Armando was at Izdahl’s home, resting on a couch with his long legs crossed at the ankles. For the past twenty minutes, he had been trying to have a conversation with Izdahl. The topic in which Armando had tried to engage him was not a particularly complicated one. The architect had merely beenchatting with Izdahl about the events of his day, having already discussed the hectic pace he and Jonas had of late. However, it was quite difficult to get Izdahl’s responses; his remarks had become infrequent until, at this point, they had practically halted.
“What are you thinking?” Armando asked. He’d become intrigued by the sharp, pensive expression on Izdahl’s face, wondering what exactly could have been so firmly holding his thoughts.
His probing question was spoken more loudly than his previous words. He wanted to get Izdahl’s full attention, wanted to pull the Nitelge back to what was happening.
“Oh, I’m sorry. I’m still concerned about that lunch with Leila.” Izdahl walked back and forth in front of the hearth, the glow from the living room’s fireplace accenting his handsome face and highlighting his tall, trim form.
“You are a serious brooder,” Armando teased. “That was over a week ago.”
“Yes,” Izdahl admitting, laughing. “But I don’t like not having answers.”
“Viktor’s uneasy too. Thank you for riling up my assistant.” Armando gave Izdahl an exaggerated frown. “I’m at a point where the company has more clients than ever. Yet you have shifted his focus away from helping me juggle numerous important details. I hope it’s all worth it.”
“It’s your fault for even needing an assistant.”
“Kiana made me hire him. When I first started up the company with Jonas, I would forget to do so many things, even eat, unless they were company-related. She demanded that I get some support so that I wouldn’t waste away. It was a great idea of hers.”
“He has been very good for you. I imagine he eased your loneliness—in an appropriate fashion, of course.” Izdahl gave Armando a slightly admonishing look.
“I already told you that I’ve never taken him to bed,” the architect said, laughing. “And yes, especially when Kiana married Syrik and was upset with me, it helped to have him there.”
“I wish I had been with you then…At any rate, I didn’t mean to worry Viktor. However, I’m sure he’s able to play his part around Leila.”
“Are you close to confirming your suspicions?”
“Perhaps.” Izdahl stared into the fire, taking a sip of his brandy.
Armando waited for more of an explanation. When Izdahl didn’t give one, the architect determined this was a moment when Izdahl would remain guarded. Armando hoped in time that would happen less.
“Well, it’s ridiculously late,” Armando said, having glanced at the clock across from the sofa. “I’ll go home.”
“Don’t leave tonight,” Izdahl said, his voice quiet and earnest. The words were out before he realized he would be saying them.
Armando sat up slowly, swallowing. On several occasions he had been quite provocative with Izdahl, having the Nitelge dress his naked body and doing much more, short of outright sleeping with him. So why, at this moment, the architect wondered, was he feeling unsure of himself? Then the answer came to him. He knew that he and Izdahl were at the juncture where their desires had reached the finest point. Putting off the inevitable any longer was an exercise in frustration and absurdity.
“I didn’t mean anything by that,” Izdahl said, now laughing nervously.
“Maybe I’ll see you tomorrow,” Armando murmured, standing.
Izdahl started to walk over to him to give him a kiss goodbye but stopped mid-step. The expression that came across Armando’s face was not the one he’d expected to see. The architect seemed to be seconds away from fleeing the house.
“If you can manage,” Izdahl replied, staring down at the wooden floor.
Armando had driven halfway to his home, when he pulled over to the side of the road. He shut off the car’s engine and rested his forehead against the steering wheel.
He detested uncertainty in himself. He wanted Izdahl. It no longer made sense to deny that. Over the past few months, they had grown closer. His mind and body had keenly responded to Izdahl, craving a stronger connection. The time was perfect for it. He could see that in Izdahl’s eyes tonight. Yet, he had fled, as if he did not have the same feelings.
His phone rang.
“Come back to me.”
“You have no idea how long I’ve wanted this.”
“Since college,” Armando joked, glad to find humor in the situation.
“Ah, so you do know,” Izdahl replied, chuckling. “Then, shouldn’t you do something about it?”
“When?” Izdahl pressed. Armando was silent but Izdahl resolved to wait until he had a definitive response.
“Tonight,” came the answer, after several long moments.
“Don’t you look at me like that,” Armando said, upon returning to Izdahl’s house. “It’s not as if I’m scared. I just needed some time.”
Izdahl had opened the door for him. With one eyebrow raised, he’d pointedly stared at the architect, causing Armando to feel self-conscious.
“I understand,” Izdahl told him. “And, I appreciate that you’ve stopped running.”
“Just be quiet.”
Izdahl laughed and pulled Armando to him, bringing his mouth to the architect’s.
“Let’s go to your bedroom,” Armando said when the kiss ended. He could see that Izdahl’s eyes had changed to dark blue, alerting him that the Nitelge was well on his way to being fully aroused. Seeing that fueled the architect’s needs.
“You’re suddenly quite eager,” Izdahl teased. He reigned in his desires for the moment. “But, we have some practical matters to handle first.”
A few minutes later, standing in the kitchen, Armando was staring skeptically at the assortment of liquid capsules in Izdahl’s hand.
“The green case contains medicine that protects against any transmission of disease. It’s not the most appealing thing to talk about but…well, it’s a reality,” Izdahl began. “Next, we have a yellow one that relaxes you. I wouldn’t want you getting nervous and bolting on me again, especially in mid-thrust. Now, the orange shell enhances sexual sensations but it’s not for the meek. You can take it after we’ve had sex a few times.”
“You’re assuming there’ll be more than one time.”
“Oh, I know there will be,” Izdahl replied, smugly.
Armando smiled at his arrogance.
“So, are you ready?” Izdahl asked.
“Wait, I have some questions first.”
“Is this a trust issue?” Izdahl grumbled, sighing.
“No. It’s a curiosity issue…How long do I have to wait for the pills to take effect?”
“Not long, less than five minutes.”
“How will I know?”
“Oh, you’ll know, especially with the yellow one. Your muscles will become incredibly relaxed. You’ll still be able to stand but you’ll feel as if you are capable of floating.”
“That definitely sounds appealing. And the green one?”
“There won’t be any sensations.”
“Will you need to take anything?”
“No but I might have an orange one.”
“That hardly seems right. Our first time together and you’ll be feeling it much more.”
“True. I’ll wait.”
“Thank you…Do I have to take these every time we have sex?”
“Well, each dose is good for eight hours. Now, while my body gets to know yours, you’ll have to take the pills. Then, once I adjust to you, nothing from me will cause you harm. You see, it’s easy to work with us Nitelge.” Izdahl grinned at him.
“I’ve been responsible but just in case, will anything I have cause you harm?”
“I doubt it. Nitelge are usually immune to whatever a human might have. If we do get ill from a human’s ‘gift’, it’s for a short amount of time.”
“What’s it like to be so resilient?” Armando asked in fascination.
“Quite pleasant, as we Nitelge are so deserving of it,” Izdahl said, accenting his bragging by flexing. His playfulness made Armando smile.
“Alright, I’m ready now,” the architect announced.
Izdahl poured Armando a tall glass of water. He watched as the architect swallowed the yellow and green capsules. Armando then reached for the orange one too but Izdahl quickly closed his hand, making him chuckle. Finishing off his water, Armando glanced around the kitchen.
“Remember what happened in here?” he asked, looking at Izdahl intently.
“Yes.” Izdahl thought of the time he had fondled Armando in the kitchen. It caused the silver rings to appear around his irises. He was now completely aroused and as a result, his words became rough with desire. “I want you in my bed now.”
“Shouldn’t we wait until we’re sure the capsules have—”
Izdahl grabbed Armando’s hand and firmly led him out the kitchen, past the living room, beyond the dining room, all the way upstairs and into his bedroom.
After closing the door behind them, Izdahl leaned against it and shut his eyes.
“Are you actually guarding the door?” Armando asked, laughing. “I told you I wouldn’t run.”
“I believe you. I’m just composing myself. You have no idea how your pheromones are affecting me. Give me a moment, please.”
“If you keep telling me things like that, I might become even more arrogant.”
“True—and we wouldn’t want that.”
His feelings sufficiently restrained for the moment, Izdahl walked towards Armando with a clear purpose still in his eyes. Armando fell backwards on the bed and looked up at him. Izdahl rose above the architect, unbuttoning Armando’s shirt, the Nitelge’s strong fingers making quick work of the task.
Removing Armando’s clothing, Izdahl’s excitement increased at each bit of skin revealed. Unlike the other times when he had seen Armando in various forms of undress, he could fully revel in this instance, knowing that there would be no holding back. He could now be with the architect in a way he’d wanted for so many long, arduous, frustrating years.
Armando was going to take off Izdahl’s clothing too when the Nitelge stopped him.
“No, let me handle that. If you touch me now…”
Armando gave him a wide smile, understanding.
By the time Armando had finished watching Izdahl disrobe at his own pace, the yellow capsule had fully taken effect on the architect. He felt incredibly light.
Izdahl laughed softly at the tranquil expression on the architect’s face, knowing the feeling well. He lay down and started to explore Armando’s body.
“I love touching you,” Izdahl said, as he stroked the architect’s pectoral muscles and ribs, his hands slowly moving lower.
“If you’re this spellbound now, wait until we get past exploration,” Armando teased. The architect grinned at Izdahl, enjoying that the Nitelge’s eyes went an even darker shade of blue.
“We can start to—”
Armando, his body warmed by Izdahl’s touch, shook his head slowly.
“Take your time. I like how it feels when your hands are on me.”
At Armando’s request, Izdahl became lost in his moles, small scars from various excursions and lean musculature. Most of all, there was the hardened prize that stood among a nest of dark hair. Izdahl licked the tip of Armando’s head, reliving the first time he’d tasted the architect’s essence. Those months ago, when he’d gripped Armando firmly in the kitchen, pumping him to completion, it had crossed his mind that he might never have the architect any other way. To be here with him now, making a mental map of his body, was still unbelievable.
“Izdahl…” Armando gasped out when his head was engulfed in the Nitelge’s warm mouth. He ran his fingers through Izdahl’s thick hair, encouraging him. Izdahl looked up at Armando as his mouth worked to please him. When he felt that he would release, Armando motioned to him to stop.
“Did I do something wrong?” Izdahl asked.
“No. I just want to see your body too.”
“Oh.” Izdahl was surprised. “I didn’t think you’d—”
“Why ever not? Now, lay on your stomach.”
Izdahl did as he was told.
“Your wings appear from these spots, right?” Armando asked. He looked at the two crescents on his lover’s muscular back, located on his shoulder blades.
“Yes,” Izdahl replied.
“What’s the meaning of these tattoos above the crescents?”
“The number is the year I won my first Nakra Hein Tournament at The Gathering. The blue flame represents the element I expertly wield.”
“And this is the location of your clan’s crest?” One hand was now at Izdahl’s left hip.
Armando trailed his fingers over the mark and then onto Izdahl’s buttocks.
“You take such good care of your body,” he said.
“Why, thank you. The same applies to you.”
“I do try.”
Izdahl turned over.
Smiling, the architect copied what Izdahl had done to him earlier. Izdahl swallowed hard, willing himself to not have a release. Knowing the battle he had caused in Izdahl, Armando did not make it easy for the Nitelge to remain in control. He circled the shaft of his lover with his tongue, then nibbled at the head. With a grunt and a hand on his head, Izdahl halted the architect’s actions, not wanting to lose his seed so quickly.
Armando went back up to lie beside him. Izdahl placed his body on top of the architect’s.
“I want to be inside you,” Izdahl whispered.
“It seems we just fell into the role of me being entered,” Armando said.
“I’ll make it worth your while.”
Armando acquiesced, wanting to know just how well the promise would be delivered.
Izdahl kissed Armando’s throat, feeling the architect’s quickening pulse. The dizzying cadence was pushing Izdahl’s own inner rhythms. He took a deep shuddering breath. He didn’t want to rush this, didn’t want Armando to feel disappointed in the experience. But the architect now had plans to speed up the process.
“I really can’t wait any more,” Armando said.
Izdahl reached into a nearby drawer for a vial of oil. He drizzled it onto himself and Armando, taking his time to further tease his lover.
“Ah! Enough already,” the architect grunted, the frustration getting to him.
He slid his hands between their bodies and placed Izdahl to his entrance, showing that he had no reservations.
Izdahl laughed at Armando’s need, pleased by how much the architect wanted him.
“I’ll go slowly,” Izdahl assured him.
Even with the amount of care Izdahl took, Armando felt considerable pain. He’d slept with a male before but it had been years ago.
“I’m sorry,” Izdahl said. He continued to ease himself inside.
“I’m not a particularly patient man. You could just push it in all at once.”
“I’d rather not. It’s likely that you’ll tear.”
“It’s not as if you’ll split me in half.”
“But you might feel like I did. And, I’m not boasting.”
Armando gave a satisfied gasp. The conversation about how fast Izdahl should go had provided a distraction from the pain. Izdahl was now all the way inside him.
“See, that wasn’t so bad,” Izdahl said, chuckling.
“Don’t treat me like a bewildered virgin,” Armando told him, laughing.
Izdahl pulled out partially and paused, watching Armando’s face. His eyes were tantalizing the architect, asking him if he wanted it. Refusing to leave the obnoxious tormenting unchallenged, Armando grabbed Izdahl’s buttocks and pulled him deep inside. The sharpness of the action caused both of them to let out a hiss of satisfaction. Armando groaned, pleasure-pain traveling through his body. Izdahl almost lost his battle to savor the experience; the expression on Armando’s face was a sensual one that imprinted itself on the Nitelge’s mind.
Further parting Armando’s thighs, Izdahl began to move with more force. Rising up and using his hands to steady himself, he looked down to watch himself go in and out of Armando’s body. The smell of the sweat on Armando’s skin soon made him thrust even more fervently. Not missing any of the cues from Armando, he noticed a sexual flush appear on the architect’s tanned skin.
Tilting back his head, Armando groaned. His breathing became harsher as the tendrils of pleasure were threading through his body. Izdahl now held him close, close enough for the architect to hear the Nitelge’s own excited tones echoing in his ear.
Knowing that his lover would soon release, Armando teased him forward to a goal they both desired. The architect was engrossed in the breaths of exhaustion that came from Izdahl, who buried his face against Armando’s neck. Armando turned his head ever so slightly and bit the rim of Izdahl’s ear. The salacious action surprised and delighted Izdahl and, in turn, undid both of them.
Armando grunted as Izdahl’s liquids entered him and his own fluids escaped his body. They trembled together, the sounds of their groans intertwining in the air, as tangled as their bodies.
Izdahl opened his eyes, unable to believe what had happened the previous night.
“Morning,” he murmured, as Armando moved even closer to him.
“I’m in pain,” the architect said.
“I’m not bothered. It’s well…it’s just the dynamics of our bodies.”
“I can give you something for it,” Izdahl offered.
“No. I’m sure I’ll be fine soon…”
“Hmmm, you look like a wild animal when you awaken,” Izdahl observed, taking in Armando’s chaotic hair.
“Says the Nitelge,” Armando retorted.
Izdahl laughed. He stayed quiet for a few moments, studying Armando’s face.
“Even though you kicked me twice while you were sleeping,” he began, “I’d like you to stay over more.”
“Why can’t you stay at my place?”
“I don’t care where, I just want to wake up next to you.”
“Could you wait until I’ve at least had breakfast, before you make saccharine comments?” Armando teased.
“You’re so rude,” Izdahl said, biting him on his neck.
“Ow, watch it.”
“Too sharp for you?” he rumbled against Armando’s mouth. “Do my teeth hurt your delicate skin?”
“I can handle every part of you,” Armando replied, pushing away from him. Armando grimaced, the action causing his body to ache more.
“Perhaps I can do something to take your mind off the pain.”
Izdahl saw a spark of interest come into Armando’s eyes.
“I haven’t seen the Memdor hawk in a while. Can you transform for me?”
Izdahl smiled, unable to resist the beseeching expression in Armando’s eyes. Still, he decided to barter for the morphing, not wanting Armando to think he could always have his way, especially not immediately.
“And if I change for you, what do I get?”
“Oh is that how it is?”
“Well, it takes energy,” Izdahl explained. “I want some kind of reward.”
“You’re serious.” Armando looked at him through half-closed eyes. “And just what do you think I can give you that’s worth the energy of morphing?”
“At least a few kisses. I’d take more but you’re kind of broken right now.”
“I didn’t need to be reminded of my present state,” Armando told him dryly.
Izdahl laughed. Getting out of bed, he stood before the architect. Once again, Armando smiled, appreciating all of the fine contours of Izdahl’s body, many of which his lips had traveled the previous night.
Izdahl slowly transformed, his figure going from that of an adult Nitelge to one of a bird with brilliant dark blue and silver feathers. Then, he returned to his usual body, basking in the captivated expression that was on Armando’s face.
“I’m so damn jealous!” Armando exclaimed, causing Izdahl to chuckle.
“Do you want to see it again?”
Izdahl obliged—three more times at Armando’s charming, insistent requests.
“No, I have my limits.” Izdahl told the architect when he asked yet again. “It takes a great deal of energy to do it in such rapid succession. That’s enough for now.”
“Weakling,” Armando teasingly grumbled. That prompted Izdahl to give the architect what he desired but not exactly in the way Armando had hoped. Izdahl did as he bid but pecked him hard on the top of his head.
“Ouch!” the architect complained, laughing. “Hmmm, you’re actually pretty impressive. Can you use your morphing to play tricks?”
“The last time I did that,” Izdahl began, going to lay next to him, “my father gave me a punishment I will never forget.”
“What happened?” Armando propped his head up on one hand, eagerly awaiting Izdahl’s story.
“Since I had such excellent skills at morphing, I used it to make money,” Izdahl started out.
“Exactly how?” Armando asked, already intrigued.
“During my school days, I would change into things and, ah, spy on…on girls who were showering—sometimes boys too—for my classmates. I would charge them a fee and provide them with details. Some of my friends would then get dates by “magically” guessing where moles, crests from respective clans, and so on, were located. Anyway, one day I spied on the headmaster’s daughter for a client but mainly for myself. Not thinking properly, no doubt because of the proximity to such a desirable girl, I had turned into her fluffy towel. Naturally, she wrapped me around her beautiful body. As good as I was at morphing and staying a particular way for a decent amount of time, I couldn’t hold my form. After that, it was just disastrous. We ended up tumbling to the shower floor with her wet body on top of mine, looking completely horrified.”
“No. You can’t be serious,” Armando said, laughing loudly.
“Indeed. Oh yes. And when my parents naturally found out, they were not happy, to state it lightly. My father, after putting away his crop, asked me if I regretted my actions. I told him, defiantly, “Of course. I should have changed into something that she wouldn’t use.” Just brilliant, that was. Father whipped me again and I couldn’t sit for a few days.”
“Did you have to deal with the girl again?”
“Uh huh. She slapped me three times during the week it happened. And, causing her father much anguish, we dated until our third year at the academy.”
Armando was now holding his stomach, shaking with laughter. Izdahl chuckled, waiting until Armando’s fit of mirth was over. Then he pulled the architect to him gently.
“I can’t believe we actually slept together,” he murmured to Armando.
“I thought we were going to take things slowly.”
“Yes, I vaguely believe I mentioned something along those lines. But this was the right time.”