|elmyraemilie (elmyraemilie) wrote in henryvickimike,|
@ 2008-05-19 19:03:00
FIC: Genus Immortalis, Henry Fitzroy/Adam Pierson, NC-17
Title: Genus Immortalis
Fandoms: Blood Ties/Highlander
Pairings: Henry/Adam Pierson (Methos)
Rating: NC-17; no warnings
Word count: 6300+
Disclaimer: Written out of love, lust and a sense of challenge; I will make no money from the writing and posting of this story
Summary: In the genus Immortalis, there are a number of species, among them Immortalis vampirus and Immortalis immortalis.
A/N: Thanks to my invaluable betas, sara_merry99 and elistaire who have saved you from inconsistency, inaccuracy and a terrible death by commas. Dedicated with a grin to the "Crossovers" panel at Tribal Forces this past month, where it first occurred to me that Methos and Henry were practically neighbors. It was intended to be fluffy, but...yeah, angsty. Even Adam thinks so.
Over the course of his long life, Henry had seen a lot of improvements in the human condition. Diseases that once wiped out entire cities were the stuff of history; comforts formerly the privilege of royalty were available to many.
As far as he was concerned, the best invention of the last four hundred fifty years was the eight-cylinder engine. He adjusted the temperature on the BMW's air conditioner; two hours after sunset, and it was still stifling hot, even though the Autumn Equinox was past. At the first exit sign for Seacouver he eased his foot off the gas and cruised onto the ramp that led to the wharf district.
Henry felt restless, itching for something he couldn't identify. The neighborhood surrounding the Vancouver apartment he shared with Tony was finally familiar, but instead of bringing comfort, the familiarity chafed at him. Tony called him a grouch; his editor told him to quit bitching and draw. He found himself hunting in places where he knew he'd get some...resistance.
After four and a half centuries, Henry recognized the signs. It was time to get out of town for a little while.
He drove aimlessly among the warehouses and the office buildings, taking in the manner of the city, its light and dark places. Finally, when he passed the blue neon guitar the second time, he made his decision and swung the car into a parking space. He hadn't listened to the blues in years.
The air was full of unfamiliar scents; the shadows were fresh and unexplored.
He felt better already.
As soon as he stepped past the bouncer, he knew there was something more than unfamiliar about this club. It was full of the luscious scent of human blood that called to his Hunger, but he was past being driven by that, at least under ordinary circumstances. There was another thread that ran through the air, a smell still human, but something more besides. He'd say it was vampire, but the territorial beast within him remained quiet.
Not a vampire, then, but what? He scanned the room. A scattering of dancers on the hardwood floor, couples and groups seated at the tables, the three-piece band on stage, and at the bar, nearly every seat filled. The comfortable warm pink glow of life surrounded them all.
Except one. Henry picked his way across the club, headed for a stool at the bar just two seats away from the man whose life shone nearly white.
The gray-haired bartender shook up a martini, popped a toothpick of olives in it and sat it in front of him. Those sharp blue eyes didn't miss much; Henry imagined that vampiric persuasion wouldn't work any better on him than it had on Vicki Nelson. He turned the stool around as though he was watching the band and kept the white-lit stranger with the beguiling scent in his sights.
Even slouched over a beer, he was tall, and quite slim. Dark hair, a nose of some size and distinction, narrow face, cheekbones that spoke of the Northeast Mediterranean or the Caucasus. Pale skin, long-fingered hands. Henry had a flash of those hands on his body. Sexy was sexy, though this man covered his nature with a careful cloak of self-effacement. As he watched, the bartender leaned in and mouthed a few silent words while he refreshed the man's beer. Though neither of them looked his way, Henry would have bet a gold doubloon the comment was about him.
He was about to order another drink when his tall man spun suddenly to face the door, right hand slipping beneath the left side of the long dark jacket he wore in defiance of the heat.
Henry followed his gaze to the stranger who had just entered. Jesu, there were two of them! This new one locked brown eyes on his tall man and the current that ran between them was unmistakable. Vampire they were not, but the challenge that passed through the air was as potent as any territorial demand. The white-lit newcomer stalked to the bar; Henry's tall man went from attractive barfly to terrible warrior in a single beat of his heart, though he hadn't moved a muscle. Over the clamor of the band and the crowd, Henry sorted out one sentence:
"There can be only one."
The tall man jerked his head toward the back door; the brown-eyed one nodded in return and brushed past Henry on his way out. It was all Henry could do to keep his civil guise; the blood lust that radiated from the stranger twanged the Hunger into life. When the tall man followed, he shot a brief glance at Henry, then past him. Henry turned; the barkeep was behind him, his face as grim as death, dialing the phone.
Henry decided against another martini. He slid from his stool and went out the way he came in. Then he headed for the back of the building.
The heat had built into a thunderstorm. It wasn't raining yet, but the crackle of lightning and the tang of ozone rode wind that smelled of sea and sky. Henry slipped from shadow to shadow, tracking that not-human scent to an alley between the back of the club and a tall, featureless warehouse. Chain-link fence closed off one end; it was a trap for mortals, though he spotted a number of ways he could make his exit if need be.
Around the corner of the warehouse was an open area lined with dumpsters and stacks of old pallets. In the center of this makeshift arena, beneath the half-hearted glow of a street light, two combatants circled each other.
In their hands were swords.
Henry's heart leapt in his chest. Swords. The brown-eyed man held his with one hand; it was a slim blade, Spanish perhaps, and he handled it with some skill, though he was no master. The tall man wielded a two-handed broadsword Henry's father would have prized. His grip was firm, his shoulders and hips relaxed, his eyes on the chest of his opponent. When, at that instant that demanded attack, they came together, a great cloud of sparks flew from the meeting of the blades.
Suppressing a shout of surprise, Henry shrank further into the shadows, rubbing sight back into his streaming eyes. In the ring the pyrotechnics continued, lightning in the clouds and lightning on the earth; thunder rocked the heavens like the roar of a crowd. When he looked again, the combatants were locked in a tight clinch, the grind and scrape of the blades singing in the crackling air.
It was clear that Henry's champion had the upper hand. His expression was controlled, and once he pushed his opponent back from the press, he returned to an en garde so natural it seemed he'd known it for centuries. He moved forward, two quick steps, one slow, and brought his sword back for a tremendous swing.
Henry had a horrified second to think, "Sweet Mother of God!" before the brown-eyed man tossed the sword to his left hand and with his right pulled a revolver from his jacket.
The intention to move was hardly conscious, but it carried Henry across the killing ground to slap the gun away. Startled, off balance, the brown-eyed man swung the Spanish sword his way, but his wrong-handed stroke was wild. Henry plucked the weapon free and sank it into his chest before he could regain his feet. His gaping mouth struggling to form words, the gunman looked from the blade in his chest to Henry and then to the tall man, and then fell backward into death.
"Oh, for fuck's sake."
It was not the reaction Henry expected. He turned to address his tall man and found the point of that long, heavy sword directed at his heart.
Yanking the blade from the body of the coward he'd just killed, Henry rounded on the man he'd been defending and struck a sound blow that was parried with almost negligent ease. How long had it been since he'd fought like this? God willing, his body would remember. He slid closer to negate the tall man's reach, and initiated a flurry of short strokes. His opponent leapt back and to the side, coming in at an angle behind his sword hand.
Remember he might, but few of his former opponents had been this deadly. Henry swung around and barely parried the blow that drove for his bicep.
They covered the ground again and again. With a crash, the heavens opened, blasting big hot drops like tears onto the dirty, cracked asphalt. Henry shook water from his eyes. He had no desire to kill; his curiosity was up, and besides, he did not want to give himself away. The tall man was tireless in battle but it felt as though he also was reluctant to bring the fight to its destined finish. His gaze shot again and again to the lifeless flesh that lay against a stack of pallets. Henry fought the human urge to look where the tall man looked, but finally something seen from the corner of his eye demanded one glance.
That dead man was sitting up. Rubbing his chest. Shaking his head and groaning. One second of inattention when astonishment got the better of him and Henry found himself against the wall of the warehouse, the tall man's sword as implacable as any wooden stake against his heart.
Four hundred fifty years were not enough. Fitzroy the vampire thrust the threatening sword aside and drove the tall man back and back, sword in one hand, the other hand knotted in the dark coat. When they reached the opposite wall, the blade in Henry's hand rose to crease the tall man's throat. He showed his teeth in what might have been a smile.
"Tell me, friend. Do you want to live?"
Sucking in air, the captive gave a short nod. "As much as you do. The trouble is, if you don't let me go, that guy is going to kill me. After that, you might be next."
Henry scowled into the deceptively mild hazel eyes. His champion huffed out an impatient breath and gestured with his sword. "Look, we can finish this later, but really--"
The brown-eyed man was on his feet. He clutched a long shard of glass in his hand. There was rage in his eyes and he was moving toward them. It was a ridiculous impasse. Henry stifled the sudden desire to laugh and gave his captive a shake that lifted him off his feet.
"Finish your business, but then you're mine."
"Jesus Christ." The tall man settled his coat. "It's never simple, is it?"
It must have been a rhetorical question because he turned to face his first opponent as he said it. Henry moved to throw the Lazarus man his sword, but the thought was too late. With a pass remarkable for its economy of movement and its brutal force, his champion finished the fight once and for all.
The head rolled to a stop at Henry's feet.
An enormous clap of thunder sounded. Wonder and amazement piled on horror as lightning gathered around the victor. The lens of the streetlight exploded and showered glass shards down amid the rain. Blue-white currents of energy so brilliant Henry had to shield his eyes rose from the headless corpse and wrapped around his champion's upraised arms, skimmed over his body like the fingers of some elemental lover. Ecstasy rode him, wringing spasms from his muscles and a cry from his mouth. He jerked and twisted; the lightning sheathed him in power.
Henry struggled against the urge to intervene as it went on and on; he could not predict how his body would tolerate those waves of etheric blue. At last the torrent slowed. Released by the force that held him, his champion staggered back to the support of the wall.
Around them, the rain pounded down. Sirens wailed; they yanked Henry's mind back from a dazed effort to name what he'd just witnessed. Picking his way around the corpse, he approached the figure slumped against the warehouse bricks.
"Come on. We've got to get out of here."
"I'm fine. Go away. Call it all even and go away."
"No! No. I won't leave you here like this. You're exhausted."
The dripping sword was at his throat before he finished the words. "I think I can take care of myself, don't you? Now get. Out."
The exotic scent of that blood—blood everywhere—was thick in Henry's mouth and in his nose. The Hunger was hot, roused by the violence, and though there were hours until dawn, he knew he should feed now and get back to Vancouver. The tall man looked at him, and looked again. Henry didn't bother hiding.
"You're a vampire."
"You have the advantage of me. What are you?"
From the back door of the club, a voice called, "They're on the way, Adam. Can you get rid of him?"
The tall man—Adam—turned to Henry. "He's not talking about the cops. You're screwing up the process."
Adam rolled his eyes. "You just don't stop, do you?"
"Listen,"said the bartender. He was standing at the top of the steps by the door, one hand shielding his eyes from the rain. "Either you get rid of him or I do." He held a heavy handgun with the air of one who knew very well how to use it. Holy God, what were these people?
"Come on, Joe, what are we going to do with another body? Besides, that'll no more kill him than it will kill me. Right?" He turned to Henry for confirmation.
From around the corner, a faint squeak of brakes and the sound of an idling engine telegraphed the arrival of someone none of them wanted to meet.
Joe was agitated now. "Can you at least finish this inside?"
Adam waved a courtly hand toward the club. "After you, Mister Vampire. You've lost the chance to fly away."
Henry contemplated doing just that, then shrugged. "I hate to disappoint you, but I remain as you see me. The bat form is a fictional conceit." He stepped quickly for the stairs; out on the street, a van door slid open.
"Oh, this is going to be an evening to remember." Adam followed him up the steps and through the door. "Joe, we'll be in the office."
The office turned out to be a walled-off corner stuffed with filing cabinets, liquor crates, bits of electronic equipment and guitar cases. A scarred desk squatted to one side like a sullen mongrel dog. There were two chairs. Adam grabbed a bar towel and flopped bonelessly into the one behind the desk. He scrubbed at his wet hair.
"Don't want to catch a cold, do I?" he said, in reply to Henry's raised brow. "Oh, here." Another towel was flung his way, and Henry caught it with his left hand. He was still clutching the Spanish sword in his right. It surprised him; after a wavering second, he leaned it against the desk, point to the floor, where he could reach it if need be.
A cold chill slithered down his neck. He sat down and rubbed his face with the coarse cloth.
The image of the severed head appeared behind his closed eyes.
"You killed that man in cold blood."
Adam plucked at his soaked jacket, then stood to take it off and drape it over the radiator behind the desk. It made a faint clanking noise as it settled.
"So I did. I suppose," he said, sitting back down in the creaking chair, "that you've never done any such thing?"
Not like that. Because it was war. Because I was hungry. Because I was threatened. Because I didn't know any better. Not like that.
"I have." Henry tried to get his thoughts in order. "When I am driven to kill, my motivations are plain. Yours are not. I'll ask you again. What are you?"
Henry considered the three-count pause was due more to a sense of the dramatic than to any pondering of consequences. Finally, Adam said, "I am Immortal."
Outside in the alley, there were metallic sounds, like springs being stretched. Henry barked out a mirthless laugh. "But not Vampire."
"Do you think you're the only bogeyman out there? My God, your conceit astounds me."
"My conceit? I'll admit to ignorance in this case, but not conceit."
"Ignorance. So how old are you, Mister Vampire? And what is your name?"
The inner door banged open and Joe stumped in carrying a canvas bag. He tossed it at Adam. "Here, lock that in the safe, will you? The band's almost done, and it's emptying out. I'm going to close shortly. The cops stopped by—I told them there was a lightning strike. The clean-up crew just left." He glared at Henry, who glared back. "Making any progress?"
Adam's voice was muffled as he rummaged under the desk. "Not very much." He sat up again, sans bag. "We've established that he's a vampire and I'm a liar."
Joe shook his head and left, yanking the door shut behind him.
Dropping his towel in the waste can, Adam leaned his forearms on the desk and clasped his hands together. "Now, I think I asked the last question. Your turn for an answer."
"My name is Richmond, and I am four hundred seventy-eight years old."
He could almost see the wheels turning. When pieces clicked home, Adam sat back, his face creased with amusement. "Surely not. Not that Richmond. Not old Henry's bonny lad?"
"I'm glad you think so."
"A figure of speech from the time, as I recall."
"You recall, do you? What else do you recall?"
"I recall the days when your great-grandsire was in leading strings, and a great deal more besides. Have a little respect, young Henry. You're in the presence of your elders."
Henry snorted. "Of course I am. You would scarcely admit to being younger."
"Still a liar, am I? Well, I can't prove my point by naming off events you weren't there to witness."
That was a dead end, though Henry wouldn't go so far as to say so out loud. Shifting his tack, he asked, "If you're not one of my kind, how do you come to be immortal?"
"More questions with no answers. We are not born like this; we appear in this world as mortal as you were on your, what, seventeenth birthday?" Adam looked at Henry, waiting for some response. Finally, he just went on. "It takes a violent death to awaken the Immortal. After that, it's all beer and skittles."
"Last time I played skittles, I don't recall using a sword."
"Our rules are different."
Henry opened his mouth to ask about those rules, but Adam held up a hand. "No, it's my turn now." He pointed a long finger at the rosary wrapped around Henry's wrist. "At least one of the folktales is wrong. By the mirror on the door, the one about non-reflectivity is false, too. Let's see...garlic? Holy water?"
Sighing in frustration, Henry rose and walked the three steps that took him to the other side of the room. "You're trying to figure out how to kill me. Surely you don't think I'm going to answer you."
"Well, you know how to kill me."
"What, behead you? Is that the one and only way?"
"Any arrangement that permanently separates my head from my heart will do. Sword, explosion, molecular vaporization." Propping his feet up on the desk, Adam extended his legs to push the chair back toward the radiator. "You're incredibly fragile by comparison."
Henry put on some speed; Adam was gasping for breath against the steel outer door in a blink. "You forgot something in your list."
This was an Immortal with a human heartbeat, and Henry was gratified to hear it double in rate as he exerted pressure at the neck.
It didn't stop the conversation, though it certainly changed the tone of Adam's voice. "What might that be?"
"I could rip your head from your shoulders. It's not molecular vaporization, but the result would be the same."
It must have been difficult to carry off amused disdain while dangling from the grip of a vampire, but Adam managed. "At least I won't die of sunburn."
A little more pressure and he'd at least shut up. Henry leaned in, closer to that tempting neck where blood vessels mapped the pale skin. The smell, that smell that had beckoned him into the club, was luscious. It reminded him of the scent of peaches in the summer orchards of his youth—mouthwatering, tempting, a scent that demanded to be tasted.
He drew his tongue along one of those blue pathways and Adam sucked in a hard breath. There was something more to the intoxicating scent now, something Henry could identify.
"You've lived a long time," he whispered, easing his quarry back to the floor. The height difference was considerable, but not insurmountable. He moved to speak against Adam's mouth. "I'm the first new thing you've seen in years." He nipped, just the barest graze of teeth, and reveled in the change it made: eyes shut, lips parted, shallow breaths. "It wouldn't kill you to..."
Henry turned to face Joe. He kept one hand on Adam's chest to pin him to the door.
The gun was back out. No one in the room doubted that the safety was off. "Get back. Step away from him."
"Joe. It's not going to..."
"For chrissakes, Adam, I know it's not going to kill him." His eyes hadn't moved from Henry's face. "Now get back. I'll shoot your ass and haul you out to the middle of the bay—just in time for sun-up."
"Joe! I can defend my own honor."
"If you don't knock it off, I'll shoot you, too. He's a vampire, Methos. You don't know what will happen if he...you know."
Sun-up. The tingle of approaching dawn hadn't started yet, but Henry felt the minutes ticking away. He needed to feed, and he needed to get somewhere safe. He could still make it home.
He looked at Adam. "Choose. I don't have time to argue."
Adam looked at the clock over the door. "I see." Turning toward Joe, he took Henry's wrist in his hands and tugged. Henry let go, but stood his ground. "Since you can't fly, I suppose you have a car here."
"Then drive me home." Joe made a noise of protest, but Adam raised a hand. "Just let it go. He's not a praying mantis, he's a vampire."
Opening the door to the alley, he stood aside as he put his coat on and Henry went out, carrying the Spanish sword. Joe called after them, "Don't make me come look for you."
On the way to the car, Henry asked, "I thought your name was Adam. Why did he call you Methos?"
"Oh, to be young again."
Adam directed him along the street that ran back toward the interstate.
"Joe is very protective of you."
"I am a prime specimen. I'm the one they all want to keep alive."
"But Joe is no Immortal."
"How can you tell?" Adam pointed ahead to the entrance of a parking lot. "Pull in there."
"I see a greater spectrum than mortals do. Human life has a color. You're different—you glow white." Henry kept driving. "So what is Joe to you?"
"It's complicated." He turned around in his seat. "You missed the turn."
"No, I just drove past it." Henry didn't have to take his eyes from the road; he could imagine the sudden wary anger on Adam's face.
"Where are you going?"
"To Vancouver." He brought the car up to speed on the highway entrance ramp and settled back in his seat. "You didn't really think I'd go to some unknown place with an unknown person, did you? After all, you said it yourself. I'm incredibly fragile."
"What if I don't want to go?"
"What, will you be late for work in the morning?" He smiled out onto the concrete ribbon that sped away behind them. "If you don't want to go, get out. Just watch your neck."
It took a couple minutes, but finally Adam sat back. "So, how did you get to North America?"
Henry wondered if Adam would run once they got off the highway, but stoplights came and went, and he remained in the passenger seat, making an odd kind of small talk about eras they had in common. When the car was parked beneath Henry's building, they sat for a moment, regarding each other.
Henry opened his door. "Coming?"
Though Adam spoke under his breath, Henry heard him say, "After all this, I'd better." He smiled and led the way to the elevator.
He'd forgotten that the first thing on view when his apartment door opened was his sword. Adam eyed it as he entered but said nothing.
"Let me take your coat."
"I'll keep it with me, thanks." Hands in his pockets, he strolled into the living room with its broad expanse of windows. "You must get great morning light in here."
"I wouldn't know."
Adam hadn't stopped moving. He poked his head into the kitchen. "There's a loaf of bread on your counter."
"I have a roommate."
"Oh? How are you going to explain me?"
"He knows what I am. Our relationship cannot be exclusive."
"I can see how that would be a problem." He picked up a book, laid it back down. The open door to Henry's office caught his eye, and he went over. "Yours?"
"Yes." Henry followed and stood in the doorway as his guest took in the sheets pinned to the walls and the drawing board. "I don't generally allow people in my studio."
"Oh." He turned back toward the door. "It's good work. Been at it long?"
"I started in oils, as you might imagine. This is a newer medium, but I like it."
Adam stepped forward, but Henry held his position. He stretched out his hand and ran his fingers down the curve of Adam's cheekbone. "You'd make a wonderful model. I need an evil grand vizier."
"Evil?" Moving closer, Adam smiled. "I'm hurt." He wrapped his hand behind Henry's neck and pulled their mouths together.
Was it just his imagination, or did Henry taste the faintest tang of ozone in the kiss? Adam's mobile lips pressed the advantage. Henry was accustomed to being in charge; he pushed back, and felt an unfamiliar frisson of excitement when Adam gave no ground. He pushed harder; the kiss turned fierce. The hand on the back of his neck shoved up into his hair; he retaliated in kind. Their teeth scraped.
Henry tasted blood.
Blood and more than blood. A tingle like the sudden heat of a furnace spread along his tongue into his mouth. It was more than the intermingling of sex and nourishment. He lapped at the torn skin at the corner of Adam's lip, but the wound was gone, healed as a vampire's wound would heal. That tiny drop was a breadcrumb that promised a feast. He pulled his mouth away and sank his fingers into Adam's upper arms.
"You'd better want this," he snarled.
"I do. Are you sure?" The narrowing of hazel eyes held more meaning than the words.
In answer, Henry pulled him around the corner into the bedroom. "I'm sure."
Henry forced himself to pause for one precaution—he set the alarm clock for six-thirty. Then he slipped off his shoes and turned to put them in the closet. Adam had draped his coat over the desk chair; he was at the window, twitching the curtain aside.
"Not a very good view in here," he said, looking at the plywood beneath. Henry watched his hands carefully. "It's a little eerie. All these years, and I've never run into one of you before."
Henry slid his belt free of the loops and wound it around his hand. "You wouldn't have known if you did. Not under ordinary circumstances." The belt put away, he padded over to stand behind his guest. "Though it surprises me no other vampire has fallen under your spell." He inhaled a long draught of the perfume of Adam's body. "You smell delicious."
Almost of its own volition, his hand crept up to brush aside the fringe of hair that curled at Adam's neck. He trailed his lips against the contour of muscle that pressed the vein against the skin. His champion's body stiffened under the caress, but nevertheless pressed back against him. Henry drew his other hand down along the sternum, over ripples of muscle to the hard ridge he knew he'd find at the intersection of those long legs.
Adam thrust forward against his hand. Henry's smile was all business; he whispered as he stroked.
"So dangerous. Mine is no mortal body that will turn to dust in a few decades, but immortal, just like yours. And hungry, just like you." He scraped his teeth, still only teeth, along the river of life that ran in tempting reach. "So very hungry."
Slipping sideways, Adam moved toward the bed. "Hungry, but not thoughtless. Take your clothes off, vampire. I want to see you."
"And I, you." As his fingers slipped the buttons of his shirt free from the buttonholes, Henry moved forward. Adam skinned his t-shirt off with one lithe motion; he reached for the snap of his jeans, but Henry got there first. It was such a delight to feel those warm hands on his chest, even as his own cool ones delved between denim and skin.
A twist of Adam's torso, and Henry found himself lying on the bed, looking up. Adam smiled down. "Yes. No mortal body here, either, and no one easily swayed by your considerable charm." Henry bucked against the weight over him, but the smile only broadened. "You could certainly push me away. I wonder, will you?" And he bent to take a kiss.
It was as much sharp tooth as soft skin. Henry felt his own lip split, and felt the quick burr of the healing that followed. Adam moved on, biting his way down along his neck to his chest, while with one hand he worked at the catch of the trousers Henry still wore. Every place Adam's mouth touched sizzled with heat. It called for struggle; there was a blind instinct to resist such outrageous sensation, and Henry fought his legs free to wrap them around his tormentor's hips. He was careful with his strength. Things between them had to be on even footing.
Adam had him pinned hard to the mattress. That did not suit, despite the lovely things his mouth was doing to Henry's right nipple, so he arched his back and rolled to reverse their positions. Now Adam pushed up against him, and in earnest, as Henry pressed one forearm across his muscled chest to unzip the jeans with his free hand.
As soon as those were shoved away, Henry threw his hands wide to hold down the arms that sought purchase against him. The movement brought them together from nipples to knees. Henry felt his fangs descend; he growled and watched Adam's eyes widen and close as their cocks met and caught with sticky friction. He couldn't stop himself; he didn't want to stop himself, so he rocked his hips. Bone against bone, the wings of his pelvis rolled against the other. It hurt, it bruised, and it mingled with the pleasure of that Immortal scent and the radiant heat of the Immortal body beneath him until Henry felt himself carried on the tide of sensation.
The dark coverlet showed Adam's skin to perfection; he was pale and the flush from their exertions painted his face, his chest, and his neck. His white aura shone faint against the velvet. He'd twisted his hands to grasp at Henry's wrists; an ordinary man would have bruises to wear, and Henry loved the strength in the grip. One leg had come up to brace against the underside of his buttocks, keeping him down against the rolling rise and fall of Adam's hips. Henry wondered if it felt the same to Adam, the snap and spark of each nerve ending at every point of contact, but asking would break the spell. He spoke with his body instead.
They rutted against each other. Between them, more liquid dribbled out to ease the passage of skin against skin, and with that lubrication, their pace increased. Henry pressed his face into the curve of the strong neck exposed to him, and drank in the answering shudder. He mouthed along the tendon ridge, feeling for the right place to make his strike. This would be flawless, it would be a pinnacle; he would make it so for Adam as well. When Adam shoved his hips up hard and moaned, Henry read his moment and bit down.
The instant when his teeth pierced the skin was always sweetest. That first gush of hot blood filled his mouth with rapture. Adam's shocked cry, the convulsive struggle, and the stilling of his body trapped in Henry's arms were part of the luscious, terrible joy of the feast.
Here, though, here there was more than the familiar mix of nourishment and desire. The blood in his mouth sang to him; the sense of it sped along his nerves with a crackling heat. Waves of electric pleasure followed it into his body; his orgasm flew toward him in one agonized rush of sensation. This feeding was palpable everywhere in his body, like the tracing of lightning. His eyes flew open and he jerked back, his tongue already chasing after that more-than-blood where it escaped his lips.
"Oh, God," he whispered, and dove back to the bite, but it was healed. He bit again, and sucked. Adam shouted and thrashed against him; Henry barely felt his partner's climax, so fixed was he in his need to drink and drink more. This blood was goodness itself; life, real life, flowed into his body, and he reveled in it, soaked it into every cell, a prisoner of the darkness released to worship the sun. To have this always, such a plenitude of brilliant life, would be paradise. He could live his own heaven on earth with this man; he would have all he might desire; it would happen, he would make it happen.
When he drew back to look at the perfection in his arms, the blue-white lightning of Immortal power jumped from the healing wound onto his lips.
Henry howled and spent himself in a tremendous burst of ecstasy. A depthless ocean of power and joy closed over his head. Wave after wave of it drowned him, and when he could not stay afloat, it bore him away from the peak of pleasure to crash him against the rocks that lay beneath.
He let himself drift in that low place while, one by one, his senses came back to him. His head was pounding. His body felt distant, as when he had passed through what a mortal would call death.
Death. The body beneath him was far too still. Henry recalled with sick denial the long feeding he had taken. No. Not that. Releasing the arms he still gripped, he pushed away. The flush of sex had gone, leaving only pale skin behind. But Adam was Immortal; had he not said himself that there was only one way he could die?
Henry listened for a heartbeat, bending down. Nothing. Nothing. Not even the slightest--
With a heaving gasp, Adam arched from the bed and fell back. Henry jerked away and rocked back on his hands. Though it was what he had told himself would happen, Adam's return to life, so like the one he woke to every night, still shocked him. The hazel eyes opened, tracked down the ceiling to the bedposts, and from there to Henry's face.
"Got a little carried away, did you?"
Unable to form a reply, Henry rose and turned away. Their spending was like ice on his belly; he went into the bathroom and came out a moment later wrapped in his robe, with a wet cloth and a towel.
"Here," he said, and held them at arm's length.
Adam propped himself on one elbow and frowned. He took the things from Henry's hands and Henry backed away. "You run hot and cold, don't you? A minute ago, you were killing me with kindness."
Henry drew a breath and nearly choked on it. That scent, the cloying Immortal scent still filled the air, and it still called to him. "I wouldn't call it kindness, no." He raised a hand to push his hair back from his face and was amazed to see a faint trail of light follow the motion. Such potency, that it would continue to echo this long after the meal was finished.
But that was madness. The whole thing led to madness, surely. His memory replayed the things he had considered as he filled himself from Adam's body. The taste of copper turned bitter on his tongue.
"You have to go." He moved to the foot of the bed and tossed Adam's jeans toward him, followed them with his shirt. "Get dressed."
The frown deepened, but Adam laid aside the cloth and towel and began to pull on his jeans. "What's this about? You're not...surely you're not going to go all angsty because you killed me?" He slipped the t-shirt over his head. "It was an intense experience. You didn't know what would happen."
"No." Henry followed Adam with his eyes as he finished putting on his shoes. He could imagine watching him dress every night for a thousand years. Immortality would finally be the gift he'd imagined it to be when he was seventeen. They could make the world their own, he and Adam, and style it to suit their pleasure. He would feast on that Immortal essence and he would be as a king among the living.
And that was an evil thing, a twisted and perverse fantasy. Even while he considered his certainty that drinking Immortal blood would lead to his destruction, he could not help but desire it. "No, I didn't. But I do now, and you have to get out of here. We can't do this again."
"Oh, come on. You're a grown man. I have every faith that you'd be more careful next time. The sex is good, but the feeding is exquisite. You'll deny me the pleasure of your company because you don't trust yourself?" Adam had his coat in his hand now, and he stood by the bedroom door.
"Do you hear yourself? Even you feel it. Your blood calls to me, and it makes me feel like I can do anything. It's dangerous. It's addictive. I'd drain you dry again and again, not because I couldn't stop, but because I just don't want to. It makes me think about the sun. I can't afford that."
They regarded each other over the gulf that separated the bed and the doorway. "I'm sorry," Adam said, almost in a whisper. He shook his head. "There for a little while, I thought that maybe..." He opened the door and stepped out. "But you're right. We can't afford each other. Good night, Henry."
Henry stood where he was. He heard the apartment door shut and tracked the heartbeat to the street. It faded a step at a time, then at taxicab speed fell to silence.
When the alarm clock sounded he snatched it from the table and crushed it with one hand. After a moment, he threw it in the trash, checked the lock on the bedroom door and took fresh sheets from the closet to change the bed. He slipped off his robe and arranged himself under the covers.
There would be other nights, many, many other nights, and he did not need more than he had to enjoy them. He would keep to his own territory and not go to Seacouver again.
Yet Henry could not help it; it was Adam he thought of as he met the sunrise with his daily death.