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Thresh woke with a soft whine. He was achy and exhausted still but in a disturbingly pleasurable way. The previous night was still a pleasant blur, the feel of icy grass under his claws was not helping. He tried to push back the haze but something was making it hard to think. He could feel the side of sharp claws stroking along the dip of his exposed spine. He shuddered in pleasure as the claws lazily trailed up and down the curve of his lower back.

Somewhere in the back of his mind he realized his clothes were under him and not on him. The truth made him stiffen as the night before with Hecarim came flowing back to him. Thresh received a rumbling laugh that echoed out from Hecarim's chest in response to his spirit glow shifting color. The warden shifted under the warhorse's touch and the vanguard relished his effect on the smaller spirit. Hecarim's claws stroked up the spine ridges to where they spread out to where Thresh's ribs lay alternating above spectral muscle. His still groggy lover's reaction made the warhorse chuckle.

Thresh's embarrassed spirit glowed dark with further embarrassment as his back arched under the vanguard's touch. He quivered weakly as his eyes returned to their usual glow; a spirit's way of opening their eyes. He shifted slowly, feeling hot and uncomfortable like the night before. Shame filled the warden that he lacked control over his body when it came to Hecarim.

He hissed softly as a low rumble echoed in his chest when the vanguard began to suddenly stroke his head tendrils with his other hand. Thresh clacked his jaws together and leaned into the touch. He gave a grating purr before abruptly stopping himself. The forceful denial of pleasured sounds earned him another chuckle. He had made Hecarim happy but he on the other hand felt shamefully ridiculous. He was naked on his belly in the middle of the Shadow Isles making pitiful noises for the most frightening figure in the Isles. How had he gotten to this point in his unlife? Had his insanity taken another turn?

This line of self-question was cut off as Hecarim suddenly turned him onto his back. Thresh's skull shifted as he looked up at the vanguard. The Shadow of War had his legs folded under him as his human torso leaned over Thresh. His clawed hand rested on the smaller spirit's belly. He stroked it soothingly as he simply stared down at Thresh. The smaller spirit swallowed tightly with a throat that was not physically there in response. He tried to distract himself by looking up at Hecarim but it did little to help him. The vanguard had removed his helmet and armor, allowing Thresh to see what he truly looked like. The sight would have taken away his breath if he had any to give. The warhorse was both ghastly and handsome with a strong jaw that was normally hidden by the sides of the helmet, his entire undead body speaking of his strength. The sight sent a stronger wave of the spectral heat through Thresh's groin.

The vanguard ignored the stiffening anatomy to observe other places better. He rubbed the tone belly Tresh kept from his human life. He stroked up from there over the rib ridges to the strong chest and collarbone. Thresh squirmed uncomfortably as he touched along where the warden had been decapitated when his prisoners lynched him.

Hecarim let out a rumbling growl as he felt his lover's fear and discomfort. These emotions were unusual for Thresh, showing just what his death mad meant to him. The warden's death meant a great deal to Hecarim as well. The black mist had left him with some of his strongest memories. The most prominent of those was when his human self had just returned from a campaign bathed in blood. The knight had ridden to the prison to look for the warden; his lover.

A wave of shattering emotion had hit him when he walked into the open courtyard. His gaze falling upon a dying tree with bloody chains hanging from it in the shape of a noose. It only took a single look at the headless corpse below to realize it was Thresh. The fact that the prisoners had purposely hung him with the improper amount of chain so that his head came off only fueled Hecarim's anger. His last memory of that day was hunting down and slaughtering every last prisoner.

Hecarim's glow turned a little sour at the memory. It had hurt to reunite with Thresh in undead only to find that the warden held no memories of him. It had taken longer that Hecarim wished to reach where they were now. Despite that, he was pleased that they were together again.

Thresh watched the shift in his companion's mood through the unhappy glow. The warden hesitantly took hold of the claws that were stroking his belly again. He held them in his own as he slowly sat up. His skull cocked to the side inquiringly. He grew worried when he got no response from the warhorse.

Still fearfull of how the vanguard could easily damage him if angered, Thresh placed Hecarim's hand over his undead heart. The smaller spirit slowly rose to his knees and placed his ridged claws to Hecarim's chest. Not receiving a reprimand, his courage grew. He leaned up and pressed his skull to the warhorse's gaunt face. He tentatively brushed their glows together and forced himself to allow his purr to be heard.

Hecarim had been lost in his angered thoughts, not noticing Thresh moving. He came back to the present to find the lean spirit pressed against his chest. The ache in his heart eased as he felt the nuzzle against his face. He was about to return the favor when he felt the jolt of Thresh's spirit against his own.

The emotional pain the vanguard had been feeling melted away. He mingled their spirits a little more to distract the warden as he moved his arm our from between them. He brought both powerful arms around Thresh's slender form, holding him close. He felt Thresh Stiffen in fear but Hecarim quickly soothed him. He forced his companion to relax as he simply held him, no threat in the air.

Shadow Isle citizens could die permanently and come back as a spirit. Hecarim was not going to let that happen to Thresh. He made a silent vow to massacure any that threatened the warden outside the Fields of Justice.

~*~End Part 1~*~