It was quiet in the North.
Caleb warmed his mouth on the lip of his mug, unwilling to disturb the immensity of the silence with even a small sip of his tea. The window where he stood captured miles of untouched snow in its wide embrace. Enormous, downy flakes slipped over the glass, disappearing into wave-like drifts as they landed. To Caleb’s eye, it made the world seem like a thin sliver of something jagged and hard caught in the liminal space between dreams. The heavy clouds above created a sense of texture in the otherwise impenetrable darkness of night, and they found their mirror in the sculpted hills of pristine white snow below. Caleb, his mug, his little magical mansion - all seemed somewhat more unreal by comparison.
He turned from the window and stepped back down into the depression he’d set into the floor. It hadn’t made much sense to keep the mansion’s old design for just Essek and himself. If he was being honest, the normal mansion made him feel something close to homesickness. Sweet, uncomplicated, and a little sad.
The current design suited their needs better now. The lowered space where he stood was luxuriously cushioned, a twelve foot diameter round area that was essentially all bed. Cushions and pillows crowded the circumference. He’d included no fewer than six separate fur throws and a stack of wool blankets. Essek slept at the center of it all, hugged around the pillow Caleb had been using. His soft shirt had rucked up a bit, loose drawers gathered in the crease of his hip. Caleb smiled, setting his tea down on the raised main floor before kneeling into the cushions behind Essek.
He’d been getting much better at sleeping, taking to the unnecessary luxury of it like a child to sweets. He hardly stirred as Caleb settled behind him, propping his head in his hand to enjoy the rare view. Smoothing his free hand over Essek’s leg, he rubbed over his hip up to his ribs and down again, enjoying the soft heat of him. It struck Caleb, sometimes, that he was allowed so much. Essek’s lashes were pale over his cheek, his hair in disarray, wrists fragile and exposed, tucked tight around Caleb’s pillow.
Caleb swept his hand over Essek’s leg again, slowly, allowing his fingers to follow the lean curve of muscle up inside the loose fall of his drawers. He cupped the soft round of one cheek in his palm, kneading enough to feel but not disturb. Huffing a small laugh, he wagered quietly to himself he could fit his whole arm in the leg of Essek’s shorts if he was of a mind to. And then, having thought the idea, he found he couldn’t quite discard it.
Curious, he turned his fingers inward, seeking the deeper heat between Essek’s legs. His breathing slowed as he touched tender, private skin, a thought developing with each careful stroke of his fingertips.
His indecision lasted only a moment. He withdrew his hand with utmost care, sliding up and over the curve of Essek’s thigh, then down again and in. Shuffling closer so that his chest pressed to Essek’s back, Caleb pet at his mound, knuckles brushing up against the inside of the undergarment he’d snuck his whole hand into. Essek gave no reaction one way or the other, and reassured of his sleepy indifference, Caleb pressed his middle digit down until it met damp skin, nestled just inside the split of Essek’s cunt.
Caleb carefully let out the breath he’d been holding. He ducked his nose against Essek’s neck, inhaling deeply.
He started slowly, knowing Essek to be sensitive to direct stimulation too soon. A touch of wet from deeper inside Essek’s slit helped Caleb slip the hood of his clit up and down, a quiet rhythm of covering and uncovering in only the smallest motions. Caleb played at the little gather of skin, curious and patient for the reactions that came with slow inevitability. Essek’s leg drew up, an unconscious parting. He sighed into Caleb’s pillow, the moue of his lovely mouth transforming into a small frown of concentration. Caleb was patient, stroking in tight little circles for long minutes only to abandon the rhythm to rub at the small arc of skin over Essek’s swelling clit, then returning to his circles again.
“Caleb?” Essek mumbled, his eyes still closed.
“Shhh,” Caleb hushed, placing a gentle kiss on Essek’s ear, and then his cheek. His fingers were slick to the second knuckle, rubbing steadily now, tucking inside Essek briefly to gather more wet before resuming. There wasn’t so much as the crackle of a fire in a hearth to cover the sticky, hungry sound of Essek’s cunt being played with.
Caleb ignored the cramp in his wrist, breath beginning to come short and shallow with both effort and arousal as Essek’s hips rolled against his hand. His heart clenched at the sight of Essek half tucked beneath him, soft whines spilling into his pillow as he let Caleb touch him and touch him, quickly now, over and over the slippery little bead of his clit, the crotch of his drawers growing translucent and heavy.
Essek roused himself enough to turn more onto his chest, giving him the leverage to hump into Caleb’s touch. He hiccupped a short, clipped moan, and then another, and Caleb gave up on his circles for smearing the gather of his fingers against Essek’s clit as fast as he could. Essek buried his face in Caleb’s pillow and whimpered, thighs shaking as he chased Caleb’s hand through his release, jerking away abruptly when it became too much. He settled flat into the bedding, back rising and falling quickly under the thin, damp fabric of his shirt.
Caleb withdrew his hand with a wince and a stretch. He cupped himself through his own soft pants, pushing the waistband down until they slipped over his hips and down his thighs. Pulling the damp, stretched fabric of Essek’s drawers aside again, Caleb pushed on Essek’s knee until he drew it up to his side and then tucked his cock into the hot clench of Essek’s cunt.
Essek groaned, a punched out noise that settled right in Caleb’s groin. He nudged deeper, squeezing at the soft meat of Essek’s ass and watching himself disappear inside Essek’s body. He didn’t want the fast, urgent fucking his own body clamored for. He wanted to gather the spill of Essek’s limbs up in his arms and rock into him for hours, a ritual against the cold and the isolation pressing in against them on all sides.
Caleb dropped his face against Essek’s nape, sliding his hands down Essek’s arms to lace their fingers together. Using this hold, Caleb carefully wrapped Essek into a tight embrace, keeping his thrusts slow and steady, almost meditative.
“‘S’good,” Essek murmured, following Caleb’s unhurried pace a beat behind. It made for a delicious disjointed rhythm, Essek’s hips lifting up into Caleb’s as he was coming down without having to separate much at all.
Caleb pressed his mouth to every bump of Essek’s spine he could reach, then skimmed sideways over the smooth plane of his shoulder and up again. He dropped indulgent, open mouthed kisses along the elegant curve of Essek’s neck, pausing only to breathe against his skin, pushing his nose deep into Essek’s hair and inhaling the sharp, herbal scent he used when he bathed.
He wanted so fiercely it burned, every base human instinct drumming inside him: to taste, to rut harder for the simple joy in his skin, to breathe in the growing scents of sweat and sex, to revel in the unhurried wet joining of their bodies and Essek’s own soft panting. He freed an arm to reach down and knead at Essek’s hip, pulling until his cheeks just parted. Taking a loose gather of Essek’s drawers into his fist, he put gentle pressure into the curve of Essek’s back until his hips canted up, into a deeper tilt. The effect was nearly immediate, Essek gasping an almost wounded noise and struggling to look up over his shoulder.
Caleb met his gaze and held it, fucking down with several heavy thrusts that slid deeply into the cradle of Essek’s body. The new angle made it difficult for Essek to meet his movement, but he didn’t have to. Caleb could feel himself rolling over and over the swollen, tender anterior wall of Essek’s cunt. Without quite meaning to he increased his pace, captured by the growing desperation in Essek’s eyes - soft and pleading and so sweetly vulnerable.
With a word and half a gesture Caleb summoned his mage hand. It, too, fit easily inside the ruin of Essek’s shorts, fingers immediately flickering over his clit with a lightness and rapidity Caleb’s own hand could never match. Essek choked, turning his face into Caleb’s pillow to heave a string of short, ragged cries in time with every slap of Caleb’s body against his own. Caleb folded himself over Essek’s back again, arms wound tight around his chest even as his hips pistoned, all restraint lost.
“Please, please, please, please—” Essek babbled, incoherent, body spasming in short, grasping drags like a piano wire being tightened until he abruptly froze. A sob tore from deep in his chest and he shook as if struck by a lightning bolt, his cunt dribbling slick down his thighs with every plunging thrust of Caleb’s cock.
Caleb groaned in sympathy, too tight in his own skin with a sweetness that almost felt like pain as he clutched Essek closer against him. The instinct to follow was swelling, implacable, rolling low in his belly. But he couldn’t like this, he wanted Essek’s face, his mouth - he needed to see—
Near frantic, Caleb wrestled Essek onto his back, tugging fabric out of the way just enough to sink their hips flush again. He burrowed into Essek’s arms, dragging him into a wild kiss even as he felt hands knot in his hair and thighs tighten around his hips. He couldn’t seem to get close enough, grinding and kissing with ragged desperation, until suddenly his cock jerked and he gasped, spilling for long, breathless seconds as they clung to each other.
It took a moment for the ringing in his ears to subside enough to make out the soft, pleased noises Essek kissed into his temple, over his cheek and forehead. Caleb shuddered, tucking his face into Essek’s neck. As the rush of pleasure faded, fatigue left a sweet heat in the muscles of Caleb’s back and thighs. He found himself reluctant to move. Essek seemed content to allow it, idly threading his fingers through the sweaty fall of Caleb’s hair, foot stroking slowly over his calf.
He took his time tidying them up. The first thing to go was Essek’s drawers, peeled carefully down his legs and then tossed away, out of the circle of cushions, to slap tellingly on the wood floor. His shirt followed, and Caleb used his own clothes to mop away the worst of the fluids coating Essek’s thighs and groin. He didn’t spare more than a cantrip for himself and their surroundings, but summoned a soft, damp cloth to sponge away the lingering stickiness on Essek’s skin. Essek twitched at the attention, clearly smiling from behind the loose curl of his fingers as Caleb tended to him.
Content that they were as clean as they would get without bathing, Caleb tugged one of the furs across them both, tucking the loose edges first under Essek’s side and then under himself.
“Are you satisfied?” Essek asked, amused. The rasp in his voice felt like a hot, rough tongue up Caleb’s spine.
Sliding his hand up Essek’s neck under the blanket, Caleb swept his thumb over Essek’s mouth, tipping him open for the soft exploration of lips and tongue. Essek’s eyes lidded slowly, body curving into Caleb’s in pliant invitation.
“Not in this lifetime, I don’t think,” Caleb said, thoughtful and hushed between them.
In the warm, partial darkness beneath their shared blanket, he felt Essek’s lips curve against his own.