Brendan blinked several times, sighing when he realized what had drawn him from his deep and restful sleep. He turned onto his side and leaned up on one elbow, gazing down at his lover's face. In the moonlight filtering into the dark room, a sheen of sweat glistened over David's forehead and cheeks, and he could see rapid eye movement as his lover dreamed. David was so beautiful when he slept, his face softened, long eyelashes fanning over his cheeks and his mouth often slightly parted as if begging for kisses. The soft whimpers of fear took away any sense of beauty tonight and Brendan knew that a familiar nightmare held his lover in its strong grip.
He'd seen the inside of the Cube during the raid on Dasguard, seen the blood smeared up the walls and seen images of body parts in other sections of the multi-cubed, rat maze with its death traps. He'd seen the recovered bodies too, or what was left of them; each carefully planted back from where they'd been taken, giving the illusion of local crime or accident rather than the sadistic serial killing of innocent people. Spread across so many states and even countries - for David had disappeared from his office in Toronto, Canada - no one had even suspected the terrible crime being committed in the name of science by a single organization.
Every one of those images was seared into his mind, his photographic memory both a blessing and a curse at times like this. He hadn't lived through the experience though. He hadn't woken to find himself in that maze with a bunch of people so frightened that one had snapped completely and gone psychotic. He hadn't lived through several days of abject terror, only to walk away from the illusion of safety at the very last moment to save another man's life.
They had located Kazan but he'd been unable to corroborate anything; his mind too far lost to his own autism, which is the only reason why they had allowed him to survive. Instead, David had been the star witness that brought down Dasguard, bringing some closure to the families of those killed, though not enough to stave off the nightmares, though they came less frequently these days.
Reaching out, Brendan caressed the sweaty cheek, trying to offer a lifeline back to the real world but, as always when these nightmares struck, David was too lost in the maze of his own psyche to respond. Shaking him awake only increased the terror, and Michael Wells had warned him to try a gentler approach, otherwise the nightmare would simply latch onto the waking cycle and make it even harder to break through.
Brendan guessed David was lucky that he had a foremost expert in the field of the psyche as his personal analyst, though Michael insisted that Brendan was the anchor that was slowly eroding the hold of the nightmares upon his lover. He had to admit that the nightmares had come less frequently over the past year but with the anniversary of David's kidnapping looming, the trigger would always be Christmas.
Michael had mentioned replacing the fear with another emotion, with joy and comfort, with security. He'd suggested pulling David into his arms and letting the warmth of his body and his love seep into those cold, dark places in David's psyche and bring him back.
He tried it now, drawing David into his arms and holding him tight, whispering reassurance into one ear as he kissed his sweaty temple. The twitch of David's cock against Brendan's thigh surprised him and Brendan reached down between them until he could wrap his fingers around the stirring column. Whimpers of fear turned to low moans of pleasure as he stroked David to full hardness, smoothing the first droplet of precome over the smooth head. He knew what David liked, knew what twists and what speed and pressure he favored, and Brendan employed that knowledge now, slowly bringing his lover to the edge and holding him tight as the cock jumped in his hand, semen coating his fist and splattering between them.
A hand in his hair tugged him into a passionate kiss, breaking apart minutes later until he was simply holding David. His arms wrapped tightly around his lover, with David's face smushed into the curve of Brendan's shoulder and neck as the fine tremors eased. Brendan kissed the soft hair over and over, whispering endearments that would sound stupid in the light of day but were magical in the moonlight with his lover held tight in his arms. Eventually, David's breathing slowed back into sleep, his body relaxing, and Brendan eased his hold on his lover.
This time, when he leaned up and gazed down, catching his lover's face lit by moonlight, he saw the beauty instead of the fear; saw the curve of a sated smile. The sight sent a spike of desire through him, his already hard cock desperate for a touch but Brendan hadn't the heart to awaken David from the desperately needed, restful sleep. Instead, he took himself in hand as he stared down at his lover's moonlit features, at pale skin that glowed like alabaster in the silvery light. Each stroke of his hand was accompanied by perfect images of his lover, gleaned from all those nights and days spent in passionate abandonment; the curl of his lips into a shy smile, his eyes big and shining when he teased Brendan.
Brendan came with a soft gasp, semen spilling over his hand to mingle with the mess already coating his and David's belly. Exhausted, he flopped onto his back, feeling the warmth of David's sleep heavy body tucked up against his side. He considered dragging himself out of bed and grabbing a washcloth but, instead, he fell asleep between one thought and the next.
When he awoke, the sun was starting to glint through the curtain-less window, and David was sprawled over him. He watched the long lashes blink open and smiled into sleep-softened blue eyes, waiting for that moment when David realized he was sticky and itchy.
Brendan laughed aloud at the look of distaste that crossed David's face as he eased off of Brendan like a finicky cat; catching him and kissing him soundly before he could move out of reach. In a few minutes, he would drag David into the shower but, for now, all he wanted was another beautiful image of his semen-splattered lover to store away forever, banishing the memory of yesterday's nightmare to the further reaches of both their minds.
It would keep his own nightmares at bay.