Vaako, fully armored except for his helmet, comes into the mostly darkened quarters. His posture is confident, commanding, but his expression is watchful, even wary.
Riddick emerges from the darkness, his silvered eyes shining like searchlights. Vaako’s expression flickers in confusion as Riddick circles him slowly, studying Vaako from the steel heel-cups of his boots to the spiked front of his dark hair. Riddick stops in front of Vaako, looming over him despite Riddick’s scant couple of inches of superior height. Vaako’s expression turns stony, his gaze fixed beyond Riddick’s right ear.
“What do you want, Vaako?” Riddick rumbles.
“You sent for me, Lord Marshal,” Vaako says tartly.
“I don’t mean here,” Riddick says impatiently. “I mean – what drives you, Vaako? What am I going to get from you?”
Riddick doesn’t expect a direct answer, but Vaako instantly lifts his gaze to meet Riddick’s.
“Obedience without question, loyalty without end,” Vaako says without hesitation.
His expression is implacable, but his dark eyes are luminous in his pale face – softer and more alive than a necromonger’s eyes have any business being. Riddick growls, a small sound of surprise and interest.
He puts his hand on Vaako, one big, hard hand resting in the ridged curve where Vaako’s armor narrows around his waist.
“What if I tell you to undress,” Riddick murmurs.
“Then I will undress,” Vaako says steadily, but Riddick feels the sharp lift of Vaako’s ribs under his hand.
“Maybe you would,” Riddick says, “but some things even the Lord Marshal does for himself.”
He glides his hand up Vaako’s ribbed cuirass, to the heavily embossed curve of his pauldron, then down onto the plate of his rerebrace. Vaako lifts his arms fractionally, guiding Riddick’s attention to the latches holding the sides of Vaako’s cuirass and backplate together.
Riddick puts both hands on Vaako, fingering the latches open – two, four, six – and the two pieces of armor sag apart. Riddick takes Vaako’s pauldrons in both hands and lifts the whole assembly of pauldrons, cuirass and backplate up over Vaako’s head. Riddick heaves the empty shell aside, with enough force to send it crashing onto the table, scattering cups and plates and a dish of wizened fruits. Vaako’s lips flinch apart, but otherwise he is motionless.
Riddick looks Vaako over again - rerebraces, vambraces, and cuisses – before fixing his attention on Vaako’s faulds, and the ribbed plate beneath them curving protectively over Vaako’s crotch, held in place by a hinged metal belt latched on one hip. Riddick runs his fingers from the front of the belt to the sides and flips the latch open. The belt, faulds and plate fall loose, hang from Riddick’s hand for a second, and fall with a clatter onto the deck.
Riddick eases closer, putting his thighs and cock and belly against Vaako’s. The soft, heavy bulge of Vaako’s cock is pushing at the thin scales of his chausses.
“Join in whenever you want,” Riddick goads, sliding his hips from side to side, rubbing his own rock-hard erection against Vaako’s thickening cock.
“Want … ” Vaako says hoarsely, “ … is how the contagion of life spreads itself.”
“This ain’t the birds and the bees,” Riddick smirks. “Life ain’t spread by men fucking each other.”
He takes hold of Vaako’s jaw: Vaako’s skin is cool and smooth and strangely unyielding. Riddick drops his open mouth onto Vaako’s pale lips, thrusting his tongue past the sharp edges of Vaako’s teeth into the cool slick of his mouth.
Vaako pushes into the kiss, grinding his open mouth against Riddick’s. Vaako’s gloved hand closes on the nape of Riddick’s neck, rough leather biting into sensitive skin.
Riddick jerks back from Vaako’s mouth, roaring in triumph as he stoops to hook a hand behind Vaako’s thigh and wrap an arm around Vaako’s waist. Riddick straightens, heaving Vaako’s considerable weight – he’s still half armored and built like a hellhound – off the deck. Vaako clamps his thighs around Riddick’s hips and his arms around Riddick’s neck. Riddick pivots, staggering slightly under their combined weight, and carries Vaako to the bed. He tries to throw Vaako down onto his back, but Vaako holds onto him, pulling Riddick down on top of him. Riddick grunts as the hard edges of Vaako’s cuisses dig into Riddick’s hips.
Riddick pins Vaako with a hand on Vaako’s throat and slides aside slightly. He takes hold of the pull at the collar of Vaako’s gambeson and draws it downwards. The two sides of the garment part, exposing Vaako’s chest, pale and smooth as a pearl.
“Ain’t you something,” Riddick says approvingly.
He runs his fingertips across the cool, firm plane of Vaako’s chest, pushing one side of the gambeson out of the way. Vaako’s nipple is a pale, grayish brown, and pierced through by a small spike of dark metal.
Riddick bends his head, opens his mouth, and puts the flat of his tongue down on nipple and spike. Vaako jolts under him so violently that Riddick jerks his head up again. Vaako slaps Riddick’s hand off his throat and catches Riddick by the back of the neck.
“You burn,” Vaako says, accusing and awe-struck.
“You got no idea,” Riddick says, yielding to the pull of Vaako’s hand on his neck and bending his head again.
He sucks Vaako’s nipple into his mouth, and Vaako rolls his hips strongly enough to lift Riddick’s weight. Riddick pushes the other side of Vaako’s gambeson aside, his fingers finding Vaako’s other nipple identically spiked. Vaako’s chest rises and falls jaggedly under Riddick, though his breathing remains silent.
Riddick forces himself up, drawing back onto his knees between Vaako’s thighs. Riddick pulls open the top of Vaako’s chausses, the thin black scales slick under his fingers. Vaako’s cock springs free, rigid, pale along the shaft, but grayish rose at the glans like a faint bruise. Riddick inhales deeply, nostrils flaring. Vaako’s smell is faint – just a suggestion of salt and smoke, but Riddick growls, his eyes narrowing hungrily.