It was one of the more scenic areas of the underground. A trail overlooking the city followed along a steep drop; it was great for when someone wished for privacy, for whatever reason.
“You’re not taking me out here to murder me, right?” Lou asked with a jovial tone. His entire demeanor was light and airy, as if the slight hiking had no effect on him.
“Why would I bother taking you all the way out here just to murder you?” Draxum replied. He looked over his shoulder to see Lou running to catch up with him so they can walk side by side. Draxum smiled down at him. “I could do that anywhere.”
“Well, this location offers a lot of possible ‘accidental’ deaths, you know? So you can deny being involved when Big Mama asks, or else you’ll owe her a new champion,” Lou said, returning Draxum’s smile.
“You can rest assured that neither of us want you dead out here,” Draxum replied. He felt Lou loop their arms together. He was so focused on keeping his composure that he nearly tripped.
He could hear Lou laugh. He almost laughed along with him.
The mere act of walking became a challenge in itself as both men tried to match the other’s gait. Maybe that is why the question that broke their silence caught Draxum so off guard.
“So… why are you taking me up here?” he asked. He afforded himself a glance up at Draxum.
The question should not have been so hard for Draxum to answer. He wanted Lou out here alone, without the influence of others. Just the real him alone with Draxum because… Because?
“Business,” Draxum finally answered. “Personal business,” he amended.
“Oh,” Lou said, a note of disappointment in his reply.
Silence overtook them again. Draxum lead them to the railing and Lou coolly leaned against it. How suave, Draxum thought. He watched Lou out of the corner of his eye; he knew Lou wanted to say something by the way his mouth opened and closed without a sound escaping it. Before Draxum got the chance to confront Lou about it, Lou finally spoke.
“You have a great smile,” Lou said, looking away from Draxum. Draxum could see a slight red tint to his cheeks. He began to worry if he had gone red too.
“What?” Draxum tried not to sound shocked, but there was little he could do about that in the moment.
Lou turned to look him in the eye. “Your smile. It’s great.”
“Oh,” Draxum said, as if he hadn’t heard him the first time. He glanced away from Lou and his gaze. Lost in how to reply, he awkwardly adds, “You too.”
There is a beat of silence where the awkwardness was so thick Draxum could cut it with a knife.
Then Lou laughed. “Can I do something risky?”
Draxum could see it now: Lou leaping over the railing and flipping through the air. He’d slide down the cliffside and make it to the bottom unscathed, the adrenaline rush still coursing through his veins. He’d only look back to gage Draxum’s reaction. A total show-off.
“Don’t you always?” Draxum teased, relieved that the flow of conversation seemed to be coming back.
Lou laughed again, but did not leap into the air in a stunt like Draxum predicted. Instead, Draxum felt Lou tug on his horn. A new scenario formed in his mind: Lou grabbing him by the horns and taking advantage of his lowered guard to throw him over the railing. Draxum would prove he’s just as agile as Lou by catching himself on the steep side or possibly even the railing itself. He’d cuss Lou out while Lou laughed from his perch at the top, confident all along that nothing would happen to either of them. His laughter would be contagious and Draxum would not be able to help but smile as well–
That scenario was dismissed as well when Lou pressed his lips to Draxum’s, the awkward angle and unpreparedness of a kissing party causing teeth to clash.
“Sorry–” Lou said, backing up a bit.
Their lips brushed against each other when Draxum responded. “No, go on.”
Lou took the encouragement and deepened the kiss. He held Draxum’s horns until they settled on a rhythm. His hands roamed Draxum’s upper body, over his chest and shoulders, looking for a place to settle before throwing his arms around his neck. Draxum hovered his hands over Lou’s body before he finally settled on placing them on Lou’s hips.
A roiling of emotion flipped around in Draxum’s insides. He was too exposed… and angry at himself for allowing his emotions to be laid out so bare. Yet the thoughts were fleeting as Lou wrapped his arms around him tighter. It was okay, he decided, to just let this moment exist.