Like a blazing white star, the sun began rising above the pine trees that ringed the cabin Tek had built high in the mountains. The snow still carpeted the ground around them but spring would have already started in the lowlands.
My powers had grown, my abilities maturing each night as I experienced the memories of my past cycles. I imagined the Titan's fury when my naming day passed and the chains held firm. They'd been sure that the bloodthirsty wemic would have devoured my body. They'd sold me for that reason.
Thankfully the myths were exaggerated regarding the wemic's dining habits.
"What has your face so soured?" Tek's abrupt question from behind me made me jump. Cycles of memories couldn't overcome my body's conditioning in this cycle.
"Just thinking about how far spring had progressed in the lowlands."
"The jasmine will probably be falling now." Tek shrugged. "It's still winter here."
Tek's lion prowled through the dark shadows under the pines, drawn to him. I watched the furry body sink into the snow and then disappear as he flitted from shadow to shadow. Shaking my head, I turned to Tek.
"He the most magnificent thing I've ever seen."
"Nine lifetimes and that's the most magnificent thing you've seen?" Tek snorted, rolling his eyes.
"He is animal and spirit at once. You've never been so powerful as to change the nature of your animal familiar. The fact that you can combine your essences?" I shook my head, smiling up at him. "You're magnificent. Nothing you can say will make me think otherwise."
Tek growled but his lion appeared from the trees and growled at him. He liked me, often butting me with his head and knocking me over so he could wrap his forelegs around me and wash my face with his rough tongue.
"It's fine. He's always been a bit of an ass."
"I beg your pardon!" Tek crossed his arms over his chest. My protector went about in as little as possible; the bond to his lion kept him warm. I shivered in the cool air. The biting chill that took my breath away had passed but it wouldn't warm this high until later.
There hadn't been much to do but relish our short time free from the cares of the world. My body had filled out, proper food filling my belly for the first time since I was but a boy. I was growing stronger. The orphic dreams would tell me when the moment to strike was nigh, until then we waited.
I hadn't learned to focus my will with my powers but I'd been a slave for many years. Surviving that hell had taken a type of strength I'd never needed in past lives. The thought that it might not be enough flitted through my mind frequently but I pushed it away assiduously. Tek's faith in me was unflagging.
He'd joined his soul to mine in our first cycle. The gods had battled across the land. Men, women and children died, our lives weighed inconsequential to the Titans that wished to cast darkness over all. Finally, Morpheus, a son of the Titan Nyx, devised a prison for them in the other realm but the key to their prison was our lives. I'd been an acolyte, the only survivor of Morpheus' main temple. Tek, my lover, had saved me only to give up his life as well when Morpheus entreatied our sacrifice.
Each cycle a moment came when our powers were tested against the might of the Titan's champion. Never before had they gotten two out of the other realm and never had they separated us. If Tek had been one iota less powerful this incarnation ...
The fire danced with images that night as I drowsed next to Tek, our sweaty bodies glistening in the orange glow.
I rested my chin on his shoulder, nuzzling his neck. I latched onto his ear, nibbling on the soft lobe. His voice rumbled in his chest.
"Your needs are not yet sated?" He rolled, pinning me to the soft fur cushioning the stone floor. I arched against him, reveling in the mastery he held over me. I knew I could use my powers of voice to order him off, but it would never come to that. Tek would never hurt me. I loved being confined under his solid weight. My legs wrapped around his hips.
Sparks shot up my spine. I groaned when he reached for a small pot kept near the fire. His fingers glistened when he drew them back and slid them between my legs. I felt the most complete when he was inside me, the closest we could get when we were born again.
Every spare moment of this stolen time, a winter apart from the concerns of the world, I craved him.
I soared in his arms, floating on the infinite space of time when all that mattered was his body in mine. All I could see were his warm eyes looking down at me, the spicy taste of his tongue invaded my mouth. I relished the salt of his skin as I nibbled at his neck.
His hands curled under my shoulders, pulling me closer to him.
"Soon," he rumbled.
I wouldn't make it to soon. The vibration against my body, the change in angle ... I exploded, my cry muffled against his shoulder. He followed me shortly, his shout loud as he strained and shot inside me.
He collapsed on his side. I shivered as we pulled apart, mourning our separateness.
One last cycle.
Gasping, I jerked awake. My heart raced, my breath coming in gasps. Tek flew off the bed, landing in a crouch on the floor. His eyes glowed in the moonlight streaming in through the open window to let in the warming air now that the sun had melted the snow from all but the deepest shade under the trees. He snarled.
"What is it?"
"We have to go."
Don't forget to check out the other Briefers!
Michael Mandrake m/m
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Julie Lynn Hayes m/m