Touch You Once
The sheet slid from his hip as he stood. He stretched, arms reaching for the ceiling, fingertips extended, eyes closed in enjoyment of the blood rush feeling. Dropping his arms to his sides, he half turned, a hesitant lift of a hand, and he stopped the movement. Long, well cared for fingers curled without touching, without brushing the lock back away from the sleeping face of his lover. He drew an audible breath and turned away. Daylight was still hours off, but he had many miles to go before he could give into sleep.
Clothes strewn about, tossed carelessly in their mad passioned hurry. Pulling briefs over his thighs, the smell of him rushed his senses and he paused. He didn't have time for a shower and the thought of his lover's scent clinging to him eased the ache that threatened. A nail scrapped at the dried film caked behind the elastic band; the flake tasted almost as good as the man who'd made it. Shirt, socks, trousers, boots. His jacket he'd carry. A hand smoothed his long hair back and he was ready to go.
The voice stopped him from opening the door.
"You would leave without saying goodbye?" the rounded tones were almost indifferent. But he knew the man was upset. Hurt even.
Facing his lover, he swallowed visibly. "You slept and I did not want to wake you."
"So you would rather slink off into the night?" The rebuke sharp but soft.
"We've said our goodbyes. There's nothing more..."
"You still haven't answered me." The man rose from the bed, striding with an unconscious grace.
He restrained the impulse to give in to the demand. "The Earth is in delusion. My country in shambles, and my sister..."
"Is playing their game." Fingers held the loose cuff of his shirt. "She is like I, and will use their manipulations against them."
"And you play games. Do you toy with me as well?"
A brow rose. "Only in bed." The silence stretched; eyes met. His lips drew up in one corner. "You do know your course of action is foolish."
"You said as much last evening."
"And yet you persist?" His voice modulated in tones the other knew he used when making an amused point.
"I never agreed with you." Removing the hand still clinging to his shirt, he held it lightly. "Action is needed. The foolishness lies with those who believe the war is over and the games have ended. Earth is no longer my home." His look beseeched understanding or at least condonation.
"Stay - for a day or two. This move of the Duke's will falter, and he will topple."
He broke away, looking instead out the darkened window. "Your garden is exquisite. Not a better one in all the Earth's nations. Dinner was most excellent as it is always." His gaze returned, locking once more. "Fucking you I could never tire from. But even that isn't enough reason to stay."
Blue eyes closed and his hand dropped away. He returned to the bed, and bent to retrieve the dressing gown discarded on the floor. He focused on tying the sash, not wanting to see the other's reaction to his words. "We've known each other for long time, and you're willing to throw those years away?"
"Don't," he commanded roughly.
His arms crossed, a hint of uncertainty never felt before stirred. "My dear Millardo, please forgive my crass words. I've let my emotions get the better of me."
The blond head inclined minuely in acceptance. "I'll be leaving now." He hesitated for a moment only, but his lover said nothing more. He turned; his steps heading for the door once again.
A soft rustle and a pair of strong arms wrapped around his middle, a face pressed to his back. As quickly as he was embraced, he was released. His head bowed, his hand on the door latch. "We will meet again."
"I know." A deep indrawn breath. "No regrets?"
A smile played for a moment. He straightened and opened the door. "Never." The latch caught behind him, and he stood in the hall, heart thumping with indecision. A light shake of his head and he stepped forward; the echoing clip of his boots on the marble floor the only sound heard.