The day passed quietly for a change and Tao was enjoying it as much as possible. They were traveling over high grasslands, heading for a thick set of trees where Dar knew of a glade that would be safe for them. The silence as the day wore on was comfortable and broken only when Tao or Dar spotted something of interest to the other.

Stopping for lunch under the shade of a solitary tree, Tao rested against his lover and asked, “How soon before we get there?”

Dar absently rubbed his fingers into Tao’s shoulder as he replied, “End of the day at this pace.”

“Should we hurry?”

“No, there’s no need,” Dar assured him, smiling. He leaned in for a soft kiss before continuing, “Besides, your legs can’t go any faster without running, and we wouldn’t want that.”

Tao’s eyes rolled in fond exasperation and he poked Dar in the stomach. That led to a mock-wrestling match with, of course, Dar the winner. He took his prize of a deep, lingering kiss, then let Tao up. They ate the small hoard of cheese, bread and, for Tao, dried meat at a leisurely pace.

It wasn’t long before they were traveling again, though this time Ruh left the group to range ahead. Kodo decided that he wanted to travel on Tao, which he allowed under the assurance from Dar there would be no mischief. The ferret seemed content to ride nestled against Tao’s neck, which made for an off weight, but not an uncomfortable one. And since it pleased Dar that the perpetual, if teasing, war between man and ferret had been called a truce, Tao submitted graciously.

Darkness fell earlier than they were used to in this part of the world, signaling that winter was on its way, even though the temperature didn’t feel like it should for autumn. Tao rambled on about different parts of the world being at different temperatures for unknown reasons and, even though he knew Dar wasn’t really listening, the Beastmaster nodded in the appropriate places. Grinning to himself, Tao set Kodo on the ground and ordered, “Off with you, you overgrown rat.”

This time, Dar’s eyes rolled and Tao laughed.

The firelight glinted off Dar’s hair, fascinating Tao as his lover got their camp bedded down for the night. Ruh had been disinterested in hunting during the day, so he was off now, leaving them without a night guard. Which meant, of course, that Dar would be doing that for the ‘first shift,’ as he liked to say. And then Tao woke up refreshed in the morning without having been woken once for his own turn. It made him smile with exasperation, but it did make him smile.

“What?” Dar asked, catching his smile.

Tao grinned outright and countered, “Are you going to wake me for guard duty tonight?”

Dar’s eyes glinted with amusement, but his face was studiously devoid of anything save agreement. “Of course.”

“That’s what I thought,” Tao replied. He tugged on his lover’s loincloth so that Dar either had to come closer or lose what little covering he did wear. Not that it mattered to Dar, especially not so far out in the wilderness, but he joined Tao anyhow.

Kneeling in front of Tao, between his legs, Dar gripped his lover’s thighs and asked, “You wanted something, Tao?”

“Maybe,” Tao confirmed, putting his arms over Dar’s shoulders and leaning in to kiss him.

Dar took over the kiss nearly right away, as usual, and Tao sighed happily, opening his mouth to the tender onslaught. Strong fingers laced through his hair, keeping Tao in place so that Dar could devour him at his leisure. He was lowered back until he rested full-length on the ground and hooked a leg over Dar’s waist, feeling the hardness through the leather and cloth separating them.

Pulling back to rain kisses down Tao’s throat left him free to think at least a little and, using the brains for which he was known, he quickly set about undoing the restrictive leather covering. Unwinding the garment, Tao found himself on the receiving end of similar treatment as Dar divested him of his shirt and unlaced his breeches. Groaning in relief as his hardness was freed, Tao muttered, “Thank you.”

With a soft laugh, glancing up at him, Dar replied, “You’re welcome,” and then proceeded to drive him crazy by sucking on Tao’s manhood. Arching into the sensation, Tao’s hands scrabbled uselessly in the dirt for something to hold onto. On realizing there was nothing in reach, he grabbed Dar’s shoulders, fingers digging into the warm, muscled flesh.

Dar moaned, the vibrations provoking a shout from Tao. His hips thrust uncontrollably into Dar who somehow took him all the way down, a trick Tao had as yet to master. Shuddering, he spilled almost right away against the swallowing throat, his fingernails clawing into Dar’s skin, then his body just collapsed entirely, hands falling to the side.

Nuzzling at the now limp flesh between Tao’s legs, Dar nosed his balls for a while, breathing him in and bathing him with his tongue, cleaning off the scant seed that had escaped him. Tao shuddered at the over stimulation, but didn’t protest. When they’d first become mates, Tao had protested and Dar had been very hurt at the exclusion to what he’d thought part of his duties to care for his mate. He did this always and Tao rolled over on the sleeping blankets when directed to, and moaned at the tongue that delved into his hole. It had embarrassed him at first, still did a little, but it was something that Dar wanted and enjoyed doing.

Not to mention that it drove Tao out of his mind with pleasure.

Spreading his legs further apart, Tao silently encouraged his lover to take him. Dar remained where he was for a few more minutes, wetting him from the inside out, then covered him. The thick cock slowly possessed him and Tao moaned at the entry. Dar’s fingers laced with his and he arched back, craning his head around for a kiss.

Dar obliged him, pumping slowly in and out of his body while kissing him deeply. He sighed into the mating of mouths and tongues and teeth, thrusting back on the hard shaft within him. Dar picked up the silent command and moved harder and faster, spearing Tao on his cock until finally, that jolt of lightening flashed through him. He cried out, his head snapping back as he shuddered, his shaft rising again in spite of the release he’d already had.

A hand slid beneath him, gripping his manhood and stroking in time to Dar’s possession of him. “Dar! Oh Gods, Dar! Please…please!”

Taking away his hand, Dar gripped Tao’s hips and plowed in and out of him, rutting with animal abandon. Impossibly strong arms slid around Tao’s chest, immobilizing him while the Beastmaster humped into him, his cock going as deep as it could in the mating urge. Tao shuddered constantly, his shaft leaking unnoticed onto the sleeping blankets. There were more lightening flashes and then he was coming again, jerking hard in Dar’s arms but unable to move. Dar went still, buried to the root in Tao, and filled him with seed, panting heavily in Tao’s ear.

He barely registered when Dar tenderly lowered him to the ground, pulling free of Tao’s body. The warm, gentle tongue returned to Tao’s hole, cleaning him slowly and thoroughly there, and then licking the sweat from his back and neck. By the time he was satisfied and pulled Tao into his arms, Tao was fairly certain that he was never moving again.

Nuzzling at Tao’s throat, Dar yawned and said, “Ruh is back. You can get out of guard duty again tonight.”

Tao laughed softly and closed his eyes, relishing the feel of his lover surrounding him. “Tell him I said thanks.”