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During the day, he is Michael’s. He goes out of his way to ensure Michael’s schedule goes smoothly and that he remains as stress-free as possible. He devotes all his attention to the protection of Heaven’s leader for as long as the sun was up.

But during the night, he is hers.

He enters her room silently well after midnight, a feat for a man his size, but she is already expecting him. She closes the book in her lap and sets it aside, smiling as he undoes the cape around his neck and hangs it carefully by the door. He steps out of his boots, before finally making his way towards her.

She sits up on her knees as he puts a fist to the mattress and raises his other hand to cup the back of her neck, leaning down to kiss her. She reaches up, wrapping her fingers as far around his wrist as she could, anchoring him to her.

He pulls away from her lips but rests his forehead against hers, eyes closed. Both of them sigh, and it’s like a weight has been released from their shoulders. He brings his knee up onto the bed, then slumps forward, dropping his head to her collarbone.

She pulls the tie from his hair and runs her fingers through it gently, working out the tangles with practiced hands and cradling his head to her chest. His days are long, and his unyielding dedication takes its toll on him, but he never has a complaint and she’s happy that she’s able to provide him with these few hours of relief.

His weight presses on her, firm and familiar, and she closes her eyes and presses her lips to the top of his head. They stay like that for what feels like hours, silently soaking in each other’s presence.

They don’t need words. They stopped needing them years ago, and now being in each other’s arms in this precious little time between when the sun rises and sets is enough for now.

***

He still gives her butterflies and she thinks it’s absolutely unfair. It’s silly, that she still reacts to him like this. A simple look or a brush of their hands is all it takes and he knows it. She can’t hide how her face warms and though his expression remains impassive, she can see how much pleasure it gives him.

That’s all he can afford during the day, though. No stolen kisses, no secret escapades. Anything else would be a distraction and he’s nothing if not diligent.

But it’s the simplicity that affects her most. She finds her thoughts drifting during the more mindless of her duties, to the caress of his hand, the smoulder of his eyes. A shiver crawls down her spine, and it’s enough to jolt her out of her own thoughts.

She colors immediately, attention snapping back to the task at hand. She’s both embarrassed and disappointed in herself, for allowing herself to become so distracted by the mere thought of him.

She looks up at the clock, and counts the hours until they can return to each other. Then, she returns to her duties with newfound determination. The more she occupies herself, the quicker time will pass.

When he comes to her room that night, his eyes are dancing. She’s grateful for the dim light that hides how pink her cheeks are, for the third time that day, but the way his lips twist tells her that he knows she’s blushing, anyways.

She would resent the fluttering in her stomach if it didn’t give her some sort of giddy satisfaction. It’s a little thrilling, to be reminded that he can still make her a head-over-heels fool.

And though he won’t admit it, at least not in so many words, she knows she has the same effect on him.

***

“Sariel,” he rasps against her throat, turning her entire world on its head until all that’s left is him and her. Nights like this are few and far between. Their schedules are too busy and usually at night both of them are too tired to do much more than exchange a few kisses and lay wrapped up in each other until they fall asleep.

Sometimes, however, he’ll slip into her room with hooded eyes and long, determined strides. She always feels like a deer caught in headlights when he looks at her like that, but he is unwaveringly gentle with her.

Either way, she would be lying if she said the way he stalks towards her doesn’t make her a little warm all over.

Even standing on her mattress, she only just manages to be a few inches taller than him. That doesn’t deter him from the path he’s kissing up her neck, along her jaw, and she shivers, fisting her fingers into the fabric draping his shoulders.

He puts a knee on her bed, wrapping his arms around her, and then pulls her down until she’s laying flat beneath him. The breath leaves her all at once, but she’s laughing at his enthusiasm as she reaches for him. She slides her hands behind his ears, smoothing her thumbs over his cheeks, and leans up to kiss him sweetly. He sighs against her lips, and lowers himself to his elbows, pressing closer to her.

They help each other strip down until they are laid bare before each other, body, mind, and soul all on display. Sariel kisses his cheeks, his nose, his jaw, his lips as he slips his hand into the warmth between her legs.

The sound she makes would have escaped him had she not been so close to his ear. She’s always quiet, so he reads the way her body reacts to him as encouragement. She doesn’t need to be vocal for him to know she’s enjoying this as much as he is.

He’s attentive and careful when he finally enters her, and her breath catches. His lips are at her temple and hers work against his beard with silent prayers. He shifts his hips and her nails catch on his skin.

It doesn’t take long for their pleasure to reach a fever pitch, and Sariel trembles as Hesediel clutches at the sheets with white knuckles. Their titles fall away as they whisper each other’s names into their skin, until all that’s left is them as they really are.

During the day, he is Hesediel, Michael’s revered bodyguard.

But during the night, he is Batsaikahn, and he is hers.