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Miranda had been dead three months and two days when Flint happened upon a scene that impressed itself upon his memory just as vividly as that red bullet hole blooming in her head.

In the wake of her death, he felt like a tamed animal which had been released back into the wild and left to fend for itself when it had forgotten how. He thought he had known grief before. He thought he had been in the deepest level of Hell, but it was as if the Devil had dragged him screaming into a yet deeper level made just for him. He was all alone there.

He prowled his ship after dark. He had known what it was to have a home, and it had been shot dead before his own eyes. Restlessly he stalked every corner of the Walrus, marking his territory as if by doing so he might make it something resembling home. It was fruitless, but he did it anyway.

He was nearing the galley when he heard noises. No one ought to be in the galley at this hour, but if someone was there, it couldn’t be anyone other than Silver. Silver was still somehow the ship’s cook; they hadn’t found anyone else to fill that role, and he’d at least improved enough not to kill them all with undercooked meat. The men seemed more than happy to overlook his lackluster culinary abilities in the face of all else that he’d done for them, but it did keep him very busy.

The noises were curious, though. Quickening breaths that lifted into moans. Pain was Flint’s first instinct; he’d heard something similar on more than one occasion when Silver had been feverish in his cabin on the Spanish warship. Thinking Silver was in pain was what made him draw closer to investigate: another fatal mistake to add to the long list of fatal mistakes he’d made in his life.

He stood in the threshold looking in. The galley was just barely illuminated by a lantern hung up at the far end, and it was only a mass of murky shadows at first. It was the gasping sounds that drew his eyes to where Silver was, and Silver was not alone.

He was some three or four yards away, sitting on the table with his side to Flint. There was someone standing before him, someone quite short. There were few men on the crew that short, with a bald head that gleamed in the dim light.

Muldoon.

Still Flint persisted in thinking that Silver was in pain, that Muldoon was only tending to Silver’s leg for some bizarre reason. In hindsight, that was utter idiocy; he was generally swifter on the uptake than that, but grief had dulled his mind.

Then Silver curved towards Muldoon and said, “Fuck, yes,” and Flint reconsidered the entire situation.

He finally noticed where their hands were, and it was agony. Agony like hearing a gunshot and being spattered with the blood of someone he loved. He had not made any noise the moment Miranda was killed, and he did not make any noise now, but the same thunderous roar brewed in his chest, like his heart had been removed and its cavity taken over by a storm cloud, something crackling and dark.

He liked to move through the ship without any light to guide him. The notion that he knew his ship well enough to find his way around it blind was comforting in its own way. The Walrus wasn’t home, but it was… something. Because of this, and because he remained absolutely still, there was nothing to betray his presence. He watched without being seen.

He could make out Muldoon’s hand working Silver’s cock. It made him want to shoot an English magistrate and burn down a town. Silver was clutching at Muldoon’s shoulder; Flint couldn’t see Silver’s other hand as clearly because it was between Silver’s knees, but it didn’t take a genius to guess that Silver was engaged in the same act as Muldoon.

Silver threw his head back. The light caught the stretch of his sweat-damp neck and made it glimmer, and that storm cloud in Flint’s chest lit up with a lightning scorch of heat that sizzled all the way down through every bone in Flint’s body.

How dare Silver do this, Flint thought in a thunderclap of rage. How dare Silver let himself be touched by another man like this, so shamelessly, when he deserved nothing, when he was a goddamn thief and a liar and he had undermined everything that Flint had laboured towards.

Flint bared his teeth in anguish, even if there was nobody to see it; he was that poor animal, ravenous and ignorant of how to hunt in the wild, only to come across another of its kind enjoying a bloody feast.

“Faster,” Silver urged. His head dropped onto Muldoon’s shoulder, his breathy moans muffled by Muldoon’s shirt but still very much audible. Muldoon, on the other hand, was doing a fine fucking job of staying quiet. Flint hadn’t wanted to know this, hadn’t wanted to know that Silver liked to be loud. The storm within Flint threatened to drown him; it felt as if water was rising inside his lungs. He took a step back.

It was the gentlest step, but Silver was always too fucking perceptive, and even while getting jerked off by another man, he apparently still had plenty of attention to spare. He turned his head, still resting on Muldoon’s shoulder, towards the doorway. Flint held his breath. It was dark enough that there was a possibility Silver might not see Flint, and for a brief, trembling instant, Flint wasn’t sure which he would prefer: for Silver to see him and stop, or for Silver not to see him and continue.

He hadn’t been prepared for the third option, which was again, in hindsight, pretty fucking stupid of him.

Silver fell silent. He kept looking at where Flint was. It was impossible to make out Silver’s countenance with any clarity; the light was too low and Silver was facing away from it. But there was no doubt he had seen Flint. He was still looking in Flint’s direction when he started moaning again.

Flint didn’t move. He couldn’t. He didn’t know what expression he was wearing upon his face; his mouth felt slack, his eyes strained.

Silver leaned back, turning towards Muldoon once more. The diagonal slant of his body allowed the light to fall upon him generously. His face had more colour than Flint had seen in months; when Silver had been suffering from fever after the amputation, his face had been scarlet and hot as a brand, but after that, he had gradually grown paler, almost as though death’s chill had already frosted over him. He didn’t look like that now. His cheeks were touched with pink like the softest suggestion of dawn on the horizon.

Silver wrapped his own hand around Muldoon’s hand on his cock. The head of it was flushed red, shining wet at the tip. Flint wished actual lightning would strike him dead at this very moment, so he wouldn’t have to keep drawing breath and witnessing this. At the same time he wished Silver had taken his goddamn shirt off. The open vee of the shirt was wide, but it only dipped so far.

Flint had thought he didn’t feel greed like other people did; he had wanted gold not for gold’s sake, but for the sake of the stability that gold could purchase. He had only ever wanted peace, and now he wanted destruction. None of those desires were greed. But he suspected that what he was feeling right now was what his men had felt when they saw all that gold lying on the beach for the taking. Silver’s skin, Silver’s cock glowed more perfectly than gold, and Flint wanted it all for himself.

Silver’s moans rose higher, and there was no fucking way he wasn’t exaggerating them for Flint’s benefit, but Flint didn’t goddamn care. He was parched and he wanted to drink with his own lips those liquid moans, as sweet as spring water. But he was here, and Silver was all the way over there, holding onto another man.

Silver hunched over again, whispering something in Muldoon’s ear that Flint couldn’t hear, but his head was tilted towards Flint as he did this, and Flint couldn’t take it anymore. He wanted to see Silver come, but he also didn’t think he could stand there for a second longer without letting out that rumbling thunder that had been building inside his chest.

He turned and very calmly made his way back to his cabin, stumbling only half a dozen times. When he was safely within the confines of his cabin, the bolt slid shut with a thud, he palmed his cock, which was still rock hard even though he’d stubbed his toe twice walking back. He couldn’t stop hearing Silver’s moans.

He felt windswept with the way every part of him shivered with want, raising goosebumps over his flesh. He had not been touched nor touched himself in months. Not since Charles Town. He swayed onto his bed on unsteady feet and howled as the wind, as the thunder, shaking with something half like anger and half like lust. He shoved his trousers down and stroked himself; he willed himself to slow down, but he was wild, frantic. There was no way to control a storm.

He thought about Silver waking up on the warship and telling him that the scout had sold the information about the Urca gold to Rackham and his crew. It had been crystal clear to him in that moment that there was so much more that Silver wasn’t telling him. He’d thought… He’d thought that he could trust Silver, that he could rely upon Silver with all that they had seen each other through, but then that false sense of security had been ripped from him in the span of a minute. Silver had been his last hope of something dependable in the new hurricane of chaos he found himself in after Charles Town, but then he had been forced to confront cruel reality. Silver? Dependable? How could he have ever deceived himself that Silver was anything but a slippery shit?

And so he had distanced himself, stopped letting Silver in. If he couldn’t rely upon Silver, he wouldn’t rely upon anyone at all. But the awful thing was that he missed it. He missed that private, closed-off world he and Silver had existed in for some time, where it was the two of them against everybody else. That world was gone, and it was Silver’s fault, of course it was, but—

He thought of that desperate vestige of softness he had felt for Silver in the moments after Silver awoke, and how he had been forced by Silver’s treachery to let go of even that. But in those moments, in those moments, Silver’s hand had touched his when he was passing Silver a cup of water, and it was not something he could forget. The warm press of those fingers. It had felt deliberate. Flint had let himself hope that it was deliberate.

He imagined those fingers around his cock, and he came, biting back a sob. There were tears behind his eyelids. It did not feel like pleasure. It felt hollow, like trying to sate his hunger on grass when what he needed was meat. His stomach gnawed all the more for true sustenance.

The image of Silver’s face, looking towards him but in shadow, so that it remained a hazy, unsolvable mystery, chased him all the way into his dreams.


He and Silver did not talk about it. Silver wasn’t welcome in his head, so he wouldn’t presume to be welcome in Silver’s head either. He didn’t speak to Silver unless it was absolutely necessary, though Silver had a habit of demanding Flint speak to him for whatever reason. But they never broached the subject of that night Flint had chanced upon Silver and Muldoon in the galley.

Then Flint steered his ship right into the middle of a literal storm. He made it to the other side and found himself still alive, but there were members of his crew who did not share in his fortune. Or misfortune, as it had felt to him when he had opened his eyes and realised he had to carry on existing for another day.

Silver reported the list of the dead to Flint in a neutral voice. He did not pause or give any sign of emotion when he said Muldoon’s name. Flint had no idea what Silver had been doing during the storm, whether Silver had been with Muldoon. He didn’t ask.

There were too many other things to worry about, but this gap in his knowledge consumed his mind just as surely as starvation consumed his body over the following score of days. He dozed and dreamt of Miranda; he awoke and thought of Silver. With Muldoon. Without Muldoon.

He saw Silver’s face grow thinner, paler even than before, a diminishing moon that only made Flint dwell more and more on the thought of death.

He shot two men of his own crew dead and said to Silver, “If you’re not strong enough to do what needs to done, then I’ll do it for you.” It hurt to be this strong, to load his pistol and raise it with steady hands, to squeeze the trigger knowing that Miranda’s death would sear itself anew upon his mind with every bullet he fired, but he did not say this. Part of him wanted to fall to his knees and beg that Silver become strong enough so that Flint could let himself be weak. He did not want to stand alone on the precipice, staring down into the dark all by himself. He wanted somebody there on the crumbling edge with him.

Flint had almost thought Silver worthy, once, until Silver dismantled that illusion.

So he did not fall to his knees before Silver. He trudged back to his cabin and did it there, on his own as he would forever be now. He crashed to the floor and he wept. He wanted to be weak, but there was no place for weakness here, in this harsh desert of a world, bereft of her gentleness to temper him. He would be strong until the moment he died, and then he would at last find rest.

A few days later, he was chewing on shark meat when he heard the wind flirt with the sails: the sound of hope. He immediately went into his cabin to confirm the course to the nearest island, and Silver followed him.

He was exhausted and exhilarated all at once, a fucking terrible combination; he could not keep his gaze on the charts. His eyes darted up to Silver instead, again and again. Silver, answering Flint’s prayer over a month too late, wasn’t wearing a goddamn shirt. Flint had been able to ignore this fact out on the deck when he was too busy getting food into his belly and Silver had been some distance away, but now Silver was only there on the other side of his desk.

He swallowed. His mouth was still so dry. Silver’s chest was covered in grime and blood and sweat, and Flint wanted to put his tongue to every inch of it. He could see the vague hints of Silver’s ribs and his heart was crushed by the sight of them.

He forced himself to look up to Silver’s face. “Silver,” he said. “I know you and Muldoon were…” This was a difficult sentence to complete. He wasn’t exactly sure what Silver and Muldoon had been to each other.

“Fucking,” Silver provided. He looked straight at Flint when he said this. His eyes, like the rest of him, had lost their colour. They were more grey than blue, muted like the landscape in Flint’s dreams. But Flint remembered how blue they could be.

“Yes,” Flint said.

“And what of it?” Silver asked.

“He’s dead,” Flint said, which was not really what he wanted to say, but the rusty cogs of his mind were just beginning to turn after weeks; they had been stuck on death, and only death, for so long.

Silver’s cracked lip quivered. “Yes, I believe I was the one who told you that,” he said.

“I mean,” Flint tried again. “What I mean is that if you wanted to talk about it, I would—I would listen.” He didn’t know why he was offering this, except Silver looked like the physical manifestation of Flint’s grief, and Flint wanted to know Silver’s grief too, so that he could take away some of its weight. Because Silver wasn’t supposed to look like this, like the cold ashes of a funeral pyre. He was supposed to look like gold.

Silver frowned, but he didn’t say something like, You haven’t talked to me about Mrs Barlow’s death, which would certainly have been a reasonable thing to point out. His furrowed brow somehow emphasised the way his ears stuck out when he had all his hair tied back, and those ears were suddenly so endearing in this moment that Flint had to wonder whether he was still delirious from dehydration. He wanted to kiss the tip of each of them. He was so relieved he and Silver could talk to each other like this again, without the lies between them.

“Thank you,” Silver said, slowly. “But.” He inhaled, and Flint watched the rise of Silver’s chest. “Not now. Perhaps—another time.”


Another time did come eventually, after they had been taken captive on the Maroon Island and set free. They went through the plans for Flint to go to Ocracoke and get Charles Vane, and then Flint saw Silver to the accommodation he’d been allocated, a hut for Silver alone.

Flint made to go when Silver put a hand on the sleeve of his new jacket and said, “Stay a moment, will you?”

Silver sat down on the bed and Flint took the chair next to it. He was so tired, he wanted to lie down on that bed and sleep for a fortnight. But he just looked at Silver and waited for Silver to speak.

“I don’t know what the night was like for you,” Silver began. “But for me, it was immeasurably long.”

Flint nodded, a wry twist to his lips. But then he actually thought about why the night had been so long for Silver. “You did not sleep,” Flint said.

Silver shook his head. “I told you,” he said. “I was bothered by the thought of you dying. And like I said, I didn’t think there was a chance in hell you’d actually talk your way out of this one.”

The way Silver spoke of it, it was like a miracle to him. Flint was almost amused. The true miracle here wasn’t what he’d managed to achieve. What Flint found miraculous was that there was somebody left in this world who didn’t want him to die. There was somebody who would do what they could to prevent Flint from dying, who would be upset and mourn if he died. Flint had not thought that he would ever have that again after Miranda.

His hands twitched in his lap as he awaited Silver’s next words, because Silver was clearly working up the courage to tell a difficult tale.

“I was with Muldoon,” Silver said, at length. “When he died. We were in the hold. Trying to stop up the leaks.” He didn’t look at Flint now. He looked at some point in the distance. “But there were more holes being smashed through the hull than we could keep up with. A pair of cannons got dislodged, fell onto Muldoon’s legs. Trapped him against the hull so he couldn’t move. I couldn’t shift the cannons. I couldn’t do anything.” Silver grit his teeth. “The water kept rising. He drowned.”

Unbidden, Flint thought of how he’d once tried to let himself sink to the bottom of the ocean and how Silver had rescued him then. Silver had been saving his life for a long time.

“I held his hand and watched him die,” Silver said, staring down at his dirty hands. “Just before all of it happened, he joked that we were married.” He looked like he wanted to laugh, but he ended up wincing. Flint’s heart ached like skin rubbed raw.

“I didn’t ever want to feel like that again,” Silver continued. “Then I came up from the hold and was told you’d tied yourself to the ship’s wheel like a fucking madman and we all had to wait belowdecks to see if you’d survive the experience.” This time they both chuckled, for a breath, and then Silver’s eyes hardened, focused on Flint once more. “It felt like eternity while I was there with Muldoon, watching him struggle, but it was only minutes. Last night was not minutes.” Silver exhaled, and looked away.

And that, it seemed, was the end of that.

Flint wanted to know more about what Silver had felt for Muldoon, about the nature and the origin of the thing that had been between Silver and Muldoon. But if Silver was not inclined to divulge that of his own accord, then Flint would not require him to do so right at this moment.

“You were with Mrs Barlow when she died?” Silver asked, after a long moment when Flint was wondering whether to take his leave.

“I was,” Flint said. “She was alive, and then she was dead, in between one breath and the next. She was in the middle of a sentence when a bullet went through her head. Neither of us saw it coming.” He flinched every time still, to think of the sensation of Miranda’s warm blood spattering his face.

He thought that was all he had to say on the matter; he had answered Silver’s question. But then he realised there was so much more he wanted to say, so much more about Miranda that he wanted to share. He did not want to be the sole person alive on earth who knew what an extraordinary woman she had been.

So he kept on: “She had spent the past ten years dreaming of peace. She wanted me to stop fighting. She wanted to return to civilisation, to its pleasures and joys. But when we were at Charles Town… Something happened to make her change her mind. Just before she died, she understood truly for the first time what horrors civilisation represented, and she proclaimed that she wanted to see that whole goddamn city burn.” He felt her ghost possess him when he said those words, and he was not chilled by it, but warmed. “So I turned Charles Town to dust for her.”

He looked into Silver’s eyes. “You were right. Nothing is inevitable here. Miranda wanted vengeance too, in the end. And you and I, we will make that happen together. We will bring civilisation to its knees, together.”

Silver’s lips curved, just slightly, and Flint felt his face mirror Silver’s.

He got up and laid a hand on Silver’s shoulder. “You should get some sleep. The next time I see you, I’ll have Vane with me.”

He walked out into the sun, feeling renewed with purpose. There was much to do. It was not yet time for Captain Flint to go anywhere but forward.


When word reached Flint of how Silver had stomped Dufresne’s head in, he was overwhelmed with a whole host of emotions. Chief among them was worry. But he was also… awed. Proud. Of what Silver was capable of, of what Silver had become. He remembered saying to Silver, “If you’re not strong enough to do what needs to be done, then I’ll do it for you.” Silver was strong enough, now. More than strong enough.

He went to Silver, and he saw Silver’s face, heard him say, “How good it feels.” And then Silver’s hand reached out and grasped Flint’s sleeve, and Flint felt as still as a becalmed ship.

Silver kept his gaze on Flint’s face. His hand drifted down Flint’s arm and his fingers touched Flint’s. Flint’s chest tightened.

“Captain,” Silver said, and Flint felt that Silver was standing on the precipice with him, looking into the same darkness. He wanted nothing more than to jump, but he also did not want to be the first to do it. He wanted to let himself be weak; he wanted Silver to hold his hand and take him along.

Silver did just that. He clutched Flint’s hand and grabbed a fistful of Flint’s shirt; he pulled Flint to him, and their lips met so easily it was a wonder they had never done it till now.

It was soft, and then it wasn’t. It made Flint long for so much more. He broke off and pressed his forehead to Silver’s and said, “Come to my cabin when you’re done here.”

And Silver said, “I’ll do that,” and kissed him again, and it felt like falling with no landing in sight.

He left the room and nodded to Howell to continue seeing to Silver. He went to his cabin and tried to think about what tomorrow might bring, but all his mind was preoccupied with tonight. He flicked through a book without reading it, without even knowing what it was he had picked off the shelf at random. He checked that he had a jar of oil by the bed. Then he lit every single lantern in the room and went to borrow one from elsewhere, because he realised how much he wanted to be able to see Silver clearly.

He was carrying the extra lantern into his cabin when he saw that Silver was already there and had even presumed to sit down on the bed and set aside his iron boot. Silver appeared bemused at Flint entering the room with a lantern. “Don’t you already have enough of those?” he asked, his gaze sweeping around the room and its many lanterns.

Flint felt his cheeks heat. Jesus Christ, he hoped he wasn’t blushing. He set the lantern down on the floor beside the bed, and then he regarded Silver. He felt like being truthful. He always felt like that around Silver, these days.

“That night when I saw you and Muldoon in the galley,” he said, tentatively, watching the surprised lift of Silver’s brow. It was the first time either of them had brought it up, and Silver probably hadn’t expected that Flint would do so at this moment, when they were about to go to bed with each other. “You looked at me. I knew you were looking right at me, but I couldn’t see what you looked like. There was only one lantern in the whole of the galley, and it was dim as hell in there.”

“I imagine Hell is in fact very well-lit,” Silver quipped. “What with all the fires.”

Flint couldn’t help but laugh. He caressed Silver’s cheek with his thumb, and the knuckles of his fingers brushed across Silver’s lip. “I wanted to see you,” he said. “I want to see you.”

“If you must bring up Muldoon at this moment,” Silver said, catching hold of Flint’s hand and pressing a kiss to the palm, “would you be happy for me to tell you more about him?”

Flint wasn’t a jealous person. He had never been. So he sat down on the bed next to Silver and pressed his shoulder against Silver’s and listened.

“You remember Mr Logan? How he disappeared from our crew before we went to Charles Town?” Silver asked. Flint hummed his affirmation. Logan had been troublesome but well-liked. There had been too much going on at the time, though, for Flint to have paid much notice to the incident of Logan’s disappearance, and Silver obviously predicted this, because he gave Flint the details: “Word is he deserted, went to Providence with one of the girls at the inn. It doesn’t matter what really happened to him—” Flint raised an eyebrow at this, though Silver couldn’t see, the way they were sitting side by side. It sounded like there was a story there, but if Silver deemed it irrelevant, he would let it go for now. “—but he was a dear friend of Muldoon’s. Or, more accurately, Muldoon had been quite in love with Logan.”

Flint’s heart did an inexplicable flip at that, and he turned his head and kissed Silver’s neck because he suddenly felt the need to. It was the lightest press of lips, but Silver sighed warmly, and it made Flint feel molten.

“Muldoon had a hard time coming to terms with the fact that Logan deserted us. Deserted him. And when I… When Dr Howell sawed off my leg at Charles Town, Muldoon held my hand the entire time.” Flint heard the bitterness in Silver’s voice, and he was reminded that Silver had held Muldoon’s hand while Muldoon drowned. “After I recovered, we grew closer. I liked talking to him. I liked him more than I’ve ever liked anybody in my life.” Flint tasted the sour tang of disappointment in his mouth, but then Silver said, “Apart from you. Apart from you,” and Flint knew sweetness again.

“That was the problem,” Silver said. “After Charles Town, you locked yourself away from me. I realised I wanted you. I cared about you, but you were impenetrable in your rage over Miranda’s death. You wouldn’t let me in. I had got so used to feeling like I had your attention, and then I didn’t have it at all.” He paused, and Flint heard him breathe deeply. “I was in so much pain, and every time I was in pain, I thought of Muldoon’s hand holding mine.” He turned to look at Flint. “And he was still confused and distraught over Logan. It was a goddamn mess, truly. We were a goddamn mess. But it was… good, in its way.” He smiled, sadly.

That was the moment that Flint knew that if Silver ever asked to know more about his past, he would give up every last secret he had to Silver without hesitation.

“I’m sorry for your loss,” Flint said, and kissed Silver’s forehead. He wrapped his arms around Silver and hugged him, and he thought that if he didn’t hug anyone else apart from Silver ever again, it would not be a terrible thing. Hugging Silver was like coming home. Flint had lost too many homes; he wanted to keep this one till the end of days.

Silver bumped his nose against Flint’s, and kissed Flint’s lips. Flint lost himself in the kiss, sank into Silver like a coin into a wishing well, except Silver was a wish that had already come true. His hands wandered under Silver’s shirt, running over Silver’s skin. He didn’t want to break the kiss, but he also wanted them both to be rid of their clothing. At some point, he finally gave into the latter desire. He pulled off Silver’s shirt, and then his own. He tugged off his boots, and loosened his belt, watching as Silver’s hips wriggled out of his trousers.

Silver’s cock was half-hard, and beautiful. Flint couldn’t help himself. He went down to his knees before Silver and laved the length of Silver’s cock with his tongue, felt it stiffen more, heard Silver gasp above him. He kissed the head wetly with his open mouth, alternating between sucking gently and letting his tongue glide along the tip and the notch below the head. He looked up at Silver while he did this. Silver was a breathtaking vision, golden in the lantern light.

Flint took the head into his mouth and sucked hard, and Silver swore and bucked. Flint gladly swallowed more of him, and he touched a hand to Flint’s cheek, felt the swell of his own cock there. His breath hitched. Flint pulled off a little, let his tongue flicker along the underside of Silver’s cock. “Ah, oh God, Captain,” Silver panted, and Flint pulled off entirely to taste Silver’s balls while he pumped Silver’s cock with his hand. Silver moaned when Flint licked his balls, and Flint felt the pressure of Silver’s hand on the back of his head, so he sucked one of Silver’s balls into his mouth. Silver voiced his approval of that so fucking loudly Flint thought God Himself was probably embarrassed up in Heaven.

But Silver wasn’t embarrassed at all. Not even remotely.

“Fuck, Flint—please, don’t stop, that feels brilliant.”

Flint stopped, though his hand still played with the head of Silver’s cock idly; he simply loved how it felt too much to let it go. “You know what would feel even more brilliant?” he asked, quietly, as Silver glared down at him. He kissed the inside of Silver’s thigh, and Silver’s glare lessened. “Your cock in my arse,” Flint completed, and smirked when Silver’s eyes fluttered shut just at the thought.

“Then get up here already,” Silver growled. “And get your goddamn trousers off.”

Flint happily did as Silver told him, standing up; with his belt already removed, it took only a second before he stepped out of his trousers and knelt over Silver on the bed. He grabbed the jar by the bed and unstoppered it, poured the oil over his fingers. He reached behind himself and pressed a finger inside, then another at once, impatiently. He couldn’t remember if he’d ever seen Silver look so thrilled; eagerness brightened the blue in his eyes, and Flint yearned to see more of it.

Silver squeezed Flint’s cock as he was stretching himself open with his fingers, and his thighs trembled; he bit off a moan. Silver kissed him as he worked the head of Silver’s cock into himself, and then he slowly seated himself all the way down the length of it, leaning his forehead against Silver’s and letting out a low groan as Silver filled him up entirely.

“God, that’s amazing,” Silver breathed. “Shit, you feel amazing.” His hands ran restlessly up and down Flint’s sides, and his fingers teased Flint’s nipples. Flint cried out and kissed Silver again, sucking Silver’s bottom lip between his teeth as he started to move. Silver made the most gorgeous noise into Flint’s mouth, and Flint felt his entire being echo with it and shudder. There was no part of him that didn’t feel utterly weak, but he kept moving.

Every time Flint rocked down onto him, Silver moaned. Every single moan was so fucking delicious that Flint felt he might come if Silver just moaned one more time, and he didn’t want to, not yet. He thought he could come just by listening to those moans and doing nothing else. Kissing Silver didn’t help anything.

“Jesus, Silver,” he said, voice like a candle flame in a draught, on the brink of vanishing. He gripped Silver’s shoulder, thumb digging hard into the soft flesh beneath Silver’s collarbone. “That night I saw you with Muldoon—I’d never heard anybody make noise like you. Not even a whore.”

“I didn’t think Captain Flint knew much about whores,” Silver said with a smile, grabbing Flint’s arse and kneading, and Flint cursed, his head falling onto Silver’s shoulder.

“I don’t need a whore now that I have you,” he muttered, kissing Silver’s neck, sucking bruises into the skin while Silver kept moaning, each sound luscious and thick as honey. “Christ, can you hear yourself? You sound so fucking wanton.”

“You’re the one fucking yourself on my cock and loving it,” Silver whispered into his ear before latching onto his neck in some sort of revenge, grazing Flint’s skin with teeth and licking over the bite marks. Flint gasped and kept riding Silver’s cock at a frenetic pace. Yes, he loved it; he couldn’t deny that. He felt so full, so good. He didn’t want this to end, but he was so close.

Silver started to stroke Flint’s cock, and Flint’s thighs were shaking as he looked into Silver’s blue, blue eyes and drank in every little detail of Silver’s face down to the tiny brown moles. He was so thankful he thought to light all those lanterns. The shape of Silver’s mouth when he moaned fascinated Flint. He traced Silver’s lips with his finger, and it made Silver moan even louder, and then Silver’s tongue darted out and licked his finger and Flint groaned raggedly as he dropped onto Silver’s lap and came, clenching his arse down on the lovely thickness of Silver’s cock. The bliss of it exalted him; he felt as if he was finally being raised out of the depths of Hell, carried in the circle of Silver’s arms.

He was buoyed by this feeling of light. It kept him moving, bouncing on Silver’s cock even as weariness began to ripple through him. He couldn’t get enough of the way Sliver’s cock opened him up, and he wanted Silver to come. He hadn’t—he hadn’t seen it, the last time. He’d bolted before he could.

“You want me to come inside you?” Silver murmured, squeezing Flint’s arse again firmly, which never failed to make Flint feel wrecked with pleasure. “You want to feel your hole dripping with my come?”

“For fuck’s sake, just do it,” Flint said, but the way his voice came out hoarse and ruined made Silver laugh. Flint slammed himself down on Silver, and Silver’s laugh switched abruptly into a desperate cry; his cock twitched deep inside Flint and he shut his eyes, his golden face sculpted into the very paradigm of ecstasy. It was a sight almost numinous in its beauty, like a statue that belonged in a temple. But he breathed into Flint’s shoulder, gripping Flint’s arms tightly; he was real, and he was here with Flint, in Flint’s bed. It was a marvel, one that Flint didn’t deserve, but he had it anyway, somehow.

He eased himself off of Silver and couldn’t suppress the whimper that rose in the back of his throat when he felt his hole wet and open with Silver’s come. Silver smirked at him. He rolled his eyes, reaching over for the cloth he'd laid over the cannon by his bed, and wiped himself clean.

He stayed straddling Silver’s lap, after that. It was really quite comfortable there. He didn’t want to leave. He nuzzled Silver’s cheek and slipped off the tie that was still binding some of Silver’s hair. Silver shook out all his curls, and Flint tucked a strand behind Silver’s ear and kissed the tip of that ear. He was astounded at how much satisfaction even a little act such as that granted him.

He had not felt such peace in a long time. It was like hearing Miranda’s voice saying, Take off your boots. I’ll boil some water.

He kissed the tip of Silver’s other ear too, for good measure, and smiled into Silver’s hair.