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Always and Forever.

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The shouting echoed up the marble staircase, tapestries draping the walls doing little to muffle Colin's screams.

"Take your bloody hands off me." He was fighting with Daragh, who had Colin in a rather tight hold, arms crossed behind his back, wrists locked together. Colin obviously had forgotten that Daragh had both height and weight advantage.

"Shuddup, boy." Daragh released Colin with a forward pitch, hurling him against the wall at the center landing.

"Won't do no good to take to him. He won't do a damned thing." Colin picked himself up and wiped the blood from his mouth with the back of his hand. "Shoulda just left me there."

"And where exactly is there?" Stuart asked from the top of the stairs. "Evening, Daragh. I see you're bringing home our errant child again." Errant was a kind word, Stuart thought, and all too endearing for Colin. The boy was recalcitrance personified, willful and arrogant and contradicting all of them at every turn.

"Found him down in Whitechapel again," Daragh said. He grabbed Colin's arm and pushed him up the stairs. "This time standing over the damned body."

"Colin," Stuart slid his mouth around the syllables, shaking his head. "How many times have we told you to stay away from there? Nothing but trouble comes from that end of town."

"They're just whores." Colin climbed the stairs quickly, like he was trying to keep himself one step of Daragh's prodding punches.

"Sean won't be happy." Stuart smiled at Daragh's understatement. Sean was going to be utterly Inquisition-style angry. Public killing was not tolerated. It brought down too many swords around their heads.

"Sean," Colin nearly spat out the single syllable, "won't do a bloody thing about it. He's no time for me. I'm not the favored son."

"Your father has to deal with you this time, Colin." With that, Daragh shoved Colin over the top step and pass Stuart. "You've gone too far."

Sean's bedroom was at the end of the hall, north corner of the castle. Stuart watched for a moment as his fellow vampires made their way to the door before turning and continuing down the stairs. He had an appointment in the kitchen.

*********************************

 

Sean heard the door open. There'd been no knock. That meant Daragh was back. Colin had vanished. Again. He'd been gone for three days this time when Sean'd sent Daragh looking for him. Sean pushed himself up in bed, reluctantly away from Peter, who was resting facedown in the sheets. He looked up just in time to see Daragh push Colin through the door. He landed with a thud on the Persian rug at the bed's end. Sean sighed. He'd been comfortable in bed with Peter, just about to fuck him into the headboard, and dealing with Colin was the absolute last thing he wanted.

"Where?" Sean asked.

"Whitechapel." Daragh picked Colin up off the floor and roughly deposited him in the wingback chair beside the fireplace. "Outside that opium den he likes so much."

"I don't want to know what he was doing, do I?"

"Not really, but seeing as this inspector's been down there asking questions, you're gonna have to, Sean." Daragh paused. "He killed a woman."

"Whore," Colin said.

Sean chose to ignore the remark. It was a game of semantics, and he wasn't in the mood to play. "Not discreet, I take it." Sean's calm was surface only. He was seething underneath, ready to strangle Colin, and just as equally sure that wouldn't give the boy exactly what he wanted.

"I took care of it. Got rid of the body. Cleaned up the mess."

"Good, Daragh." Sean allowed a half-smile before turning his attention to his son. Colin was slumped against the chair back, head tilted, eyes to the ceiling. Anywhere but me. Why is it we hate each other so much? "So, Colin, do you have anything to say."

"Sorry." Colin was still staring at the ceiling, apparently fixed on the intricate relief work.

"Sorry," Sean echoed. "You drain a woman, leave her body where anyone can find it and you're sorry?"

"Yeah. Sorry your Irish wolfhound caught me."

"Oh, god, just tie him up alright." Peter's voice, posh and very British, muffled by the pillow. "I'm trying to get some sleep."

"What about it, Colin?" Sean crawled to the footboard, not caring that he was stark naked. "Should I just tie you up? Or would you rather I let Daragh take care of it?"

Colin slouched in the chair, his grin sullen. "Wasn't my fault."

Daragh snorted. "S'never your fault, boy. You wouldn't know blame if it bit ya." He punctuated his comment by cuffing Colin on the head. "Sit up straight. Your father's talking to ya."

Colin simply glared and slouched even deeper into the chair. "Make me."

Oh, god, don't antagonize Daragh, boy. How stupid can you be?

"He doesn't shut up, does he?" Sean glanced over his shoulder at Peter, who was slamming the pillow on top of his head. "Quit while you're ahead, lad."

"No. He doesn't. Ever." Sean grabbed the pillow and tossed it over the edge of the bed. Don't think you're going to get to sleep through this."

Daragh grabbed Colin's shirt collar and yanked him upright in the chair. "I said sit up.
That don't mean slouch down more. You having trouble hearing me, boy?"

Peter groaned, then turned and slowly sat up. "Can we just kill him and get it over with? Be quicker. Bastard deserves it." He paused, stared past Sean at Colin. "No offence."

"Yeah. Lot of trouble. It'd be easier if I was bleeding heavily while you were telling me. I listen better then."

"Please, Sean, by all means, indulge the boy," Peter said. He propped the pillows behind his head.

"I'm not sure that's the best solution." He can't help but notice the drape of sheet over Peter's naked body. Sean shook his head, focusing on the matter at hand rather than the hand that was sliding up his spine. "Colin, you're much too eager to bleed."

"He does seem to remember his lessons for a bit after we've done him, Sean," Daragh added.

Colin tried to shove Daragh away. "I like bleeding. And you like making me bleed. What's the problem here?"

"It's your attitude, boy." Marton was at Sean's side nearly before Sean realized he'd come into the room. His fangs were dripping, the kiss he laid on Sean's lips bruising and blooding, a nip at Sean's lower lip before he was offering the same greeting to Peter.

Sean licked the dab of blood from the corner of his mouth. "You taste like Dominic. Did you debauch him and leave him somewhere?"

"I'm fucking tired of this." Daragh sighed. He hauled Colin up onto his feet and slammed him against the wall, raising him off the floor so they're eye to eye. "You wanna bleed, boy? I'd be happy to make you bleed, all over the fuckin' floor." He bared his fangs, tilted Colin's head back and bit hard over the carotid artery.

Marton pulled off Peter long enough to answer Sean between nibbles and gropes. "Dominic's with that human keeps hanging around. Stringing him on, he said."

"That boy will be one of us within the week, Marton," Peter moaned. "Or-"

"My toy'll tire of him," Marton finished as he leaned in to nip at Peter's collarbone. "Sean fucked you yet? You aren't sweaty in the least." He continued his exploration of Peter's body, moving south, his hands brushing Sean's legs in the course.

"He was just about to, when the errant child interrupted," Peter said. "Make him finish what he started, Marton."

Marton's hand brushed, then rubbed, Sean's thigh, forcing his attention back on the lovers who were writhing in the bed next to him. Thank god for oversized beds. His mind trickled back to the conversation. Dominic. In the kitchen. "Human? Which one is this?" Sean kept one eye on Marton and Peter, the other on Colin and Daragh. He pointed at the two struggling against the wall. "That's going to get messy. Very quickly."

Like usual, Sean was trying to follow more than one conversation. Well, actually no conversation. More like trying to decide which fight to jump into at the pub. Colin was quickly succumbing to Daragh's overwhelming power. And Daragh, Sean noted, wasn't even trying hard. Colin's arms and legs jerked of their own will, going at all angles until he finally went limp. He knows exactly what he's doing. Feigning submission. Giving in, and forcing Daragh to take the initiative.

Marton was kissing Peter between his words. "Course I will, sweet fang." He pushed Peter down into the mattress and spread his legs, casting his eyes toward Sean. "The boy that delivers milk to the kitchens in the morning. Your son's been playing with him. I've tasted him. He's very ..." Marton touched his finger to his lips, smirk curling around the tip. "Hmm, spicy." He slid his finger into his mouth and out, raking it across a sharp canine. Blood was flowing freely as he moved the finger from mouth to Peter's entrance, repeating the motion several times. "He's waiting for you, Sean."

Daragh pulled off, leaving Colin's throat ragged and bleeding. He tossed Colin aside, pushing him to the rug-covered floor. "Arrogant whelp." Quickly he dropped to the floor and lashed into Colin, ripping his shirt in half up the front. "Fucking sonuvabitch." He sank his fangs into Colin's chest, just over the right nipple."

"Oh, that one," Sean said, picking up the trail of conversation about Dominic. "Just a minute." He kneeled up into the rumpled bedcovers and looked over the footboard at where Daragh had Colin on the floor. From the expression on Colin's face, and the heavy salty scent in the air, Sean reasoned Colin had come. Well, at least he gets to do that first.. "Daragh, bleed him out and lock him in his room. I'll deal with him later."

Daragh laughed. "Not exactly what you expected, is it, boy?"

Sean turned his attention entirely away from Colin and Daragh, trusting his old friend to handle his son. He nudged Marton to Peter's side and took position, cock pressing against Peter's ass. "Now, sweet death, what exactly was it you wanted?" He pushed forward, thrusting into the vampire with a single, fluid motion.

"That's," Peter started, his voice catching, "nice right there. Very nice. Don't move in fact."

Sean arched his back as Marton's nails scraped over his spine and teeth nibbled at the nape of his neck. "Your thighs look positively delicious," Marton said.

"Don't move? Damn it, Marton, if you're gonna be back there, might's well fuck me."

"No. I don't think so. I think I'll spend the rest of the night driving you absolutely mad. And since Peter won't let you thrust, you're going to just have to sit here and take it." A cool wet slid over Sean's hip. Marton's tongue trailed a path across his ass. "How positively delicious."

*********************************

Bleed him out and lock him in his room. Sean's instructions had been precise. Daragh had carried them out to the letter. He'd bled Colin, sucking and cutting until the boy was nearly drained of blood and not allowing him to feed. Colin was beneath fragile at the end of the night, silenced. Not even a whimper as Daragh pushed him into the room and locked the door.

Colin had lain on the floor for hours, days. Waiting. He wasn't sure what he waited for. He knew Sean wasn't coming. Sean would leave him to his own resources. The problem was, Colin had nothing to fall back on. On the third day, he reached out and trapped a reckless mouse that'd mistakenly turned left instead of right at the bedpost. First blood in days. Barely enough to make a difference, but it gave him the fortitude, or maybe it was just courage, to crawl and drag himself up to the bed.

There he waited to die.

"Colin?" The voice was soft, refined, almost elegant.

"Yeah. Whatchawant?" Slurred speech. Colin looked up from the bed. Stuart. Last person he'd expected to see. Well, next to last. His body was fuzzy in the room's dim light. Was it morning or night? Colin had no idea. He'd lost track of time.

"How're you doing, sweetie? Need a vein? I heard you're hungry."

"Go away, Stuart." Colin turned back to the wall. "Not begging for it." Don't need my father's lover taking pity on me.

"Now, would I ask you for that? What do you take me for? I'm just offering a warm drink, maybe some comfort. Is that so hard to believe?

"Da won't like it." Colin looked back over shoulder, the simple movement agonizing. "And you don't ever do anything Da doesn't like."

"I'll take my chances with your father this time, Colin. I can't just sit here and watch you starve to death."

He turned around, pushed himself up in the bed, back firmly against the wall. "You watched him put me here." His arms are streaked with white scratches from where he'd clawed himself fighting the hunger. "You don't like me either. Never have. Why now?"

"Look at yourself, Colin. You're like death warmed over. Not even. You're a brat and a spoiled one at that but killing you won't teach you a lesson. It'll just kill you. And I do not want to have to death with your father if you do end up dying."

"What I am is a mistake, which he relishes pointing out to me at every opportunity." Colin haphazardly brushed the hair out of his eyes. "You think he'd really care if I died? He'd still have the perfect son." That was Dominic. Not even first-born, but he was Sean's favored child.

"I'm not disputing the fact that you're a mistake, and I'm not even going to lie to you and claim that your father loves you. We both know that isn't true. But you're a project for him. You're a chance to see if something can be made of nothing. So, yeah, he'd be pissed if you died, since it means he'd failed."

"What do you get?" Colin shivered, pulled the covers up around him. His speech grew more hesitant, halting. "You incur his wrath for me. You want something."

"Of course I want something from you, Colin. Everyone wants something. We're all out for something. Would you believe me if I wanted your father to look at me like I have a brain?"

"M'hungry. Bad." The bravado front Colin usually put up was falling quickly.

"I can fix that."

"Please." Colin curled into the blankets. "Whatever you want, Stuart."

Before Colin knew what was happening, Stuart was on the bed, his arm opened and Colin's frame being pressed into his chest. "Shall we discuss payment later? I had a kitchen lass tonight. Left her for dead. I'm full to bursting, Colin. Take what you need."

Colin laughed, a short relieved almost maniacal chortle, as his mouth connected with flesh other than his own. "Da will be angry," he murmured, panting as the blood coursing through Stuart's veins pounded against his ear. Nearly fresh. He sank his fangs into the pale chest.

"I imagine your father will be very angry. He might even take it out on you, even though you were obviously coerced into feeding from me. You being weak and starved and I being naturally superior. I'll take the brute of his wrath. Actually, I'm willing to bet it won't be too bad. I have a feeling this was as much as test of me as it was of you."

Colin drank. Greedily. Hastily. He wasn't even listening to Stuart's words, just hearing his voice. Not caring if the whole world were testing him. Or just watching him. At that moment he didn't even care about what Stuart wanted from him. His only focus was the hunger that needed feeding.

"Colin." Stuart shook Colin's head. "Colin," louder. "You need to pull back. Wait a few minutes."

"No," Colin nearly shouted as Stuart physically forced his head back, eyes upward. You have to stop drinking. Can't drink too much at one time. Somewhere from the recesses of his mind came Sean's words from early feedings. Or where they Daragh's. One as much as the other had raised him. He stopped, letting Stuart hold his head away from the blood. "You taste good, Stuart." Almost back to natural voice, Colin allowed a small smile to slip in.

Colin sank back into the pillows. Not filled, but sated. The rush of the blood was overwhelming. So fresh. Almost too ... nearly virginal. Intense, like opium in the dens of Whitechapel. He sprawled into the blankets, his half-naked body mired in dingy sheets.

Stuart ran a finger down the side of Colin's face. "Have you been sleeping?"

"A little. In fits and starts." Colin leaned into the touch, bringing his hand up to brush over Stuart's wrist. "Do you want me, Stuart? Is that the price you'll ask?"

"I have no desire for you, child," Stuart answered coldly. "My price is the favor you now owe me. I can collect at any time. No matter what I say and you must do it. Get some sleep. I broke the lock on the door and even Peter won't be able to fix it."

Colin was puzzled at Stuart's response. He'd always assumed they all wanted him. His uncles. His brothers. Everyone except Sean. So why didn't Stuart? The curiosity lasted a matter of minutes as the blood worked its magic and sleep started to overtake him.

As Stuart stormed out of Colin's room, he was more worried than flattered. He'd realized Colin was starving. That was why he'd defied Sean's direct decree against disturbing his son. But pulling back was the first thing a vampire learned. Colin was far enough gone he'd forgotten that rule. That meant Sean had almost killed his son, and that made Stuart very, very angry. He'd seen to Colin's need, and he planned on having some choice words with the boy's father. Sean could be as careless as he chose, but there were certain rules that could not be broken.

It didn't take much work to locate Sean. Stuart found him in the second place he looked. Library. Sunk into the chair by the fire. Reading.

"Sean, you imbecile! I don't know if you can understand such a concept - it might be above you, I certainly wouldn't be surprised - and I know you don't care for him, but that doesn't change the fact that you can't kill him! Which, if I may say, was what you were just about to do?"

Sean looked up from his book at Stuart, who had come into the library in full-rant. "This would be," he said, taking an audibly deep breath, voice calm, "about Colin?"

"Of course it would be about Colin, you pitiful excuse for a living creature!" Stuart crossed the room quickly, intent on throttling Sean, or at the very least hitting him rather hard. The poker by the hearth looked particularly inviting. "Do you have any other son you can't stand the sight of? If you had loved the mother, perhaps, just perhaps, I could understand your aversion to the son who killed her. I wouldn't condone, but I might understand. But she was a distraction and now you're saddled with a son you never wanted. But understand this, Sean." He stopped by the chair's side. "I don't care that you don't want him and that you don't approve of what he does. Can't you see that he's just trying to get your attention?! All of this. He sees you going out and heaving through humans and so he does the same. Of course he doesn't understand when you berate him for your own behavior!"

Sean stood and dropped the book into the chair. "Colin is my child, Stuart. Not yours. What I do with him is none of your business." He closed the small distance between them. "Or have you made it your business? Stuart, you're overstepping your position."

Stuart stared into Sean's eyes. He was seething. "I have no position here, as you've made clear several times. But this isn't about you and me, Sean." He was going to let Sean distract him, turn the conversation around, play on his desires. "It's about the fact that it fell to a man who has no children to save one of yours! I've never bothered to do the minimal effort required, Sean, but I have more empathy than you, and you're Colin's father!" Stuart paused, waiting for the comeback he expected. None came. "I don't think you've realized that you can't kill him," he continued, not sure if he was angrier at Sean for what he'd done or for what he was not defending. "Yes, you could wrap your hands around his throat and squeeze until he's lifeless beneath, but he's not a child anymore." Stuart's voiced echoed off the high ceiling. "You are not allowed to kill him." Words enunciated, punctuated with emotion. "Which was what you were doing, and you knew it. You sat here, you read your book - what is it this time, Aristotle? - and waited for your son to die." He shook his head. "You disgust me."

"Actually, it's Machiavelli. Ends justify the means. Perhaps you should read it yourself." Sean's voice was even, nearly monotone. "You saved him? That would mean you defied me, went to him, fed him." He stood next to Stuart, staring just as intently. "Is that right, Stuart? Is that what you did?"

"You may be master of this estate, Sean. You may own every little thing in it, but you don't own me and you don't dictate my actions. Ever. You make suggestions. Either I follow them or I don't. It's entirely up to me. I saved your son's life because no one else was going to do it. I note that you haven't thanked me for it yet."

"Why should I thank you, Stuart? Did he?" Sean leaned into Stuart, inhaled deeply. "Not properly, I guess. All I smell is blood. Maybe I haven't taught him well enough."

"He offered," Stuart answered and pushed Sean firmly away from him. "I declined. You taught your son to whore himself. How many people in this castle haven't fucked him? You made him into the whore because you wouldn't make him into your son. Goddamnit, Sean, even Marton asks Dom before he ties him to the bed and makes him bleed for it!"

"Counting you, Stuart? That'd make one. And that's only because you can say no to him. Haven't found anyone else who understands how to do that." Sean turned and started to walk away. "In all honesty, Stuart, Colin may be the only one you've ever said no to."

Stuart barked a laugh, bittersweet with the animosity he should feel at the insult. "You see Daragh with his cock up my ass? You think I'm insane enough to lie down for Marton? You and Peter, Sean, are the only ones in this castle I've laid down for." Why am I defending myself to you? "You don't even give Colin a choice. You make him feel the only way to win your approval is to spread his thighs. You disgust me, Sean."

"You're repeating yourself, Stuart," Sean interrupted.

"Shut up, Sean," Stuart countered. "I may not have ridden with your precious horsemen, but I've seen what havoc you four have wreaked. All of that pales before what you've done to your own son."

Sean's step caught and he turned back around. "Just me and Peter? I am surprised. And I disgust you? Then why do you stay, Stuart? Why not walk out the door?" Stuart detected a shift in his tone; it became more plaintive. "All I did was discipline him. Teach him a lesson. He cannot kill indiscriminately. It's not acceptable. You know that, Stuart." The half-smile slid onto his lips. "And, for the record, I've never fucked Colin."

"There are better ways to teach him a lesson, and throwing out his only ally will not help you win him to your side. One day, Sean, and I dearly hope it will be soon so I can watch, you're going to need something from him, and he's going to say no. And then you'll come to me. 'Stuart' you'll say, 'you have Colin in your back pocket.' And it shall be my most enjoyable opportunity to tell you to go fuck yourself."

"So that's what this is about. So noble you pretend to be, Stuart, so righteous, so concerned for Colin's welfare. All you wanted was a sword to hold over my head." The half-smile was slowly sliding into the patented wicked tonguesmile. "Are you that angry with me, Stuart? What have I not done to please you?"

"You can't heal everything with sex, Sean. And despite what you think, it's not the root of all problems. Don't make this about me and you when it's really about the despicable way you treat your own flesh and blood!" Stuart consciously softened his voice as he turned his back on Sean. "If you don't treat him with respect, how can I expect anything more from you?"

"Don't you dare, Stuart. Don't turn your back on me with those words. This is as much about you and me as it is him. What would you have me do? Coddle him? Take him to bed? Tell him he's a good boy when I know he wants to eat my heart out? He's never once done anything to earn respect. From the first day, he was a problem. Even when I gave him attention, he threw it back in my face." Sean retreated to the loveseat, throwing himself down, sprawling across it. "All he's wanted all along was the punishment. You know that, as well as everyone in this house. You're just feeding it in a different way."

"Sean. If you dare, if you dare punish Colin for what I did, you'll need all your precious horsemen to hold me back. He may like pain. He was a difficult child. I'm not doubting it. I know what he did. But just think on this, Sean." Stuart turned around, crossed the rug. "How many times did you ever give him your full attention? Four times? Five? How many of those times when he needed you were you busy with things more important than your son? And think, Sean, just think. How many times have you punished him? Can you even count anymore? Do you even know why half the time? Or do you just do it because he's there and you know he doesn't mind pain?"

"Oh, I won't punish Colin. If I take it out on anybody, it's going to you, Stuart. Trust me on that."

"You should be thanking me," Stuart said quietly. "You ... I saved his life. I gave him my blood. You ... you should care about more than your pride, Sean. Can't you ever admit you were wrong?"

"I was wrong to take comfort in a bloody camp follower on a damned battlefield in fucking Spain," Sean quipped. "I was wrong ..." Sean stopped. "How exactly did you want to be thanked?"

Stuart only stared. "Fuck off, Sean. Just once in your life, just once, you could try to be serious about someone you care about. And if I hear you call Colin a mistake again, whether to his face or not, you'll soon be missing something very dear to you."

"Alright. I admit defeat." Sean ran his hands through his hair, then threw them up in surrender. "I'm being serious, Stuart. What do you want me to do? Given that I'm not going to just change my opinion of Colin in the next minute."

"You could try. In fact, try rethinking everything Colin did that made you condemn him to death. Could you honestly say that you wouldn't have done the same were you not in his position? Just what kind of father are you, Sean?"

"I'm a lousy father, Stuart. I've got four sons'll tell you that. Not to mention the daughters scattered to the four winds. If Colin's wanting a perfect father, then he might's well just ask you to do it. You seem a helluva lot better at it."

Stuart almost laughed. Almost. "I never wanted children. I'll probably never have any. You're a bad father because you set a bad example. But there are other criteria from which to choose."

"You're going to tell me, I bet." Sean mocksighed. "Promise me there's sex if I listen carefully?"

"From one of your lackeys, yes, I suppose. From me, not a chance. Your son took most of my blood. The least you could do is offer me your own in payment."

"So feeding Colin was just a way to get to my blood," Sean started, then stopped, as if he'd realized something. Stuart couldn't hope for an epiphany. "Stuart, exactly how much blood did Colin take from you?"

"Enough that if you had my own mother lying before me, I would still kill her." Stuart paused. "You almost killed him. How much do you think he'd need to survive another minute?"

"Do you think he'd've let himself die? Just to prove how much he loved me?" No sign of emotion in his voice.

"Do you think he really could have freed himself from the prison you made for him of his only place of solace? And, yes, he would have died for you. Filial loyalty may mean nothing to you, but it does to him. He won't say a word against you. He thinks you're so righteous, that everything you do is necessary and for his own good. He's naive, Sean, and you take so much advantage of that fact."

"Loyalty means a great deal to me, Stuart. I'd die for any one of you. Even Colin. Whether or not you believe it. Or he does. It doesn't matter. And Colin may be a lot of things, but he's not naive. Don't ever think that, Stuart, or he'll have you owing him the favor." Sean leaned forward on the sofa. "I'll give you that you saved him. I'll admit I might've been a bit drastic. I'll let you drink from my veins. I'll even ignore if you question my loyalties. But don't ask me to start loving Colin. Not tonight."

"Fine." It was more than he'd expected, less than he had hoped for. But it's Sean and Stuart knew you needed to give a lot to get a little. "Give me your neck."

Sean laughed, a deep throaty roll of noise. "You presume a great deal, Stuart, that I'd willingly bare my throat for you."

"I presume a great deal, yes." Stuart agreed. He waited. He would wait all night for Sean to acquiesce.

"Very well." Sean stretched back onto the velvet brocade, let his head go back, throat exposed. "For tonight, Stuart."

Stuart smiled coldly and let his fangs drop. He tested them, dragging flat of his tongue over each sharp point, drawing blood. He let the smell of blood linger upon the air before sitting next to Sean and kissing him.

Sean drew in an unnecessary breath. Stuart knew it was the bloodscent. Damned intoxicating. His hands instinctively reached for Stuart, seeking to pull him into the embrace.

Stuart forced his tongue down Sean's throat and kissed him hungrily. Only when he pulled back did he allow himself to nick the side of his tongue of Sean's fangs.

The taste of blood would whet Sean's desire. He sucked in the too-few droplets. Stuart was being slow, nearly torturous, completely on purpose. Sean's hands pushed past the invisible restraints and clutched at Stuart's waist.

Stuart smirked, drew back farther. "Your neck. My teeth. Whatever makes you think you're in charge here?" Stuart's left hand yanked Sean's head backwards by his hair and his right was busy searching out Sean's strongest pulse point.

"Because you're mine, Stuart," Sean hissed. "Body and soul and blood. Always and forever."

"If I'm yours," Stuart replied, "wouldn't that make you mine?" He mouthed the last words against the throbbing of Sean's pulse. "Always," as his first fang slid in. "And forever," with a slash that almost tore Sean's neck open.