(Credit to my fellow writer, Tales of Legends! Enjoy!)
The setting sun bled reds, pinks and lavenders into the Nordic skies above Lake Hornavans forest, eventually would give way to the indigos of night. One of Cass' hands pushed through the undergrowth, the other clasped the pale digits of Jorah. "Dammit." The Arabian growled, chatoyant eyes narrowing to blade thin slits as a thorn nicked his skin. Cass didn't have the money to allow them to continue to stay at the hotel, so he was returning to the lake- with a surprise for his....special friend. Wait hold on, why were they holding hands? How else will people know we're gay? Cass' inner voice corrected him. Once he caught ear of the lake, he quickly covered Jorah's eyes. "No peeking. I have a surprise for you."
Jorah was confused. The say the least. He knew how to surprise people, but he'd never actually had anyone try to surprise him. Having someone else's hands over his eyes was... strange. Almost a bit frightening, or definitely would've been if he didn't smell whose hands it was. Or knew. But that smell, that's something you don't easily forget. That soft, and wonderful smell. He wasn't scared, not at all. It was strange, but not frightening. He'd never put his trust in anyone as he does the forest. Well, until now. Cassius was the only one whose judgment he valued equally to that of the forest. A giggle escaped his broad and toothy grin. "What is all this for?" he asked with some doubt, but with a hint of a giggly voice.
He pressed his chest against Jorah's back, elbows resting on the Necks shoulders to usher the pale thing along, soon emerging from the treeline. "It's for you. And me. So..its for us." Cassius said, warily glancing towards the lakes edge, stepping away from the water. Nope. "Alright. Open." He pulled his large hands away. A ways away from the lake, the skeletons resembling the frame of a new house stood. The wooden skeketon resided upon the cement foundation. Blankets and loosely scattered rose petals rested on top of the cement beneath the hollow skeleton, with fairy lights wrapped around the wood pillars. "Its our house." Cass said. "Or...it will be."
Carefully he opened his sea blue eyes and... The Näcken was speechless. Cassius was building a house. A home, a dwelling, a nest. For them. The two of them. Like they were a thing. A symbiotic organism. This was... incredible. And, romantic. Jorah never expected anything like this, especially not from Cassius. "Did you..." Poor Jorah couldn't really find his words. Without further delay, Jorah swiftly turns around, pulls his arms around Cassius neck and pulls himself up in a kiss. Words could not be formed, so he figured this would do.
"I di-" Cassius couldn't finish, for he was being drawn forth, arms soon entangled around his neck as Jorah kissed him. A small, breathy snort of laughter escaped his nose as he closed his eyes to kiss the Neck back, his calloused hands moving to rest upon his waist. Cass hardly pulled away, his lips barely a centimeter from Jorah's. "Do you like it...?"
The sprite's sea blue eyes were giving off a faint glow, matching the blush painting his moon-pale cheeks. With his colorful hair hanging in a mess, covering parts of his face, a broad toothy grin, with teeth digging into his lower lip, exposing his elongaed canines. "I love it!" he exclaimed with an emotional sigh as a crystal clear tear rolled down, following the faint scars along his cheeks. Yes, he was crying again. Although, these were tears of joy. Nay, love. As if that was anything new. Although, suddenly that glow in his eyes disappeared for a moment and his eyes returned to a more natural blue tone. Shifting his gaze to the ground before returning to meet Cassius' "I... I don't have anything for you..." And again, tears were rollng down his cheeks. His chest was filled with pain, and his breath picked up, showing the early signs of a panic attack. He was afraid Cassius would be disappointed, or sad.
A grin dented dimples into Cass, lightly shadowed cheeks. Wrinkles creased at his eyes, smile lines formed beneath his nose- signs of genuine happiness. "I couldn't be happier." The Arabian murmured, his voice as low and sultry as ever, yet these words should be treasured as they rarely escaped these lips. Had he ever said that before? Cassius wasn't sure. He found himself a little mesmerized by Jorah's eyes, reflecting the hue of the vast lake and neverending sky. However the Wild Beast would soon snap out of the trance as Jorah seemed to launch into some sort of episode. "Wha- no, that's fine! I wanted this to be your surprise today, if you really /want/ to, you can get me something later." Cassius said beginning to break down a little himself.
Jorah's frantical breathing slightly calmed down. But he was still in a low-key state of panic. He presses his thin frame against Cassius as tightly as he could. And with muffled words, he says "I will repay you. I swear. Please don't be mad at me!" The feesh won't get the memo... But that's what you get from being with an emotional magical wreck.
Cassius jolted a bit as his frail partner pressed against him, still sensing the panic coursing through the Necks veins. Why was he so concerned? "I'm not mad!" He exclaimed with a chuckle. "There's no need to repay. The house is for both of us." One hand ran over Jorah's back until their fingers intertwined. "Come on, its getting dark. Let's go light the lanterns."
Jorah sniffled away his tears and murmured a "Mhm" in agreement. His eyes, returning to that unnatural blue color again. He turned his head to the sky before letting go of Cassius to dry his tears with his arm. Another sniffle to supress any possible tears that hadn't yet rolled down. "It's almost time to nurse the mist too." he said, cocking a glance towards the lake.
Cassius was leading the distressed mer boy up the steps right as- "It's time to do what?" He asked, eyes narrowing with absolute confusion. Nurse the what? Huh?Pardon? Red wine sat beside the blankets, as well as many lanterns laid out for Jorah to light and release into the sky. There was a lighter as well, but Cass refused to touch it, due to his fear of flames. He could just cradle Jorah as the Neck released those glowing lights into the sky. "Come on. Light one, have a drink!"
Jorah was so mesmerized by the whole thing he just stood there, spinning around slowly with jaw wide open. He couldn't seem to find any words at all. He'd never seen something like this up close. His eyes finally locked onto Cassius again. "This is... amazing. Icke trodde jag du kunde göra något sådant här! It's... incredible" he said with a broad toothy grin.
Cassius peered down at his strange, pale counterpart before taking both of his hands when Jorah ceased to spin. He grinned. "I tried. And quit spinning, you're going to get dizzy and fall." He said before sitting down, bringing Jorah with him. The Swede would land straight on to his chest and Cass would nearly fall back. He drew the skinny man up closer to his body, arms wrapped around him, his front pressed to Jorah's back. He reached to pick up a lantern. "Do you know how to light it?"
The sprite gasped slightly in surprise, but let himself be pulled down. And it made him blush like crazy, borderline to the point of glowing again. When they settled, he gently pressed himself closer to the mocha skin of his partner. He reached back with his arm to grasp on behind Cassius neck to pull him closer for a quick little kiss. He watched the lantern for a moment. Then with a whisper he spoke "Bruni," the ancient word echoed like the voice of a singer on top of a mountain. And with it, a small spark lit the lantern.
Skin against skin. He couldn't help but let a low rumble of a purr grow in the barrel of his chest. Cassius' eyes fluttered at the feeling of Jorah's hand on the back of his neck. His gaze flickered back to the lantern when Jorah murmured the archaic tongue, only to flinch when he laid eyes on the flame. His fingers bit into his boyfriends stomach. It's fine, it's ok, Jorah's here, the fire won't stay, Cassius thought, trying to calm himself. Don't let him see you afraid. His blue gaze folllwed the lantern as it lifted into the air. He chuckled almost nervously. "Do it again."
Jorah gave out a faint little giggle. Both for sensing Cassius' fear, but also for sensing his curiosity... or whatever it was. He grasped on to Cassius arms, holding him. "Be calm, and know that nothing can hurt you as long as I am at your side, älskade" That last word, 'beloved' in his native tongue. Then he took a deep breath, closed his eyes and exhaled another whisper "Brenna loga", and again it echoed mystically until all the lanters lit up - covering the two in a shower of golden light.
Heavy breaths escaped him, a growl ready to burst but the feeling of Jorah's fingers on his arms was calming. He had to admit. "Älskade? What does that mean?" He was cut off once both men were bathed in golden light, his eyes beaming with awe. "...you're going to have to teach me Swedish." Cassius murmured. He leaned over to grab the bottle of wine and the two glasses, suppressing a yawn with one calloused hand. He poured wine into both cups. "Here." Cass purred. "I may or may not have stolen it." He lay back on the blankets, peering up at the night sky, the lanterns like rising golden stars above them.
Jorah smiled warmly as he turned his torso to look into Cass' eyes. "It means beloved" he said, with a very shy voice. As if there was a slight chance Cassius would be drawn back by the term. Most men he'd been with had only been interesting in one thing - to stick it in the hhole and shake it. He took the wine glass in his hand, sniffing the liquid carefully. "What is this?" he asked as he took a sip, that turned his face into a twisted mess. But he didn't want to disappoint Cassius, so he took another sip and pretended to like it. "I'm wearing stolen pants. I don't worry about that" he replied with a warm chuckle.
"Beloved." Cass peered up at Jorah from where he lay, whilst the Näck remained sitting. He thought for a moment, getting lost in the meadows of his mind. Beloved. Was this what the people in noir films felt when they kissed in black and white? He lifted the glass to his lips, letting the red tang wash over his tongue. Stars were beginning to wink down at the two and all of the sudden, a wide, most contagious, sparkling grin spread across Cass' face. "I love you too, Jorah."
'I love you too'. The words echoed in Jorah's ears, and his skin began to emitt a sparkling light. This was the third time he's been glowing in Cassius presence. His entire aura seemed to be glowing. He looked up to the stars, his eyes now glowing too. Like tiny blue LED lights, they pierced through the darkness. Then he let is mouth open ever so slightly, drew breath and... "A king he was on carven throne" his voice began to softly, shyly, hum. "In many-pillared halls of stone ~" It was almost as if though he was shy to sing in front of Cassius, and maybe he also was, but soon, the shyness broke away. "With golden roof and silver floor, And runes of power upon the door!" For such a small creature, his voice was very powerful. "The light of sun and star and moon In shining lamps of crystal hewn~" He slowly stood up, as mist rolled in from the trees across the lake. "Undimmed by cloud or shade of night There shone for ever fair and bright." His feet lifted from the ground, and the aura around him showed a transparent finned tail. The mist seemed to gather on the lake, where it would dance to the tune that soon turned into humming.
What would his answer be? Cassius felt his mouth go dry, he wet his full lips with a dehydrated tongue and reached for his glass of wine. His fingers froze when Jorah lit up like fireworks on the fourth of July. Had he pressed the wrong button? Cass soon felt warmth spread through his chest, tingles traveling through every vein in his body, pupils dilating with awe. Never before had he heard singing so mellodious, so enchanting like an incantation cast upon his being. He couldn't decide which was more beautiful, the song or the scene before him. "J...Jorah?"
The sprite stopped humming, and the mist settled on the vast lake. It was almost as if someone had been stirring a pot but suddenly stopped. The mist laid calm and soft, like a layer of cotton on the still mirror-smooth lake. The glowing around him slowly dimmed down and he was placed on the ground again. But he still looked different. His skin was still sparkling, and his eyes were still glowing an intense blue. He turned around, and his gaze locked on to Cassius' own. It was an almost frightening appearance, and was he but a human, he'd try to run but would be unable to. And although his alien appearance might've been... discomforting, it held a glimmer of safety as well. "Did... Did you like it?" he asked carefully, grabbing his own arm while biting his lower lip gently.
Cassius wasn't in the least bit unnerved. The sparkling skin nearly enchanted him just like Jorah's intoxicating melody. "Did I like it?" A slow grin cracked across his immaculate features. "I..." Jorah. Jorah. Fuck. Cassius lurched forward, hands wrapping around the Necks forearms and pulling him forth on top of Cass' laying body, swallowing him in a deep, passionate kiss.
Jorah was just about to speak as Cassius launched out towards him, puling him down. And he did not complain. As their lips touched, the sprite parted his to let his tongue tease Cassius' own lips, before gently pushing in to carefully stroke the tip of his tongue. His hands quickly touched the ground to keep himself up a bit, but low enough to make their bodies touch. His left leg curled upwards, stroking Cassius side as it did, and a slight moan escaped his clashing lips.
Red. Orange. The tongues of flame licked at the ever darkening sky, embers dancing away as they were outcasted from the fire, threatening Cassius as they seemed to grin maliciously towards him. Cold yet burning fear crawled through his veins, every nerve, every bone petrified- he was nothing more than a pillar of salt. The hot breath of a bull ran over his skin as the red eyed creature stood before him, flesh melting away from the beasts body but he did not cry out. His eyes only met Cassius', a deathly, chilling stare that could strike fear into the most brave of men or the smallest of children. The shadow like forms seemed to gather around him, mirages among the flame, nine cloaked men holding a bundle of cloth- with a newborn baby wrapped in their arms. Cassius' fought but he was still, attempting to scream but his cry went unheard, only pain raking at his throat as if the fangs of a lion had sank into his neck. Was there salvation? No. Only fire. The flames. The ember. The burning.
Cassius sat up, cold sweat glistening along his bare torso, beastly claws slipping from his fingertips. His chest heaved with every labored breath, icy gaze searching his surroundings wildly until he felt slight heat against his body. He looked down, ready to tear away at any fire- but it was only Jorah's sleeping form. The sprite was sound asleep beside him, entangled in the blankets where love had bloomed. The night sky still loomed over head, however the full moon was beginning to descend. Morning would make its bright arrival in a few hours. Cassius stared down at Jorah, peeling himself away from the pale mans form. Jorah. He didn't deserve this. He didn't deserve the fire. Lost in thought, trembling fingers snagged his black muscle tee and jeans from beside the pile of blankets and empty wine bottle, throwing them on over his sweating yet freezing cold body. Despite every shaking breath, he was determined not to wake the beautiful Näck who had once lay at his side. With the silence gifted to felines, Cassius leaped down to the ground, with only a glance behind him at the pale man. Placing his sweating, calloused palms to the ground, it would split, whatever clay buried beneath the soil would arise forming a tablet before him. Words would begin to inscript themselves upon its surface as he thought-
"Dear Jorah Calder. You have given me the best few months that I could've ever imagined and this moment, in this world, my heart is breaking. You have shown me joy, you have shown me your world, your magic, your love. You have shown me how to love myself. In return, I must protect you from me. You are too precious to me, and I am protecting you Jorah, I promise. But I know, if I stay harm will come to you, but if I go, I will lose you. Dark days are following me close behind, my Älskade, and because you have caused me to fall for you, I must leave. Do not follow me, I know you want to, but for me, for you, stay here in Lake Hornavan, with the water I will never touch and the skeleton of the home we would've made into our own. Stay here in Sweden, where we would've been kings. For me. For you. I will never forget you even if you forget me, even if I fall asleep in death, I love you. -Cassius."
That icy gaze fell upon the forest as the clay tablet now scribed with words lay in the grass by the lakeshore. The paws of a leopard dug deep into the damp soil as Cassius looked towards the treeline, before muscles tensed and he alighted away faster than he had ever ran before. Breath weak, chest hollow, for he had left his heart behind him.