puzzled Roman. "Thank you so much baby," it's the thought that counts. Kissing Roman's lips is quite a mission with all the items Roman's shoved into his hands. "What else did you get?"

Roman clears his throat, "The internet said beer too," another frown—deeper this time—knits Roman's eyebrows, "I bought the beer. I don't want you getting drunk though Seth. Maybe you should have one glass of wine and allow your friends to consume the rest."

Seth nods his head but he knows he isn't going to follow the instruction—he isn't a child and he can handle his alcohol just fine, thank you very much. "There's chips and other things too," Roman continues. "You'll have a look at them inside." He grabs his phone from Seth and gives the large plastic bags to him.

"Thank you so much, baby. You're very thoughtful," Seth leans up to kiss Roman's cheek, "How are you adjusting to the apartment?"

"I miss you,"

"It's been less than an hour Roman."

Roman shakes his head, "It feels like it's been longer than that."

Seth melts at that, he places the plastic bags and wine on the ground to encircle Roman's neck with his arms. The royal's arms go around his waist, tightening, almost immediately. The kiss is passionate, connecting him to the man who owns every inch of his body—and his soul. Seth whimpers into the kiss, feeling Roman bringing him even closer to him—their bodies flush against each other. His hair tie falls to the ground when Roman's hand grips the back of his neck to feast on his lips.

His hands go to fist the front of Roman's sweater, tightening on the maroon item. Delicious shivers run down his spine. They pull back—breathing ragged and coming out in short breaths. Their locked stare reveals how badly they want each other—it reveals the intensity of their connection, of their feelings. Seth moans, Roman's hand is griping his hair—the royal looking him up and down—his gaze full of unadulterated hunger. The penetrating stare has Seth biting his lips in anticipation.

Roman's turning him around and slamming his hard erection into his clothed ass, his breathing hot in Seth's ear. Seth arches his back, panting harshly. Roman's hands roam the front of his body, going beneath his t-shirt to pull and rub on Seth's nipples. A guttural moan leaves Seth, his head going to rest on Roman's shoulder. He distantly hears laughs coming from inside Randy's house and tries to pull away from Roman, two large hands firmly hold him in place. "Roman we can't," he pants. He only receives a low growl in response—thick lips going to feast on his neck harshly.

"You need to leave," Seth's breathless voice pleads. His hands move to remove Roman's bigger ones from around his waist and he pulls away completely. When they look into each other's eyes—the piercing stare Roman gives him causes Seth's breath to hitch inside his throat. His hands are shaky as they retrieve the items Roman got from the ground.

"I'll pick you up at 11:30."

Seth's eyebrow arches in disbelief, "I told you the whole thing's ending at midnight."

Roman's already standing in front of the black Bentley they drove here. He pauses at the door, looking at Seth briefly. "I'll see you at 11:30, Seth." He gets in the car without another word. The royal bastard drives off before Seth can respond. Seth shakes his head, he's not going to leave Xavier's house until the clock hits twelve. The bastard will just have to wait thirty minutes for him.

It's 10:30 PM and Seth finds himself tipsy, on his second glass of wine. Xavier's declined any alcohol, which Seth still finds suspicious, and has left all the alcohol to Dean and him. Seth has a fleeting suspicion that he knows what's wrong with him. All Xavier has been doing is stuffing his face full with food, he's been getting emotional at the rom-com that he insisted on watching as well. Dean and him have been sharing suspicious glances but they both won't say anything. Not until Xavier decides to share—that's if there's anything to share.

"Have some more booze," Dean shoves another glass of wine in his face. Seth giggles and accepts the glass. This is maybe his fourth glass of wine? Seth isn't sure but he sips down the red liquid—moaning as the goodness slides down his throat. "Alright, so where were we?" Dean asks, allowing Seth to rest his head on his shoulder, "Right…sizes. What's Roman's dick size?"

Seth sighs around the glass touching his lips, "11," he giggles loudly.

Dean moves the right side of his body away from Seth causing the brunet to spill his alcohol on the couch. "Dean! Watch the fucking couch!" Xavier shouts, eyes blurry with unshed tears.

"Geez! I'm sorry, alright?" He grabs Seth's wine glass, placing it on the mahogany table in front of him. "11? Fuck he's huge…how are you taking all of that?!"

Seth giggles again, moving to rest his head on Dean's shoulder again. He thinks about Roman's dick, how the man fucked him against his bedroom wall today. The giggles start again—loud and uncontained. "He fucked me against the wall before I left," the words spill out of his mouth. His mind's clouded, the alcohol not giving him any filter, "He said he wanted me to remember what we did. My ass still h-hurts," Seth lets out small cry. It lasts for a second before the giggling starts again, "He likes it when I beg for mercy. He told me I'll never walk straight again."

"He's a kinky motherfucker," Dean grins. "I like him."

"He's taken," Xavier finally joins in on the conversation. "Remember that," the dark skinned man's mouth is stuffed full of his favorite Blue Bunny ice-cream.

"We'll share him," Dean waves Xavier off, sticking his tongue out at the younger man. "How does he fit inside you, Seth?"

"Because we're made for each. My body's made for him—the perfect fit." Seth sighs dreamily. Dean takes his glass away from him when the brunet grabs for it on the table. "I love him,"

"Whoa," Dean and Xavier say at the same time.

"You weren't meant to fall in love with him, Seth. I told you to get the dick," it's Dean who says the words.

"I love him," Seth repeats, giggling even louder. "I love him and I want him. Bring him to me."

"It's 11:00, you'll see him in an hour." Dean laughs.

No. That's too long. It's too long for Seth's hazy mind—he needs his boyfriend now. He can't wait any longer. He needs to feel Roman's strong arms wrap around him. He needs to be invaded by the man's exotic scent and bask in his powerful aura. His eyes tear up, salty liquid welling up in his eyes. He grabs Dean's shoulder and shakes the man. "Take me to him," he whispers.

"I don't have his number, princess." Dean strokes Seth's back, giving Xavier a puzzled look.

Seth starts crying—tiny cries, with his face hidden in Dean's shoulder. "I-I want Roman, Dean. Take me to him."

His cries deepen, his friends aren't obeying his instruction. Why aren't they listening to him? Seth gets up, his legs feel funny and they wobble. He doesn't make it past two steps before he falls to the ground. "Shit! He's totally wasted!" Dean exclaims. The dimpled man goes to lift a crying Seth off the ground and carries him back to the couch. "Where's his phone? He won't stop being a crybaby if we don't get the gorgeous bastard."

Xavier gets up and helps Dean look for Seth's phone, "This your fault you know," the dark skinned man grumbles, "How could you let him drink a whole bottle of wine on his own? And the expensive kind to make matters worse!"

"Oh come on," Dean sighs. He moves his hands to the back of Seth's pockets, still looking for his phone, "I just wanted him to spill more juicy details."

"I don't know why we're friends with you," Xavier gives Dean an eye roll.

"Because both of you know how boring your lives would be without me."

"Keep telling yourself that," Xavier huffs. He looks beneath the couch he was sitting on. "Found it! How did it even get there?"

"Beats me," Dean chuckles. He hushes Seth down, taking the phone from Xavier. "I'll call him."

"Only because you want to hear his voice, you're such a slut sometimes."

Dean laughs, shrugging, "Before Toni, that was my middle name."

The phone rings once before it's answered, "Alofagia? Is everything okay?"

"Yeah, uh, it's Dean." There's embarrassment in Dean's voice.

"Where is Seth?" the tone that sounded worried a second ago suddenly turns cold.

"He's here," Dean answers. "He's drunk, haha. Uh, he wants you to fetch him."

"I'm coming," the call is ended.

Dean stares at the phone for a while, "Well, isn't he lovely?"

The door rings five minutes later, Xavier and Dean look at each other. "That can't be him," Xavier says, heading towards the front door, "It should take him at least twenty minutes to get here."

"Where is he?" Dean sighs, guess they thought wrong. He watches Roman's eyebrows knit in what he thinks is distaste as the royal makes his way to a half asleep Seth. "Alofagia?"

Seth wraps his arms around a crouched Roman's neck. "Romieee!" The brunet crushes Roman's face, bringing him in for a kiss. "They wanted to steal me away from you," Seth hugs Roman tighter.

"He's drunk," Roman looks back to Seth's friends with a frown. Both men look away causing Roman to release a sigh as Seth clings to him, kissing every part of Roman he can get to. "I'll take him to the apartment. Where is his phone?"

"There you go," Dean gives the phone to Roman. "We'll see you guys, um, tomorrow?" He asks unsurely, rubbing his heated neck.

Roman is still frowning and he's hesitant when he nods his head, "Have a good night Dean, please tell your friend the same." He carries Seth outside the house. The brunet's as clingy as ever, kissing down Roman's neck before cuddling into his chest and giggling loudly to himself.

"Why's your smile upside down?" Seth lifts his right hand to straighten Roman's lips. The royal raises an eyebrow, looking down at the brunet in his arms, "You're so cuuute—" a burp leaves Seth's mouth, he scrunches his face up in disgust, "They should shape your left eyebrow like that, you raise it a lot." Seth laughs like the whole thing's funny to him—and it is. "Staaay," he begs Roman. The royal's somehow managed to open his car and place a drunk Seth inside the car. He's attempting to buckle Seth in but it's proving hard with how much Seth is clinging to him and kissing his face all over. "Stay and fuck me, Roman. This morning you wanted to enter my turd cutter, remember?" another round of giggles fill the car. Seth's laughing his ass off, everything is so funny to him.

"I told you not to drink, alofagia." Roman says in the calmest of voices, driving back to Seth's apartment.

"There you go again," Seth slurs, "Telling me what to do. 'S okay though. I love you just the way you are." The brunet sings the last part. It's a song he was listening to earlier with Roman but he just doesn't remember the name. "But I fucking hate you sometimes. You…uh," Seth struggles to get the words out. He can feel his eyelids get heavy with sleep but there's a buzzing in his body that's making it hard to sleep. "You—you're mean and you don't want me to ask you anything."

Roman's laugh barely reaches his ears, Seth's in his own world. A world where he can spill everything and say anything, "You lied to me too. You never told me about Tyler," he sighs and rests his head against the window. "He isn't going to come back and steal you from me, right? If you promise not to leave me I'll give you babies. Masina s-said she wants a s-soccer t-team," another burp. "I won't allow Tyler to steal you—"

"Seth," the word is gritted out. Roman's hands are tightening on the steering wheel.

Seth doesn't hear the royal's warning tone. He continues in a slurred voice, "They never gave you any babies, Roman. I'll give you lots and lots— aaah!" pain shoots through Seth cutting off his speech. For a second he doesn't know where it's coming from. The car's stopped moving but Seth's still drunk—his mind barely registers anything besides the pain coming from his head. He can't move, Roman has his hair gripped in an iron tight hold. The hold on his hair isn't one meant to bring him pleasure, Seth can tell. The pain makes it hard for him to breathe—he's slowly coming out of his drunken stupor. He looks at Roman—body shaking from how angered the man looks.

Roman's eyes are enraged, Seth's eyes go to the hand that isn't gripping his hair. It's clenched into a tight fist and Seth finds himself fearing what Roman might do. He doesn't recognize this man staring back at him. There's no warmth in his Roman's eyes—the brown orbs burn with anger but they're cold too—so cold that they cause Seth's heart to tremble. And they swim with so many other emotions Seth can't make out.

"I want you to fucking listen to me," Roman starts, voice dangerously low, "I don't want to ever hear that name leave your lips again! This—This was the first and the last time his name left your lips. Are we clear?!"

Seth tries to nod his head but he can't—Roman has his hair bound, preventing him from moving his head even the slightest bit. "Yes," he cries out. There's unshed tears swimming in Roman's pools when he finally lets Seth go with a rough shove. Seth unbuckles his seatbelt and jumps to the backseat. The alcohol's long left his system and he's trying so hard to keep his emotions from spilling out.

His whole body is shaking as Seth lifts his left leg up to rest on the car seat, his head going to rest on it. His hair falls around him like a protective cloak, protecting him from the world and everything that can hurt him—and Roman. Silent tears race down his cheeks, he can distantly hear Roman's low cries. He wants to go comfort the man—desperately. He doesn't though. He's hurt too—by a man he's very much in love with. He desperately wants to, but his fucking heart can't bring itself to regret ever meeting Roman. And so he wishes instead. Seth wishes he'd turned down Roman's offer and left Miami. He should've stayed here--in Tampa. He should've never gone to that park. Maybe then he would've been spared the pain of falling in love with a windstorm. 

Chapter Text

The city is alive and bursting with vibrant energy outside when Seth stirs beneath the covers. The brunet groans and his eyes close tightly, the light in the room is enough to blind him. He decides to try again after a while and opens his eyes, blinking his eyelids rapidly to adjust to the light shining through the windows. Sitting up the bed, the brunet leans against the headboard while rubbing his temples, a groan emitting from his lips from the pounding headache he has. It's the beryl walls that remind him that he isn't in Miami—that he isn't in his room.

And just like that, the memories of everything that happened last night flash right in eyes. Everything from when they'd left Miami to when Ro—

No. Don't say his name.

A pained groan slips past Seth's lips, it isn't just from his pounding headache but from the hurtful memories of what happened in the car as well. Seth's trying to chase them away—he doesn't want to think about him. It's proving a mission because the pictures keep flashing right in front of him and it isn't helping his case how his heart suddenly drops to his stomach only to clench painfully. "Don't," he whispers to himself, there are tears fighting to push out of his eyelids. Seth squeezes his eyes shut and bites on his lips. He isn't going to cry—not over him. He's done that enough. Never again.

There's a glass of water and pain medication when Seth averts his gaze to the bedside table on the left side of the bed. He grabs the glass, feeling parched and chugs the water down his throat. He cringes at the taste, the water's clearly been sitting there for a while, it's warm and nearing on becoming hot. He returns the glass on the table when he notices a piece of paper on the table. Seth opens it with shaky hands, his eyes scanning the white item.

Take two pills with the glass of water.

The paper is crushed after Seth reads the message the asshole left him. He aims for his built-in closet as he throws the piece of paper, it doesn't get far though and falls at the foot of his bed. The fucking bastard is giving him instructions again. And where the fuck is he anyway?

Seth leaves the lumpy bed, deciding to get started on his day. That makes him chuckle bitterly—he isn't even sure what he's supposed to do now. It's just after 10:00 and he'd made plans with the royal bastard. They're supposed to be going to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. Seth loves animals and he'd been looking forward to sharing his love for them with the royal. The large zoo he wanted them to visit has feature shows, rollercoasters and they would've done a bit of shopping in the area as well. But his asshole of a boyfriend decided to ruin all their plans. He's yet again ruining everything they've been building together.

After he's made the bed, Seth removes his ruffled clothing off of his body. He hadn't bothered changing out of his clothes last night, he hadn't had the energy to. Making his way out of his bedroom, the brunet is silent in his footsteps as he makes his way into his bathroom. The door to it is closed and he hesitates for a millisecond. What if Roman's inside the bathroom? Seth closes his eyes and leans against the door, he's not ready. He's not ready to see the other man now. He doesn't even know what he'll say to him.

It's probably five minutes later that he gains enough courage to open the door, only slightly though, so that he can peek through it. A lone brown orb darts around the bathroom, a breath he didn't know he was holding leaving him when he's met with silence and an empty bathroom. The door opens wider, Seth closing it after him. His head is still throbbing when he gets into the shower to wash his body. Alone in his thoughts, the brunet tries so hard not to think about Roman even as the questions run haphazardly inside his mind.

The shower doesn't help rid him of the exhaustion he feels, both physically and emotionally.

Once back in his bedroom, Seth opens one of the luggage bags they brought to see if it's his—the bags are identical and he's grateful when he finds his clothes in the first one he opens. He retrieves a pair of black shorts and a grey tank top, getting fresh underwear as well. He's clothed and feeling somewhat lighter by 11:30. Head still throbbing, the brunet decides to leave his hair untied and makes his way out of his bedroom.

Roman isn't here.

Seth doesn't know whether he should be relieved or saddened by that. But he enters a painfully empty living room—the silence enough to bring him back into his former depressed state. Seth sits on one of his old couches for a while, staring into nothing. He can hear the energetic sounds of a city alive with excitement—there's too many voices speaking at once and Caribbean music penetrates the air. The sounds are intoxicating and they draw Seth in.

His feet carry him to his balcony and he opens the door slightly, breathing in the warm but breezy air. A small smile tugs at his lips when he averts his gaze to the right, eyes connecting with his neighbor, Tommy. The long-haired blond man is in his early twenties and leaves with his girlfriend, he's kind enough to talk to but Seth isn't that used to him, the man's been staying in their flat for about four months now.

"Seth, it's really great to see you. We haven't seen you around here in a while," the blond shouts over the sounds of traffic and noise.

"I moved but it feels really good to be back here,"

"Yeah, Sami told us. How've you been though? Everything alright?" Seth watches the man light a cigarette and for a second he craves it, to take away the nerves and restlessness in his body. He hasn't smoked in a while, he thinks it's been over five months.

No, Seth's mind says immediately but he offers the younger man a fake grin, nodding his head frantically, "Everything's really great, Tommy. New surroundings, new people. It's all going great," the words hurt to utter because everything has been going great until Roman… Seth sighs and attempts yet again to drive thoughts about him away, "Where's Lexi?" he asks. She's Tommy's wild, adrenaline junkie girlfriend.

"Visiting the parents, they don't exactly like me so…" the blond trails off, his right shoulder lifting and falling in a careless shrug.

Seth laughs and nods his head in understanding. More light talk continues between them, Tommy asking questions about Roman that Seth tries his best to evade—he just can't seem to catch a break from everything about that man. Tommy gives up after a while when he realizes Seth isn't keen on sharing. He leaves Seth alone, claiming he has to be at work in thirty minutes and he's already late. The brunet mindlessly stares at the chaos going on in the streets, his head resting on his bent arm.

Roman's still not back when he goes back into the living room. Seth decides that he doesn't care, he's hungry and there isn't any food inside his apartment. There's a small café two blocks away from here, and even though it's noon, he's sure he can convince the cook to make him a light breakfast. In his bedroom, the brunet grabs his wallet, he finds it inside his pants pockets from the shorts he was wearing last night. He doesn't find his phone there, however, and goes to check on the bedside table—it's not there either.

Seth looks for the flashy gadget for another ten minutes before he finally gives up. He can't find the damn thing anywhere and briefly remembers Roman wanting his phone from Dean. A sigh leaves him, maybe the royal has it with him. He gets an uneasy feeling when he can't find his house keys either. He has a fleeting suspicion that Roman took them but it wouldn't make sense for the royal to do that so he rids himself of the thought. "No," he whispers. The panic sets in, strong and fast when he attempts to open the door and it won't open—he's locked inside. Seth tries to open the door again, disbelief sluicing through him.

"No, no, no! Roman, you can't do this to me! Open the damn door!" He screams. He keeps trying to open the door even though he knows it won't open. Bang the door, his mind tells him and he's about to try that idea. He really is. But he stops himself because if he bangs on the door, Sami will have to come and inspect what's wrong. He's not about to embarrass himself like that—he'd have to explain to Sami how his asshole of a boyfriend locked him inside his own apartment and took his phone with him.

About fifteen minutes later, Seth finally decides to give up and walks on shaky legs, collapsing on his couch. Reality sets in—he's been locked inside his apartment. Fucking Roman took his phone and his keys and locked him inside his own apartment. And the worst part is he doesn't even know how long the bastard's been gone. He doesn't know how long Roman will stay gone.

His left leg goes to rest on the couch, head resting on it. Take deep breaths, Seth. The brunet tells himself even though the whole thing is proving quite difficult. He's panicking and his emotions are barely contained. He's feeling a lot of things at himself, at Roman, and he doesn't want to address a lot of them besides the anger, the disappointment and the hurt. He's angry at himself for allowing Roman to do this to him, but he's angry at Roman too. For last night, for the broken promises and for making Seth feel so helpless and so…weak. The disappointment is at himself for allowing Roman to get away with hurting him—again.

The disappointment at his boyfriend is there too—just two days ago the man was apologizing to him for the hurt the royal repeatedly causes him. Seth's not even going to get started on the hurt, he's beginning to think Roman gets off of hurting him.

He's back.

Roman's back. Seth isn't sure how long it's been but he assumes that an hour has passed that he's been sitting in the living room. The front door opens and Seth feels his blood boil with each passing second. He can hear Roman's silent footsteps, the man's in the kitchen. Seth isn't sure what he's doing there, he doesn't care. His heart thuds and his hands shake, injured foot bouncing up and down impatiently. The footsteps get closer to the living room…..

"YOU FUCKING ASSHOLE!" Seth lunges towards Roman immediately he comes into view. His fists connect with the bigger man's chest. Seth is angry, he's hurt, he's sad, he's disappointed, he's frustrated, there's confusion, there's wretchedness. Every emotion is trickling out bit by bit and he has no idea what to do except maybe hurt Roman. Hurt the man like he always seems to hurt him, without the slightest hesitation.

"WHY DID YOU LEAVE ME HERE? ALL ALONE, ROMAN! YOU LOCKED ME INSIDE MY FUCKING APARTMENT AND LEFT ME! W-WHY?" the words come out accompanied by fists aimed towards the Lanuolan. Roman lifts his hands in a surrendering gesture before he blocks a fist that would've gone straight to his cheek. Seth is undeterred though and keeps kicking and screaming, thoughts about embarrassing himself all forgotten. "I FUCKING HATE YOU! I WISH I'D NEVER MET YOU!" his heart's cracking with every screamed word. The tears that he swore he wouldn't ever shed again for the royal are streaming down his face.

"Please, calm down alofagia," Roman steps away from him. It only makes Seth angrier, the nerve of this fucking asshole!

"DON'T FUCKING CALLING ME THAT!" Seth screams. He's hyperventilating and he's angry. So angry—at Roman and what the man puts him through. His hand connects with Roman's cheek when he's an inch apart from the royal. Roman doesn't do anything, he doesn't say anything. He looks at Seth, exterior the epitome of calm despite his ruffled Nike tracksuit, courtesy of Seth's hands. His hair that had been tied into a man bun has slipped out of his hair tie.

The fight is draining right out of Seth's body with each second he spends looking at an all too calm Lanuolan. "Why are you doing this to me, Roman? You said I'm y-your world, remember? You said I-I was important to you! You lied to me!" his voice is raising again and Seth doesn't want it to. He's still looking at Roman through blurry eyes, the bastard still has that blank exterior in place. "M-Maybe we should c-cut t—"

Roman kisses him. The royal brings him closer by his waist and invades his mouth. Seth struggles against him and attempts to push the bigger man away. Roman holds him tighter, begging and coaxing Seth to let him in. And Seth, he's trying really hard to push the royal away, he's trying hard to fight the way his whole body reacts to the bigger man's touch. He's trying hard to reject this man who's touch alone sets his soul on fire.

He fails.

The hands that were attempting to push Roman away just a second ago, go to fold around Roman's neck, pulling Roman even closer so that they're flush against each other. There's a war raging within him as Roman picks him up, lips still on his. He shouldn't be allowing Roman to hold him like this. He shouldn't be allowing the royal to any part of him. The man didn't even apologize for his actions. But Seth needs this. He craves Roman with everything that is in him.

And so Seth allows it when Roman lays him on the bed gently. He doesn't try to stop the Lanuolan royal when his clothes are taken off of his body. He opens his legs instead, allowing the royal to work him open. Roman is slow and gentle as he works his body, kissing each and every inch of his body—worshipping him. Seth's eyes close, teeth nibbling on his bottoms lip. Roman's nudging his cock against Seth's hole, he teases the brunet's warm cavern. Emotional doe eyes meet unreadable brown orbs, Roman seeking permission from him.

Seth isn't looking at Roman when he nods his head, giving permission. The bland walls of his bedroom disappear from view, Roman's entering his body. He's sore and it hurts and he suppresses a cry when the head gets in. Roman's cursing and groaning above him, releasing words like "So tight" and "You feel out of this world, Seth". Seth opens his eyes to look at him, the royal has his eyes squeezed shut, arms resting on either side of Seth's shoulders. Roman slides in deeper, hot and heavy, making Seth take all of him.

He doesn't know if he'd been expecting the man to be gentle when Roman finally starts moving inside him but it's not what he gets. Roman's rough in the way he fucks him, like he always is. There's a pillow resting under his back for added elevation and deeper thrusting. Seth's legs are placed on Roman's shoulders as the royal shoves in and out of him, stuffing him full while pressing into Seth's scorching heat. Seth's voice cracks in barely contained arousal as he arches into the body pinning him to the bed.

Roman's jaw is clenched tightly, forehead pressed together with Seth's. The brunet's blunt nails rake down Roman's back with each press into the bed. He arches into Roman and welcomes him, moaning and gasping into his lips when the royal nails his pleasure button. His orgasm hits him before he knows it with Seth arching into Roman, a gasp tearing out of his lips, "Ahh…" everything inside his body tenses, his stomach clenching. White essence shoots out of his purple dick and his hole clenches around the royal's length.

Roman fucks him through his orgasm, lustful growls and grunts emitting his lips with every stroke. Seth distantly hears Roman's, "Fuck, you're so gorgeous Seth," it's whispered in awe. He hates the way it tugs at his heartstrings. Hates how the man's words are slowly lowering his defenses. Roman's nudging his pleasure button insistently while stroking his length in hard, fast strokes. The royal's dragged him to the edge of the bed, legs spread wide while he stuffs Seth full of his cock and pounds into his limp body. Roman's thrusts quicken, almost as if the man's in a marathon, the man's going faster and harder and rougher. Seth whimpers and clasps the bedsheets, arching his back while trembling from the pleasure the royal's giving him.

Tingles flood every inch of his body, running through his veins. The connection—it's right there, burning brighter and hotter than ever. Seth heart stutters, he shuts his eyes closed when Roman looks at him with a burning intensity. He doesn't want to be tricked by this man fucking him senseless. He doesn't want to be tricked into thinking that he cares. He clasps the bedsheets tighter and holds on for dear life. He's not about to fall off this lumpy bed, naked and wet.

"I got you, Seth." The royal's words are grunted harshly, and Seth distantly hears them over the sound of skin slapping against skin. He opens his eyes just in time to hear Roman repeat, "I got you," the words still come out harshly and breathless. But the tenderness Seth finds in Roman's eyes makes his eyes water. It feels like there's a deeper meaning to the royal's words. The man keeps fucking him, bruising the smaller man's waist while he grunts out, "I got you," with each thrust and press into tight heat.

It's too much for Seth's fragile heart to take, "S-Stop saying that!" he snaps, out of breath, eyes wet with sweat and tears. He's not going to allow Roman to mess with his head. He's already giving his body to the man, knowing very well what a bad idea it is. Seth's breath hitches, he can feel his second orgasm slithering deliciously down his spine. Everything falls away, his eyes closing tightly while his stomach clenches and his body tenses, toes curling hard together. "Fuck, Roman!" he's helpless against screaming the royal's name. His orgasm tears through him, leaving him defenseless, bare and vulnerable. Seth doesn't dare open his eyes, he clings to Roman when the man picks him up. They're not leaving the bed but it feels like the royal's shifting them higher up the bed.

A hoarse cry tears out of his lips, Roman continues fucking into him. The royal's stroking his spent cock while pressing his hard shaft into Seth's oversensitive body. Seth sobs with each stroke and thrust. He's too sensitive and everything feels so intense and so charged, it leaves him breathless. He clenches around the cock filling him, it causes Roman to growl out.

Roman's being gentle this time.

The pace drives Seth delirious with unimaginable pleasure. He's in pure bliss, legs folded around Roman's waist as the royal takes him slow and gentle—driving his cock into wet velvety heat. The man has his hands around Seth's waist so that they're flush against each other, pressed so tightly together that Seth can hear the unsteady rhythm of Roman's heartbeat. Seth's wet all over, his isn't in this world and his mind's unfocused but he somehow manages to hear Roman's, "Say it," it's commanded gently, right into his ear.

Seth panics, he knows what the man wants him to say. His eyes are still squeezed shut, arms folded around Roman's neck—clinging. His heart's on the verge of exploding. "N-No," he stutters, finding it hard to utter any word with how sweet the man's fucking into him. He refuses to think of it as love making, Roman's proving to him everyday how he's incapable of loving him. You don't hurt the ones you love.

"Say it Seth," the royal commands again, with the same soft tone from before. His thrusts are still gentle, he works Seth's body and the smaller man swears he can't even feel his lower body anymore. He just lays on the bed and allows Roman to move in and out of him passionately slow. "Say it, baby. Please say it," the tone's begging now. It's breathless and it's begging, breathing so close into Seth's ear it sends charged shivers down his spine. He can feel Roman's lips touching his earlobe.

"No," Seth repeats. He arches into Roman, mouth opened in silent screams and cracked moans, his prostate is being overstimulated as Roman's hard cock pegs on it causing electrical jolts to flash through Seth's body. His eyes open, vision blanking out and then coming back again with every nudge to that spot inside him. Roman's pleading is slowly getting to him—his mouth opens only to close again. He'd said the words last night and he got hurt even if he'd uttered them while drunk, he'd still said them and he'd got burnt in the end. No. He's not going to say them.

"Tell me, Seth."

Don't say it. It's a mantra he repeats over and over again in his head, "I-I love you," the words shoot past his lips without permission.

The response seems to satisfy Roman, he says nothing else and picks up his pace a little. Seth's heart cracks with each passing minute. He feels disappointed in himself—again. This man above him using his body doesn't feel the same for him. All he wants to do is take and take until Seth is left with nothing, "Get off me! I want you out of me!" Seth claws at Roman's chest, attempting to push the other man away. His vision is blurry again but he can see Roman's confusion as he looks down at him. It makes Seth angrier, why is the bastard confused? Can't he see how he's hurting him?

Seth trashes on the bed, struggling to get away from Roman. He's falling apart, his breathing has quickened and guttural cries fall of his lips. He just wants to get away. "Roman please! Get off me, you're hurting me!" He screams through teary eyes. And it breaks him how immediately Roman scurries to get out of him, he misses the royal being inside him. He wants to scream at Roman for obeying him. He wants to scream at Roman for making him this way. "Why did you do this to me?! I-I hate you!" Seth screams pushing Roman away from him. He's responsible for this, Roman's responsible for everything that's happening.

He falls off the bed, he still can't feel his legs. Roman's arms wrap around him and Seth freaks out, crawling away from him. He finds his clothes neatly placed on the chair across the bed and puts them on with shaky hands. He's still finding it to breathe and he's crying hysterically, his whole body smells like sex and his cum smears a bit of his chest and his midsection. "Don't come near me!" the words are screamed at a royal who's footsteps resemble someone who approaches an animal ready to attack. Roman's still naked and his hands are lifted in a surrendering gesture.

"I just want to help you, alofagia."

Seth shakes his head frantically, he doesn't want the bastard to help him. He's already dressed in his shorts and limping his way into the closet to get a fresh t-shirt. He opens the first luggage bag he sees and retrieves a black t-shirt. It's huge and goes below his thighs, the royal son of a bitch's scent invading him. It brings him the comfort he craves but repulses him at the same time. He slides on a black Nike sneaker on his left foot and feels around the shorts he's wearing. His wallet is still there. He rushes to the bathroom and rinses his face, using the hair tie on his wrist to tie his messy brown mane.

He's at the front door when he hears Roman's voice, "Where are you going Seth?" it sounds so soft.

If he's being honest, Seth isn't sure. All he knows is that he needs to get away from Roman. The man's breaking him down and taking everything from him. He needs to be away from him. Seth turns to face the royal, the man's now wearing a pair of indigo boxers with nothing else. He's looking at Seth with a look the brunet can't quite decipher. "What does it matter?! You'll fucking find me anyway!" he opens the door, heart beating fast and fear drowning him when Roman's arms settle on his waist, preventing him from leaving.

Mrs. Frank's door opens, the old lady steps out of her apartment. She doesn't spot them for a second, her eyes on her opened purse. But her eyes cut daggers at Seth when she finally spots him, Seth would glare just as meanly but his heart's beating so hard and breaking into a million pieces at the same time. Her eyes travel upwards until they meet Roman's eyes. They widen but she recovers quickly, smiling at him, "Seth, why didn't you tell me you were coming with this fine young man? I would've baked him my famous chocolate brownies! I'm going down the store to buy a few items. When are you leaving I can make them when I come back."

Seth can't respond to the old bitch. Yes, she's a bitch—fake as hell. Roman's hands are still on his waist, gripping him in an iron hold so that he can't move. "Tomorrow. It was nice meeting you, mam." It's Roman who says the words. Seth can hear the smile in the asshole's voice. The woman's eyes light up, clearly feeling important. She bids them goodbye and makes her way further down the hallway towards the lifts.

"Please let me go," Seth whispers once the old woman is out of sight.

Roman presses his hard body into him, his arms encircling Seth's waist. His heart's still on the verge of erupting but Seth remains still as the man breathes him in. "I'll never let you go, Seth," Roman whispers with conviction into his ear. There's a small kiss placed at the back of his neck before the royal's arms disappear from around him completely. The door to his apartment closes and Seth sighs, resting against it briefly before deciding to leave, no destination in mind.


 

It's 09:27 PM, and Roman finds himself at a place too crowded and too loud for his liking. The music that blasts the speakers is tacky but all these people crowding the dancefloor seem to think differently. They grind and move against each other, colored lights flickering past their features. He's on his first glass of whisky and third beverage for the night. He watches Seth and another man with red short cropped hair dance freely, the man's hands unashamedly roaming what's his.

Seth had been right about him finding the smaller man. It's never hard to track Seth down, he has so many resources available at the palm of his hands. But what Seth never gets is that he's only looking out for both of them. Granted, it's for his own peace of mind than it is for Seth because he can't go through what he went through with Tyler again. So today he'd spent his entire day watching Seth from a distance to ensure that everything was okay with him. He'd followed Seth and parked his car a block away from Xavier's house while Seth spent close to two hours there. And then he'd followed Seth to Lakefield park—the place they first met.

And now he finds himself in this club, he's been here for an hour. Watching from a distance in a dark corner of the club while Seth drowns himself in alcohol. He doesn't know how many shots the smaller man has downed since he entered the club. But he's getting used to the brunet's routine now—dance for five to ten minutes with random men then go back to the bar area. He'll be lying if he says the sight playing in front of him doesn't anger him because it does, deeply. But Roman knows he has no right to feel that way—he's responsible for everything that's happening at the moment. Everything from how he'd reacted last night to this morning when he took Seth's key and left him inside the apartment without saying where he was going.

Four. He'd left at four in the morning, taking Seth's keys out of an irrational fear that the man might try to leave him because of last night. He'd ended up at an empty park where he found a hobo alone at one of the benches. The rest of his time was spent talking to the homeless man at a twenty-four diner not too far from where Seth lives. He'd talked and cried and spilled and babbled about almost everything that's been going on in his life since he's met Seth. And then he'd drove around, a tactic he was using to avoid seeing Seth and the confrontation he knew was coming.

If he's being honest, Roman would've stayed away a bit longer from Seth. Maybe take one or two days away from the smaller man. Hell, if he could, he'd probably have taken a week away from him. Like he did with Nikki that one time…but he couldn't. Because he's drawn to Seth—the smaller man's managed to touch his soul—so much so that Roman wouldn't know what to do without him. In the few hours that he was away from Seth he'd missed him, it happens every time. He can't be without Seth which is why after the hours spent running away he'd decided to go back to that apartment.

And then Seth had launched himself at him….

Roman doesn't blame him, he knows how badly he's failing in the boyfriend department. He knows how badly his actions hurt Seth. He knows that he isn't trying hard enough. He doesn't deserve a man like Seth. He doesn't deserve the man's love. Roman groans, drinking the whisky in his hand in one go—Seth loves him. Even though he shouldn't, the brunet still loves him. Roman feels the same way. He thinks he does. But he's hurting the man—he isn't sure how to love him. After Tyler he wasn't ever sure how to really love again. He doesn't think he's courageous enough to love that way again. But he can't lose Seth, he still wants the smaller man with everything in him…..

A heavy sigh leaves him, one hand rubbing his face tiredly. Roman's never been this confused and emotionally unstable in a very long time. The one thing he's sure of is that he wants Seth—it's the only thing he's sure of. The rest…it will work itself out. He just needs to try harder and show Seth why he's worthy.

He looks at the dancefloor, looking for Seth's lean but muscled body—the brunet isn't there. He checks his watch noticing that ten minutes have passed which means Seth's gone back to the bar area. His eyes scan the place, settling on his black t-shirt that is floating off Seth's body. The red-haired man he was dancing with is at the bar area with him, the son of a bitch has an arm around Seth. Roman's eyes narrow in on the interaction. Seth has his head on the man's shoulder and he's shaking. He looks like he's…crying.

Roman's on his feet before he can change his mind. He nears the bar area, the man now has an arm on Seth's waist, hugging him close. Tiny hiccups leave a clearly drunk Seth, he's clinging to red-haired man. The man averts his blue eyes to him, looking confused, "Can I help you man?"

"He's crying. Why?" Roman's eyes connect with a drunk Seth's unfocused brown orbs. He raises an eyebrow and the brunet's brown pools widen.

"It's none of your business," Roman looks the man up and down. The man's probably an inch shorter than him and wears a leather jacket and tightfitting light wash jeans. The man has his eyes narrowed at him in a way that says 'Touch him and I'll whoop your ass!'

Roman decides the man isn't worth his time. All he wants is the brunet still clinging to him with unfocused eyes. His expression softens and he tries for a gentle smile that he hopes tells Seth to trust him. "Alofagia," he begins softly. "Come here."

Seth's arms disappear from the red-haired man's neck but he remains standing besides the man. "Do you know this man, pretty boy?"

Roman sighs. What is it with everyone and calling his boyfriend, pretty boy? "O mai iinei, alofagia." He beckons Seth to come to him with two fingers.

The brunet is hesitant in his footsteps when he wobbles towards him. They look into each other's eyes when Seth stands right in front of him. Roman's right hand goes to the back of Seth's neck, gripping gently. Soft lips touch a sweaty forehead and he feels Seth shake. "Why did you leave me Roman?" the brunet slurs, arms around Roman's waist.

"Roman? So this is the fucking prick who locked you inside your house pretty boy? This is the jerk who hurt you?!" red-haired dude's voice raises slightly above the loud music.

Roman nails him with a hard look, his eyebrow arched in distaste. "We're leaving Seth," he tells the brunet holding onto his waist.

"Wait, you asshole! You can't just leave with him like that. You're the reason he's crying!" Roman walks away from the punk bastard. His right arm balances a stumbling Seth until they're out of the club.

He hoists Seth into his arms and carries him towards his car. "Are you going to hurt me like yesterday, Roman?" the words are slurred, little laughs falling of Seth's lips.

"I'm sorry Seth," Roman whispers, bringing the smaller man closer to him, "I'm sorry for everything."

"You always say that," Seth mumbles the words incoherently, "Sorry should've been your name instead." His hysterical laughs turn into small cries before they transition into occasional hiccups.

Roman closes his door for him and goes to the other side. Seth is asleep when he enters the car and begins the drive to back to the brunet's apartment. His gaze keeps alternating between the road and the man snoring loudly in the car. Your fault, the words keep taunting him. They play over and over again in his head. And it's true, it's his fault that they find themselves here.

Getting the door to open is a mission, Seth's now half awake and clinging to him like he did the previous night. The brunet slurs jumbled words loudly and the only words Roman makes out are 'toilet'. He places Seth on the ground carefully, allowing Seth to crush his face and kiss his lips. The alcohol is heavy on Seth's tongue and it causes Roman to cringe but he allows the smaller man to invade his mouth. "I love you Roman," Seth mumbles pulling away from Roman and stumbling into the bathroom.

Roman settles on the couch, waiting on the brunet to come back from the bathroom so that he can help him to bed. Seth comes back a minute later, Roman frowns, he looks Seth up and down. Seth's pants are gone, Roman isn't sure if he still has his underwear on because the t-shirt makes it impossible to see. But the brunet's thighs are in full view, he staggers towards Roman, only stopping once he's in front of a seated royal.

The black t-shirt falls off Seth a bit, revealing a smooth tanned shoulder. "I-I, uh…" Seth points a finger at Roman, while he looks at the royal with hazy eyes. "Row-man," he starts, slurring Roman's name. The finger that was pointing at Roman joins the rest of his fingers so that they're wringing together as he continues, "I'm leaving you. I-I want to start over."

Roman doesn't mean to, but he laughs—bitterly. This whole scene in front of him is strangely familiar. The surroundings are different, the words here and there but everything is so familiar that his mind drifts back to three years ago.

"Roman," his name is said softly. He's not used to the softness in which his girlfriend says his name. Normally she says the words with anger in her voice, other times it's frustration and other times she says his name sadly, with tears in her eyes but there's also a few times she's said it with pure joy.

Roman's eyes lift from his laptop, he'd been busy in his study with a proposal about a company that's in dire need of funding. "Nikki, I didn't know you were coming." He gets up and goes to stand in front of her, looking at her intently. She looks gorgeous in a red body hugging dress and black pumps. Red's a great color on her, she looks radiant. "You did your hair again. It looks beautiful, just like it's owner," Roman pulls her in for a kiss on the forehead but Nikki moves out of his touch. Roman's puzzled and his eyebrow arches in question, "Is anything the matter? Do you need anything?"

Nikki shakes her head and moves to stare at the endless green trees through the large windows in Roman's study, "I…came to tell you that—" a sigh slips past her lips. Roman doesn't like the tone of her voice—there's something there. He can tell he isn't going to like it. "This isn't easy on me, Roman. B-But I-I think that maybe we should go our s-separate ways. Y-You're clearly not ready for a relationship."

His heart shatters but Roman's voice is level as he says, "Oh?"

Nikki still isn't looking at him but her voice is cracking and Roman knows she's crying. It's all she ever does when she's with him—it never seems to matter how hard he's trying, "Y-You're not ready for love. Half the time y-you don't even know what you want. I'm important to you one day and w-worthless the next."

"You are important, Nikki," Roman says softly, meaning every word he says.

Nikki scoffs, eyes wet with tears, "And your definition of important is kicking me out of your house at fucking 01:00 AM after I've given myself to you. Is that how important I am to you? That you ignore my calls and behave cold towards me? That you pull these disappearing acts leaving me worried sick and then pretend that nothing ever happened when you come back?! You don't hurt those who love you Roman! You don't make them feel bad for loving you!" Nikki finally looks at him. "And with you, I always hate myself for loving you," she shakes her head, moving away from the window to stand in front of Roman. "I don't think I'm the person for you. I can't do this anymore, Roman, I'm so sorry."

"You can't do it because you'd rather do it with John, right?" his voice is cold as he asks the question. Nikki's eyes widen, she looks away from Roman, mouth gaping like a fish out of water. Roman turns away from her. He grabs the bottle of whisky on his sparkling table. "You're right Nikki. You're not the one for me. Leave my house."

Roman doesn't realize that his face is wet with tears. He keeps staring at a slurring Seth who's struggling to remain standing. The man keeps mumbling incoherent words about leaving and starting afresh somewhere. And Roman's getting agitated by the minute. He stands up and walks towards Seth, gripping the man's hair so that Seth is looking at him, "You're not leaving me Seth," he whispers coldly.

Seth giggles loudly and stumbles into Roman's chest, "You can't tell me what to do, Romie. I, uh—" the brunet burps in Roman's face, a frown knitting his eyebrows, "I don't want you anymore. I don't want to give you babies anymore."

Roman's jaw clenches hard at Seth's words—they cut deep. Seth has no idea how deep his words cut him. Roman's hands are shaking, his heart feels like it's being trampled on. He cuts his eyes at an unfocused Seth and turns away from him before he can do something he'll regret. His whole body is shaking with anger. Distant memories attempt to invade his mind, Roman's eyes shut tight. Don't think about it, he repeatedly chants inside his mind.

When his breathing becomes unsteady, the royal takes deep breaths, holds them and then releases them like Manuia taught him. He can hear Seth going on behind him about this and that but he mostly talks about leaving. Roman blocks his voice out—he blocks everything out and focuses on his breathing. He flinches when he feels Seth's hand carelessly running down his arm. He looks over his shoulder, eyes meeting a drunk Seth's teary gaze, "I'm leaving Roman," the brunet slurs.

"No, you're not."

"Yes, I am!" Seth snaps drunkenly.

Roman turns to face him, his breathing's calmer. The ghosts of the past are slowly fading into a distant memory. Even in his drunk state, Seth's the most beautiful creature Roman's ever seen. His doe eyes are widened and he keeps stumbling on his speech. Roman isn't sure how he's still standing when he looks like he's about to fall any minute, "You're not leaving me Seth," he repeats, watching the tears slide down the brunet's cheeks, "I won't let you. You're not going anywhere."

Seth shakes his head stubbornly, "I'm leaving you. I promise I am."

"You love me Seth," Roman brings Seth to him. The brunet fights futilely, he's drunk and defenseless. He can't do much with how much his body feels like jelly, "And I'm falling in love with you too. I'm falling for you so hard that I think I'm already in love with you. I'm just…not sure how to love you in a way that doesn't hurt you."

The words don't have that much effect on a drunk Seth, the brunet merely giggles loudly, slurring out, "Lies" over and over again. He pushes Roman away causing the royal to fall on the couch. Seth plants himself on Roman's lap immediately and kisses down his neck grinding his ass on Roman's flaccid dick, "I want you to fuck me Roman."

Roman shakes his head no.

His response angers a drunk brunet, "Don't you want me anymore, Roman? W-Why?"

"I want you Seth. I don't just want you, I need you too."

"You're just saying that to hurt me," Seth slurs, "'S okay, I still love you. I love you even when you're mean to me. I love you even though you love Tyler," the brunet then keeps silent, his hands dig into Roman's cheek, stroking the bigger man's beard. There's still wetness in his eyes and Roman can tell the man isn't far from falling asleep. Seth's head goes to settle on Roman's shoulder—his breathing getting even.

Roman carries him to the bed and places his body gently beneath the covers. He rids himself of his own clothing and gets beneath the covers. Seth honestly smells like a liquor store but the royal bears it. He brings Seth's body closer to him so that his front is flush against the brunet's back—he craves the closeness. Lush lips touch the back of Seth's neck repeatedly. A few incoherent words leave a sleeping Seth before the brunet turns on his side so that he's facing Roman.

The royal frowns when Seth's breath fans his face—he should've intervened the minute Seth went to the bar area for his fifth shot. Seth gets even closer to him and wraps his arm around Roman. Enchanting. It's the only word that repeats inside Roman's as he stares at a sleeping Seth. "I'll try to do better Seth," he whispers against the smaller man's forehead, "I promise you I'll treat you better. Just don't leave me, please."


 

His stomach's churning uncomfortably when he jolts awake. One hand goes to cup his mouth while the other one clutches his stomach—Seth leaves the bed in a run, making it to the bathroom despite the darkness filling every corner of his apartment. His legs give out in front of the toilet seat, "Fuck!" the words leave his lips hoarsely. Seth empties his stomach into the toilet but there isn't much to expel except for liquor he overdosed on last night.

Seth's still gagging and ejecting the bitter liquid into the toilet when light floods his bathroom. He looks back at the door briefly, eyes finding Roman's large build that's leaning against the doorway. His heart lurches, stomach heaving and he turns his attention back to the toilet. He throws up into the toilet, cringing at the nasty taste on his tongue. His hair falls around his face, almost touching the toilet seat while Seth clutches the toilet seat in a white-knuckled grip.

His stomach flutters in love just as much as it does in uneasiness when Roman's scent invades him. The man's right behind him. Seth can feel his presence, it consumes him, like it always does. "It's okay, Seth. Let it all out," the royal's words are spoken softly in his ear. His brown mane has been pulled back and Roman's rubbing his back ever so gently in soothing circles. Seth hates how the man's touch comforts him. He wants to snap at Roman to leave him the fuck alone but he can't. The man keeps muttering words of comfort in his ear and his lips occasionally touch Seth's messy hair.

Seth flushes the toilet once his stomach doesn't feel like it's rolling and doing funny things. His forehead rests on the cold ceramic of the toilet seat, Roman's arms are now on his waist. Seth temporarily squeezes his eyes shut and focuses on Roman's whispered sweet nothings. They're getting to him—Roman's words are getting to him. His whole body is reacting to Roman's words, his touch, his scent—everything that is Roman, Seth's body reacts to. Seth isn't thinking as he turns to face the royal, he crushes their lips together, hands cupping Roman's cheeks tightly.

Roman's words are swallowed by Seth's mouth but the brunet heard the bigger man's surprised moan when he joined their lips together. The kiss comforts him and it feels like everything's ended all too soon when Roman pulls away from him. "Did you just share your vomit with me?" Roman's frowning as he asks the question.

"Yes," Seth whispers. Roman's frown tickles him and a tiny laugh escapes him before he keeps silent. Roman still has that frown knitting his eyebrows.

"As disgusting as that was, I can't bring myself to care. You're kissing me so that's got to be a good sign, right?"

The atmosphere in the bathroom turns serious at Roman's words. Seth pulls out of his embrace, he grabs his toothbrush on the counter. He's brushing his teeth when Roman comes to join him. The royal stands behind him, their eyes connecting on the mirror—there's a lot of unsaid things that need to be discussed.

Seth walks out of the bathroom, he isn't sure if he's ready to be honest. He's not even sure what he wants to say to Roman. He's still angry at him. He's still hurt by his actions and he's still confused and a part of him wants to be anywhere but where he finds himself—in his apartment with Roman. He's not wearing any pants but he still has his underwear on. He's dirty and he's hungry and he battles on what to do first, take a shower or find some food.

"We need to talk Seth."

His hands that were removing his underwear freeze at his thighs and Seth's breath catches in his throat. It still feels to soon to him and he's afraid of what he'll say to Roman. But better now than never. Especially since they're in Tampa so that if his heart decides….

His stomach turns and twists nastily, much worse than the time he had been vomiting. His breathing becomes labored and he's finding it hard to breathe. And his heart literally feels like it's slowly being ripped out of his body. And in that moment Seth knows it….

He won't ever be able to leave Roman. He's completely and wholeheartedly in love with him.

Seth's heart shatters, he hates it. Hates himself. For how hard he's fallen in such little time. For the one man he shouldn't have ever fallen for. His heartrate quickens, Roman's hard body is right behind him, touching his body so lightly, Seth would think he's imagining things if Roman's scent wasn't consuming him. He straightens his body, allowing his underwear to fall at his feet. Roman's hands are touching his arms, goosebumps remaining behind from the man's touch as he runs his hands down Seth's arms.

"We need to talk Seth…please," the man says again in a soft unsure voice.

Roman's right, Seth knows he is. He turns to face the bigger man and nods his head. He settles on the edge of the bed while Roman grabs the chair across the room and places it in front of him, sitting down so that they're face to face.

Seth remains silent, he's not sure if he can even utter a word at the moment. He's feeling so many things and fears breaking apart or snapping angrily at the man. So his eyes remain on a fidgety Roman, waiting for the royal to say something.

"I'm sorry Seth. For everything I've caused, I mean it. I'm really sorry."

Roman's words add fuel to the fire burning within him. It's all the man ever does and Seth wants to tell him to fuck himself with his fake ass sorries. He has the mind to leave Roman alone in this fucking apartment without saying a single word to him. But he doesn't. Because when it comes to the bastard, he never can do a lot of things.

"You hurt me Roman. All you ever seem to do is hurt me. Why?"

Roman's eyes widen, fidgeting on his chair even more than before. He looks like a scolded child, he always seems to look like a child to Seth. Which is quite funny because with as much as Roman is childish in his antics, he's also very much an adult. One who commands respect and who's whole aura exudes dominance and power. But right now, he just looks like a child. A child who doesn't seem to have a response for an agitated Seth.

Seth's eyes remain fixated on Roman, he folds his arms across his chest and waits for a response. They have the whole day and Seth…he isn't leaving this place without a response. To hell with the fact that they're supposed to leave for Miami tomorrow. He isn't going anywhere with Roman if he doesn't get any answers today. Seth's eyes go to the bedside watch, it's 03:55 AM, and he's assuming that about five minutes have passed and he still hasn't received a response.

"Roman, I will fucking leave you here if you don't answer me! You're not a mute, fucking answer me!"

The royal jumps at the instruction—another first that Seth's getting to see. Roman meets his gaze, Seth makes sure his eyes reveal how serious he is. "I'm sorry, alofagia." It's not the response he wants. The fucking asshole is testing his patience.

"Why did you hurt me, Roman?" Seth asks again, voice deceptively even, despite the storm brewing within him. "On Friday, I thought you were going to hit me. You scared me Roman. Why?!" his voice is lifting again and he's trying to calm down but it's proving impossible with how worked up he's making himself.

"I would never lay a hand on you Seth," the words are whispered firmly.

Seth scoffs, blinking back the tears, "I don't know with you anymore. I want you to tell me why you're treating me the way you are. My phone—why'd you take my phone? Why did you lock me inside my apartment? Like some fucking possession!"

"You're right alofagia," Roman nods his head softly, "You're not a possession and I'm sorry for treating you like one. I didn't mean to hurt you and I'm sorry."

Seth knows what the bastard's doing, he's fucking apologizing to evade Seth's questions. To avoid any confrontation. At least, that's what Seth thinks the man is doing. "I don't care for your apologies, Roman! I want you to fucking tell me…why are you hurting me?!" he shouts.

"I don't know," Roman whispers, hands hiding his face right after . Seth hears his muffled groan before the man looks at him, "I'm not sure, Seth. I was just…angry," the last word is whispered.

Okay. Now they're getting somewhere, "Why?" Seth's voice is gaining confidence, it's firmer.

There's silence again but Seth stands his ground. He nails Roman with a look that's meant to show the bigger man how fucking serious he is. It seems to be working….

"Because of what you said," Roman clears his throat and drops eye contact to look at his palms but Seth can see how his eyebrows are furrowed, "About him…T-Tyler."

The tears roll down his cheeks, making him feel so weak. It's all he ever seems to do nowadays. Seth wipes them away forcefully, "And what did I say that was so bad you thought I-I deserved the treatment you gave me?! Or maybe I should end this right now and you can go to your Tyler. He's clearly more important than me if you're hurting me for even mentioning his name to you. Maybe you're still in love with him. Tell me now and save me a trip back to Miami. We can end things right now and—"

"I can't do that Seth. I can't leave you and you…you said you wouldn't leave me."

"M-Maybe I should. You don't deserve me,"

"I know,"

"Then what are you doing here with me? What do you want from me?"

"I'm here because I want to be with you. I'm here because I love you."

The words leave Seth speechless, they've caught him off guard. He looks at Roman, the man's gaze is still on his hands. He's not sure whether to believe him or not—the bastard isn't even meeting his eyes. But his words sounded genuine, they were spoken softly and they sounded so heartfelt, "No, you don't love me. You don't hurt those you claim to love, Roman," his mind's refusing to believe the words.

"I know,"

The bastard is testing him. He really is. Seth figures the royal asshole's lucky he's so patient. He isn't even sure to which part the man is saying 'he knows' at. "What about Tyler?" his mouth shoots to ask what's been swimming in his mind.

"What about him?"

Roman's jaw clenches and the royal finally meets his gaze, that darkness that always fills Roman's eyes when they blaze in anger is slowly returning. Seth unconsciously looks away as he asks, "Where is he? Are you in love with him?"

"Tyler's dead."

There's silence again. Seth is too stunned to respond. His mind barely notes that Roman didn't answer his second question. He suddenly feels bad for talking about the man. He'd been jealous over a dead man. Regardless though, it still doesn't excuse Roman of his behavior. "I'm sorry about him," he looks back at Roman. The man's jaw is still clenched tight, he stares at Seth blankly, "When did he die?"

Silence before, "Ten years ago."

That breaks Seth's heart. If this Tyler had been the same age as Roman, it means he was still a teenager when he died. "H-How?" his mind rushes to his mouth.

The silence is longer this time. Roman gets that look again—the one where his anger is enough to stifle the whole atmosphere. His eyes are so dark and Seth thinks he's shutting down, the royal's dark orbs have become cold. And this time Seth unconsciously shrinks away from him, placing himself further up the bed. "Sui-cide," Roman's voice cracks. He sounds pained and Seth can hear how his breathing gets harsher.

He's leaving the bed to go perch himself on Roman's lap to hug the man close before he can stop himself. Immediately he cradles Roman's head into his chest the man breaks down. Gut wrenching sobs leave Roman, he's shaking and hugging Seth so tightly like the smaller man's his anchor against a violent hurricane. "I'm so sorry baby," Seth whispers against raven hair. He suspects that Roman can't hear him, the royal keeps crying—wounded heartbreaking sobs that crush Seth's heart.

Roman's cries quieten down a while later turning into soft cries and hiccups. Seth cups his cheeks so that the royal's looking at him, "I'm so sorry, Roman," he says softly. Roman doesn't respond verbally but he presses their lips together. The kiss is so hard—Roman invades his mouth and bites on his lips, kissing him harshly. A sound of surprise leaves Seth's lips when Roman picks him up and moves with Seth still in his arms.

His back touches the bed and his legs are spread wide by shaky hands. Cold air hits his nether regions before a weight settles in between his thighs. Seth finds himself pinned under Roman, the man pressing his body into him. Seth wraps his arms around Roman's neck and tries to keep up with how hard he's being kissed. He can feel Roman's length hot and heavy at his entrance, he moans softly and pushes back on it. "Condom, Roman," he whispers against the royal's lips.

Roman disappears for what feels like a second before Seth feels his thick cock rubbing at his entrance again. Seth's blunt nails dig into Roman's back when the man presses into his aching chute. He's barely given a chance to catch his breath before Roman begins moving. And when the royal moves, he moves hard and rough—more so than usual. Seth bites on his lips to suppress his cries, this is different from the other times.

It almost feels like that time Roman was kissing him punishingly because of that old man. The royal's hands are everywhere, they're gripping his hair, holding him to the bed while he moves in and out of Seth's body, slamming into him hard enough the bed creaks and bangs against the wall. Wounded growls and grunts are drawn out of Roman's lips with each violent thrust. The big hands continue their wandering, they bruise and dig into Seth's skin, gripping his waist and holding his wrists so hard Seth just knows there'll be marks imprinted on his skin.

It takes looking into Roman's eyes for Seth to realize that he's being used to fight whatever demons are haunting Roman. The royal's eyes are dark, there's something there in his eyes that Seth can't quite decipher. The tears swimming in his brown pools as well. Seth cups Roman's cheeks and allows the man to fight it. Roman's thrusts are hard enough, they're verging on painful but he still takes it. Arms going to encircle Roman's neck while the man grips his hair and fucks him hard.

"It's okay Roman," his voice cracks. He arches into Roman and allows him to empty every painful emotion into him. It's his fault Roman's behaving like this anyway—if he hadn't pestered and forced the man to spill the ghosts of the past….

He feels Roman's thrusts become uncoordinated and knows that the other man is close. He gasps, squeezing his eyes shut when the grip on his hair tightens so hard, pain shoots through him. His hole clenches around Roman's cock, coaxing the man into coming. His lips are joined with Roman's in a hard kiss when the royal finally cums. Roman keeps on moving, sliding in and out of Seth until he eventually collapses on Seth.

His whole body hurts but Seth still hugs the man close, eyes blurry as he stares at the ceiling. Roman keeps mumbling incoherent words, they range from soulmates to death to babies to suicide and betrayal and abandonment. Seth can't make sense of them and he doesn't try to. He hugs the man close and prays that the love he feels for Roman consumes the royal. And maybe Roman comes with too much baggage—so much of it that Seth should be running for the hills. But he can't. Not when he's in love with the man. Not when he'd promised he wouldn't leave.

Chapter Text

"Good morning," Roman's deep voice has Seth turning away from the cooking he's doing to spare a glance at the royal.

"Morn—" Oh. Seth's words die in his throat and his eyes widen when he takes in his boyfriend. Roman stands against the doorway in nothing but his birthday suit. His hair rests wildly on his shoulders and he looks tired, his eyes look heavy but he still manages to look like a god. Seth's hot as fuck exotic sex god. And Seth—he's unconsciously licking his suddenly dry lips before nibbling on the bottom one softly. It's proving hard to concentrate when all he's seeing are hard muscles and washboard abs and a sexy tattoo on a big arm. He's finding it especially harder to concentrate with Roman's mammoth dick right in his view.

He's seen it a million times but gosh… how in the hell does all of that fit inside him? 'You're a champ', his brain provides, 'Roman's champ'. Seth mentally rolls his eyes—the thoughts he has sometimes….

"A very good and hot morning, " the damn words escape before Seth has the chance to stop them. His voice sounded like he was having a hard time breathing and he's pretty sure he's gawking. Roman doesn't seem to have caught up yet, Seth's breath hitches when the royal rubs his eyes—tempting biceps contract and Seth turns away clearing his throat. The pan that had been frying their eggs is placed on the hotplate that's off. Roman's still standing at the doorway when Seth turns back to face him. The royal's eyes are unreadable as he stares at Seth's waist. It causes the brunet's body to heat up, his first thought being that he's wearing Roman's boxers. They're baggy on him and rest just below the beginning of his ass. But a gut feeling he has tells him otherwise, "It doesn't hurt," he blurts out, referring to the bruises on his waist.

The bruises are a bluish red color, imprints of Roman's hands on his waist and wrists. And if he's being honest, it does hurt. His back feels like it's on fire and Seth won't even get started on his ass. His wrists hurt too but not too bad. His words cause Roman to look at him, guilt flashing in his eyes but it's gone too fast, blank expression shifting back in place. Seth hopes Roman believes him—he doesn't want the man to feel bad. Yes, Roman hadn't gone easy on him but he understands. Even if it's a little bit.

Roman snaps him out of his thoughts by clearing his throat. The royal's right in front of him now, Seth isn't even sure when he walked towards him. His lips meet Roman's for a soft kiss before their foreheads press together. Their connection comforts him as does the depth of his love for the man who's hands are currently touching up and down his back softly. "I'll try to be gentler next time," Roman whispers the words in his ear.

Seth pulls out of their embrace slightly and looks into unreadable brown eyes, "I don't think gentleness exists in your vocabulary Roman," he chuckles quietly. It's a joke, why isn't Roman laughing? He's one of the serious ones, his mind supplies. Seth seriously forgets how serious Roman is sometimes. "I was kidding, baby."

Roman shakes his head, "It's not a joke if I'm hurting your body too. I can't be hurting you in every way Seth."

Dammit! Those words make his heart flutter and hurt at the same time. "Listen to me," he grips Roman's face in his hands, "You. Did. Not. Hurt. Me" a soft kiss is placed on the royal's lips, the man's beard tickling Seth's lips. "Besides, it's not great sex if there aren't a few bruises here and there."

Roman laughs, thank god! Seth is helpless against joining in on it, he's said it a million times—the royal laughs like a little kid. It's seriously infectious. "You sound like a sex freak. Are you trying to tell me something, alofagia?"

"Yup. I'm a total sex freak!" Seth laughs, "But only for you though."

Roman presses his lips against Seth's briefly, "It better be for me only. You're mine and I don't take too kindly to sharing," he pulls back. Seth tries to pull his hands away but Roman grips them, not too tightly, so that he can inspect the bruises on his wrists. He groans—Roman groans, his eyes staring at the ceiling before they close shut.

"It doesn't hurt baby," Seth whispers, "Don't beat yourself up."

"I'm sorry, Seth."

Seth sighs, he knows the man won't stop feeling guilty no matter how many times he tells him it doesn't hurt. "I'll forgive you on one condition…" hopefully this works.

Roman's eyes open, left eyebrow raised in curiosity, "What is it?"

"We need to go out. Breathe in a bit of fresh air," Roman helps him take their plates to the kitchen island while Seth limps towards it with the juice. "Thank you for being thoughtful enough to get the food yesterday." He receives a head nod in return. "Anyway…about going out. There's this really cool place that Antonio, Dean's boyfriend, knows. It's a nature park, we'll enjoy the nature, cycle or hike or whatever but it's just to get ourselves some fresh air. It will do us some good, maybe clear our minds a little bit?" he's a little bit hesitant saying the last part, uncertainty over how Roman will react.

The royal isn't looking at him but he has a bemused expression on his face. Seth says nothing else and quietly eats his food, inwardly praising himself for making the eggs just right. The silent breakfast continues for a while until Roman finally decides to say something, "And this place…will we be going with your friends?"

"Antonio and Dean go hiking there every Sunday. Randy joins them on occasion without Xavier sometimes," Seth laughs, "Xav hates it. He says all that outdoor crap ruins his skin and his hair plus there's big buggy things that just love biting into his juicy skin."

Another round of child-like hearty laughs come from Roman's lips. Seth merely smiles this time while looking at Roman who has his head thrown back in a laugh. He's making Roman laugh, despite the heaviness of their conversation earlier on, he's still managing to make the royal laugh. Seth feels proud of himself, that's one tick of approval in the 'Boyfriend duties' department.

"This is really good Seth," Roman moans, stuffing his mouth full of food, he's going to resemble a chipmunk soon if he doesn't ease up.

Seth knows Roman's telling the truth because of the nonstop moans slipping past his lips. "Thank you," he smiles and finishes the last of his mango juice. Yes, Roman apparently bought two cartons of juice. One is the orange juice that the royal loves so much and the other is mango juice. Seth had felt a tiny bit bad when he'd realized that the royal had also gone grocery shopping during that time that he'd been locked inside his apartment. "So we can join them, right? It'll be really fun."

"If it'll make you happy then we can go," the response is rewarded with a kiss on the lips. Roman gladly accepts it, his hand gripping the back of Seth's neck. "I'll take care of this mess. Why don't you go take a shower?"

Seth accepts the proposal without the slightest hesitation. Roman's the neat freak in their relationship and he plans to milk it for all it's worth. So Seth leaves his chair, barely containing a pained moan from how much his body hurts. He limps his way into his bedroom and, yup, Roman's definitely a neat freak. The room looks spotless but Seth gets stuck between laughing and cheesing hard when he observes the made up bed. Masina had been right about Roman not being able to tell the beginning from the end. Seth isn't sure how the man's missing it when it's right in front of him. The covers he chose for his bed aren't even complicated.

He takes ten minutes in the bath to soothe his ravaged hole before refilling the bathtub again with water to actually take a bath this time. Music fills the bathroom when his boyfriend enters. Seth looks up at him with a smile, making space for him inside the small bathtub. Roman's chin rests on his shoulder while they soak in the hot water. His arms encircle Seth's waist while the brunet has his back flush against the Lanuolan's hard chest. The silence that ensues is a comfortable one. It's cozy too, the music playing in the background giving everything a romantic feel.

"Let me lick you up and down 'til you say stop. Let me play with your body baby make you real hot. Let me do all the things you want me to do. Cause tonight baby, I wanna get freaky with you."

Roman snorts playfully, "Really alofagia? How many songs have played and out of all them you choose this one? How do you even know the words?"

"Google, duh..." Seth shudders against Roman, the royal's biting on his earlobe gently.

"The search engine. I thought you hated my kind of music."

Seth entwines his hands with Roman's, "Not more than you hate my music though. I bet you don't even know a single word to the songs I listen to."

"How can I, when all I hear is screaming?"

Seth can't even come up with a comeback. He's getting used to Roman's sarcastic humor, in fact, he's sure he's used to it by now. He grabs the shower gel and insists that the royal bathe him. It doesn't take much commanding though, like he's said before, Roman can hardly keep his hands to himself. Seth loves it just as much as he hates it sometimes.

"I bought an ointment for your, uh, ass?" they're back in Seth's bedroom and still naked from their bath when Roman says the words—uncertainly. He really is like a child sometimes, so unsure and endearing. Seth looks at the white tube he guesses is to be used to soothe his ravaged hole. "You should lie on your back, I'll apply it there for you."

"What? You're too scared to say turd cutter now?"

Roman rolls his eyes, Seth laughs because the royal rarely does that. He grabs one of the pillows, placing it beneath his back before spreading his legs. He feels strangely vulnerable as Roman sits in front of him and runs a hand down his left thigh softly. "You're hairy."

Eh, okay? Roman's seen him naked how many times now? "Uh, thank you?" Seth's not sure if the man's complimenting him. Or he could just be stating the obvious, his stupid brain tells him.

"It's a pleasure," Roman says, gently rubbing two of his oiled fingers just outside Seth's hole. It's swollen and pinkish red from all the fucking the brunet's been receiving lately. Seth sighs and his eyes flutter shut, maybe he should take that joke about Roman not knowing how to be gentle back. Because the royal's so gentle now as he massages his aching hole. Seth can feel it quivering from all the brutal fucks he's been getting. "Shhh…" Roman hushes him softly, Seth realizes that soft whimpers have been falling off his lips.

The royal's fingers are inside him as they move along his walls, massaging and working his sore hole. Seth lifts his head slightly, noticing how hard Roman's concentrating. Both of Roman's eyebrows knit together to the point that they're almost touching, it's his 'I'm doing something serious and don't want to be interrupted face'. Seth can feel the man moving gently inside him, soothing and massaging what belongs to him.

Their eyes connect when Roman looks up at him—it feels so intimate. Seth's heart stutters when Roman gets a soft grin on his face, eyes even gentler. He looks away, embarrassed for some reason, his stomach feels funny and his body feels hot—everything just feels so intimate and it's overwhelming him. What has Roman done to him? Soft lips touch the inside of his thighs after Roman's done. The royal is whispering words against his thighs and Seth can't make out a lot of them but he does hear Roman's, "You're perfect Seth. So perfect."

"Thank you so much," he whispers when the royal comes back from the bathroom. He's rewarded with a kiss on the forehead, Seth can feel Roman smile against him.

It's hot outside, as it always is but Seth wears Roman's navy Nike hoodie and a pair of black shorts. He'd wear a tank top but he doesn't want his friends (Dean especially) to see the marks on his wrists. They'll ask too many questions and Seth just knows Dean will make kink jokes about being tied up and shit so nope—he's not taking that chance. Roman, his weird boyfriend who hardly wears short-sleeved t-shirts, matches him by wearing a similar navy item but it's a sweater with dark wash jeans and Nike sneakers. Seth helps tie his hair into the neat bun that Roman loves so much but decides against tying his. It's Roman who can't stand having his hair running freely anyway.

"It's one, maybe you should contact Dean? Find out if they need any snacks?"

"You…" Seth starts hesitantly, looking away from Roman, "h-have my phone."

Roman clears his throat, "Of course," he passes Seth, feet headed towards the smaller man's built-in closet. The gadget is taken out of Roman's maroon Nike sweatpants. "I…hadn't taken your phone Seth. I just left it in the closest, inside this tracksuit."

Seth mentally slaps his forehead, he hadn't bothered checking their luggage bags never mind Roman's clothes from that night. His battery's on the verge of dying, he's going to charge it in the car. He sends a text to Dean asking about the hiking trip. Dean responds almost immediately, telling him to bring Roman and some food. Seth rolls his eyes, his friend's love for food is bordering on addiction. And Seth won't even repeat what the auburn-haired man's said about Roman. Antonio should probably stay away from his boyfriend's phone if he doesn't want to die of a heart attack.

"Dean wants a few goodies, we'll then head to Xavier's. It's closer to where we're going than from Dean's apartment."

Roman grabs his wallet and cellphone, following Seth out the front door. In the hallway, Seth sees Tommy but the blond man's giving him a weird look. He keeps looking between Roman and him before looking back at Roman. A switch goes on in Seth's head—this morning…Tommy heard them. Shit. A blush creeps up, making his whole body burn uncomfortably. "Tommy!" his voice raises an octave higher.

"Noisemakers," the blond has a teasing grin on his lips.

"Haha, you're so funny. This is Roman, my boyfriend…baby, meet Tommy from next door," the words leave his lips in a rush. "We have to leave now, tell Lexi I said hi!" he practically drags a slow Roman towards the stairs. He's on the third floor, he'll survive going down the stairs. At least he won't die of embarrassment like he would've if he'd spent a second longer with Tommy. The nosy blond punk!

"What was that?"

"He heard us," Seth leads Roman towards the door to the garage, "This morning, he heard us."

They get in the car. "Mhm."

Seth rolls his eyes, of course, Roman's unperturbed.

Roman grabs a basket when they reach the store. His left hand entwines with Seth's as they cruise down the isles until they find the snack and candy one. The stares they receive at the store have Seth feeling quite uncomfortable and twice he's had to stop Roman from going to wreak havoc on the sly yet unknowing souls who keep sneakily taking pictures of them. And then there's the whispers from, "Oh my god, they're so cute!" Seth suppresses his annoyed scoffs. And there's, "They're so hot together!" and of course there's the baby comments like, "Can you imagine the hearts their kids will break?" and of course there's the bitter ones, "The guy he's walking with. He was a prostitute…how disgusting is that? He's a fucking Prince and he's choosing used goods! Out of everyone he could've chosen, he chooses this guy, the whole of Florida's probably slept with him. What a joke!"

Seth looks over his shoulder, the words are uttered by two young adult women. They're beautiful but their bitterness makes them ugly. He isn't sure if Roman's heard their words but maybe he did—what he's learned about the royal is that he's good at ignoring the negative. So Seth decides to do the same, he pays the bitter women no mind. He isn't going to let their words get to him.

"I forgot to take the biltong," Roman drags Seth away from the cashier.

Seth isn't sure what the man's talking about but he allows Roman to lead them back to the isles. "What do you call it again?" Roman's grabbed five packets of beef jerky. He must love it then.

Roman's eyebrows knit in befuddlement, "This?"

"Yes," Seth responds, unpacking their grocery for the cashier to scan.

"Biltong."

"Mhm," Seth nods his head, "In Lanuola, it's biltong?"

"Yes. In South Africa too."

"And you love this?" Seth asks, smiling.

"It's one of my favorites," they exit the store together, going towards their car, "But out of all my favorites, you're my favorite, favorite. Out of all the things I love you're the one I love more than love itself. I can't even quantify my love for you. I love, love you." Seth's left stunned as Roman opens the backdoor to place the large plastic bags in the backseat before leaving a still stunned Seth to go to the driver's side. "Are you coming?" he asks once he's in the car.

Seth startles at the sound of his boyfriend's voice. "Uh, y-yes," it's whispered shakily. He enters the car and looks at an all too calm Roman. The drive to Xavier's is silent, Seth's mind runs haphazardly. It considers Roman's words—the man said he loves him. Roman had said the words earlier today too. Seth hadn't believed him, with all that's happened these past few days, he hadn't allowed himself to believe Roman. But maybe he does. Maybe he really does, his mind tells him.

The car stops outside the Ortons' beautiful contemporary house. Seth has loved Randy's house for as long as he can remember. It's a modern contemporary house that's a mixture of glass walls and beautiful cherrywood walls. He's always loved it more because of the homely feel it has, but that's more on Xavier than it is on Randy. It's just the kind of aura Xavier gives off and if he ever becomes a parent (which Seth suspects will be pretty soon), he'll be the best parent a child could ever have.

"The royals, we're so honored!" Seth rolls his eyes, while Xavier smiles and gives him a small hug. Seth notes that he's again wearing a baggy item, probably one of Randy's hoodies. The dark skinned man's also wearing skinny jeans that accentuate his beautiful toned legs, it's too bad they hide his round ass. Okay that was bad, but Xavier honestly has the best ass and Seth says that as a mere observation.

"Hey doll," Xavier huffs at the nickname.

"You know how Randy gets when anyone who isn't him calls me that. You're signing up for your own death."

Seth rolls his eyes, "My handsome boyfriend will protect me," he leans back against Roman's chest and looks up at him, "Right babe?" he bats his eyelashes for extra measure.

Roman raises an eyebrow, "Xavier. It's lovely to see you again."

Of course, the royal bastard won't respond to him. Seth pulls out of his embrace and pinches his side softly. "You've been suspended from touching my body until further notice, manamea." He tells the royal.

"Anything but that, alofagia. You know your body's my favorite drug."

Seth looks at Roman like he's grown two heads, "You don't even do drugs and that was so baaad. But I'll let you slide for being honest about being addicted to my body."

Xavier looks between the two of them and smiles in that 'hopeless romantic' way that Seth will admit he gets from time to time too, especially around Roman. "You guys are relationship goals!" he coos, sighing happily.

Okay….

They settle on the couch before Xavier disappears for a bit and then comes back with a tray carrying two glasses filled with orange juice. The smile that Roman gives Xavier….

It's so beautiful that even the stars would fall at the royal's feet to follow his every command. Clearly the man's impressed and Seth swears he can see a faint blush tainting Xavier's cheeks. It doesn't bother Seth that much though, he knows Xavier's in love with Randy to the point of no return. Just like he feels about Roman and hopefully like Roman feels for him too. He hadn't had the courage to return the man's 'I love you' that time in the car. He's still scared—because of so many reasons.

"Rollins, so you finally brought the boyfriend?" the cold bastard's voice snaps him out of his thoughts. Seth's eyes find Randy, he's observing Roman with interest. "Roman? Really great to meet you, properly this time."

Seth does a double take—this Randy he doesn't recognize. And maybe you think he's exaggerating but the man really is a cold bastard, his eyes are proof of that—they're a pale blue color, penetrating and calculating. There's an energy about Randy that he doesn't get but Xavier's said it time and time again that it's only because of his upbringing. The dark skinned man never told him much except that Randy had been taught from a young age to rarely show emotion—it's his family's perception of how a 'strong man' should be.

His boyfriend is shaking hands with Randy a little distance away from where he was sitting with him just a few seconds ago. When did Roman even leave the couch? Seth shakes his head, he needs to take some concentration meds or something. He's been getting distracted a lot today. His eyes are observant as they watch Roman and Randy interact, Seth's not sure where Xavier's gone to, but his man is talking softly with Xavier's man. Our men, his brain adds, his heart skids and patters softly at that.

"What do you think they're talking about?" Xavier's back. Seth blinks up at him, the younger man has changed even though he looked beautiful in what he was wearing before—he never seems to have to do much to look beautiful nowadays. The skinny jeans have been swapped for blue tight fitting jean shorts and a pink t-shirt with a rainbow unicorn on it. His hair is tied into two neat buns bringing out his flawless chocolate skin.

"Uh, I don't know?"

"It's obviously about us and how gorgeous we are. They want to spend the rest of their lives with us and will do us right. We'll have shared weddings in Lanuola. Hey, did you know that they have like three ceremonies before the wedding? I don't think it'd be compulsory for me and Randy to partake in that though, he's rich but not that rich. Not rich enough that he'd own an exotic island with beautiful people who are diverse and welcoming. Ugh, that country's so beautiful and…wait. How did we get to talking about your lover's country and what was I talking about before?... Oh, weddings! The whole thing might be problematic if we get married on the same day. Where will we find our best man? Oh…nevermind. Dean isn't into the whole 'get married' thing so he'll be our best man. What I'm really trying to get at is that we'll all live happily ever after," Xavier releases a long breath.

Seth can only smile up at him, Xavier does that sometimes—ramble. It's cute really, especially when he talks a mile a minute using his hands to stress his point. Like he was doing now, but it all came out funny and Seth couldn't figure out a lot through his hand gestures.

"Doll, we're leaving." Xavier goes to join Randy and Seth decides to get up, his own feet carrying him to his own man. "We'll take a quick detour to the bicycle store. Roman said you guys don't have bikes. We're driving in my Jeep, it's easier that way."

"Okay," Seth nods his head.

Roman and Randy leave for the Rent-a-bike store, leaving Seth and Xavier alone in the car. Thank god for the AC and the open windows because Seth feel like he's in a sauna with the damn hoodie he has on. "It's like they've become the best of friends," Xavier says, he grabs a handful of Gummy Worms and eats them a different color at a time.

""It's weird to be honest," Seth says, "Roman's like Randy in some ways. He's not a huge people person, maybe that's why they click."

"I see what you mean..." Xavier agrees, he bumps shoulders with Seth, giving him a curious smile, "So…you look better than you did yesterday."

Yesterday. Seth sighs, he'd been a mess when he came to Randy and Xavier's yesterday. He hadn't told his young friend much but Xavier's ever perceptive self had seemed know to what was wrong, or a tiny bit at least. 'No relationship is all sunshine, but two people can share one umbrella and survive the storm together,' those are the words that Xavier had told him while they cuddled yesterday. The truth of those words rang true after Roman told him about Tyler's suicide. He's willing to face the storm with Roman because he loves him. Everything else doesn't matter.

"I am. We…talked. He's going through a lot and sometimes I don't u-understand his behavior but I love him. I love him so much Xavier."

"I saw it when you were looking at him—back in our house, " Xavier elaborates when Seth gives him a confused expression. "And I think he loves you too, Seth. He looks at you like you're his world. And he's obsessed with you," a chuckle escapes Xavier, "It almost made me jealous for second, Randy's super attached to me but not like Roman is to you. He can't keep his eyes off you for longer than a minute."

"Are you sure you're not talking about Randall?"

Xavier opens a large packet of jalapeño cheddar flavored Cheetos. "These smell disgusting," his flawless face scrunches up in disgust, "And don't let Randy hear you call him that. You're behaving like Dean today," only Dean calls Randy, Randall to get the cold doctor all riled up.

Randy returns with Roman, Seth sees that his boyfriend is carrying an artsy looking tandem bike. "You love these, right doll?" Randy gives two packets of Boston Baked Beans and a Blue Bunny Chocolate Brownie Bomb sundae to a surprised but pleased Xavier.

"Thank you! Tell me what I did so you can buy me these again?" Xavier asks softly.

Randy's eyes soften, they meet Xavier's warm pools on the rearview mirror, "I'll buy you that everyday if you want me to."

"You see how perfect he is?" Xavier looks at Seth as he asks the question.

"Mhh, he's perfect. He's very, very perfect…" Seth's eyes find Roman's on the rearview mirror. The penetrating gaze coming from his boyfriend has Seth transfixed, everything else fades into nothing, leaving him and the man who owns his heart. The smirk that lifts at the corner of Roman's lips makes his knees weak.

Seth finds his mind trailing dangerously close to impure thoughts of Roman and him naked. Under the covers, on the bed, against a wall or on the kitchen island like that time they had a quick one before leaving for Tampa and again in Roman's car at that drive-in. He doesn't know it but Seth's biting on his bottom lip softly as he stares at his boyfriend with intense desire.

A nudge to his side breaks his connection with Roman, or maybe not, he can still feel the intensity of their feelings even with the distance between them. He looks at Xavier and then the packet of Cheetos that Xavier's offering to him, "You not hungry?" Xavier asks when Seth shakes his head.

Not for what you're offering, his perverted mind immediately offers. "I'm not…hungry," his voice comes out too breathless. Xavier looks as oblivious as his boyfriend who's focused on the road. But Roman raises that damn eyebrow, his tongue flicking out to lick his lips. Seth falls back against his seat, allowing his eyes to flutter shut briefly—the obscene images playing in his head aren't helping him calm the problem he feels rising (no pun intended).

"Is everything okay, alofagia?" Seth's eyes snap open at the question. That voice, Seth is struggling not to squirm in his seat. Roman's voice is slow, deep and downright sexy.

"I'm—fine," the tone's strangled this time.

Roman says nothing else but that sinful smirk is still in place, Seth decides to look away from him. If they spend a second longer looking at each other then something crazy will happen and it won't matter that they have company. There's electric current running between the two of them. And besides, his backside is still throbbing though not so badly now. So he can't really be thinking about being fucked by the man.


 

"Do you have a brother?" Dean asks. They've been at this place for maybe an hour now and Roman's glad he came. It's very quiet and peaceful—the trail Antonio chose wounds up and around an endless green of hills and trees. There's a stream flowing with sparkling water, exotic flowers and he's spotted a few mushrooms. He's also seen a couple of deers and turtles as well. He'd laugh at Xavier's screams and disgust about the insects crowding the nature park—the dark skinned man literally screamed and jumped into Randy's arms when he spotted a dead locust.

Seth pinches his stomach gently and Roman looks down at the smaller man,currently sat in between his thighs and leaning against him. Seth's head is covered by the baggy navy hoodie he has on making it quite a struggle to look into the man's eyes but he makes out Seth's, "Are you okay?" that's mouthed to him.

Roman nods his head, his arms tighten around Seth and he kisses what little part of Seth's face he can see. "I don't have brothers," he responds to Dean.

Dean's eyes dim a bit before they light up again, "An uncle? Cousin? Distant family? A cousin's cousin?"

Xavier is giggling, Roman's noticed that the dark skinned man eats a lot. He's in Randy's arms and his boyfriend has a blank look on his face. "Dean!" it's Xavier who says the words in between his laughing.

Roman isn't sure why Dean is asking, he's hesitant in his response, "My family…we're a large family. I have plenty of cousins and family relatives."

Seth laughs and snuggles deeper into him, "Tsk tsk…you have no idea what you've just done."

Everyone except a confused Roman and a mildly offended Dean break out into laughter.

"Oh puhlease," Dean grabs a can of beer, gulping the liquid down his throat. "I was just asking."

"Mhm," Xavier hums, knowingly.

"Okay fine," Dean shrugs, "You have any single cousins or family? At this point, I'll take anything I can get."

"Antonio's right here, you know…" Xavier points to Dean's boyfriend who's about five meters away from them and is barbecuing the meat.

"Uh…" Dean gives him a look that says 'so what?' "Tony doesn't smoke cigars and yeah, he drinks whisky but not like our dashing gentleman over here. And Roman speaks ten languages, he can play the piano and loves cars but most importantly he knows about classic motorbikes and their engines. Remind me why I shouldn't pursue his cousins again?"

"Jimmy's married. And our family is surrounded by females who're married. My other cousin, Jimmy's twin, he's a man whore. You'll probably burn his clothes and car within a week of dating."

Dean sticks his tongue out in disapproval, "Nah. I know how much it sucks to have that done to you. I ain't gone put up with that. Besides, I have a loving boyfriend, my hot Swiss bald boyfriend who loves me dearly."

The laughs start again, Randy snickers, "He's your boyfriend now, huh?"

"He'll always be my baby," Dean says dismissively, attention on Roman. "Okay how let's talk about your music…I bet you like classical music and go to theatricals and operas, eh?"

Seth scoffs, "Wrong! He's a sucker for smooth jazz and he doesn't go out. He prefers the indoors."

A set of curious eyes observe Roman and Seth—silence dominating the serene area. "And you hate jazz, alofagia." Roman's attention is on Seth. He has a lazy grin on his face while making eye contact with Seth's beautiful doe eyes that look almost hazel with the sun dancing in his eyes. "You're so beautiful," he adds, whispering the words.

Seth's hands join his at the brunet's waist, entwining. "He also loves soul music" Roman nods his head. "That song, from that time in the bathroom. Luther Ingram?"

"If loving you is wrong?"

"Yes," Seth turns his attention to the curious eyes looking back at them, "That's a whole song the guy's singing to his side chick."

"…how long have you guys been together again?" it's Dean who asks the question.

"Two weeks…going on three," Seth looks to Roman for confirmation and the royal nods his head.

"And you already know the kinda music he loves, never mind the artists…"

"I've got a good memory, Roman doesn't know what I like."

"I know you love Black Flag," Roman says matter-of-factly, "Your never shut up about how you share your surname with Henry Rollins. And that song, Nervous Breakdown? You said it's from their first EP when you were giving me a lesson on the 'different types of rock music' I do listen, even if you think I don't sometimes."

Roman's rewarded with a soft, delicate kiss on the lips. It makes his heart flutter and his hands clammy, it always happens when he's around Seth. The brunet makes him nervous sometimes.

"Gah! You guys are disgustingly sweet!" Dean's grating voice shouts loudly. Roman pulls away from Seth's lips and looks at his boyfriend's ginger-haired friend. The dreamy look on Dean's face weirds him out, the man's a handful and he isn't sure how his Swiss man is able to handle him. "So Roman, football? Do you watch football?" Roman's face is hiding in Seth's neck when Dean asks the question. For some reason he thinks he's being interrogated now.

"Ambrose, is Rollins your son?"

Dean laughs awkwardly, eyes darting to Randy, confusion present on his features. "Do I look like I gave birth to Seth? Do I look like his mother or father?"

"With the way you're carrying on with the questions you'd swear you helped father him," Randy sneers.

"Xavier if you don't keep Randall on a leash…" Dean starts.

"You mean—"

"Babe!" Xavier turns in Randy's arms, straddling his lap. Randy's getting agitated and his piercing eyes are colder than usual, "Chill…" Xavier runs his thumb down Randy's lips. He leans into join their lips softly.

"Oh look at that…" Dean singsongs sarcastically, rolling his eyes. Aaannywaay, Seth is a Chicago Bears fan, he'd die for them. What about you?"

"Uh, the All Blacks for rugby and Barcelona and Bayern Munich for football. My eyes are on Kylian Mbappé though, he's a PSG forward, very talented and he's only nineteen." He receives looks he can't quite decipher, Seth turns his head to the side to blink at him.

The silence he's receiving is broken by Antonio, "Switzerland is taking the cup this year, just wait and see!"

Roman gives the man a smile, "I'm hoping Germany retain the cup but I'm not against France winning."

"Germany will be knocked out in the group stages. World Cup Champions' curse," Antonio shakes his head. He comes with the bowl filled with grilled meat, placing it away from Dean. He knows exactly how his boyfriend is—all the meat will be gone if the food's in his sight.

"I'll take my chances with them. They haven't been disqualified that early into the game in 80 years."

Seth moves out of Roman's embrace to dish up their food. He hands Roman a bottle of orange juice, the royal isn't a big fan of beer, he doesn't like the taste. Plus he said he doesn't want to risk drinking alcohol when he'll still be driving back to Seth's apartment.

"Awww, aren't they cute Seth? They're bonding over soccer," Dean coos, grabbing another can of beer to go with the ridiculously full paper plate in front of him.

Seth kisses Roman's cheek that's round with the food he's eating, "They're perfect."

"Rugby…it's just like American football, right?" Xavier asks.

Roman swallows his food before answering, "In some ways. There's similar game concepts but American football normally lasts longer than rugby matches. And American football is much slow-paced than rugby league which is much more hectic."

"We'll watch a few together, right?" Seth asks.

Roman nods his head, he accepts the kiss Seth gives him before returning to eating his burger. Seth is still sat in between his thighs and leaning against him. His fresh intoxicating scent assaults the royal when blankets of warm air whips past them. Roman needs to smell more of it, it's his source of comfort. His head leans forward to breathe the smaller man in. Their surroundings and the people around them are forgotten as he removes the hoodie on Seth's head so that flawless tan skin is revealed to him. He kisses the back of Seth's neck repeatedly, coaxing the smaller man into baring his neck, lush lips touch the sensitive part of Seth's neck causing the brunet to mewl softly.

"Ou te alofa ia te oe pele," Roman whispers the words into Seth's ear. He means it, he really loves Seth, maybe his actions don't show it sometimes but he does, "I know I don't deserve to say it but I do Seth. Even when I don't show it."

"Follow me," Seth stands up, he pulls Roman up with him. "We're coming, I want Roman to see how beautiful the creek water is." He tells the others, their eyes reveal that they don't believe him. Seth can't bring himself to care, he made a poor excuse anyway.

Roman allows Seth to drag him a bit further away from his friends. Crazy in love by Beyoncè, he thinks, plays loudly on the portable speakers Randy brought with him. Xavier's singing along and moving his body on Randy in ways that should be considered explicit in such a public park. But there isn't anyone else besides them on this side of the park so maybe it's acceptable. Roman turns his attention to Seth, he finds doe eyes already looking at him in…love?

"Hey," he starts, marvelling at the beauty in front of him.

Seth moves closer to him and wraps his arms around the royal's waist, head resting on Roman's shoulder. The royal's right arm automatically folds around Seth's neck, his eyes close and he breathes Seth in. It's intimate and feels closer to Seth—and that's one of the things he loves about the smaller man. How they could spend hours together in silence and their connection will still bind them, making them feel more than words could ever say. It's what his feeling now, he knows he doesn't deserve it but he can still feel Seth's love for him. It eases him, making breathing come easier.

"I love you too, Roman. So much that I wouldn't know what to do without you…" Seth's arms remain locked around Roman's waist but his head's moved Roman's chest so that they're looking at each other. "But if you ever hurt me again, it'll be a risk I'd be willing to take. Because I can't be with someone who hurts me, I deserve better."

Roman nods his head earnestly, the mere thought of Seth leaving tears him apart. It causes his stomach to churn—and not in the good way it always does when he's around Seth. If Seth ever left, he'd fall apart with nothing to protect him. He's already feels so bare and unprotected, so…weak. Loving someone is in itself allowing yourself to be vulnerable and susceptible to heartbreak and so many negative emotions that he's felt before. Emotions that he still feels now but Seth helps calm the tempest. The man loves him in spite of his brokenness and he's so grateful for him. Seth doesn't even the number of times he's lain awake at night thanking his ancestors for him.

"I'm grateful for the second chance Seth or maybe it's the third?"

Seth shakes his head, "I'm not counting, Roman. All I know is that I love you and that I want things to change."

Roman nods his head, albeit hesitantly. He's not sure what Seth wants to change.

"I want you to talk to me about…everything. If there's something bothering you then you talk to me. I would like it if you considered sharing your bad dreams with me—I know you still get them," Seth gives him a look that tells Roman he shouldn't bother denying it. "You don't have to, if you're not willing but maybe talk to someone or Manuia. And when you're ready you can tell me too…even about Tyler."

Roman considers Seth's words—he hasn't spoken to anyone who isn't Manuia. They still do on occasion but there's so much going on from his past. Manuia knows about it but they both try to avoid the past as much as possible. Just like Manuia's heavy past depresses his bodyguard, his own past depresses him. He can't show that side to Seth—his lowest side. He avoids thinking about it so much for a reason. It hurts—badly. So badly.

"I can't give you promises Seth, the only thing I can tell you is that I'll try. For you, I'll try because I don't want to hurt you."

"That's good enough for me, Roman. Just try as hard as you can."

"And you won't leave me?"

"I love you, I'm not going anywhere if you're willing to try."

"Because you're in love with me?" the words make him sound like a child but Roman can't bring himself to care.

"I'm more than in love with you, it simply can't be quantified. I love, love you."

"Say that again."

"What? What'd I say? I tota—"

"Seth," it's a warning growl with no heat to it.

"But I don't know what you want me to say though," Seth shrugs innocently.

"Don't make me spank you in front of your friends."

It takes Seth a minute, his eyes darken and his tongue flicks out to lick his dry lips. The ravenous hunger consumes them both, playful banter switching into sensual need. Roman grips the back of Seth's neck in a bruising hold to devour the smaller man's lips. Their tongues glide against each other, sending jolts of electricity down their spines. The attraction—it runs deeper than just physical. Roman can feel Seth touch the parts of his that are so deeply hidden, it scares him how easily the smaller man can simply awaken them.

Seth's friends wolf-whistling in the background causes them to separate. "Your friends are quite a handful. The ginger one…he kept looking at my dick print. And I don't know why."

Seth's lack of response and the way his cheeks heat up cause Roman to examine him, a dark eyebrow arched in interest. "I-I told them your dick size was 11 inches. S-shut up!" Roman tries to quiten his laughs but Seth looks adorable right now, with his cheeks heating up and his stuttering.

"And who told you my dick size?" He asks, amused.

"Guessed," Seth gives Roman a small shrug, he's still embarrassed.

"I'm a 12," Roman smirks. "You were close though, I'm proud of you alofagia."

Seth's eyes widen, he recovers quickly though and rolls his eyes, "Really? You're proud because I almost got your dick size right?"

"Yes," Roman says easily. "And because you take me so well."

Seth nods his head in agreement, "I still can't believe you're making me take all of that."

"You take me so well because we're made for each other, Seth. Me and you—we're a puzzle that fits together. Our connection speaks for itself…" Roman runs a lone finger down Seth's cheek causing the smaller man to release a shaky breath. "You feel it don't you?"

"I never understood what Rachel meant about Billy making her heart beat slow and fast at the same time. I think I do now though. You have no idea how insanely my body responds to you."

"Who's Rachel? Why'd she say that to Billy?"

Seth rolls his eyes, "That's all you got from everything I said?"

"I just want to know who they are."

"From a movie, Rob Schneider? The comedian? Please tell me you know him."

Roman scoffs, "I watched The Animal. I know who Rob Schneider is."

"Mhm," Seth huffs. Roman can tell the man doesn't believe him. But he really does know Rob Schneider or that one funny movie he watched. But he remembers the one about the male gigolo too. He hasn't watched the one Seth's talking about though, maybe they should watch it together….

"We'll get it on Blu-ray. It's a comedy right?"

Seth nods his head, "Rom-com. Xavier forced Dean and I to watch it, we had no choice."

Roman laughs, "You don't need to explain yourself alofagia. No one's holding it against you that you love romantic comedies," the royal makes sure that his tone's teasing enough.

"I hate you," there's no heat to Seth's words, instead they're comical and they cause Roman to laugh. "Stop laughing, let's go join the others."

Roman entwines their hands as they walk back to Seth's squad. Roman sits down on the picnic blanket they brought and brings Seth to his lap. The smaller man snuggles into his chest immediately and rejoins their hands.

"If you guys get any sweeter, I'll suffer from cavities," Dean complains, "Seriously, your honeymoon stage is disgustingly sweet. Have y'all even had your first argument?"

"Their first argument happened before they dated, remember?" Xavier giggles. He's eating again, Roman isn't sure what but the dark skinned man's cheeks are full.

"Oh yeah," Dean laughs like he finds something funny, "Back when they pretended to hate each other. When it was the complete opposite…"

"Whatever," Seth tilts his head so that he's looking at Roman, "What'd you think of me that first time you met me?"

"At the park?" Roman asks. "I didn't notice much of you at the park," Seth's not really pleased with his answer, Roman can tell.

"That's not fair. I had a crush on you the first time I saw you. I thought you were a hot Adonis dude."

Roman isn't the only one who laughs when Seth says that, his friends laugh loudly, but the ginger one is the worst. Roman can't say he's surprised. "Do I look like an Adonis to you?"

"Well you are gorgeous, I feel like everything you do comes effortlessly to you. Like I don't even know how you make breathing look hot. You're fucking ethereal dude," Dean says the words even though the question wasn't directed to him.

Roman looks at him, eyebrow arched in amusement.

"I'm worried, man. My boyfriend can't shut up about you," Antonio says.

"Yeah, I am too." Seth narrows his eyes at Dean jokingly.

"Well all I see is you, alofagia. No one else matters to me besides you."

"You're a fucking nine course meal," Dean drawls.

Roman is stuck between wanting to laugh and hiding behind Seth's head. The ginger is definitely a handful, "Uh, thank you?"

The nature outing or 'group date' as Xavier had called it ends well into the afternoon. At five, they pack up everything and separate. Roman ensures that the tandem bike is secured at the bike rack that Randy installed at the back of his Jeep before going to join Seth at the backseat. He'd ridden rode with Randy upfront when they were going to the nature park but Xavier's gotten needy for a reason unbeknownst to Roman. In fact he doesn't understand Xavier well—he thinks the man suffers from moods swings or an emotional disorder or something. But he doesn't spend too much time pondering what's wrong with him.

They reach the Ortons' household and exchange polite hugs and parting words. Roman's tired when they drive back to Seth's apartment. He'd had a great time, these outings are not something's he's used to but it was a great day. Seth had been right that the air would do them some good. He does feel lighter.

"Look at these," Seth breaks him out of his thoughts. He turns his attention to Seth briefly, eyes finding Seth's phone. A gentle smile graces his lips, it's pictures of him and Seth that were taken without their knowledge. "I don't know when they took them but they're beautiful. I like this one the most." Seth shows him a picture of when they'd gone to talk alone near the creek. Seth has his arms around him while he has his right arm around Seth's neck, both have their eyes closed. But it's their body language and the looks on their faces that reveal their love, their connection.

"It's really beautiful," Roman smiles, he takes out his phone when they're at a red robot. "Send it and make it my screensaver." He gives the iPhone to Seth.

"Done," Seth doesn't give him his phone back. The brunet scrolls through his phone instead, Roman tries to see what he's laughing at but he can't, not when he's focused on the road. It's probably a few pictures of them goofing around, but there's a few he's taken without Seth's knowledge. Moments where Seth's beauty would border on unreal that he'd capture the memory not just in his mind but on camera too. "You're a stalker."

Seth shows him a picture that he took the day they had a BBQ in his house. Seth's holding Leilani in his arms and the little girl is whispering into his ear. The brunet looks gorgeous in the picture. He looks happy, the glint in his eyes reveal that.

"I am," he admits, "Only because you're so beautiful and sometimes I want to imprint the images on more than just my brain. You don't know how much those pictures help me when work's getting to me."

"In that case, I'll let you pass." Roman gives Seth an amused smile. He entwines their hands and kisses Seth's knuckles. "Did you enjoy your day?"

"Very much," Roman nods. "It's never that hard to enjoy my day when I'm with you Seth." He means it.

"I'm just glad you were happy. It's what matters to me Roman." The love that dances in Seth's eyes as he says the words cause Roman's heart to jump against his ribcage. It still feels surreal to him, like the first time they had sex, Seth is in love with him.

"I don't know what you see in me Seth but thank you—for loving me. For not leaving, I'm grateful."

"I'm here because I love you and because you love me. I'm here because I know you'll love me right. No one else but you."

Roman nods his head, "Thank you Seth." He wants to tell the brunet that he promises to do better but he refrains from saying anything else. His promises mean nothing at this point if he isn't going to fulfill them. He'll show Seth instead—he'll show the brunet that he's capable of loving right. He'll show Seth that he can treat him better. That the love Seth feels for him isn't in vain.

Chapter Text

Roman wakes up in the most delicious way possible, granted , he's disorientated at first, not knowing where the exquisite wet warmth surrounding half of his cock is coming from. But when his eyes flutter open, he's met with the salacious sight of his boyfriend in between his legs, on his knees and head bobbing up and down on the mushroomed head of his rock hard dick. "Fuuuck, Seth!" He cries out, hips bucking up to feel more of those sinful lips on his erection.

The look Seth gives him when their eyes meet blows Roman away—his brown eyes are widened, looking larger than they normally do. Roman can see the intent, love, eagerness and hunger in the smaller man's eyes as his spread lips take in more of him. "Just like that alofagia," Roman struggles to get the words out. Seth is running his wicked tongue down the underside of his shaft, humming deeply while closing down Roman's length and working his way further down on the thick cock.

Roman's head is lifted slightly, he watches Seth's succulent lips stretch unbearably wider around his dick. What the brunet can't fit into his mouth, he uses his left hand to stroke and tease and also massage his boyfriend's huge balls. Deep moans emit Roman's lips with every enthusiastic sucking on his length, Seth is looking at him in sheer lust, it somehow makes everything more pleasurable to Roman—knowing that his boyfriend finds pleasure in doing this. His balls contract when Seth's warm lips close around them and sucks on them like his life depends on it. Perspiration forms on Roman's forehead, trailing down his overheated body—Seth isn't just sucking on his cock. The man is worshipping it, intensifying Roman's pleasure. "Shiiit, baby!" there's a tension in his balls and Roman's shuddering on the bed, gripping the bedsheets in a tight hold. It feels so good.

A familiar tingle runs down his spine when the tip of Seth's tongue licks the underside of his thick mushroomed head before it teases his slit and then sucks on his thickness fervently. Roman growls, he's high on pleasure as he cums, filling Seth's mouth his essence, the brunet chokes but he doesn't stop sucking on Roman's dick. Half-lidded eyes take in Seth's beauty, the look of utter bliss on his face while the smaller man sucks and fills his mouth full of Roman's essence. Roman's right hand lifts to stroke Seth's cheek softly, aroused eyes transfixed on swollen pink lips that milk him until he has nothing to give.

Seth's lips are red, Roman's essence drips down his chin from what he couldn't swallow and he looks so fucking ethereal as he lies on top of Roman to join his lips for a kiss that's downright erotic—full of tongue sucking and dirtiness. Roman moans, his fingers entangling in messy brown mane—gripping. "Damn, Seth. What was that for, baby?" he asks, breathless, large hands squeezing the bejeezus out of Seth's ass.

"You deserve it," Seth whispers against his lips before planting his lips firmly against Roman's again. "We're not done." Seth opens the bedside drawer and retrieves a condom and lube. Roman growls in approval when his semi hard cock is stroked by a soft hand in firm, hard strokes. He wants to close his eyes and succumb to the pleasure but he can't. Not when Seth looks so fucking enthralling with his back arched to perfection, lips red and bruised, his hand moving up and down, teasing and relieving the sexual hunger that has Roman in it's claws. Exquisite sensations slam into Roman with every vicious stroke, his cock is a leaking faucet, steel hard and red, when Seth puts the condom on him before coating it with lube. His head falls back in an animalistic groan when Seth slowly sinks down on him, facing away from him so that the smaller man's tattooed back is facing him and that scrumptious tight ass is in his view.

Seth holds nothing back once he begins bouncing up and down his dick. The royal is helpless against the growls that escape him—he grips Seth's waist and helps set the pace, watching Seth's ass bounce up and down his dick. Seth is moaning and screaming his name with every thrust made into his sweet scorching heat that's driving Roman insane with rapturous pleasure. His right hand releases Seth's hip to smack the ass jiggling so enticingly right in front of him—Seth's doing things he didn't know the brunet could do. The smaller man is so fucking flexible that Roman can't see the his upper body anymore. All he can see is that tan round ass as it twerks, bouncing up and down his dick so fast he can barely keep up.

Seth clenches around him and Roman swear to god can't take it anymore—he growls and in the blink of an eye lifts from the bed, taking Seth doggy style. He presses Seth into the bed until the brunet's chest touches the bed. A head-on pounding to the brunet's prostate causes Seth to scream bloody murder before the smaller man bites into the pillow beneath him to stifle his hoarse screams. Roman's eyes are fixated on a writhing and moaning Seth while he fucks the brunet into the mattress. Roman inserts his cock with force, he grips Seth bruisingly, eyes closing as he focuses on nothing else but their carnal coupling.

It's intense as it always is, his whole body drips with sweat, the hole squeezing his cock makes him release harsh pants. "YOU'RE SO FUCKING TIGHT, SETH. GODDAMIT, I LOVE FUCKING YOU, BABY! NOTHING IN THIS WORLD FEELS AS GOOD AS YOU!" He bellows, gripping Seth's hair forcefully so that they're flush against each other, sweaty chest touching sweaty back. "WHO DO YOU BELONG TO?"

Seth whimpers, his head rests on the royal's shoulder and his eyes are squeezed tightly. "Y-YOU! A-All yours, daddy!"

Roman's nostrils flare at the words, they turn his already hard cock into an iron pole. His hands tease Seth's peak nipples before he pulls on them so hard Seth screams name. With impassioned cries, Seth throws his ass back on Roman's thick cock and moves his body enticingly. "Fuck, baby! You're the hottest sight I've ever seen! What'd I tell you about my cock huh? You see how well you take me?! We're fucking meant for each other Seth!" Roman growls into Seth's ear. The smaller man nods his head frantically and allows Roman to push his head back onto the mattress. He clasps the bedsheets in a white-knuckled grip and lays his head on one side while Roman grips his hair for leverage, pressing his head onto the bed.

The bed is creaking and banging loudly against the wall with how hard they're going—it's verging on animalistic. Roman's feral in his thrusts, he fucks Seth like his life depends on it. He hears Seth's cries, his cracked, "Don't stop. F-Fuck, don't ever stop, D-daddy." He's not sure what's gotten into the man but Roman lives to deliver. And so he doesn't stop, he keeps pounding into Seth's hole, ravaging and ruining the smaller man on the inside. Fuck the fact that Seth has a class in a few hours and will the effects of how hard he's being taken.

Moans that Roman knows Seth will be embarrassed by leave the brunet's lips—they're high pitched and wanton. The chemistry between them is unadulterated, raw and brutal. Roman isn't surprised when he feels Seth tense beneath him, his twitching hole squeezing the life out of his cock. "Fuck, fuck, fuck. I-I, daddy…oh, shit! I fucking love you daddy! I love you…Roman, I love you…I love you so much," it's a non-ending chant falling off Seth's lips as he cums. The praises keep falling off his lips as do the words of affection.

They don't help calm the erratic beating of Roman's heart instead they cause Roman's eyes to water. His eyes close and two lone water drops fall from both his eyes. He shuts his mind and focuses on the way Seth's cock grips him, he focuses on Seth's tight warm heat, how the smaller man's wet chute welcomes him and grips his cock so snugly…like it knows it's owner. He knows Seth is spent beneath him, he can hear his sobs—the man's sensitive but he still goes harder, primal instict kicking in so that he can finish as well.

His thrusts become uncoordinated but they're still deep and hard as he slams into Seth's body over and over again. Another tingle runs down his spine, his balls contract and Roman's body trembles with delicious sparks running all over his body. His jaw clenches tightly, hands gripping Seth's waist tighter when he explodes into his second orgasm. He presses into Seth, toes curled, while fucking the smaller man until the tingles fade into small trembles. Seth releases tired moans when they both collapse on the bed and Roman ever so gently pulls out of him.

"You're going to cripple me one of these days but fuck if I don't love any minute of it," a breathless voice chuckles before soft lips touch the inside of Roman's neck.

Roman chuckles, he brings Seth to him so the brunet's head rests on his arm. "Do you blame me with that mouth you have on you?"

Seth runs a hand down Roman's chest before his arm encircles the royal's waist, "I love you daddy."

"Daddy, huh?" a kiss is placed on Seth's sweaty forehead before Roman looks into dazed brown eyes, "I love you too, you twenty year old looking twenty-nine year old."

A small grin tugs at thin lips, "I'm your elder, respect me."

Roman scoffs and drags Seth up with him, carrying him into his arms headed for the bathroom, "I still look older than you. Besides, three is not much of an age gap."

"But I'm still older."

Roman tries very hard not to roll his eyes, his eyebrow arches and a smirk forms on his lips. "I don't care how old you are, I'm still your Daddy. You said it yourself."

"That was the sex speaking, not me."

"And after? It was still the sex, right?" Roman asks sarcastically.

"Post coital bliss," Seth shrugs innocently.

"Really?" A smirk forms on luscious lips when Seth releases a tiny moan. It causes Roman's hardening shaft to fatten. They're in the shower and probably shouldn't be thinking about going for another round when Roman should already be at work but he can't bring himself to care. He's where he needs to be with the person he loves.

"Roman wait...it's not a good idea. There are no condoms here." Seth's words contradict how his body behaves. The smaller man pushes back on Roman's hard dick and stands on his tiptoes mewling loudly when Roman teases the smaller man's twitching hole with his dick.

"I'll pull out…" Roman grunts, "Now bend over and take it. You know you want it." Hot water pelts their skin as their lips join for a lust-filled kiss before Roman bends Seth so that the smaller man is holding onto the shower knobs for leverage. Roman then invades Seth's body again, burying himself in his lover's warmth. They're joined so deeply one wouldn't know where Roman began and Seth ended. Roman's skillful in his thrusts, it's like his body knows what the man crying out and moaning in front him loves and how exactly he loves it.

After the brunet's orgasm rips through him, Roman makes sure to keep to his word when his balls tighten and a heat unfurls in his stomach while it twists and turns. He pulls out of Seth and strokes his length, left eyebrow raising in curiosity when Seth turns to face him and gets on his knees. He lets go of his shaft allowing to Seth grip it for him, guttural moans of pleasure leave his lips. A warm wet mouth swallows his cock and Roman swears he's dying from the euphoria.

He grips Seth's wet hair and holds him in place while driving his cock in and out of the smaller man's mouth until it hits the back of Seth's throat. Saliva drips off the corners of Seth's mouth while Roman stretches the brunet's mouth full of his dick. Their eyes remain on each other, love evident in their features while Seth chokes and stretches his lips, accepting all that Roman has to offer. Blazing white spots blind Roman when he has his third orgasm, Seth fades out of view, he's seeing stars and his mind's fucking hazy. Hot white essence drips down Seth's lips but the brunet keeps on sucking until Roman's knees buckle, threatening to give out.

"You're amazing Seth," the praise is whispered breathlessly. He pulls the man up, devouring his lips and tasting himself on Seth's lips. The whole thing's so hot to him, he feasts on Seth's lips until the need for air separates them. Roman kisses Seth's forehead and their arms lock around each other for a while, the hot water still running down their overheated bodies. Seth grabs the shower gel and they bathe each other before they both exit the shower to get started on their day.

A few of his work clothes are in Seth's room and the royal is surprised when they are retrieved for him by a naked brunet. Seth's limping, a smile on his face as he carries Roman's suit and dress shirt. Roman smiles when he's helped into putting on his shirt and tailored pants. A soft warm hand touches the tattoo on his pec briefly when Seth buttons up Roman's white shirt, the love in Seth's eyes takes Roman's breath away. He kisses succulent lips before allowing Seth to limp to the bedside drawer to grab a small glass box carrying a few of Roman's cufflinks. The brunet grabs silver ones with Roman's initials and goes to fasten them on the white shirt's sleeve cuffs. A black tie goes around Roman's neck and Seth fixes it for him before dusting imaginary lint off of Roman's shoulders.

"Let me fix your hair," a smile that causes the butterflies to flutter inside the royal's stomach is given to him. He nods his head and sits on the black cushioned chair placed in front of the mirror. Seth comes back, still naked as the day he was born, a towel in hand that settles on Roman's shoulders. The brunet pulls Roman's hair back and ties it into a neat bun before placing a swift kiss on Roman's temple.

His offer of returning the favor is declined and Seth tells Roman to watch him get dressed instead. He knows it's meant to tease him. Roman squirms on his seat as Seth turns away from, bending right in his view while putting on his tight underwear before slipping on skinny jeans that fit like second skin on him. They accentuate his firm round ass and toned legs, causing Roman to lick his lips. He didn't know that he'd ever be such a huge fan of these damn tight jeans but since Seth removed his cast five days ago, he's been wearing nothing but those tight jeans. Roman can safely say they're one of his favorite clothes that belong to Seth.

"Beautiful," he whispers once Seth's fully dressed and stands in front of him. The black band t-shirt he's wearing hugs his lean but muscled body perfectly and the black snapback only elevates his beauty. Seth's gorgeous as his lips stretch into a toothy grin. "I'm never letting you go Seth. All this beauty, I plan to make it mine forever. I plan to make you mine forever." He means it, it's only been three weeks and a few days but he's sure of it. One day he'll marry Seth…the brunet just doesn't know it yet.

Seth's eyes soften, barely contained wetness swimming in his eyes while he nods his head gently. They head to the breakfast room and Seth tells him to sit down and relax to which Roman nods his head. He's still not sure why he's receiving this King treatment but decides not to think about it too much, maybe Seth woke up on the right side of bed. He laughs to himself, Seth does sleep on the right side of the bed. It's whatever….

A few minutes later Seth comes back with a tray filled with assorted breakfast goodies. He pours Roman a glass of orange juice and instructs him to choose whatever he feels like eating. Roman complies, settling on pancakes and eggs.

"So how did you sleep?" Seth asks in between their breakfast.

"Fine," he responds.

Seth nods his head, "You didn't get any dreams last night?"

Roman shakes his head no, "Slept right through the night until I woke up to the best feeling in the world. And then I got my mind blown away with one hot as hell morning glory." He laughs at Seth's blush and drinks his juice. "I still don't know what I did to get my day started so hotly."

Seth pauses his eating and eyes him with love dancing in his brown eyes, "It's just…I'm thankful for how you've been trying to open up since we came back from Tampa. I know it isn't easy but you're sharing what little you can and that's all I ever wanted. I love you so much Roman."

It hasn't been easy, Roman can agree with that, but in the week and two days that they've returned from Tampa, he has been sharing. Not everything because there are some things that will destroy him if he reopens those old wounds. But a few of his dreams about Tyler, he tells Seth about. He always tries to keep his voice from breaking on mornings they discuss them. He does his best not to divulge too much, especially about his feelings for the dead boy. Because they are still there—all complicated and ranging from undying love to resentment. But he's with Seth now and he loves him too, so very much.

"I love you too, Seth." He looks into Seth's eyes so that the man can see how serious he is.

The brunet leans in to give him a chaste kiss on the lips, "I spoke to Dean yesterday, he wants to visit next week. Antonio is going to Switzerland, he says he doesn't want to be lonely. I think that's just an excuse to come here though, I mean Xavier is nearer. Or maybe he knows Randy will piss him off and Xavier will be stuck in between…"

"Mhm," Roman hums in acknowledgement. "I'm not against him coming, he is your friend. The one with the mood swings can come too."

Seth rolls his eyes, "He doesn't have mood swings," Roman gives him a look causing Seth to smile, "Fine but that's only because he's—never mind. I should let you call him that in front of his boyfriend. Don't come crying to me when Randy murders your ass."

"He wouldn't, we're good acquaintances." Roman's voice is smug as he says the words. He kisses Seth's knuckles watching doe eyes widen.

"With Randall?"

"No. With Randy,"

He gets another eye roll—it's two eye rolls actually, "His birth name is Randall, that's his name."

"But he doesn't want to be called that so you need to respect his wishes."

"Tsk tsk, it's not like he's here to chew my head off for calling him by his birth name," Seth looks at him like he's gone crazy.

Roman shakes his head, "It shouldn't matter that he isn't here, alofagia. His boyfriend is your friend and I'm sure you wouldn't call Xavier by a name he clearly doesn't like. He's not with us now but I know you wouldn't call him names. Why? Because you respect him and are loyal to your friendship with him. Why can't you do the same for Randy?"

A sigh leaves Seth but he nods his head in understanding, "Fine. It won't happen again."

"Good."

"Bossy ass."

"It comes with the territory. I'll get you a manual, Daddy tendencies 101 for dummies."

"I hate you."

"You love me."

"I can change my mind, can't I?"

Roman doesn't verbally respond, he rolls his eyes though, kissing the grin off Seth's lips. Breakfast continues lightheartedly and a look at his watch tells Roman that he's over an hour late. It's seven-thirty and he's usually long at the office at this time. His first meeting is at nine, he's meeting with a marketing mogul at the man's offices which are an hour and thirty minutes away from his house. "I have to go, Seth." He gets up and the brunet carries his briefcase for him, escorting him to the front door. They find Masina outside, he greets her and exchanges a few polite words with her before Masina heads in the direction of her compound.

"Have a great day at work. I love you," Seth hugs his waist.

Roman returns the hug and accepts the kiss Seth plants against his lips. "I love you too, alofagia. It will be very impossible to not have a great day with the way you started my morning." He feels loved and special, he's still not sure he deserves the treatment he's been receiving today but his heart melts in tenderness. He's at his car with Seth still standing at the front door when Roman goes back to him, planting another hot kiss on Seth's lips. He grabs Seth's ass possessively and kisses down his neck. "Whose is this, Seth?" Large hands fondle Seth's ass, the words whispered seductively into Seth's ear.

The brunet shudders against him and grips his shoulders, "All yours."

"You're forgetting something," Roman growls, hands tightening causing a gasp to tear out of Seth's lips.

"This ass daddy, is all yours. Only yours, Daddy."

Roman pulls back and laughs out loud. "I always knew you were kinky," he earns a pinch to his side, Seth looking at him in amusement. "I love you Seth," he says seriously.

"I love you too. Call me, okay?"

"Do you have to ask?"

"I'll wait for your call, it'll come five minutes from now." Roman laughs, Seth knows him so well.

***

This meeting has been dragging on for too long and Roman can't wait until the clock hits eleven. The pitch that Mr. Lieberman's team came up with is nothing short of amazing but he's not sure why he, specifically, had to come. Jimmy usually fairs better at these things plus he knows more about their chain of hotels than Roman does. His phone vibrates and Roman grabs it, noticing it's a message from Seth. His eyes dart around everyone sat inside the boardroom, they're focused on the blue-haired girl's pitch so he opens his phone to check the message.

His eyes nearly bulge out of his eye sockets and the moan that threatened to slips out of his lips is covered with a small cough. The message's simple enough.

I hope you're having a great day.

It's all it says but the picture that accompanies it causes Roman's body to react in ways it shouldn't in front of these people. He tilts his phone away slightly even though he's sat at the head of the table. Roman struggles not to shift uncomfortably in his seat, there's a stirring in his nether regions. His eyes drink up the sexiness that is Seth's hot body. He's not sure when Seth took the picture but he doesn't think it was today. It's a hot as fuck picture of Seth's naked body—Roman greedily swallows a hard body, long toned legs, strong thighs and that beautiful dick that's as gorgeous as the rest of Seth's body.

He's still caught up in the first picture when another one comes through, it's Seth's back that he's seeing this time. He can tell that brunet took the picture himself, Seth's right hand grips the iPhone that he bought with Manuia. Thank fucking god because Roman would wreak havoc on anyone who'd take a picture of Seth naked—the smaller man's body is for his eyes only. His eyes devour a strong tattooed back, going further down to fixate on Seth's supple ass. It's perfect, gorgeous, firm and looks thick so fucking thick that Roman licks his lips and suppresses an aroused groan—the things he would do to those deliciously round buns if he were near them...

He releases a shaky breath, hands trembling as they type a message to his tease of a boyfriend.

Roman: I am now. I swear you're giving me blue balls Seth.

He gets a response a minute later.

Seth: Oh, daddy. You'd know I'd help you out if I were there, right?

Roman: Tell me what you'd do.

It probably wasn't a good idea to send a message like that, Seth's response will only make him harder and he still stuck in this meeting for another fifteen minutes. And Seth has his first lecture about an hour away from now. Another message comes through, Roman's hands are clammy and his heart's beating rapidly. He's parched and feeling hot all of a sudden, he loosens his tie to lessen the stifling feeling.

Seth: I'd let you invade my mouth with your big fat dick, let you fuck my face. And then I'd let you fuck me hard. I'd let you pin me to the bed, have me at your mercy while you fuck me like you hate me, just like you love it. You want to mark with your cock, don't you daddy? To show me who I belong to?"

"Fuck Seth…" the words come out in short breaths. What's gotten into his boyfriend? Roman's never seen this side of Seth before but fuck if he doesn't love it. Little Roman…well, big Roman, judging by the problem rapidly growing down there at the moment, seems to agree with him. He'd give anything to be with Seth at the moment—gripping, pulling, smacking and fucking the smaller man with stark enthusiasm. He sends a response to Seth.

Roman: Damn right I do. The things I want to do…I wouldn't stop until you legs break.

Seth: Is that a promise, daddy?

"Roman?" the royal's eyes snap up, falling on Manuia's curious ones. "You ready to leave?"

Roman clears his throat, "We're done?"

"Yes, where's your head at? You're very distracted today." Okay, Manuia has a point but it isn't his fault. He's been thinking about Seth the whole day, and he's been flying on a non ending cloud since this morning. He feels like a superhero, he's never done drugs before but he feels high on heroin, cocaine and whatever drug out there that makes one feel on cloud nine. On seventh heaven. He's in heaven or maybe it's paradise but there are angels singing. And it's just Seth and him, no one else but the two of them being consumed by each other on fucking white clouds.

"I'm fine, brother. I was just thinking about…something," he clears his throat. Polite handshakes are exchanged with everyone before he tells the Marketing Director of Sun-Kissed that he'll keep in touch. He didn't catch much of the meeting but Manuia will brief him. He sends Seth a quick message, promising the brunet one hell of an intense hot romp before telling him he has to go.

***

"We were able to trace the number boss. It belongs to a Katherine Rollins," it's Cody who says the words. They're in Roman's office, the clock's just gone after five and Roman had made sure to wait for this specific time to ensure that Manuia has left the building. His bodyguard would be suspicious if he saw him with the two efficient men belonging to the Security department.

There's a number that has been repeatedly calling Seth's cell for the past two days. It hasn't gone through Seth's cell though as Cody and Ted installed a system that diverts all unknown calls and messages from strange numbers to a spare cellphone he keeps in his study. It's all for Seth's safety and his peace of mind, he had it installed after that paparazzi saga when they were calling Seth's phone nonstop.

"Katherine Rollins? That's his mother…" he trails off, accepting a brown folder from Cody. He scrolls through it mindlessly, eyes stopping briefly to take in the picture of the lady who gave birth to Seth. She resembles him in some ways, Roman can see where the brunet gets his beauty from. The picture is probably from her earlier years because she looks young and gorgeous. Her eyes resemble Seth's own beautiful ones to the tee and Roman feels like he's seeing a bit of his boyfriend in her. The only difference is that Katherine is a blond in this picture.

"Yes," it's Ted who responds this time, "We didn't get much info on her but a reliable source told us that she was in Tampa last week. Probably looking for her son after the pictures from your trip there surfaced."

"Why now?" Roman's eyebrows furrow. As far as he knows, the lady hasn't had contact with Seth in four years. The last time she saw Seth, she'd been a druggie whore who pretended to be clean for a few days before running away with Seth's furniture and a few hard earned hundreds. "I don't want her to talk to him. I don't want her to have any contact with him at all. She probably wants money now that the papers are in his business. Block that number."

"On it, boss." Cody says.

Roman nods his head, "Is there anything else I need to briefed on?"

"He went with the scruffy guy and his friends to a house on 72nd street." Cody looks to Ted for confirmation to which his husband nods his head.

"Oh, he called me about that. It's a study group with the hipster and his friends. Anything else?" Cody and Ted shake their heads no. Roman moves away from his desk, "I appreciate your adeptness gentlemen," he shakes hands with both men before guiding them out of his office. Alone, Roman ponders on whether or not he's making the right decision in denying Seth an opportunity to speak with his mother. A part of his mind is telling him he's doing the right thing—he knows the negative effect toxic mothers have on their children. Tyler was so badly damaged by his mother's actions that he failed to see any good in himself. It's why he committed suicide, it's why the boy killed—

No. You're not thinking about it.

Roman sighs, eyes fixated on the view in his office. His phone is in his pocket, he takes out, scrolling through his gallery that's filled with Seth's pictures. They range from times when he'd take pictures of Seth in his sleep to the ones they take together on the days that he does allow the brunet to take pictures of them. He's not really big on the selfie thing and for him a phone's use is to connect him with others, his family especially.

"I changed my mind, unblock her number. The next time she calls, make sure he gets the call. Make sure he gets all her calls from now onwards." The call ends when Cody affirms that they'll do as instructed. He's probably making a mistake but Roman can't possibly deny Seth his mother without giving the smaller man a chance to connect with her. He doesn't know much about her now and if she's in a better space. Maybe she's changed, maybe she just wants her son. But he'll ensure she stays the fuck away from him if she's toxic. He won't entertain that kind of negativity around Seth.


 

"Seth, you're the Pepperoni pizza, right?"

Seth gives Elias his attention, accepting the pizza box given to him. "How much do I owe you?" he grabs his bag, taking out his wallet.

Elias looks at him as if he's just been insulted. "You do know that you aren't going to pay for anything when you're with him, right? The guy's in love with you Seth, come on…" Sasha rolls her eyes.

"I don't want your payment, pretty boy. Your presence is payment enough," Elias's smile is sun bright. He settles next to Seth so close that they're arms are brushing. The brunet scoots away a bit and opens the pizza box, taking out one large slice of pepperoni pizza goodness. He closes his eyes at the first bite, that's an important thing to do—the first bite is always the most delicious. Bo's cute laughs (they're infectious) have him opening his eyes.

"What?" he asks, noticing that all their eyes are on him.

"Nothing," Finn says. "You were just talking to yourself. First bite is always delicious huh?"

"I said that out loud?" The embarrassment is evident in his voice.

"Moaned too," Bo laughs, "Don't blame you though. Pizza's orgasmic almost as orgasmic as having good dick—"

"Bo!" Elias shouts. Bo jumps on the couch but says nothing else, he still has a naughty grin on his face though.

"My friend Dean, he's like you. Has no filter," Seth laughs lightly.

"Your friends from Tampa, right?" Seth nods his head at Sasha's question, "Cool. So when are we meeting them?"

Seth shrugs, grabbing another slice of pizza. "Dean's coming over here next week. I'll talk to my other friend Xavier, see if he's interested in joining us. But his boyfriend is so attached to him, he can't function without Xavier so he probably won't allow it," a laugh escapes Seth when he thinks about Randy.

"So he's possessive?" it's Elias who asks the question.

"Not really, he's just attached to Xavier."

"Your boyfriend's the same with you. Are you guys attracted to men like that?" Elias again.

Seth rolls his eyes, "Yes, I'm attracted to my boyfriend who's in love with me and sees no one else but me. And so are my friends, we're all lucky enough to have men who love us."

"But they're possessive, aren't they?" Elias again.

Seth looks him in the eyes, "You say possessive as if it's a bad thing," it's said teasingly.

That earns him a bunch of, "Ooohs," from Elias's friends. The hipster man gulps down his beer and nods his head.

"If he ever gets too much for you…"

Seth shakes his head, he will never leave Roman. For anyone, especially Elias—the guy's a great friend but nothing else. "You need to learn that you can't fight for everything."

"I beg to differ. I have a winner mindset, pretty boy. If your boyfriend ever screws up…"

"I don't know why we're discussing my relationship, Elias. This is a study session."

"We're studying your boyfriend," Sasha jokes.

"Then don't expect to get the study material from me," he tells her.

Everyone breaks out in laughs, Bo moving from across his seat to fist bump Seth. "Don't let the nosy vultures get to you Seth. They're just jealous because you and Roman are couple of the year."

Bo's still grinning sweetly at him and Seth arches an eyebrow in confusion but decides against asking what Bo's talking about. It's probably going to be a weird response he has no care for that he'll get anyway.

The pizza is left unfinished by the time they're done with their study session. It's 06:45 PM and John left with the intimidating Braun long ago so it's Roman who's fetching him. Seth helps take the empty boxes from Elias's and Sasha's pizzas to the bin. Despite being little, Sasha eats for ten people. He isn't exaggerating, the purple-haired mocha skinned woman ate two full pizzas all on her own, not even sharing one with her boyfriend.

Bo remains with him and Elias after Sasha and Finn leave. Seth's grateful that Bo's with them, a huge part of him knows Roman will overreact if it's just him and Elias in the hipster's house. But he has a fleeting suspicion Elias would try his luck too, the man doesn't give up. Seth sees it every time they're in class or around each other. The man still flirts with him—a lot. And he's also very touchy but Seth ensures it doesn't border on inappropriate. He has a boyfriend and his body belongs to him, his whole body is for Roman's pleasure.

His skin heats up because every naughty thing they did and said is playing so vividly in his mind. He wouldn't have tried a lot of those things out if he hadn't talked to Dean. It's his ginger friend who advised him to try a few things to get Roman hung up on him all day. It's not like Roman wasn't before but Seth will admit that the added spice makes him feel sexier and confident. In his body and in his sexuality. Roman's been calling him the whole day, more so than usual and Seth isn't even going to get started on the texts. He's been getting messages every five minutes—he's not even exaggerating. Even Elias and his friends picked up on it.

A new message from Roman tells him that his boyfriend's outside. Seth packs his things, he's putting his laptop away when there's a knock on Elias's door. He knows it's Roman so he puts his laptop away, eyes connecting with his home when he looks up. And the warmth he finds in Roman's eyes makes him forget about everyone else. He's consumed by his boyfriend's powerful aura when Roman stands in front of him. Seth has an urge to wrap his arms around Roman's neck so he does. He's like an octopus as he enwraps his arms around Roman, "Hey Daddy," the words are whispered. Roman's smirk make his knees feel like jello.

"So we're still on with the kink, huh?" the bastard sounds so smug.

"Shut up and kiss me." There are no words to accurately describe how good Roman's kisses feel. Seth can say Roman kisses like he's drowning and he's his air or that his kissea are hot and desperate and bruising. He can also say that Roman kisses are dominant—hard and demanding. Roman kisses like he's entitled—to his lips, his body, his soul. Roman's kisses are soul awakening, they revive and bring out parts of his soul he didn't know existed. But for Seth, the only word to sum up the royal's kisses is loving. He knows that now—even when the man's punishing in his kisses, he's still loving.

"Mhm…" Seth knows it's Bo who's clearing his throat. He accepts one final peck on the lips and steps away from Roman, giving Bo his attention. "You guys looked hot as hell!" The man's gawking.

"That's something the ginger one would say," Roman looks at Seth in amusement.

"His name's Dean," Seth rolls his eyes.

Roman takes his bag, a graceful smile etching his face as he looks at Bo, "I enjoyed seeing you again, please greet the boyfriend for me?"

Bo's already nodding his head in a cute way only he can manage, Seth sees Xavier in him at the moment. "He'll be so happy. We are your biggest fans, I even came up with a ship name for you two. Mr. Anoa'i, your clan name is Reigns and Seth's surname is Rollins. So I kind of mixed the two if you get what I'm saying. So your ship name is Rolleigns. It's cute, right?"

Seth can tell Roman's as lost as him but at least he has a polite grin on his face, "I love it. Don't you, alofagia?"

"Mhm, totally." Seth agrees. He does like it, it has a nice ring to it.

"I should write fan fiction on you two, you make a hot sight."

"We need to leave, I have that, uh, thing, I need to take you to alofagia."

Seth plays along, "Yes! I'll see you on Friday, Bo. Invite Curtis so we can all hang out, yeah?"

"Alright, alright. I'll go find Elias, he just disappeared." Bo smiles one final time, giving a little wave to both of them.

"You attract very weird friends," Roman says once they're in the car. The drive back home will be longer than normal, Elias stays about an hour and thirty minutes away from Roman's.

"They're just drawn to me. I can't help it that people love me," Seth sticks his tongue out at Roman.

"None of them will ever love you like I do."

Seth knows he's serious, it's how Roman is sometimes. They'll be joking or talking about something lighthearted and he'll turn serious and profess his love for him, it's one of the many endearing things about him. "It's the same for me," their eyes connect at a red light, "I love you and no one else can ever love you like I do."

Roman gets that smile that has the ability to make the stars fall, it takes Seth's breath away. "Tell me about your day, Seth."

***

He's been getting better at this 'boyfriend instincts' thing since they've come back from Tampa. It's the reason that Seth finds himself waking up in the middle of the night, barely surprised that the space beside him is empty. It's 02:30 and they went to bed about two hours ago so and a feel of the cool bedsheets tell him that it hasn't been that long that Roman's been awake. It's still warm with his body heat and the man could've left the bedroom ten minutes before Seth awoke.

Seth sighs, he's a bit tired, mainly because they had so much sex before they went to sleep and now he's awake again. His feet touch the floor, he lifts off the bed slowly, right hand clutching his sore back. All this sex is going to cripple him one of these days or maybe it's going to cripple him today. He opens the bedside drawer and retrieves the condom. If it's like that night, then he needs to be prepared...

The door to the indoor gym is opened so he just enters, it's dark and the only source of light comes from the full moon reflecting through the endless glass walls. Roman's inside the boxing ring, naked, obviously. His grunts are the only sound in the quiet gym as the man takes out his frustrations on the large punching bag in the middle of the ring. He's already dripping in sweat and he looks so primal that Seth would drool if he weren't concerned about the man's well-being at the moment.

"No, no, no." the words are whispered hoarsely when Seth pulls Roman away from the punching bag from behind. "It's c-cold. N-Need to get w-warm." The royal stutters.

So it is like that night. Luckily he's brought the equipment. Seth makes Roman face him, his eyes are dark and haunted and he keeps complaining about the cold like he did three days ago. The cotton robe Seth's wearing falls at his feet and he hugs Roman close, bare bodies touching. He knows he's warm enough and that Roman will be drawn to it. Large hands begin to wander his body and they both fall on the ground of the boxing ring.

Seth knows Roman isn't completely himself as the bigger man enters his body and hopes that Roman's used the condom he put in his hand. He can't be sure because he's trying to focus on his breathing to regulate his pain. Roman's moving in and out of him, using his body to fight yet another bad dream he had. He doesn't know what they're about but Seth knows they have something to do with the cold but Roman is adamant on not sharing those ones. They're too painful he says.

Seth bites down on his lips, in an attempt to suppress his cries. This sex is always the hardest, it's always rougher. Like it is now with Roman's hands digging into his skin, marking his waist, his wrists, his neck. Pain shoots through his lower back with every hard thrust and he knows even the slightest movement in the morning will be problematic.

He arches into Roman, a scream tearing out of him when large hands grip his hair in a painful hold. The royal's deep rough thrusts become uncoordinated. He closes his eyes, lips bitten hard, when Roman holds him in place by his hair as he finally cums. Seth folds his arms around Roman's neck, hugging him so tight he can feel the royal's abnormal heartbeat.

Roman's still shivering on top of him so Seth juggles (with great difficulty) his way out of the tight hold Roman has him in. Immediately he does that, Roman folds in on himself in a fetal position. Seth grabs the bathrobe he was wearing and goes back to his boyfriend. The bathrobe doesn't cover much of their bodies but anything to make Roman feel warmer. He kisses a sweaty forehead and hugs the man close, hoping that he won't wake up alone in the morning.

Since Tampa, Roman's had these episodes twice now and on both occasions Seth's woken up alone. Roman avoids him for a full day when this happens, he isn't sure why. It could be the guilt of seeing the bruises on his skin the following day or it could be so the royal can avoid talking about what it is exactly that's making him so cold and what those specific dreams entail.

"Please come back," the words are cried out by a sleeping Roman, "O-Okay, okay. C-Can I come with you? Please Tyler," the tears are falling freely now. The cries that never cease to crush Seth's heart leave Roman's lips. He keeps begging in this dream, asking Tyler to leave with him. "No, don't do it. Please Tyler, don't kill—NO!" the cries deepen, worse than before. They're cries of utter sadness and anguish.

Seth can't take it anymore, his own eyes threaten to let the heavy liquid fall down his cheeks—hard and heavy like a storm. But he stops them, Roman needs him. "Baby, please wake up. Please wake up Roman," he begs urgently. He leans away from Roman when the royal wakes with a start. The royal breathes deep before releasing his breath, eyes darting around until they find Seth. There's confusion on Roman's eyes at first as they look at each other before they transition into blankness. "Please don't do that," Seth tells him. "You don't have to hide from me, Roman."

Roman shakes his head, another heavy breath leaves him. "I'm sorry."

Seth's not sure to which part but he still nods his head, "It's okay."

"I wish you didn't have to deal with this Seth," Roman's hands cover his face and he rubs on it so hard, Seth is tempted to move his hands away. "You know what's worse? I want to tell you so badly that you don't have to stay. I want to tell you that you can leave. But I'm too selfish, Seth. I can't stand to lose you. I can't stand to watch you walk away from me."

"I don't want to walk away from you. I am in love with you and I am strong for you Roman. I'm here and I want you with all the broken pieces. I don't care how tainted they are. I'll be right beside you, picking them up with you. And once we've collected all of them, we'll clean them together and mend them. Me and you. I love you, Roman. I love you so, so much." He whispers into the royal's ear.

Roman sighs deeply, tickling Seth with his breath, "I love you too Seth."

"I know, I'm so loveable. I'd be surprised if you didn't love me." He gets the chuckle he wanted, even though it has a hint of exhaustion. "Let's go to bed, Rome." He's not sure where the nickname comes from but it feels so goddamn right. My Rome.

 Roman hugs him close, Seth bares his neck, allowing the man to seek comfort in his scent, "Can we stay a little while longer? You're consuming me."

Seth wants to nod his head but Roman's still hiding in his neck so he remains silent and allows Roman to be consumed by him and all the love he's feeling for him. I'm right here, I want you and I love you. He hopes his heartbeat reveals the words that play over and over again in his cardiovascular organ--like a broken record. He hopes they swallow Roman whole and shelter him. 

Chapter Text

"And we have here, the space for the little ones," Seth enters the large room and observes it's beauty. It's the perfect space for a bunch of kindergartners. He notes happily that the interior designer used gender neutral colors to decorate the large room—the wallpaper is a light orange color and the whole space is jungle themed. Colorful interlocking Foam Play Mats are tiled to the floor. Different animals are painted across the walls and fluffy stuffed animals and toys sit neatly on one corner of the children's room. "We've added two oakwood bookshelves, they're already packed with children's books. And over there is the learning space."

Seth follows Leonie's line of sight, looking at the different learning charts and colored tables and chairs. Near the space are yellow and green beanbags, and the bookcases are decorated in a white and gold zigzag design. They are filled beautifully with children's books and a few shaped toys keep the books company. Seth inspects the framed pictures on the wall, messy has never looked so beautiful. "The kids drew them," Leonie explains when she spots his line of sight.

A lone tear cascades down Seth's cheek, everything is just so perfect and he can only imagine how happy the children will be when they spot this playroom. He can't help the hug he gives to the project manager Roman hired. "Leonie, this is all so beautiful. You guys clearly put in a lot of effort into this and these kids, I can't wait to meet them. I have no words, thank you."

"What you and Roman are doing, not a lot of people would do. And all this is for a good cause, these people don't deserve something mediocre. It's why we're putting our heart into everything we're doing," the small lady accepts another hug from Seth. It's a teddy bear hug this time, Seth squeezes Leonie's portable body into his arms. He can't help it, he's so happy about how the sex workers' foundation has been progressing. The room they're currently examining will serve as the children's playroom/learning center for when the little ones' parents attend presentations and lectures on entrepreneurship and self-empowerment.

They leave the room, and take a left down the hallway. Leonie stops at a large turquoise glass door that slides open as soon as it detects them. The room's much larger than the previous one, the walls are a beautiful bright blue color and the décor in the large room coordinate the blue theme. There's three bookshelves this time, two made of dark blue oakwood and one white. There are gold beanbags scattered here and there and mahogany furniture that's more suitable for young adults. Seth goes to one of the bookshelves, a few fluffy owls sit on the books serving as decoration. It's all really creative and cozy. He scans a few of the authors' names spotting names like Neil Gaiman, Phillip Pullman and Cassandra Clare, to mention a few.

"We thought it would be perfect for a bunch of adolescents. This will serve as a library more than anything. It's cozy enough to host counselling sessions too, and those can be hosted over that space there…" Leonie trails off and points to a section where different colored beanbags are placed so that they make a circle. Leonie's team really took the time to plan everything out and the beauty of it all makes Seth's eyes water. He blinks away the tears and clears his throat, nodding his head gently.

"Thank you so much, Leonie. I'm sure everyone will be pleased when they see how beautiful this whole building is."

"It's a pleasure, Mr. Rollins. Follow me, I'll show you the playgrounds." Seth complies, they take the exit leading to the back of the large building and fresh air whips past them immediately they're outside. The playgrounds are fairly large, Seth spots a basketball court a distance away from the children's slides that fill the area. Rainbow colors flood the play area, Seth feels like he's entered a colorful wonderland. The grass appears to be manicured, there's a few sitting areas, rainbow treehouses and a canteen. Seth hopes their menu will be a healthy one, he'll have to discuss that with Roman. "You can try a few out if you want to."

Seth's hesitant in his footsteps as he heads towards the swings. He hasn't done this in a while but he supposes it doesn't matter, using a swing doesn't require much intelligence. He swings back and forth for a while, enjoying the air that whips past him with each slide causing his brunet hair to fly in every direction. He feels like an innocent four year old all over again, his eyes have closed and his inner child wants to scream in elation. And so he does. A high pitched, "Wooohooo!" sounds above the sounds of a windy Thursday afternoon. He distantly hears Leonie laughing and joins in on it, an adrenaline is rushing through him making him feel so free and so…innocent—oblivious to the world and the complications it comes with.

"It's quite freeing, isn't?"

Seth opens his eyes, Leonie is in the swing beside him. "I feel like I'm flying, " he laughs, increasing the force of his swinging. "My hair is cramping my style though."

Leonie's tickled by Seth's words, "Come on, I'll get you a hair tie."

Seth leaves the swings with her but declines the offer of a hair tie. He left it untied on purpose, to hide the bruises on his neck. He wore a turtleneck to effectively cover the hand imprints but his flowing hair serves as added insurance. The marks are bad but it doesn't hurt too bad so he'll survive.

"One of the ex-prostitutes, Eloise, was going to join us. Share her story with you but her little one got sick so we'll do it next time."

"I understand. I hope it's nothing too serious with her child though."

Leonie shakes her head, "She mentioned a stomach bug, but I don't think it's that bad. Oh, and you can ask Roman to brief you about security. He's hired a few that you've met, some of them are former sex workers but we'll still hire more. And I think Tamina is handling the issue of the nannies and caregivers."

After Leonie grabs her bag from one of the offices in the building, they both leave together, passing greetings to the two security guards outside Lion Heart's doors. Yes, they've come up with a name for the sex workers' foundation. He actually came up with it, and he chose the name because what the sex workers are doing takes bravery. To leave the 'comfortability' (for lack of a better word) of the lifestyle that you're used to and to venture into something completely different is scary. But this will benefit not only them but their families too. It takes bravery to decide to break free from the 'broken family' curse, which Seth will admit is prevalent in the prostitution world.

Roman's Bentley Bentayga is parked outside, leaving Seth pleasantly surprised. He isn't sure what the man's doing here because he's supposed to be at work. Leonie is with him as he walks towards an unreadable Roman. The small eccentric woman gives Roman a fist bump, "Your Highness…" she trails off, voice sweet as honey.

"I hope you've made him happy, Leo." Roman says, giving Leonie a stern look.

"Of course I did. I'm the best in the game, Roman. You know that."

"Alofagia?" Roman's attention goes to Seth.

"It's true, I love everything from the auditoriums to the kids space, the playgrounds, just everything…"

Large arms wrap around him, squeezing him but not too hard. Seth breathes his man in, parting from the embrace with a small peck to Roman's lips. "I'm happy you love it, Seth. All this wouldn't be happening if it weren't for you and your bravery. You lion heart."

"I hate to break the love party but I can tell I'm about to third wheel so I gotta bounce," Leonie pats Roman's shoulder and gives Seth a small grin before leaving.

"I thought John and Braun were fetching me," Seth tells Roman once they're both in the car.

"I want us to have lunch together," Roman begins the drive to wherever he's taking them.

"Okay, I can do lunch." Seth cranks up the volume in the car, "Lana Del Rey?"

"I settled on any station."

"Xavier would probably be singing sassily if he were here right now. He loves her."

"It's not really my style but she has a beautiful voice. I'll give her bonus points for singing about me though."

Seth looks at Roman, his boyfriend's eyes have not once left the road. "Really? I must've missed that part."

"No, you didn't. She said 'You can be the boss daddy'. She's saying I can be the boss but I'd much rather hear you say that…it'll sound sexier falling off your lips while I'm fucking you." The royal bastard spares him a brief glance, the corner of his lips lifting into a smirk.

"Forget it," Seth rolls his eyes, "I won't add to your inflated ego."

Roman laughs heartily, it's infectious that Seth joins in on it. He has a smile on his lips as Roman grabs his hand, placing a soft kiss on his knuckles before going back to driving. A comfortable silence ensues, the only sound in the car coming from the radio. The station is really good, they play a variety of songs and Seth recognizes one or two heavy metal tracks.

"I was thinking that maybe I should get on the pill," Seth breaks the silence. He's surprised at the words leaving his lips. His mind's rushed to his mouth. He hadn't meant to utter them now, he was saving this topic for later on at home but his mouth is clearly impatient. Roman is yet to say anything so Seth continues, "I-I was going to tell you at home. And I think it's a good idea Roman, especially on those nights. Who knows if you'll always remember to use a condom? I can get John to take me to a health center."

"I'll take you. Do you want to do it today?"

Seth nods yes, "After lunch?"

"Yes. I'll take you to Nia's hospital."

Lunch is done at a Cuban restaurant, it's lighthearted as they debate over which city makes the best Cuban sandwiches. Seth is adamant that Tampa makes the best, he even gives Roman a whole history of how the sandwich was born in Ybor City as a result of Cubans, Italians and other nationalities working in Ybor back in the early 20s when the cigar industry was booming. Roman surrenders eventually and agrees to Seth's proposition of taking him to taking him to one of the restaurants that makes the best Cuban sandwiches in Tampa.

Roman's phone rings, interrupting the peacefulness. "It's Naomi." He tells Seth who nods his head, giving Roman the go-ahead to answer his phone. "Nae…"

Seth wants to wipe the frown knitting Roman's eyebrows away. The man's lips are pursed together and Seth hopes it's nothing bad that Naomi's saying.

"Did you inform her teachers?" The frown is gone, a sigh escaping Roman's lips before he nods his head. "Okay, I'll do it. I'll tell him, bye Nae." Roman's phone goes to his pants pocket. He signals for the waiter that had been serving them. "Naomi says hi…" Seth nods his head and waits for Roman to continue, he knows the man has something else to say. "She wants me to fetch Leilani."

"Oh? Where's Jimmy?"

"At work, most likely. Nah, scratch that—those two want to do something together and decided to abandon me with their daughter."

Seth laughs, "I see right through you. You want to spend time with the little creature and I wouldn't mind seeing her again too."

Roman guides Seth outside the restaurant. "You caught me. The first stop is to the hospital and then we'll head to her school after, I'm sure she'll be just as happy to see you."

***

"Gah, fuck my life!" Seth sighs loudly once they're out of Dr. Baldwin's office. The doctor had helped him decide which contraceptive pill would be best for him and he's fine with it. Seth just doesn't like the fact that the damn pill has side effects and that he'll probably suffer from them. "I appreciate that this whole thing is so effective and all. Less than 1 in 100 male carriers fall pregnant each year if they use the pill exactly as directed which means it's like 99.99℅ effective and that's really great. But do I have to suffer the side effects? Nausea, dizziness, weight gain or loss. Ugh, the list goes on and on. You better support me through these damn effects."

Roman has a broad grin on his face when Seth looks at him. "What is it?" he asks even though he has a feeling that Roman is about to say something dumb.

"I'll get to fuck you raw—in more ways than one."

Seth sighs, of course that's the only thing Roman got…..

"Yeah, I guess you will." The look on Roman's face tickles him, his boyfriend looks like a little kid on Christmas morning. "You're such a child sometimes."

"I find that offensive." Roman shakes his head. "You ever seen a child as old as me? I believe the word you're looking for is Daddy, alofagia."

"My daddy who behaves like a child sometimes," Seth protests mildly when he's brought to a hard chest. Roman's wandering hands grip his ass firmly before the royal squeezes both round buns possessively. Seth wraps his arms around Roman's neck, his lips welcoming lush lips when the royal leans down to kiss him. His arms remained interlocked behind Roman's neck when they pull back. The heated look in Roman's eyes makes his nether regions throb and Seth has to shake his head to clear his lust fogged mind.

Nia is looking at them in interest when Seth averts his gaze from Roman. The last time he saw her, he was jealous that she was hugging Roman. Of course Nia doesn't know that but Seth's cheeks still heat up, making him want to hide behind Roman. "He's like a cute puppy," the curvy doctor laughs. Great. The intimidating woman thinks he's a cute puppy. What does she even mean? Seth unconsciously grabs Roman's right hand and entwines it with his left.

"Cousin, it's been a while." Roman's deep voice has a smile in it. "You guys have met before although back then, Seth wanted to murder me for 'injuring' him. I still think it was his fault though."

"No, it wasn't!" Seth glares at his boyfriend, "You pulled my arm too roughly and caused me to fall."

"Of course, I did." The bastard's being sarcastic. Seth wants to smack Roman's silly smile away but he doesn't, they're in a public space and need to behave.

"Pftt, childish ass."

Roman has a fixed stare and it's all focused on him. The man looks at him as if he is a sight to behold and of course his heart reacts—Seth can feel it's unrhythmic beat. It's so loud, he fears that Roman and Nia can hear it. An arched eyebrown thrown his way makes him shrug gently. Roman's beam lights up his world, the royal turns his attention to his cousin. The hand that was entwined with Seth's moves to the small of the brunet's back, squeezing his side gently. "Nia, meet Seth Rollins—love of my life."

No he didn't.

Yes, he did, his mind screams at him. 'Keep your emotions intact. Don't cry Seth' it's a mental lecture Seth repeats in his head. He's beginning to think Roman loves doing and saying things that turn him into an emotional duck. The man sounded so serious and so genuine….

Nia breaks him out of his ruminating by embracing him into an unexpected hug. "He's finally found someone." Seth's arms fold around her waist, Nia's hug feels so good. She feels so warm and smells so good, he's tempted to breathe her in but refrains from doing so. "So you're the one who's been keeping him away from me."

"N-No. It's not like th—"

Nia cuts him off with a laugh, "I'm joking Seth. I know how addictive the early stages of a relationship are. Welcome to our family."

Seth melts at Nia's words. Family. For most of his childhood, he didn't have one. He'd only felt the love of a family when he met Dean and Xavier. And now he's being surrounded by it through Roman. Everyone of Roman's family he's met have been so friendly and so welcoming and loving. It's the vibe he gets from Nia as well, although, at first glance the woman is intimidating. "T-Thank you," his voice cracks and he has to clear his throat. Getting emotional will only embarrass him, especially in a place like this.

"I want to get all the details about this whole love story," Nia bumps shoulders with Seth and waggles her eyebrows. "We should do coffee, just me and you. I don't want him bullying you into portraying him a gentleman when he's actually a shithead." Seth nods in agreeance, a grin painting his thin lips. He can hear Roman's low grumbling, it only tickles him harder causing him to laugh out loud.

"Take my number." Nia says. Seth takes his phone out, unlocks it and gives it to the curvy doctor. "We'll plan a date over the phone."

"We need to get going, cousin. Naomi…she's dumped Leilei with me again."

"And you're over the moon, stop pretending that you're not," Nia says knowingly.

Parting words are exchanged before Seth and Roman leave the hospital. "She's so kind."

Roman pulls out of the parking lot, beginning the drive to Leilani's school. "I know, I would've married her if we weren't cousins."

"Excuse me?" Seth nails Roman with a hard look.

"You're excused."

Ugh, the things he has to deal with….

Seth rolls his eyes, "You really are worse than a child."

"And you are loved by this man who is worse than a child."

That melts his heart…..

"And you'll love me through the potential weight problems?" the royal looks confused so Seth elaborates, "One of the side effects is weight gain or loss. There's a possibility that it could happen."

Roman spares him a brief glance, his lips stretching into that smile that has the ability to make the stars fall at his feet. "Weight gain, I can deal with. It'll only enhance your beauty."

Seth cuts his eyes at his boyfriend, "And I wouldn't be beautiful if I looked like a stick?"

"You would but you'd look better thicker, your ass especially." The bastard smirks and gives Seth a wink.

"I can't even bring myself to fight you." Seth sighs, "You're hopeless."

Roman cracks up in amusement, "You know I'm kidding, alofagia. I don't care how you look, I'll still love you regardless. It won't matter to me whether you're thick or thin. It's what's on the inside that I'm attracted to, your beauty is a bonus."

The charming bastard! Seth has no words, a tender grin pulls at his lips and he rewards Roman with a kiss to his knuckles before allowing his man to focus on the road completely.

A mop of curly brown hair flashes in line of Seth's sight before a little body clings to his leg. Seth looks down, meeting innocent brown eyes. He picks the little girl up, embracing her into his arms. Leilani squirms and giggles when he kisses all over her face, apparently his beard is tickling her. "Did you miss me, unca Seth?" Leilani asks, her tiny arms tightening around Seth's neck. A light pain shoots through him but Seth ignores it.

"Of course, I did sweetheart. Did you miss me too?"

"Yes, I did! I did!" Leilani's arms still haven't moved from around Seth's neck.

"But you don't visit me…" Seth complains lightly.

"I'm visiting you now," he sets the little girl on her feet. Roman gets a small shrug as Seth allows a tiny five year old to drag him to the back of the car. "Are you sick unca Seth?"

Seth looks at Leilani in perplexion, "No, little creature."

Leilani giggles at the nickname, "Then why are you wearing a polo-neck? You're not feeling cold, are you?"

Kids and their questions….

Roman clears his throat, Seth connects with blank brown eyes on the rearview mirror. Leilani is oblivious to the tension growing between Seth and her uncle. The smaller man turns his attention to her, she's blinking her big brown eyes at him, eyebrow raised exactly like Roman's does. "I just felt like wearing this today, sweetheart. It's cool, right?"

"It would've been cooler in black. Do you have black polo-necks?"

"Plenty," Seth smiles at her, grateful for the change of topic. "Black is my favorite color."

Leilani's face lights up, "Me too, unca Seth! Mommy says girls like pink and she buys me a lot of pink clothes, eugh. Daddy and I tell her that not all girls like pink, I'm here and I like black. I'm a girl, aren't I?"

"Yes, you are."

Leilani nods her head as if someone finally gets her point. "You see, unca Seth, girls can like black too. And toy guns and cars and ducks. Ducks are my favorite though."

"Like your uncle," a smile forms on thin lips. He looks at Roman as he says the words but of course the tension is still there so Roman isn't meeting his gaze. A quiet exhale leaves Seth, his attention goes to the little girl who's talking about what he's missed since the last time he saw her.

They arrive at the mansion forty-five minutes later and Roman excuses himself, claiming that he has to call Manuia. He left his briefcase at work and he has a meeting at four that Manuia will have to attend on his behalf. Seth guides little Leilani into the kitchen to make her lunch. He's not sure where Masina is but he'll make Leilani a simple Tuna Club Sandwich. He takes out the ingredients he'll need and gives Leilani a glass of juice when she asks for it.

"You're really cool unca Seth. You give me everything I ask for and you make me lunch. That's good behavior, right?"

"I think so," Seth places the plastic plate with the Tuna Club sandwiches on the counter.

"I think it is too." Leilani speaks without swallowing and Seth would frown but he does it too. He can't be a hypocrite. "My teacher says good behavior is rewarded. Do you want me to reward you with a picture?"

His heart melts in tenderness, "I would very much love that, sweetheart…wait! Finish your food, first." He tells her when she attempts to get off her stool. "And don't get off that stool without asking for my help, you could get hurt."

The little girl nods her head sheepishly, "Sorry."

A gentle kiss is placed on her forehead, "Don't let it happen again, little creature."

Seth listens to Leilani as she babbles about how her day was at school. He clears up the mess in the kitchen, rinsing the cutlery he used. Roman's leaning against the doorway when Seth turns away from the sink. He's changed into a pair of black sweatshorts and nothing else. He's hot like he always is but Seth thinks he looks way too tense.

"All done!" Leilani's small voice breaks their staring contest. Seth's attention goes to her, realizing that her plate is now empty. He helps her off her chair, his eyes barely keeping up with her running feet as she skids past Roman to work on that picture she wanted to draw.

A large body entraps him against the sink, increasing Seth's unsteady heartbeat. The staring contest begins again and Seth's hands move to rest on either side of Roman's shoulder. "I love you."

Okay, he wasn't expecting Roman to say that but he still beams brightly. "And I love you, so much."

"I didn't mean to—" Roman clears his throat, unable to finish.

"I know," Seth gives the royal a gentle kiss on the lips.

"I mean it Seth. I really didn't mean to hurt you."

"I know." Seth repeats. "I just wish you'd talk to me…about these specific dreams. I'm not forcing you too though," he adds the last part when Roman's eyebrows pull into a frown. It's wishful thinking on his end to think that Roman would want to tell him about the 'cold' dreams. He wonders if Roman's ever told anyone about them. He wonders if Manuia knows. Maybe he should go to him, the man seems to have a closer relationship to Roman than anyone else.

"Maybe I'll tell you one day Seth. Right now, I can't," the royal sighs and rests his hands on Seth's waist. "But when Tyler killed himself, he killed a part of me too. He took a part of me that I'll never get back Seth."

"Have you considered seeing someone? I think it could—"

"No," Roman cuts him off, tone firm.

"Bottling things on the inside is never the solution, Roman. Talk to someone, a therapist maybe—"

"I said no, Seth!" Roman's voice lifts slightly and his eyes close, the man is clearly trying to compose himself. His eyes are lighter when they open and he lets out a low breath. "I'm sorry for lifting my voice but I am not going to see a shrink, Seth. I've been doing fine all along."

"That's what you think," Seth mutters under his breath. He doesn't think Roman's heard him because the royal pulls him to him by gripping the back of his neck gently to place a kiss on his forehead. It causes Seth to sigh and gives him bravery to try again, "Can you at least think about it?"

"I will," it's said dismissively before Seth feels a hard kiss against his lips. He returns it, just as hard, moaning softly when Roman's tongue glides against his.

Their foreheads rest against each other, breaths mingling from their still parted lips. "I love you Roman and I really hope that you think about my suggestion. You won't just be doing it for yourself but for our relationship too. You overcoming your past will mean that it won't get in the way of what we have now."

"I'll consider it," Seth swears he hears a hint of impatience in Roman's voice but Leilani comes barging in the kitchen before he can say anything else.

"I'm done unca Seth! Look, look, look…" Leilani gets in between Roman and Seth, shoving a white paper into Seth's hands. The brunet takes the picture, observes it, heart melting in love at it's artistic beauty. "Do you like it?"

"I love it." Seth smooches Leilani's flawless caramel skin. "We have a talented one in our hands, Rome." He gives the drawing to an all smiling Roman.

"It's you and I," Roman's expression reveals just how hard he's melting. "Who do the dogs belong to?"

"Unca Seth loves dogs like me. He'll have a lot and a lot of dogs." Leilani explains. "Oh, ducks! I forgot to draw the children. How many children do you want unca Seth?"

The question's caught Seth off guard, his eyes find Roman's. He'd looked in time to see something flash in the royal's eyes but it left before he could decipher what it is. "Uh, one?"

"No, that's too little. I can't play with one person. Make it four, please? Two boys and two girls that way if I want to play with girls, I can. And if I don't want to, then I can play with the boys and the girls will keep each other company."

Seth doesn't know how to respond to that and Roman's turned into a mute. "Okay, sweetheart. Four kids alright?"

The response makes the bouncy ball of energy happy, Leilani jumps up and down in joy, her curls falling all over her face. She takes her drawing from Seth, shouting, "I gotta add the kids!" as she runs back to the living room.

"You could've helped out," Seth tells his boyfriend, poking a hard shoulder playfully. "I've just been bullied into having four kids by a five year old." Roman doesn't answer, his aura makes Seth feel uneasy and he doesn't know why. "Roman, are you okay?"

"Yes," Seth doesn't believe him. "You won't have four kids Seth, not if I have anything to do with it. I'm expecting a football team."

"Hell no!" incredulity fills Seth's voice. Loud giggles escape him when Roman picks up, laying him on the kitchen island. "Roman wait…" Seth's laugh is fruity. He can feel big hands trailing lightly down his sides to tease the waistband of his shorts. The hands change their course of direction to settle on his upper body, Roman lifts his turtleneck slightly and places a wet kiss close to his navel. Seth sucks in a nervous in take of air, his stomach is acting funny. It keeps rolling in waves in a way that feels so good.

Roman's lips continue down his happy trail and Seth releases a strangled moan, hands massaging the bigger man's black tendrils. Every bone in his body screams against it when he releases a throaty, "Roman, stop. Leilani is in the living room, she could come in here any minute."

He thinks Roman will disobey because for a while the royal doesn't stop, he kisses and sucks on supple skin. But the man pulls back just as soft patters sound in the direction of the kitchen. Seth's sits up straight and pulls his turtleneck down when Leilani comes into view. "All done, unca Seth!" A little voice shouts.

Seth jumps off the island and accepts Leilani's drawing. 'Family' the caption reads. The drawing features Roman, him, lots of dogs and six little stick children. What's happened to him having only four? Seth smiles at the kindergartner's spelling—it's not too bad for a five year old. He shows the picture to Roman who's eyes light up. His boyfriend crouches in front of the little girl and he enwraps her little body into his imposing one. The look of utter joy on Roman's face does something to him and he just briefly pictures a different setting. For a brief second, Seth entertains the thought of having a family with the man he loves.

But there's a reason he's getting on the pill, they're both not ready for children. It hasn't even been a month and there's so many things they need to work through first. Things Roman is adamant on not sharing—to anyone. "We'll frame this in our bedroom." Seth finds his home looking at him.

He nods his head and snuggles into a strong chest. A tender kiss touches his lips only to be cut off by Leilani's, "Eew. No kissing, no kissing!"

"But I can't help it, Leilei. I love uncle Seth," Roman tells the little girl.

"No! No kissing, it's disgusting." Leilani's face scrunches up in distaste. "Unca Seth, come watch Donald Duck with me." Seth allows himself to be dragged away from Roman with a grin on his face.


 

"Alofagia?" Roman says immediately he closes the door to his office.

"Rome," the nickname causes his heart to flutter, he loves it more than Seth will ever know. "Jimmy's acting weird. I just came back home and I find him in the kitchen. He looked like he wanted to eat me alive. I think he was—flirting with me. He even called me…sexy." The words are whispered in befuddlement and his chortles agitate a panicky sounding Seth, "Don't laugh, this is serious! I don't know what's wrong with him. Is he gay? Should I call Naomi? Tell me what to do!"

"No, don't call Naomi and Jimmy is straight. Jey is pansexual though, he fucks anything walking on two legs. That's probably him, I'll fuck him up when I get home," Roman growls. He's certain that it's Jey who's at his house. The man is supposed to be on a plane coming to America like the rest of his family. They're all supposed to be arriving tomorrow but of course, Jey has never abided to instruction. His cousin does whatever he wants, whenever he wants.

"Jey? Jimmy's twin?" Seth asks.

"Yes, he's supposed to be arriving tomorrow. Tell him I said to not fucking touch you. He shouldn't even be in my house."

Seth sighs, "He didn't touch me, hasn't attempted to either but he has sex eyes and those sex eyes kept ogling me. Had to go hide in our bedroom."

"You better not be getting turned on by those fucking sex eyes Seth." Roman grumbles. He knows about Jey's sex eyes all too well, from when they were teenagers. As well as the first person who ever fell for those bloody sex eyes.

"But they're so sexy, babe. And there's thing he does with his lips when he—"

"Excuse me?" there's an anger stirring within him.

"You're excused," it takes him a second. He can hear Seth's even breathing on the other end of the line. The doe eyed brat is getting back at him for yesterday. "Don't ever do that again, Seth. It won't end well," he warns but Seth pays no mind to the warning. The brunet is laughing his ass off and somewhere into it, Roman finds himself joining in on it. "And you call me a child."

"You're not just a child, you're a jealous brute too."

"You got it right at brute, that's what you were yelling this morning when I was fucking you."

He can't see it but Roman knows Seth is rolling his eyes. "I can't be held accountable for what I say during sex, daddy. Half the time I don't even know what I'm screaming."

"That's what a great dicking down does to you, alofagia." He sounds way too smug, but Roman can't bring himself to care.

"Pfft, whatever. I should get back to your cousin, I don't want him thinking I'm weird—or rude. I just ran away from him. Gosh, I'm so embarrassed."

"Jey's cocky ass will probably think that you ran away because you're into him but too scared to talk to him."

"So cockiness runs in the family?"

"Of course, there's definitely a lot of cock in our family." He sounds smug again.

"You know what, I'm not even doing this. Bye." Their conversation ends without his permission. Roman calls Seth, it rings twice before the brunet answers, "What?"

"I love you."

The line is silent for a second before he gets a quiet, "I love you too, Roman."

"You can hang up now," he tells Seth.

He knows that Seth is again rolling his eyes, the smaller man does that a lot. "You're an idiot." Seth disconnects call with a tiny laugh.

Roman places his phone on his desk before deciding to go back to work. He reads over the minutes of the meeting he missed yesterday, making sure to go over every detail before sending an e-mail to Bayley to schedule another meeting with the company's banker. His door opens and he knows it's Manuia, the big man is the only one who ever enters his office without knocking.

"I spoke to the man in charge of the surveillance footage at the park. They still have it, luckily."

Those are great news. Roman gives Manuia his attention, wide grin spreading his lips. "Really?"

"Yup, I've asked them to send it. You'll get it tomorrow."

"Thank you, brother."

Manuia sits his ass on the chair across from Roman, "You're welcome. So what you want to do with it?"

Roman hesitates, unsure on whether or not to tell his bodyguard. Granted, this whole thing he's planning is for Seth and he knows that Manuia isn't the type that can't keep a secret. "We're making it past a month, Manuia. This Tuesday, it will be a month that Seth Rollins agreed to giving me a chance. I want to make it special for him."

Manuia gives him a look that causes Roman to look away from him in mild embarrassment. The big man looks like a proud parent and it's too much for the royal to take. "Is that why you're bringing the family? Are you going to—"

"Yes, it's tradition." Roman cuts Manuia off. He moves away from his chair to settle on the desk right in front of Manuia. "Don't cry, big men don't cry."

"Well, lookie here, you've just made me cry." Tears swim down Manuia's cheeks when he laughs. "Are you sure about this, Your Highness? You haven't even known each other that long."

"Manuia relax," Roman pats his shoulder, chuckling softly, "I'm not marrying him or anything."

"It's close to it."

"Close but it's still not it, so relax."

"Does he know what you're planning?" Manuia asks.

Roman shakes his head no, "It's all a surprise that I hope Jey won't ruin it. His dumb ass arrived a day early when everyone's supposed to be coming tomorrow."

"Sounds like the Jey I know," Manuia cackles loudly.

Roman sighs, "I don't mind as long as he doesn't ruin things. Ma and Ember will reside at the hotel in Tampa, I don't want Seth to meet them yet. It's a pity father can't come though."

"You know he would've loved to come." Manuia says. "But being King of a country means all the responsibility falls on his shoulders even though he has assistance. I know for a fact that he'd be on his way here too if he weren't busy. Especially since everyone was beginning to think that you'll die a bachelor, like Jey wants to."

"Mhm." Roman considers Manuia's words. His bodyguard's right, most of his family had given up on the prospect of him finding a life partner. His father, the King, had even been considering an arranged marriage for his son as soon as he turned thirty. Because as future King, Roman needs to continue his family's lineage. He needs to give his father and ancestors an heir. And maybe he will, with Seth.

"So tell me more about this surprise anniversary, maybe I can give you a few pointers on how to make it more romantic."

Roman scoffs, "You're just snooping for the details. But fine, I'll tell you, brother."

***

"Do you guys ever stop kissing?" Jey asks as he stares at his cousin suck Seth Rollins' lips off. The pair should be focused on dinner but clearly eating each other's lips is more fulfilling.

Roman's lips detach from Seth's, he glances at his cousin. Jey looks so awkward, his hand holds his fork loosely. "No."

"Isn't tiring, kissing the same lips over and over again?"

"What'd I tell you about him being a man whore?" amusement dances in Roman's eyes as he stares at Seth.

"You forgot proud. A proud man whore," Jey pipes in.

"I don't think you ever tire from kissing the one you love, Jey. If anything, kissing Roman floods me with good feelings." Seth tells Jey.

Jey looks at him like he's crazy, "Uh, if you say so, man."

"You'll see what I mean the day you find someone who you really connect with," Seth smiles.

Masina enters the dining room, collecting the empty plates from everyone. "I've connected with people, man. I connect with a lot of people." Jey smirks.

Seth shakes his head, he gives Roman a frustrated look. "Is he always like this?"

Roman's response is a shrug of the shoulder. "Man whore."

"A proud one."

"No wonder they burn your clothes and wreck your cars," Roman shakes his head.

"I learned from that," Jey says dismissively. "I go for the older ones now. The younger ones behave like they're supposed to—childish and temperamental."

Seth cackles, "I don't even have any words for you."

"Oh, but I have a few for you. I want to make your knees weak."

"Jey," Roman growls, drawing a chuckling Seth onto his lap.

"What? I didn't do anything."

Jey convinces them into watching a movie in the living room so they settle there and allow Jey to pick a film. It's movie called Split and Roman has to admit that he's left in awe. The main actor's potrayal of the different characters residing in his body is impressive. A little while later, Seth tells them that he's going to retire for the night. Roman brings the smaller man to him, kissing him tenderly. "I'll be there in five, I want to talk to you." Curious doe eyes look up at him. Seth nods his head softly, he gets one final peck on the lips before he heads towards the stairs.

"He's good for you," Roman's eyes move away from a retreating Seth's back to face his cousin.

"I know,"

"You love him."

Roman raises an eyebrow, "I do." It's always so easy to admit his feelings for Seth. It's something that comes so naturally to him, like second nature, because there's no other way around it. He loves Seth Rollins, plain and simple. He can't be blunter than that.

"Well, at least one of us is no longer a bachelor, huh? But I'd stay the hot bachelor a little while longer, being tied down ain't really my thing, you know that."

Jey forgets that Roman can see right through him sometimes. He sees past the whole man whore façade but he won't hurt his cousin by bringing up his name. So he smiles, fist meeting his cousin's for a fist bump, "Yeah, uce. Look, I gotta head to bed. I don't want to keep Seth waiting."

"Cool, man. We're going to hit a few clubs tomorrow. I gotta check out the potential Miami has."

Roman nods his head, it will be futile trying to argue with Jey. He's just as bad as Naomi. "I'll see you in the morning, uce. I love you man."

"Love you too, bro."

"Seth?" the brunet isn't inside the bedroom when Roman enters. The glass door leading to the balcony is open though. Roman removes his t-shirt and shorts, heading to the balcony only in his boxers. He finds Seth, back turned to him as stares at the green of the forest trees. The brunet's hair is untied and flies in every direction. His arms go around Seth's waist, tightening lightly. His heart flutters as Seth immediately leans into him without a second thought, his hands resting on top of Roman's. "Something is bothering you."

Seth sighs, "It's probably nothing."

"Tell me," Roman says sternly.

"Sami called." The words are whispered so softly that Roman strains to hear it.

"Sami, your former landlord?"

"He's still my landlord," Seth says quietly.

"Why did he call Seth?"

"To tell me about—" a deep exhale. "K-Katherine."

He should've known. He can't say he's surprised that Seth hearing about his mom is affecting him. "Your mom?"

Seth shakes his head. "She isn't my mom, she birthed me but she isn't my mom."

Roman nods his head, he isn't going to argue with that. The woman birthed Seth but from all he's read about her so far, she hardly qualifies to be called a mom. She's not worthy of that title. He keeps silent, tightening his arms around Seth's lean form when the brunet snuggles deeper into him. The silence remains for quite some time, he's going to let Seth set the pace. He'll wait until the brunet gets the urge to tell him more.

"She went to my flat, Rome. She went looking for me and I don't know why." Seth chuckles mirthlessly. "Maybe she wanted trick me into thinking she's sober again. I don't want to see her, Roman. I don't know what she wants from me."

"She won't even get to breathe the same air as you, Seth. I won't let her get that close."

Another round of silence ensues, "Sami gave her my cell number a few days ago. She went back to him yesterday, apparently I'm not taking her calls. The drugs must be making her mind hazy. I've never received her calls…and I'm not sure I want to."

Seth's words increase the rapid heartbeat of Roman's cardiovascular but he ignores it. All he'd done was for Seth's well-being. He didn't want the brunet to experience what he went through with the paparazzi calls. "If she ever calls and it upsets you, I want you to block her number. She isn't going to play with your heart, alofagia. I won't allow her to."

Liquid brown eyes look at him when Seth turns in his arms. The brunet's hands settle on his shoulders, "And I don't have to feel bad, right? For not wanting anything to do with her."

Roman shakes his head no, he kisses Seth's forehead and whispers against his skin, "You don't have to feel bad, baby. Family isn't always blood. Your family are those who care for you and want what's best for you. Your family are those who'd choose you without the slightest hesitation. Your family are those who love you. Like Xavier and Dean. Like myself. We all love you and we're your family."

He's rewarded with a gentle kiss on the lips, "Thank you." Seth is like an octopus as he clings to him, his toned legs folding around Roman's waist. "You're my family, Roman. You're my home. And I love you so much."

Roman kisses succulent lips and moves back into the bedroom with Seth still in his arms. He lays the brunet gently on the bed and peels down his tight briefs. "I love you too, alofagia and I'll show you just how much."

 

Chapter Text

"Hello?" Seth's voice sounds way too happy for a Monday. But it's the effect Roman has on him, it doesn't matter how many times in a day the royal calls him. There's also the fact that his classes ended two hours earlier than usual because the lecturer for his last class didn't pitch up and he's going home at noon. He's having a very bright Monday so far.

"Have I been reduced to the standard greeting everyone gets, alofagia? No babe? Honey, Love? Daddy? Not even a 'hello Roman?' or even better 'Rome?'"

Seth laughs loudly but decides to tone his chuckling down a notch when he meets Braun's kind orbs on the rearview mirror. Braun is the type to mind his business as is John but Seth knows how annoying it is to have someone laughing loudly at something and not knowing what the joke's about. "I'm sorry, let me try again. Hey, daddy. Is everything okay at work?" he's totally not embarrassed for calling Roman 'daddy' in front of his bodyguards.

"I miss you."

Seth hardly gets surprised at how random Roman is anymore. "I miss you too, Rome."

"If I didn't have any back to back meetings after this, I'd be on my way home now. I miss you and I miss your ass."

"You had it this morning," his chuckle is quiet this time.

"I could never have enough of you, Seth. You and your body—I just hold back sometimes. I don't want to cripple you."

Seth rolls his eyes, "How generous of you." The idiot on the other end of the line cackles like a little child.

"We're going out, be ready at six. Let your hair down like you did on our first date."

"That was the only date. You never took me out again, cheapskate!"

He gets another round of child-like cackles, "I'll take you out tonight."

"What are we celebrating?"

"Our love."

The corny ass boyfriend he has…..

"Okay, what should I wear?"

"Your clothes." A sigh leaves Seth's lips. The bastard talking from the other end of the line is still laughing. He has to deal with his excessively happy man today. "I'm sorry alofagia, I don't know what's wrong with me today," the chuckles haven't stopped. "Okay, okay. I'm serious now. Casual wear is fine."

"Okay, I'll be ready…overgrown child."

"You better not be calling me names in John and Braun's presence, alofagia."

"I am."

"I'll punish you later. I have to go Seth, I'll see you at home and I love you."

"I love you too, baby. Wait—so you really like my hair when it's all curly and wild?"

"I do."

Seth smiles, "I'll try and fix it that way more often for you, okay?"

"It's not necessary, Seth. I love you the way you are."

"I love you the way you are too."

The argument on who should hang up first happens almost all the time, but it's Roman who has to surrender this time. Seth hears Bayley tell his man that his meeting is about to begin. Seth opens his messages once Roman hangs up (after a multitude of love declarations). There's multiple ones from Dean, he's been receiving them since last night. His auburn-haired friend hadn't been able to visit this weekend because Antonio came back from Switzerland earlier than expected.

Anyway, back to Dean—the guy's been flooding his phone with messages. Antonio wants them to move in together, apparently, so Dean is shit scared. Seth thinks he's being ridiculous though because Dean is practically leaving with Antonio. Sure, they've been dating less than a year but Seth sees what love is every time he looks at his ginger friend and his boyfriend. Their relationship contrasts Xavier and Randy's—those two have more fun together. What they have started as two people simply having fun together but of course they caught feelings in the end.

And no one keeps Dean grounded like Antonio does. The Swiss man can keep a usually wild Dean on a leash, they just even each other out perfectly. They're perfect for each other, actually. It's the reason why Seth is a bit confused at Dean's hesitance but he has a fleeting suspicion that his friend fears things going wrong. Seth does respond to Dean, however, and gives him whatever advice an inexperienced relationship expert can give. Xavier would be more suited for this, honestly—he's more perceptive and communicates better than him and Dean combined.

Seth grabs his wallet and leaves his bag in the car when they get to Bal Harbour Shops. He tends to stay away from extravagant shopping but he'll make an exception today. He's unsure of how these whole anniversary things work but it's his and Roman's tomorrow. It feels like time went by too fast and it amazes him how so much has happened in the one month that they're making. He'll admit that Roman is imperfect, with the way he behaves sometimes. But the royal can be loving, he's loyal too—to his family and his friends. And when he loves, Roman loves wholeheartedly. It's one of the things Seth loves about him. The royal owns every inch of his soul—and Seth wouldn't have anyone else take his place.

"We'll meet in an hour?" He looks between John and Braun. "I don't know what you guys want to do. Look around if you want to, maybe buy a few items as well?"

"Who will carry your shopping bags?" John asks, face serious as ever.

"I'll carry them myself."

"Are you sure?" John again, a frown knits his eyebrows this time.

"Yes. I'm completely capable of carrying my own bags, John. Besides, I love doing things for myself." He can tell that John would rather he carried out his 'job' but the brawny man gives in and tells Braun to join him as they head to a Japanese restaurant within the mall.

It's his second time at Bal Harbour but the beauty of the open style mall never ceases to steal his breath away. Even though it's hot as fuck, the canopy of palm trees shield him from the sun. He aimlessly walks around, window shopping for a while. The staff at the designer stores are so polite when he enters store after store, looking around. Even though the whole purpose of this trip is to buy Roman a gift, he still finds himself at a Fendi store, looking at the kids collection. He spots a black soft sweatshirt punctuated with a black cat with big round eyes. He looks through the sizes and grabs one that's Leilani's size. He knows she'll love it, it's in her favorite color. He also grabs a black poplin blouse and a denim jacket with planet embroidery on it.

He enters a Goyard boutique next. Roman's briefcases are plain and black—they're the clichéd briefcases businessmen use so Seth decides to buy his plain ass man a trendier one. The briefcase is a gorgeous navy blue color, not loud enough that Roman will decline it. It's intricately designed in soft navy blue fabric making Seth smile, it's definitely not as boring as Roman's briefcases. After paying for the briefcase, he goes to goes to explore another store.

The shopping takes longer than expected so he texts John telling him that he's going to stop at an eatery before meeting them at the mall's parking. He enters a restaurant called Le Zoo, deciding last minute to buy a pizza and beer. After lunch he meets John and Braun at the mall's parking, carrying more shopping bags than he can count. Dean's bad behavior is already rubbing on him—he just spent Roman's cash like some trophy wife.

"You're so stubborn sometimes Seth. We could've helped carry all these bags." John shakes his head in disapproval.

"That would've only brought more attention to me, John. It's bad enough I was being photographed for shopping. It would've been worse if I were with you two."

"You should've called us if they were making you uncomfortable," Braun gives Seth an apologetic look. He opens Seth's door for him, causing the brunet to roll his eyes. Braun knows Seth hates it when he does that.

"I can take care of myself, you guys. I would've knocked their lights out if they'd touched me." He means it. Hmm…maybe he should. One of these days he will. He isn't a goddamn celebrity for crying out loud!

"We know. But you also look like a puppy. People find puppies cute, do you really think they'd feel threatened?"

Seth rolls his eyes and rests back on his seat. Nia had called him a puppy too. He's just waiting for these people to provoke him enough to anger him. They'll know his true colors then, he's not a goddamn puppy. "I may look like a puppy but I'll fuck up anyone who messes with me. I can be a pit bull when I want to."

"Yeah…what'd you think Braun?"

"Angry puppy, maybe."

The meatheads guffaw at his expense, Seth wants to punch those silly laughs away. He can't bring himself to be angry at them though. He knows it's all lighthearted and he has times when he teases them too. The only thing that sucks though is that the muscled idiots gang up on him most of the time.

"We'll see you tomorrow Seth." John says after they've helped him bring all of his shopping bags inside the house. He waves and exchanges a few polite words before closing the door.

It's five so he figures he should get ready for when Roman comes home. He still doesn't know where the royal's taking him but he'd received a message from his man telling him he's on his way home. Jey left to Lord knows where a day ago. What Seth's learned about Jey these last few days that he's spent with them is that the guy's a huge party animal. He also takes being a man whore to new heights. On Friday he forced them to go clubbing—dragging them to club after club until Roman eventually put a stop to it, telling Seth they were leaving while Jey remained behind. Seth still isn't sure how the man made it home on Saturday morning but he stumbled inside the breakfast room, reeking of alcohol and looking like a hobo.

After his shower, Seth makes his way into the walk-in closet. Roman told him to dress casually so he picks out the same beige chino-styled shorts he wore on his first date with Roman. The air tends to have a cold breeze to it at night so he isn't going to wear a tank top. He picks out a Ralph Lauren t-shirt instead and a light sweater in case the weather decides to be bitchy.

Fifteen minutes later and he's a raving beauty, he just needs to fix his hair now. He does his hair the way Roman wanted him to, taking his time to ensure his curls are perfect. They rest dazzlingly on his shoulders—all thick and lustrous. He sprays a bit of cologne on him and holds his right hand against his mouth to ensure that everything is still perfect in the breath department.

"O nei mea uma o a'u." the words are said in the sexiest of voices.

Seth turns away from the full body mirror to look at his hot boyfriend. Roman has a thing for leaning against doorways, like he's doing now. Actually the man has a thing for a lot of weird things that Seth will mention one day when he isn't being eye fucked by his boyfriend. "You're right, Daddy. All this is yours." His Samoan is not there yet but he knows what Roman's just said.

Roman seems impressed as he makes his way towards him. Seth accepts the invasion to his mouth and kisses his boyfriend with passionate enthusiasm. He cups Roman's cheeks, feeling his beard tickle his soft palms. He loves the feel of it and he's obsessed with it, to be honest. He had to beg Roman to keep it, the man wanted to shave it on Saturday.

"You look beautiful—as usual." Love dances in Roman's eyes when they pull back, it turns Seth into a pile of loved up goo.

"Thank you, baby."

Roman nods his head. "We leave in forty-five minutes, I need to get ready."

"Of course, daddy." Seth laughs at Roman's low groan, he knows how that word greatly affects his boyfriend.

"Call me that name again and I'll damn this whole thing and throw you on that bed." The words are growled out by a primal looking hot as fuck royal. "And I won't be held accountable for how I'll wreck that ass, Seth."

"Now daddy, you know I can handle everything you give me. What if I want just that? Maybe I want us to damn this whole date and you can take me for a different ride instead."

Roman's nostrils flare, the bulge in his pants is so prominent it makes Seth licks his dry lips. He feels parched and he's hungry for it but they're going out and he shouldn't have teased Roman like that. He darts out of his room, laughing loudly when Roman releases a string of curses about being teased. Seth's feet carry him to the living room and he remembers that he forgot his phone in his room. If he goes now, he's definitely getting fucked and getting his outfit ruined. No, he'll wait here for a few minutes to ensure that Roman's in the bathroom. He's not about to have his entire effort to look this good (yes, he knows he doesn't need to put in any effort—he'd look good in a garbage bag but he's just saying…), only for Roman to ruin it for him.

The water is running in the bathroom when he enters his room again. On the bed lies the clothes he's assuming Roman will be wearing. It's a pair of black jeans and a navy blue sweater. A gold Rolex rests on top of the sweater making Seth remember his own present that he bought for Roman. The royal loves expensive watches so Seth hopes that he'll love the one he bought too—it's different from the gold, silver and platinum ones Roman normally wears. The watch is a Rolex too, it's a Cosmograph Daytona adorned with 36 baguette-cut sapphires in rainbow hues on the bezel. It might be a tad bit too colorful for Roman's tastes but it's absolutely gorgeous.

Seth gasps when he feels a hard body pressing into him. "Roman, you said we're going out. We can't have sex now." He tells the bastard whose dick is just as insatiable as him.

"I know." The bruising kisses being peppered on his neck cause Seth to bite on his lip to stifle a moan. They alternate between hard bites to soothing kisses. Roman's hand firmly grip his waist to prevent him from going anywhere.

"Baby please…" his words fade into nothing, a moan stealing the spotlight. Roman's making him bend over the huge mahogany dresser in the room. The royal bastard has managed to make him hard and his whole body tingles in anticipation as he waits for Roman to fucking put his dick in him already. He won't have to wait for long with how impatient Roman's fingers are when they work him open. He bites on his left thumb softly when that skilled dick finally breaches his hole.

He's sure that when he dies, it'll be from the great dicking down he receives from his boyfriend. The man knows his body and how to play it until it bends to his will. What started out as soft moans turn into embarrassing high pitched screams and sobs for more as his body shudders from how animalistic his boyfriend is being. Roman is always greedy and demanding in the way he fucks him—and Seth wouldn't have it any other way. He is always left embarrassed at how wanton he behaves but he can't help it. He can't help the way he throws his ass back on Roman's dick as he holds onto the edge of the dresser in a white-knuckled grip.

"YOUR ASS IS MINE SETH! IT'S MINE TO USE, AND YOU'RE SO FUCKING PERFECT, YOU TAKE DADDY SO WELL!" The words are growled out by the brute fucking into him. Roman drags him by his hair and Seth would complain because, fuck, he spent a lot of time fixing it but no. He isn't going to. Not when Roman thrusts unbelievably deeper into him—owning him with each greedy invasion. He's not going to complain because he can't even utter a word. He's currently being driven insane. He's currently being stuffed full of his man's cock. Everything else can wait.

"Shit! You're going to make me cum, daddy!" he screams as he feels his body contract. There's heat unfurling in his stomach and everything in him tightens. His toes are curled tightly, eyes squeezed even tighter as he flies into euphoric oblivion. He smacks his ass on Roman's dick, this man using him makes him feel so fucking sexy. "Fuck this ass, daddy. It's all yours." The words come out panted—totally not in the seductive way he'd intended, but they still have an effect on his boyfriend.

He gyrates erotically and lifts his t-shirt up a bit higher to do things with his body he knows drive Roman insane. He clenches around Roman's dick while still moving his body sensually. Roman brings him to him by grabbing a fistful of his hair. The royal's right arm goes around his neck causing his hand to settle on that big arm. His heart is already combusting but it fucking explodes at the intense look on his man's face. Roman is ravenous for him, his dark eyes are predatory and the sweat running down his face makes him look like a beast.

He's being shoved forward with each hard pounding to his body and it causes him to shudder in exquisite pleasure. The eye contact remains as Roman goes to stroke his cock. "Aaaah…Daddy! You fuck me so good!" he screams wanting to close his eyes and succumb to the furious sensations running through his body because it's raw, it's animalistic and it's plain savage.

"Don't you dare, Seth! I want you to look at this. Do you see Seth?" it's growled into his ear when his eyes almost close. "DO YOU SEE?!"

"YES!" he screams. Tears of ecstasy fall down his cheeks but they aren't just of pleasure. He can tell with the look in Roman's eyes—they're connecting. They're connecting in every way possible. "I see! I belong to you, I'm yours Daddy! I'm all yours and I love you. I love you so fucking much, Roman!"

Roman turns him around like some limp doll and invades his body again. His shorts have fallen to the ground so Seth wraps his legs around Roman—like an octopus, he curls in and folds himself around the man he loves. "I'm yours too, alofagia. I love you too, so much." He feels too sensitive as Roman mutters the words and his lips touch his face. He's all sweaty and his t-shirt makes him feel like a furnace but again Seth doesn't care.

The only thing he does care about are him and Roman and their coupling. Delicious friction is created when Roman pulls him up and down his dick. Seth bites on his lip and rests his head on Roman's shoulder as his man sends him to sensual rapture. Closer and closer they get to fulfillment, it's not long that Seth feels the telltale signs of another impending orgasm. He cries out this time, salty liquid cascading down his cheeks as his orgasm tears through him. "Ungh….FUCK! Fuck, Roman! Fuck, fuck, fuck…" the word keeps slipping past his lips. It feels good, so good!

"Just like that Seth!" he hears Roman breathe into his ear. And so he obeys, he clenches around Roman's dick and bounces his scrumptious ass on his man's dick. His head falls back against the dresser and he gasps loudly when he feels Roman cum deep inside him. It's a sensation he loves so much, feeling Roman claim him from the inside. "You're so perfect Seth, so beautiful." The words are whispered against his wet forehead before soft lips touch him.

"You're prefect too, daddy." Seth sighs against Roman's lips. He's still shaking and clutches Roman's shoulders in a white-knuckled grip when Roman moves to pull out of him—he's sensitive and it hurts. He can feel how his hole quivers after Roman's fully pulled out of him. "And now we have to shower again," the complaint is lighthearted.

"Look on the bright side, we're going to conserve water."

Ugh…..

"Remove this damn shirt off me, you royal bastard." He lifts his hands, allowing his laughing boyfriend to remove the Ralph Lauren t-shirt off of him. Roman folds it neatly and it's Seth's turn to laugh—he's in love with a neat freak.

The shower takes longer than expected—it's all Roman's fault, of course. Seth had to swallow a gallon of cum and then have his ass stuffed full of it again by an insatiable royal. He doesn't do his hair the way Roman wanted though—it's Roman who caused it to be ruined the first time so Seth can't himself to care when the royal gets a sad look. He ties his hair into a low bun instead and wears a pair of black shorts with a white Polo shirt. Roman wears the items he'd placed on the bed.

"Where are we going?" Seth asks because Roman's chopper is on the manicured grounds and they're heading towards it.

His sneaky ass boyfriend considers him with an amused stare, "Out."

Really? That's all he gets? "Out where?"

A peck on his lips, "You'll see."

Bobby's already in the helicopter when they enter. Roman gives him a pair of helicopter headsets before wearing his own. "Bobby, did you know about all this?" Seth asks as the chopper takes off.

"Yes. But Manuia made me promise not to divulge. His punishments are something I can't handle."

Seth laughs, Manuia can be a handful. "In that case, I won't hold it against you." He turns his attention to his calm boyfriend instead. "Can you tell me where we're going now?"

"Tampa."

Roman's unperturbed and he isn't even looking at Seth when he says the words. "Really?" Seth isn't sure why they're going there. "Why?"

"You'll see."

"Why don't you just tell me? You've already told me that we're going to Tampa."

"I don't want to tell you."

Ugh. Seth wants to fold his arms across his chest and behave like a petulant child but that's more of Roman's style. Roman doesn't behave like a petulant child, he behaves like a child in general—like he's doing now. So Seth goes the adult route instead. He rolls his eyes at Roman even though the man still isn't looking at him. Bobby clearly saw that because he shakes his head while laughing softly. Seth smiles at him and turns away from Roman to look out the window.

Okay, he's certain that whatever Roman is about to do will make him cry ugly tears. Because why else would he bring him here? Where it all began. Seth can feel his heart pulsing vigorously against his ribcage. His hands are clammy and all his talkativeness has faded into one word responses as they land right inside the park on the helipad. He hasn't been in this park since he ran away from Roman that day but it still floods him with a multitude of feelings.

He still remembers what Roman was wearing on that day he ran into him. It was a loose fitting white tank top and black Nike shorts. He still remembers how worried Roman had been as he'd held his waist and checked if he was fine. He remembers fixating on Roman's chiseled features and his embarrassment at foolishly staring at Roman whilst the man was talking to him. It feels like a lifetime ago—and Seth can't believe how that brief encounter has led him here.

"Come, alofagia." Seth accepts Roman's offered hand and exits the helicopter, bidding Bobby goodbye.

"Roman…" he gasps at the beauty that surrounds him. They're walking on a freaking red carpet as Roman guides him wherever he's taking them. Gorgeous gold and white lights decorate each and every tree in the park. It's so beautiful, Seth holds on tightly to Roman's hands. He really doesn't want to cry but it's getting harder with each step that guides them to the location Roman has chosen. The sounds of music fill the air as they get closer to their location. It isn't Roman's kind of music that penetrates the air but what henormally plays instead. "Skid Row?" he looks at Roman.

He gets a shrug, "You love them."

"I didn't think you knew."

"I know a lot of things about you, Seth. You roll your eyes more than is allowable. You don't know that your right eyebrow arches really high when you're thinking too much. You're a pig but you always fold your underwear—I don't know why because most of it is skimpy." Roman chuckles when he gets punched on the shoulder. "You're the worst singer ever but you have a beautiful voice. You sometimes rub your hands conspiratorially when you laugh. And just your presence alone has the ability to light up an entire room. Your presence lights up my life. And you're about to cry now…your nose is scrunching up in that cute way it does when you want to cry. That lip bite you're doing is what you always do to prevent yourself from crying. It never helps though which explains the tears that are leaving your eyes."

"I'm torn b-between s-smacking you and k-kissing you," Seth stutters because the bastard is right. He futilely tries to wipe his tears away. Roman replaces his hands with his own and once he's wiped the tears away, he brings Seth in for a gentle kiss. "I love you, Roman." Seth sighs against Roman's lips.

"I love you too, baby. You're my world."

An elegantly decorated table large enough for two people sits near the area of the park where there's a pond and a large oak tree above it. Gold hanging lights hang from the tree, rose petals are scattered all around the table and the red carpet extends beneath their table. "Thank you," Seth tells Roman when he gets his chair for him. He admires the two luxurious candlelit glasses set on the table. "This is all very beautiful Roman. But I hope you know our anniversary is tomorrow."

"I know," Roman smiles, "but we'll be busy with something else tomorrow."

Seth arches his eyebrows in curiosity. "Oh?"

"It's a surprise," it's said in amusement.

"If it's something like this then I'm not complaining."

"You'll find out tomorrow."

The waiter comes to their table about five minutes that they've situated themselves—she's already carrying a tray with their food. Seth thinks he's going to die from all these emotions that keep assaulting with each sweet gesture Roman keeps doing. The food on his plate is his favorite, the waitress confirms it— Salt-and-Pepper Chicken with Spring Quinoa Pilaf. Seth wouldn't be able to tell you how Roman knew that this specific dish is his favorite. He hasn't eaten this in a long time, not since he moved to Miami.

"How did you know?" he asks, meeting soulful brown eyes.

"I have my ways."

"I've never been this spoiled before. Thank you."

"I must up my game then. You deserve all the spoiling in the world."

"I do, actually." He sticks his tongue out at his gorgeous boyfriend.

"Then I'll make sure to spoil you Seth. I know there's times it doesn't feel like it but I really do worship the ground you walk on."

The server comes back with a bottle of wine and two wine glasses. Seth waits for her to leave before he responds to Roman. "Just make sure that that spoiling means you treating me the right way. I don't care for the gifts and all that, Roman. The only thing I expect from you is that you treat me right."

Roman clears his throat, "Of course Seth."

"Thank you."

He's gifted with that smile that can make the stars fall. "No, thank you Seth."

After dinner, the waiter comes back with the dessert. It's Cupid's Ice-cream Cupcakes, his favorite again. Seth releases a deep moan at the first delicious taste, his eyes have closed at the perfection of deliciousness bursting in his mouth. He smiles when his eyes open and Roman's looking at him in adoration. "I hope that dessert won't replace my dick. You're moaning way too much over ice-cream, alofagia."

Of course…..

"This isn't just ice-cream Roman. It's a duo of cake and ice-cream, both of my favorites in one. So of course I'll moan like I do when I'm eating something else."

Roman throws his head back, he's as gorgeous as ever as he laughs like a little kid. These are the moments Seth lives for—when his boyfriend turns into a ray of sunlight. He loves it more that he's able to bring this side out to Roman. God, does he love this man!

"My dick better be the favorite out of these favorites you have."

"It's second daddy. My first favorite is you."

"Corny." Roman chuckles again. Instead of indulging in any dessert, the royal's settled for whisky. It's ridiculous how addicted Roman is to the stinging liquor.

"Only for you."

"Come," Roman gets up, hand entwining with Seth's.

"Roman?" Seth is perplexed when the royal pulls out of his hand. Roman walks away from him, leaving Seth to look around the park. They aren't far from the park's exit, he can see the huge Lakefield Park sign at the entrance but the gates are closed. The park usually closes at ten in the evening but it's just gone after nine now and Seth hasn't spotted anyone inside the park, other than him, Roman and their waiter. Could Roman have…..

"Roman, did you reserve this entire park?" he asks tremulously.

Silence.

"Roman?"

The royal finally turns to look at him, hands stuffed in his pockets. He's considering Seth with blank eyes, they're the blankest Seth has seen in a long time. Roman is yet to utter a word and his stoic exterior is slowly getting to Seth. What is the man looking for?

"It was here, Seth. When I ran into you, it was on this spot. I'm not going to lie and say I remember much of you on that day. I don't remember much because I was a mess on that day Seth. I hadn't been home in forty-eight hours and I was exhausted and I felt suffocated. Everything had been closing in on me. It began after Tyler died, when h-he robbed me of what we had. He robbed me of so many things that I can't help but hate him sometimes. When I—when I…" a heavy breath leaves Roman. He looks like he's barely holding on and Seth wants to go and comfort him but he doesn't. Roman looks like he needs his space—to reveal everything he's feeling without feeling suffocated.

"When I—see a lot of things, lovers, families, children, something dies inside me. I was sixteen when Tyler committed suicide and all I could think about back then was joining him. I wanted to be with him so that we could be a f-family. I wanted to d-die, Seth. For a very long time, I couldn't see past the darkness. For a long time, I couldn't see past the pain—I felt so alone and so empty. I know the emptiness will never go away but you help lessen it, alofagia. You remind me that there's something to look forward to. You fulfill me and the greatest feeling in the world to me, is coming home to you. I want to come home to you for the rest of my life Seth."

"I'm happy you feel this way, it means I'm doing something right somehow. And thank you—for making space in your heart for me too. I know Tyler was your first love a-and I'm not here to take his place. I'm here to love you too, maybe differently from how Tyler did but I'm here to love you as well." Seth's voice is thick with emotion. He means every word he says as he remains standing about three meters away from Roman, hands shaking hard.

"Roman walks towards Seth only stopping when he's near enough that he can feel the brunet's unsteady heartbeat. His lips touch Seth's in a gentle kiss that binds him with the brunet who makes him feel lighter. "In Lanuola Seth, every newborn has to have a tribal pendant made for them by their family. It's tradition and we believe it connects us with our ancestors. We believe the pendant allows us to talk to them about anything. And once we grow older, the pendant is passed on to the one we love. But whoever we give the pendant to, should be the one we're certain about. The pendant isn't just given to anyone. The pendant is a proposal to propose—"

Seth doesn't mean to, but he laughs. A proposal to propose? That's a first. "I'm sorry, but a proposal to propose?"

"Yes," his gorgeous boyfriend laughs too. He clearly finds the whole thing funny as well, "but it explains itself Seth. You Americans have promise rings but we have pendants. It represents my commitment to you and how serious I am about you. If you accept it, it means that you're accepting my proposal for something deeper in the future. Lanuolans—we believe that the pendant binds one's soul to the other. We believe that the wearer of the pendant is introduced to our ancestors and is therefore recognized by our ancestors as the owner of the pendant's one true mate. Whoever wears the pendant is recognized as the owner's soulmate Seth."

So the pendant represents something deeper. But Seth isn't sure why Roman is telling him all these things. If the royal wants to present him with the pendant, he'll gladly accept it. He already knows Roman is his soulmate—he already feels so much love for the man in front of him. And his love, it grows everyday—each day he loves Roman more than he did the day before. "I'm not sure I understand what you're trying to say, Roman." He whispers, looking into the royal's eyes.

Roman creates a bit of space between the two of them and reaches inside the front of his pockets. A neatly wrapped rectangular box comes into view causing Seth's stomach to quiver in nervousness. "Ro-man…" his voice cracks in emotion. He doesn't want to cry but the royal is making it hard for him. He's being looked at like he's the best thing that's ever happened to humanity. He's been looked at like he's the stars and the moon.

"Don't cry," even Roman's gentle voice tugs at his heartstrings. He can't accurately describe all the emotions bombarding him. He'll try though—there's excessive love, excessive joy, excessive fear. Everything is just excessive and he doesn't know what to do other than let the tears drop down his cheeks. He feels so intensely for the man standing in front of him and he's torn between hugging Roman close so that the royal can feel the depth of his love for him and running away in hiding because it's too much. Everything he feels is in abundance and it keeps overflowing and he has no way of stopping it—he doesn't want to.

"I-I don't know what y-you're doing to me." He shakes his head and hugs his waist.

"Hey, that's my line." The teasing in Roman's voice has him laughing through his tears. "And there it is, that smile that lights up my whole world."

"It'll disappear real fast if you continue making me feel funny," Seth smiles.

He feels a soft kiss against his lips as one hand cups his cheek gently. "I love you, alofagia. And I brought you here because this is where it all began. I'm so grateful that I ran into you that day. I'm honored that I get to call you mine Seth. My only regret is that you loving me has caused you pain."

"Pain is something that's part of life, Roman. We can't avoid getting hurt—by the ones we love, by strangers. It's just the way it is and sometimes it's something we do unintentionally. What's important is that you recognize the one you're hurting and how you're hurting them. What's important is that you acknowledge when you've wronged them and that you apologize. A sincere apology, Roman—but actions speak louder than words. And the best apology is one that's proved through actions."

"I hear you Seth."

A smile tugs at thin lips, "Good." He pecks Roman's full lips.

"I had a whole speech for this but I think I've forgotten most of the words. So I'll tell you what I feel Seth. I'll tell you what comes from here…" the royal places his hand below his chest to signal to his heart. "I want you to know that my sun sets and rises in your eyes, Seth. And that I love you—this I mean with everything that is in me, alofagia. I love you so much and I'll spend the rest of my life telling you how much because I don't ever want you to forget it. And I'll always be reduced to saying I love you because I have never been poetic and it's the only way I can explain how I feel for you. I love you. I love you. And I love you. For the rest of my life, I'll love you. Only you and no else. And the only time my heart will expand to love again will be the day you have our children but until then—only you own my heart Seth."

"I think you get off on making me cry." Seth mutters the words into his boyfriend's right ear. He's an octopus as he always is when it comes to the Lanuolan. "I love you too, Roman. And like you, the day my heart will make space for more people is the day I have our kids."

"Our football team?"

Seth chuckles, "You really want a football team?"

"Yes. All boys, there's too many women in our family."

"Well I live to serve you Daddy. A football team it is."

Roman pulls back, excitement dancing in warm brown eyes. "Really?"

"Hell no! My body won't handle all that." Seth laughs when Roman rolls his eyes.

"So do you accept my proposal to propose Seth?" The royal asks.

"Yes I do, Roman." Seth nods his head gently.

"Thank you." Roman pecks his lips. He opens the wrapped box meticulously and Seth briefly sees a beautiful beaded tribal necklace. Roman returns the box inside his pants pocket and says a few words in Samoan as he holds the necklace in his hands and looks at it. Seth doesn't catch much of what the royal's saying, it's said in deep Samoan.

His whole body is shaking hard as Roman moves to stand behind him, he can feel the royal's presence consuming him. Soft lips touch the sensitive part of his neck before they peck the back of his neck too. Seth releases a shaky shudder and closes his eyes. The tears are threatening to fall again when something cold touches his neck. Roman's whispering again—in Samoan. Seth feels the royal's warm fingers as they fasten the tribal pendant around his neck.

Roman kisses the back of his neck again after he's done. Seth opens his eyes ever so slowly, meeting a tribal necklace created with beautiful onyx beads, an oval shaped pendant hangs on the tribal necklace. It's a white-ish caramel color and it's intricately designed a bit higher up the necklace.

"You're an A'noai now, Seth. And I love you completely, mate of mine." The words are whispered by a deliciously hot breath into Seth's ear.

Seth meets his home when he turns to face a very happy Roman. The broad smile on Roman's face causes a fluttering in the pit of his stomach. Roman's happiness is undisguised, it's genuine and it comes from deep within him. Seth can tell, his man's whole aura exudes positive feelings. He wraps his arms around Roman and maintains the eye contact. Home, his soul sings.

"I love you too, mate of mine."

Chapter Text

Pain knocks the wind out of Seth's lungs as he finds himself laying on his side on the marble tiles of the hotel room they're in. A yelp escapes him, he doesn't know what's happened—one minute he'd been rushing to the bathroom, stomach twisting and turning violently he felt he would've retched last night's supper in bed and now he finds himself on the ground.

The impact of his fall has chased the nausea away, strangely. He closes his eyes when it feels like the room is spinning in circles around him, doing a breathing exercise. Sitting up takes longer than he'd like but he does eventually and leans against the white walls of the hotel room. His eyes are closed again but he knows Roman is crouched in front of him, he can feel the man's presence—consuming him as always.

Seth opens his eyes, his boyfriend is examining him in a way that causes him to titter, Roman's eyebrows knit together in that way they always do when he's trying to understand something and doesn't want to be disturbed. Seth notices that the royal has his phone in hand. "Phone?" he asks.

Roman looks at him intensely, remaining silent for a while. Seth grins when Roman blinks once, twice before clearing his throat. Good, the man's finally joined the land of the living. "My phone?" Seth asks again.

"The hipster called," Roman hands the phone to Seth. "I came to give you the phone and I find that you're—" the royal shakes his head, eyebrows knitting once more. "—on the ground. Why?"

"I'm not sure, was rushing to the bathroom—had nausea and then I found myself on the floor. It's probably dizziness, I swear I saw two bathroom doors when rushing here."

Roman is still crouched in front of him, a small laugh leaving him as he shakes his head. "Two doors, huh?"

"Yes Sir," a small grin tugs at thin lips.

"Come, I'll help you up." Roman stands up, pulling Seth up on his feet too but the brunet's knees threaten to give out again. "Whoa, alofagia. Your legs are very clumsy today, more so than usual." He gets punched on the shoulder by a groaning brunet, Roman kisses his lips. 'We're going back to the hospital the minute we arrive back home."

"No, we're not."

Roman hoists a clumsy Seth into his arms. "These pills are messing with you. How many times have you vomited since you got on them?"

"My body needs time to adjust to them, daddy. These are the side effects I'm facing, I told you about them."

"I know but I don't like what they're doing to you, alofagia. What if you fell and hit your head?"

Seth hushes Roman with a tender kiss to the lips. "I fell on my side, okay? Nothing's wrong with me, I know my body and if something were wrong I'd know. Just allow my body time to adjust."

He receives silence and an arched left eyebrow.

"We can always go back if my body doesn't adjust, Rome. You're making a big deal out of nothing."

A sigh this time, "One month and then we're going back."

"One month," Seth agrees, he gives his phone to Roman. "Now carry me to the bathroom, I need to pee." Roman complies, balancing Seth's waist once they're in the bathroom. "Um, I think I need to poop too, Roman."

Lips touch the back of Seth's neck before Roman turns him around, allowing Seth to settle on the toilet seat. "You want me to leave?"

Seth shrugs, "If you want to, 'm not sure if I won't fall to the ground when I'm done though."

"Stay, it is."

"Who is it?" Seth asks when his phone rings.

"Kofi."

"Answer it—but don't tell him I'm pooping!"

Roman laughs and answers the phone, having an awkward conversation with Kofi. Seth can't blame him, he'd be the same too, if he spoke to someone he's met just once. He's done with his personal business when Roman hangs up. "He was just checking up on you, told me to tell you that you're missed and you should visit sometime."

"Well, we can do that later tonight. We're in Tampa already, it wouldn't be nice if I left without seeing him…and my friends. We can check out The Black Vault later tonight?"

Roman plucks two new toothbrushes from the counter, rinses them, waiting until Seth's washed his hands before giving one to him, toothpaste already filled on it. "If that's what you want."

"It is," Seth nods his head. He tries to, but he can't keep his eyes from wandering to the tribal necklace Roman gifted him last night. Roman's words play in his head, over and over again, like a broken record, one he wouldn't mind listening to for the rest of his life. The hand that was gripping the sink travels to leisurely touch the intricately designed pendant. He smiles through the white foam in his mouth.

Roman is looking at him on the mirror, it causes Seth's heart to flutter. I love you, the words tumble in his mind. He knows his eyes reveal it too. Feeling childish, he removes his toothbrush from his mouth and aims it towards Roman causing white suds to land on the royal's beardy cheek. Roman shakes his head but he must be feeling mature today because he does nothing else.

"Are you coming?" Seth asks heading for the shower.

"Of course, Mr. Anoa'i…I'll be coming inside you soon too. Get yourself ready for me," Seth gawks at the royal bastard's words. Roman walks out of the bathroom before Seth can respond, leaving a content brunet alone in the bathroom.

Strong arms enfold around his waist as the hot water pelts Seth's skin, rinsing white suds off his body. "You've gone and taken a shower without me." Roman complains.

"Well, you were taking too much time. I should've known you wanted to play some music, you can't live without it."

Roman kisses his back tattoo, "Music is food for the soul, alofagia. Life would be pretty blue without it."

Seth allows Roman to turn him around, his arms resting on the royal's shoulders as the man sways them to the slow jam penetrating the air. Roman leans down to kiss him, slow and sweet before he continues in the quietest of voices. "These songs, back home people lost their virginity to this music. You'd find teenage boys calling their girls to serenade them with a classic Luther Vandross or Marvin Gaye song. Jey, it's where he got his smooth skills from. He'd use some of the lyrics to the songs and you know, the girls and boys, they'd swoon. I love old school because you could hear, in their voices—they weren't just singing. The music came from their souls, it's why the classics never grow old."

"Mhm, everything was way cooler back then. And you're so vintage, I forget that you're just a 90s baby sometimes."

Roman's hands hold Seth tighter as he shakes his head, "The 90s kids are the coolest generation the world's provided. Look at all the love making songs that brought us onto earth."

"You're just saying that to boost that inflated ego of yours."

"Of course, I am." Seth faces the shower walls when Roman turns him around. "Bend over Seth, Luther's granted me permission to fuck you to his song." The brunet moans, obeying by arching his back lewdly and bracing his hands on the shower knobs.

Roman takes his time in loving him, large hands wandering all over Seth's body. His body is teased and worshipped—the music filling the air makes everything burn hotter. Seth allows Roman to have him, all of him. It's pure sweet love making as Roman takes them higher and higher while their souls remain so deeply immersed in each other. When their orgasms crash through them, it's done in tandem with their lips joined in a passionate lip lock.

Time seems suspended, in a place where it's just the two of them and no one else. Seth rests his head against the ceramic of the shower walls and tries to even his breathing. Roman's lips are touching his neck, his shoulders, his back. Seth bites on his bottom lip, eyes fluttering closed when Roman holds him in place and pumps into him again—the man's insatiable. It's faster than their first session, rough too. Roman has his wet hair gripped in an iron hold, moving in and out of him until another orgasm rips through him.

There's dark spots blinding him when Roman pulls out of his warmth, Seth feels his knees buckle but the royal holds him in a sure hold, like he always does. Roman takes it upon himself to bath them, even though Seth had bathed already. Seth clings to his boyfriend, folding his legs around Roman's waist when they leave the shower, wet and dripping. Roman stops to grab a towel, wrapping it around them both before heading inside the bedroom.

"What do you want for breakfast?"

Seth pauses momentarily from his task of putting on his underwear. "Donuts, mango juice."

"They don't have that here," Roman frowns, "I'll…take care of it, though. Excuse me."

Roman disappears from view as he strides towards the sliding door leading to the balcony of their room. Seth decides to get dressed, Roman said they're going out at one but he didn't mention the dress code for the occasion so Seth settles on semi-casual clothing. He puts on a grey Metallica t-shirt, pairing it with charcoal slim fit Oxford chino shorts and old school Vans. His hair is tied into a neat bun and he sprays cologne on his body.

"You always smell so good," Roman's back and he has face buried in Seth's neck, strong arms folded around Seth's smaller body tightly.

"It's the cologne," Seth smiles, "but thank you."

Roman's arms disappear from around him when the doorbell rings. "Must be our food," a kiss is placed on neat brown hair, "Get settled, I'll get it."

Seth's eyes light up when Roman places their food on the table. "You got them to bring this here, how?"

"Have my ways." Seth's hungry gaze sweeps over the assorted donuts. He accepts a bottle of mango juice from an amused Roman, rewarding him with a kiss.

"Well thank you. I better warn you though, donuts are my favorite. I'll probably eat most of them."

"Knock yourself out."

"I don't even know which one to pick first, they all look so good." Seth moans.

In the end, Seth eats six donuts all on his own while Roman gets the three that are Seth's least favorite. The brunet can't bring himself to feel guilty though, Roman did tell him to knock himself out after all. It's ten in the morning and they have another two hours before they have to leave so Roman suggests they relax outside, guiding Seth out the balcony. They're on the 29th floor, it's the last one, allowing them the liberty to view the beauty of Tampa bay.

The city sounds are chaotic, as usual, but they turn into a distant noise with how high up they are. Seth rests his hands on top of Roman's as they look on the breathtaking view. "Happy one month, Roman." He realizes he hadn't yet said the words.

Lips touch the back of his neck, "Happy one month to you too, alofagia. I love you."

The words never cease to cause the butterflies to swim in his stomach. "I love you too." He really does, so much.

It's ten minutes before one when they arrive to the location that Roman had hid from him throughout the day. Roman tells him to remain seated as he goes to the other side to get his door for him so Seth complies. He removes his seatbelt, accepting Roman's offered hand and a kiss to his lips. The place they're at is a restaurant, one called Tommo's. Roman must have a thing for these classy, glass wall designed restaurants because this one reminds Seth of the one Roman took him to on their first date.

The dress code isn't as strict as from that restaurant though which Seth thinks is a good thing. They head to the host booth, Roman speaking to the young lady who's hair is tied to perfection. Sarah, Seth reads her name tag, seems too dumbfounded to respond at first. Her cheeks take on a red color and Seth thinks she's gawking at them. He can't blame her, two fine specimen, in a relationship together—of course, they make fire together.

"Alofagia?"

Roman's voice brings him back to the present. "Yes?"

"You coming?" Seth wants to make some sexual joke but decides to nod his head instead. Here and there, people look at them in awe as they make their way to their table. Seth hesitates when he sees the table they're headed to. Not because of the table, there's nothing special about it, it's elegantly set up and is large. So large in fact, that a big number of humans—who look like his boyfriend—occupy it, leaving two empty seats, Seth gathers are meant for himself and Roman.

Why? Just why the hell didn't the royal bastard tell him they were meeting his family? Seth can feel himself grow sick with each shaky step that brings them closer to that table. Forest green eyes clash with his widened ones—that has to be the mother. She looks older than everyone at the table, but her porcelain skin is flawless as ever. It's her energy that makes Seth know, even with the bit of distance, there's something regal about the woman, something warm too.

And she's beautiful—the woman looks as ethereal as her son. Her jet black hair falls in lustrous curls around her. Seth can't see much of her outfit but she looks so simplistic, even her aura exudes that. He breaks eye contact shyly to look at the other occupants at the table. There's Jimmy and Naomi, he spots Jey, Tamina, Nia is seated next to a woman with fiery red hair. Her hair contrasts her gorgeous mocha skin tone and Seth gets a feeling that she's as fierce as the color of her.

"Why didn't you tell me?" he whispers to Roman just before they reach the table.

"And ruin the surprise, I don't think so."

"I hate you."

"The feeling's mutual." Seth grabs Roman's right arm, moving it to rest at the small of his back. The nerves he feels dissipate a little, but the nausea is still there and he can't seem to breathe right when they finally reach the table. He blinks his eyes rapidly, heart thumping loudly. The spotlight falls on them when Roman clears his throat. In a moment of insecurity, Seth's eyes fall at his Vans and they stay there.

The hand at his waist squeezes gently but Seth doesn't dare look up, feeling far too bare and scared. "Family," Roman starts, something in his voice, "thank you for coming. You know why you're here and you know who this is…well most of you." The table chortles. "But I'd still like to introduce him to you. Mama, Ember and all of you, meet Seth Rollins. My happiness and the one I love."

"Is he going to stare at his feet forever?" Naomi teases. "C'mon Seth, you're not this shy at home."

Seth's eyes snap up immediately as he rolls them at Naomi. "I'm not shy at all, Naomi. You're just…unlookable."

The table breaks into laughter again, but Seth focuses his attention on Naomi, he's still nervous about meeting the others' eyes. "Unlookable isn't a word, boo thang."

"It is now."

Everyone is still laughing, making Seth feel somewhat at ease—the ice has slowly broken. The woman, who Seth is certain is Roman's mother, moves from where she's seated. Roman's arm disappears from his waist to hug the petit woman. Seth can hear her whispering into Roman's ear, she's speaking Italian, he thinks. It's a bit of a surprise because Roman has never told him that his mom is Italian—granted they haven't exactly spoken much about their families.

"So you're the one Roman always insists I talk to on the phone?"

Yeah, that's pretty accurate. "Yes, Your Highness." At least his voice is not shaky.

"Mhm," Seth tries not to fidget while being examined. "You gave him the pendant?"

"Yes," Roman nods his head.

"You must really love him then."

"I do." The words melt Seth's heart even though he's being spoken about as if he isn't here.

Forest green eyes observe him again, warmth in them. "Do you love my son, Mr. Rollins?"

"I do."

"And he loves you too? Do you feel his love for you when you're with him?"

"Yes, I know he loves me. He tries to show me all the time." Even though he behaves like an ass sometimes. He won't tell Roman's mother that though.

"Does he make you happy?"

"Yes," Seth acknowledges again.

He should've known that the petit woman is a hugger, like everyone of Roman's family he's met. Her hug makes him feel as if he's floating on clouds, it's warm and cuddly, much like Nia's hugs even though Roman's mom is way smaller than his intimidating cousin. "Good, that's what's important. That you're happy with each other and that you love each other."

"We do," Roman's mother eyes him as if checking to see if he's telling the truth. Seth isn't sure if she finds what she's looking for as she pats his cheek before going to her chair. He takes a seat next to Roman.

"Alofagia, you already know my silly cousins and their spouses." Seth laughs at the protests coming from their table. "But you haven't met my mama and favorite cousin."

"Technically I've met your mother already, Roman."

"Tell him, Seth." Jey guffaws.

Roman's arched eyebrow causes Seth to shrug lightly, a grin on his face. "Okay, smartass. I want you to meet Ember then, my cousin."

"Wassup?" fiery red-haired girl, Ember, greets.

Seth, for the first time, notices that her eyes are a blood red color. Okay that comparison was…awkward but her eyes blaze in the same red color as her hair. "I like your contacts, they're really cool."

Ember smiles with her whole face, she looks genuinely happy with Seth's compliment while most of the table snorts. "She looks a vampire with those red things on. A Twilight bloodsucker."

"Jealousy looks great on you, Tami." Ember gloats. "The contacts are cool, approved by my favorite cousin-in-law."

Okay….

Seth is surprised that Roman's family take Ember's words in stride, as if it's normal talk to just declare a newcomer as family. He doesn't spend much time pondering on it though as their waiter comes with the menus and takes down their drinks orders before scurrying off when Jey's ever flirting self makes the young man blush in every shade of red.

"So where's home, Seth?" the Queen jumps straight into it. Her kind eyes tell Seth he needn't be afraid so he clears his throat.

"Keokuk, Iowa." Roman's right hand settles on his thigh beneath the table—comforting. Seth entwines it with his.

"I've never been to Keokuk, before. Never heard of it, actually."

"You've never been to Iowa at all, Jey." Jimmy points out.

"I know, dimwit. It's why I said that." The waiter comes back with their drinks, setting them on the table. They place their orders before the waiter leaves again.

"I'm afraid, I've never been to Keokuk too. What's it like?"

"I mean it's not that big a city, about 10 000 people or so live there. Jobs don't come by easily. It's part of why I left. It's pretty boring but in the summer, we have a blues festival at Victory Park, I actually forgot about that. I should take you there, sometime—I'm sure you'll enjoy it." Seth tells Roman.

"I'm game for anything music related."

Seth shakes his head, "Not metal," he accuses.

"That's not music, that's people screaming incoherently."

"But you scream along too, I've seen you do it a couple of times."

He laughs when Roman keeps silent, the man can say he hates his music all he wants but Seth has seen him sing along, he even pretends to be the drummer or guitarist at times. Especially when they're listening to Korn or Metallica—the latter, Roman seems to like better than all the other artists.

"You've got him listening to metal music?" Ember's voice reveals her disbelief and…hope?

Seth looks at her, she has that 'it's too good to be true' expression etching her features. "When he lets me, he just bullies me into listening his songs most of the time." A slice of cucumber goes into his mouth.

"Probably to seduce you, it's all they ever use back home." Jey waggles his eyebrows.

Seth shakes his head, he won't even bother with Jey.

"How long have you been in Florida, Seth?" Nia has rarely said anything but it's her who asks the question.

"Nearly ten years. I left home a few months after I graduated."

"So young…" Roman's mother trails off, Seth doesn't need to be a genius to know she's prying discreetly.

Seth clears his throat, squeezing Roman's hand beneath the table. "I was, but I just needed a change. Home never really felt like home in Iowa."

"Oh?"

"Yes, it was too toxic."

"And that's why you turned into prostitution?" The interrogation hasn't stopped.

"Mama…"

"Yes," Seth admits. It's partly true anyway. "My mom, she got me into it. But I continued even…after." He doesn't want to think about his past, doesn't want to think about her. Shame claws at him for some reason. Is he even worthy of being at a table with these people?

"And it led you to my son."

"It—did," he croaks.

"Did Roman tell you the significance of that pendant you're wearing, Seth?" the brunet nods his head, doesn't trust himself to speak at the moment. Their table is quiet as he finds himself being questioned by the regal woman. It's like an unspoken rule, everyone listens when she talks. Which is unfortunate on Seth's end, all the attention is on him after all. "So you know you're married to him?"

No, he's been promised a proposal. Not marriage, definitely not marriage. "He told me about the…ancestors."

"Yes, to our ancestors you're practically married to my son. They recognize you as his mate, his only mate. They won't acknowledge anyone who comes after."

"It's a good thing I'm not planning on going anywhere then."

The Queen's jade irises have a smile in them. "Is that so?"

"Yes, Your Highness."

"Mama."

Is the interrogation finally over? Does mama mean he passed? "Pardon?" he has to be sure.

"Call me mama, you're the future consort."

Roman squeezing his thigh again causes Seth to spare him a small glance, the warmth he finds there calms his unsteady heartbeat. He graces his boyfriend with a gentle grin, his attention going back to the Queen. "Thank you, uh—" he hesitates a little, nerves picking up again, "mama."

He receives a head nod in return, "My husband is a very busy man, unfortunately, so he couldn't make it. You will get the opportunity to meet him though, very soon, I hope."

If he's as kind as the mother, then maybe he'll do alright. "I understand…mama. It's an honor meeting you, though."

Ember releases a long sigh, "Now that the interrogation's finally over, can we get to know our cousin-in-law too?"

"It wasn't an interrogation," Naomi scoffs, "an interrogation is what I went through."

"And you had them eating out of the palm of your hands," Jimmy praises, kissing Naomi's cheek.

"How old are you again, Seth?"

Seth looks at Ember's curious eyes, "29."

"You're older than him," she cackles, reminding Seth of Dean, "ain't that something?"

"He does behave like a baby most of the time," Seth releases an amused sound at Roman's groan of disapproval, "you're my baby, though. My big cuddly insatiable baby." He whispers the words against Roman's lips before planting his lips firmly on the royal's full ones.

"Have any of these ones here told you about Roman's embarrassing kid stories?" Ember has a mischievous glint in her eyes.

"Ember," Roman growls, "don't you dare."

"But I want to hear," everyone at the table cackles, some louder than others. Seth can only imagine what they look like from an outsider's eyes. Their large table, with one small woman and eight large bodies, laughing loudly.

It's well into the afternoon when lunch ends, three o'clock to be precise. Seth hugs Roman's mother again, a longer hug this time. She whispers words of wisdom into his ear and welcomes Seth into their family. She's leaving tonight so she won't be seeing him again. "If my husband cannot make it to America within the next two months, you're coming to Lanuola with my son. You need to know more about our country, traditions and customs."

Seth doesn't know what to say, he releases a quiet, "Yes, mam," leaving the small woman's embrace.

They step outside the restaurant, all of their eyes glued on the Queen as her driver opens her door for her. "Kids…don't do anything I wouldn't do," she jokes before her car drives off, fading into distance.

"So which clubs are we hitting tonight?"

Seth isn't surprised that Jey asks that question, he did say Jimmy's twin is a party animal. "Roman and I were thinking about going to the club I used to work at. It's an erotica bar—the coolest in Tampa, actually."

"Aye, The Black Vault!" Jey hollers, dancing a little.

"You've been there?"

"Yesterday," Jey admits, "it's a dope club, man. I saw some fine ass chocolate thing I want to get a taste of, maybe I'll see him again today."

Some of Jey's family laughs, the others snicker. "I'm game too. As long as the mood's chilled and the babes are hot. You used to work there Seth, any hot chicks?" Ember asks.

"I've never really paid attention to them, it's a gay bar but women go there too," Seth says, watching Ember's eyes dim a bit, "besides, name one club that doesn't have at least ten good looking people?"

"You clearly haven't been to a lot of clubs," Jey snorts.

"You guys have a good time, I'm going back to Miami. I've far more important things to do than go clubbing, like my job and my husband," Nia says, going around to give everyone warm hugs, "I enjoyed being with you lot again. We should do this more often, aunt Pat shouldn't be the only reason we get together."

"She's right," Tamina agrees, "we'll do this again sometime. But like Nia, I don't think I'll stay for the clubbing. I'll head back home with her, see how things are at work."

"Y'all acting as if we didn't know y'all were leaving. It's okay, leave and have fun—being boring," Naomi rolls her eyes.

Tamina leaves with Nia in a silver-grey Jeep. "Nine, we'll meet at the club at nine?" Roman eyes everyone.

Everyone nods, Jey saying he'll get there an hour earlier. Seth has said it, he'll say it again, Jey's middle name should've been party animal. "So?" Roman asks as he begins the drive back to the hotel.

"So?" Seth mimics teasingly.

"How was it? Anything made you feel uncomfortable?"

Seth shakes his head no. "Everyone was great, your mom is very sweet. She's way too humble to be a Queen."

Roman laughs, "What? You expected her to be mean and entitled? Throwing around orders?"

"No," Seth smacks an amused Roman's shoulder, "she just isn't what I'd expected. I love her though, she's so different from my own—" he clears his throat, "from Katherine, she's different from Katherine."

The mood shifts into a bitter one, it's not helping that radio isn't on. "Has she tried to call you again?"

"I don't know…" Seth stares out the window. "I got a missed call yesterday. I didn't know the number—it could've been her."

"And this person, they haven't called back?"

"No."

Soft lips touch his knuckles, "If it's her, I'm sure she'll call again."

"Sami made it sound like she wanted to speak to me desperately. And I'm curious too, I hate to admit that I want to know what she wants."

"There's nothing wrong with that, alofagia. If you're ready and she calls again, then you answer."

Seth peeks at his boyfriend whose entire gaze remains fixated on the road—someone this gorgeous can't be human. "I love you." Roman's randomness is rubbing up on him.

Home, his heart always seems to stutter when two warm eyes turn to stare at him briefly. "I love you too, mon chou." The royal bastard's tiny wink tugs at Seth's heartstrings, he shakes his head and turns the radio on.


 

"You look gorgeous, Seth—like you always do. Can you follow me out, now?"

Seth ignores the agitation in Roman's voice and gives himself another once over in the mirror. He turns around, looking at his back, legs, his ass. "Do these jeans show off my ass enough? I feel like it's too…flat, in them, which isn't fair—I've been doing a lot of squats lately."

A sigh leaves Roman's lips, they aren't going to make it to the club on time with the way Seth is carrying on. "Your ass is fine, it's thick and round and it's mine. I don't know who else you'd want to show it off to, when I'm appreciating it just fine."

Seth strides to Roman with a toothy grin on his face, "Appreciate it you do, daddy. Alright, I'm ready. We can leave."

Roman grabs their phones, taking the hotel keycard and car keys. He gives Seth his wallet and leads them out of their suite. "I want us to reach an understanding before we get to the club—no one's touching you. Maybe your friends for platonic hugs but I don't want people to touch you."

Bambi eyes widen so much, Roman thinks they aren't far from falling out of Seth's sockets. "You're not serious!"

"I am," he says simply, walking out of the lift towards their rented car. Seth's footsteps sound from behind, he opens the brunet's car door, watching Seth roll his eyes before entering the car.

"So what if I want to dance and you don't? People touch when they dance, Roman. Am I supposed to dance on my own?"

"Yes,"

Seth laughs incredulously, "At a club? Where people grind and gyrate against each other?"

"Grind, gyrate—do you think the words you're using are helping your case?"

"My case doesn't need any helping, daddy. People dance at clubs, they touch—as long as I set boundaries."

"You're not going to do it, not in my presence."

"We'll see about that…" it's huffed out.

"We will." The car remains silent after that. Roman can't bring himself to be genuinely affected. He's just being honest with Seth, he has no desire to see him being touched by other people. He, especially, has no desire to see him grind against other people, he's seen it once with the ginger one and that one time was enough.

The music from the club is deafening, for a Tuesday night, that is. They haven't even entered the club yet but Roman can feel it reverberate in the car. Seth managed to get them parking space from the employees' parking so it's a relief that they don't have to wait with the five or so drivers waiting to park their cars with everyone else.

He gets the feeling that he's angered a doe-eyed brunet as he parks the car. Seth hasn't said anything in the twenty minutes it took them to get here but he does stay put when Roman tells him to so that he can get his door for him. Roman traps him against the car as a staring contest ensues between the two of them.

Seth eyes him with daggers in his eyes, Roman isn't sure if he's meant to feel frightened with the look thrown his way because all he feels is love for this beauty in front of him. Seth is so indecently innocent in his beauty that all Roman wants to do is throw him on this car and pound away—pound into his warmth until the brunet's screaming and begging him to stop. His cock swells in interest at his depraved thoughts and Seth looking away from him tells him the brunet knows exactly what he's thinking.

Seth tries to create some distance between them but it's futile—he's trapped. Roman gets into his space even more, his erection poking Seth's stomach. His eyes roam Seth's body—blatant hunger burning in his dark eyes. "I'm still mad at you," the words are whispered shakily by a brunet whose gaze remains turned away from him.

"I know," Roman grips the back of his neck, making Seth look at him. This man has to possess some supernatural power because how does he manage to look so depravedly angelic…blameless, almost. After everything they've done, Seth still has this innocence, this vulnerability about him. It's those Bambi eyes, it must be them. "And I still haven't changed my mind. You're not dancing with anyone."

Seth's eyes widen in anger but he still looks so darn innocent and sinfully celestial that it has Roman groaning. And Seth wants to blame him for not wanting other people to touch him. With all this beauty? No, the rule will remain—no one will touch Seth. No one but him. "You can't tell me what to do, Roman."

"I just did and it's not up for discussion, Seth."

Seth attempts to turn away from him again, but the grip at the back of his neck makes it impossible. "I despise your jealousy, it's…exhausting."

"It's who I am, Seth," Roman's eyes soften, "I admit that jealousy is my flaw. It's not going to change, not when it comes to you."

"Not even when you know that you're the only one I want?"

"No," Roman shakes his head, "this is not a matter of being insecure, Seth. I just don't want people touching you."

A sigh sounds above the loud music playing in the distance, "Of course, it had to be me. I had to go and fall in love with the jealous, possessive brute." Roman can tell Seth is whispering the words to himself, it makes his words funnier.

The royal cups Seth's cheeks, gazing into Bambi eyes—they make his heart flutter in love. "I'll dance with you then. The entire night if it will make you happy but you're not doing it with anyone else."

Seth rolls his eyes, a hint of a smile tugging at his lips. "Now was that so difficult?"

"It kind of was," Roman's eyebrow arches in amusement, "you threatened to gyrate and grind against other people, risking me a heart attack. Are you still mad at me?"

He gets no response so he leans down to brush his lips against Seth's parted pink ones. "You mad at me, alofagia?" his voice is smoky.

Seth gulps and blinks his eyes once, twice before looking away. Roman right hand grips his face gently so that they're looking at each other. He roams Seth's face, it feels hot beneath his touch. He hears Seth's tiny hitch when he ever so slowly gets into his face, his breath fanning the brunet's parted lips. "You're so beautiful Seth and you're mine." His tongue slides into parted lips, he holds Seth's face in place as he plunders the smaller man's mouth, rousing strangled moans and whimpers from Seth.

"You're mine, alofagia," Roman kisses Seth's forehead, "all of you belongs to me." he kisses Seth's eyebrows, his eyelids, his cheeks, "your face, those thin rosy lips, your body—that ass, what's in between your legs—it's all mine, Seth." Every inch of Seth's face, he plants his lips against, muttering words of affection and possession at the same time. "And I'm never letting you go. I love you," he whispers finally.

"I love you too."

Roman entwines their hands, leading them to where Seth points is the VIP entrance. There's quite a line, Roman's still surprised that a lot of these people party on weekdays. Don't most of them have work tomorrow?

An erotic paradise, it's the first description that tumbles in Roman's mind when they enter The Black Vault. Red and blue lights flicker in the club making the sea of bodies grinding provocatively against each other look like lewd creatures. His eyes snap to a guy wearing a thong that's barely keeping his parts intact as he moves his body sinuously, it's as if the man has no bones at all. He's dancing in a cage and when their eyes connect, the man winks at him, Roman smirks, unperturbed.

"That's Fandango, he's the best dancer we have." Seth breaks him out of his staring.

"Mhm…" he looks around. "You said your friend is working tonight, where is he?"

"First level, most likely. It's where he usually tends. Let's go." Roman allows Seth to drag him up the stairs to the first level. It's less crowded than the ground level, there's cages and strip poles on this level. "Let's find a place and then we can go to Xavier, or maybe I should start with Hunter first. I can feel their eyes on me," Seth points to the second level. Roman's met Hunter and his partner, once but outside of the club, it had just been before they left for Miami.

Hunter sits on what Roman guesses is his throne. The chair is huge, reminding him of the regal ones from home. His partner sits on his lap with his head resting on the big man's shoulder. Their eyes meet and Roman acknowledges the man with a head nod before turning away. "Is this fine?" Seth points to the VIP area he's chosen for them.

"Yeah, I don't—"

"Yo, uce! C'mere, man!" he's cut off by Jey's loud voice.

"Guess, we'll be going there then." Seth says, dragging his boyfriend to the VIP area that Jey has chosen. It's not different from the previous one, except that there's a man with flawless chocolate skin that shimmers beneath the flickering blue lights dancing on a strip pole. "That's Velveteen Dream. He's also the best dancer we have. You think Jey was talking about him earlier? He's eyeing him like an animal before it attacks it's prey."

"Could be," Roman shrugs, "man whore is what he is, after all."

Seth laughs, "You're right. I'll go talk to Hunter and Kofi, I'll come back in five, okay?"

Roman pulls Seth to him, "Remember what I said about touching," he grips Seth's hair and invades his mouth in a hard kiss.

"I know," Seth rolls his eyes once they pull back.

Roman guards his footsteps, watching Seth make his way to the second level until he's talking to Hunter and a smiling Kofi. There's something warm about the deadlocked man's smile that causes Roman's lips to stretch into a grin. He exudes kindness, like Randy's spouse. "You're beyond saving," he jeers at his cousin whose eyes follow the stripper's thong-clad ass. "Where are the others?"

"Shh," Jey waves him off, without even sparing a glance at him. "Don't interrupt me, this is very important."

Yes, that's how much of an idiot Jey is. Roman chuckles, deciding that it wouldn't do him good to interrupt his cousin's important ogling. He thinks he spots Ember's loud red hair on the dancefloor but the bodies grinding against each other make it hard to tell.

A young man in booty shorts and fluorescent skin comes to take his order. Water is what he gets, he's not going to risk drinking alcohol while he'll still be driving back to the hotel with Seth. Five minutes later and Seth is still not back, the conversation he is having with Hunter and his partner seems to be a lively non ending one but Roman can't bring himself to be irritated. He does spot Ember eventually, in between two twinks as she dances her ass off.

"Hey daddy," a smirk pulls at Roman's lips.

He gives Seth a raised eyebrow, "So you're finally giving me your attention?" a guttural groan leaves him when Seth sits on his lap and wiggles his ass around.

"You always have my attention daddy, always."

"Is that so?" he asks, nibbling on a mewling Seth's earlobe.

"Mhm," Roman holds Seth's hips in place and pumps into a jean-clad ass, trying to relieve his throbbing cock. Seth's breathy moans only make him harder—his dick's turning into a steel pole, it's not helping his case that Seth keeps grinding on his front. "Shit, Ro—daddy," it's strangled.

"Wiggle that ass, Seth. I want to feel it against my dick." Roman's head falls back on the couch, a low growl escaping him. The friction is fan-fucking-tastic, all he can think about is pounding Seth. Right now if he has to. He grips Seth's hips forcing him up only to turn him around so that the brunet is straddling him. "Dance for me, baby." He rumbles, eyes darkened with lust.

Seth complies, moving his sexy body seductively on top of him. Roman licks his lips, hands gripping two round buns firmly. The friction of their erections rubbing together has them both panting into each other's lips. The way Seth nibbles on his bottom lip has Roman growling and replacing it with his own. The atmosphere between the two of them feels like hellfire, their surroundings are forgotten. All Roman knows is Seth is seducing the fuck out of him with the way he moves his body, the way he rolls his hips and how he feels like he's in heaven every time their cocks brush against each other.

"I think I'm thirsty, daddy." The words are breathy, panted into Roman's ear.

"I'll give you something to drink," Roman chuckles. He grips Seth's face, fixating on parted lips and dilated pupils. The blue lights illuminate the beautiful creature he gets to call his, Roman can't resist brushing his lips against Seth's cheeks, teasing the corners of his lips. Seth shudders on top of him, his eyes fluttering shut. "Are you…thirsty, Seth?"

He receives a wordless response, a frantic head nod from a brunet whose eyes are still shut tight. A smirk pulls at the corner of his lips, Roman grips Seth's hair—forcing the brunet to bare his neck. He hears Seth's tiny moans when his lips latch to Seth's neck. Roman feasts on that sensitive part, he bites and licks and marks and claims, unashamedly. Seth is still grinding on top of him and Roman can feel himself leaking inside his pants, it's not a good predicament to be in.

"WAIT, GODDAM-IT! Let me talk to him!" things have reached an explosive sensual heat between Seth and himself when he hears the words being shouted. He feels Seth freeze on top of him, he can tell their hot session is nearing it's end because even he could tell who spoke the words. Even though it sounded agitated, Roman could still hear the delicacy that is always found in Seth's friend's voice. It's the one with the mood swings who'd shouted the words—Xavier, Randy's partner.

"That's Xavier," Seth whispers what he already knew. "Why is he shouting?"

Roman groans, his dick is still hard but Seth's already moving off his lap. After he somewhat clears his lust fogged mind, Roman notices that there is a commotion. He spots two groups of bouncers, leading two separate men down to the ground level. He can't be sure but the man being led by the second pair of guards looks like Xavier's man. It has to be with the way Xavier rushes down the stairs, following them, still in his uniform.

"—ong, Roman!" Seth snaps him out of it. "I said something's wrong, I need to check on Xavier!" He's still being shouted at, he's too slow apparently. Seth drags him out of his chair, practically pushing everyone away to get to the stairs.

The air seems charged with dangerous energy when they step outside, having followed the flock of people who can't mind their own business. Seth still has his hand gripped tightly as he pushes through the crowd. "Xavier!" Seth lets go of his hand, immediately rushing to his tearful looking friend who's being held back by two men the size of Manuia. The small man is a spitfire that keeps trying to pull out of the hold even though he's wasting his time.

Roman watches Xavier's eyes widen, salty liquid finally falling down his cheeks when his eyes clash with Seth's. "Seth! T-they don't want me t-to get to him. Tell them to l-let me g-go."

"What happened? Xavier—excuse me, let him go, you're twice his size!" Seth screams at the bouncers. Is it wrong for him to feel proud of his own spitfire at a time like this, because Roman is. The big idiots' arms and imposing bodies disappear from Xavier immediately Seth snaps that they let him go.

"AAAH! HE'S BREAK—STOP HIM! Somebody fucking stop him!" an anguished shriek penetrates the air sharply. The man's screams send shivers down Roman's spine—he can literally feel his pain. He turns his head in the direction from which the words were screamed, watching as a muscled man lying on the ground with his right arm drawn behind him screams his lungs out in sheer agony.

It's Randy who has the man's arm twisted behind his back and with the way he's pulling, he isn't far from breaking the man's arm. His pale blue eyes look menacing…sadistic, almost. Randy looks heartless, the man's screams only seem to please him as he pulls harder, drawing even more agonized screams.

The only time that Roman catches something flicker in his eyes is when a shaken Xavier kneels in front of him. There's still a circle of people watching the altercation but Xavier's attention is on Randy. "Randy…" the dark skinned man croaks. Roman is assuming Randy hasn't heard a word because he remains lethal, pulling on the now whimpering man's arm. "Ran…Randall." Roman's surprised Xavier is saying that name. He's seen how Randy snaps at Dean or anyone who calls him Randall.

"Randall, look at me." Xavier's voice trembles, his tears an overflowing river. "Please Randall…" the words are accompanied by a hand running down Randy's left arm.

Roman watches Randy let his guard down. It happens when the cold-eyed man turn his attention to Xavier's quivering eyes. Randy tilts his head to the side before looking back at the man whose screams seem to have burned his voice. "He made you uncomfortable, doll. He forcefully propositioned you even after you told him no. He needs to be punished."

"Not t-this way. You're going to break his arm, Randy."

"Let it break," the cold tone leaves a chill in the air. Even with the small distance, Roman can tell Randy means it.

"It's violence, Randy. You know I don't like violence, please."

Randy looks torn, Roman thinks the cold-eyed man really thinks violence is the solution. But when Randy gazes into Xavier's eyes, they soften, his pale blue eyes soften so much with emotions Roman wasn't even aware the man could show. "He hasn't apologized, doll. Remember, you told me apologies."

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry. Just, shit, I'm sorry, okay?" a string of apologies fall of the bound man's lips.

"There, he's said it. Now, let him go!" Xavier urges.

A whimper slips past the bound man's lips when Randy pulls one final time, harshly, before letting go. "Fucking bastard, he's fucking crazy!" the formerly bound man wheezes, holding onto his arm. The crowd seems to dissipate when the 'action' ends.

It's probably after four or five people remain that Roman remembers Seth. He looks around to find the love of his life walking towards him, an unreadable expression on his face. Roman hugs the smaller man close, kissing his forehead softly. "You okay?" Seth gives a wordless nod, nose rubbing up and down Roman's chest.

Roman watches Xavier settle on a seated Randy's lap, both men don't seem to mind that they're on the ground. Xavier kisses a blank Randy's temple, sighing against the older man. "Randall Keith Orton," Xavier's voice cracks. Maybe he's developing a bad tendency of feeling the wrong emotions at the wrong time because there's something about the way Xavier says Randy's name that has Roman wanting to cackle—it's a bad, bad idea. "What am I going to do with you?"

Randy's arms encircle Xavier's waist, his left hand resting on the dark skinned man's stomach, Roman swears he sees Xavier stiffening but he can't be sure. "I'm not going to apologize this time, doll. The man was touching you, he thought he had a right to your body. I should've broken that arm."

"I wouldn't have forgiven you if you did. I hate violence, Randy. You wouldn't have been better than…them. Is that what you want?"

"I think that maybe we should give them their space," Seth breaks him away from his eavesdropping. Roman looks at him, his expression clearly asking if they have to. "You're hopeless," Seth shakes his head at his boyfriend's boyish grin. "Look, I'll go tell them a quick goodbye and then we're leaving." The warmth that was previously visible on Randy's face disappears—piercing glare stealing the spotlight. The apathetic man holds Xavier tighter, in a protective hold, when Seth stops in front of them.

The tears that were in Xavier's eyes have long disappeared, he looks serene, but still a little stiff too. Roman isn't sure what Seth is saying to the younger man but Xavier gets a gentle grin on his face. He looks so delicate in Randy's towering body. Roman briefly wonders what attracted the young man to a man as cold as Randy when all Xavier exudes is warmth. The two couldn't be more different, but it still looks like they balance each other—yin and yang, he thinks to himself.

"Let's go," Roman smiles down at Seth and nods his head. He gives the two men seated on the ground a head nod before turning on his heels to follow Seth to the employees' parking. He remembers that he's leaving without having said goodbye to his cousins, he'll just send them messages. Besides, Jey had been preoccupied with the twerking stripper and Ember—he isn't sure what happened to her.

It's close to midnight when they enter the Presidential suite. "What a day!" Seth throws himself on the bed and stares at the ceiling. He allows Roman to pull him up the bed and place him on his waist so that he's straddling him.

"Did your friend tell you what happened?" Roman runs his hands up and down Seth's thighs.

"I thought you eavesdropped in on the entire thing," Seth teases.

"No," Roman shakes his head.

"I didn't get much with Randy plotting my murder with his eyes but that man, he behaved like most of the assholes at the club behave. The entitled son of a bitch couldn't take no for an answer when Xavier turned him down. He groped Xavier when Xav was going to the bathroom. Randy, of course, saw the whole thing. He spends almost all his time at the club when he's not at the hospital. He lost it, he's probably the most volatile person I know."

"And this has happened to you too, correct?"

"A few times," Seth admits, "a few days before I met you, there was a…guy. He wouldn't take no for an answer. The papers were already linking me to you and he laughed at me, told me he wonders what you'd say if you knew I was a whore."

"It's your past, I don't care about that. You're mine now and I love you the way you are."

"Really?"

"Yes, alofagia."

A gracious smile etches Seth's face, he strokes Roman's beard. "Randy, the last time he behaved like he did tonight was two years ago. You have no idea how many men proposition Xavier, some even fetishize him. It's disgusting, the things they say to him sometimes. That entitlement that they feel they have to our bodies because we work at an erotica bar."

"Hunter, does he do anything about it?"

"The bouncers are available, you know. But these ones from tonight, I'm guessing they're new because the old ones knew never to keep Xavier away from Randy when a fight happens. He's broken limbs before. Twice, the first time he broke the man's wandering hands. The other time he broke someone's leg."

"I don't condone the violence but I would've done the same Seth. If someone touched you or ever made you feel uncomfortable, I wouldn't hesitate to hurt them. I wouldn't want you to feel unsafe at work."

"Yeah, daddy?"

Roman nods without the slightest hesitation, "Yeah."

"My hero," Seth places a soft kiss on warm lips.

"I'm so glad you're away from this kind of life Seth. Where all these people think they're entitled to you—because of where you work, your past. No one's entitled to you, no one."

"No one except you, right?"

Roman chuckles against Seth's lips, his hand travel to grip Seth's waist possessively. "Damn right, no one but me. Only me, your jealous possessive brute." Roman growls, playfully biting on Seth's bottom lip.

Seth cups his cheeks, giving him a look of adoration. "I love you."

Roman's heart melts every time he hears those words. He doesn't think he'll ever get over how surreal those words still sound to him. "I love you too," he returns, flipping them so that he can show Seth how much.

Chapter Text

"You know what I really hate, Mr. Seth?"

Seth doesn't immediately respond to the question aimed at him, too distracted by the many sounds filling the playground, of little kids basking in their innocence, of teenagers cherishing their youth and of cheerful adults finding joy in starting anew. "No, Michael. But I'd like you to tell me, though." He spares the mocha skinned teenage boy a glance, lips stretching into a small grin at how Michael's cheeks hollow. He's not sure if the sixteen year old even knows he does that when he's thinking really hard about something.

"Well you know I'm trans, right?" Seth nods affirmative. "And you know that I like boys."

"Yes."

Michael pauses his swinging, hands unclasping from the metal of the swings. "What do you think about that?"

"About you being a trans boy and still liking boys?" At Michael's confirmation, Seth continues, "You're attracted to who you're attracted to, Mikey. You shouldn't allow anyone to tell you otherwise."

"And you don't think it's dumb of me to want to transition…when I'm older. Because I'll still like boys. You don't think I should remain a girl?"

"The way you said that last word is answer enough," the distaste in Michael's voice was unmasked. "But I can't tell you what to do, Mikey. In your heart, you know what's right for you. That's what you should do, what you feel is right for you."

Michael sighs, swinging resuming. "I know, Mr. Seth, it's just those meatheads and their dumb Instagram girlfriends at school…they're always blabbing. They call me the dike who wants the dick. Most of the time, I laugh at their stupidity but sometimes it gets to me, you know?"

Not really, but he has an idea, he's had to deal with being ridiculed for most of his life.

"I want to bash their faces in when they talk about my ma. It's like you can come at me all you want but don't drag my mom into it. It's the reason, I almost got suspended today. That stupid Alex Matthews, he's a Senior, thought he could fuck with me. I messed him up pretty bad."

"That's nothing to be proud of, it almost got you into trouble."

"Duh, I know that but Alex is the loudest among those brainless muscleheads. He calls me tranny in the halls, tells me I'm retarded for wanting to be a boy when I like boys. I'm a confused little girl, apparently."

"Maybe, you can educate them then?"

Michael's frown tells Seth he's not swayed on the suggestion. "And do their jobs for them? Hell no, I don't think so, Mr. Seth. I'm not going to teach a bunch of dumb jocks and their girlfriends about the complexity of gender and sexuality, it's not my fault they're ignorant bigots."

"All I'm saying, Michael, is that no one can make a confused person understand better than the one who is in the situation itself. You're trans, you like boys and these schoolmates of yours are maybe too confused to understand how that's possible because they feel that you should be attracted to girls. It could be why they call you a lesbian even though you're not. People usually hate what they don't understand and since you know yourself better than anyone, you could make them understand about your sexuality. And if they're still 'ignorant bigots' well at least you know you tried."

"I don't know, Mr. Seth…" Michael looks at war.

"It's a suggestion, Mikey. But if you don't like it then the alternative is to inform your teachers. No one has a right to bully you for who you are or who you're attracted to."

"I prefer to let my fists do all the informing but I'll give your advise some thought."

Naomi is walking towards the swings, looking simplistically beautiful in black leggings and a black tank top. Her hair is tied neatly into a bun, it's the first time Seth's seeing her with her hair made up like that. Seth turns away from her, a pleased grin pulling at his lips at Michael's words.

"Check you later then, greet our boyfriend for me, will ya?" Seth shakes his head in amusement, watching Michael walk away before he can respond. It's silly how hard he's crushing on Roman.

"Hey Naomi," he greets as the vivacious woman settles on the swing Michael had been occupying.

"Boo thang, it's been a while."

"It has," Seth agrees. The last time he saw Naomi was two weeks ago, when they were all in Tampa, for that meeting. "Did you come here alone? Where's Leilani?"

"She left with my mom for the weekend. They're going to Disney World, for a bit of fun. They'll return late Sunday."

"That's awesome. I hope your mom can keep up with her, though, Leilani isn't human, with all that energy."

Naomi laughs loudly, "My mom behaves worse than Leilani. It's all to reassure herself that she isn't growing old."

"Well I don't blame her…it sucks growing old."

"Tell me about it," Naomi agrees. There's a mirthful sparkle in her eyes as she looks at Seth, "You guys have outdone yourselves, by the way. This place is beautiful, I swear I thought I'd lost my way and gone to heaven when I stepped out of my car. Y'all managed to balance things out for everyone."

"It's all on the project manager and her team, really. But everyone was impressed at the opening. The kids couldn't contain their happiness," Seth tells Naomi. She hadn't attended the foundation's opening which was a week ago because she had to take care of a then sick Leilani.

"I'm amazed too, this place may as well be Disney World."

"Like I said, Leonie and her team, they worked their magic."

"Roman mentioned you writing your first exam today, how was it?"

"I don't know if I'm allowed to say it was quite…easy? The study group I have with a few friends from college makes it easier."

"That's great, well good luck on the remaining ones too."

Seth gives Naomi a small smile, "Thanks Naomi."

"Take me on a tour of this place, I want to see all it's amazingness."

No complaint leaves Seth's lips as Naomi drags him away from the swings for the indoors. He tells her to pause at a vending machine though to grab a packet of chips, water and two Snickers bars. He's hungry and hasn't had a decent meal in nearly two hours.

"Your dance studio is bigger than I thought," Seth sits on sparkling beige floors, opening his chocolate bar while watching amusedly as Naomi looks around the large dance studio. "Have you guys began using it?"

"They do. But there are classes, we have one in an hour, at four. Ballet for the kindergartners."

"I see," Naomi does a little twirl, gracefully, might Seth add. "And how flexible are you, Sethie?"

"A bit, I…think," the mischievousness he'd heard in Naomi's voice makes him a bit antsy.

"Let's dance together then. C'mon, get off the ground, I'll teach you a few moves."

Seth wants to accept the proposal, the only problem is he's not sure if his feet will comply. He's been having jelly legs a lot lately. "Maybe another time, Naomi. I don't feel too good at the moment." It's not a lie. He feels ill, for some reason, the room suddenly feels like a sauna. All he wants to do at the moment is lie down—in his bedroom, with the AC on and the balcony doors open. It's too hot.

Naomi's expression is one he hasn't the energy to decipher at the moment. But he's grateful that she doesn't try to change his mind. She dances on her own instead, playing a song he recognizes from when he was working at The Black Vault. Rihanna's sultry voice sounds in the studio as Naomi dances to the song 'You Da One'.

"I need to refill my water," he tells her, getting off the ground. One step at a time, Seth. It's his mental lecture as he strides towards the tap. After getting a fill of the cold water, he refills his bottle again before going back to perch himself in his original place—the ground.

"You okay, boo thang? You look…parched…sick?"

"I'm fine, it's just…I got on the, um, birth control pill." He can feel his body reheating again, only it's in embarrassment this time. Naomi does, of course, know that he can get pregnant. The media made sure everyone knows, but still, it feels strange to talk about. He feels like he's admitting to having an active sex life somehow. And that makes him feel funny.

Gosh he's turning into Xavier….

"What? It's making you sick?"

"You could say that," he shrugs, offering his unfinished Snickers bar to Naomi. "Dr. Baldwin explained the side effects but I thought I could handle it. And I can, but no one enjoys having nausea and dizziness and headaches."

"Did you tell Roman?"

"He knows, overreacted about the whole thing too. He wanted us to go back to the hospital but I thought it would be better if we waited a month at least. It's only been two weeks, we have another two to go."

"Well there are other birth control tools Seth, if this one's not working then you can try out the other ones."

"I know…and I will. But I'd still like to give it a chance first, it hasn't even been that long."

"If you say so," Naomi doesn't look convinced or impressed.

"So how's Jimmy?" Seth decides it would probably be better to discuss something else.

Naomi gives him that chiding look she loves so much, but answers nonetheless. "He's fine, a bit fun too…when your workaholic asshole, I mean boyfriend…" Seth has to chortle with her at that. "I'm just joking, work's been keeping him busy but he's fine. It's Jey, who's having the time of his life. Did Roman tell you that he's still in Tampa?"

"Mhm," Seth confirms, "he's enchanted by one of the dancers at the club, apparently. I think I have an idea who it is." Seth remembers Jey leaving with Velveteen Dream to the private rooms, just before the drama with Xavier and Randy.

"It's all well and good as long as the guy knows that Jey isn't looking for a relationship. Monogamy is a foreign concept to Jey."

"I know people like that, a couple of years ago, a neighbor of mine had two boyfriends. It seemed to work well for all of them."

"I don't think it's like that with Jey, to be honest. I know I said he doesn't understand monogamous relationships but I think he's just scared. Of falling in love."

"Oh…?"

"Mhm, after Tyler, I mean I know he never actually dated the guy because well…of obvious reasons. He couldn't go after his cousin's boyfriend but still…Tyler's death hit him pretty hard. At least, that's what Jimmy told me."

Seth stares at first, for a full minute, he's too shocked to respond to Naomi. Why would she tell him this? And the dark skinned woman looks totally unperturbed. As if she hasn't just spilled a bomb to him about how Jey had been in love with his cousin's boyfriend.

"Tyler…Roman's Tyler?" he asks, dumbly.

"You didn't know?" Naomi's big round eyes widen, she snaps her fingers in agitation. "Shit! Of course you didn't know. I got a big mouth, Seth. I thought you knew."

"It's okay, Naomi," Seth tries to assure her. "I already knew about Tyler. I'm just…shocked. A-About Jey, I didn't…I didn't," he shakes his head, trying to wrap his head around the whole situation. "So Jey was in love with Tyler too, huh?" He doesn't like the way his insides twist nastily, it's the telltale signs of jealousy. What is it about this Tyler that was so special that he was wanted by not one but two members of the same family?

"Uh…maybe I shouldn't—"

Naomi's hesitation irks him. "You've already told me Naomi. It's no use hiding it."

"Look, I don't know much, okay?" Naomi sighs, "But Jimmy told me this long ago. I wasn't dating him long, maybe a couple of months. We were eighteen, and Jey and Roman, they didn't get along much back then so Jimmy told me why. There, that's all I know."

Their conversation is over, Seth knows it. Naomi's tone leaves no room for further questioning. And he doesn't try to persuade her to change her mind. "Fine, I'll ask Roman then," he tests the waters to see if it would be possible. Naomi's only response is a stiff shrug of the shoulders. Good, it's all the go-ahead he needs.

***

Roman has been home for over three hours and Seth has been trying to gather the courage to ask the man about Tyler. While Roman has been slowly opening up, Seth came to the realization—long after Naomi had left—that he doesn't know much about Tyler. All he knows is that the boy died at sixteen, breaking Roman's heart in the process, but that's about it.

And Seth will admit that he's curious. He wants to know more about the boy who managed to steal the hearts of two relatives, brothers. The brunet is still finding it hard to believe that Roman and Jey hadn't the best of relationships once. The two are so close, he sees how much Roman loves his cousin every time Roman talks about him. It's all very confusing.

"What are you thinking so hard about?"

Roman's voice sounds deeper than usual, there's an underlying amusement in it too. It brings an unforced smile to Seth's face but calms not the thoughts sounding in his mind. They are all uncoordinated and too loud that he can't even pick one to concentrate on. "I'm not thinking hard," he lies.

"Then why are you pulling on my beard? And why is your right eyebrow arched so high?"

Dammit!

Curse Roman for knowing his absentminded habits. Seth blinks up at him before turning his gaze to the documentary playing on the TV. It's one about a serial killer, now if he could only remember what the serial killer's name is. His thoughts really are all over the place today. Ever since Naomi…

"Tyler," his mind rushes to his mouth.

Roman stiffens, silence growing longer by the second, it isn't far from transitioning into tension. "What about him?" Roman asks through clenched teeth.

"And…Jey," Seth says carefully, voice a whisper.

The silence is longer, much longer. The TV sounds too loud to Seth's ears, everything feels to loud. In the wake of the uncomfortable silence, Seth thinks he can hear every little sound. He remains completely still, eyes locked on the TV even though it's proving difficult to concentrate with the chilly atmosphere his words have caused.

"Who told you?" Roman asks quietly…too composed.

"Does it matter?"

"Naomi," Roman says matter-of-factly. But there's a darkness in the way he says Naomi's name. Seth finds himself thinking that maybe bringing this up was a mistake. Maybe he should've just kept silent. Which is what he'll do now. No more asking, not tonight. "I should've known. She couldn't keep out of people's personal affairs if you paid her to."

"She didn't mean to," Seth defends. "We were talking about Jey and she thought that he's the way he is because…" No, Seth decides he isn't going to continue. He isn't even sure how Roman feels about Jey having feelings for Tyler.

"Because he fell in love with Tyler. It's okay, I can handle it." Roman has moved away from the couch, but he's standing besides Seth, towering over him, expression unreadable.

"Look, we can drop it, Roman. I shouldn't have pried, I'm sorry."

"Why? You want to know, don't you?" Roman asks sarcastically. He walks away from Seth and paces in front of the TV, muttering incoherent words that Seth's ringing ears can't hear. Pausing, the royal gives Seth a once over before holding his hand out. "Come."

Seth accepts the offered hand with a heavy heartbeat, he doesn't know where Roman's taking them. Anticipation causes his vacant hand to shake as they make their way upstairs. They stop at a door in the hallway that Seth knows all too well. He passes it everyday on his way to his bedroom, and has only ever been inside it once. That night he lost his way and entered it by mistake.

Roman opens the door, guiding him inside. The first thing that Seth thinks is that it's huge, much larger than he thought on that night. Everything in Roman's room is elegant, the bed is huge, draped in black bedsheets. The color coordination of the room is mostly black, there are a few white items here and there but it's too clean…clinical, almost.

"That day of the press conference, I apologized to you. Do you remember what I said?"

Roman's voice is controlled. The royal has his back turned away from him too. It makes Seth uneasy but he still answers, "Yes."

"My mom is Italian. Tyler is Italian. His mom's Italian. When he was fifteen, he left Italy to live with us. It was after Ariana died. My mama and that—whore, they grew up together. They grew apart when mama moved to Lanuola. Ariana was a prostitute much like your mother, I guess. Too toxic, bringing her lovers around Tyler. Tyler never went to school, he spent his days locked indoors. And when he came to us, he was skittish and scared. The world seemed like a big terrifying place to him, he was too innocent, too…troubled."

"He loved animals, loved creating stories about what the small ones like insects were saying. And Do-nald Duck, after school, I'd rush home to watch it with him. I don't blame Jey for falling in love with him. Tyler was a ray of sunlight, he was the entire universe. After…" there's an undeniable pain in Roman's voice. It raises and drops, sometimes coming out strangled as if the man is struggling to breathe. But throughout all this, Seth remains rooted to his spot. He knows Roman needs the space, it's how he opens up easier. "Jey was angry at me for nearly three years after Tyler died. He blamed me for it, blamed me for not showing Tyler enough love that he killed himself. He regrets not going after Tyler. He'd rub it in my face all the time, how he would've loved Tyler better than I ever could."

"We reconciled though, after. Maybe he realized that Tyler's mom had done too much damage that Tyler thought he didn't deserve love. Or maybe, he realized that just like him, Tyler's death hurt me too. But I understand him, I got to love Tyler. I held him in my arms and made unfulfilled plans with him, we talked about our future. I knew what it was it like to love him and to hold him and to kiss him. Jey never got any of that. My pain will never compare to his."

"Well I don't agree, Roman. I think your pain is just as valid. Both of you are entitled to feel hurt without bashing the other or invalidating your feelings. You both lost a loved one. And I think that talking about it could help you, both of you. If you talked about Tyler and what his loss meant to both of you."

"Do you want to see his picture?" Roman's ignored what he's said. He can be very evasive when he wants to and Seth is disappointed that he's surprised at the royal's actions.

"Uh…sure," he tries to keep his own hurt out of his voice.

Stepping forward, he accepts a framed picture with shaky hands. Seth looks at the picture of a boy with stunning blond hair and ocean blue eyes that appear to be drowning, in happiness but the eyes look set too, in non ending sadness. "Hey, Tyler." He whispers, unsure of what else to say.

Roman takes the picture from him, looks at it, before returning it to the bedside table. Seth finds himself feeling grateful that he has never slept in this bedroom. He's not even sure if Roman ever got over his feelings for the dead boy. He won't think about, it's too uncomfortable to think about.

A heavy sigh sounds in the quiet room, Seth looks at a lost Roman. He runs a hand down the royal's right arm, hands entwining at the bottom. "How about we call it a night?"

"Okay," Roman accepts too easily. It's just gone after ten and they usually sleep a little later but Seth figures sleeping an hour or two extra won't do them no harm.

Seth wakes up later that night, when he feels a commotion beside him. He should've known that talking about Roman's past would trigger the dreams. The ones that he pays for with his body. Seth finds himself pinned beneath Roman, whose breathing is too heavy, ragged and his face wet with sweat. It's too dark for him to see anything clearly, but Roman's eyes seem darker to him. The haunted look in them sends shivers down his spine and his heart to beat faster.

He feels Roman's cock at his entrance, they both sleep naked so it's easy access. Seth's voice cracks when Roman shoves into him in one go. Breathing is his point of focus once Roman begins moving inside him. It's the hardest and roughest he's ever been taken, Roman is merciless in his fucking. He's groaning, his hands bruising Seth's skin. "Why Tyler? Why did you do it?!" It's growled out, low and wretched, hand on Seth's throat tightening. "You killed me, Tyler." Roman chokes out, going harder—punishing.

The pain is verging on unbearable, Seth feels it everywhere. He squeezes his eyes shut, he's not going to look at Roman, not when he's like this. Each thrust is deep, sharp and sends agony to his lower back. "Please, slow down, Roman," Seth struggles to get the words out, unsure if Roman's even heard him.

Large hands still grip his body, digging into his skin. Seth clasps the bedsheets tighter with each painful thrust, body trembling. Roman tenses on top of him, gripping Seth's neck in an iron hold. "AAA-AAH!" Seth cracks out as Roman holds him in place by his hair, warm essence coating his insides before a large body collapses on top of him. Seth breathes slowly, eyes blurry and body sweaty. He's in pain and would love more than anything to have Roman's body weight off of him but he slowly wraps his arms around Roman's hot back briefly.

He holds back a pained whimper when Roman pulls out of him, resting beside him. Seth moves slowly to rest on his side, turning away from Roman. He bites on his bottom lip, eyes fixated on the 02:17 flashing on the bedside clock. Like earlier, there are too many thoughts swimming in his head. A part of him is disappointed that this happened—again. And then there's another part that's telling him he's helping Roman deal with his pain, to fight the ghosts of the past.

He's undecided on which side to believe…

There's a stirring beside him again, but this time he feels Roman's weight leave the bed. Seth remains completely silent, eyes finding the bedside clock again. 02:49, it now reads. It surprises Seth, he must've been too in thought to not realize how much the time has passed. He readjusts himself on the bed, bringing the covers up to his waist.

Roman spends ten minutes in the bathroom before he comes back. The room is still pitch black when Seth hears the closet door open. He tries to listen to what Roman is doing but the royal is a master at working in silence. It's only when he hears the sound of a belt buckle that Seth gets an idea on what Roman's plans are.

He's leaving.

The man's just wrecked his body and now he's leaving. Seth refuses to let his heart crack, he won't even look in Roman's direction. And even though he won't look, Seth does feel Roman's eyes on him. It's bordering on creepy because the room is still pitch dark and Seth isn't sure what the man's looking for.

He closes his eyes, feigning sleep when the bed dips on his side, the royal's scent assaulting him. He's still being looked at, Seth can feel Roman's eyes boring into him but not once does he open his eyes. Roman's light touch causes his heart to stumble—in so many emotions. The royal's fingers travel from his eyebrows to his jaw, feather lightly.

"Prick," Seth says quietly, sadly, when the door closes. The room feels too big, after Roman leaves...too empty. Seth decides he doesn't care. Now if only he could lie to himself enough to believe it.


 

"Roman?"

Bayley's sounds way too chirpy to Roman, he wants to be annoyed by it. But he's not that childish, it's not her fault he's in a sour mood. So he looks away from the view in his office, giving all his attention to Bayley instead. "What is it?"

"Seth's on the line. Your cell's off, apparently."

"Tell him I'm busy," he says thoughtlessly.

Bayley's brief frown transitions into a fake smile, "On it."

Running away from his problems is cowardly but Roman's learning a few things about himself. Perhaps he should add coward to the list. It's just he doesn't think he can talk to Seth at the moment. The guilt is already drowning him and talking to Seth will only add to it. Yes, he's avoiding Seth because of his own selfish reasons. Guess that's another trait he's adding to his list, selfish.

He's been in the office for more than ten hours, it's nearing three in the afternoon now. He'd only taken one meeting at ten that Manuia had to take over. Distracted seems to be his name today. The only thing that he has been thinking about is Seth, more so than usual, and not with the distracted smile that he normally gets when he thinks about the smaller man.

He'd thought about Jey too. His cousin's still in Tampa, he met a stripper he's taken a liking to. He'd almost taken Seth's advice to talk about Tyler but decided against it near the end of his conversation with Jey. Despite what Seth said, Roman still thinks that his pain could never compare to Jey's. His cousin has to grieve the loss of someone who was never his. Jey will always spend his life wondering what if…

But Roman has his own 'what ifs' torturing him. That he's still not ready to talk about. After so long and he's still not ready. Especially not to a shrink, it would only open up a can of worms. Roman sighs, headed back to his desk. "Bayley, where is Manuia?" he asks, when his assistant's chirpy voice sounds in his ears, again.

"He'd left with Tamina, an hour ago. I'll ring him, see if he's back."

"Thank you. Tell him, I need to see him, please."

"Okay, anything else?"

"No, thank you." Roman moves to fixate on the view again. Maybe it's time he had one of those one on ones with Manuia again. It's been too long.

"All hail the lion of Sasa'e!" Manuia's voice is also too happy for Roman's liking.

"Cut it out," he turns to face his bodyguard.

Manuia chuckles, "I'm kidding. O a mai oe?"

"I'm fine, Manuia."

"Alright," Manuia settles on the chair across Roman's desk. The smell of greasy food reaches Roman's nostrils. He settles on his chair and accepts the takeaway from Manuia. He hasn't had food the whole day and his stomach is already growling in anticipation. "You called."

Roman stalls by taking a bite of his Bacon burger, he swallows, taking a sip of his soda before finally answering, "I did."

"Okay…care to tell me why?"

"Do you still get the…dreams?"

Manuia remains quiet at first, he's trying to figure out why Roman is asking. Why now? Roman tries for an expressionless smile, tries to be as unperturbed as possible under the scrutiny. "I do," Manuia replies hesitantly.

"Cool…" Roman clears his throat, to keep it from betraying him. "And how do you deal with them? Bobby, does he know?"

"What's going on Roman? Are your dreams troubling you?"

"Nothing's going on. Just asking, brother."

Manuia doesn't believe him, with good reason. "Usually it's hard to get you to open up about anything. And now you're…just asking? Don't bullshit me, Your Highness."

"I just want to know Manuia. Answer or drop it, I don't mind either."

"There's no need to be so defensive. Something's wrong with you…"

"Naomi told Seth about Jey."

"Okay," Manuia gives him a confused expression before understanding reaches him. "Oh. What happened then?"

"I had a bad dream."

"And Seth found out?" Roman nods his head, distracting himself by eating his burger again. "Well, for me, Bobby already knew about my past. He helps me with my dreams, talks to me about them. It gets easier when I talk to him. Why? You thinking of telling Seth about the suicide?"

"He already knows."

"Okay, that's good. It means you're talking to him, right?"

Roman forgets that Manuia doesn't know the full details about Tyler's death. He doesn't know how Tyler—no. If he can't even reveal everything to Manuia, how the hell will he ever reveal everything to Seth? "I talk to him." He sighs. But sometimes I shut down and end up hurting him. The words burn his tongue, they want to leave his mouth desperately but they don't. He's too ashamed, too scared, too…selfish. "Thank you for coming, Manuia. I think I have everything figured out."

Manuia examines him with a curious eyebrow, "You don't want to talk about anything else?"

"No," Roman lies cowardly.

"Are you sure?"

Of course, Manuia knows him too well. "Yes," he lies again, poised as ever despite the storm brewing within him.

Manuia nods his head, albeit hesitantly, "Alright, brother."

Roman tries to keep his relaxed façade throughout his entire session with Manuia. The big man leaves eventually, telling Roman about something he has to do with Bobby. Roman hadn't been listening to know what it is the two will be doing. There's nothing to do for the rest of the day, all his meetings had been cancelled so he allows himself to be totally immersed in his thoughts. The hours go by, but he shows no signs of going home. He just needs a bit of a breather, to collect his thoughts. And to come up with a solution…

***

At nine thirty, Roman finally finds himself at home. The lights are off, leaving only the sound of the TV that he hears as soon as he enters the house. Roman follows the noise of the TV, finding the lights turned on in the living room. Seth sits on the couch, legs crossed, in nothing but Roman's button up. Roman recognizes it as his favorite one. He got it from his mom as a gift last Christmas.

Normally he'd reprimand Seth for wearing that shirt but something about the look in Seth's eyes tells him not to. The aura Seth gives off is one of barely contained anger. A tub of chocolate ice-cream sits on Seth's thighs. Roman walks with cautious steps towards him, taking in the mess on the coffee table. A mess of chocolate wrappers, chips packets and other junk food litters the glass table.

"Evening," he greets quietly. Seth issues no response, Roman can feel the brunet's anger. "I'm sorry for arriving late," he wraps an arm around Seth's shoulder and buries his face into heavenly smelling brown hair. Roman kisses Seth's brown mane, going for his neck when the brunet pulls away.

"I'm going to bed, clean up this mess." Seth says nothing else, he walks away with the tub of ice-cream, but not before giving Roman one hell of a stare down.

Roman sighs, deciding to obey the instruction given to him. After cleaning up, the royal heads upstairs, silent in his footsteps. He finds Seth perched on the bed, nose scrunched up, shoving a spoonful of ice-cream into his mouth. The cold dairy doesn't seem to perturb Seth who keeps shoving spoon after spoon into his mouth.

"We need to talk, Seth." Roman breaks the uncomfortable silence, he joins Seth on the bed after he's removed his work clothes. He still gets no response, it stirs something within him…agitation. "Seth?" again he gets no response. Roman can feel the agitation growing into something else. He grinds his teeth together. "Are you going to ignore me, now?! And you call me childish," his jaw tightens.

"I don't know why you're angry, I'm just treating you the way you treat me!" Seth snaps.

"I SAID I'M SORRY!" Roman bellows, "Look I'm sorry. I just, I needed some time…to figure some things out."

"So should I expect this more often then? Your disappearing acts?" Seth eyes him, nose scrunching up again.

"No," Roman grits out.

"You're lyi-ng!" Seth shouts. He sets his ice-cream aside, "You get off on hurting me."

"No!" Roman snaps, shaking his head. He groans into his hands, the word 'no' repeating over and over again in his mind.

"Yes, you do!" Seth accuses angrily, "You do because I don't understand why you'd leave the whole day, not answer my calls and not spare a second thought about how I'd feel about that, Roman."

"Hurting you is what I hate most about myself, Seth."

"Then where were you the entire day?!" Seth shouts, looking away from Roman. He buries his face in between his folded legs, wrapping his arms around himself. Shielding, Roman realizes Seth is shielding himself from him with his current position.

"I hurt you again, Seth. I just, I needed time," Roman leaves the bed, releasing a deep exhale. "Look at your neck," he says softly, gesturing to hand imprints on Seth's neck. "And I won't even get started on the rest of your body, Seth. I saw you flinch when you were repositioning yourself. All I'm doing is inflicting pain on your body. It's not right…which is why I came up with a solution."

For a while, Seth remains hidden in between his legs. But slowly he peeks an eye out, it's too red for Roman's liking. "Separate rooms," Roman says quietly.

It takes Seth a minute but once it sinks in, his face morphs into distaste. "NO!" he shouts. "We're not going to do it."

"It's the only way, Seth," Roman reasons.

"No, it isn't and you know it, Roman! Therapy is available, but you don't want to!"

"Because I can't divulge my past like that!" Roman snaps, "You don't know what I went through. I'm not going to reopen those wounds again." He won't, Roman refuses. His chest hurts, the anger is simmering within him.

"You're not going to because hiding is the better option for you, Roman! It's what you always do," Seth's voice cracks.

Roman throws his hands up in frustration, "I don't know what you want from me, man! I came up with a solution. It's you who doesn't want it!"

"Because I can't sleep on my own, Roman. I don't want to!" Seth lifts off the bed, limping towards Roman. "It's not fair, you don't get the dreams often. You don't use my body like that everyday. Please, Roman. It's not fair, we're a couple. We're in love, it's law that we sleep in the same bed."

"There is no such law, Seth," Roman snorts.

"Well, to me there is. We'll figure something out but I'm not sleeping all alone in that bed. Not after you made me get used to you holding me. Not after I got used to your presence. It makes me feel safe, it comforts me. No, we're not going to do it." Seth says finally, nodding to himself.

"Then we're going to have to reach a compromise," Roman sighs. He's grateful when he's allowed to kiss a warm forehead. Roman leads Seth back to the bed, sitting down next to him. "If I…have the dreams again. And I stir in bed, I don't want you to wake me. Let me do that on my own while you leave the bed. Or if I'm not in bed when you wake up, don't try to find me. Let me work things out on my own. It's all I'm asking of you, alofagia."

"Even the ones where you're cold?" Seth asks hesitantly.

Roman tenses, "Yes," he replies in a clipped tone. Those dreams are his worst. They take him back to when he found Tyler, cold and bloody. He shakes his head, trying to drive the thoughts away. "I'll only share this bed with you if you agree to the terms and conditions."

"I do then," Seth replies, straddling Roman's lap. He looks into Roman's eyes, his hands cupping the royal's cheeks. "But I have a few of my own requests."

Roman nods his head.

"Don't ever leave like that again. Don't ignore my calls. I get that sometimes you need your space but talk to me, tell me and I'll back off. Don't just switch off, Roman. It makes me feel unwanted, it hurts more than everything you could ever do."

"I'm sorry," Roman's hands fold around Seth's waist.

"That should've been your name instead," Seth kisses full lips softly. "Don't let your past get in the way of our relationship, Roman."

"I'll try. I love you."

"I love you too," Seth says softly before shaking his head, eyes searching Roman's. The royal isn't sure what Seth's looking for and if he finds it because his eyes soften, a quiet laugh leaving him. "But I hate you too, I hate you now."

"I…don't know what to say," Roman's at a genuine loss for words. "But I hope the love surpasses the hate."

"Lucky for you, it does."

"By how much?"

Seth gestures with his right thumb and index finger, "This much."

"Why so little?" Roman complains lightly.

"Because nine times out of ten, you're an ass." Seth hugs Roman's neck. "And I love you regardless."

The kiss against Roman's lips is softer than before, Seth breathes his love into him, it causes the royal's heart to flutter. "My ice-cream isn't ice-cream anymore. It's all your fault," Seth croaks.

Roman swears he can see Seth's eyes turn glossy but the brunet breathes deeply, moving off Roman's lap. "I think I'll go find the Vanilla flavored one in the fridge. I'm always hungry now, thanks to these pills. Thanks to you." Annoyance is visible in Seth's tone as he sashays out of their bedroom. Roman is left in a confused state. He won't even bother…


 

"Think about it, Seth!" Bo's laugh causes everyone at their table to laugh. Well, everyone except Seth. They're at a café ten minutes away from college, winding down after the exam they've just had. It's the third one and Seth can't complain much so far. He thinks he's doing well.

"Nope, not doing it." Seth looks at Bo, "And what do I say to Roman? Hey, babe. Let's go to the sex store and buy some floggers? I want you to beat me."

Elias, who's sat next to him, snorts but remains quiet.

"Well he won't be hitting you to like cause extreme pain. It all depends on where and how he's doing it. It can be extremely pleasurable. Trust me, I know what I'm talking about."

"Eh…I don't know, Bo."

"Look, I'll even take you to a…" Bo leans into Seth conspiratorially, "sex shop."

"Bo, would you cut it out? It's highly uncomfortable, I don't want pretty boy's sex life mentally ingrained inside my head forever."

Seth spares Elias a glance, his eyes burn with jealousy. The man isn't even hiding it. "He's right, Bo. Maybe next time, it's something I'd have to discuss with Roman first."

Bo sighs, his excitement dying a bit. "Okay, but let me know if you're interested."

Their kink conversation ends with a head nod. Seth still isn't sure how they got to the topic. Actually he does, Bo has no filter so he's the one who began the conversation about roleplaying. Seth knows about it, but he's never tried it out. Not even when he was a prostitute. Perhaps it wouldn't be a bad idea trying a few things out in the bedroom with Roman, but he's not sure about this flogging thing.

Seth looks up to see Bo looking over his shoulder before looking down again. The sweet man alternates between looking at Seth and above his shoulder for quite some time. "What is it?" Seth asks because it's getting annoying.

"Oh, nothing. It's just…your mom looks just like you."

No. Seth freezes in place at Bo's words. He suddenly can feel eyes burning the back of his head. She's here, Bo keeps doing that annoying thing he was doing. Elias looks behind too, before brushing his hand against Seth's fingers. "Wow, pretty boy. Now I can see where that beauty comes from. You look just like your mom, man."

"Seth?"

Seth snaps his attention to Bo, giving his worried friend a tremulous smile. He turns just slightly, right hand clutching the edge of his chair in a white-knuckled grip. His emotions are attempting to spill over but he won't allow them. Not in such a public place, not in front of his friends.

The eyes that look so much like his are staring back at him, unblinking but widened. Seth's jaw clenches. What is this woman doing here? The last time she called was two weeks ago but he'd missed her call. He's now certain it was her. "I'll come right back, you guys." He stands up, walking on his jellier than usual legs to where she's seated.

There's a buzzing in his body with each step that leads him to her. He's already come up with what to say when he gets to her. He'll lash out and tell her to leave him the fuck alone. To go back to whatever rotten hole she came from. "Katherine," he starts, each and every courageous and cruel he'd wanted to utter rushing away. Leaving just…blankness and a bunch of emotions he isn't sure he's ready to face. Not again.

Chapter Text

Sadness, disappointment, anger and heartbreak are among a number of emotions that Seth's feeling as he eyes the woman who birthed him. She's changed so much from the last time he saw her. She looks older…impoverished—tired, like an old rag that has been used one too many times.

He remembers how golden her hair used to be, sparkling in the sunlight but now it's a washed-out color with strips of gray at the roots. Her skin, tanned and ruddy, is marred with multiple lines signaling growth. Her lips are too thin, gone is the rosy color that normally enticed potential clients into bed with her. Seth isn't sure what to make of her eyes, those brown orbs that look so much like his always could deceive him…

"What are you doing here?" he stares the bony woman down, hands shaking from the need to hold onto something—an anchor. Seth suddenly wishes Roman were here or Xavier, or Dean. Just someone, who loves him—wholeheartedly, without pretense.

Katherine is unresponsive, she stares with a look akin to awe and…pride. Seth can't resist a snort. What, did the old bitch think he wouldn't make it? That he'd spend all the days of his life being just like her? Useless and a waste of space to humanity? The audacity!

"Look, lady, you either tell me why you're here or I'll leave. Go back to my friends and I don't want you bothering me."

Seth gets an eye blink this time, and a woman who resembles a fish out of water. Katherine's mouth opens and then closes but no sound leaves her mouth. It causes Seth's impatience to grow by the minute. He's not in the mood, not today. Any other day but today. "Seff..." it's said quietly but sounds too grating to Seth's ears. Her voice causes his skin to crawl up in disgust.

"Seff, Jason's here. I'm gon' head out to the stores, alright?"

Seth grips the edge of the bathroom sink tighter, tries to calm his erratic heartbeat down. He's drained and his body screams in protest at the implication of his mom's words. "You can do this, baby." He tries to prep himself up on the mirror, "Y-you just did it now, you can do it again. Pretend he's not there. That always works, doesn't it?"

"SEFF, GET YOUR ASS HERE!"

With a jump, Seth answers to his mom's grating voice "Yes, mam!" he spares one final glance at the mirror, biting on his lip as he exits the bathroom. He can't keep his client waiting.

Seth clutches his head at the memory, squeezing his eyes shut. Huge mistake, the pictures are there in his mind from when he was thirteen to his last sex job not too long ago. Pain builds in his chest, making breathing come harder to him. It hurts.

"Seff?"

"DO NOT CALL ME THAT. CALL ME BY MY NAME!" Seth yells. His heartache is making it hard for him to focus on anything at the moment. Gone are his surroundings as he scowls at the seated woman. I hate you, the words tumble inside his brain like a broken record.

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to, baby."

"Well fuck your sorry!" he snaps, hands shaking. "Why are you here, Katherine? What do you want from me?"

"Aren't you going to sit down first?" Katherine's eyes dart around the café reminding Seth of their surroundings. There are too many eyes looking in their direction making him self-conscious. He tries for a relaxed smile when looking at Bo and Elias who are amongst the curious observers.

Sitting down at Katherine's table, Seth folds his arms against his chest protectively. It's all he ever did when he was younger. "There, now talk. Why are you here? How did you find me? And what the fuck do you want?"

This woman must not be hearing him because she doesn't respond. That damned look of awe remains drawn on her features. It's affecting Seth, he can feel his veins throbbing. His fingers thrum on the checkered table, foot bouncing impatiently beneath the table. Something, he just needs her to say something, anything so that he can lash out at her. And leave her here, alone, like the worthless piece of scum she is.

"You…look amazing, son—glowing." That disgusting awe is still visible in her voice, Seth doesn't want to hear it.

"That's it? You done, right?" Seth's ass lifts off the chair, "Good, now if you'll excuse me I need to go back to my friends. Kindly stay away from me and I'll do the same."

"Seth, wait!" Katherine stops him from leaving. Seth snatches his hand away from her touch, eyes watering as another memory assaults him. Of when she'd grip his hand when he was too exhausted but would have to 'attend to his customers' because folk like him weren't put on earth to be lazy.

"I'll ask you again. What is it? What do you want? If you're not going to respond then please…let me go." He pleads quietly, still on his feet.

"I…want to t-talk to you, son. Maybe somewhere more private? If you don't mind, of course, I don't want to pressure you. It's just, this place…too many people and the tables are too close. It's too public."

Seth sighs, checking the time on his watch. 05:12 PM, it reads. Roman's on his way home, he needs to be on his way too. Who knows how long the conversation with the manipulative witch in front of him will take? "I have to get home. I can't do this today."

"Oh," Katherine's eyes turn bleak. Her disappointment rolls off of her in waves. "Maybe tomorrow then?"

Tomorrow would be fine. At least Seth will be a little prepared this time. Not this blindsiding nonsensical move the woman pulled on him. And he's not writing tomorrow. "Tomorrow," he confirms, "You have my number, I know you got it from Sami. You'll message me the details." He's walking away from her when the woman grips his hand again. "What?" he grits out, eyes narrowed at her.

"I know I have no right to ask this, son. With all I've put you through in the past. But, y-you see, I took a plane from home to Tampa about a month ago. And then I couldn't find you where you used to stay so your friend, Sami, gave me your number. I tried to call but you weren't answering my calls. I came down here on Monday, have been looking for you outside your school since Tuesday with no luck. But I finally got to see you with your friends today and I followed you here."

"I haven't had exams since Monday. I wasn't at school on the other days," Seth explains. "I'll see you tomorrow."

"No, wait Seth," Katherine sighs. She picks up something off the ground next to her. Seth notices a torn brown duffle bag. "Look, I'm sorry to ask you this. I'm not really good at it, but I…don't have a place to stay, baby." Katherine's words are whispered, she can't even maintain eye contact. "All the money I had saved up, I done spent it on coming to Florida. I need a place—"

"No." Seth says immediately, panic setting in. Not again, the last time he stayed with her, he'd had to sacrifice his body at the club to make up for the money she stole from him.

"Please, baby," the pleading look in the bony woman's eyes almost breaks his resolve. His mom's always been a master manipulator. She's always known what to say and how—to get him to do anything she wants.

"I s-said n-no K-Katherine," he stammers. "Go back t-to where you were staying these past days."

"I ran out of the money, Seth. I…slept on the streets yesterday. Not too far from here, near your college." Seth looks back at her, eyes her blouse. It's silky maroon, rumpled too, as if the owner slept in it. Katherine clearly has a problem abiding to instruction because she touches him again, his hand this time, her brown eyes begging. "Please baby, even if it's only one—"

"N-No, I-I don't want to, K-Katherine. You need a p-place to stay? Fine, I can, I can—" his cell ringing pauses his stammering. Seth takes it out of his pocket with shaky hands. The panic subsides a little when Roman's face appears on his screen. "—ello?" he croaks.

"Alofagia," hearing Roman's voice threatens to shatter his walls but Seth won't allow himself to fall apart. He's not going to embarrass himself in such a public setting. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing's wrong," the brunet lies, shaking his head even though Roman can't see him.

"Don't lie to me, Seth."

"I'm sorry," Seth whispers into the phone. Katherine's eyes are on him, examining. Walk away, his mind tells him and the brunet complies. He finds himself standing near the bookshelves in the café. The walls act as his pillars, he releases a shaky breath. "She's—here, Row-man." Seth turns away from the noise, watching the busy streets. The chest pains are still there, threatening to rip him apart.

"Who's she—" the line goes silent for a short period of time. "Her? Your…mom?" there's a darkness in the way Roman asks the question.

"Katherine," he corrects, left fingers wringing together uncomfortably. "What do I do, Roman?"

"Where are you? Did you speak to her? Do you know what she wants?"

"I'm at the café, the b-bookshop," he stutters a response to what the one question he got.

"Okay…okay, alofagia. She's at the café too?"

"Yes."

"And she spoke to you?"

"Mhm," Seth hums unevenly.

"What did she say?"

"She wants to speak to—me," again Seth's voice cracks. He's feeling too many things all at once. Having too many thoughts simultaneously, it's making him feel lightheaded. There are a few steps that lead to the books at the café. He settles on them, rubbing the blurriness out of his eyes. "I told her tomorrow, I have to get home, Roman."

"Okay, alofagia. You didn't do anything bad, you'll talk to her tomorrow. Do you want me to fetch you?"

"She has no place to stay. She told me," his mind rushes to his mouth. "She wants to stay the night, Rome."

"Do you want that, alofagia?" Roman asks softly.

"I don't know," Seth's shoulder lifts and falls in a tired shrug. He doesn't trust his mom, but he doesn't want her to sleep on the streets either. Despite his resentment towards her, he still cares…even though he shouldn't. There's also the option of a hotel, Manuia or even John could help find one for her.

"Okay, this is what we'll do." Roman startles him, his nerves are all over the place. "You said she wants to speak to you. She can stay the night, in the morning she leaves. Everything she wants to say, she can say to you tonight. I'll be there with you, if you need me."

"I don't know, Roman. You don't know how she is, what if we wake up in the morning and the furniture's gone?"

Roman's hearty laugh erases his pain, for just a minute, warmth replaces the dark emotions threatening to break Seth apart. "She wouldn't make it past the gate, alofagia. But I can hear your reluctance. We don't have to, if that's not what you want. But I think you should speak to her in a place you're comfortable in."

What Roman's saying makes sense to him. The woman spoke of speaking to him in a private place, at least at home, Seth won't have to worry about falling apart in public. He won't have to worry about being recorded should he make a spectacle of himself. "Fetch me," he whispers into the phone.

Roman ends their conversation with confirmation that he's on his way. Seth turns back to the noisy café finding Katherine's eyes on him, that duffle bag still sitting on the table next to her. He turns away from her, another set of onlookers stare at him. Elias has curiosity etched all over his face while Bo is a mix between curious and disinterested.

Seth doesn't even look in Katherine's direction as he makes his way to his friends. "Hey guys, sorry about that. I just had to speak to my…mom." He tries to not let that last word affect him.

"Won't you introduce us?" Elias's question isn't all too innocent, the lilt in his voice betrays him.

Seth cuts his eyes at him, settling in his chair. "Maybe another time. We're leaving soon, Roman's on his way."

Elias exhales loudly, his hand tightening on his beer bottle. "You can't stay? What, he ordered you to come back home?"

"No, I'm leaving because I want to!" Seth snaps. He's not going to deal with Elias' shadiness. "I know you don't like Roman, Elias. But you need to back off, he never talks about you. So you don't get to talk about him either. He's my boyfriend, it won't change just because you want to be in his position. Please…get over yourself!"

Silence falls over their table after he's spoken. A tension blankets the air around them, making Seth feel guilty. Maybe he shouldn't have chided so hard? It's just, he's feeling irritable today—has been feeling that way since he woke up. And now there's this stress of Katherine that's just piling up on his list problems. He hasn't the patience today. None at all.

"Alright, Seth!" Bo cheers, grinning like the fool he is. Curtis's boyfriend probably loves his relationship with Roman more than anyone else Seth knows. He's their self-proclaimed number one fan.

"Wow…pretty boy," Elias breaks out of his shocked stupor. He stares at Seth with interest, "A little over sensitive today, aren't we? Relax, I was just joking."

"It's not funny," Seth reprimands, tone somewhat softer.

Elias lifts his hands, surrendering. "I get it, alright. How about we talk about something else?"

"Too late, hot stuff is here." Bo grins widely, right hand already lifting and waving a little too enthusiastically. "Psst…over here, Roman!"

Roman's scent invades him first, it's exotic and musky—it's pure manly. Then his aura, intoxicating but domineering with a hint of humility and there's the power that comes with him. Seth feels Roman consume him whole—without doing a single thing. The brunet lifts off his chair, turning around to face his expressionless boyfriend.

"Alofagia," a hint of a smile lifts at one corner of the royal's lips. He's been having a bad day but all that fades when Seth feels Roman's arms fold and then tighten around him. It's like being hugged by a big teddy bear, or being wrapped up in clouds. And with Roman consuming him, his thoughts settle—if only for a little while. Seth breathes out heavily, eyes squeezed shut. "I'm right here," Roman says quietly, right after placing a gentle kiss on Seth's messy hair.

"Are you okay?" Roman cups his cheeks, looking into his eyes.

"N-No," Seth shakes his head, knowing it's no use denying it.

"It's going to be alright," another kiss touches his forehead before Roman leans down to capture his lips. It's slow, gentle and loving. Seth sighs against Roman's lips, accepting one final kiss from him. "You ready to go?"

A head nod is what Seth gives Roman, he can't muster up the energy to talk with how he's feeling. "Bo, Elias…I hope everything's well. How are your exams?"

"Great, no complaints." Elias says, smile on his face looking all too fake.

"It's going great, Roman. You know I was actually recapping on what I studied and—" Seth tunes Bo out, looking over his shoulder. She's still here, looking pitiful as she stares in his direction. One night. Just one, and then he wants her out of his life…for good.

"Come," Roman breaks his staring. Seth nods his head to where Katherine's seated after they leave Elias's table. The hand at the small of his back tightens when they get to the table. Seth remains silent and just observes the woman as she engages in a staring contest with Roman. Unbearable warmth fills the air around them, it's the tension growing. He's not willing to say anything else to Katherine and waits on Roman or her to say something, anything.

"Hello." Roman breaks the silence first, sounding emotionless.

"Yes, h-hi," Katherine's daze evaporates, that disgusting awe stealing the spotlight again. Seth doesn't think he's ever despised an expression so hard. He hates that expression on her face.

"Are you ready to go?"

Katherine's expression changes into one of surprise, her doe eyes finding Seth's. Gratitude is what Seth sees in them this time, he scoffs, looking away. "Spare me the grateful façade. Grab your bag, we're leaving."

Roman clears his throat but he says nothing. Good, if he'd interfered, Seth would've dealt with his royal ass.

There has to be some sort of heatwave with how hot it is outside. Despite the tank top he's wearing, Seth still feels too hot. He can feel his irritation slowly creeping in again but tries to keep it at bay.

Getting in the car feels like he's entered a cool haven, the AC cools Seth's overheated skin. He turns the radio on when Roman begins the drive home, unwilling to create unnecessary tension by attempting awkward conversations with the woman seated in the backseat. His eyelids get heavy sometime during their drive. Seth gives in, allowing his eyes to close, his hand holding onto Roman's.

***

"What?!" Seth groans into the pillow he's hugging. There's an incessant poking at his side and it's getting annoying. Wait a minute, there's a pillow…he's in bed. But how? When? Who?

A deep chuckle sounds, rumbling—like a lion. Seth recognizes the voice as belonging to his boyfriend. He sits up the bed slowly, groaning tiredly. "Welcome back, sleeping beauty." Roman's breath fans his temple before his lips touch the area softly.

"Hey…did you help me to bed?" Seth remembers falling asleep in the car. A glance outside the opened balcony doors reveals the fading salmon hues of what's left over from the afternoon. It's probably around seven but Seth still looks to his boyfriend for confirmation. "What time is it?"

"Eight after seven," Roman brings Seth to his lap, despite the brunet's groans of disapproval. "You were still asleep when we got home. I carried you here, I'm sorry to wake you up so soon but dinner's ready."

"I'm tired," Seth rests his head on Roman's shoulder. "I need more sleep."

"You're always tired lately."

"I've been overworking my brain. Exams, you know?"

Roman hums in agreement, "Don't work yourself too much. I don't want you collapsing because of exhaustion."

"Thank you for caring, daddy." Seth gives Roman a toothy grin. "I promise that no collapsing will happen. No siree, not on this end."

The kiss Roman rewards him with fills him with sunny warmth. Inquiring brown eyes observe him for a full minute before Roman speaks softly. "You are loved, alofagia. By a lot of people, including me. I love you so much, I don't ever want you to doubt it."

It's not said randomly this time, maybe Roman can sense the coming windstorm. With Katherine here, who knows what will happen? Who knows if he won't fall apart when talking to her? The woman is threatening to invoke so many unwelcomed emotions with her presence.

Roman's eyes assure him over and over again, he's loved. Seth nods his head, feeling Roman's beard tickle his palms beneath his touch. "I love you too…and your beard, so much." Child-like chortles bounce off the walls of their bedroom. "I do," Seth reaffirms. "It's getting thicker."

"Just like you. I told you the thickness would only add to your beauty."

Seth wants to be mad at Roman for telling him he's gaining weight but he thinks he is too. His jeans hug him tighter than usual. Maybe he should put an extra hour or two. Maybe he will…first thing tomorrow morning. But right now he needs to be fed. Seth's stomach growls in agreement causing Roman to chuckle again. The brunet releases no complaint as Roman carries him down the stairs.

Delicious aromas assault Seth's nostrils before they even reach the kitchen. He breathes deeply, letting out a long moan. "Hungry?" Roman kisses his temple.

"Very," Seth confirms, slightly annoyed when Roman makes him stand on his feet. He entwines their hands when they enter the dining room, squeezing Roman's hand softly when she comes into view. Seth sits next to Roman who's sat at the head of the table. "Talofa Masina," he greets the woman he's come to consider his mother.

"Eat up so you can go rest," Masina kisses his cheek.

"Yes mam," Seth won't argue, he feels drained.

"Dinner's served. Seth, you wanted the honey BBQ chicken. And there's a salad too, for a balanced meal." Masina winks, gentle hand squeezing Seth's shoulder. She points to a Broccoli and Radicchio salad. "You'll pick whatever you want for dessert. You're always undecided."

Seth grins sheepishly, Masina's right. Sometimes he wants dessert, sometimes he doesn't. But he's craving gelato tonight. The Ferrero Rocher flavored one he bought yesterday. He wants it now, but he wants the chicken too and is not completely sold on the salad. "I'll handle it, thanks Masina."

Masina pats Katherine's shoulder when she leaves, it brings a frown to Seth's face. Are the two friends now? In just an hour that she's been here and Katherine is already manipulating the people he holds close to his heart. Revulsion boils in his veins, distaste barely hidden on his face as he dishes his food. He fills Roman's plate too, the sound of the cutlery clacking with how forceful he's being.

"Alofagia?"

The confusion in Roman's voice annoys him for some reason. Yes, he's dished up his and Roman's plates only, so what? Doesn't Katherine have hands? Can't she do things for herself? Seth snorts to himself, of course she can't.

I didn't bring your ass on earth to do nothin' Seff. From now on, you're helping out.

Her voice rings inside his mind, loud and unwanted. Seth stares daggers at the woman sat across from him. He just can't seem to escape her today. "What is it, dear?" the same daggers are aimed at his boyfriend.

Roman's left eyebrow arches analytically, face expressionless. "Forget it," Roman switches plates with Katherine. He grabs the empty plate, dishing up his own food.

When their eyes meet, Seth is sure his hurt is showing. This man, who he calls his boyfriend just picked Katherine's side. The man is choosing the same woman who's caused him so much heartache over the years. Tears brim in his eyes but Seth won't cry. He wants to leave his traitorous boyfriend all alone with Katherine. The two are clearly new best buddies. It was the same with Masina. Katherine's stealing everyone from him…

"Sef—" Katherine stops herself when he gives her the nastiest look he can muster. "Sorry…um, anyway. Do you remember Gregory's boy from across the street?"

Seth remains quiet, mouth only accommodating his food. He knows he's only adding to the awkward atmosphere at the table. It's worse than that time he had lunch with Elias and Roman. Everyone at the table seems to be careful when cutting into their food as if not to make a sound. Well everyone except him, Seth holds nothing back as he cuts into his food. He holds nothing back when stabbing his salad. He holds nothing back in the way he chews his food.

He's angry, very angry and he's never enjoyed being pretentious. He'd done that for most of his life that he just can't do it now. It's daunting and falsity is right at the top of his list of dislikes.

"Eh, he passed on. Three months ago, car accident. He was only 40."

"Good riddance," Seth replies. He grabs another chicken piece, it's his fourth one, biting into the juicy meat harshly. "He used to fuck me and then make a fool out of me on the streets. You'd think a man his age would've been more mature. I mean how old was he, like 25? And I was more mature…at fourteen." Seth laughs hysterically, it's no biggie. He'd learnt to cope—even when they'd call him whore and used and unlovable.

Roman is saying something next to him. It's all incoherent to Seth at first, until he realizes that the man is telling him to breathe in Samoan. Great! Another person telling him what to do. Seth shakes his head, uncontrollable laughs still escaping his lips. Irritation builds within him coupled with anger and sadness. Utter sadness and wretchedness that the water dam breaks. But his hysterical laughs don't cease.

"Fuck this," Seth stands up. There are too many emotions swimming in Katherine's eyes that Seth can't read all of them. But his irritation and resentment towards the old woman remains. "And fuck you." He looks her in the eyes. The woman remains seated disappointing him. Back then he'd get a slap, stinging, right across his cheek. "You fucking coward!"

His legs shake as Seth walks away from the table. He's at the stairway when he remembers his food. Seth groans, salty liquid raining down his cheeks even more than before. Now he has to go all the way back to get his food. Roman's still sat at his chair, fisted hands beneath his chin and a pensive expression on his face. Katherine's also at her chair, eyes glued to her plate.

Seth says nothing, he adds a few more chicken pieces to his plate and leaves, plate in hand. Inside his bedroom, the brunet sets his plate on the bedside table. He decides to take a quick cold shower, finishing five minutes later. He's naked and staring at the walls blankly when Roman enters their bedroom.

"N-No," he stutters, tears falling again when Roman attempts to kiss him. His emotions are threatening to spill over and Seth wants to allow them to. He settles on anger and frustration first, pointing an accusatory finger at Roman. "This is all your fault. You brought her here. Why?"

"Seth?"

Roman's confusion makes his temper rise. Seth leaves the bed, still naked, standing in front of Roman. "YOU BROUGHT HER HERE, ROMAN. I-IN OUR HOME, W-WHY? SHE'S HURTING ME, CAN'T YOU SEE? OR MAYBE THAT'S WHAT YOU WANT. SINCE YOU LOVE DOING IT TOO." He erupts like a volcano, ignoring the hurt flashing in Roman's dark eyes.

"Calm down, alofagia." Roman tries to touch him but Seth pulls away.

"Don't tell me what to do!" gone are those days, Seth's over them. No one tells him what to do now. He's not young and defenseless.

Roman shakes his head, releasing a quiet sigh. "I can't talk to you when you're like this, Seth."

"THEN WHY ARE YOU HERE? LEAVE! GET OUT OF MY ROOM!"

"What?" Disbelief is visible in Roman's tone, he arches an eyebrow challengingly.

Seth has no care for it. He has no care for anyone at the moment. Masina, Roman, Katherine—they can all go to hell! Roman, more than anyone else. The man brought Katherine to their home. If he hadn't made that damn suggestion then there would be no Katherine. No heartache. No anger. Yes, it's Roman's fault. His fault that Seth's heart is cracking into a million pieces. Seth wants Roman to hold him. But he also doesn't want him to. He wants Roman as far away from him as possible. He wants everyone gone.

"I said—leave!" Seth's voice cracks, vision blurry. "I don't want you here. I don't want to see you ever again!"

The irritation and impatience propels him into action, Roman is taking too much time to obey. He's just like Katherine, he has a problem abiding to instruction. So Seth pushes the bigger man away, palms touching a hard chest, forcefully moving a stumbling Roman out of his room. At the door, Roman's hands latch onto the edge of the door, body unmoving.

"I love you, Seth. I love you very much." Roman stays put, still unmoving, despite Seth's attempts at pushing him out of his bedroom completely.

"I—love you too. Now leave, Roman! Leave my room!" Seth receives a look he hasn't the energy to decipher before Roman nods his head, moving away from his bedroom completely.

Seth bangs the door after the man leaves. He isn't feeling too good. He's feeling too much all at once that all he wants to do is scream. He wants to scream his lungs out, release every black emotion attacking him. And then there's the crawly feeling all over his body. He rubs his head frantically, hands then moving to claw at his skin.

Wretched sobs escape him, and Seth has no idea how to stop them. Comfort, it's what he needs. But he's chased Roman away. He doesn't want the man near him but he craves his comfort, craves his comforting scent. Seth opens the en-suite closet, pushing item after item of clothing away. And then he finds it, Roman's shirt that he normally gets chided for wearing. It's Roman's favorite, but it's his too. Seth puts the baggy shirt on, not bothering to button it up.

The comfort is there, but not enough. So he walks on jelly legs, throwing himself on Roman's side of the bed and grabbing the royal's pillow. Roman's scent envelopes him, he's wrapped up in it. His erratic heartbeat lulls, body sagging in exhaustion. Seth hugs Roman's pillow tighter, biting on his bottom lip to stifle his cries. He closes his eyes, grateful for the quiet in his mind. Even if it's only temporary.

"What the hell do you think you're doing?!"

Seth's hand freezes on the fridge's handle, eyes widening when he hears his mom's voice. Don't panic, he chants inside his mind when turning to face her. "Getting the eggs, mam."

Katherine laughs condescendingly, "What, boy?!"

"I-I, am, uh-uh, I'm getting the eggs."

"Every time I come into this house, you're getting something. You're always eating, then going to school and then coming back to eat some more and then going to the toilet to shit it all out. Do you even know how that food got into this house? Oh, I know. You probably think it fell off the sky, dontcha?"

Seth shrinks away from the loud voice, it's too grating. They have this conversation nearly every day. "No, mam."

Katherine chuckles condescendingly again. "Yes you do. Because if the bread is finished you come to mommy to ask for money. If the eggs are finished, I need to chip out some money. There ain't no food in the house, you come crying to me. You must think it fell off the sky because if you didn't then you'd hustle too. Bring in some damn money into this house."

Silence fills the kitchen when Seth fails to respond. The anger in his mom's eyes terrifies him and all he wants to do is leave the kitchen. Allow the woman to calm down. But he needs to pass through her for that and it would be a bad idea to try move past her when she's like this. He'll probably end up with a trace of her fingers across his cheek.

He spoke to soon, Seth feels a stinging pain on his right cheek. A yelp sounds in the kitchen, he cups his cheek, eyes watering. "What did—I do?" his voice cracks.

Katherine narrows her eyes, abhorrence visible in her eyes. "You…" she shakes her head, turning to leave. "One of these days, Seff. You're chipping in one of these days. You're not young anymore, I'm not going to entertain your laziness."

Seth wakes with tears in his eyes. He can't breathe, feels his throat constricting as he tries to get some air. The images are back, flashing vividly in front him. "No," he cries out, trying to drive them away. Eyes darting around his bedroom, Seth finds it too large. He finds the room too dark, too empty but suffocating too.

His feet touch the cold marble floors, hands clasping the bedsheets shakily. Seth hesitates when he opens his bedroom door, he wants Roman. He needs the royal's comfort, to feel his arms around him. His rumbling voice telling him that everything's going to be okay. But he chased the man away.

What if Roman's angry?

Seth tries to chase the thought away. He closes the door, padding barefoot in the hallway. At Roman's old bedroom, the brunet leans against the door, eyes clenched. Please don't be here, he chants mentally. The mere thought of Roman being inside his old room breaks Seth. It's where Roman's saved some of his memories of Tyler. The boy's pictures are in there. And Seth is still not sure if Roman ever got over him. He tries not to think about it too much.

A breath he didn't know he was holding leaves Seth when he notices an empty room and a bed unoccupied. His silent walking continues again until he reaches a door slightly opened, two doors away from his bedroom. Seth peeks in, hoping that it's not her he'll find inside the room.

The body lying on the bed is too large to be Katherine. Seth enters quietly, feet hesitant when he moves to the other side. There's a bit of space but Roman's muscular body takes up most of the bed. The man's lying on his back, left arm beneath his head, face turned in Seth's direction. Despite his bad nights, Roman's mostly a silent sleeper, like he is now. The only sign that he's alive is the lifting and falling of his naked chest.

Seth gets in the bed silently, back turned away from Roman. It's just gone after one, Seth realizes he must've been asleep for maybe five hours before that dream woke him. Don't think about it, he chides himself, exhaling quietly.

An arm folds around his stomach bringing him to a hard body. That feeling of safety that comes with being with Roman settles his heart. Seth can't accurately describe what being in Roman's arms feels like. But it's like a sanctuary, his place of refuge. "I'm s-sorry," he whispers, blinking rapidly to stop his tears.

Roman sighs, his hand nudging Seth's stomach causing the brunet to roll over so that he's facing his boyfriend. The hand that was on his stomach goes to the back of his neck before travelling lower down his spine. "You're wearing my shirt?" it slithers beneath the button up, rubbing Seth's back in circles.

"Yes, sorry," Seth whispers, head tucked under Roman's chin.

A kiss touches his messy hair. "It's okay. What's mine is yours…besides, you're so stubborn. Can't stay away from my clothes," it's said amusedly, deep voice gentle as ever.

Another kiss forces Seth out of hiding, it's placed on his forehead. He moves closer to Roman, his hand going to Roman's chest. Seth breathes the royal in, wanting to be consumed by the man completely. He's never felt safer, never felt more protected. From the world. From his past. From his mom.

"I had a bad dream," Seth tells Roman quietly, eyes wet. "A bad m-memory."

Roman stiffens briefly, releasing a heavy exhale. "You did?"

Seth nods his head, trembling hand stroking Roman's beard. "I was thirteen." The tears still fall down his cheeks, his lips quivering. "The first time I had sex, I was thirteen with a guy who gave me twenty dollars. I always felt funny around him, he was twelve years older and I t-thought h-he was c-cool. K-Katherine, she always complained. Whenever there was no food in the house, she'd get crabby. Blame me fore eating too much. Tell me I'm lazy because she has to do all the work alone."

"So one day, she brought that guy. His name was Trey, he was 25 and I thought he was cute. My ma knew it, so she left me alone with him while she went to the shops. She stayed away for over five hours. I was alone with T-Trey and he kept trying to convince me. He touched me and I-I liked it. We ended up having sex, twice. And then he left, throwing twenty dollars at me before telling me I was a great fuck."

"All of it wasn't ever your fault, alofagia. Even if you felt something for this Trey, he was the adult, he should've known better. Your mother too," Roman growls, his arms holding Seth tighter. "You were the victim here."

Seth nods his head, he knows Roman's right. But sometimes it's hard to believe, he'd told himself he was a whore like Katherine since the first time he'd had sex with Trey. Because he shouldn't have given in so easily, he should've never enjoyed it. His first sexual encounter was all the proof he'd needed—for so long he'd been just like his mother. And maybe he still is, maybe all he'll ever be is a dirty whore…

Rubbing his nose against Roman's shoulder, Seth doesn't stop the continuous overflowing water streaming down his face. He's silent in his cries, chest sore and exhausted. There's so many voices in his head, yelling. Worthless whore. Unlovable slut. Dirty bitch. Exhaling softly, with his hand timidly going to Roman's back, the brunet closes his eyes trying to drive his thoughts away.

"And then there were the other guys, all wanting the same thing. Katherine made them pay more. $100 for a blow job, $150 for anal. We didn't have to beg for clothes anymore. We didn't have to beg for food. But I was dying in the process. The only thing I'll ever be known as is a whore. I'll always be a slut. I'm just like h-her. T-That's all I-I a-am."

Seth's sobbing now, loud and uncontained. He clutches Roman's back and lets his pain out. Heartbreaking cries leave him, head feeling like it might explode from his crying. He tries to quieten down but he can't. He's been in so much pain, has had it suppressed for too long. And now she's back, wanting to break him down again.

Roman's words of comfort make him cry harder, the kisses against his forehead making him feel unworthy. He shouldn't even be in bed with the royal. He's tainted. Used by so many. He's second goods. Seth cries for his childhood. He cries over the bad cards life dealt him. He cries over his insecurities. "I-I s-shouldn't b-be h-here, Y-Your H-Highness." He stutters, heart ripping into pieces. "I'm dirty. So u-used. I-I d-don't d-deserve y-you. I-I d-don't d-deserve t-to h-have y-your k-kids. I-I'm—"

"You deserve everything good, Seth." Roman stops his stuttered rambling. "Because you're a beautiful human being, with a good heart. The biggest heart I know. Our children will be so lucky to have you as a parent. Your past means nothing to me. This, I'll make sure to let you know often. Because it really doesn't Seth. If it weren't for your past, we may have never even crossed paths. We'd be walking around with missing parts. Because we're made for each other. Me and you were made to fit together, alofagia. And you're loved, Seth. You're loved so much. By people who don't give a fuck about your past. And amongst all these people, I love you the most."

"You shouldn't," Seth shakes his head. "I'm tainted."

"You're pure, to me you're so pure. And even if you were tainted, I'd love you regardless. Just like you love me without hesitance, without exception. I don't care how dirty you think you are or how used. You're still pure. And I won't let your past convince me otherwise."

"Because you l-love me?"

"I more than love you. It can never be quantified. I love, love you."

"Show me," Seth quivers, eyes still wet.

He's expecting Roman to have him on his back, while spreading his legs. He used to think that love was about that. But the royal does no such thing. Seth feels large arms tighten around his waist instead. He feels Roman's nose nuzzle his forehead. He feels Roman's lips whisper in Samoan before they touch his forehead. He feels Roman's heartbeat beneath his touch, calm and steady, reassuring. I love you.

Seth feels Roman's breath against his lips, cool and ticklish. I breathe you. He scrunches his nose up when it reacts to the tickly feeling. Seth looks into Roman's eyes, finding only love there. I see you, all of you. Each touch, each gesture seems to proclaim louder than before. Roman loves him—all of him. And nothing's going to change that. Nothing.

"You're mine, Seth." Roman says quietly, looking into his eyes. Determination and sincerity etched on his features. "You're not your mother's. You'll never be like her. You're better than her. I'm the privileged one here. I get to love you and be loved by you. I'm so honored."

"'M not that special," Seth shakes his head, too scared to believe Roman.

"To me you are," that sincerity is still etched on Roman's face. He looks so serious, as if daring anyone to prove him wrong. "And I'll tell you everyday for the rest of our lives."

Seth's eyes close when Roman captures his lips softly. It's soft, raw and take his breath away. Which is funny because Seth feels Roman breathing his love into him with each glide and each nip. He doesn't want to pull away but Roman ends it after a while. The man gives him that loving look again before leaning in to steal his breath away again.

"I remember you telling me that you're strong for me. I am strong for you too, alofagia. When you're weak, I'll be strong for you."

"Thank you, daddy."

Roman's laugh is a rumble, it reverberates against Seth's ear. "Anything for you, alofagia."

"Don't go anywhere…tomorrow. I want you with me when s-she talks. Please, Rome."

Lips settle on his forehead. "Of course."

Silence remains for a while, with Seth biting on his bottom lip. He blinks his eyes at Roman, stroking his cheek again. The royal's beard tickles his palm bringing a little smile to his lips. Maybe he's got a beard kink or something because his obsession with Roman's beard isn't normal. "Um, I need to pee." He whispers when his bladder decides that he doesn't deserve a moment with his boyfriend.

"Go then." Roman says amusedly.

Seth lifts off the bed. "I'm hungry too. I never got to have dessert. Ferrero Rocher gelato."

"And you want me to fetch it?"

Roman sighs when Seth nods his head.

"Bring Masina's chicken too. I can't eat dessert before having the main course." Seth accepts the kisses peppered all over his face before rushing to the bathroom at his bladder's impatience. Roman's laughs cause his heart to flutter. The storm has settled…even if it's only for a little bit. Besides, what is it Xavier had said that day?

Two people can share one umbrella and survive the storm together.

With Roman by his side, he'll survive the storm. Because the man loves him despite his long trail of dirtiness. He has someone now, the heartache and the pain, he has someone to share it with. He's not alone, Roman is here. Roman who's willing to be strong for him when he can't be strong for himself. Roman who embraces all of him, even the tainted broken parts.

Roman's back in the bedroom when Seth exits the bathroom. The bedside lamp is now turned on, burning dimly. The smell of barbecued chicken and different spices fills the room. Seth's stomach growls in anticipation as he heads to where Roman is. A bowl filled with chicken pieces sits on the bedside table, a glass of his favorite juice sitting next to it. Roman was wise enough to bring the whole tub of his favorite gelato at the moment.

"Thank you," he whispers, allowing Roman to pull him into a large body by the back of his neck. Breathing his home in again relaxes him, but there's a weird churning in his stomach too. Twisting harder than it normally does whenever he's around Roman. "I'm sorry for what I said in our bedroom. I was just angry."

"It's okay, alofagia. You're allowed to snap and feel angry. I'm not holding it against you. But my dick will still ensure you're punished."

Small chuckles bubble inside Seth's throat, he lets them out—soft and carefree. "I'll gladly accept the punishment, daddy."

"Good. Now come," Roman guides them to the bed. Seth finds himself tucked protectively between Roman's legs. The royal's imposing body cocooning him as a large hand rests on his stomach. He accepts the bowl Roman gives him, grabbing one chicken drumstick and offering Roman one too.

They eat in silence, much to Seth's relief. He likes how they are at the moment. It's cozy, the most peaceful he's been in a while. His head rests on Roman's shoulder, relishing how it feels like they're in a bubble. A bubble in which it's just the two of them, being consumed by each other. By their love.

Eyes closing, Seth allows the intoxication to grow. Roman's lips are at the back of his neck, kissing and biting gently—proclaiming. You're mine and I love you the way you are, they whisper into his skin. Roman's lips declare the words with so much certainty that the words start seeping into Seth's body, travelling into his organs. His heart and then his soul until not one inch of him doubts it. He's loved, the way he is. Sincerely, without doubt and without hesitation.

Chapter Text

Roman wakes to an octopus attached to him—it's an entanglement of limbs around his waist and neck. Messy brown hair tickles face, while Seth breathes into his neck. Roman shifts (attempts to) from the body clinging to him just slightly to look at Seth's sleeping form.

Seth's beauty never leaves him. Even now, with his eyes puffy from all his crying. His beauty is still there despite his swollen lips from how hard he'd been biting on them. Seth remains completely beautiful despite the frown lines on his face. He's still enchantingly beautiful despite his blotchy face.

Roman's lips touch the sleeping man's forehead softly, it causes Seth to lean into him, muttering nonsensically before whispering Roman's name. It brings a tiny smile to Roman's face. On nights where his dreams don't consist of Tyler, they revolve around Seth. And he wonders if he's ever said the brunet's name whilst deep in slumber. He thinks it's possible.

It's still quite early into the morning, nearing 05:30 AM, to be precise. Roman thinks he's slept for two hours maybe. After Seth had poured his heart out last night, they'd stayed up until 03:00 before Seth fell asleep again. He'd looked more exhausted than Roman's ever seen him, emotionally drained too.

What he'd seen last night had almost prompted him to kick Katherine out of his house. Because this feels like Ariana and Tyler all over again. Tyler hadn't been pimped out by his mother but it still feels very much the same to Roman. So he'd monitored Seth last night, from his office, he'd kept an eye to ensure that the brunet wouldn't harm himself.

Roman's stomach twists viciously when he remembers Seth's cries. His heart breaks all over again. Seth had looked so bad that he'd almost damned the brunet's instruction to stay away and gone to their bedroom to comfort him. Seth's cries still haunt him, they still echo in his head—loud and wretched.

"You're safe now, alofagia… loved. I love you so much," Roman says the words quietly against Seth's forehead. And he means it, wrath will befall anyone who dares to hurt the man in his arms. Seth's mother included—especially her. They still don't know what she wants and Roman hadn't bothered to engage in much talk with her last night. His priority had been Seth, he still is.

Katherine had conversed with Masina though, helped make the dinner they were eating last night too. Roman thinks he'd heard her crying, but he can't be sure. He'd just heard her voice in passing when going to his study. But he'll be lying if he says he isn't curious to find out what it is she wants from Seth. A part of him thinks money, he knows parents like her. Toxic parents who only ever show interest in their children when it benefits them.

She won't get any money from them though. If it's money that she wants, Roman will make sure she leaves without a cent. He'll have Bobby fly her back to the hellhole she came from, and make sure she never sees Seth again. He won't stand for that kind of negativity around Seth. He won't let Seth be another Tyler, won't allow Seth to feel unworthy and useless. And maybe that's why their paths crossed.

Maybe this is his second chance to love harder, better than he'd done with Tyler. And that's what Roman will do. He'll shower Seth with so much love and affection. And ensure Seth doesn't ever doubt his love for him. He'll show Seth, in his actions, how he values him so. And he'll tell the brunet everyday how lucky he is until it sinks into the man's head, that Roman is the privileged one here.

Quietly, Roman tries to detach himself from Seth, who keeps gripping him, still fast asleep. He replaces his body with his pillow, laughing softly when Seth latches to the pillow and buries his face in it. Roman kisses his unruly brunet hair before hesitantly creeping to the front door.

Entering his and Seth's bedroom, Roman grabs his phone, messaging Masina to order Seth's favorite donuts and a litter of mango juice. Masina responds almost immediately, confirming that she's on it. Manuia's next on his list, Roman messages him too, asking him to take over his meetings for him. He messages Bayley last, asking her to reschedule the meetings that need his presence.

Roman takes less than ten minutes to shower, drying his body before going to the en-suite closet. He grabs a pair of black Nike shorts and a navy short-sleeved t-shirt. Going back to the bedroom, he lotions his body, sprays deodorant and gets dressed. Grey sneakers accommodate his feet and he goes to give himself a once over on the full body mirror. Seth normally ties his hair, but since he's still asleep, Roman ties it into a bun himself. It's neater than Seth's, more meticulous. A waste seeing as he'll be spending his day indoors today.

Seth is still fast asleep when Roman goes to check on him so the royal closes the guestroom door silently. His feet carry him to the kitchen where he finds her seated on one of the stools at the kitchen island. When their eyes connect, Katherine's eyes widen, big as saucers. Roman almost laughs, he's seeing Seth in her at the moment.

"Good morning," she greets first.

"Morning," Roman returns awkwardly, examining her. She looks like she hasn't had a decent meal in ages, with how skinny she is. Her hair is thinning and she looks a bit frail to him. He clears his throat when he realizes he's been caught staring. "How did you sleep?" he asks, out of politeness, more than anything.

"Good, t-thanks for asking you. How 'bout you?"

"Quite well, considering current circumstances. I can't say the same for your son though. He's been in pain since you forced your way into his life." His mind rushes to his mouth. Roman leans against the fridge, scowling at the fidgety woman.

"I-I know," Katherine exhales shakily. "It's not my intention to cause him pain. I-I just really wanted to see him. H-He's my son."

"W-Who you whored out for money!" Roman growls, uncaring as Katherine flinches, her eyes dropping. Now that it's sunk in that she's here, he wants to snap at her. Have her punished—for every single crime she's ever committed against her own child. There's an anger simmering inside him on Seth's behalf. "What kind of mother are you?! Do you even have a heart?! How could you use your child like that?!"

"I-I'm s-sorry," Katherine's cheeks are wet, her voice tremulous. "If I-I could t-take—"

Roman stops her stammering with a scoff. He has no care for this woman's false remorse. "You're going to tell your son why you're here, Ms. Rollins. And then you're leaving our home. I have no desire to see you anywhere near Seth. He's loved now, cherished. I won't let you break him down. You're a negative force in his life. You need to stay away from him…for good. It's better for everyone that way."

Masina enters the kitchen, warm smile on her face. If she notices the tense mood, she says nothing as she plants her lips against Roman's cheek, asking if he's okay in Samoan before patting his cheek. Roman exits the kitchen when she turns to Katherine for conversation. He goes to wait for Seth's donuts in the living room, knowing Masina will bring them once they've arrived.

"Leati…" Roman turns away from the blank screen to give his middle-aged helper a glance. There's a box in her hand, and a carton of mango juice in the other. "The food's here."

"Thank you." He accepts the food.

Masina's smile is motherly, "Tell Seth I said to feel better. To not stress about things he had no control over. Tell him to rest, he needs it. And you, you're not going to meddle in that woman's affairs with her son. Maybe she's realized her wrongs, and maybe she wants a relationship with her son. Maybe she wants to make up for her mistakes. Give her a chance to explain herself. Don't meddle, be there for Seth but this is between him and his mother."

"I'll step aside, Masina. But if she's hurting him, I'll have to step in. She's not going to do it, not in my presence. We're partners, and that means we share. His heartache is my heartache. When he hurts, I hurt too. If that woman's affecting him, I'm affected too. And I won't stand for it."

"But it's still between Seth and Katherine, Leati. Try not to interfere too much, let them talk things out. Let Seth make his own decisions, let him work out his feelings. Balance is key, be there for him but not so much that you're interfering and adding to his stress."

"I get you, Masina." Roman tells the mocha skinned woman, already heading for the stairs. "Thank you for the food."

"Tell him to talk to her when he's ready. He needn't rush it just because he wants her gone. Tell him to take all the time he needs."

"I will," Roman calls out before giving Masina a gracious smile.

Seth still has his pillow hugged tightly, his breathy snores echoing in the room. Only five minutes remain until the clock hits 06:30 AM and the sun's already creeping in from the cracks of the light curtains. Roman is conflicted on whether or not to wake Seth up for breakfast. It's not like his food will get cold if he wakes up a bit later to eat.

The decision is made for him, there's a shuffle on the bed before big drowsy eyes blink up at him. They are still red, but Roman can see a hint of a smile in them. He settles on the bed, kissing Seth's temple once the brunet sits up. "Alofagia," he greets, kissing swollen lips swiftly.

"Morning daddy."

"How did you sleep?"

Seth climbs onto Roman's lap, caressing his beard. He issues no response, but he looks into Roman's eyes before leaning forward and crushing their lips together gently. "I slept okay, no bad dreams after I…came to you."

"Good, that's good."

"You're here…thank you, for not leaving."

"I said I'd be here."

"You did," Seth averts his gaze, Roman melts when his eyes light up. "Donuts? You got us donuts?"

"I got you, donuts. But I'll have one if you're willing to share…"

"I don't know, Rome—" Seth rubs on his chin, pretending to be deep in thought. "Fine…you're allowed one."

Roman chuckles lowly, repositioning their bodies on the bed. He tucks Seth in between his legs like he did last night, kissing the hair at the nape of his neck. Seth releases a shaky sigh before leaning against him completely. "Masina said to take your time…with her. We can just stay hidden here, for now. Just you and me…away from the others."

"I'd really like that," Seth hums quietly. "We can just talk and watch…cartoons?"

"Cartoons?"

"You love Donald Duck, don't you?"

"Cartoon marathon it is."

"Dean's moving in with Antonio, he told me two days ago." Seth breaks their thirty minute silence, but he speaks softly as if not wanting to disrupt the coziness.

"Oh?"

"Yes. He didn't want to, at first." Seth nods his head. "He was terrified to. Me and him, we grew up the same way in most cases. He had an abusive dad. Dean left home when he was eighteen."

"I'm sorry to hear that."

Seth shakes his head, he rests the side of his head on Roman's chest. "'S okay. You know Xavier's the only one out of the three of us who had a stable upbringing. He has a mom and dad, both of them love him so much. And so supportive of him. I used to be jealous. When he first started at the club, I didn't like him. He was too bright, too optimistic. I resented him for having great parents. Because I—didn't have that."

"I'm sure he understood, if you explained the dislike to him."

"He understood a bit from the beginning, he never stopped being kind. We started being friends after he missed three days off work. Hunter gave me his address to go check up on him. I did, he was—never mind. But we've been friends ever since. The three of us, for a long time it's just been us. And then Xavier got R-Randy. Then Dean got Antonio. And I found you, the royal bastard who's a prick nine times out of ten."

Roman's chuckles rumble in the entire room, stealing the spotlight from the cartoons on the TV. He can hear Seth's laughs, they're much quieter than his but there nonetheless. Roman kisses Seth's hair, he likes them like this—carefree and serene.

"But I'm still all yours."

Seth entwines their hands, he tilts his head, gazing into Roman's eyes with a gentle grin on his face. "Yes, you are mine. And I'll fuck up anyone who dares touch you. I'll fuck you up too, if you entertain it."

"My, my…a little possessive today, aren't we?"

"Your behavior was bound to rub off on me. You created this." Roman tries to reach for Seth, but the brunet turns to face him, bouncing up and down while trying to close the baggy shirt he has on. "Um, I need to pee Roman." He skids to the bathroom, making Roman laugh quietly.

When Seth comes back, Roman's already made the bed. "I'm going to take a shower. I feel disgusting." Roman gives the brunet an inquisitive eyebrow, Seth merely shrugs his shoulder. "It's hot, I feel sticky."

Roman finds himself sat on the toilet seat as he watches Seth submerge himself in cold water. The brunet is clearly unperturbed by it as his contented sigh sounds in the bathroom. "I'm sorry, Seth." Roman says quietly, clearing his throat when Seth gives him a puzzled look. "For when I met you. I'm sorry for throwing that money at you. I'm sorry for the name-calling. I understand how worthless it must've made you feel. I'm sorry that I was just like the others. A part of me had already resented you because I—when I found out you were a prostitute, I was taken back to Ariana. And then there was the trouble that came with being associated to you, I couldn't see anything past the anger. I let my emotions control me, and for that I am sorry. I'm sorry for being no better than them, alofagia."

Silence fills the bathroom after Roman's spoken the words. He can't tell what Seth's thinking with how the brunet's turned away from him, that brown hair of his cloaking him. Roman doesn't try to ask him to say something. He allows the words to sink in, gives Seth his space.

"You still look at me the same." Seth says in a low voice. "Even after last night…you look at me the same."

"Because I love you, Seth. I meant what I said last night, nothing will change my mind about you. Especially your past. I'm in love with you, alofagia."

Seth finally turns to face him, his doe eyes inquisitive. Roman stares right back, unwavering, face serious as ever. A light exhale leaves Seth, there's a slight smile on his face when responds, "I'm in love with you too, Roman."

"Phew!" Roman wipes an imaginary bead of sweat from his forehead.

He's rewarded with a chuckle and then, "I…forgive you too."

Roman's heart threatens to rip in two from the words, in disbelief. He's wanted to hear those words from Seth for a really long time. But now that he's heard them, all he feels is gratitude. "Thank you, Seth."

"I'm choosing to forgive you because I'm putting my faith in you. I hope it will never happen again."

"Of course," Roman nods his head.

That inquisitive look in Seth's eyes returns but he says nothing else. He merely sighs, resuming with his bath. "I'm tired, I need more sleep."

"You just woke up," Roman furrows his eyebrows.

"I don't care."

Handing a towel to Seth, the pair exit the guestroom together, going to their bedroom. Roman settles on one of the chairs in the room, eyes fixated on the brunet who's getting dressed. There's a stirring going on inside his pants that makes him groan lowly. He hasn't had sex in a while, for two whole days he hasn't buried himself in Seth's warmth. Initially, because of Seth's study sessions and him having to focus on his exams. And now because Roman isn't sure if Seth will agree to it, with the stress of his mom and all.

Roman's thoughts are broken by Seth's quiet, "All done."

"You look beautiful," Roman compliments, smiling as Seth's cheeks heat up. The brunet's in a pair of shorts and a white tank top, hair tied into a messy bun. Despite the exhaustion showing on his face, Seth still remains beautiful. For Roman, the brunet doesn't even try. He's always so beautiful to him.

"Thank you. I'd like to go outside for a bit, get some fresh air. Maybe in the balcony?"

"Anything you want, baby." Roman leads them to the balcony. Outside, they get comfortable on the loveseat, with Seth laying on top of Roman. He buries his face into Roman's neck and sighs softly.

"You have a boner."

Roman laughs quietly, his hands travelling to Seth's ass. "I'm always hard around you, alofagia."

"You want to have sex?"

"Maybe later, when you're feeling better." Roman's lips touch Seth's forehead.

"Good because I don't think I could give it to you. Your scent is nauseating and comforting at the same time. And I don't know why…" Seth kisses his cheek, making Roman confused as fuck. "I feel like strangling you too, but I don't want to because then I'd have to be without you. I still need you and I can't just murder you for no reason."

"You okay, alofagia?" Roman asks, confused. How the hell did they get to having a conversation about his murder?

"I'll be fine…if you're quiet and just hold me."

Roman raises an eyebrow, even though with their current position, Seth can't really see it. He holds Seth tighter to him, kissing his forehead gently before basking in the silence. He feels Seth's breath even out not too long after. It's contagious, and Roman thinks he hears Katherine's voice along with Masina's just before he joins Seth too, falling in a deep slumber.

The next time he wakes up Roman's arms are vacant. He sits up the loveseat, rubbing his eyes, still disoriented. "Seth?" he calls out once awake enough. He enters their bedroom, finding Seth pacing around and talking quietly to himself. "Alofagia?"

Panicked brown eyes look at him, "Rome…"

"Everything okay?" Roman immediately slaps his forehead mentally as the words leave him. Obviously everything is not okay. Not with the way Seth's pacing. Not with that look in his eyes. Roman walks to him, placing his arms on the smaller man's waist. "What is it?"

"I-I think I'm ready." Seth's tone is hushed.

Oh. "Are you sure? Do you still want me there with you?"

Seth nods his head, leaning up to kiss Roman's lips. "Yes."

"Okay. Just do what's best for you, okay? Don't feel bad about any of it."

"Thank you."

Roman joins their hands when they exit the bedroom. He can feel Seth's nerves, can practically touch them as they roll off in waves from him. The grip on his hand also reveals Seth's emotions. Roman thinks the brunet's gripping his hand to anchor himself.

"Masina…" Seth sounds relieved, probably because she's the only one they meet when they enter the kitchen.

Roman begrudgingly lets go of Seth's hand when Masina brings his boyfriend into hug. She kisses Seth's cheek, scrutinizing him with a sparkle in her eye. Roman isn't sure what that look means. "Seth, you look a bit more rested. Are you hungry? You haven't eaten in four hours. I can make you something good and filling." She sounds too fussy to Roman but he says nothing.

Seth is chuckling softly, nodding his head. "As long as it has meat, Masina. Also, h-have you seen Katherine? W-Where is she?"

"She went to her room not too long ago. Why don't you and Leati go to the den, mhm? I'll get her to join you there."

"Okay…" Seth nods to himself. "That's okay." Roman's hand is gripped again when they settle in the living room. "What do you think she wants?" There's a tense aura exuding from Seth, his tone is too clipped.

"I don't know," Roman answers honestly. He kisses their joined hands and looks Seth in the eyes. He senses a presence behind them, knowing it's her. "Guess we'll find out now."

"Take a seat," it's Seth who says the words, because Katherine had resembled a lost kid for a while, with her awkwardly standing in front of them. "Roman, meet Katherine. She gave birth to me. Katherine, Roman—my boyfriend."

"Nice to meet you," Katherine speaks first, meeting Roman's eyes.

"Likewise," Roman returns, he spares a glance at Seth when the brunet squeezes his hand. The brunet stares back, Roman thinks he sees an angry fire in his eyes and hopes it's not meant for him. He doesn't want to be on Seth's bad side. No sir, not today.

"Why are you here?"

Roman keeps silent, struggling to remain unperturbed with each moment he spends in the tension filled room. Katherine's eyes dart around, they don't remain locked on one place. The woman's still too skittish. "Before I begin, I just want to tell you that you look so beautiful son. I'm so proud of you, your achievements."

Seth scoffs, snatching his hand away from Roman's. "Thank you, Katherine. I did it all on my own, without your help. It wasn't easy at first, I-I had to do what you taught me to do best. But at least this time, I knew what I wanted out of it. I'm graduating soon."

Katherine clears her throat, she nods her head. "It doesn't matter how you got it son. I'm still—"

"Of course, it never mattered!" Seth cuts her short, his anger so tangible that Roman senses it—all around them. "As long as you were getting the food. And paying the bills. It didn't matter that it was at my expense. Me, Katherine—your s-son. How c-could you?"

The tears start again, from both mother and son this time. Roman brings a fighting Seth to him, setting him on his lap and holding onto him tightly. He wants to whisper words of comfort, words of love. But he knows his presence is more than enough. He lets his whole aura, his scent, to comfort the brunet crying hysterically in his arms. He'll take Masina's advice, he won't interfere.

"I'm sorry, baby boy. S-So sorry. I…we needed the money, baby. In my mind, at that—"

"FUCK YOU! ARE YOU SERIOUS RIGHT NOW?!" Seth erupts, voice even more pain filled than last night. It increases an octave higher with each screamed word. "YOU SOLD ME, KATHERINE. MANIPULATED ME INTO SLEEPING WITH DIFFERENT MEN. HIT ME! I-I'M YOUR CHILD, SO WHY? WHY DO YOU HATE ME? WHY DON'T YOU L-LOVE M-ME?"

"I DO LOVE YOU, SON." Katherine returns just as loud, tears streaming down her face. She shakes her head, looking at Seth through blurry eyes. "I love you so much Seth. You're my only child. I never meant to hurt you."

"Then what did you mean? Love…" Seth snorts, "You don't treat the people you love the way you treated me. I-I was always walking on eggshells around y-you. Afraid of using the bathroom, of using the toiletries. I was constantly stopping myself from taking more than two slices of bread because I was always scared. I was always scared, of y-you. My m-mother, the one person who's supposed to protect m-me."

"And then I'd h-have to go to school with bruises, a-all from you. You hurt me, you hurt me so much. I don't know what y-you want from me. I don't know why y-you can't leave me be. I've tried to forgive you but all y-you ever do is abuse my trust. A-All you ever do is take from me. So what do you want this time? More money?"

"I don't w-want money," Katherine croaks, futilely attempting to wipe her tears away. "I just want you. That's all I'm looking for, a relationship with you son."

Seth shakes his head no frantically, he's still sobbing—deeply and gut wrenchingly. Roman's heart cracks for him, for the pain he's in. He kisses the back of his neck, feeling Seth flinch as if he's now realizing that he's in Roman's arms. Seth's cracked 'no' echoes in the room, loudly, as he repeats the word over and over again, in anguish.

"It's true son," Katherine speaks again, tremulously. "A-A few months ago, I was diagnosed with cirrhosis. It's a scarring of the liver caused by long-term liver damage. I was always tired, weak. Sometimes I'd vomit blood, have itchy skin. I lost weight too, a lot of it actually. I went to the hospital and they diagnosed me. There ain't no cure for it at the moment, the only thing I've stopped doing is drinking alcohol. My liver's messed up pretty bad, the doctors thought I'd need a liver transplant. But they said there was an improvement so there is a possibility I won't need one for a very long time."

"It was a wakeup call Seth. A wakeup call that I could die any day and I wouldn't have a relationship with you. You're my only family, you're all I have son. And I just want to fix things. If I ever die, I want to die knowing I made things right with you. I-It hasn't been easy, these past few months. You know how I was with alcohol, having to stop drinking was one of the hardest things I had to do. But I did it, because I don't want to die. Not yet. I s-still want to see you reach your full potential son. I want to see you become what I never was. But more than anything, I just need an opportunity—to love you right, as a parent should. Please Seth."

"And how do I know you're not lying? Y-You were always lying, Katherine. How do I know that this isn't a trick?"

"The medical reports. I have them in my bag, son." Katherine stands up, wiping her tears and looking ready to go back upstairs for the proof.

"N-No," Seth stammers. He leans back against Roman, releasing a shaky exhale. "Later. Is that a-all you w-want?"

"Yes," Katherine whispers, sitting back down.

"I don't know if I can trust you again," Seth croaks, folding his arms across his chest protectively. "I don't know if I want a relationship w-with you. You're too toxic, a-and I don't want that around me. I've been trying to m-move on Katherine. F-From my—past. I'm t-tired of h-hurting, I don't want to think about it and h-hurt. With you here, I'm feeling all those emotions all over again. I don't know—" Seth's confusion is blatant, he bites on his lip, looking at the woman who birthed him, tears in his eyes. "I don't know what to do." He shakes his head, hiccupping. "T-Tell me w-what to do."

A silence dominates the living room, leaving Seth's words hanging in the air. They only add to the intensity of the emotions filling the living room. There are too many of them, all too black that Roman doesn't try to explore them. His grip remains around Seth's waist, silently supporting his boyfriend. He hopes Seth knows it, with the way he tightens his arms around him and in the way he kisses his hair that he'll support whatever decision the brunet decides to make.

"I can't tell you what to do, baby. I did it for so long that it's not fair to do it now. I just want us to have a relationship, Seth. If you're not willing, I'll understand. I'll respect whatever decision you make."

"I can't do this, not now." Seth shakes his head, face hidden in his palms.

"I see," Katherine has disappointed written all over her face. "It's okay, I won't force you baby. Take your time."

"Can w-we go to Masina?"

Seth is looking at him, lip bitten as he asks the question so Roman nods his head. He kisses swollen red lips, holding Seth's hand in his as they head to the kitchen. Katherine's wise enough to remain in the living room. Roman has a feeling her presence would've felt too suffocating to Seth.

Only a few minutes remain before the clock hits one so Roman figures it's the prefect time for lunch. The kitchen smells with tantalizing aromas when they enter, and Roman's lips lift a little when Seth inhales deeply. He hopes the food will bring the brunet a bit of comfort. "Hungry?" he asks.

"Like a lion," Seth confirms quietly.

"Always so hungry," Roman kisses Seth's forehead before leaning down to capture his lips gently. Seth hugs his waist tightly when the kiss ends, Roman allows it. Allows Seth to take comfort in his scent for as long as possible, his own arm folded around Seth's neck. "I love you and I am here for you. Whatever decision you make, I'm supporting. I don't want you to forget that. And neither do I want you to forget how special you are, every inch of you is so special. And I am the luckiest man on earth. You're so special Seth."

"I am special," Seth whispers against Roman's shoulder.

"Yes you are, alofagia. Because there can never be another you as a person. You're irreplaceable, baby."

"You make a really great boyfriend when you want to, Roman."

Roman chortles loudly, deciding not to take offense. Masina enters the kitchen to find him still chuckling to himself. Seth has a hint of a grin on his face but he still looks down so it's not that prominent. "I'll try to make a great boyfriend everyday, just for you, alofagia." He says finally.

Seth snorts but leans up to place a swift kiss to his lips, "We'll see."

"What's wrong?" Roman asks when he notices Seth's scrunch up his nose, as if disgusted by something.

"Eurgh, Masina get it away! Get. It. Away! Disgusting," Roman follows Seth's line of sight, finding prawn kebabs placed on two plates. Seth's squeezed his nose with his fingers, looking like he might vomit any minute.

"You don't want this?" Masina asks.

"Do I look like I want it?! Just get it away from me!" Seth snaps a little too harshly for Roman's liking. "What?!" that same tone is aimed towards him when he raises an eyebrow. Roman receives a glare from hell before Seth storms out of the kitchen, leaving the royal unpleasantly confused.

"What the hell was that?" Roman turns to Masina.

"You'll find out…soon enough." That sparkle Roman had seen earlier returns, but the royal still can't decipher what it means. "Well, I better make something else then. Why don't you go distract him while I do that?"

Roman looks at Masina as if she's crazy. "Masina…I don't think I can. Didn't you see that look he gave me?"

"He'll only get angrier if you don't go check up on him, Leati. Don't be a fool."

"Fine," Roman concurs after a minute's consideration.

"Good, now go up. I'll bring the food myself. Distract him with these Cheetos in the meantime—" Masina shoves a big bag of chips in his chest, Roman accepts it, mind working slowly. "They seem to be a favorite of his."

"Uh, thanks Masina."

Roman passes an empty living room on his way up, Katherine must have gone back to her room then. Knocking on their bedroom door first, Roman opens it quietly to test if his presence is welcomed. He finds Seth sat on the bed, staring at the walls blankly, like last night. "Alofagia?" he begins carefully. "I got you something."

"W-What?"

"Cheetos." Roman heads to the bed when Seth nods his okay. "I'm sorry okay? Masina too, for upsetting you."

"'M not upset."

"Oh?"

"Mhm," Seth hums, opening the Cheetos bag. "'M confused."

"Maybe I can help?"

"What do I do, Row-man?" Seth turns to face him, climbing onto his lap.

"What feels right to you," Roman tells the brunet gazing at him with trembling eyes. He can't decide for Seth what to do. Katherine seemed sincere, and maybe with all he's heard he'd like to give her a chance to redeem herself but it's all up to Seth. With all the abuse he put up with from his mom, he wouldn't blame the brunet if he didn't want a relationship with her.

"I just, I don't know. If I can trust her, around me, around you. I don't want her around us, our lives. She's too harmful. But she's still my parent, I care for her as much as I hate her. What if she'd died, Roman? All alone, without me. I don't want that for her."

"I think you already know what you want to do, alofagia. Like I said before, I'll support whatever decision you make. I'm here for you."

"So she's staying another night?"

"It's all up to you."

Seth nods his head, he sighs softly. "Just one more."

"Okay, alofagia."

A comfortable quiet ensues between the two of them thereafter. Seth hasn't managed to finish his Cheetos, they're now occupying the bed. The brunet thought caressing Roman's beard would be a much better idea. The royal's eyes soften in love, he smiles a little, he thinks the man in his arms might be obsessed with his beard, he strokes it way too much.

"I think I'm ready to have sex now, Roman." Seth says it so innocently but the lewd look on his face has Roman groaning low in his throat.

"Masina's making your food. She said it won't take long. What if she comes here in the middle of it? I'm not going to stop until I come, Seth. She'll see things she's not supposed to."

Of course, Seth doesn't listen, he can be stubborn when he wants to. Roman releases a moan coming from deep inside his throat when a confident hand grips his dick through his pants. "Seth—" a stroke to his throbbing erection has Roman throwing his head back. Jaw clenching, he looks at Seth through lidded eyes. "Fuck, baby. What are you doing?"

"Taking care of you. You want that, don't you?"

"Fuck yes!" maybe he sounds too eager but Roman can't bring himself to care. Not when Seth's helping him take of his shorts and underwear. Not when his sexy as fuck boyfriend is getting on his knees and looking up at him so suggestively. "Shit, baby—you look so beautiful." Roman tries his best not to wheeze his words out but Seth's sucking on his dick as if it's his favorite lollipop.

The brunet's determined, looking up at him in love and worshipping his dick. Roman's breath leaves him, and it's not just from how much of a fucking pro Seth is when it comes to sucking dick. But it's the look in his eyes too, it's his beauty and how he looks so serene while taking Roman's cock into his mouth. "I love you." Roman strokes his cheek softly.

Seth's eyes light up, he looks angelic but so darn indecent that it has Roman growling in approval. He grips Seth's hair, sliding in and out of his warm mouth, going deeper and deeper until his dick hits the back of Seth's throat. The brunet is dripping with saliva, and choking on Roman's dick but he's determined as ever. Roman bucks into his mouth when he feels a knotting in his stomach. His hands grip Seth's hair, holding him in place while feeding the brunet his essence.

A different heat engulfs his cock next, it has Roman gripping Seth's hips in a bruising hold. The brunet folds his arms around Roman's neck, bouncing on Roman's dick and kissing him fiercely. It's fast, sensual and passionate. They sigh against each other's lips when they come, "Damn Seth," Roman says after he's caught his breath.

Seth laughs, arms folded around Roman's neck. "Damn, daddy."

Roman lifts off the bed, with Seth in his arms, striding to the bathroom. After getting cleaned up, they head back to the bedroom. They're just in time because a knock sounds once, twice at their door before it opens. Masina comes in carrying a tray with two plates and two glasses of juice.

"Hey, Masina." Seth greets nervously. "'M sorry about earlier."

Masina waves him off, "I understand, it's not your fault."

When Seth looks at him, Roman shrugs his shoulders. He's just as lost too. "Okay, thank you so much Masina."

Masina graces them with a grin, looking between them with that sparkle again before leaving their bedroom. Seth immediately grabs his plate after she's left. His moan bounces off the walls in their bedroom. "Mmm, spicy fried chicken. Now this is better, looks better than the prawns too."

Roman laughs at Seth's distaste over the prawns Masina made. "I've seen you eat prawns before, alofagia. I don't know what's changed."

"Their smell, disgusting!" Seth frowns.

"I see. Thank god for our savior the chicken then. We can enjoy that. And forget all about the bad monstrous prawns."

Seth chuckles heartily, he looks better, lighter—despite his puffy eyes. Roman doesn't think he's ever seen him cry as he did these past twenty-four hours. It still brings a pain to his heart because he doesn't ever want to see Seth hurt like that. And if he could, he would take away the brunet's pain. "You're crazy."

"In love with you? Yeah I am."

"Tsk tsk, so corny."

The bright grin on Seth's face is worth all the corniness in the world. Roman would do anything to ensure it stayed there everyday. He loves seeing Seth like this, the brightness rubs off on him. It's intoxicating, like the man sitting cross legged and facing him as he eats Masina's food enthusiastically. Roman doesn't think he's ever loved anyone this hard…


 

Dinner finds Seth seated next to Roman with Katherine sat across from them like last night. It's much more peaceful than the previous one, much more relaxed. Seth thinks it has to do with him having tried to place his feelings the entire day. He'd stayed with Roman in their bedroom, thought things through and he thinks he's finally made a decision.

Katherine's eyes keep clashing with his, and it stems from the fact that they both keep trying to avoid eye contact. The sound of cutlery slicing into their food gently sounds in the room. Roman has been trying to engage in conversation with Katherine and Seth has found himself not as mad as he was last night.

He blinks his eyes when Roman breaks the silence in the dining room again. "So Ms. Rollins, what do you do for a living?"

Seth mentally rolls his eyes, remembering the last time Roman asked someone that question. It was at Bayside Marketplace a while ago, when the royal bastard had invited himself to his and Elias' outing.

"Uh, I got a job now. It's a waitress position at a twenty-four hour diner back home. The pay's bad but it's better than what I was doing before."

Their eyes clash again when Katherine says that, her eyes seem to be scrutinizing, to see if he'll get worked up or not. Seth shoves a broccoli into his mouth, trying to be unperturbed. "Manny's Foods?" he remembers that diner vaguely.

Katherine seems surprised that he's actually talking to her, making Seth want to roll his eyes. She recovers, answering, "Yes. Manny's son, Eric, took over though. It ain't that busy no more but there are a few loyal customers."

"Eric…he's a good guy. The only person I could ever come close enough to calling friend in that place." Seth doesn't bother trying to hide his distaste. He hates Keokuk, it has too many hurtful memories.

"I can offer my advise, see what can be done to grow the diner or bring in new customers." Roman says quietly.

Seth glances at his boyfriend, "Really?"

"Yes, if he's a good guy and was kind to you, I don't see why not. It's a repayment for his kindness."

Seth's eyes water, he feels like crying. It's all he ever does lately and he doesn't know what the fuck is wrong with him but his feelings are all over the place. "That's a great idea, baby." He kisses Roman's lips softly.

"I'm sure he'll be overjoyed. Seth's right, he's a really good man. Allowed me to take all the time I needed when I was searching for Seth, promised my job will still be available when I go back home."

"About that—" Seth eyes Katherine. "You're leaving first thing tomorrow."

"Oh," the disappointment he hears in Katherine's voice causes his heart to clench in a pang of guilt. The bleakness in her eyes reveals how much she wants to stay but Seth can't have that. It's too soon.

"Yes."

"I understand—" the woman's lying, everything about her screams disappointed. "Well, have you thought about our conversation? Do y-you think we can, I don't know…work things out? Or try to. Whichever works for you."

"I have," Seth clears his throat. He looks back at Roman who's looking at him intensely, blatant love and support on his features. Their hands entwine before Seth looks back to Katherine. "I h-have made my decision," he stammers, feeling unconfident.

"Okay…" Katherine trails off. Seth can see her nervousness, can feel it even. He sees her conscious effort to maintain eye contact.

"We'll start small. With telephonic conversations. Then we'll take it from there. I don't want you pressuring me. You're not going to ask for money. You're not going to ask for any visits. Everything just starts…slow. That's all I can give you. And I think it's more than fair, if you consider what I suffered at your hands."

"I'm grateful, Seth."

Seth nods his head, he leaves his chair. "You'll give Roman the details he needs about Eric. I don't think I'll be available to bid you farewell tomorrow. So goodbye Katherine, have a safe journey." The bony woman gets up, making Seth release a panicky, "Please don't," when she attempts to hug him.

Katherine's hands immediately move away, "Of course, I'm so sorry Seth."

"I heard you the first twenty thousand times, " the words rush to his mouth before he can stop them. "Sorry," he whispers when Roman clears his throat but says nothing.

"It was only expected. So I guess this is goodbye, Seth. I hope we can meet up again, not too long from now. That is, when you're ready of course. But I'll call, everyday…if you don't mind?"

"N-No," Seth shakes his head.

"Thank you, son."

Seth nods his head, he turns to glance at a seated Roman. "Are you coming?"

Roman doesn't verbally respond, he lifts off his chair. Shaking hands with Katherine, the royal then gives his attention to Seth. "Let's go."

They get to the bedroom and Seth immediately seeks comfort in Roman's arms. He wraps his legs around the royal's waist, allowing the man to carry him the short distance to the bed. "How are you feeling?" Roman asks, balancing his weight on his elbows as he stares down at the brunet beneath him.

Seth bites on his bottom lip at first, staring up at Roman while caressing his cheeks. He considers his feelings, and answers honestly, "I don't know. I'm feeling a lot of things all at once."

Roman twists his nipple and Seth almost cries out in pain, wanting to kill the royal bastard. His nipples are more sensitive than usual today. "Do you know what you're feeling about your mom?"

"I'm still angry at her," Seth answers honestly. "She put me through so much. But I'm trying to forgive her, I thought about it earlier. If I forgive Katherine, I'm not doing it for her. I'm doing it for me, and my own peace. If I forgive her, then I'm also forgiving myself. And I'm moving on. Of course, somethings are easier said than done but I have to try. I owe it to myself to try."

That look of blatant love has returned on Roman's face. It's more determined than ever, more certain. I love you. Roman's whole aura seems to declare, confidently, without doubt. There's an awe in his expression too. Seth hates to say it makes him feel flushed.

"You're amazing, you know that?"

"I try," Seth shrugs.

"One day, our children will have the best daddy ever…or do you prefer mommy?"

Seth smiles, folding his legs around Roman's waist. "I don't mind either. It depends on what they'll get used to calling me."

"I admire you, alofagia. You're one of a kind."

Seth doesn't respond this time, he looks into Roman's brown depths instead. They make him feel warm and fuzzy inside. This admiration Roman is talking about, Seth sees it in his eyes. His eyes close when Roman kisses his eyelids. Katherine invades his mind, appearing in front of him. Please don't make me regret this. He chants inside his mind. He's been disappointed by her for so long and so much that he feels like he's taking a blind leap of faith with her again. He just hopes this time, she will be at the bottom waiting to catch him when he falls.

Chapter Text

Seth runs a timid hand slowly down Roman's right arm, tracing the royal's intricate tribal tattoo with his fingers. He tries to appear as innocent as possible, tries to look irresistible when Roman turns to face him. There's a slight exhaustion he sees in his man's eyes that almost has him feeling guilty. Almost.

But he needs his boyfriend, and he needs him now. So the brunet smiles innocently, making sure to widen his eyes enough that Roman will give in. "Daddy…I need you."

Roman's clenched jaw and low groan has Seth throbbing even harder than before, and dripping inside his underwear. He bites on his lip, blinking up at Roman who responds with an incredulous, "Again?"

"Yes," Feeling confident, Seth grips his man's dick firmly, fondling the sexy man in front of him through his sweatpants.

Roman's growl sounds in their bedroom, "I fucked you less than an hour ago, alofagia." His voice sounds roughened, it's downright sexy.

"I need you again," Seth croaks, "Fuck me, Roman. Please." He never begs for sex but Seth needs his man today. He needs to feel Roman, pulsing inside him, owning and marking him with his cock. The sudden libido increase is making him insatiable. Maybe it has to do with Roman's scent, Seth's finding it irresistibly sexy today—more so than usual.

Drawn to the manly scent, Seth dips his head into Roman's neck, breathing him in. He then kisses, nips and sucks on the spot between neck and shoulder. Roman's growl has him whimpering in need, his hole twitching with want, despite it's swollen state—he's been fucked more times than he can remember. "Please, daddy. I need you," Seth's hands are already at work, slithering inside Roman's pants.

"Fuck, Seth. What's gotten into you?"

Roman is struggling to get his words out, making Seth smile to himself in victory. His boyfriend is leaning against the wall next to the dresser, one hand clutching the edge of the dresser in a white-knuckled grip. "You," Seth whispers seductively, hands caressing Roman's dick firmly. "You're so sexy, daddy. Everything about you sexy. You don't even try. And your cock is especially sexy. I want to feel it throbbing inside my mouth. And then I want to feel it inside me. Can I have that please, daddy?"

Not waiting for Roman to respond, Seth gets on his knees, staring up at Roman wide-eyed. Roman's cock, in his view—glistening, with precum spilling from the top, has Seth's breath coming out harshly. He grips it in his hand, longing to have it in his mouth. His man's groans of sexual frustration have Seth's stomach quivering. He bites on his bottom lip, wanting to run his tongue along the pulsing flesh. Licking his dry lips, Seth blinks up at Roman innocently, when the royal grips his face in sheer, unadulterated lust. The man's dark pupils are dilated, there's a vicious fire in them, his jaw clenched from barely contained control.

Slowly, while still gazing into transfixed dark swirls, Seth leans in and flicks the tip of his tongue on Roman's cock. He hears Roman's sharp intake of breath, feels the man's clasp his hair tightly. As soon as he gets a taste of Roman, Seth's eyes close feeling utterly contented. He goes to work, getting more of that veiny meat in his mouth.

Seth moans deep in his throat, loving the feel of Roman's velvety dick in his mouth. He alternates between humming and sucking on his man's dick. Giving everything he's got, while removing his shorts in the process. He strokes his own steel pole dick, trying to alleviate a bit of tension, while choking on Roman's dick—slicking it up nice and good for his starved hole. Seth pulls away, despite Roman's tight grip on his hair to keep him exactly where he his. Roman's dark stare tells him the royal's not pleased.

"Nuh uh, daddy. That cum, I want it in my ass."

Roman's growl thunder in their room, Seth gasps when he finds himself bent over the mahogany dresser. He grips either side of the dresser, pushing his ass out for Roman to use. "How do you want it?" Roman's voice sounds like sex, and so fucking authoritative, it has Seth moaning loudly.

"Make me purr, daddy. I'm at your merc—FUCK!" Seth's words turn into an aroused scream. Roman has a fistful of his hair gripped achingly, he's invaded his body in one go. And when his man finally fucks him, nothing is held back. Seth's screams are loud, high-