Author Topic: Coming To Terms  (Read 179 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Existentially Odd

  • Navigator
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 11250
  • Wanderer
    • View Profile
Coming To Terms
« on: August 16, 2019, 05:44:41 PM »
Kerr opened his eyes as the city turned its back on the sun once more, barely able to detect the sound of the shutters around the penthouse retracting. The light in their bedroom shifted as they did, the glow of the skyline emanating into their ensuite and seeping into their windowless bed chamber through the open doorway.

He rolled onto his side towards Ben, resting a hand on his hip. He always woke up first - the privilege of age - which gave him ample time to gaze upon his lover's sleeping form. The ambient temperature in the room was maintained by advanced climate control that kept them on the warmer side of lukewarm but there was always a spark of longing for the mortal warmth Ben had once brought to his bed. It passed without acknowledgement.

God, Ben was beautiful in repose. His features were positively angelic; Kerr smirked to himself as he pondered what Zoheret would have to say about that. Nothing kind. But Ben was exquisite to look at and Kerr raised his hand to brush his fingers across Ben's cheek and down his neck before he tucked his hand under Ben's arm to rest upon his chest. Touching him stirred Kerr's body into wanting more... but he still wasn't sure. Their night with Gabriel and Charlie had gone well but he wasn't sure where that left just he and Ben. Could it be just them now or would they always have to include others? He fucking hoped not.

When Ben opened his eyes, Kerr was quick to clear his expression into a smile of greeting. "Evening," he bade huskily, allowing Ben a chance to awaken properly and look at him before he shuffled even closer. He pressed his lips to Ben's shoulder, intending to kiss his way to his mouth, his 'morning wood' making itself known against Ben's lower half because he slept naked. "Sleep well?" he murmured in between kisses, his hand brushing back and forth across Ben's chest.

Online Satyr

  • Devil's Advocate
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 10516
    • View Profile
Re: Coming To Terms
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2019, 07:36:10 PM »
"Yeah," Ben croaked, opposite hand reaching for Kerr's head while his other arm was stuck between them. His fingers brushed across the top of Kerr's short hair and his delicate touch lingered on Kerr's nape. Like Kerr he slept naked, having thrown out all of the elasticised cotton shorts he usually slept in. It had happened during one of his bouts of hysterical fury when thinking of Lazarus had brought a plethora of emotions to the surface. It seemed so long ago now, like something that had happened to someone else.

He could feel Kerr's desire pressed against his hip and he shifted to meet his lover halfway, turning towards him and pressing himself more fully against Kerr's arousal, feeling it pressed between their bodies now while his own twitched in response at the meeting.

When Kerr worked his way to Ben's lips he smiled into the kiss. Because his hand was between them, it wasn't difficult to work it further down and take a hold of his partner. He'd made this move on Kerr before and had then backed out at the penultimate moment, but right now he wasn't thinking about that.

Offline Existentially Odd

  • Navigator
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 11250
  • Wanderer
    • View Profile
Re: Coming To Terms
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2019, 08:09:45 PM »
Kerr relaxed into his position in Ben's hold, still unwilling to push too hard too fast. Ben's hand around him was delicious, his kiss was slow and sensual and Kerr's heart sang, along with his body.

You feel wonderful...

His hand slid around Ben's waist to press against the small of his back. After a few finger brushes, it slid lower to cup a cheek, the tips of his fingers sliding into the gap between and squeezing, slightly parting the firm globes of flesh.

Online Satyr

  • Devil's Advocate
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 10516
    • View Profile
Re: Coming To Terms
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2019, 09:52:32 PM »
Ben responded with a small chuckle, breathing it into the kiss and gently twisting his hand around Kerr's cock while his own sprang to life. He was encouraged by Kerr's movements, drawing from what they'd done a few nights ago rather than all the failed attempts they'd had previously.

This time he didn't falter or associate anything bad with his lover's touch. This time Kerr was entirely his focus and the only man in his thoughts. His touch was loving and gentle and kind and eventually, it became passionate and firm and the two of them saw in the new evening rediscovering one another.

*

Afterwards, lying in Kerr's arms, it occurred to Ben that he was truly over his horrible experience with Lazarus. At the very least he was physically moving on and the ancient blonde vampire no longer had power over his sexual relationship with Kerr. He lightly squeezed his sire and lover at the realisation.

"I've missed this," he breathed.


Offline Existentially Odd

  • Navigator
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 11250
  • Wanderer
    • View Profile
Re: Coming To Terms
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2019, 10:21:38 PM »
"Gods, not as much as I have," Kerr enthused, burying his face in Ben's hair and inhaling. He was physically satiated but more than that, he was filled with wonder and happy. Ben had healed to the point where he was comfortable with intimacy again, able to respond physically and with love where before there'd been fear and self-loathing. It felt like they were finding a new normal, making love without the pain, united and strong once more. It was the best fuck-you to Lazarus yet.

"I love you," he murmured, pressing a kiss before he pulled back enough to look at Ben properly. "And I'm proud of you. I'm glad we tried, the other night. Nothing beats having you comfortable again," he grinned, giving Ben a gentle squeeze. "I'm also glad it's just us and that we don't have to have others in bed with us every time," he winked, chuckling.

Online Satyr

  • Devil's Advocate
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 10516
    • View Profile
Re: Coming To Terms
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2019, 11:13:26 PM »
"I love you, too," Ben said, feeling satisfied and warmed by Kerr's nurturing and closeness. He'd never felt so loved and accepted as right now. They'd had so many ups and downs to finally arrive at this point and it seemed like they'd finally got the formula right.

"Not every time," Ben agreed. He thought about Gabriel and Charlie and, after a short moment, Cain and Jenna. There had been other people they were both interested in. Maybe that had always been a stress point for them. Maybe that was where their tension had come from; too much of a constant good thing? Ben had always thought he'd be monogamous when he finally found the right man... but so far they'd not played happy families. Not for long, anyway. "Do you want to see Charlie again? Or, um, Jenna?"

He was no longer fearful that Kerr would leave him for her.

Offline Existentially Odd

  • Navigator
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 11250
  • Wanderer
    • View Profile
Re: Coming To Terms
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2019, 11:24:17 PM »
Kerr blinked, feeling ambushed by hearing Jenna's name, especially in this context. He hadn't thought of her in a long time and he was surprised that Ben did. "Not especially," he answered warily, a frown marring his forehead. "Why? Do you want to see Gabriel again?"

He sounded defensive to his own ears and he wasn't sure that was an inaccurate assessment. Fooling around with others had been a shot in the dark, an attempt to relieve the pressure building between them due to Kerr's sexual frustration and Ben's injury. He'd stopped considering it might have to be repeated about five minutes ago, when Ben had responded with him alone.

Now he was having to rethink that.

Online Satyr

  • Devil's Advocate
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 10516
    • View Profile
Re: Coming To Terms
« Reply #7 on: Yesterday at 12:10:44 AM »
Kerr sounded defensive to Ben's ears also and he swallowed his initial reply. He'd only just been thinking about how he and Kerr had developed to a point where they could discuss anything and now he felt like he couldn't. He fought past it though, for he'd made assumptions in the past about how Kerr would react and he recognised now that it wasn't fair not to give his lover a chance.

"I'm interested, yes. There was a point when you were curious about Cain. I didn't feel secure at the time I gave you permission for him. I don't even know why I did. Maybe because I feel like having too tight a hold is bad for us."

Offline Existentially Odd

  • Navigator
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 11250
  • Wanderer
    • View Profile
Re: Coming To Terms
« Reply #8 on: Yesterday at 12:36:04 AM »
Kerr fought the urge to withdraw. He desperately wanted to pull away, curl up and hide. Stupid, really, but he still felt shame about how he'd acted with Cain, how ridiculously weak he'd become. Over a mortal. He swallowed, the sound too loud in their otherwise quiet room, locking thoughts of Cain as far away as he could get them. He stayed where he was, frowning thoughtfully and surprised by Ben's admission.

"It... hurts that you call our relationship too tight. Like it restricts you from doing what - who - you really want. I don't want to be responsible for you feeling that way," he said softly, his fingers caressing Ben almost manically. "I don't know why you'd ever feel insecure. No-one matters to me like you do. You're the most important person in my life, I'll always choose you. I only want you. But... this isn't about love, right? We're just talking about sex?"

His voice was timid but hopeful. The adage about loving something and setting it free to prove the love was justified kept rolling through his brain and he knew, despite his reluctance, that he couldn't hold Ben even tighter and expect this to improve. So he wanted to fuck other people... it was just fucking, right? He'd still come back to Kerr... right? Despite his attempts at reassuring himself, his grip grew firmer, driven by insecurity.

Online Satyr

  • Devil's Advocate
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 10516
    • View Profile
Re: Coming To Terms
« Reply #9 on: Yesterday at 01:10:04 AM »
Ben pressed his lips together, feeling himself emotionally withdrawing but he squashed it down and pushed through it. He almost spoke a few times but failed before clearing his throat and finally getting it out. He turned his pale blue gaze on Kerr and held it there.

"There have been times you haven't only wanted me, when it was easier for you being with other people. Like Jenna. Like Jack. I will always be yours. I love you and nobody else. I don't feel stifled or anything. If you don't want me seeing Gabriel then I won't, but after so many years together, haven't you seen a pattern?"

He sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose, closing his eyes. "Never mind. Forget I mentioned it. I've only just gotten over the rape, I don't really want to sleep around."

Offline Existentially Odd

  • Navigator
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 11250
  • Wanderer
    • View Profile
Re: Coming To Terms
« Reply #10 on: Yesterday at 01:42:59 AM »
"No, I-I'm sorry, please," Kerr apologised profusely, his heart quailing at Ben's exasperated retreat. He didn't want to be the cause of miscommunication; he genuinely wanted to know. "I don't want to forget it, I want to understand. I... " he broke off, knowing he should stop and think but it was like his mind was racing too fast for his brain to work clearly. "A pattern?" he queried, at a loss.

Had he set the pattern? A pattern of wanting to sleep with other people? They'd had breaks in their relationship during which Kerr had slept with others but Ben had been torturing Ichabod and they'd broken up. More accurately, Kerr had broken up with Ben. They'd tried being together after the ritual but Ben hadn't loved him so he'd left next. When he'd returned, Kerr had destroyed his relationship with Jenna for the hope of Ben but then Ichabod had complicated things before Kerr fucked things up with Cain. Their next breakup had occurred when Kerr had 'died'.

And when he'd come back, he'd found out Ben had been so devoted to him, he'd lost himself in memories of Kerr, rather than moving on with his life.

He could've had Murphy or found Gabriel or an equivalent but he hadn't. He'd mourned his love and pretended he was still alive to share his bed with, even when there was no hope of that occurring. What the fuck was he worrying about? Ben was his and he was Ben's. Fucking other people every now and then wasn't going to kill that, when years of trauma hadn't. He still wasn't sure what the pattern Ben was referring to was, though.

"Do you mean... a pattern where we always come back together, because we love each other no matter what?" he hazarded, an apologetic smile dancing around his lips. He felt foolish, now his mind had slowed down enough to become somewhat rational and he realised he was making something out of nothing - and making Ben feel like shit for bringing it up, which was reprehensible. He grasped Ben's jaw, gently urging him to make eye contact again. "Or something else? Please. I genuinely want to talk about this."

Online Satyr

  • Devil's Advocate
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 10516
    • View Profile
Re: Coming To Terms
« Reply #11 on: Yesterday at 09:26:39 AM »
Ben lowered his hand and opened his eyes to look at Kerr, grateful that he wanted to continue. When he queried the pattern, Ben thought about how to talk about it but then Kerr gave him a suggestion as to what it could be. He nodded, because always returning to one another was a big part of it.

"Yes, that's the second part of it. The first part is when other people come between us, whether it's our choice or not. I mean, imagine if we'd had this talk years ago. I would've let you explore what you had with Jack instead of running away to New York. Um," he frowned, "actually, I would've forgotten so that's a bad example." He shook his head and gave Kerr an abashed look, "So, imagine Jenna then. She fed different parts of you and gave you experiences I can't give. I felt inadequate at the time and worried she'd steal you away. I know better now. And Ichabod, I prevented you from exploring that and I've probably screwed that up for you," he said, his voice falling when he had to admit that his meddling had likely meant they could never have a steady relationship. "I know you love him, but it's different to how you love me and... I'm secure in that now. I'm not as caring as you in that I don't think I'll find others to love like you do, for me it'll probably end up just sex, but if we could define our own relationship with others instead of allowing them to interfere with ours, I think we'll be better off."

He waited for Kerr to process all that he'd said.

Offline Existentially Odd

  • Navigator
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 11250
  • Wanderer
    • View Profile
Re: Coming To Terms
« Reply #12 on: Yesterday at 10:00:59 AM »
The bottom of Kerr’s stomach felt like it dropped out when Ben offered up the notion that more communication might’ve stopped him from finding Themba in New York. It took a moment for his heart to relax out of its horrified clench enough for him to listen to the tale of Jenna and Ichabod from Ben’s perspective.

It was odd, really, that he was only using Kerr’s relationships as examples. Was it because Ben didn’t love as easily, didn’t trust anyone much at all and Kerr did? Or was it simply because Ben’s relationships tended to be with powerful beings that abused him rather than cared for him, so they weren’t decent examples? They’d long agreed they didn’t belong together but they made it work; at no other time had it been as starkly obvious that opposites attract than right now.

The way Ben phrased his last sentence sent Kerr’s mind down a path that was entirely different to what they were discussing. But... connected, too. He tried to shake it off and concentrate on what he was supposed to be thinking about but the notion persisted and he took longer than he should’ve to craft a response to Ben because he was busy mentally aligning his conflicting thoughts.

“Okayyy,” he drawled, wanting to lay it all out carefully. “So you’re thinking that if we allow ourselves to play with others, it will strengthen our relationship because freedom to explore fleeting sparks of interest or attraction will pre-empt the possibility that others gain enough... allure to pose the threat of coming between us more permanently?” he queried, seeking clarification in Ben’s gaze.

“You’re thinking classifying our relationship as ‘open’ will relieve us of internal pressure because it’s therefore in our rules that we can explore others but belong permanently to each other? Would you consider marrying me, to formalise that?” he enquired mildly, lifting his eyebrows to enhance his guileless expression.

Online Satyr

  • Devil's Advocate
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 10516
    • View Profile
Re: Coming To Terms
« Reply #13 on: Yesterday at 10:11:09 AM »
Ben considered how Kerr had phrased it. It was technically agreeing with Ben's statement but it didn't carry the right tone. He thought perhaps Kerr had been too literal.

And then the proposal - an actual proposal -  came and Ben jumped as if a current of electricity had passed through his body. He looked at Kerr with wide eyes, his surprise obvious and he was unable to hide that. There were two strong emotions rippling through his body; excitement and disappointment.

His excitement came from the idea of it. Marriage had never been appealing until he'd seen how Vincent and Owen rocked it. He'd also matured enough, he thought, to see it for what it really was; a way to connect them legally and something just for them. Nobody else could muscle in on that.

He was disappointed that he'd been asked in bed, in the middle of a conversation about sleeping with other people.

Still, he didn't want to give Kerr a negative response and the smile was pushing its way out onto his lips anyway.

"I'll consider it," he said, trying to be lofty and failing.

Offline Existentially Odd

  • Navigator
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 11250
  • Wanderer
    • View Profile
Re: Coming To Terms
« Reply #14 on: Yesterday at 10:58:08 AM »
Kerr grinned, relief flooding through him. The way Ben had jerked and stared at him had taken him back to previous discussions on this topic and he’d begun to feel the same creeping disappointment... only to receive something far more wonderful.

“Then I’ll consider asking you. Properly,” he countered, signalling he was aware that this wasn’t the time or place for a formal proposal - but he was overjoyed anyway, because they both knew what had been asked and that the answer would be ‘yes’ this time. He leant forward and kissed Ben lingeringly, liking the idea of calling him ‘husband’ already. Knowing they could make a formal, unequivocal commitment to each other like that made everything they were talking about now much simpler.

He pulled back, still grinning like an idiot and feeling like he should focus on something other than a promised yes! “So... uh, ohmygod that makes me so happy,” he gushed (like Ben wouldn’t be able to feel the elation singing through their blood bond), “but we should talk terms I guess? About the other thing? Like... should it only be together at first or are you thinking it can be alone? With prior warning and the option to veto before it happens? Or just... do what you like, don’t ask, don’t tell? I think I’d prefer to know first,” he gabbled, speaking quickly because he wanted to get past talking about this so he could think about that and start making arrangements.