by Blue Soaring
Zechs balanced on the edge of the ornate chair, listening to the slow rustle of the cloth as it slid one last time over the long, glossy black surface. The man at his feet set the boot down next to the first, resting an elbow on his own knee as he leaned forward. A casual pose, something that Zechs had only learned to associate with him in the chilled weeks of autumn just passed.
He gestured at the boots, a slight turning of his hand. "Millardo," was all he said. His voice, like he himself, was cultured, provocative. Like old whiskey, smooth but for a little bite.
Zechs paused in his movement, a slight hitch at the sound of the name. To everyone, even himself, he was Zechs Merquise now. Except for this man, who reminded him of what he'd lost and what he'd become. That he still responded to that name slipping over those lips was telling.
When his hesitation continued, warm, slender fingers curled around his heel, slanted his toes to allow the leather to slide easily over his foot and calf. Hands pressed against his leg, and he almost imagined he could feel the warmth through the thick material. The man tugged gently, grasping the leather at his knee to settle it into place. He repeated the exact same movements with the second of the boots, and then imaginings became reality as palms skimmed higher.
"Are you certain you're ready?"
Concealing reluctance, he stood, the leather cradling his legs feeling odd as he walked. Zechs halted in front of the mirror, took in his appearance from blood red to solid white to glossy black.
And certain about only this, he nodded.