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The air hums with the desire of those wanting to devour, and those wanting to be devoured.

Victor doesn’t care to be either of them.

At least, for now, he doesn’t have to. In the night club, in this city—hell, this whole country if he wants to be honest—he is king. There are none others like him. Those he rules lurk in the darkness, coming out to play in back alleys, hidden buildings, and nightclubs like these where the flashing lights, thrumming bass, and writhing bodies easily hide those like himself. And remaining king means putting in appearances at the places that his people congregate, even if he doesn’t… participate.

People on the dance floor give him wide berth as they catch the silver fringe of his hair gleaming in the colored lights, his icy eyes narrowed, and his mouth turned down.

Little do they know that untouchable, unreachable Victor Nikiforov is mostly irritated from the beginnings of a headache beginning to pound in his head along with the music along the crown of his skull.

This was a terrible idea. He should never have trusted that this would end up being anything but a reminder that—

“Ah, there he is, King Nikiforov!”

Victor arches an eyebrow as he leans against the counter of the bar, eyeing the bartender. “Long time no see, Chris.”

“And whose fault is that?” Chris’s tone is as scolding as it can be when he’s yelling above the heady beat of the music, but there’s a grin on his face.

Victor flaps a hand at him. “I don’t enjoy places like this as much nowadays.”

Chris snorts, something Victor sees more than hears. “True. You don’t even hunt anymore, do you?”

“Would you hunt, in my situation?” Victor smirks at him.

“Hm.” Chris picks up an already spotless glass and begins to rub at it with a rag. “You know I can’t live without the chase. I can’t imagine settling like you have in your old age.”

“Old age? Settling? I’ll have you know I could outhunt you any day, with my hands tied behind my back.”

Chris shrugs. “But you won’t, will you?”

Victor sighs. He used to be all about the chase too, he knows the spike of adrenaline that can overcome you, the raw satisfaction of claiming your prize. But, well. He probably is just too old for it anyway.

As much as he hates to admit it out loud, Chris is right.

So he won’t speak it in so many words it to a single soul.

Not that many people in the club have souls, but that’s beside the point.

He turns to eye the crowd, writhing like a single mass of limbs and flesh and sweat. If it were a couple of years ago, he’d be in the middle of them, picking his prizes for the night. But not this night. He doesn’t desire any of them—he knows that without even looking. Lord knows he’d gotten bored of this game a century before he even ended it. But what’s a ruler to do, if not live up to the expectation of the masses?

“I don’t suppose I could interest you in a drink?” A stranger’s voice asks in Victor’s ear.

“No, I don’t drink without—“ Victor turns, and the practiced rejection falls away from his lips.

He had lied. Tonight, perhaps, he found the greatest prize of all amongst the ordinary and the bland. Meeting his gaze head-on as no one else would dare is a pair of wide brown eyes beneath slick black hair and above—oh god—leather and mesh and sparkling crystals. Victor’s fingers itch to reach out and roam along barely covered skin that leaves little up to the imagination—

But, no. He has more self-control than this. He has a reputation to live up to.

Victor looks down at the man, using the few inches he has to his advantage. “I don’t drink at establishments like these, I’m afraid.”

Not technically a lie, really. He can’t afford to be drinking when he needs to focus—whether the liquid in question is blood, or alcohol.

A small smile plays along the man’s lips as he sits on the stool next to Victor, crossing his legs as if to draw attention to them—and how can Victor resist looking at those thighs? “What a shame, then. You’re the only person in this place that seems worth a second of time, and you won’t even play along.”

“Oh?” Victor finds himself leaning down over the other man, watching as the pupils in front of him dilate. “And tell me, why would I be worth more of your time than anyone else here?”

The man licks his lips. “Because you look absolutely delicious.”

Victor should punish him for this transgression. To imply Victor is something to eat is degrading to his position—he can consume all he wants, but no one is supposed to lay so much as a finger on him. It’s… lonely. At first it was a powerful feeling, to control others in a way that no one else could. But not even he can break those rules.

This man, however… Victor would almost say that he doesn’t know who he’s talking to, if it wasn’t for the wicked curve of his lips which makes it clear he knows he’s playing with fire.

“I’m afraid I’m not exactly on the market for this sort of thing.” Victor gives a shrug, keeping the action as casual as possible. If he’d denied anyone else, they would instantly leave. They would know the repercussions. But this man—

He sighs, fluttering his eyelashes just a bit before standing up and offering his hand. “I’ll have to convince you then, won’t I?”

Victor looks him up, hoping he looks at least a little more judgmental than appraising. “By…?”

The man smirks, reaching out and grabbing Victor’s arm without any sort of permission, but doesn’t pull him from his seat, not yet. He leaves the final choice to Victor. “What else?”

Only sparing a glance back at Chris—who just has a judgmental eyebrow raised—Victor lets himself be dragged onto the dance floor.

Most people don’t pay him any mind, considering how long it’s been since he’s graced this dance floor with his presence. But some people do notice him, moving away and staring at the two of them with wide eyes. Victor’s letting himself be dragged along by the most delectable creature any of them have ever seen and oh that sends a sharp tingling down his spine. This man is claiming him, claiming Victor who owns this club, all of the people in it, and so much more.

Victor may play along with the demands of his position and this game, but the reality is that this single moment is more exciting than anything else in his entire career. To be pushed, to be engaged so wholly in a perfect stranger is a thrill that can’t be topped.

Or at least, it isn’t topped until the man begins to move to the pulsing beat enveloping them. It’s almost as if he’s not dancing to the music but the music’s instead coming from him, the vocals forming in the movements of his arms, the bass spreading from the fluid sway of his hips.

Victor reaches out, grabbing those hips to pull him closer, to taste the music flowing off his body.

But fingers wrap around his hands, pulling them up and off of the curves he’s barely had a chance to indulge in.

“Oh, you haven’t earned that yet,” the man turns and murmurs in Victor’s ear, somehow loud enough for Victor to hear above the music rattling his rib cage and his heart racing in his ears.

This man will be the death of him. Maybe literally, maybe figuratively, but either way Victor will take it. Because even if it’s his end that follows this dance, it doesn’t matter. The music vibrates against his skin, but something deeper thrums in his bones, filling him with the feeling of being alive in a way that should be a rarity for someone undead.

His hands are released and the man is grinding against Victor and he thanks whatever god exists that the music’s loud enough that it should drown out his moan.

Though from the wicked smile on the man’s face, he knows full well the reaction he inspires.

Victor’s hands twitch and ache to touch the body before him, but he doesn’t want to take it, not like this. Not when he wants to earn it. So he keeps his touch to himself and instead moves with the man and the rhythm that he sets, using every inch of skin the rest of his body has to get as close as possible.

The man turns, and instead uses his own hands to pull them closer together, tight enough that Victor may have bruises in the morning. And oh he’d like that. Something to tell him this night was real, this feeling was real, that this man is real.

Victor leans in close as the man rocks against him, his breath skipping and stuttering as their hips meet and a heat begins to pool low in his stomach. His lips ghost along the man’s skin, gleaming with sweat and a scent that’s both sharp and musky yet sweet and floral beneath.

It would be so easy to lean in and let his fangs slip out right here and now, to pierce flesh and indulge in this moment. It’s not right, he shouldn’t but… but…

Victor pulls back, taking a breath to settle back into his head.

“Good boy.” Another murmur in his ear as his arms are pulled forward and placed right where they were plucked from, and Victor takes no time to begin his exploration between the panting of their breaths and the steady, tantalizing movements of their hips. There are other people on the dance floor, there must be, but Victor can’t drag his eyes away from the man in from of him, trailing over every movement, every curve, the line of his long lashes, and how well they move together.

The man’s arms curl around Victor’s neck, dragging him down and then he’s panting into Victor’s mouth, tongue tasting as their bodies get impossibly closer. And Victor can’t resist tasting as well, sucking and nipping into his mouth until the man has Victor’s lower lip between his teeth. His fangs scrape along Victor’s flesh and he whimpers, absolutely not in any way that reflects that he’s the master of this dance club, or this city. More like this man is the master of Victor.

Then there’s distance between them, but before Victor can protest, there’s a hand wrapped around his own, expertly weaving them through the gyrating crowd, past the smoky booths and their drapes that promise a tentative privacy and… and out the back door?

Victor only gets one moment to look around the filthy back alley and sneer at the garbage and the faint reek of a place not cleaned very often. But before he can protest, he’s spun around, slammed against the wall with a force that leaves him breathless, and then there are hands on him, lips on him, and teeth scraping dangerously firm, yet not hard enough.

“You’ll let me taste, won’t you?” The man pulls back, looking almost shy behind long eyelashes, and Victor can’t decide if it’s an act or not, because he doesn’t care.

As the king of all the creatures of the night, it’s taboo he should ever let anyone taste the blood that runs through him—if you can even call it blood, when everything a vampire owns is stolen. It’s intimate, it’s private, and it gives Victor an electric, hot thrill just to think about someone walking up and seeing them.

He nods, not caring if the movement is too jerky, too eager.

If anything, the man seems just as eager, yanking the collar of Victor’s shirt aside so roughly that the threads pull and tear.  And Victor doesn’t care how much the damn fabric cost because then there are lips pressing and sucking along his pulse point and he gasps, clutching at the man’s back. A smile plays against his neck before there are teeth nibbling, so much sharper than any human’s, but it’s not enough.

“Please,” Victor breathes, swallowing heavily.

“Hmmm,” the man hums against him, the sound rattling through Victor’s bones. “How lovely, to hear a king groveling.”

“I’ll do anything.” Victor squeezes his eyes shut as the fangs bite harder but not enough. “Please, I’ll—ah!”

There’s the sharpness of something sliding easily through Victor’s flesh, but it’s drowned out nearly instantly as the venom spreads through his veins. His breath hitches as the warm tingling overcomes his senses and makes his knees weak before the pleasure rocks through him in waves, making him gasp and pant and urging him to beg even more. If it weren’t for the man supporting the trembling mess of his body, he would have long since collapsed. But no, there are still arms supporting him safely as his body is indulged in. He should be offended that he’s being taken advantage of so, but he consented, didn’t he? And besides, he wouldn’t trade this for anything.

Because though he may thirst in all senses of the word, it’s a hunger that aches through his bones, something that can only be sated by one thing. “Yuuri.”

There’s a moment of silence before Yuuri’s fangs leave Victor and he pulls back, brown eyes narrowing as a drop of Victor’s deep, maroon blood drips down his chin. “Vitya, I never told you my name.”

Victor freezes for a moment, then grins sheepishly. He’d been doing so well with this game of theirs, he hadn’t even thought Yuuri’s name—but this is Yuuri, his Yuuri. “I’m sorry darling. I tried my best, but you’re too seductive! And that outfit, are you trying to murder me in earnest this time? Still, wasn’t it so good until now? I can’t help that I need you, my Yuuri.”

Yuuri rolls his eyes, but leans forward and runs his tongue along the incisions in Victor’s neck, moving in filthy little circles while running his other palm on the side of Victor’s neck just right so that he can feel the cool metal of the ring on his finger.

An exact match to the one on Victor’s hand.

Victor closes his eyes as his senses are flooded with the ecstasy of Yuuri’s drinking, the leftover adrenaline of dancing, and the joy of the fate they both share. Many undead consider any sort of physical signs of bonding unnecessary when there are so many other ways to mark your mate, but Yuuri hasn’t been a vampire for too long—despite his expertise at it already. Yet, despite the fact that Victor only has Yuuri’s blood in his veins, he craves the reminder that the ring on his finger brings. That he may have given Yuuri eternity, but Yuuri promised Victor forever and they have all of that time to act out these silly yet electrifying games, to sleep the days away in each other’s arms with Makkachin nestled between them, to learn the life and love that they both share.

“Oh no, don’t drift off on me yet.” Yuuri reaches up and takes Victor’s face in his hands, running fingertips along his cheekbones. “You did do so good Vitya, thank you. Now,” Yuuri tugs his face forward, letting his hands slide to the back of Victor’s neck as he tucks his very willing face the crook of his neck. “Your reward.”

Victor smiles sleepily at the praise, nuzzling into Yuuri’s cool skin, the delicious temptation of his natural musk seeping through Victor’s senses and clouding his mind. And beneath that, the tase of iron and the sharp zest of life that sparks a shiver down Victor’s spine and forces his fangs to unsheathe inside his mouth. Still, his lips press against Yuuri’s skin in a gentle kiss.

“Are you not thirsty?” Yuuri’s voice is a little too high, too unsure. Doubting himself, which won’t do at all.

“For you, darling?” Victor grins. “Always.”

Yuuri’s pulls his hands away, only to slide his arms around Victor moments later. “I love you.”

“Oh, Yuuri. I love you, too.” Victor takes in a lungful of the smell of him, closes his eyes and enjoys the comfort of touch, of being held.

“Then take what’s yours.” Yuuri pulls him impossibly closer, breath hitching when Victor’s lips drag on his skin.

Well. What kind of husband would Victor be if he didn’t follow such a demand? He opens his mouth, but doesn’t tease like Yuuri did—he’s had to wait too long for this. Centuries of life were suddenly given purpose when Yuuri stepped into it with his soft smile and his lithe body and his musical laugh. Victor sinks his fangs into Yuuri, drinking in his gasp just as much as the sweet liquid from his body.

Yuuri clutches at him as if afraid Victor will ever let go, but he has to know that is impossible.

Victor will never let him go, not so long as Yuuri stays with him.