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it's been the ruin of many a poor boy

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Guillermo pulled over into the first gas station he passed. His stomach was starting to hurt, and more worryingly, his vision was starting to blur in waves, which usually only happened when something knocked his glasses off.

“One of you guys is going to have to drive. I’m not feeling so great,” he said to the camera crew. They all turned to look at him, concerned.

“Maybe you should call Lilith? Maybe there was something in that potion.” Kim, the sound tech, said.

That was what he was about to do. He pulled out his phone and pulled up her contact.

“Hi, this is Guillermo,” he said when Lilith picked up, even though he knew she had his number, because she texted him about being late every time he got caught in traffic, which was every time he drove to Brooklyn.

“Guillermo! What a pleasant surprise! Did you forget something at the store again?” Lilith asked.

“Um, no, I’m fine, I was just wondering what was in that rosacea treatment you gave me?”

“Oh dear. Are you allergic to anything? It shouldn’t have any major allergens or additives in it. Old coven recipe,” Lilith said.

“No, no, I’m not, I was just wondering if you could check because I, uh, don’t feel that great? Like, I feel kind of dizzy and my stomach is starting to hurt,” Guillermo said.

“Let me check the bottle, sweetie,” He could hear her rifling through something on the other end of the line. “Oh, hm.”

That didn’t sound good. “What is it?”

“Oh, well! It’s just that it looks like I gave you the wrong thing by accident. Must have grabbed the wrong bottle,” Lilith said.

“What… did you give me?”

“Um, oh, well. It’s just this elixir that the girls and I sometimes whip up.”

A dull pain was starting to creep out from his stomach and into his limbs. “It’s not poison, is it? You didn’t give me poison by accident?” He tried to keep his voice steady. Panic was starting to tighten its cold grip around his throat.

“Well, anything can be poison in a large enough dose,” Lilith said, which was the least reassuring thing Guillermo had ever heard. “But the girls and I take this for special occasions, bacchanals and such, just in much, much smaller doses. Much smaller doses.”

“So will the amount I drank kill me?”

A pause on the other end of the line. “It’s not so much the elixir that kills you, sweetie, so much as the, ah,” another pause, “exertion.”

Guillermo closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose. The camera crew was watching, hearing the whole thing on speaker. He had not been expecting this when he woke up this afternoon.

“You will definitely need to be restrained. Would you happen to know if Nadja still has those Carthaginian cuffs I gave her?” Lilith said.

“I can ask her when she wakes up. It’s only a couple hours until sunset.” One of the benefits to winter nights. Early sunset.

“It will be a little late by then, sweetie. Well, I hear customers in front, I have to go. Call me if you need anything.” She hung up.

Guillermo took a deep breath. Call me if you need anything. He had called, because he needed something, and she hadn’t been able to give him anything. Great.

“Who wants to drive.” he said, because they still had to get home.


Guillermo took a deep breath and knocked gently on the lid to Nadja’s coffin. Normally, he would wake Nandor and ask him to do it, much less likely to get accidentally eviscerated, but Nandor was visiting friends, for reasons Guillermo did not fully understand and did not counterbalance the fact that they all still had the vampire council after them. And Colin Robinson was still at work, so he couldn’t even get Nadja to potentially eviscerate him instead.

“Um, Nadja? I just got back from Satchel Serafina.” He braced himself. “Lilith wanted to know if you still had her Carthaginian cuffs.”

“Yes,” came Nadja’s groggy, muffled reply, “but she can’t have them back.” She cracked the lid of her coffin and glared at him blearily. “Why does she want to know?”

“Um, she just, uh, wanted to make sure you hadn’t lost them.” Guillermo was trying not to let on how badly he was bluffing. It wasn’t helped by the horrifying thought rattling around in the back of his mind, of pulling Nadja’s coffin door all the way open and trying to crawl in there with her. He felt warm all over and uncomfortable, like his skin was a size too small. He wanted to crawl out of his clothes, and not in a good way.

“Of course I know where they are. They’re in the bureau in the fancy room with the rest of the sex equipment.” Nadja said.

“Okay, great, thanks, I’ll let you get back to sleep now.” Nadja glared at him and closed the lid of her coffin.


They somehow only found one pair of handcuffs in the bureau, meaning they should be the Carthaginian ones. They were black metal, solid, with a heavy chain between them. Guillermo could see little symbols inscribed all the way around the cuffs, interior and exterior.

“It looks like they open when you press this symbol,” Garth said. “Pretty nifty.”

He had Guillermo’s wrists held behind his back as he locked him in, and not a moment too soon. The feeling inside him was starting to morph from “uncomfortable and warm” to “hot and in pain”. He couldn’t even trace the source of the pain, it just echoed through his body. He could feel his dick rubbing against the seam of his pants, and even that simulation was enough to make him shiver and release a bit of precome. The camera crew was polite enough to not look at him too much.

The cuffs weren’t exactly comfortable, though they didn’t seem as rough on his wrists as their unfinished edges would suggest. They forced him to bend his elbows a bit, to keep pressure off his shoulder blades.

“Alright, we’re good, I think. Can someone help me back to my room?” Guillermo said. He was trying very hard not to think about what they would probably see, and especially not about the warm, tight feeling that thought sparked in his stomach.

“What in Dido’s name is going on here?” Laszlo demanded from where he was descending the staircase. “You come knocking at my lady wife’s coffin at a wretched hour, and now you’re rifling through her intimates?”

“Guillermo got dosed with some weird sex stuff by Lilith on accident.” John said quickly, while Guillermo was still processing Laszlo’s use of the word “intimates”, because John was scared of Laszlo for some reason that Guillermo wasn’t privy to.

“You think that’s an excuse? That’s his problem, not ours.” Laszlo scoffed.

“Well,” Garth said, “She said it was pretty strong stuff. Said if he took a whole little bottle like he did, he’d need to be…” he trailed off. He was still standing behind Guillermo. Guillermo wished he would stand a little closer, or a lot farther away.

Laszlo’s expression shifted to something more thoughtful and, to Guillermo’s muddled mind, a little predatory.

“You know, I’ve gotten into the ol’ Spanish fly a few times myself-”

“Um, I think he’s going to wait it out in his room.” Kim said.

“Well, I can’t understand that sentiment, but I suppose it’s his choice.” Laszlo turned to go back up the stairs.


Laszlo stopped and pivoted to look back at him. So did the whole camera crew.

“You said- you said you’ve dealt with this before? Something like this?” Guillermo had no idea what he was saying. He was a train unmoored from its tracks, barreling ahead into almost certain disaster.

Well, it wasn’t like he had many other options.

He opened his mouth to say something else, but was interrupted by Nadja clomping down the stairs after her husband.

“Why is there so much yelling? Are you defending my honor again, Laszlo? It’s very sweet of you, but not first thing in the evening, please.” she said.

“My darkest darling, Giz- Guillermo’s been dosed with some of Lilith’s finest party brew.” Hearing Laszlo pronounce his name correctly should not have been doing the things to Guillermo’s dick that it was doing.

“So that’s what the cuffs were about. Well, he’ll need to clean them thoroughly afterwards.” Nadja said, wrinkling her nose in distaste.

“And, my dear, I believe Guillermo just took me up on my offer to lend a helping hand.” Laszlo said with a small flourish.

“Oh! It can be like that one young man, whatshisname, Oswald!” Nadja clapped her hands together and made her way down to her husband’s side.

The two of them circled around to opposite sides of Guillermo. They each slid a hand behind an elbow, and Guillermo thought he was going to swoon from just that contact, the feeling radiating even through his sweater and shirt.

“Uh, wait,” one of the camera crew, maybe Kim, said from behind him as they started to ascend the stairs. “watch out for his circulation, you can’t-”

“My dear boy,” Laszlo said, not even looking back. “What do you think those sigils do?”


Nadja and Laszlo had practically carried him between them to the blue room. Guillermo was hot and breathing a little harder now, and he could feel sweat starting to form on his forehead. His feet didn’t seem to be responding properly to signals from his brain, stumbling a bit over the doorway.

They dropped his arms once they were inside the room. The loss of contact was the worst thing to ever happen to Guillermo.

“His clothes first?” Nadja asked, looking him over, taking an extra second to squint at his bound wrists. She shredded through his sweater, button-up, and undershirt before either of them could respond.

That had been his favorite sweater, but it was definitely worth it to feel the edges of Nadja’s fingers on him as she finished tearing the cloth from his body. The edge of Laszlo’s hand glanced over Guillermo’s zipper as he removed his belt, and for a split-second, Guillermo thought he had come in his pants. He felt himself let out another dribble of precome as Laszlo pulled down the zipper and pulled down his pants and underwear.

Then, again, bereft of hands on his body, but now standing naked except for his pants around his ankles while Nadja and Laszlo gave each other significant looks. He felt like he was in the moment when he tipped over the banister that one time, the moment when he realized he’d completely lost his balance, and Nandor wasn’t waiting on the first floor to catch him. The jerking sensation and unreality of tipping forward too far.

Then Laszlo shoved him, his back landing on the soft blue damask bedspread. Nadja was wrestling Guillermo’s shoes off his feet while Laszlo took his own clothes off.

“Put him in your lap. I don’t think he’ll be in any state to thrust properly.” Nadja said once Laszlo, now fully naked and (Guillermo noted with mildly queasy interest) partially erect, had crawled onto the bed next to Guillermo.

Laszlo slid Guillermo into his lap, and Guillermo had to bite back a moan, it felt so good. Laszlo’s skin was so cold everywhere on him, back to chest and hands spreading his legs.

Nadja tossed Laszlo a bottle of lube from the nightstand. It hit Guillermo in the face and landed between his thighs.

“Excellent aim, dear.” Laszlo said.

Guillermo heard the click of the cap behind him and grimaced at the tell-tale squelch of lube being poured onto Laszlo’s fingers. He felt those fingers against his hole a second later, circling and gently pressing. Guillermo tried to arch into the touch without thinking- he needed that pressure, the sensation sending sparks up his spine- but Laszlo’s hand digging into his hip held him in place.

For all of Laszlo’s character deficiencies, which made up most of his character, he did know what he was doing. He had two fingers in Guillermo now, thrusting slow and deep. Guillermo needed more. He felt like he was going to go crazy with it, this not-enough on the edge of too-much, sensation everywhere their skin touched.

Laszlo crooked his fingers.

The best comparison Guillermo had for the orgasm that ripped through him came from watching crash test dummy videos in his driver’s ed class. It was like running full speed into a brick wall. He felt concussed. His legs seized and his head fell back onto Laszlo’s shoulder as he shuddered. He felt like he couldn’t come down, the pleasure building without ebb, but finally he took a few shaky breaths. He felt hotter now, and shaky, like coming had only made the burning feeling worse.

His eyes finally focused. Nadja frowned down at him, naked. Guillermo wondered for a second what he had done wrong now, before she slid his glasses off his face and placed them on the nightstand.

She straddled him, and oh, her thighs around his hips were another point of contact, another line to send currents of sensation to his still-hard cock. She sunk down onto him as Laszlo pressed his cock into him, perfectly in sync. Guillermo moaned, couldn’t help himself. It was so much, too much for someone who’d never even been kissed before. They didn’t give him time to adjust before Laszlo started thrusting, lifting Guillermo’s hips as though Guillermo and Nadja weighed nothing.

Nadja was pressed up against him, palming and squeezing his chest and grinding down against Guillermo on Laszlo’s downstroke, leaving Guillermo with waves of all-or-nothing. She was staring, too, watching her hands mold his flesh to her liking.

Guillermo was exposed and unbearably seen underneath Nadja’s gaze, and he was almost relieved when she leaned over his shoulder to suck on her husband’s tongue.

Guillermo felt like he was being pulled under by a riptide, dragged down by the sensation all over his body. Nadja’s hands on his chest felt so good, so erotic in a way he’d never even thought about. Laszlo was inside him and he was inside Nadja and everywhere it was cold, so cold against the burning heat inside him that made him twist and shiver to try and get away from it at the same time it made him weak and aching. Guillermo had almost drowned before, and the metaphorical version was a lot better.

Laszlo kept his thrusts at a tempo like he was trying to maintain a beat. It kept Guillermo on the edge of too much and not enough. He felt helpless and thrilled with it and sickened by it, the victim and beneficiary of their power. He was just a wire for a current to pass through, from Laszlo to Nadja and back again.

Nadja broke from her husband after a particularly rough thrust. Guillermo gasped as he felt the points of her fangs trace their way along the side of his throat.

“Please…” He tilted his head and exposed his neck

“Mm. Not a good idea. Maybe some other time.” Nadja said. It didn’t seem like she was talking to him.

Laszlo laughed and slid his hand under Guillermo’s stomach and into his wife’s folds. Guillermo could feel him moving his fingers, could hear it from the increase in the intensity of Nadja’s moans. They were shrieking and groaning and gasping, incredibly loudly, right in his ear. Guillermo was almost relieved when they started to make out again, because it pressed their bodies right up against his, and the sucking noise wasn’t quite as loud.

He felt it when they came, because he could feel Laszlo coming inside him in typical excessive vampire volume, filling him up, and Nadja clamping down on him. They pulled their hands off him and wrapped them around each other in an embrace as they moaned into each other’s mouths. Guillermo thought he was coming again, with them, but he was still hazy and dizzy and uncertain.

He let himself drift, a bit. The aching hadn’t gone away, but his head was buzzing and he felt like he was floating, so it didn’t hurt as bad when nobody was touching him.

Nadja had run off somewhere, and Guillermo was letting Laszlo fuck his face while he rutted against the sheets the best he could without his hands for leverage. He didn’t think he could deep throat, but Lazlo had pulled his head back by his hair when he had started to choke and told Guillermo to take him entirely in his mouth as he looked into Guillermo’s eyes, and now he wasn’t having any problem. It felt good to have something in his mouth.

He felt the bed shift as Nadja clambered back on.

“Ah, my favorite!” Laszlo exclaimed at whatever Nadja had brought back. Guillermo didn’t bother to raise his head, too focused on trying to take Laszlo as deep as possible. He figured it out pretty quick, when Nadja grabbed his hips and pressed the head of her dildo in. That was what Guillermo had been missing, being full of someone’s cock.

Nadja dug her nails in, too, as she began thrusting. They were sharper, contrasting with the dull edge of Laszlo’s nails on the back of his neck, keeping his head up.

Guillermo could hear them snapping their teeth at each other hornily above him. It would be so easy for Nadja to lean over him and sink her fangs into his neck.

Laszlo pulled out some and came with a groan. Guillermo nearly choked on the seed flooding his mouth, some of it still managing to spill out.

Laszlo’s dick was going soft, but Guillermo was still trying to work it over. He didn’t want to leave his mouth empty.

“Alright, alright, that’s enough.” Laszlo said, and pushed Guillermo off of him. His face hit the mattress.

Nadja’s pace was more frantic than Laszlo’s had been, but it was hard for Guillermo to care when each thrust was filling him and pressing his cheek against the sheets. He could feel Nadja’s hair brushing against his back.

“Nandor, Nandor, Nandor, Nandor. Is that all you can say?” She twined her fingers into his hair and yanked. “Pay attention to me when I’m fucking you.”

Nadja’s thrusts were growing faster now, and more erratic. Guillermo could hear her hissing in his ear as he pushed back onto her, trying to keep her from pulling out, trying to stay full.

Nadja shuddered over him and tightened her grip painfully. She thrust all the way in, once, then started to grind herself against his ass. He could feel her legs shaking against the back of his thighs.

Guillermo could feel his orgasm building, gathering between his shoulder blades. He’d lost count after the first one. Technically, he’d probably never tried to keep count in the first place.

“Now, darling, don’t you think he could use a break?”

Nadja groaned what sounded like assent and slowly pulled out. Guillermo whimpered. A shiver passed through him, just beneath the surface, but it wasn’t completion, not nearly enough to break the fever making him shake and sweat into the sheets.

He couldn’t help but let out a sob, in the back of his throat, as Nadja and Laszlo manhandled him back against the headboard. Nadja clipped the cuffs to something on the bed, so Guillermo couldn’t even move.

“Now, now, Guillermo. Important you don’t wear yourself out too early. I’ve been guilty of that myself. Now, the camera people left a water bottle… ah, here it is.” Laszlo unscrewed the lid and handed it to Nadja, who tilted Guillermo’s chin up to pour some of the water down his throat, nearly causing Guillermo to choke.

Then they went to the foot of the bed and pulled out a fucking card deck, leaving him to writhe and moan helplessly.

Some part of him, buried deep under the desperation and heat, felt humiliated by how badly he wanted them to even glance at him. If one of them looked at him, they might come over, they might start touching him, and that would feel so good, make him feel less like pressure was building inside him like a canister on the verge of violently bursting.

He was pleading, felt like he was babbling, uncertain of what he was saying, only certain that he needed them to look up from their card game. He was so empty now, he didn’t think he could bear it.

“More threats. Boohoo, you’re a very scary vampire slayer. I bet if we untied you, you wouldn’t even be able to crawl over here,” Nadja said, shuffling the deck for another round.

Guillermo was going to die on this stupid four-poster bed with its drapery and shitty wooden headboard, that had no pillows for some reason. He was going to melt from the heat or his heart would just give out. He couldn’t even get Nadja and Laszlo to fuck him, much less- he wouldn’t even want-

“You’re very lucky we’re giving you a break. I’ve seen humans on that stuff before, fuck until their bodies give out. Like a wind-up toy running out of wind. Go fish,” she said in response to her husband’s query.

Guillermo heard footsteps on the stairs and down the hallway.

“Oh man, sorry I’m home so late. Traffic was terrible.” Colin Robinson said from the doorway. He sounded exhilarated, like he had energy to burn.

“Please,” Guillermo said, though it came out as more of a whine. “Colin Robinson, please.” It didn’t matter that it was Colin Robinson. He took a hopeful breath as Colin Robinson swung his gaze towards him. He looked Guillermo over.

“I’m gonna have to pass on that, big guy.” Colin Robinson chuckled. Guillermo groaned at him and let his head fall back against the headboard. He wanted so badly to pull himself free and yank one of them down on top of him. His heartbeat was so loud in his ears.

Colin Robinson’s eyes glowed even brighter. “Ha ha, oh man. Keep. It. Up, you two!” Colin Robinson said to Nadja and Laszlo, and then left like the heartless bastard he was.

They seemed to be playing cards in slow motion. Guillermo had managed to twist himself so he was lying on his side, so he could rub his face against the blanket, but whatever his cuffs were chained to didn’t allow him enough range of motion to roll onto his front and rub himself against the sheets. He felt hollow, empty as Laszlo’s cum leaked out of him.

He must have closed his eyes at some point, because he was startled to feel a cold touch against his wrists. Nadja had unclipped him from the bed and was grabbing him by the shoulders. Her eyes were directly on his.

“You will eat me out now, and you will do a good job.” Nadja said to him.

Guillermo tried, he really did. But Laszlo lay him on his stomach, up on his knees so his cock still couldn’t get any friction, and pressed into him as soon as he got into position, and Guillermo came with relief so sharp it nearly overwhelmed the pleasure.

His mind felt syrupy; thoughts seeped through his mind like water running through his fingers. Laszlo had him up on his knees and Nadja was on her back, puppeting Guillermo by the hair. He could feel Laszlo’s stomach press against his back with every thrust. They were maybe talking about something, maybe just making throaty moans at each other. Fucking him was an afterthought. Guillermo’s limbs shook uncontrollably through his next orgasm anyway.

“-ndor! Sorry we ruined your familiar. If we knew you were to be coming home tonight, we would have let you have first crack at him.” Nandor. Guillermo tried to lift his head to look, but Nadja’s hand held him firmly between her thighs.

“We didn’t mean to leave you slippery seconds.” Both Nadja and Laszlo disentangled themselves from him and slid to the other side of the bed.

Guillermo raised his head. He blinked to clear his eyes, but he still couldn’t read Nandor’s expression. He could see the golden glow of his eyes from his position on the bed, though, bright and sharp in the dim candlelight of the room.

Time seemed to slow down again. Nandor took forever to move towards the bed. Guillermo whined, because he was empty again and the building heat was edging towards unbearable. He could barely gather his thoughts enough to be ashamed of Nandor seeing him like this, needy and wanton.

Nandor.” he moaned, the last threads of his dignity making him burn with humiliation. And then Nandor was on the bed, his clothes puddling on the floor. The mist trick. Nandor never used it to actually undress himself for bed. Guillermo never thought he would be more grateful than irritated to see it.

Laszlo was saying something as Nandor grabbed his arm in one hand and slid the other between his waiting thighs. Guillermo ground back against him. He was desperate, worse than before. He would do anything. Nandor.

Nandor’s hand was gently rubbing the inside of his thigh. The touch was enough to make Guillermo’s world tilt. He was taking forever, just making Guillermo shake and sigh with his attention. Guillermo could feel Nandor’s erection against his back, and it gave him an unbelievable electric thrill, to know he did that to Nandor, to know that he was seconds away from his dirtiest fantasies and most fraught wet dreams.

Nandor braced the other hand by Guillermo’s head and pressed in.

The world narrowed to the stretch of Nandor filling him. If Guillermo had the strength, he would try and lean over and suck on Nandor’s fingers. His mouth felt strange, numb and empty.

Nandor was going excruciatingly slowly, like he was trying to be gentle with him, or worse, like he was trying to savor the feeling of Guillermo around him. Guillermo couldn’t even bear to think it; his heart felt suddenly fragile.

There was a weird rattling feeling in his chest, and for a second Guillermo had the vague thought that it was the potion, finally going to kill him. It was just Nandor growling, though. And oh, god, that was hot, low and deep and possessive right in his ear. Nandor picked up his pace until he was slamming into him, every thrust sending Guillermo’s body lurching into the bed.

Guillermo realized he was talking, words spilling out of his mouth with every exhale.

“Master thank you master so good thank you so full master please please I’ve been so good please please master-” Guillermo had no idea what he was begging for. Nandor was giving him everything he could have ever wanted.

“Bite me bite me bite me bite-”

Nandor bit him.

Twin pinpricks of pain on the side of his throat. Guillermo felt like he was underwater, and the pain was on the surface, the echo of the sensation the only thing reaching him.

Guillermo couldn’t come again, didn’t think he had it in him, but he felt awash in pleasure, like he was drowning and finally letting the water fill his lungs without struggle. Nandor took forever to drink from him, holding his fangs in his neck.

Nandor cradled the back of his head and turned Guillermo to face him. Nandor’s eyes were still glowing gold, and this close, the gaze felt like it was piercing through him. Guillermo had never seen the look on his face before, not ever.

Nandor kissed him gently.

Guillermo came, hard and dry. He could taste his own blood on Nandor’s lips. He tasted like licking a metal hinge.

“Just so you know, old chap, the tears were entirely his decision. We didn’t force him do that at all.” he heard Laszlo saying from above him, and felt Nandor’s answering growl echo through his chest.

“All right, all right, we’re going.” Guillermo heard him mutter spoilsport under his breath.

Nandor had his hand in his hair. Guillermo still felt dizzy and fucked-out and aching, but the cold panic had loosened its grip around his throat. He’d tipped over the banister before, and it hadn’t killed him.

Time bent and warped; he was on his back, on his side, aware of Nandor’s cold body over him, on him, in him. He was being rocked by Nandor’s thrusts like a small boat in a storm.

He remembered, in a moment of clarity, being on his back, his hands held in Nandor’s above his head. Nandor’s tongue was in his mouth, Nandor’s cock was in his ass, and Guillermo could lock his legs around Nandor’s waist and keep him close and protective over him. It felt, to Guillermo’s addled mind, like the universe ended beyond the boundaries of their bodies, like he only existed under Nandor’s attention. It was, at that moment, the best thing that had ever happened to him, the end of his imagination and his fantasies.

Guillermo didn’t remember waking up so much as drifting back to awareness. His eyes had been open, he was pretty sure, just not very focused. He was fairly confident he was sitting somewhat upright. He couldn’t tell what time it was; the room was still lit only by candlelight, which meant all the blackout curtains Guillermo had used a victim’s debit card to buy had been worth the expense.

The first thing to catch his eye was a bottle of Fiji water, the big kind Kim carried everywhere because she refused to drink anything else. It was not, in fact, the only water bottle on the floor. There were several, most of them clustered mostly-drained by the side of the bed, including, Guillermo noted with a queasy sense of horror, the Nalgene bottle Colin Robinson had found at a bus stop and now carried everywhere, still spackled with sorority stickers.

Guillermo realized he was facing the room because his cheek was pressed against Nandor’s chest. Nandor was in him, back to the headboard, thrusting his hips slowly. It was sending slow waves of pleasure through his oversensitive body, but Guillermo mostly noticed how his limbs felt like they were weighted down with lead. The delirium and distance from his own thoughts were gone, but it had been replaced with grogginess and bone-deep exhaustion.

Nandor’s arms were held loosely around him, a hand on his hip, fingers tracing over Guillermo’s stretchmarks. It was unbearable in its intimacy, knowing Nandor could feel him entirely.

Guillermo could hear Nandor moaning in his ear, slow strings of phrases that Guillermo’s mind took forever to resolve into words.

“Guillermo… my sweet Guillermo… so dear to me…”

Guillermo’s breath caught.

“…Do you mean it?” He regretted saying it as soon as the words were out of his mouth. He could have played this off, lived in the unknown space, at least for a little longer.

Nandor paused, as if he had just noticed that Guillermo was listening.

“I am here now, am I not? I could have left you with Nadja and Laszlo. They seemed to be doing an alrighty job, though obviously insufficient and inferior.” Nandor said, his voice that strange mixture of gentle and imperious that Guillermo knew so well.

Guillermo didn’t know what to say.

“Thank you.” he said finally. He knew that didn’t convey everything he meant, didn’t cover the conversations they would need to have or the dull ache throughout his body or even how the hell he would clean the bedspread.

For the moment, though, he let Nandor hold him tight against his chest like he was something precious, like he was the first glimpse of sun through the clouds after a storm.