"Tell me about her," Methos murmurs one night. "I want to know things about you that no one else will ever know."
Kronos smiles. He'd be a fool to trust Methos; he knows that much already. They make for a good match, fight well together, but anything he gives Methos is going to come back to haunt him.
"I don't think so," Kronos says, levering Methos onto his front. "You know enough already."
He can't see the look on Methos's face while he takes him, but he can imagine the grin.
Her name was Karyss. There are things Kronos doesn't remember about life before death, but he remembers her name, her voice, her face. She had green eyes.
When he was too young to know any better, he thought she was his sister. It didn't take long for him to find out otherwise; the rest of his "brothers" didn't waste any time in teaching him who was part of the family and who was only a foundling.
For a while he was sorry about that. By the time his oldest brother had settled down with his first two wives, Kronos wasn't sorry at all.
Karyss was his age, more or less. Kronos had been found in the heart of winter, just after Karyss was born. He'd been given to the family because Karyss's mother could feed him. They'd nursed together, grown up together. Grown curious together.
Curiosity was welcome as long as they could keep it a secret. Karyss made that plain. Sooner or later she'd be married -- this was something Kronos tried not to think about -- but until then, whatever secrets they shared were theirs alone.
It was getting closer all the time, though. Karyss was past her first blood, and as soon as the family could find her a husband who didn't already have three wives -- none of that for their youngest girl -- she'd be leaving home. Desperation made Kronos look harder for meeting places; there was too much at stake now, too much of a sense that their time might be running out.
The grass at the riverbank was tall enough to hide two. Kronos whispered a time to her, and left alone to wait.
"Were you seen?" he asked, but he didn't wait for an answer before he started pulling her to the ground. She didn't fight. She hit the ground hard enough to hiss out a breath, but it was more irritation than pain; she grabbed for him as soon as she was on her back.
They'd come close before. Her hand in his breeches, his under her skirt. He'd left trails of white across her wrist and held her down as he licked it off her skin. Not this before, though. Never quite this.
Her mouth was hungry this time; her nails were fierce. He'd have to check carefully to make sure he wasn't bleeding before he dressed again. It didn't matter. This was worth it. He let her dig her nails into his shoulders, and she let him shove her skirt up so he could lie between her legs. He could feel how wet she was, how ready; it was almost too much. He had a moment's blind panic, the fear that he'd come before he managed to take her, but no -- he pushed forward, openmouthed and panting, and she was so hot he thought he might burst into flame.
"I -- no," Karyss panted, nails easing on his shoulders. "Hurts."
Not no. Not now. Kronos levered himself up on his palms. "Do you want me?" he whispered.
She was setting her teeth against it; he could see it. She nodded.
"I want -- but I can't -- I'll scream," she whispered.
If that was all, that was easy. He covered her mouth with his hand, watching as her eyes widened.
He took her, then, and her screams were soft under his hand. Short, sharp, and sweet, too, and before she'd given him a half dozen, it was over -- he collapsed on her, shaking, coming close to screaming himself. He let her go, and she wrapped arms and legs around him, pulling him in tight.
"I'll think of you," she whispered.
They're not taking you, he thought, eyes closing as he lay his head on her shoulder. You're mine.
The grin's exactly what Kronos thought it would be; cat-with-cream. He bends his head down to nip at Methos's collarbones.
"You know what I like best about you?" Methos murmurs.
"My cock," Kronos answers, and Methos chuckles.
"You don't ask. And you don't hold back." Methos goes quiet for a few seconds. "That's more than anyone knows about me, now. Do you realize that?"
Kronos nods. He rests his cheek against the plane of Methos's chest.
"Her name was Karyss."