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In The Heat Of The Night

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Adam can't help but squirm at Sauli's words, at the pictures they paint in his mind, and he deeply wishes he hadn't started this conversation. He wonders if there's a polite way to change the subject, a way to turn the tables without hurting Sauli's feelings in the process.

But this is Sauli. This is what Sauli wants. He'd give Sauli the moon if he were asked. Adam can do this much for him.

He decides that the best first step to take here is to ask some questions, ask for clarification, just ask.

Adam sees the nervousness and the confusion in Sauli's eyes when he doesn't respond for long, heavy moments, pushed to the brink when he sees Sauli bite his lip and tap his fingers on the table.

Desperate to break the silence, and to erase Sauli's expression, he blurts out, "Wax? Okay. Like, on your skin? While it'"

Sauli nods slightly, but he doesn't meet Adam's eyes.

Adam spends a long moment studying the candle between them, but trying to think about what Sauli wants him to do with it still makes his head hurt. This isn't exactly what he'd had in mind for a nice night in, for a dinner by candlelight.

"All my other lovers," Sauli begins, keeping his tone pretty neutral, "they thought it was strange, they didn't want to. And even if we tried it, we...We had to stop."

Sauli's eyes flicker all around the table now, and he takes a little sip of his wine before he continues, "If you don't want to, either, I understand. I do."

"Hey," Adam coos, pulling himself from his chair to Sauli's side in one swift motion. He brushes his fingertips along Sauli's cheek, still trying to soothe the uncertainty etched so deeply into his face. "Baby, I'll try. I'm not weirded out or anything. It's just...I'm not really sure what to do. If we just jump right in...I could hurt you."

Sauli nods again, a little stronger, and his features are finally smoothing out. At last, he meets Adam's gaze, stunned by the honesty he sees there, and a tiny smile lights up his face.

"There's plenty of time," Sauli agrees, averting his eyes to the energy and the intensity of the candle's flame.

"All the time in the world."


A few days later, Adam's mind flickers to the candles again, and he thinks about just how much time he'll need to figure out what to do to give Sauli what he's asked for without fucking up - without scalding Sauli's skin or burning the house down.

While Sauli's showering, Adam digs through the drawer of the bedside table until he finds what he's looking for: a blood-red pillar candle. He hasn't used it in quite a while. but the wax that had dripped down the sides and hardened the last time it was lit are still there.

Adam studies them carefully, thinks about what these crimson rivulets would look like on Sauli's skin. The image scares him at first, because it's so new, because the dangers of playing with fire are so deeply imprinted into his mind from childhood that he's not sure if he should want this, not sure if he should like this, not sure if he should do this.

But Sauli wants this, likes this.

Adam finds Sauli's lighter and sets a flame to the candle's wick. He places it on the nightstand away from anything that could catch fire; the more he examines the wax already beginning to drip down the length of the candle, the more his fingers shake. He's not afraid of the flame. It's more like he's afraid of his inexperience - afraid of burning someone else.

After a couple of minutes, Adam picks the candle up again, his jaw set and eyes focused in sheer determination as he lets the wax drip onto the back of his opposite hand.

He gasps and hisses a little at the pain, and then he finds himself just staring at his hand in wonder. Adam lets the wax drip again, not too far from the spot where it hit his skin the first time, and then he does the same again, holding the candle from different angles each time, making constant mental notes as he does so.

That's where he stops, though. He doesn't want to go crazy. He'd just wanted to experiment, wanted to have a taste for himself before he risked wounding Sauli in one way or another.

Now that he thinks about it, something about the wax cooling on his skin is really kind of beautiful, and definitely not so dangerous or scary anymore. Adam blows out the candle and stores it away again before Sauli comes back to bed, bright and wonderous as that little flame.


Adam had anticipated the confusion he'd see in Sauli's eyes when he asked Sauli to leave the huse for a little while, get some air, clear his head. He doesn't see the tiny flicker of anxiousness coming.

"It's a surprise," Adam elaborates, smiling that slow, honest smile that belies just the hint of something naughty. It's a look Sauli recognizes, and he doesn't question it.


He greets Sauli at the door, affection and excitement brimming in his gaze as he leads Sauli to their bedroom. The house is unusually quiet except for the murmur of the music Adam left playing on the laptop: something slow and rich and hypnotic.

Sauli reaches their room first, peeking through the barely-open door, greeted by dozens of little flames perched atop candles strewn all about the room, placed carefully so they can't set fire to anything nearby. Sauli freezes in his tracks, watching them burn, watching them bathe the room in soft light.

"Adam-" Sauli begins, but after that, he thinks he forgets how to speak. He's not quite sure what he's feeling - excitement, sure, and maybe a little shock, since they haven't talked about this at all since the night he told Adam about the candles. Under all that, though, is a thread of anxiety. He trusts Adam with everything he has, but he doesn't know if he can be sure that Adam really knows what he's doing.

Adam just smiles and wraps Sauli in his arms, pressing their mouths together - softly at first, but within moments the kiss becomes deep and hungry.

They make their way to their bed, already lost in each other, and Sauli forgets to be anxious, forgets to doubt Adam. There's no reason to doubt Adam. There's no reason to doubt that Adam wouldn't have done this if it would get either of them hurt.

He revels in that thought for a few moments, pleasurably relaxed and content and ready, until his shirt comes off, and his skin is made vulnerable to the open air. Something changes then; something evokes a memory, a long-ago reminiscence of rejection by a lover, and another of pain outweighing the pleasure.

Sauli takes a deep, shuddering breath and meets Adam's eyes, glowing with love as they always are. He sees a glimmer of reassurance there, too, like Adam's reading his mind, and Sauli's bad memories are replaced by the ones he's much happier to recall - the release that comes with relinquishing control and putting every ounce of your trust into someone, with the delicious gamble of playing with fire.

Adam reaches toward the nightstand, and Sauli rolls onto his stomach, pillowing his head on his arms, folded in front of him. He takes in a few more healthy lungfuls of air, repressing all of his worry, letting himself just float.

"Like this?" Adam asks softly, stroking his fingers delicately down the length of Sauli's back.

Sauli nods. "Yes."

He sees Adam's jaw set firmly in determination, and his own eyes flutter closed. He blinks them open again, though, to see the candle in Adam's hand, a deep-scarlet candle that gives off a faint cinnamon scent, the flame extinguished. Sauli tries to keep his eyes closed, but he can't help but watch Adam, holding his breath in anticipation of the first drop of the wax on his skin, turning his head to watch as the candle drips, needing to see it for himself.

Finally, the first drop hits his shoulder blade, and his back arches automatically. He hisses a bit, and pulls in a shaky breath, but after a few moments, he doesn't quite feel pain anymore; it's all faded to pleasure.

Sauli keeps his eyes open from then on, locked reverently on Adam, noticing that Adam's much more relaxed now that they've started. Sauli turns his head a little to look at his back, to see where the streaks of wax break his own honey skin. Every now and then, he gives Adam a few reassurances of his own, and that seems to get Adam to loosen up a bit.

Adam seems to get lost, too, for a while, as his eyes glaze over and his movements become a little sluggish. He sets the candle aside and runs just the tips of his fingers through the wax splayed on Sauli's back, feeling Sauli's slight shiver. Sauli takes a few moments to let his eyes fall closed and just feel, then readjusts his arms and reaches for one of Adam's hands to lace their fingers together, pulling Adam from his daydream.

They stay like that for a while, just smiling at each other, just savoring this moment, this night that had come to mean more than either of them thought it ever would.


A couple of hours later, when they're both on the edge of sleep, both smiling and warm and really, truly happy, Sauli shifts in Adam's arms to ask, "Was it okay?"

Adam laughs a little, his fingers dancing up along the now silk-smooth skin of Sauli's back. "Baby," he begins, finding Sauli's forehead in the darkness to kiss it, "It was really cool! Amazing."

Sauli sighs contentedly and sinks back against Adam's chest.

"But why wait so long to tell me you like that?" Adam asks, a ghost of a tease in his tone. "Any other little kinks and quirks I should know about?"

Sauli seems to think about the question very seriously for a moment, before whispering, "I think you know them all."