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The border was foreseeable as thick oak trunks spotted in dark green tufts of moss shifted into the silvery leafed white trees of the fae realm. The wind settled as the thief passed over the ashen boundary line, strewn across like a threshold all it’s own. The earth salted with the same white powder for the first few steps, leaving black footprints in his wake before the ground shifted to a more natural covering of thick healthy moss and the damp scent of rain fresh soil. He could smell the river from here, the slow moving current was a welcome sight, little silvery fish darting about the flow as they glistened in the sunlight. What small shards of it broke through the thick cloud coverage, the colder air of fading summer licked at his neck, stirring slight shivers down his spine. His  olive eyes focused as he pushed further in, heading for the infamous Garden of Eden.

 

There were stories told of men who sought it out for unfathomable treasures and glory. Kings and armies fought for it but none ever returned with treasure in hand. Thom had thought it was all a myth at this point until his client brought him a map and a stupidly large sum of money to find it. The client being a Lord himself, was looking to pay Thom enough to be set for years to come, living comfortably wherever he wished. Though retirement was a far off concept for the thief, it was still very nice incentive. Supposedly, he was to steal a single fruit from a very specific tree. The client couldn’t really describe what the tree looked like aside from saying it was “Angelic”. The thief shook his head, never hearing someone describe a tree of all things to be Angelic. Music? Yes. People, most certainly. But trees? What constitutes for an Angelic tree?

 

The trek further into the realm lead to soggy boots from crossing the shallow river, a torn tunic after snagging a few branches Thom could have sworn weren’t there a minute ago and a very uncomfortable heat as if the sun was glaring down his back. The humidity steadily growing the closer he got to the garden, sweat trickling down his back and spreading beneath the leathers of his armor. His weapons feeling uncomfortably heavy, giving the feeling that it was the middle of a desert summer and not a couple full moons from the first nip of winter’s icy breath.

 

He was half tempted to remove his mask and hood to catch his breath for a moment before his soft olive eyes fell upon the sight of large woven branches forming a soaring wall towering above him. He gawked in awe, mouth agape behind the black fabric of his mask. A quick walk around the exterior proved no foreseeable entrance, leaving the last option for the thief, to scale the branches. With his smaller size, he had little fear that they wouldn’t hold as he began the long climb up. Though, with every inch gained, he felt like his target was merely further away, weighing him down more the higher he goes. Every item on his person grew heavier and heavier, the humidity was nearly suffocating behind his mask, making it harder to breath. Dizziness prickling across his thoughts as he paused to gather himself. His fingers bleeding within his gloves, thorns curling out of the wall where vines hadn’t been moments before, cutting into his palms the longer he held there.

 

Despite every obstacle, Thom pushed on, ignoring the pain in his hands as he made it to the top of the wall. Glancing down over the edge, gazing into the garden, he found it was shrouded in a thick fog rolling through, giving nary a glimpse of what treasures lie within. He swung his legs over, estimating just how far the drop would be and if it was worth the risk of broken bones. Though, the gods didn’t seem to keep him in their favor as the branches beneath him gave out and he dropped to the ground below, barely managing enough control in his fall to roll off a majority of the impact. Not without a few additional scrapes and bruises, his armor taking a good portion of the force as he sat in the grass, trying to regain his composure and his wits.

 

It was beginning to make sense as to why so few had made it this far into the garden. A slow glance around, the fog seemed to only grow thicker, blocking out any and all sight of his surroundings. For so many stories he’d heard of it’s inexplicable beauty and splendor, he was left disappointed. Dusting himself off, he pushed up to his feet and paused to check on the status of his hands. Wrapping a cloth around them to staunch the majority of the blood before wiggling his damp gloves back on.

 

His soft olive eyes roamed over the earth below his feet, noting the evidence of a worn path beneath his boots. He took a few steps forward, following the path before him as his only guide through the impenetrable fog. Green shoots sprung up along the edges when he neared them, a few small flowers blossomed in clusters but nothing he hadn’t seen in the wilds already. He was beginning to think his efforts of finding the legendary angelic tree of immortality would be an empty effort and he will return without his quarry and some very bad news to his client that he and many others were led on a farce of a chase. He just hoped the man had enough sense to pay up for his efforts, afterall, it's not his fault that he was given bad information or that his client was a gullible enough to fall to a fool’s story meant for drunkards and children.

 

Through the thickest parts of the fog, Thom felt a shiver race down his spine. A cool breeze ghosting past him, snaking under the layers of armor. It chilled the droplets of sweat beading on his skin. A soft lull coming over the garden, an impeccable silence that was beyond natural. His eyes darted around, fearful that his presence brought about this lull. That was until he heard it. The softest of sounds rising through the fog. It was so faint, that he had to strain to hear it. He held his breath and didn’t move a muscle, listening intently to the sound.

 

Every note was a thread plucking at his mind, snagging on his limbs and pulling him ever so gently. It was angelic, a song that danced through the fog and drew a hush over the plantlife. The path cleared as an impressively tall silver tree stood high above the thief. It’s branches seemingly open and inviting him towards it. A haze settled over his mind, resting heavy on his thoughts as they sank down into the forgotten depths. Weariness spreading through his limbs, the ache in his palms faded to a dull buzz before disappearing entirely. Numbing and pleasant throughout his body. “Certainly.” he murmured to nobody in particular. The whispering of the song in his ear offered rest for the weary.

 

Come lie down in my roots. Sleep away your troubles. Be warmed by my embrace.  

 

There were no spoken words in the music but its desires wormed their way into the thief’s mind. One step after another drew him to the tree’s trunk. His bloody palm gently caressing the silvery bark, leaving a shocking crimson print against it. The roots seemed to rise around Thom, gently coaxing him to rest in their crooks. The lush grass was cool against his skin, the oppressive heat fading out pleasantly. The shade was nice, the warm tendrils of sunlight peeking through the canopy above. Golden rays amidst the branches. His eyes blinked slowly as he focused on them a little more, realizing they weren’t shards of sunlight but a fruit of some kind. Round and gold in color. Wrapped in an ethereal glow.

 

Something in his mind told him they were important but he couldn’t recall the reason exactly. He hummed as he sorted through his thoughts but came up with nothing in particular. Assuming it was just their appearance that made them so special, he turned his gaze down to the vines curling comfortably around his body, caressing and cradling him in the roots. Like a mother’s caring embrace.

 

The lull drew him closer to a euphoric slumber, pulling at his mind with gentle motions until his eyes drifted shut and he surrendered to the hold. The vines began to pull him closer, the trunk of the tree opening up like a gaping maw that devoured his body whole, slowly the tree began to close around him, tucking him within. When suddenly it stopped. The tree stilled and the music faded away. What little senses remained in Thom’s mind clawed through the fuzzy haze, eyes opening with a mixture of shock. He felt panicked briefly, hoisting his numb body up out of the hold of the vines as they unraveled around him and let go. He tumbled out of the trunk into a heap at the tree’s base, gazing up in confusion at the apples above in the boughs. It took a moment for him to recognize voices in the garden, the sounds of a foreign language passed between two or possibly even three people.

 

Everything finally snapped back into place as his senses regained some ground in his mind. He was a little sluggish at first as he pushed himself up to his feet, partially scaling the trees lower branches to reach the first of many of its fruits. Plucking it from the branch caused the tree to stir from its brief slumber and rumble out with an unnatural boom like thunder, the bark creaking and groaning as it opened back up. Two heads appeared, shaped like wolves emerging from the same nest of vines that tried to devour Thom whole. Teeth like thorns snapping and snarling as they fought to get free through the narrow base. Hackles raised up with barbs and massive hook like thorns growing from their backs, claws scratching at the wood as Thom jumped down from the branch, rolling across the earth and springing back up on his feet in a dead sprint. The apple clutched in his hand as he raced through the garden.

 

The fog had cleared out portraying the rampant beauty of the place, crystalised flowers and vibrant colors. It was a feast for the eyes but Thom wasn’t able to linger and admire its forbidden sights. The silhouettes of soldiers in the garden urged him to quicken his pace. The numbness in his legs fading into a cramping pain as he forced his body to begin moving too quickly.  The wolves burst into the opening, hot on his heels as he raced for the open archway in the garden wall. It wasn’t there before when he did his walk around, seeing the runes above the arch of branches and vines, Thom realized it was a magical barrier meant to keep people out.

 

The explosive bark of orders came in that foreign language once more, as the three soldiers in the garden quickly joined the pursuit after the thief. Miraculously, keeping up behind the wolves while tailing on foot as well. Thom’s smaller frame allowed him to slip through thickets and dense areas of brush to slow down the thorn wolves, slipping under low hanging branches and vaulting over fallen trees with ease. His feet pounding the earth as he neared the river bed. What had once been only ankle deep shallow pools was now a raging rapid that would surely drown Thom should he even try to cross. It was twice as wide and three times as deep as the embankment hinted towards, startling the thief with the realization that the Fae King was well aware of his presence in his realm.

 

Thom whirled around to face the soldiers as the wolves slowed their pursuit to a halt, standing in waiting for their Master’s orders. Two of the soldiers had hoods up over their faces while the one leading the charge was a tall, broadly built dark skinned fae with a single golden eye gazing out coldly at the thief. His lips curled up into a devilish snarl as he spoke in common tongue, his tone twisted with the accent of their fair folk. “You have something that does not belong to you. Return it now.”

 

Thom remained silent in the approach, the fae’s hand outstretched, waiting for the human man to oblige his demand. Thom’s fingers curled more tightly around the apple in his grasp, squeezing the softer skin beneath the pads of his fingers, feeling certain he would leave bruises in it. His olive eyes shifted from the encroaching wolves that slowly stepped towards him, thorny teeth bared into a vicious snarl, barely walking the fragile line between idle and attack. He made a quick look back at the river, feeling the mist of the rapids spraying his armor and seeping beneath to his sweat dampened skin. A steady breath rising and falling as he considered his options. He had no way out of this if he tried for the river. On the other hand, he remembered Fae like deals, bartering things with the mortals across the veil. He was certain, with his skills, he could think of something the key would desire that is beyond his reach.

 

Thom raised his gaze only to find the dark skinned fae was impossibly close, looming over him like a shadow. His body jolted back in alarm, meeting that golden orb as he took a step back. The softened embankment at his back started to give way, teetering Thom over the rushing waters, his balance staggering without the space to step forward and gain solid ground. A vice like grip formed around his throat, the other hand of the Fae’s grappled Thom’s wrist that held the apple, easily dragging him back from the river bank and towards the awaiting soldiers. Sharp teeth flashed a devilish smile that bode ill for his future.

 

His wrists were bound, a dark rune marking painted onto his skin as an illusion cast darkness over his senses, pulling Thom into a pocket of darkness with only the faint spongy callus of sound on the far reaching edges of his mind. He could hardly make out the jostling of his body being manhandled and the crunch of earth beneath boot steps. Time stretched without an equal measure, twisted and distorted perversely by his mind until the rune marking was wiped away with a damp rag with a strange sweet smelling fluid. His vision slowly returned from the shaded greys and bleary figures to sharpened silhouettes cast in ivory and lavender, animal skulls presented upon birch fixtures, horns entangled into complicated chandeliers, illuminating through the purplish and blue like bells of toxic flowers hanging down from above. Their softened scents alluring in a weary sort of way, something one with many burdens would seek out for an immortal sleep.

 

Elegant fixtures contrasted with the depressing formations made of the living and the dead alike. Those of a more morbid taste would call it a celebration of what was and what is. The floor was a cool obsidian stonework, speckled with fallen petals from white blossoms branching out above. A lazy glance to the side and Thom could see two rather large trees growing out on either side of the room like natural pillars, supporting an unseen roof as their branches of silvery leaves and pale flower blossoms spread a bitter sweet scent throughout the hall, mingling with the scents of the other plantlife surrounding. Taking a closer look as he craned his head to see behind him, he discovered this trend was throughout the rest of the hall as six more pairs of the same trees obscured the roof, or what he assumed was there, by their sickly floral canopy.

 

A firm hand gripped his neck, directing him to face forward as he drank in the sight of who he could safely assume was the King of this realm. Hair as black as the stones he knelt upon and eyes as bright of blue as the most flawless sapphires, his skin appeared delicate and pale like parchment, criss crossed with vine like artistry of the same powerful runes spread across his bare torso. Not as tall as the golden eyed Fae at his back, Thom could still see the predatory prowess of the other. Fingers curling thoughtfully around the golden fruit procured from the mortal, the King shared a darkly warm smile, raising a marked hand towards Thom. That same accent followed, coating the fae speech in a rich honeyed tone that rolled with musical syllables that betrayed any instrumental harmony.

 

The fae at his back seemed to respond, slowly stepping away from the mortal and fading out of Thom’s view. Though the shiver curling his spine assured him that golden orb hadn’t left completely, still fixated on his prey. The King stepped forward, dark fabric caressing his hips and thighs, trousers of the richest fabrics accentuating his pallor. A shawl of sorts was draped around his shoulders carelessly, a deep blue much like his eyes that coiled around his biceps and hung freely from his forearms. A flex of power as he pushed to his feet in an easy glide of movement, fluid like a songless dance, slightly off center of Thom as he circled him like the caged bird he was in the presence of a predator.

 

As he turned to the side, the handle of a familiar dagger could be seen tucked into the hem of his trousers, Thom’s blade, once kept on his person that he didn’t recall losing or being removed, was in the hands of the most dangerous creature in all the realm. A trickster of silvered tongue, that could rival even the most clever of bards and seductresses.

 

A hand touched Thom's shoulder, fingers trailing lightly around the darker leather as the Fae circled, until they danced across to the crook of his shoulder. Bright blond peeked out from the helm's lower edges as they hooked under the mask, lifting slowly to remove the mask. Piercing blue eyes fixating on the fairer features, a snarl of amusement as the common thief bordered on elvish visage in his beauty. Long blonde locks fell in careful tightly bound braids. A thumb dragging darkly across his cheek, reading everything within those olive eyes. Drinking up the secrets that he leeched from the man before him from the moment he crossed those boundary lines and shed blood upon his soil.

 

“As I thought.” The rolling accent on his tongue was rich, more so than the Fae who spoke before him. Thick and deep, making something in Thom's stomach clench awkwardly with every twist and tilt of syllables molded so carefully. “Like all mortal men, a greedy black heart lies inside you.”

 

The grip on his face tightened as the golden eyed Fae stepped forward, taking the immortal apple in all its vibrancy into his darker skinned grasp. The King reached down to withdraw Thom's knife, inspecting it thoughtfully as he mused. “Cold iron for us, yes?” He inquired smoothly, not even showing an ounce of anger at that tidbit of preparedness. It appeared it did little to dissuade the King from touching it.

 

The sizzle of skin when he traced the blade's edge was more out of fascination than fear or pain. ‘Oh God, he is one twisted motherfucker.’ Thom quickly realized.

 

“To kill us, you aim for the heart,” He started. “-or so the legends say. Carve out our blackened hearts to end our lives.” He turned the blade edges towards Thom, dancing the tip across his chest in slow swiping motions. “What if- I carve out your black little heart? Would you die then?”

 

When no response came, the King seemed crestfallen. His smile faltered briefly before resuming with a malicious grin. “I guess we could always test it out.” His voice purred, the tip of the blade gouged into the King's thumb spilling inky blood from the tip before smearing a ruin across Thom's armor. It sizzled like the sun itself had kissed the material, scorching it across in cracks that curled it tighter around Thom in an uncomfortable way. A firm grasp from the Fae King pulling it free and it shattered completely, exposing a white silken shirt that barely concealed his torso. An upward cut of the blade, trailing the sharp tip along his skin in teasing strokes as the sharpened edge parted fabric like a hot knife through butter. It really was a marvelous piece of craftsmanship.

 

The white fabric was peeled back from Thom's pale skin, exposing his chest to the cooler air around them. A pleasant sigh left the King's throat as he trailed his thumb along the white skin. A gesture that Thom assumed would smear the acrid blood across his body turned out it was healed up already. His surprise did not fall silent on his features, appreciated by the Fae King's own amusement. “If you'd be so kind to give me your name?” A demand that was twisted into a question, deceiving and cunning to the silver pitched tongue of the Fae folk.

 

The tip of the blade teased slowly across one of Thom's nipples, playing beneath the thunderous beat of his heart. His breath catching in his throat from a confusing dance between fear and excitement. This job certainly beat out even the worst house cleaning job.

 

“Don't be rude little one.” The King chastised, a hard snap of his syllables dragging across his tongue as he clicked at him to hurry. It was bad manners to enter a King's court unannounced. Even the lowliest peasant is introduced by the guards.

 

Thom’s lips parted as he answered the King’s demand. “You may not have it but you can call me Afon.” This introduction was not one the King was expecting and felt a pang of annoyance at the slight. The tip of the blade tipped forward, applying more pressure as it spread flesh apart. A hiss slipped past his lips, his eyes squeezing shut at the sting as crimson bubbled up along his breast bone.

 

“I would rather you not be rude in my court, little one.” He chastised with a click of his tongue. “Inappropriate behavior results in punishment in my court. I’ll allow you to recompense but be aware my patience does have limits mortal.” He reminded, holding the blade tip under Thom’s chin, dangerously close to his throat.

 

The King's warning was met with a baring of teeth and eyes fixed coldly upon him in a state of defiance. Chin tilted up to show more of his throat, urging the King to do his worst in hopes of being freed from his captivity prematurely. The Fae simply smiled at the prolonged silence that greeted him, tilting the knife to scrape the blade edge along his skin. “Wondrous.” The King purred, seeming to admire the mortal's spunk. The fire that burned inside him.

 

The compliment faded as the knife drifted down along the subtle curve of his adam's apple, sliding along the dip of his collar before finding open range to probe around the thief's body. A hand snaked around to the back of his captive's head, burying fingers in the blonde locks and tightening his grip like a vice as he forced his olive eyes to peer up into the canopy. Two ivory waves rippled out, silvery flecks glistening in the light from the chandeliers. A hiss of foreign words slipping past royal lips encouraged them to descend from the pool of silvery leaves and grayish branches. Long serpentine figures lowered themselves from the branches, beady eyes like black pits focused solely on the captive as they slank around the obsidian expanse. Bodies like liquid as they pooled into coils and stretched out to encircle their newest prey.

 

A sharp pain etched across Thom's stomach as the blade drew more blood. It was followed by another and another, Thom's silence carrying on as the massive snakes closed their distance, hissing in his ears and tongues flickering at the crimson droplets streaking down his pale skin. Lapping at the first signs of wounded and very easy prey. Words slithering past the Fae King’s lips as he spoke to the serpents, tightening their coils around the human. Their bodies dipping and weaving, curling up underneath his bound arms around around his waist. Smooth scales gliding over exposed skin, noses pressing against Thom’s inner thighs as they wiggled between his legs and back up. The massive bodies enveloping him as they constricted his fragile looking frame. A groan slipped from Thom’s lips as the serpents continued to pull and move while keeping the firmness of their grasp. Another blade edge digging into his skin, dragging marks down his chest towards his belly as if the King threatened to gut him right then and there, delivering his organs as a snack for his ivory pets.

 

The delicate dance of the blade tip over his skin eliciting excitement across the thief’s body while the serpents continued to lap up the blood droplets sliding down the pale flesh. The crimson smearing across their scales in places, staining the human’s flesh an uncomfortable sticky red. The massive bodies worming between his legs as they chased the taste of blood and followed their master’s command. Thom started to squirm as well, forcing the creatures to tighten up on him, pulling stifled sounds from his throat. His thighs spreading further apart, looking for leverage of any kind. Cheeks flushed red, olive eyes squeezed shut as he paced his breathing.

 

His head tilted away from the King only for those attentive fingers to catch his chin and redirect his attention upon him. The King clicked his tongue at the young man. “Give me your name and this will all be over.” He assured in a gentle voice, singsong to Thom’s ears as dizziness from combined blood loss and minor suffocation was starting to set in, among other things. His wrists pulled against the tightly wound bodies that curled around him, seeking freedom of some form only to be driven mad by the serpents. His voice breaking as heat bubbled up in the pit of his stomach, pushing him to an tipping point. His breath caught in his throat, shuddering out of his chest as a whine filtered out.

 

Thom’s legs shifting again as he squirmed, his body trembling as a daze befell his features. It didn’t take a genius to realize what had become of the thief. Even the serpents were aware of the dampness that formed over the subtle bulge in the man’s trousers. A bit of well placed pressure had another sound quaking free. A choked off moan breaking off on the edge. “Come on little one. You can do it. Give me your name and I will grant you freedom.” The words were a lullaby in his ear, coaxing him out in a delirious state. A hum in his throat that affirmed whatever desires he was trailing along.

 

Thom .” The voice that piqued was breathy, exhaling the name like a magic word. At least, to the King it was magical. Names were powerful and as it was breathed, the King stole it from him.

 

“There we go.” He cooed in praise, fingers brushing through Thom's hair in gentle swathes. The knife withdrew with a wave of the hand. The golden eyed Fae returned into view as the apple was passed to his touch. The bloody tip digging into the jeweled fruit, slicing away as a piece was cut. Placing the very edge of it on Thom's lips, the King urged them to part. “Your reward little one. Take it. You wanted it so badly after all.”

 

As the piece of fruit was fed to him, Thom felt a warmth bubble up inside his body, spreading throughout and blossoming. His skin prickled with a newfound sensitivity, nerves buzzing as the snakes slithered still but not quite squeezing anymore. A dizzying numbness spread as the King fed one piece after another to him. A coaxing finger along his breast bone informed him of the absence of his wounds, leaving nary a scar or trace of their existence. “You're mine little one.” The King purred, lowering his lips to grace over Thom's, fingers curling into the blonde locks as he forced his head back into a deeply passionate kiss. The King's tongue delivering a piece of fruit into Thom's mouth, swapping the taste of iron and copper from the edge of the blade. A surprisingly arousing combination that had the thief melting beneath him, held together only by the grace and hold of the ivory snakes.

 

From there, Thom's sense of time was drastically shattered. A whirlwind of foggy memories cluttered his thoughts and dragged him through the proverbial shards. The touch of hands undressing him, gentle sponges scrubbing the blood from his skin and combing out his damp hair. A seamless transition from cold to warmth and back again before tumbling into something newer and more vibrant. Shades of colors he hadn't witnessed anywhere other than ritzy paintings and fragrant scents that would frown upon even the most posh of aromatics sold within the city. Everything was so clean and bright and natural but with each beauty of life, there was a punctuation of death. A morbid display that was entangled in the greenery of thriving plants, sun bleached bones peeking through in a drastic display that reminded him of the purest part of the ever moving circle. That with life always comes death. The Faery King was very fond of this and wove that theme throughout the structure of his kingdom.

 

Be it hours or days, Thom awoke to find himself curled up in the luxurious chambers that he could only assume belonged to the King himself. Decorated much the same as the rest of the kingdom, the same floral bells illuminated the room and delivered a lovely scent in their presence. Those that weren't being used at the moment were closed up into little bulbs as if hibernating, their purple shades were much darker than their blossomed brethren.

 

Thom did a once over to himself, freeing his body from the layers of silk blankets that were carefully draped over his form, he found a white sash tied around his waist for modesty's sake, and a dark green tunic that caressed his torso in a flattering way. Pulling the fabric up, he inspected the absence of wounds on his figure and noted the light fluttery feeling like butterflies in his belly. Olive orbs searched the room for any sign of his armor but came up empty, though he was pleased to find himself alone.

 

It took a moment for Thom to muster the energy to get up from the bed, throwing his legs over the edge and giving a test of his strength. He was a little off kilter, the room swaying around him, feeling groggy like he’d slept for far too long. A few small steps and he was righted once more, heading for the first door he spied on the other side of the room. Its high arches were decorated in elaborate rune markings that glistened like silver in moonlight. Thom couldn’t make heads or tails of what they meant, having never seen anything like it before. As he neared the entrance, he overheard a voice in greeting, jolting suddenly in surprise. The Fae from before was just beyond the doorway. Thom pressed against the frame as he drew the door open just enough to peek through the crack finding the one eyed fae standing at attention. His bad eye sided with the door, giving him a better chance of being unnoticed. His voice was thick, laced with a rich rolling of syllables from his lips as he addressed someone just out of view.

 

When silence plucked briefly, Thom considered opening the door further until the King’s voice rose, addressing his guard in return. A rune marked hand resting on the Fae’s shoulder in understanding before his shadow crowded the doorway. Thom stumbled back, letting the door click shut rather abruptly. When it opened, the dark skinned fae entered first, golden eye fixed firmly on Thom, scrutinizing his presence at the entrance. “Stand down Fitheach.” The King assured, his hand coming to rest once more on the Fae’s shoulder. The bodyguard relaxed but only slightly as he stepped away, the King dismissing him back to his post outside the door. As it clicked shut behind Fitheach, the King turned his attention back onto Thom and gestured towards the bed.

 

“Have a seat Finseog.” He started to step towards it himself, watching as Thom lingered. He raised a brow at his lack of obedience. “I wish to speak with you on a mature level.” He explained, his voice carrying a kindly tone, holding patience with the mortal. After a moment of thought, Thom gave in and moved towards the bed, taking a seat first, though rather hesitantly. The King had no qualms in placing himself as close to Thom despite the show of boundaries in the human.

 

“What?” Thom asks flatly, shifting away from the King to put space between them but the Fae didn’t seem keen on acknowledging this separation or didn’t seem to care.

 

“I’m more than certain you are aware of your predicament, yes?” That rich accent rolled out, plucking at Thom’s nerves and pulling something familiar from the back of his mind, casting a net over his thoughts. He wasn’t sure what it was about the man but part of him wanted to flee, sensing danger and the other part was entranced by the oddity set before him. Thom didn’t have much to say in response, aside from giving a small nod, still scrutinizing the man before him.

 

The King paused, reconsidering his words before they left his lips. He let out a small sigh, giving the other an apologetic look. One hand coming to rest on Thom’s knee ever so gently as if beckoning a form of understanding from him even before he started. “You have stolen something very precious to me, you understand this I’m sure. Our laws dictate that those who steal from the Garden of Eden shall face a horrific consequence. What I have done is spared you that consequence but in return you still endure a punishment for your actions.” He paused, waiting for Thom’s response.

 

“So what’s my punishment going to be then?” Thom spoke up, his eyes narrowed on the King in question. His mind racing through all the possibilities to befall him in this situation and many of them he would sooner die before entertaining.

 

“Your punishment-” The King started, letting on a sigh as he noticed the wariness of his new charge. He couldn’t blame him for being distant given the reputation of his people. The true consequences were far worse than anything he could place upon the mortal’s shoulders. At least in their perspective. “-will be to serve in my court from this point onward.” He paused before explaining further. “You will have few responsibilities in the start given trust is lacking sufficiently at the moment. Over time you will be introduced to more and from there, things will unfold as fate allows.”

 

“Why?” Thom’s tone was stone cold, his gaze never shifting from the King as he sought answers. “Why did you spare me?” His fingers curled in his lap, hand pulling away from the King’s as he started to close himself off to the ideas that wormed into his thoughts.

 

“That answer is far more complicated than I could give justice to. Only time will show my true meaning. You have skills and a spirit that I desire to have within my court. Mortal or no, it would be beneficial, well, among other things.” He sighed, turning his sapphire hues away. “No harm is meant to come to you, Finseog.” He assured.

 

There was a bit of pause, silence stretching on as the pair considered the information laid before them. The King’s eyes trailing over Thom, curiously inspecting every inch of what was spared from the fabric. It was a rare treat to encounter a human so close like this, and the King was not ashamed to admit that he did wish to be a little more in depth in his inspection. His fingers twitching at the thought of undoing the man’s hair and letting it fall out in all it’s lustrous beauty. The desire in the King did not fall blindly upon Thom who noticed the telltale signs.

 

He shifted in his position until he was facing the King, his knees scuffing the bedding up, bunching it in places as he approached, hands reaching out to touch the runes etched upon his skin. “So, that means I’m yours then?” He inquired, gaining a surprised sound from the King.

 

He nodded. “In some ways, yes. You belong to my court.”

 

Thom raised the King’s hand to his hair, coaxing his fingers to pluck at the first pin that held it in a plait at the back. It was all the direction the King needed to start unraveling it bit by bit. His fingers carding through the blonde locks, admiring every inch of length that pooled down over the blonde’s shoulders. Something he hadn’t been capable of doing before in the throne room. The circumstances were different back then but now, he didn’t need to play the shadow anymore. No longer the scourge of the realm, he was allowed to admire and ponder, laying Thom down on the bedding as he straddled his hips. His fingers brushing along his cheeks, caressing his jawline and trailing down along his neck, head dipping down to peck light kisses along his skin. His attention drifting down along Thom’s chest where the low cut of the tunic revealed more, feather light and warm, exciting his senses to the acute stimulation. Thom’s arousal forming at the King’s self control and the new sensations. Something that was far different from others he’s made bed with. Be it consensual or not.

 

He closed his eyes, letting a soft sigh slip past his lips at the gentle attention being given to his body. Almost ticklish with how soft each touch was, like Thom was a frail and fragile as crystal. Strong hands framing his hips as he shimmied the fabric free of Thom’s hips, slipping it away, replaced with the warm wet caress of the King’s mouth over his private bits. For royalty, he was not ashamed or skittish at all in servicing those beneath him which was a genuine surprise to Thom. Every noble or authority he’s crossed paths with in the past wouldn’t think twice about forcing someone else into what was considered the bitch role. As if showing fondness and affection to one’s lover was a solely feminine position.

 

His thighs spread further apart, inviting him into the caress of his loins as the King bobbed his head with a rather talented tongue. It swirled around the tip of Thom’s shaft before sliding down along the length, keeping even suction along it. Thom’s body shuddered as he felt something shift beside him. He had to do a double take before realizing that the serpents from before had been wrapped around the branches above the bed like ornamental decorations. Their ivory bodies descending to join them on the mattress where they coiled around Thom, cushioning his form as they slithered beneath the clothing. The slippery sensation of the scales dragging across his skin, drawing shivers through him, followed by a moan as he neared the edge of release already.

 

The second serpent pulled it’s coils down over a nearby branch, drawing it closer to the King as he drew back, watching Thom squirm with a whine in his throat as his shaft twitched eagerly for release. Reaching up, he plucked a small green fruit from one of the nearby branches, upon closer inspection, Thom was able to noticed the fruits forming around the bundles of purple flowers. Rolling the fruit around in his palms to ripen it up a bit, he squeezed the walnut sized lump and watched the clear sweetly scented fluid leak across his palms. He gathered it up on his fingers and rubbed the oily substance across Thom’s entrance. The blonde couldn’t help the small jerk of his hips back into the Fae’s touch and the rolling arch as he ground into some form of stimulation. A low chuckle of amusement rumbled out.

 

“So impatient Finseog.” He cooed, rubbing slow probing circles around the puckered muscle before pressing gently. It gave easily, spreading the slick of the oil deeper inside the blonde. The serpents seemed content to keep rolling their big scaly forms against Thom’s lower back and around his hips, holding the majority of their weight off of the mortal. The King waved them away to pool at the sides while he leaned in, capturing the man’s lips with his own, becoming fiercer and more hungry in his actions.

 

The King slipped another digit inside his pet, spreading them out and stretching the muscle which gave easily, molding to the urges of the Fae’s encouraging touches. His middle finger brushing against the sensitive bundle of nerves deep inside him, feeling the soft velvety walls clenching around him. “You’re not a virgin I see.” He mused, curling his digits against the bundle and pressing down as he watched Thom jolt with a cry of pleasure. His olive eyes widening as he squirmed, the snakes coiling around him to keep him in place, looping their tails around his biceps and shoulders, drawing him back into the luxurious pile of cushions and pillows that were scattered about the head of the bed. His lithe frame sinking back into the bedding, fingers curling into the fabric as he struggled to hold back. Another probing touch had his seed leaking out across his belly, warmth spilling free only to be lapped up by the eager serpents, tongues flickering out for every last drop.

 

Buachaill maith.” He cooed over the mortal, spreading his fingers out inside him once more to test the stretch. He slipped a third digit in as he continued probing around, careful not to hit that special little spot just to watch his pet squirm. “Seinn dom Finseog.”

 

One of the serpent’s slithered past the King, bumping the buckle of his trousers to free the fabric, making for an easy shimmy of his pants, sliding down his hips as the snake continued to wrap around the pair like a set of ivory guard dogs. Withdrawing his digits from Thom, the King spread the residual oil lingering on his fingers and dripping down the mortal’s thighs onto his shaft. He coated himself thoroughly before lining his hips up to Thom’s entrance. Breathe éasca” He coaxed before pressing the tip of his shaft into the warmth of the human. He watched Thom give a shuddering breath, could feel the shifting of his inner muscles as he welcomed the stretch of the Fae’s girth spreading him wider. His body arching up into the pressing scales of the snakes that braced against him.

 

A hissed curse leaving his lips as the King sunk into him until he was buried to the hilt. “Feicfidh tú mo ainm go luath finseog.” He promised. His clean hand reaching up to brush the blonde away from Thom’s face as their lips met once more. Mouthing against each other, Thom coaxing forward, meeting the King’s desired with his own desperation. Heat swelling up inside the pit of his stomach, light and fluttery like a growing fire, threatening to consume every inch of him, sanity and all. The first syllables of welsh rolling off of his tongue as he cried out in the brief partings between their lips. Like prayers breathed into the night, the King devoured each with as much gusteau as sun does to shadows.

 

The steady roll of the King’s hips thrusting up into the mortal, ploughing deeper inside him with every drag and thrust. He admired the the curves of the thief’s body as he slowly unraveled at his touch, the massive ivory serpents coiled around him like a picture of the gods in the forbidden gardens. A true instrument of desire and desperation and were he a man to fall to sin, he would surely burn at the sight. Instead, a harbinger of such greed of the flesh, he scavenged every inch he could, peppering kisses along his neck and down his jawline. The increasing whines and cries of desperation only driving his arousal as each thrust increased in pace, jostling the blonde against the bedding. “Mo éan beag álainn-” He begged, mouth pressed against the curve of Thom’s neck and shoulder, teeth grazing lightly across the pale skin. “-le do thoil. Bí i mo chroí Finseog.”

 

The following welsh that fell from the man’s lips was a delight of greener accents, familiar and driven with the same scarlet fever that entranced them both. Burning within their loins as fingers grappled each other for support. Chest to chest, the King rutted up into the human, lips teasing at the edge of Thom’s ear as he nipped lightly,urging more sounds from his precious little pet. His lips curling into a smirk of approval when they came. “Buachaill maith Finseog. Buachaill maith.” He praised, wrapping his arms around the male as he drew him closer to his body, sitting him upright as the weight of the thief bobbed in his lap, strong hands gripping his thighs and the pressure of scales helping elevate his body, arching his back over the serpents piling behind him into a tangled mess of scales.

 

The pace becoming more erratic as the King neared his limit, pressing up into Thom and watching his figure bob and jerk, head tipped back and mouth agape with sighs and whines. Little moans bellowing out as he pushed Thom’s thighs down, firmly planting him in the King’s lap, burying deeper inside as he ground against that special little spot. Thom’s vision going white, mind blanking out as gibberish fell from his lips, a slew of welsh that he wasn’t even certain made any sense anymore. Having no real rhyme or reason as the Fae King toyed with that sensitive bundle. A few more thrusts had the warm seed of the King spilling out inside the mortal, working his hips in tandem as he milked every last drop into his gluttonous human. Thom’s body drinking it up as the King ground up into him, forcing him over into a full body quake of euphoria. His eyes dulling over with the rolling waves of pleasure that lapped at his mind and drowned out all rational thought.

 

The lithe frame slinking against his chest as he panted heavily, fingers grasping weakly at the fae for support, a deep rich chuckle bubbling up from the King’s chest as he cradled him close. His fingers brushing through the long blonde locks in praise. “Níl beagán ann. Rinne tú chomh maith.”

 

The serpents dispersed back to their lounges in the trees above, slithering away from the King as he dismissed them to tend to his pet. Scooping him up in his arms, he adjusted him to lie back on the bed, brushing the golden strands from his face as he murmured softly to him, rising only a moment to scurry away. His visage vanishing from Thom’s glossy eyed view as he watched the shimmering delights that were the flowers glistening above with their pale light illuminating the room with an ethereal aura. Either that, or there was something in the oils of that fruit. Thom couldn’t quite say, only aware of the moment when the King returned with a cool damp rag and a new set of clothes in hand.

 

The King’s own was reduced to a comfortably fitting navy blue robe with black trousers. His torso exposed to show off the intricately engraved black runes that covered his form, some looked like letters all their own while others appeared to be miniature pictures, given new life by the fuzzy sensations numbing his mind. Fuck. Thom cursed, realizing the fruit may have really been something more. All intention on leaving after a roll in the sheets with the King had faded upon the realization that for one, the King had a hell of a lot more stamina than he did and two, he wasn’t aware that he would be lubricated with a hallucinogenic fruit.

 

Still, he didn’t deny the King’s attempts as he wiped Thom down, cleaning the residual seed from him and mopping up the lingering lubrication on his thighs and rear. Catching what the snakes had missed in their own well intention attempts. His body was warm all over, cooled only minutely by the wet cloth as it spread across his skin in slow careful swathes. His eyes fluttering shut as a groan left his throat, relaxing into the bedding once more. Unaware that when he shut his eyes, he would drift off to a pleasant sleep.


Despite Thom’s well intended escape plans, each time was cut short by the silver tongued King and his elaborately planned distractions. And by distractions, the thief very much meant his uncanny ability to pop up and seduce the blonde back into the bed for a roll in the sheets. Though, it wasn’t all bad. Far better than he had expected for being a pet. There were many perks, a surprising amount of freedom and well, Thom figured he could wait a little bit longer until he returns. There wasn’t much to go back to besides a very pissed off client and half a continent on the brink of war. He was far more comfortable with his current position at the moment. Well, not entirely this specific moment as he found himself kneeling before the King in his throne room. A plush cushion stuffed under his knees as gentle fingers brushed through the golden locks that were loosely braided down Thom’s back. The King’s sapphire hues settled on the human as he admired the flawless almost elven beauty of him.

 

His voice rolling out praise as the thief took the King’s shaft down to the hilt, swallowing around the base as he bobbed his head in slow up and down motions. A tongue almost as skilled as the King himself worked its way up and down the hardened length, suckling along his member with the devotion one would reserve for deities and idols. It made the King’s heart skip a beat as he reveled in the feeling. The strength of the other’s throat swallowing around him as he pulled him closer to the euphoria of release was heavenly. Something that was sure to give Fitheach a run for his money which the King was already entertaining the thought of teasing his poor guardsman later when they bed down for the evening.

 

“Finseog.” The King warned, his voice breathy as the mortal stroked his tongue along the shaft a few more times until his seed burst down the other’s throat. He swallowed it with little trouble, eyes watering only slightly. Coaxing a finger under his chin, he raised Thom’s head to meet his gaze. There was an immense fondness for the human that could hardly be described. A happiness that grew the more the mortal gave into him, recognizing his unseelie name and little by little, relieving himself of his ties to the other world. It brought a joy to the King that he hadn’t felt in some years, least of all from a human’s presence. “Cannaí mo chroí, fuair mé mo ghrá.”

 

The warm touch to Thom’s cheek drew him to rest his head against the dip of the King’s thighs. The gentle brushing of the hand in his hair was careful not to unravel it from it’s ties. The King pausing enough to fix his robes and lure the human to rest in his lap, straddling it so his head could lay against his shoulders, strewn about like a lazy feline, pampered beyond all means and dearly beloved.