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Home for a Shadow

Chapter Text

Sitting in front of the fire in his cottage, Millicent curled up in his lap as he picks through an ancient, barely legible grimoire, it’s one of the best nights Hux has had in some time.

So naturally, it all has to go to shit.

First, there’s the probing around the edges of the wards that protect his clearing in the forest.  The wailing grind of claws as the wards solidify against whatever is trying to get in.  Screeches of frustration resounding at their failure.

Millicent meows in complaint when Hux displaces her, standing to check the front window.  A quick cantrip and he has feline vision.  Around the clearing the shadows are alive, glowing eyes in red, yellow, purple, green the only things that betray the movement as more than just a trick of the light.  As his vision adjusts to the dim light from the crescent moon, the darkness shapes into claws and waving tails.  The figures climb over each other, boiling up against the barrier.

Shadow demons.

Nothing but a minor nuisance to a witch of Hux’s caliber.  He’s driven off similar infestations many times.  Pinching his nose in exasperation, Hux grumbles about interrupting his evening for this.

“Come on, Millie, let’s get rid of these pests.”

The orange tabby chirps in response and trots to his side.

But a deeper roar sounds from outside.  The air pressure shifts, becomes heavier, thicker.  Something more powerful than the piddling demons which usually squeeze through the veil has come.  A burgeoning weight against his wards, and he can feel them bow.  They aren’t designed to hold out against this kind of power.  Not when he rarely has to deal with anything more than an imp.

A handful of rune stones slipped into his pocket will help with reinforcing the barrier.  He’ll need his staff as well to help channel his magic.

Hux opens the door to see a larger shadow forcing his wards to bubble inwards, the barrier sparking blue against the push.  To his enhanced vision, the demon is a massive wolf, wisps of shadow curling up like a line of spines along its back.  Amber eyes glow with fierce intelligence, different from the rest of the demons who only care for tearing and rending.  As Hux strides confidently forward, it howls in excitement and throws itself against his wards.  With a concussive blast, they shatter at last.

His familiar jumps ahead of him, shedding her housecat disguise and voicing a full-throated roar.  Before the tiger can collide with the shadow wolf, Hux tosses a rune stone forward and activates it with a word.  A swirling blue barrier coalesces around it, the shadow slamming into it with a yelp.  It won’t last, but at least they can thin out the herd before dealing with the true threat. 

Easily changing her course, Millie plows into a tight knot of demons, rending them apart with her eldritch claws.  Hux knows she’ll be fine, turning his attention to the other side of the clearing.  

“Adhain!” Hux commands, pointing his staff at another knot.  Blue light washes over them, already indistinct forms dissipating like smoke in sunshine.

Shattering behind him alerts Hux that the large demon has already broken its confinement.  Even as he whirls, it’s already upon…past him?  The massive shadow wolf charges another group of demons that had sought to take advantage of Hux’s distraction, ripping them to shreds with teeth and claws.  With each group destroyed, the oppressive atmosphere that has fallen on the clearing dissipates a little further.  

Soon, it’s only Hux, his familiar, and the demon that for some reason chose to help him.  Millicent slinks to her witch’s side, a low snarl rumbling in the massive tiger’s chest as her hackles stand on end.

“Why have you crossed the veil?”  Hux remains on his guard, but there’s something different about this demon.

The wolf whines, shadowy spines flattening down to its back.  Amber eyes are entreating Hux for something.

“Can you speak?”  The wolf whines again and crouches low, submissive.  “Why did you help me?”

Shadows swirl around the crouching figure.  When they clear, pale skin reflects the crescent moon, amber eyes peering at Hux through a fringe of dark hair.  “I’ve been watching you for a long time, Hux.  I might have continued to watch, had I not noticed a colony of lower demons targeting you.”  His deep voice is like the growl of the wolf.

“Why?”  Hux is completely taken aback.

The demon turned man stands, revealing his incredibly muscular body.  And the fact that he’s not wearing a shred of clothing.  Though Hux is tall, he would estimate that the man is perhaps an inch or two taller.

“I like you,” he says shyly, ducking to hide behind his tangled hair.  “I wish to serve your power.  To feel your skin on mine and know more than the shadows beyond the veil.  I want to know what it is to be human, to entwine my life with yours.”

A rush of magic and adrenaline like nothing he’s ever felt before fills him.  This powerful, stunning demon wants him?  “Would you bind yourself to me?  Why would I make a pact that would condemn me?”

Tangled hair knots further as the man shakes his head in furious denial.  “Nothing like that.  I would not have you suffer if you agreed to grant me this.  I offer myself to you freely.  Perhaps living as human will not suit me, but if I must return beyond the veil for any reason, I will always be grateful to you.”

It sounds like everything Hux has ever desired.  And his every magical instinct tells him the demon is sincere.  “What do you think, Millie?  Should we let this stray dog into our home?”

Millicent cloaks herself as a housecat once more, chirping in agreement and jumping onto Hux’s shoulder.

“You’re right, he is rather pretty for a stray.”  He turns and begins to walk back to the cottage, hearing a whine from behind.  Casting a glance over his shoulder, he quirks a grin at the demon.  “Are you coming?”

The man lights up as if Hux has granted him the world.

“First thing, I’m going to need to get you some clothes,” Hux mutters, “if you keep walking around nude, I’ll never get anything done.”

A chuckle tells him his comment amused the other man.  “I am glad my form pleases you.”

Hux pauses in the open door of the cottage.  “There’s one thing I need before I can allow you into my home.”

Shrinking back, his amber eyes look at Hux pleadingly, much like the stray dog the witch had named him.  “What?”

“Your name.”  Hux’s smile is small, but it warms his pale jade eyes.  “I need to key you into the wards on my cottage, so you can come and go freely.”

His returning smile is brilliant.  “Kylo.  I am Kylo, of Ren.”

“Be welcome in my home, Kylo, of Ren.”  Hux steps forward and catches Kylo in a gentle kiss.

Chapter Text

“Kylo, stop that!”  Hux stands from where he’s working on a delicate conjuration to take yet another jar of supplies away from the curious shadow demon who’s adopted him.  “Even Millie knows not to stick her nose in my magical ingredients,” he mutters.

Kylo turns pleading amber eyes his way and Hux softens.  It’s hard to remain cross with someone who looks at you like you’re the centre of their universe, who takes every sharp word to heart.

Back in his seat, Hux beckons Kylo over to sit next to him.  The other man eagerly moves to curl up at his feet, one cheek resting on Hux’s thigh.  When Hux cards his fingers through thick, dark hair, he can feel the rumble from Kylo’s throat.  In the days since Kylo had moved in, he’s discovered that the man is still fairly wolf-like - sniffing at him, lounging in front of the fire, sticking his nose into everything.

“You can’t just smell everything you can get your paws on, Kylo,” he says softly.  “Many of those jars hold toxic ingredients, or magically active ones that could react poorly to a shadow demon.  I don’t want you getting changed into a grub just as I’m getting to know you.”

Nudging his head into Hux’s hand for more pets, Kylo sighs.  “I am sorry, Hux.  I was just getting a little bored.  I am not accustomed to remaining still for so long.”

Hux can’t help but chuckle at his petulance.  “How about I explain to you what I’m working on then?  Or you could transform and wrestle with Millie; I’m sure she’d enjoy having a playmate.”

“I want to stay with you.”

A wisp of warmth uncurls in Hux’s chest at Kylo’s continued insistence of remaining by his side.  Never before has he found a person who enjoys his company so much.  “Alright then.”  One hand keeps combing through thick hair as Hux turns back to his bowl of ingredients.  It’s difficult to work with only one hand, but he finds himself reluctant to free himself from the raw silk of Kylo’s dark hair.  “I had an idea recently for year round gardens.  I’m making the base that will allow me to anchor all the spells I’ll need for maintenance.”

“Will they not die in the snow?”

“That’s why I’ll be doing some fairly complex spellwork for this project.”  Hux smiles.  He’s proud of this idea.  “In the end, I’ll have four garden beds.  Each one will be ready for harvest in a different season, with some overlap.  Ideally, they’ll provide me with a year round supply of food and some of my magical supplies.”

“But how?”

“Each garden will have a self-contained climate, mimicking the seasons.  And of course all of the usual spells for pest control and health.”  He looks down at his shadow.  “Would you like to help me?”

Amber eyes glow with pleasure.  “I would very much enjoy that.  Beyond the veil, there are no gardens.  No opportunity to watch things grow.”

Millicent brushes against Kylo, purring to comfort her new charge with the sorrow she can hear in his voice.  She insistently climbs into his lap, curling her soft orange body into the cradle of his legs.  When Hux glances down, he can see the shadow demon stroking his familiar absently, his regret no longer flavouring the air around him.  Kylo pleasantly distracted, Hux works quickly to add the final ingredients to the base.

Though he’s been muttering spellwords the entire time, this is where the tricky bit of spellcasting comes.  “Kylo,” a single word and he has every part of the man’s attention fixed on him as if he’s magnetic north.  “I know you’ll find this rather dull, but I need silence and stillness for a few minutes.  Can you do that for me?”

“I will, Hux.”

“Good boy,” Hux praises absently, running through his spellwork in his mind.  Only when he realizes that he’s just spoken to a powerful demon as if he’s a dog does Hux freeze.  Cautiously, he looks down at Kylo.  Kylo, who is beaming up at him.  Breathing a silent sigh of relief, some part of Hux tucks that knowledge in the back of his mind.

Brief moment of anxiety past, he turns back to his casting.  Ancient words spill from his lips, hands cupped over the wooden bowl full of reactants.  As the spell builds, light of greens and rich browns pour into the bowl, filling it with the gleam of growing things.  With the completion of the incantation (something Hux has puzzled together from fragments of crumbling texts and his own ingenuity), the bright light fades until it’s just a faint glimmer in the reactants.

“I’m finished.  Thank you for being patient, Kylo.”

Kylo eagerly lurches to his feet, earning a loud meow of complaint from Millicent for upsetting her comfortable seat.  “This is it?”  He bends down to smell it, only getting halfway before he seems to remember Hux’s admonishment.  “How can such a small amount of powder be sufficient for the gardens you speak of?”

“This will work in combination with ward stones placed around the periphery of each one.  Mixing this with the soil will enchant the entire plot and allow me to place my spells.”  Taking in the open awe on Kylo’s face, Hux is curious.

“How does your magic work, then?”

Kylo shrugs.  “I do not use chants or spellwords.  My magic acts as an extension of myself.  If I wish for something to be nearer, I can reach out my mind and draw it to me.  I may touch my mind to another’s and see what they see, know what they know.”

“Have you…have you read my mind?”  Hux isn’t certain what he wants the answer to be.

“Of course not!”  Shock is written plainly on Kylo’s expressive face.  “I would not abuse the privacy of one whom I wish to serve.  Only if you invite me to share in your thoughts will I use my magic.”

“Thank you, Kylo.”  Impulsively, Hux draws the slightly taller man down into a soft kiss.  Another question occurs to him when the lingering kiss ends.  “How were you able to watch me from beyond the veil?”

“There are windows in the shadow lands.  One with power such as myself can turn them where they will.  I spent many hours looking at your world before I found you, but from my first sight, I was captivated.”

Hux can’t help the flush that steals across his cheeks at such open flattery.  It’s utterly disarming that a shadow demon would be so blasted honest about his admiration.  As he’s about to respond, a yawn threatens, forcing him to smother it with a closed mouth.  “I’m sorry, Kylo.  I’m afraid the casting has taken a lot out of me, and exhaustion is creeping up on.”

“Do not fear, Hux.”  With a gentle smile, Kylo takes his hand and leads him up the stairs to Hux’s large bed in the loft.  

The witch watches in appreciation as Kylo quickly strips himself down.  Though he had acquiesced to Hux’s request that he wear clothing during the day, it’s obvious enough that he prefers to be nude.  When Hux goes to remove his own garments however, Kylo’s rumbling growl of disapproval stops him short.

“I would do that for you, if you will permit.”

Raising an eyebrow at the request, Hux still spreads his arms in silent agreement.

His demon removes every stitch of clothing with quiet reverence.  Goosebumps rise in the wake of his callused fingers brushing over Hux’s pale skin.  Hux shivers, but not from cold, when the last piece is drawn away from his upper body.  Though somehow still soft, he’s never felt so aroused, nor so cared for.  Perhaps it’s because Kylo isn’t doing this as a prelude to sex.

Despite his open offer of himself to Hux, and his desire to feel them skin to skin, they have yet to do more than kiss.  Well, maybe that’s not entirely true.  Even that first night, they had both been nude while sharing Hux’s bed.  There’s no urgency to move faster.  Lying in bed together, sharing soft kisses, it’s enough.  Even when one or both become hard, completion is not the end goal.  They simply take pleasure in kissing and touching, learning each other’s bodies.  And when they do eventually have sex, Hux is certain it will feel just as natural as everything else has.

Once he has stripped Hux entirely naked, Kylo looks up with a shy smile from where he kneels at Hux’s feet.  “You are beautiful, my witch.  Every day, I think of how lucky I am that you chose to allow me to serve you.”

A spark of magic from Hux’s fingertips draws back the layers of blankets on his bed.  He pulls Kylo to his feet before teasingly pushing him back to land with a bounce on the plush surface.  “And you are magnificent, my shadow-wolf.”  He slides under the cool sheets and pulls the covers over them both, twining himself with Kylo’s body and laying a trail of kisses down his neck.  He ends off with a final kiss over the demon’s heart, tucking his head into the curve of his shoulder.  With Kylo’s warmth surrounding him, Hux drifts quickly into sleep.

Chapter Text

When Hux wakes that morning, Kylo is already gone.  It’s not the first time it’s happened in the scant months Kylo has been living with him, but it never fails to send a twinge of concern up Hux’s spine.  Though at least the magical tag he’d dropped on him after the first time reveals that Kylo is alive.  With an internal shrug, Hux sets about his day as usual.

Kylo’s face when he returns has that twinge growing into full-blown worry.  

“What’s wrong, wolf?”

A despairing sigh, and Kylo kneels at his feet, looking pleadingly up at Hux.  “I know I had vowed never to ask this of you, but circumstances have changed.  Would you allow me to bind myself to you, so that I cannot be forced back into the shadow lands beyond the veil?”

Hux is taken aback.  What could have changed so quickly?  “Another demon has the power to pull you back?”

Kylo nods solemnly.  “A teacher.  He made me feel powerful, and for a time, I was part of a group which revelled in destruction.”  He ducks his head, a flush of shame colouring his pale cheeks.  “It was truly then when I discovered you.  A witch of your power was an alluring target, a challenge.  But for some reason, I did not tell the rest of my Knights; and the more I watched you, the less I wished for your defeat and death.  As my desires changed, I searched for a way to break away from Snoke and the others.

“I thought I had escaped them for good, but my teacher was able to walk in my dreams last night.  I got up immediately and left before he was able to track me here.  I do not wish to put you in danger.  Though he is unable to pass beyond the veil, the Knights can.  While meditating on this in the forest, I discovered a bond he had forced upon me.”  Kylo looks up, locking fierce amber eyes with Hux’s.  “But it is ephemeral.  If I am bonded to you, it will dissolve and I will no longer be beholden to him for anything.  I will be Kylo of Hux, no longer of Ren.”

The witch combs his fingers through Kylo’s dark hair, considering.  “What would forging this connection entail?”

“It is a ritual that only goes one way.”  For the first time, Kylo hesitates.  “It is the only way which would not condemn your soul, but…  In truth, it would give you more control over me than Snoke ever had.  Any command you gave, I would be compelled to follow.”

“Wh-why would you offer me this?”  Staggered, Hux sinks to his knees and cups Kylo’s face in his palms.  “You run from one master only to offer everything you are to another?”

The shadow wolf nuzzles into Hux’s hand.  “I trust you, Hux.  I may only have known you a short time, but while I was watching you, I have seen that you would rather use your own power than force another to do your bidding.  I offered myself to you utterly when we met, and yet you have not asked for anything I would not give willingly.  And the faith your familiar holds for you shows me that will not change.  

“And if the Knights should still locate me, the bond would allow me to protect you without having to fight my ties to them.  I fear your abilities, while great, would not keep you safe from all six combined.”

Almost overcome by Kylo’s sweet words and the overwhelming trust being placed in him, this last statement provokes Hux to laughter.

Kylo draws sharply back, hurt.  Hux can tell the wolf thinks he is mocking him.

“Oh, Kylo,” Hux strokes his face with a hand before dropping it to the clasp of a leather cuff he always wears around his left wrist.  Simple black leather dotted with beads made of semi-precious stones.  He fiddles with the clasp as he speaks, opening it and discarding the cuff with his final word.  “It’s thoughtful of you to fear for my safety, but I assure you, you have not felt anywhere close to my true power.”

The leather slips free, and with it the many wards Hux had built around his magic when it first reached its full potential.  Coruscating magical fires surround him, filling Hux with the heady rush of his power set free.  Only his constant mindfulness moderates the magic so it doesn’t harm the shadow demon sitting before him.

“Hux…you are so beautiful,” Kylo breathes, eyes wide.  “Your light, it’s like starfire, but so gentle.  How…how can a human hold this within them?”

“I was born to this, every fibre of my being made to hold magic.”  Lacing their fingers together, Hux continues, “if you wish, there is no need for you to offer yourself in the way you proposed.  I can place a warding tattoo which will bind you to this plane.  And dissolve it should you ever wish to leave.”

Kylo leans forward, bending himself in half to lay his head in Hux’s lap, turning his face up to speak.  “Seeing this, I wish more than ever to be yours.  I know you will not need to use me for my powers, and you have already offered me freedom which I do not desire.”

“Very well.  Then what is needed for the bonding?”

“Ritual sex.”

His statement is matter of fact, but Hux can feel his own face going crimson.  “Are there any…specifics to this ritual?”  Stars, they haven’t even had regular sex yet.

Kylo’s face twists as he considers.  “If you will allow me to touch your mind, it may be simpler just to show you.”

After the confession of Kylo’s trust in him, how could he refuse?  Hux nods.  While Kylo is readying himself to connect, he re-fastens his warding cuff.  As heady as his full power is, it’s also a bright flaring beacon for anything that might wish him harm.  And he’s not certain of what effect if might have on Kylo while touching his thoughts.

Having the demon’s mind within his own is strange for how much it isn’t strange.  Touching Kylo’s mind feels natural, soothing.  It’s easy to parse the ritual from what Kylo shows him.  He’s only left with one question.

“Do we have to be directly on top of the ritual circle?  Because I would rather take you for the first time on a mattress at least.  We can get creative later.”

Chuckling from where he’s made himself comfortable in Hux’s lap, Kylo shakes his head.  “If the mattress is directly on the floor, it should be sufficient.”

Hux supposes he has one last question after all.  “Have you…have you ever done this before?  Not the ritual, but sex?”

“No.  Is - will that be a complication?”

Quick to reassure him, Hux strokes down the line of his spine.  “No, of course not.  Now I know to take extra care, for it’s not always easy the first few times.”

The rest of the afternoon passes quickly.  It takes a not insignificant amount of effort to clear a large enough space in Hux’s sitting room for the ritual circle.  Of course, Millie takes great interest in the rearrangement of furniture, and ‘helps’ by getting underfoot.  Though he could do it with magic, Hux generally tries to avoid that.  A stray spark could mix badly with his magical ingredients, or lingering magic interact with the ritual itself.  Fortunately, Kylo’s massive strength helps a great deal.  

The ritual circle itself is a great deal easier to prepare, both of them having a fair amount more practice at this.  It has to be rather large, to ensure that Hux’s entire mattress fits inside, but scaling it up is simple.  The finishing touch is bringing the mattress itself as well as its piles of blankets down from the loft.  Of course, his familiar immediately curls up on it, purring contentedly in the heat of the fire.

“You’re getting dislodged after dinner,” Hux warns her.  She simply cracks open one green eye and yawns.

All the while they’re eating, Hux catches Kylo giving surreptitious nervous looks at the mattress.  He’s not certain whether it’s the ‘sex’ or the ‘ritual’ part that’s bothering him.  Either way, he wants to reassure him.

“It’s ok, wolf.”  He grabs Kylo’s hand.  “We truly don’t need to do this.  I just want you to be comfortable with me, with sex, before we do anything.”

Kylo looks up like he’s been struck.  “No!  I still have no desire other than to bind myself to you.”  His cheeks flush in a way they hadn’t when baldly stating that ritual sex was the necessary solution.  “It is that…I have altered everything I have ever known by coming to you.  I suppose now, that change is truly sinking in.  There is no going back for me, after this.”

Judging that neither of them are going to eat anything else, Hux gently leads him to the bed.  He tugs off his own shirt, then Kylo’s, before pushing him down to lie on the soft nest they’ve made.  Hux leans down and kisses him deeply, straddling his lap as he sinks down to rest flush with the other man.  Kylo relaxes under his touch.

The kiss quickly turns more heated.  Kylo’s nails tracing up Hux’s spine have him shivering.  He licks into Kylo’s mouth, his wolf whining and baring his throat.  Sucking a mark under the shelf of his jaw, Hux smiles.  He can feel Kylo hardening under him.  Grinding down has the wolf moaning into his ear.  Hux sucks a trail of possessive kisses down Kylo’s neck, marking him as his even before the ritual.  Not until Kylo is panting and bucking under him, searching for some elusive more the wolf isn’t even sure of does Hux pull away.

“Are you ready, Kylo?”  The hot gush of breath into the shell of his ear has him shuddering, so much so that Hux can tell it takes a moment for his question to register.

Unlike his earlier hesitancy, he goes pliant under Hux’s hands.  “Yes.  I am ready to be yours.”  He looks up at Hux with a glimmer of mischief in his bright amber eyes.  His muscles flex, and Hux feels abruptly weightless.  Kylo glances down the scant inches between them as he sets the witch back on his feet.

Chuckling as he leans into a kiss, Hux smacks his arm in teasing admonishment.  “I’ll get what we need.  I’d love to help you take your trousers off, but I think it would be too much of a distraction.”  When he turns back from the table where they had left the supplies, Hux has to take a moment just to look.

Kylo stands proud and strong, feet shoulder width apart, at the edge of the mattress.  The soft light of the fire dances over sculpted muscle and pale skin.  The only sign of how new his body is to him is that aside from dark moles dotting the surface, his skin is entirely unmarred.  And Hux knows from experience that his hands are only just building protective calluses.  Kylo’s head ducks as he becomes aware of Hux’s scrutiny.  His strong features are shaded by his curtain of dark hair, his prominent nose the only part still visible.

That won’t do.  A few strides of his long legs carry Hux back to stand before his wolf.  A gentle hand under his chin has him meeting Hux’s eyes once more.  “There’s not an inch of you that I would change, Kylo of mine.”

A shy smile meets his declaration.  It’s a little stunning to think that this hesitant, responsive man is also a demon, a holder of incredible power.

Tilting his head up, he catches Kylo in a fierce kiss.  “On your knees in the centre of the bed,” he orders quietly, punctuating it with a final peck.

As he gets into position, Hux sets down his extra supplies and uncoils the smooth red silk rope he’d transfigured earlier.  Hemp might have done, but he’d rather not scratch up Kylo’s soft skin.  A few quick passes and he has the bight, the rope doubled back on itself.  He kisses his shoulder as he settles behind Kylo.  “There’s no going back, not after I begin.”  The power will start building once he starts the tie, more and more dangerous until it’s locked into the ritual.

A single decisive nod answers him.  The wolf offers his arms to Hux, wrists neatly crossed and palms laid flat on the opposite arm.  A few wraps around the wrists, taking care to keep the doubled rope laying flat, and Hux ties it off.  Gently, he encourages Kylo to shift his wrists so they’re crossing in an ‘X’ rather than laying flat.  The next wrap goes around his chest, lying just above the elbow and under the rope at the back, creating a vertical column from the wrist tie.  Doubling back has the rope taut, Hux feeding it into the hole between Kylo’s torso and elbow.  The rope is beginning to run short, but a quick cantrip fixes that.  From there, it’s pulled up and draped around the back of his neck before feeding it back on the opposite side.  Another turn around the central column and Hux doubles it back around the chest once more, this time in the dip created by Kylo’s biceps.  Wrap complete, Hux makes a temporary half-hitch at the centre to free his hands.

Slender fingers tuck into Kylo’s loose fists.  “Squeeze for me.”  Both close easily.  “Is there any tingling or numbness?”

Kylo’s voice is soft when he replies.  “No.  You are being so careful with me.”

“I don’t wish to harm you, Kylo.”  Hux pauses to suck another claiming mark at the base of his neck before unfastening the half-hitch.  The next wrap goes around the middle of Kylo’s forearm and back to centre, mirroring it on the other side.  Anchor lines complete, he tucks the rope through the short loop of the bight and begins a spiralling pattern around the lines in place.  Each wrap around the left upper arm is cinched, rope tucked above and below the lines around the arm.  The loop left hanging behind the neck has another similar loop tucked through, and then the cinches are mirrored on the right.  Hux continues the spiral for another round, rope wrapping around each line, loop anchored into the central column.  When the right side is complete, he tucks the ends under and fuses them into the tangle of rope with magic.  The complete tie resembles a spider-web holding his lover tight.  To ensure the tension is evenly distributed, he cheats with a little more magic.  Though, always a perfectionist, the cheat barely makes a difference.

Hux runs his hands soothingly up Kylo’s arms, feeling a faint tremor in his muscles.  “Are you comfortable?”

“Mmm, yes.  I feel very light.  And safe.”  He relaxes back into Hux’s arms.

The magic is stable for now, bound into the web of rope winding around Kylo, so Hux takes the moment to hold him and allow his trust to seep into the weft of Hux’s being.  It tastes headier than his power unleashed, for this is something Kylo has chosen.  Not something Hux gained by accident of birth.  One hand tangles in black waves as he catches Kylo’s mouth in a soft kiss.  There’s no rush as they exchange lazy kisses.  Kylo gradually melts into Hux’s arms, all of his earlier tension and hesitancy easing away.

And when Hux tilts him back upright, Kylo goes easily.  He’s still kneeling in the centre of the mattress, slumped over a little.  When Hux checks his face, his eyes are shut and there’s an expression of peace on his mobile features.

Fortunately, the next step is painting on the runes.  Hux has a great deal of practice with those, and requires neither Kylo’s help nor his guidance.  Reaching over the edge of the bed nets him his fine brush and woad ink.  Soon twin lines of script arc across his wolf’s scapula, the other man shivering at the light touch of the brush.  Hux blows across the wet ink just to tease him, Kylo groaning as his head tips further forward to bare his neck.  A rune goes in each palm before Hux shifts around to complete the ink on the front.

Kneeling before him shows Hux that Kylo hasn’t been unaffected by the process so far.  His thick cock juts proudly forward, flushed, the head just peeking out of the foreskin.  Had he not left his own trousers on to help contain himself, Hux would be in a much similar state.  

“Still with me, wolf?”

Kylo nods.  His eyes flutter open to show blown pupils, the amber iris contracted into a thin bright halo at the edge.  He looks at Hux without really seeing him, eyes glazed with pleasure and the building power of the ritual.  It’s a little concerning, but he’s still responding and had clearly given consent.

Painting runes over his collarbones goes quickly.  All that’s left is a line down his sternum.  Truthfully, Hux isn’t entirely certain what he’s writing.  The shared knowledge from Kylo had shown him which ones to use, and their placement, but didn’t translate the tongue they were written in.  Runes complete, Hux rests his forehead against Kylo’s, synching to his slow breath and allowing his tension to drain away.  All that remains is a building excitement and arousal.

Kylo whines when Hux steps off the bed, but he’s not going far.  He switches out the brush and ink for a pot of thickened sweet almond oil and sheds his trousers at last.  Kneeling behind Kylo once more, Hux buries his nose at the nape of the wolf’s neck and breathes deep.  Beneath the musky human scent, Kylo always smells faintly of wood fire and spice.  Completely hard now, Hux ruts his cock between Kylo’s cheeks, loving the way he squirms and pushes back into the contact.

“Fuck, you feel so good.”  Hux skates his fingertips up the other man’s muscular stomach, the skin shivering under his touch.  He’s so responsive.  Hux reaches out his right hand to dip into the oil, the left tracing his fingernail around Kylo’s nipple to hear him whimper.

He has to wiggle back a little so he can reach down between them.  Two fingers massage the oil around his hole, readying him for the first feeling of penetration.  “Still, good, Kylo?”

Kylo rocks back into the touch.  “It feels peculiar, but - ahhh - yes.  Keep going, please.”

Hux teases him with the tip of his index finger, dipping in and pulling out repeatedly until the muscle is loosening under his touch, and Kylo begins to moan and thrust back.  A firm pressure on his shoulder urges the wolf forward until he’s bent double over his knees.  “Stay like that, please.  It’ll be easier to open you up.”

The first finger slides in smoothly.  Hux has to use his other hand to give himself a few strokes to take the edge off.  It’s been so long since he last had a partner, and Kylo is so slick and soft and hot inside.  His body always radiates heat, like Hux’s wood stove: it must be part of his demonic nature.  Gentle pushes in and out quickly loosen Kylo up until Hux feels confident in adding a second finger.

Hux pulls his index out to a whine of displeasure from Kylo.

“Why do you not continue?”

A soft chuckle answers him as Hux circles his hole with two fingers tight together.  “I’m not stopping, wolf.”  A steady push has both digits buried to the second knuckle.  Hux groans as Kylo’s walls flutter around him, imagining what it will be like when it’s his cock buried in that heat.  “Tell me, did you know about this…” he crooks his fingers in a ‘come-hither’ motion, “…spot.”

Kylo jerks as if he’s been shocked as Hux brushes over the little gland inside.  “Fuck!”  It’s the first time Hux has heard him curse.  He teases the wolf, circling around with alternating pressure.  One contraction of Kylo’s muscles is actually strong enough that he’s momentarily trapped.  At last Hux has to ease off, the tone of his moans telling him that his wolf is about to come.

Pulling away and back, Hux switches to rotating and scissoring his fingers to loosen Kylo’s hole.  Hand occupied, the witch leans forward and presses kisses between the rope webbing his back.  He’s thankful that he’s only a little shorter than Kylo, his lean body easily stretching up and draping over the broader man.  His other arm wraps around Kylo’s chest, holding him steady.  Under his hands, the other man is breathing heavily and shuddering with each movement of the digits inside; his mental shielding eroded by pleasure.  Feedback seeping into Hux’s mind is sparking with puzzled ecstasy.  It seems like Kylo isn’t entirely certain what’s happening to him, but he’s enjoying it regardless.

Hole giving to the methodical scissoring, Hux takes a moment to add a third finger.  “How are you doing, Ky?”

“Hnnn, I had never expected anything to feel so good.”  He twists his head to nuzzle into Hux’s neck.  The witch purrs as Kylo nibbles down the tendon.  “Please, Hux, can you not enter me yet?”

“Steady.  A little more stretching, it’s easy to overestimate your readiness.”  Hux twists his hand within Kylo, whatever else he was going to say lost in a whine.  It’s fortunate that crafting spells has cultivated his patience.  He’s just as eager as Kylo to lose himself in that willing body.  It’s only Hux’s steel resolve that holds him back.

Three fingers thrust in and out of Kylo’s slick hole.  Between pulling them apart to stretch the muscle wide, Hux occasionally strokes across that secret gland that gives so much pleasure.  “You feel so incredible around me,” he mutters in Kylo’s ear.  “So hot and tight.  I can’t wait to bury myself into you, to be as close as we can be.”

“Yes.  Please.  I desire that too.”

Finally, Hux can wait no longer.  A second dip into the oil and two fingers reach into Kylo as far as they can, making sure he’s as wet inside as possible.  The rest of it slicks Hux’s eager cock, three quick strokes before he has to hold tight around the base to ensure he won’t come too quickly.  A hasty cantrip has his hand clean once more.

One hand rests on Kylo’s hip to hold him steady, the second lining him up with the fluttering pink hole.  Slow and steady, Hux rocks into his wolf’s body, filling him up inch by inch until he slides home as they moan in unison.  Fizzing static bubbles through them, the power of the ritual rising as they join.

His eyes opening from where he’d scarcely noticed they slid shut, Hux sees the runes painted on Kylo and the ritual circle have sprung to life, glowing with a pale blue light.  And as he begins to move, a chant tumbles from his lips.  No words he’s ever heard or spoken before, but somehow he knows exactly what to say.  Kylo occasionally interjects with a rumbling counterpoint, adding his own agreement to their contract.

When the chant concludes, Hux sits up, pulling a kneeling Kylo into his lap as he continues driving into his grasping hole.  One hand clasps lightly around his neck.  It’s not so much a threat as a promise, that Kylo is Hux’s now, and he will take care of him.  Under his touch and the motion of their bodies, his wolf’s mind merges with his until both are feeling each other’s pleasure like it’s their own.  Never before has Hux felt so connected with someone, and tears well in his eyes as he realizes he never will again.

“Fuck, fuck, Kylo,” Hux groans into his neck.

Kylo arches his back and drives himself down into his witch’s lap with every thrust.  The high-pitched whine that he just can’t hold back tells Hux he’s found that little spot inside, as well as the fizzing pleasure at the base of his spine through their bond.  Spiralling ecstasy takes them ever higher, until at last it can no longer be contained.  The ritual has them reach their peak simultaneously, Hux biting into Kylo’s shoulder as he spills inside, the wolf throwing his head back with an exultant howl.  Around them both, the runes spark and flare, an overwhelming burst of magic sending them both reeling.

When Hux comes back to himself, he’s sprawled across Kylo’s back, softening cock still buried deep inside.  His wolf is slower to rouse, whimpering as Hux cautiously pulls out.  He helps ease Kylo into a more comfortable position lying on his front before standing.  A luxurious stretch pops out his kinks before he strides to the sink.  Bowl full of warm water and soft cloth in hand, Hux gently wipes Kylo’s hole clean of oil and seed.

He takes a moment to admire the beautiful picture Kylo paints.  Fucked out and totally relaxed, long limbs sweat-sheened and gorgeous.  Smiling, Hux brushes a lock of dark hair from where it’s stuck in front of his eyes to meet pleased amber eyes.

“I have never been happier to belong to someone,” Kylo rumbles.  “Thank you, Hux.”

Hux leans down for a deep kiss, taking his time as he licks into Kylo’s pliant mouth.  “Never forget, I’m yours too.  The ritual may have only gone one way, but my heart speaks otherwise.”

Carefully, Hux unravels the web of rope he’s wound Kylo in.  Though he could banish it easily, something tells him this is the right way to do things.  He massages tense muscles as he goes, tracing the lines left behind and enjoying the temporary impressions.  Perhaps they’ll have to try this again, in a less ritual setting.  Kylo bound and eager set off something in him.

By the time the rope is completely unwound, his wolf has practically melted into the mattress.  He purrs as Hux wipes away the lingering sweat with warm water before tucking him under the piles of blankets.

“When can we next have sex?” he mumbles into the pillow.  “I like the feeling of being so close to you.”

Hux laughs gently.  “Sleep first, and then we’ll see.”  He tidies up the implements from the ritual before banking the fire for the night.  A quick cantrip takes care of any remaining mess on the blankets, and then he tucks himself in next to Kylo.  Though almost entirely asleep, Kylo twines himself around Hux like an affectionate octopus, Hux sighing and allowing himself to drift off in his hold.

In the morning they’ll discover their paired runic tattoos.  Hux with several bands running around his left wrist.  Kylo’s over his heart.