Underestimation

Rina & Orithain

November 2002

Disclaimers: Galen, Sholto, everyone else, and the entire universe belong to Laurell K. Hamilton. No profit is being made, and no copyright infringement is intended.

After dancing with Merry, Galen retreated to a quiet corner with his drink. It was odd how the two of them had lusted after each other for Merry's entire adulthood, never thinking they could be together, and once they finally were, he lost her to a fellow Raven because Rhys managed to impregnate her. And oddest of all, Galen found that he didn't mind.

He still found her attractive, to be sure, but Meredith could be cold and calculating in ways that he neither could nor wanted to understand. So since the announcement that the princess was pregnant by Rhys and her marriage to him, Galen had been quite happily sleeping his way through the populations of the Unseelie Court and Los Angeles both.

Sighing when he noticed his glass was empty, Galen straightened up, pushing his long green braid back over his shoulder, then stopped in surprise when a hand holding a full glass appeared practically under his nose. Looking up, he stilled for a moment before accepting it with a hesitant smile for Sholto, uncertain why the king of the sluagh should have followed him.

"Don't worry, little Raven, it's not going to bite, and neither am I, no matter what they say of me."

The nightflyers' king smiled at his self-deprecating remark and caught Galen's hand in his, bringing the glass up to his lips and drinking. "See, no poison either," he chuckled, his triple-gold eyes gleaming in the soft lighting. The Unseelie Court was decked out in its finest for the Yuletide events. Sholto had only intended on appearing at the festivities long enough to greet the new queen, her consort, and their child before returning to the sluagh's festivities, but something about the young greenish-skinned sidhe had drawn him to Galen this evening.

"I didn't mean..." Galen started, taken aback, then stopped, simply taking a swallow of the drink. "Thank you. I had not expected to see you here, Sholto, not now that you are free of the guard." He eyed the slightly shorter man, curious about his presence. "Then again, knowing how Merry draws people to her, I suppose I should not be.

"And, of course, you are always welcome." He smiled, turning more fully toward the former Raven and suddenly realizing just how attractive Sholto was.

"Though I believe that is for Meredith to say and not you, thank you." Sholto smiled cynically before leaning against the wall near Galen. "And as one of the queen's subjects, it is my duty to appear before her tonight and to partake of her festivities."

He looked over at the pale-skinned sidhe, a white eyebrow cocked questioningly. "May I ask why you're hiding here in the corner instead of enjoying your new freedom to partake of other festivities?"

Sidetracked from pointing out that Meredith liked Sholto, therefore would always welcome him, Galen frowned. "I'm not hiding," he said somewhat snippily, glaring into his drink. "I was just thinking." Seeing the skeptical expression on the other sidhe's face, he sighed faintly. "I was just thinking that bedhopping pales after a time, no matter how long you've had to wait. And seeing Merry and Rhys, and Frost and Doyle together, well... I suppose I wish I could find someone too." He shrugged self-consciously.

"You're telling me that none of the ladies out there fancy you?" Sholto's voice was right with amusement. "Or even the gentlemen?"

Galen shrugged again. "I'm tired of being fancied," he admitted. "I've already fucked most of the men and women and everything else here, and it's not enough. I want someone who sees me." He wondered vaguely why he was pouring his heart out to Sholto.

"You want, as you said, what Merry and Rhys and Frost and Doyle have," the sluagh's king responded slowly. "To find the one, the single person who will accept you for who and what you are and love you.

"I would suggest that you stop feeling sorry for yourself, little Raven, and look at what you have. You are not unattractive; you are a close confidante of the Unseelie queen, and, by all accounts, you are personable and quite good in bed. Consider yourself lucky, Galen. You have a chance of finding what you yearn for; others are not so lucky." Sholto drained his glass, his white skin taking on a glow with the power of his anger, anger that wasn't rightly directed at Galen.

Blinking in surprise, the young sidhe took a step backward. "Wha-- Oh." Flushing with embarrassment as he realized what he'd said and to whom, he stammered an apology. "But you are wrong, Lord Sholto," he offered, reverting to the other man's title in an attempt to appease him. "You have as much chance as anyone to find that. Unlike our former queen, not everyone has the same prejudices against those who have other blood, even visibly so. You too are 'not unattractive' and personable."

Stepping out of the alcove, Sholto intercepted a passing server and appropriated a drink from him. Raising the glass in Galen's direction, he saluted the guard before draining the contents. "It's pretty to believe so, but the reality is much harsher. For example, little Raven, knowing what is below my chest, would you lie with me?"

Galen eyed him closely. "The answer to that would depend on what I felt when I kissed you, nothing more or less." And he stepped closer, placed his free hand on Sholto's waist, and kissed the other man.

Eyebrows arching in surprise, Sholto nonetheless recovered quickly, teasing Galen's mouth open and deepening the kiss, his hand wrapping in the thin length of Galen's braid, pulling the other man closer to him.

Moaning his approval, Galen wrapped his arms around the sluagh king, pressing closer, and the sense of motion at his middle only tickled slightly, arousing him. His mouth opened fully as he molded himself to the other man, his body slowly hardening as the kiss continued.

Pulling back, his eyes molten with desire but also caution, Sholto took a deep breath and let the rest of his glamour drop so that Galen could feel the full press of his tentacles against his belly rather than the small pressure he'd allowed to show before. "And the answer is?"

Gasping slightly at the pressure and movement against him, Galen only pressed closer. "You need to ask?" he asked breathlessly. "Most emphatically yes." He licked his lips, eyeing the other man hungrily. Whether this was another short-term affair or something longer, after that kiss, he would not be content until he had Sholto in his bed and hopefully deep in him as well.

Some of the tension within Sholto's body eased at that, but his smile, when it came, was guarded. "I am glad for that answer, Galen, as I do want you, but I will ask you again once we're alone and you have seen me as I am. It is no shame to you to turn away; even our queen was unable to accept me as I am, though she was most kind about it."

"In many ways Merry is very human," Galen said calmly. "I am not, and I do want you, Sholto, Lord of That Which Passes Between, Lord of Shadows, King of the Sluagh.

"Now," he added in case Sholto was unclear on the issue.

"Demanding little Raven, aren't you?" Sholto murmured, though there was admiration in his tone. Drawing his power to him, he cloaked the entryway to the alcove they occupied, rendering them invisible except from the most strenuously prying eyes and spells.

"Now it shall be then." In one smooth motion, he stripped off his tunic and undershirt, pausing for a moment, before, satisfied with Galen's reaction, he divested himself of his boots and pants, leaving the king of the sluagh bare to his new lover's gaze.

Curious, Galen looked his fill, seeing the varying sizes of tentacles, approximately a dozen in all, that moved gently at Sholto's middle, and the thick shaft below them. Although he had expected them to leave and go to one of their rooms, he was not adverse to their current situation. Knowing that a party was going on mere feet away added to the excitement.

He shed his own garments, leaving himself as naked as Sholto, his pale skin, faintly green-tinged, glowing slightly, then moved closer, wanting to feel and taste the other man again.

Still surprised at Galen's continuing agreement to the situation, Sholto hid the reaction well, though he did nothing to hide his excitement. "You are beautiful, Galen," he murmured, brushing his hand down the side of the younger sidhe's face, his tentacles doing the same to the other man's belly once he had moved within range.

Feeling Galen stiffen just the slightest bit, Sholto tilted his head so that their eyes met and locked gazes with Galen, silently asking the question for what he hoped would be the last time.

"Yes," Galen ground out, his eyes falling half shut as the tentacles touched him, running over his sensitive torso. He gasped when he discovered the suction the small indentations in the tips of some of them could provide, his nipples reddening, causing his back to arch as Sholto pleasured him.

Wondering if they were sensitive, Galen curled his fist around one, much as he would a cock, and moved his hand along the length. The reaction was more than gratifying, and Galen repeated the action, his own body squirming as he discovered what the sluagh could do to him.

"Adventuresome as well," Sholto rasped, his stomach clenching and the muscular length circled by Galen's hand stiffening as the smaller tentacles curled up to caress the sidhe's fingers.

Nodding toward the low divan in the corner, he pressed forward, rubbing his cock against Galen's, the smaller tentacles dipping down to stroke the green-skinned sidhe's erection and caress his testicles. "I believe this would be easier if we were both lying down," he suggested, nipping the soft skin under Galen's jaw and nudging him back another step.

Moaning as Sholto teased and aroused him, Galen backed toward the piece of furniture in question, making sure never to lose contact with the half-sluagh's body. "Hungry," he corrected the other fae's previous comment on his adventurous spirit, fingers exploring Sholto and discovering what touches made him sigh or brought increased lust to his gaze.

His knees hit the edge of the divan, and Galen gracefully sank down onto it. Lying there, he gazed up at Sholto hungrily, waiting for the other sidhe to join him.

"I noticed that." Chuckling quietly, Sholto moved to straddle Galen's waist, settling on the younger sidhe's thighs, his hands stroking up Galen's chest as he leaned in to kiss him. There was a distinct lack of lubrication in their corner, but Sholto thought he could work around it. Kissing Galen hungrily, his tongue sliding against and around the other man's, he raised his belly over Galen's cock, letting his appendages stroke and tease his erection.

Galen's eyes widened, and he whimpered as the tentacles, feeling like incredibly soft, sensitive fingers, played over his belly and shaft. "Goddess, that feels so good," he moaned, back arching and his legs shifting restlessly, trying to spread despite the man straddling him.

A hungry gleam darkening his golden eyes, Sholto flicked his fingers over Galen's tight nipples even as the tip of one of his appendages curled around the head of the younger man's cock, suckling on the tender flesh like a small mouth.

Writhing beneath the Lord of Shadows, the green sidhe's hands reached for him in turn, needing to give back some of the maddening pleasure that was making him feel as if his skin was too small. Already growing lost in the pleasure, he never noticed when he began to glow, the sign of one of Shining Ones sharing pleasure with another.

He nearly shrieked when he felt the suction on his cock, his body arching enough to raise Sholto from the divan for a moment before he fell back, twisting and moaning.

Breath rasping in his lungs, Sholto rode out the frantic movements, arching forward so that his cock slotted between Galen's thighs, teasing him even as he sought to bring the younger fae over. The green glow of his new lover's skin caused his pupils to constrict, and Sholto felt his own power respond, the light generated by the both of them growing in intensity with every move they made.

"Come for me, little Raven," he cooed, rolling Galen's testicles and all the while keeping up the stimulation on the other man's erection. "Come for me so that I can be in you."

Green eyes widening and fixing on the triple-gold of his new lover's, Galen arched beneath Sholto's ministrations, the words, fingers, and tentacles coming together to drive him over the edge he'd been teetering on. Wailing loudly enough that the entire court would have come to investigate if Sholto's glamour hadn't blocked sound as well as sight, he convulsed, the pleasure starting in his center and radiating outward to his extremities.

"Yes, yes," the lord of the sluagh crooned, rolling Galen's nipples between his fingers as he felt the first pulses of the other man's orgasm throb under his tentacles then spurting out of his cock to pool like liquid pearls against the misty green of his skin.

"Beautiful little Raven, thank you." He leaned in and kissed Galen tenderly before backing off of the guard's thighs to kneel between them. A light tickling with the tips of his strongest appendages had the other man's legs widening, and he ran a hand along the crevice of Galen's ass, using his other fingers to scoop up his cooling seed, using it as a lubricant as he stretched Galen's ass.

Even though he had just come, Galen was nowhere near satisfied, eager to feel Sholto inside him and to experience more of the amazing pleasure his tentacles could provide. Panting, he rode the clever fingers preparing him, thrusting against them in an attempt to take them deeper.

"Please," he begged, "more, want you, now, Sholto, in me, please." As he pleaded, his fingers scrabbled at the other sidhe's body, stroking tentacles, erection, thighs, whatever part of his lover he could reach.

"Yesss..." Sholto hissed out, raising Galen's legs to his shoulders. Swiping up the remaining semen from Galen's belly, he slicked it on his cock, steadied it, and pressed inside the other man's body. His tentacles writhed with the pleasure he felt, stroking and caressing Galen's soft cock, and Sholto let out a groan as the pleasure coursed within him.

Beginning to move, he stared down at Galen, lust and wonderment both visible in his gaze as well as the brightening glow of his skin.

"You are beautiful," Galen said, one hand tangling in the heavy white silk of Sholto's hair, the other playing teasingly with his tentacles. "Oh goddess yes!" he yelped, thrusting back violently when one wickedly accurate thrust hit his prostate precisely.

Knowing that Sholto needed to know that he wanted and accepted all of him, Galen fought to keep his eyes open and on him, despite the heavy pleasure coursing through him that had his cock again hard and needy against his belly.

Shivering with the knowledge that Galen meant what he had said, Sholto gave himself over to the pleasure, his head falling back as he slammed into Galen's body, each thrust coming hard on the heels of the prior one, causing the divan to scrape across the tiled floor in jolts of motion.

"Lord and Lady, so good," he panted, feeling his orgasm gathering at the base of his spine but wanting to feel Galen come apart around him before he came. When his lover's fingers wound through the appendages on his lower belly, it was Sholto's turn to shout, and the thin tentacles that had been teasing Galen's cock and balls began to stroke in earnest.

Watching the gathering pleasure on Sholto's face, Galen knew that they were both close, and when the other fae's caresses increased, he whined needily. The sensation of the warm, flexible tentacles alone was incredible, but the little suckers at the tips... Wailing Sholto's name, Galen gave himself up to his orgasm, his body shining incandescently as he came again, this time with his lover deep inside him.

Body convulsing, falling forward so that hands, mouth and tentacles could grasp at Galen's face and body hungrily, Sholto came, feeling the addictive power of making love with another sidhe in all its glory.

Resting his weight on his forearms, shifting enough to let Galen's legs slide from his shoulders to around his hips, the king of the sluagh felt at peace. "I look forward to repeating this when we have a bed to collapse into afterward," he murmured, lifting his head to smile down into Galen's green eyes.

Sprawled loosely beneath his new lover, Galen still had the energy to smirk and suggest, "As soon as we can stand up, we can move to one of our rooms and try that then." He kept his arms loosely around the other sidhe, his legs having fallen back to the divan. "That was absolutely incredible, Sholto, and unless you felt otherwise, I would like to continue this."

Resisting the urge to smack the impudent young fae, Sholto instead smiled sensually. "Considering what just happened, do you really believe I would think otherwise? You mentioned wanting more than quick fucks now, and I know I'm looking for that also. Perhaps we might see where our path together leads?"

Galen smiled sunnily. "That sounds perfect to me... just as soon as I can stand again," he added with a laugh. "You nearly killed me with the pleasure, my lord. And I can't wait for you to do it again and to do the same for you, in my own way." He shifted a bit beneath the older fae. "All right, I think my legs will support me now. Though it seems a waste to have to get dressed when we're just going to take it all off again."

"In your own way?" Sholto sat up, absently flicking his hair back over his shoulders as he smiled down at Galen. "I look forward to finding out what that is. As for getting dressed, it would be easier than having someone decide to strip off the glamour and finding ourselves naked in the hallway." The sluagh king stood and bent, reaching for their clothes, offering Galen his before beginning to dress.

"Good point," Galen said, accepting his clothes and dressing again, though only fastening as much as necessary to get to Sholto's rooms. "I'd hate to have to fight someone to keep you when we have much more pleasurable exercise planned." He leaned in and kissed the sluagh king. "Besides, this way I get to undress you again," he purred, clearly looking forward to it.

Sholto's expression turned wryly cynical for a second before it was lost in the press of Galen's lips against his. "In that case, I suggest getting out of here and to my rooms now." Kissing Galen once again, he took a step back, at the same time banishing the glamour over the entryway to the small alcove. The noise of the Yuletide celebrations washed over them like a wave, and he caught Galen's hand, drawing the younger sidhe after him through the throng.

Having caught the fleeting expression, Galen dug his heels in to stop Sholto, causing several people to curse and swerve abruptly to avoid colliding with them. Ignoring the others, he faced the other sidhe, frowning. "Just because some sidhe are short-sighted does not mean we all are, Sholto." Letting his actions speak for him, he took the step necessary to bring their bodies into alignment, pressing against his lover from head to toe as he kissed him hungrily in full view of anyone who cared to look.

Galen maintained the kiss until the half-sluagh lost his stiffness and responded to him. Only then did he reluctantly allow their lips to part, though not without a final lick and gentle nipping tug at Sholto's lower lip. "We need to get to your rooms, or I'm going to drag you down to the floor right here," he panted laughingly.

The elder sidhe shook his head though his eyes burned molten gold at the thought of it. "No, privacy is much more conducive to what we'll be doing, and then there's the fact that my bed is also much more comfortable than the floor."

"An excellent point, my lord." Galen reluctantly took a step back, allowing a whisper of space between their bodies, though he maintained his grasp on one of Sholto's hands. Meeting the gazes of some of the watching throng, he allowed a satisfied smirk to curl his lips, a merry twinkle appearing in his eyes when he met Meredith's concerned gaze. A smile replaced her frown, and she raised her glass slightly, toasting the two of them, before she returned her attention to her new king.

Moving toward the doorway, legs occasionally brushing as they walked, Galen had a sudden thought. "Uh, Sholto, your hags aren't going to try to kill me, are they? Unlike Merry, I don't have the hand of flesh to deter them."

"Don't worry, little Raven," Sholto chuckled, his fingers tightening around Galen's. They made their way out of the crowded hall and down one of the corridors leading to the parts of the court used for living quarters.

"They won't come near you, I promise you that. After that unfortunate incident, certain... conditions were set, the primary one being that I am their king and though I have great affection for them, I will seek my partners where I may."

"Oh good." Galen sighed with relief. "I have to admit that the one thing that would make me think twice about this would be if I were going to be killed by hags. While I'm sure you'd make me die happy, I'd much rather live and do it again." He pressed a little closer, enjoying the warmth of Sholto's body at his side, and his free hand delved under the half-sluagh's shirt, lightly toying with the sensitive tentacles.

"That makes two of us who'd like that," Sholto chuckled before drawing in a sharp breath when Galen's hand slid inside his shirt, the touch causing an immediate rush of arousal even though he'd only recently come. "I may have to give you a lesson in Nightflyer anatomy, little Raven, especially if we don't want my hags tearing you apart."

Galen grinned wickedly. "Secondary sexual attributes. Merry and I talked about all kinds of things when she was younger, and that was one she had to share as soon as she learned it." He stroked the other sidhe's tentacles teasingly. "I have to admit, I'm curious as to whether you could come just from this," he whispered huskily.

Sholto closed his eyes for a brief moment, trying to regain control of his fast-paced breathing and his rapidly renewing erection. "I know the answer to that, but if you want to find out, I would much rather provide the lesson in private." Clamping a hand around Galen's wrist, the sluagh king lengthened his stride, getting them to the privacy of his rooms in much less time than would have happened otherwise.

"I'll take that as a yes." The moment the door closed behind them Galen was pressed to Sholto's back, his renewing erection snug between his cheeks, and his hands under the other man's shirt, stroking and gently pulling at his tentacles. "I told you I would pleasure you too, in my own way," he breathed, teeth closing not quite gently over Sholto's earlobe.

Head leaning back against the taller man's shoulder, Sholto groaned and twisted, his ass pressing back against Galen's cock and his abdomen forward into his hands. "I'm very much liking 'your own way'," he murmured, raising one hand to stroke the back of the younger sidhe's neck, his body clenching as Galen teased the thinner tentacles closer to his groin.

"Oh good, this is the first time I've ever given tentacle," the brash young sidhe replied.

Sholto froze at that and carefully looked over his shoulder at Galen, his expression incredulous. Torn between moaning again as his lover's hands continued to play over him and laughing, he gave into the second impulse, the balance tipped by the cocky, self-satisfied expression on Galen's face.

Grinning, Galen stilled his hands to allow Sholto a moment to calm himself. "Loving is supposed to be fun too, you know." Once the other sidhe had stopped laughing, Galen's hands began to move again, one caressing the smaller tentacles, the other closing around one of the thicker ones and gliding up and down. "It's my turn to pleasure you."

"I know that, though..." Train of thought completely lost as Galen's hands began to move on him again, Sholto sighed, relaxing back against his lover again. "I'm beginning to wonder if you're smarter than you let on, little Raven."

Soft laughter gusted against Sholto's ear, but Galen made no reply. If others chose to believe political naivete, which he was forced to admit described him, equated with a lack of intelligence, then the results were entirely of their own making. "Smart enough to snap up a gorgeous, fantastic lover when I find one available."

"For right now, flattery will get you everywhere, perhaps starting with the bed? Or are you planning on keeping me here until I collapse?"

"Hmmm, while it might be interesting to be known as the man who brought Sholto to his knees, I think I would prefer to avoid the chance of injury and a premature ending to our night." Galen stilled his movements but did not remove his hands from the other sidhe's body. "Lead on, my lord."

"And just how would you be known as that unless you started the gossip yourself?" Sholto asked, sliding a hand over Galen's flank and starting to walk, moving them toward the back room.

The massive bed was covered in a quilt done in the colors of fire. The theme was continued in the wall hangings and other adornments scattered about, all reflecting reds, golds, or oranges. Letting go of Galen, Sholto undid the buttons of his shirt and drew the gray silk off, letting it pool between his back and the other fae's chest, his breaths coming slow and deep as he recovered from Galen's erotic tease.

"Why, I would have to call for aid to get you to your bed, of course," Galen replied innocently, following Sholto.

"Lord and Lady, Sholto, it's beautiful," he breathed, taking in the room. "I'm ashamed to admit I expected only black and gray, but I see now that I owe you an apology. Perhaps you'll allow me to take it out in trade?" he half-laughed, his hands once again playing over the other sidhe's tentacles, the shirt falling to the floor at their feet.

Sholto shook his head at that before turning to begin stripping Galen's clothes off. "No. No talk of owing or being owed. I believe you know quite well what I mean when I say that at times it is best for people to underestimate you, though I believe we each do it for different reasons."

"Perhaps." Wanting to turn the conversation, or better still, end it altogether, Galen busied his hands with the fastenings of Sholto's pants, eager to see his lover naked again. He managed to shove them down over the other man's hips, then sighed. "If we don't want this to turn into a farce, I think we need to take our boots off."

"What? You don't want me to have to call for people to come and get you off the floor?" Sholto smirked at that and sat gracefully down on the bed to tug off his boots and pants, then sprawl back onto the quilt, one hand idly stroking his body as he hungrily watched Galen strip.

"The only one I want picking me off of floors is you. And I'd really prefer to end up on a more comfortable surface, if it's all the same to you. Marble's hard on the knees," he confided with a smile, skimming out of the remainder of his garments, which were tossed willy-nilly as he threw himself onto the bed exuberantly. "Oh, we are going to have so much fun!"

Triple-gold eyes widened slightly as Sholto watched Galen's antics, then he allowed himself to smile. "Really?" he asked, one white eyebrow sweeping upward. "So you're interested in games, little Raven?"

Green eyes widened in turn as Galen wondered just what Sholto might have in mind. "Always," he said sturdily, though he did look faintly nervous... in a pleasurable way. He had absolutely no fear, which was rather odd considering who his bedmate was, but his trust in Sholto was clear.

Chuckling quietly and quite aware of Galen's nerves, Sholto held out a hand to the younger man. "I didn't mean right now, Galen. Perhaps later, if we're both in the mood. Now I would rather just enjoy you and have you enjoy me."

"Oh right, make me wonder what you have in store for me; I'm on to your tricks," Galen laughed even as he accepted the hand and shifted closer to Sholto. As soon as he was pressed against his lover's side, he began to stroke and pet the tentacles again, wanting to pleasure Sholto. "Doesn't it hurt when they're pressed between us?"

"No." Sholto's voice deepened again, and he wrapped an arm around Galen's waist, speaking in between nuzzling and nipping at his throat. "No more than it does when your cock is pressed between you and someone you desire."

Galen's fingertip stroked along one of the indented tips, and Sholto took a deep breath. "As you can tell, the smaller ones are quite sensitive, but bending or pressure doesn't injure them." Taking that for permission, Galen began to touch him less delicately, playing with the tentacles as he would a cock, using firm pressure as he explored the differences in texture between the two types. Curious, he slid down and pillowed his head on Sholto's hip, then carefully leaned closer. The half-sluagh smelled no different than any other man he'd been with, so Galen edged neared and daringly licked one of the tentacles that fluttered near his face.

Digging one hand into his own hair to keep himself from thrusting violently toward the wet heat that was torturing him, Sholto groaned. His other hand landed on Galen's shoulder, and he noted dazedly that he was beginning to glow again. No non-sluagh that he'd ever been with had been as interested or attentive to his 'extras', but Galen seemed even to be aroused by them.

Pleased with the reaction, Galen continued his teasing of his lover, now kneeling at his side, braced by one hand on the bed. His free hand stroked and tugged the tentacles, while his mouth concentrated on one of the larger ones, nipping and sucking along it from tip to base and back again. His own erection, hard and full once again, rose against his belly, the wet tip painting him with precome.

The glow coming from Sholto's pale skin increased, and he was unable to stop himself from twisting on the bed beneath Galen's attentions. His cock ached, and the tentacles that weren't being pleasured curved toward Galen's face and hands, in search of that wonderful touch themselves.

Galen moved so that he was straddling one of Sholto's legs, his right thigh now pressing gently against the sluagh king's balls and the base of his cock. Now better balanced, he was able to use both hands on Sholto, moving from tentacle to tentacle, stroking and pleasuring them all. This time he wanted to see Sholto come from what he could do to him, and then the next they could come together.

Panting, rasping out words of praise and lust in the language of the Nightflyers, Sholto bucked upwards, his whole body stiffening as Galen drove him past the limits of his endurance. His cock spasmed, and he came, wetting both their skin with his seed, his tentacles writhing in Galen's suddenly slick grip.

Galen watched hungrily, enjoying every nuance of pleasure on Sholto's face, then he stretched out full length over him, reaching up to kiss him hungrily, rubbing against Sholto's slickened skin and tentacles as he sought his own climax.

Arms closing around the younger fae's back, Sholto arched upward, flexing his stomach to get into a position where his appendages could stroke Galen's engorged cock. "Sure you don't want to have me?" he asked, sliding a hand down to tease his lover's ass, his every move speaking of sated lethargy.

Galen's eyes widened. He had not expected that offer from the king of the sluagh, but he most assuredly was not going to refuse it. "I would love to have you," he rasped, reaching between them to scoop up Sholto's come, only to realize that it was scattered over his tentacles. "But I need something." He looked around as if hoping oil would materialize from thin air.

Noting Galen's perplexed look, Sholto had to laugh and then pull the younger man in for a lengthy kiss. "Underestimating me again, little Raven?" Keeping his legs wound around Galen's thighs, he twisted to the side, reaching for a ruby shaded blown glass container, the contents of which shimmered in the lamplight.

Handing it to Galen, he sat up enough to get his hair out from under his body, then settled back to the quilt again. "I believe that was what you were looking for?"

"I adore a man who's prepared." Galen smiled down at him as he poured some of the oil out into one palm then thoroughly coated the fingers of the other hand. Still meeting Sholto's gaze, his fingers slid down over the prone man's balls, lightly stroking his perineum, then glided to a halt at the tight ring of muscle. With a feather-light touch he circled the opening, oiling him thoroughly before attempting to work a single finger inside.

Once that was accomplished, Galen worked the finger in and out, slicking and stretching the tight, clinging channel, then added a second. Unable to wait any longer, he withdrew, only to press the head of his cock at the slightly loosened entrance, and he looked up at Sholto, giving him a last chance to say nay.

Smiling, Sholto wrapped his legs tightly around Galen's ass, pulling him closer, feeling the small burn as he was penetrated. Recalling Galen's answer to his questions earlier in the evening, he grabbed the younger sidhe's braid, tugging sharply. "Now."

Recognizing the reply, Galen smiled faintly, though he did point out, "That's not a leash, you know." He pressed inside, gasping at the tight, hot pressure around him. "Blessed Goddess, so good," he panted. "Never want it to end, Sholto..."

"Neither are those," Sholto answered, glancing downward to where Galen was tightly gripping a pair of his tentacles. "As for the never ending, we may have to eat and sleep sometime, but feel free to hold out as long as you can." Sighing, he loosened his hold on the thin green braid and ran his hands down over Galen's arms, rocking upward as he did so.

"Huh? Oh! Sorry." Galen hastily released the tentacles he hadn't been aware of grabbing. He braced his hands on the bed at Sholto's sides, hips snapping back and forth despite his very real desire to prolong this. He was simply too aroused to draw it out this time. He lowered his head, tongue flicking over Sholto's lips, asking entrance, while he drove into the glowing sidhe's body.

Lunging up, Sholto latched onto Galen's mouth even as his body clenched down on his cock and he felt a rush of affection on hearing Galen's muffled moans. "I want to feel you come in me," he purred, stroking Galen with hands, tongue and tentacles, feeling the other fae grow tenser and tenser as his climax approached.

"Nothing could stop that now," Galen moaned, his body glowing as well, faintly green just like his flesh. Gasping Sholto's name, he stiffened, driving deep inside him as his body convulsed and he came.

Concentrating on the welling heat and spasms within him, Sholto finally relaxed back onto the bed, drawing Galen down with him, still stroking him, but this time with the intent of gentling, not arousing. "You are magnificent," he murmured.

"I was inspired." He raised his head to regard Sholto seriously. "I hope that you still want something more than this?"

"Companionship? Friendship? Sex? All of them and or something more?" Sholto asked, meeting Galen's triple green eyes squarely.

"All and more," Galen replied emphatically. "I want something permanent. I want to love you and you to love me and to know that when I wake up in the morning, I'm going to know who's beside me in bed."

Sholto's expression turned even more serious at that, and he stroked Galen's face before catching his braid between his fingers and twining it around them. "I would like that also, Galen, but remember, I am the king of my people. There may come a time when it is necessary for me to marry. I feel that, with Meredith on the throne, that time is now in the much distant future, but I cannot say that it will never happen. Can you live with that fact?"

The younger sidhe frowned, thinking about it. The instant flash of pain and jealousy he felt told him that he would be very hurt when and if that happened, yet... He was already involved, so no matter what he did, that eventuality would cause him pain. Better to have what time he could with Sholto, possibly their entire lives, than to give up what they could have for fear of what might come.

"I hope it will not happen," he finally said honestly, "but I would rather have even a short time with you than none. Yes, I can accept it."

Gathering the taller man to him, Sholto pressed a kiss against Galen's forehead. "Then hear me. I take you, Galen, as my consort, to stand by me by day and sleep by me by night. To love and honor as the gift the Goddess has given me and as the man you are until that time when the Lord and Lady see fit to part us as nothing else will."

The air shimmered around them, the subtle, deep-seated magics of a vow being made weighing heavy on them, as if the world held its breath, waiting for an answer

Eyes wide, Galen had to clear his throat before he could manage his shaky reply. "And I take thee, Sholto, Lord of That Which Passes Between, Lord of Shadows, King of the Sluagh, as my consort so long as the Lord and Lady give us life."

The universe seemed to ripple around them, and though he was unsure if it was for good or ill, Galen could not find it in himself to care. They were together, and it was right.

Sholto closed his eyes and rested his forehead against Galen's, imprinting the moment into his memory. "This has been quite the Yule," he finally said, settling his lover more closely against him. "I know it's a bit late to mention it, but you do realize this means you'll have to visit my court now? Nothing will harm you there, but, even compared to Andais', it is quite dangerous."

Galen looked dismayed, unconsciously pressing closer to Sholto as if for protection. "Lord and Lady," he said faintly. Much as he cared for Sholto, he could not so easily forget that the sluagh court had been used since time out of mind to terrify even the members of the Unseelie Court. Nightmares made flesh and he had to smilingly go amongst them?

Then he looked at Sholto again, and he knew that nothing would ever harm him so long as the king of the sluagh drew breath. And even were that not the case, to be with Sholto was worth it.

"I will be pleased to visit your home, my lord," he said calmly, green eyes meeting gold serenely.

Sholto's lips curved into a pleased smile, though he was aware of the trepidation Galen felt at visiting his home. It was well warranted; few were the sidhe who had walked the halls of the Sluagh court of their own free will.

"Nothing will touch you there," he promised, before brushing his lips over Galen's, "except for me."

Green eyes sparkled into tri-gold. "I'm glad you added that last or I would have had to change my mind." He returned the kiss with another, deeper meeting of their mouths, then laughed softly, his breathing ghosting over Sholto's moist lips. "I can survive the inhabitants of your court, but I don't think I could survive being near you yet unable to touch you."

Sholto chuckled, amazed once again at Galen's accepting nature and glad of it. "I don't believe that will ever be a problem," he murmured, his hands sliding over the other man's green-tinted skin leisurely. "Keeping myself from touching you - now that might become one. You're quite addictive, little Raven."

"I'm delighted to hear it," Galen purred, arching into his lover's touch like a cat being stroked. "I have to admit to a certain selfish gladness that the others of the court were foolish enough to ignore you... Not for the pain it caused you," he hastened to clarify, "but that you were still free for me." He rubbed a cheek against Sholto's shoulder contentedly.

Sholto sighed in agreement, his eyes half-closing as he continued mapping the lines of Galen's back with his fingertips. "If I had known that everything would have led up to this, I believe I would have borne things much better." He leaned his head against Galen's and took a deep breath. "Not that I was ever at a loss for lovers; my hags and the members of my court are enamored of me, and I of them. But you... having someone want to be with me simply for who I am rather than what I am is quite a novel experience for me."

"And for me as well. I've never loved anyone as I love you, Sholto. I certainly never expected this, not with you and not this quickly, but I'm glad it happened." He frowned slightly. "Your hags... will I have to share you with them?" Jealously, he wanted to keep Sholto for himself, the monogamy expected of wedded sidhe couples his deepest desire, but he knew that Sholto, as king of the Sluagh, had other demands upon him, and it might not be possible.

Sholto looked away, his triple-gold eyes troubled, but when he raised his gaze back to Galen's face, they were clear. "I would not share you with another, and I would not expect any less of myself from you," he said quietly. "I gave you a vow, little Raven, and it is not one I will set aside lightly or at all if it's within my power. Do not doubt my fidelity already."

"Never!" Dismayed green eyes met his lover's. "I just... I know that you have responsibilities, and I don't want to be cause of unrest in your court." Possessiveness flared in his eyes. "But that doesn't mean that I would like it." He suddenly kissed Sholto hard, arms winding around him to pull him closer. "I want you to be mine as I am yours." Rested, his arousal began to stir again at his lover's nearness, and he rubbed sensually against Sholto, shivering as the tentacles touched his flesh.

Looking slightly amused, Sholto nevertheless wound his arms tighter around Galen, returning the other fae's hungry kiss. "You forget, I am the king of the Sluagh and intend to remain so. None but Meredith can deny me my choice in a consort, and I hardly think that will be the case here. Do not worry so, little Raven. We are together now; we won't prove easy to pull apart."

"I think we could be more together," Galen murmured, tongue flickering out to trace the whorls of Sholto's ear. He shifted against the half-sluagh's groin, his own hardening shaft stroking over him while his hands petted his lover. "Goddess, I can't get enough of you!"

Rolling them over so that he was looking down at the younger sidhe, Sholto smiled. "The feeling is entirely mutual, Galen. I want a partner in all things, and you are that partner." He pushed up onto his hands and knees, letting the longer tentacles play over Galen's stomach and groin. "You amaze me, little Raven. You truly do."

"Because I like all of you, just the way you are? There's nothing amazing about that," Galen scoffed, trying not to squirm as Sholto teased him into full arousal. "You're beautiful, sexy, powerful, and all mine. What's not to love? Oh Lord and Lady, you feel so good!" His legs spread and wound around the other sidhe's waist, his body quivering slightly as he remembered how fantastic Sholto had made him feel.

Shaking his head, truly astounded by the words and the fact that Galen believed them, Sholto dipped his head lower, coaxing the other fae's lips open so that he could plunder his mouth, all the while stroking and teasing Galen's lower body with his tentacles.

"Dear Goddess, I won't be able to walk tomorrow," Galen moaned happily, body rising to meet Sholto's teasing touches. "I will have to remain here, in your bed, forever. Oh, the horror of it!" He chuckled, clever fingers running over his lover, this time bypassing the tentacles in favor of the half-sluagh's nipples.

Golden eyes sparkled as Sholto grinned. "So you're saying that you would rather rest, little Raven?"

"No!" Galen looked horrified, legs tightening around Sholto to hold him close. "I'd rather we tried to break your bed."

Sholto broke into laughter at that, dipping his head to bite at Galen's neck and shoulders while his lower appendages still teased the younger fae's body. "We can do that, but tell me, how would you prefer we do it? Any requests?"

"I thought we could just keep doing whatever comes to mind. We haven't done too badly so far." Galen shivered as Sholto's tentacles whispered over his body. "Lord and Lady, that feels so good." He gasped and whimpered softly when one of the suckers moved around his navel, teasing the sensitive flesh, making him squirm beneath the other unseelie's weight.

"Far from it. I happen to think we've done extremely well together." Saying this, Sholto kissed Galen again, for once letting himself dream of the future as something other than a place where he'd be alone or chained to another by duty.

END

  since 02-03-07

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