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The Stranger

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There was an old saying, or at least a commonly held belief, that chewing on ice was a clear sign of sexual frustration. Ferdinand had never paid that particular adage much mind before… to be honest, he never really had to. But considering that he was currently experiencing such frustration - remarkably so - and gratuitously chomping on some of the leftover cubes in his nearly finished sangria, he wondered if maybe there wasn’t some truth to it.

Making a concentrated effort not to tip more ice from his glass into his mouth, he instead just twirled his straw - idly stabbing some pieces of leftover fruit in the process - while wishing that the drink he’d just downed had been more effective in calming his overwrought nerves.

Well, the bartender wasn’t all that far away… maybe another would do the trick?

No, no. This was all just… well, silly. He shouldn’t even be here, shouldn’t be doing this - it’s not like this was actually going to fix anything, or be the answer to all his problems. Maybe it wasn’t too late to-

“Come here often?”

Ferdinand resisted the urge to roll his eyes. Yes, this really was silly - pointless, even. He’d been a fool to think this would actually be exciting.

“Very original,” he sighed, but as he turned, he almost did a double take.

Oh… oh.

Well, the lack of effort in choice of pickup lines was cancelled out by a considerable effort put into appearance. Tall, dark, and handsome - of course - but Ferdinand had been expecting it all to be packaged in a neat, nice suit. Instead, he wore black jeans accompanied by a long-sleeved black button-up, which contrasted all too divinely with his light green eyes. Rather than wear a tie, he’d chosen instead to undo the top two buttons of his shirt, which - naturally - just made Ferdinand want to unbutton the rest of it.

For what must have been far too long, Ferdinand found himself staring, never realizing that he was so weak for forearms of all things until he couldn’t stop thinking about the rolled up sleeves luring his gaze. Of course, he eventually gathered his wits enough to realize that such blatant gaping was decidedly unattractive, so in trying to snap himself out of his unexpected stupor, he cleared his throat.

“But, well, to answer your question - no, I do not come here often. I suppose that I just needed a bit of a break from my husband.”

There was an awkward pause.

… Well, shit. He shouldn’t have said-

“Husband, hm? I see.” Did Ferdinand really detect the slightest hint of hurt in his eyes, or was he only torturing himself?

“Um, what is your name?” Ferdinand inquired, although it seemed rather ridiculous to even ask.

“… Hubert.”

More silence. God, this really had been a horrible idea, hadn’t it?

Hubert gestured to his empty glass. “May I buy you a drink?”

Well, now they were getting somewhere, at least. Nodding, Ferdinand was somewhat relieved that he hadn’t completely ruined all of this before it even began.

Hubert signaled the bartender.

“He’ll have another.” His easy command was followed by the casual appearance of credit card as he sat next to Ferdinand. “And I’ll have a scotch. Neat.”

It was almost a familiar scene - like recalling a memory from long ago - and Ferdinand couldn’t help but laugh.

Hubert raised an eyebrow. “Something funny?”

“No,” Ferdinand assured him. “It is just, my husband drinks the same thing.”

… Shit. Another stupid comment. Heavens, had he forgotten how to flirt entirely?

“Ah, well… it seems your husband has good taste.”

But the way Hubert’s eyes brushed over Ferdinand in the most lingering of ways - enough to make him subtly shiver - made it clear that he wasn’t referring solely to alcohol preferences. And as a thrill sparked throughout his entire body, seeming to reach even his most remote extremities - including, perhaps, one particularly neglected one - Ferdinand realized that he'd almost forgotten how completely electrifying it felt to be desired, wanted.

… Damn it, had it really been so long?

“Speaking of this husband of yours… what kind of ‘break’ are you seeking tonight?” Hubert's gaze flitted to Ferdinand's hand. “I couldn’t help but notice that you’re still wearing your ring.”

His ring…? Staring down at it, Ferdinand realized that he hadn't even thought to take it off. It was almost as if it were a permanent fixture by now, as much a part of him as his own finger…

“That was… an oversight," he asserted. "I suppose I am rather new at this.”

“So, I take it you are up for company tonight, then?”

“Well, that depends… with you, perhaps,” Ferdinand told him, and Hubert seemed pleased by his response.

“Actually, I’m rather glad you're wearing it," Hubert admitted, before quietly thanking the bartender for bringing their drinks. "No one in this bar has been able to take their eyes off of you all night - least of all me. But that ring of yours must have frightened everyone else away.”

Ferdinand straightened. “Ah. In that case, I am glad as well… but, even so, that is still reassuring to hear. It has been some time since I was last in this scene, and my confidence was starting to wane.”

Hubert looked wholly unconvinced. “Something tells me you have more than enough confidence to go around."

Well, Ferdinand could only wish that were true. Perhaps it had been once, and yet, lately…

“But what about you?” Ferdinand wondered, deftly changing the subject. “I can see the indentation on your finger… which indicates that you also wear a ring, and rarely take it off.”

“Perceptive… and correct.” Hubert smiled in a way that a wolf might smile at a sheep. “But, as you said - it’s off tonight.”

“… I see.”

There was another short pause, and Ferdinand had to make a conscious effort not to fidget.

“So, what should I call you?” Hubert inquired, but the question startled him.


“… Your name?”

Oh, right, they hadn’t gotten to that part yet, had they?

“It… it's Ferdie.”

A skeptical eyebrow rose. “Ferdie?”

Well, he didn’t have to say it like that.

“Yes. It is short for Ferdinand.”

“I gathered. But, do you actually prefer to be called that? … Or, do you only want me to call you something that your husband doesn’t?”

Ferdinand gave him a sidelong glance. “And how would you know what my husband calls me?”

Hubert tensed almost imperceptibly, but covered it up with a casual shrug. “Just a guess. Am I wrong?”

“No, you are not wrong,” Ferdinand conceded, deciding to let it slide. “But the truth is, I quite enjoy it when people call me 'Ferdie.' I suppose that when others refer to me by a nickname, it makes me feel… cared for, in a way.”

Hubert seemed surprised, his smile strained. “Well, look at that… I’m learning so much about you already - Ferdie.”

The name was purred with no small amount of playfulness, and Ferdinand closed his eyes for a quick moment, wanting to savor the sound of it.

“Well… shall I call you ‘Hubie,’ then?” he asked, leaning toward Hubert.

But this time, Hubert’s smile was unfeigned. "Not if you intend to come home with me tonight…"

Ferdinand felt his cheeks burning.

“You… you are quite bold.”

“And you, rather surprisingly, are as timid as a flower,” Hubert countered. “Tell me - a man as gorgeous as you are… surely you’re used to such attention?”

“I…” His flush deepened. “Well, of course, but… to be quite honest, it has been a while.”

The playfulness was quickly extinguished from Hubert’s eyes.

“Neglected, are you?”

Ferdinand’s mouth opened and closed repeatedly, unsure what to say. “It is just… well, my husband works long hours. … No, that is not fair to put on him - we both work long hours. But he also travels rather frequently.”

“And so you get lonely?”

Ferdinand shifted uncomfortably.

“This… this is getting more personal than I was expecting.” This certainly was not the sexy scenario he’d been imagining when he’d played out this night countless times in his head. “Can we discuss something else?”

“… If you’d like,” Hubert agreed.

“Well, what about you?” Ferdinand asked. “You are married, too, after all. But there must be a reason why you are here tonight. So, what is your husband like?”

Ferdinand gripped his glass tightly as he asked the question. Did he really want to hear the answer to this?

“Does it matter? I’m much more interested you right now.”

Well, Ferdinand did not know how to take that.

“So you find me - as in, a stranger - more… interesting? Perhaps you find your husband… dull?”

Hubert paused, looking as if he were carefully choosing his words.

“I find you more… open. Don’t mistake me, Ferdie, or my reasons for being here - my husband is the light of my life, and he is far from dull. But I believe he often tells me what he thinks I want to hear. And so, I find your honesty… rather refreshing.”

“I see. Well, I am often told that my honesty is my sexiest quality…”

Hubert actually laughed at his ridiculous joke - a genuine laugh - and God help him, but Ferdinand’s heart seemed to actually leap into his throat. But there was just something irresistible about Hubert when he let himself relax like this, when his hawkish eyes sparkled in such a way - and, as it happened, he looked even more handsome with laugh lines…

Heavens… was Ferdinand actually feeling butterflies? How long had it been since…

“I would wager that you have many enticing qualities,” Hubert mused. “Although, it would be much easier for me to determine which one is the ‘sexiest’ after I’ve actually seen them all.”

Ferdinand took another sip of his drink, suddenly feeling more courageous.

“Well, would you like to see them all, Hubert?”

“… Indubitably.”

Ferdinand almost snorted.

“So, what do you say?” Hubert leaned in even closer. “Perhaps we should get out of here, Ferdie?”

And suddenly, the illusion was broken, the fantasy over. It was the name that did it, that made it all feel… wrong. Wasn’t it wrong, that he was enjoying this so much, that he needed this kind of excitement? Should he have instead just resigned himself to sharing another quiet - and unfulfilling - night with his husband, on one of the rare occasions that he was actually home…

“I… I am not sure.”

To his credit, Hubert didn’t seem annoyed, or impatient - just a little bit perplexed. But even then, he recovered quickly.

“Of course… someone as ravishing as you would want to be wooed first.”

“It is not that,” Ferdinand insisted, taking a moment to look at his wedding band. “Hubert, I'm sorry, I… maybe this was a bad idea. Maybe we should just-”

“Might I make a suggestion?”

Ferdinand only struggled for a short moment before conceding. He couldn’t deny that he wanted this…

“Please,” he granted.

When Hubert put his hand over his, Ferdinand might have forgotten to take a breath or two. But once he started to slip the wedding ring off of Ferdinand’s finger…

“Are you seeking to rob me?”

There it was again - that laugh. Ferdinand wanted to wrap himself up in that laugh…

“No, Ferdie - I am not seeking to rob you.” He then leaned in. “I am seeking to claim you. For tonight, I would like nothing more than for you to be mine - all mine.”

“I… I want to be yours,” he responded, the words coming out without any thought.

I am yours.

“So then, where should we go?” Hubert asked, handing him the ring. “Your place? … A hotel?”

Carefully, Ferdinand pocketed his ring.

“My place,” he then said. “I cannot get the image of you naked on my sheets from my head - I fear I must see it, or I will drive myself mad.”

“Is that so?” Hubert asked, his eyes glowing. “And do I have to worry about your husband coming home and beating me up?”

“No, do not worry. We have both arranged to do as we please tonight, and he is not supposed to come home until morning. I would like to think he is out there somewhere, enjoying himself as well.”

“… I rather suspect he is.”

Having Hubert’s lips on his own was truly the most heavenly state of existence. To be kissed like this, ravished even, as if Ferdinand were longed for in a way that could never be fully sated… well, it wasn’t something that he would take for granted ever again.

Perhaps he’d been thinking ahead when he ordered a Uber to his loft rather than taking a cab - after all, was there anything less erotic than one of those chemically scented pine trinkets that taxis so often sported? No… he was absolutely certain that there was not. Besides, Hubert’s musky fragrance was much more enticing, the kind that Ferdinand - somewhat sadly - knew would linger on his pillow long enough to evoke memories for days after the night was over…

But at the sound of someone clearing their throat, Ferdinand and Hubert both froze mid-kiss, turning in tandem so that their lips didn’t separate right away.

“Sirs, we’ve arrived at your destination.”

“Oh, r-right - of course! Much appreciated.” Ferdinand then ducked his head into Hubert’s chest to hide his embarrassment - and, God, did he just giggle, giggle, as if he were no better than some horny teenager?

“For your trouble,” Hubert added, handing the driver a twenty dollar bill, but the slight vibrations in his own body gave away his more subtle chuckle.

“Hubert, I am supposed to tip on the app,” Ferdinand whined with perfectly feigned petulance as Hubert opened the car door.

“Mm,” Hubert mumbled without concern, returning his lips to Ferdinand’s the moment they were both back outside. “Well, we wouldn’t want you to get a bad passenger rating, would we? But if you're truly upset, then I suppose I’ll just have to make it up to you…”

The entirety of Ferdinand’s insides felt as if they were made of jello, and he had barely enough strength to even close the car door behind him while fused to Hubert in such a way.

“Ferdie,” Hubert then growled. “If you don’t hurry up and take us inside, then I’m going to have to fuck you senseless against this building…”


Ferdinand actually took a moment to consider it, before deciding that spending the night in prison for public fornication was not nearly as sexy as it sounded.

So, instead, they stumbled their way toward the door, and as Ferdinand turned around to punch in the required code, Hubert’s attention shifted to the back of Ferdinand’s neck.

“Y-you are quite insatiable, Hubert,” he noted, feeling his face flush in spite of the cold night air.

Hubert then brushed the hair by his ear aside before whispering, “Only for you, Ferdie.”

God help him, but his knees almost buckled.

“All right, Romeo.” Of course Ferdinand didn’t sound as suave as he’d intended - the squeak in his voice entirely gave him away - so he lightly elbowed Hubert in the ribs for good measure. “But the doorman is right there, so I would request that you try to keep it in your pants until we get upstairs.”

When Hubert chuckled in his ear, Ferdinand shuddered, feeling the sensation of Hubert's breath throughout his entire body. Hubert then nipped the bottom of his earlobe for good measure before releasing him completely.

Pathetically, Ferdinand already missed Hubert’s touch… and because he’d been the one to request the respite, he had to force himself to resist complaining. Instead, he led Hubert into the building, smiling brightly at the doorman as they entered.

“Hello, Mr. Von Aegir!” the man greeted. “It’s good to see you, as always.”

“Good evening, Perry!” Ferdinand hit the button to summon the elevator. “How are the wife and kids?”

“Great, just great.” He then nodded at Hubert. “Well, I’ll be… is this that husband of yours?”

Hmm… how to answer that question tonight?

“It is indeed,” Ferdinand settled on… after all, it was the simplest response.

Hubert raised an eyebrow, looking amused.

“Wow, can you believe it’s been two years since you moved here, and I’ve never seen you together before? Truth be told, I was starting to wonder if you two were estranged…”

Hubert’s amusement immediately faded.

Ferdinand let out an awkward laugh and jammed the “up” button again.

“So then, that must make you Mr. … Mr.-” He started shuffling through pages.


“Well, this is us!” Ferdinand noted, his tone a touch too cheerful. “Goodnight, Perry!”

Grabbing Hubert’s hand, Ferdinand pulled him into the elevator with him, hurriedly clicking the button for his floor so that the door would close.

When it finally did, he breathed a sigh of relief.

“Well, that was uncomfortable,” Ferdinand noted, smiling as he squeezed Hubert’s hand.

The corners of Hubert’s mouth almost reluctantly twitched upward in response, but truthfully, he only seemed troubled. His eyes were burning, as if he were longing to say something, and Ferdinand was about to beg him to just drop the act and do so - that is, until the elevator bell rang once more and he lost his nerve.

Ferdinand led Hubert toward his loft, finally releasing his hand to grab his keys from his pocket. He then tried to open the door, but of course - of course - the key jammed.

“Sorry, this… it sometimes gets stuck,” he explained as Hubert watched him struggle with it.

Not now, you fucking door… just open!

Eventually, though, he gave up and sighed, looking over to Hubert.

How easily Hubert made his expression unreadable when he wanted to… it was both annoying and enviable. But why did it hurt so much to look at him? Why did it feel like Ferdinand was so close to losing everything?

“You haven’t said anything for a while now, and I do not know what you are thinking,” Ferdinand stated. He then looked away. “If you no longer want this, then we can call it a night.”

There was a long pause - a painful pause.

“… Ah, Ferdie,” Hubert finally tsked. A palm on Ferdinand’s cheek turned his face back to Hubert’s, and Ferdinand swallowed hard at the feeling of Hubert’s slim hand starting to work its way through his hair.

“If you think I’m about to let an enchanting creature like you slip through my fingers… then you are very much mistaken.”

Ferdinand didn’t even have the chance to respond before Hubert’s lips were on his once more, only this time it was a soft kiss, a loving kiss - not at all the kind of kiss that one would expect from a stranger, but Ferdinand wasn’t about to scold him for it.

With his free hand - and without even having to break their embrace - Hubert then expertly fiddled with the key until the door opened with ease.

“Shall we?”

Let it be said that it is quite difficult to walk backwards up a spiral staircase, while both simultaneously trying to kiss and undress someone. Yet, Ferdinand firmly believed that where there was a will, there was a way, and he’d been longing to remove Hubert’s shirt ever since he first laid eyes on him tonight.

Perhaps rather than unbutton it, he aggressively pulled it open, but Hubert didn’t seem to mind - and, without a care, Ferdinand threw the discarded shirt at the staircase's metal-barred railing, where it hung forgotten. Hubert mimicked the action, only his long, tantalizing fingers were much more deft and precise, making just as quick (but less sloppy) work of Ferdinand’s denim button down.

“I suppose it wouldn’t be prudent to try and take off your pants while you’re walking up the stairs,” Hubert murmured between kisses, sounding breathless and airy, and so damned sexy that Ferdinand could feel his erection straining with more urgency.

“Almost there, lo-”

Fortunately, the final word - which was most certainly not something he was supposed to be saying tonight - turned into some kind of yelp-moan hybrid as Hubert put his palm against his cock, pressing upward with no small amount of force.

Thankfully - thankfully - it was only seconds later that they were up the stairs and in the bedroom, and Ferdinand kicked off his shoes and socks as Hubert took care of Ferdinand's brown pants and red boxer briefs. But, once he was naked, Hubert paused to just admire him.

"Oh, Ferdie… well, aren't you a sight."

Ferdinand smirked. "So then, have you decided yet what part of me you find to be sexiest?" Feeling a bit impish, one of his brows then raised. "Or, shall I turn around for you first?"

Some kind of strangled noise came from Hubert, and he reached for Ferdinand's chest - but, only to push him to a sitting position at the edge of the bed. That at least gave Ferdinand the perfect angle for him to work on Hubert’s belt and take off his pants, although it became another challenging endeavor once Hubert grabbed his shoulders and bent down to assail his neck with his lips.

“Hubert,” Ferdinand then choked as he started to tug down Hubert's black jeans. “… You are not wearing any underwear!”

“In the event that I met a gorgeous man like you tonight - and make no mistake, you truly are - then I assumed it would be more efficient.” But Hubert made no effort to cease or slow down his hungry assault to participate in the conversation, so his words were almost barely audible between kisses. 

Ferdinand moaned in return, bringing his hands to Hubert's sides to draw him in closer.

“Well, it seems that I hit the jackpot tonight as well," he noted, his comment followed by a contented sigh. "After all, not only are you incredibly handsome, but you are also a planner!”

Yet when Ferdinand tipped his head back to laugh at his own joke, Hubert kissed the Adam's apple of his throat… and God, the gesture was so loving and intimate that feelings Ferdinand was not supposed to be focusing on tonight began to overpower him.

Heavens, couldn’t he just let himself be properly fucked without turning into a such a sap?

Now that they were both undressed, Ferdinand scooted farther back until he was near the headboard. Hubert used his hands and knees to crawl onto the bed - and what an amazing view that was for Ferdinand - but instead of leaning over him, Hubert just hovered over his legs, putting his hands upon them to nudge them slightly apart.

“Ah, Ferdie. Ever since I first saw you tonight, I’ve been longing to touch you here…” Hubert then brushed the back of his long fingers against the upper part of his thighs, and Ferdinand let out a slight gasp, his muscles tensing against the touch.

“Oh, and here…” The same fingers then trailed up Ferdinand’s straining shaft, Hubert’s deliberate and slow grazing the most blissful of tortures - especially when his index finger circled around the tip.

“Hubert…” The word came out like a soft mewl, but Ferdinand was too lost in the pleasure to even be embarrassed.

Yet there was no respite from such rapture - in fact, quite the opposite, as Hubert brought his mouth to the area, licking his inner thighs and then nipping lightly at them, causing Ferdinand to yelp as he writhed.

Hubert’s hands then returned to Ferdinand’s thighs, holding them open against Ferdinand’s twitches as his tongue ran along the length of his cock, eliciting another gasp-like moan.

“You know, Ferdie… you actually might have been right earlier, about honesty being your sexiest quality,” Hubert noted as he paused in his ministrations. "The extent of your enjoyment is written so clearly all over your face… you’re so beautiful, so entrancing. And to know how much you want this makes me want to fuck you so hard that you forget your own name…”

“Please,” Ferdinand begged, hating how desperate he sounded. “I want this. I want you.”

“Well, since you asked so nicely…”

Hubert twirled his tongue around the tip of Ferdinand’s cock before plunging it in his mouth, and Ferdinand gripped at the metal-barred headboard behind him. He started to thrust lightly in rhythm with Hubert’s deliberate bobbing, the volume of his moaning increasing the longer it continued.

Without even realizing it, his hands made their way to Hubert's head to induce a faster tempo, idly noting that the two pieces of hair which were always sticking up were perfect for gripping. As if to not be outdone, Hubert also search for something to grip, his hands roaming across Ferdinand's thighs until they slipped underneath and upward, shamelessly squeezing his well-toned glutes. One of his fingers then teasingly circled the nearby ring of his ass, pressing in ever so briefly as if to taunt him.

“Hubert…” he whimpered again, the steady build toward his release all-encompassing. When Hubert then removed his mouth from his cock Ferdinand actually cried out in protest, until he turned his attention to Ferdinand's balls and started to suck on them instead.

“God, Hubert!” 

Ferdinand could feel Hubert chuckling while he sucked, but the vibrations in his mouth only increased the blissful sensations… and when Hubert finally returned his mouth to Ferdinand's shaft - while bringing his fingers to his balls to massage them instead - Ferdinand knew that he couldn’t last much longer.

Hubert stopped again, this time wiping precum from his face when he pulled away, his gaze set into a devilish grin.

“It appears that you're close, Ferdie…”

“Hubert, please-” he writhed, unconsciously thrusting toward Hubert.

“Ah, not yet,” Huber tsked, dragging his fingers slowly along Ferdinand’s cock. “Not until I’ve had my way with you first. All in due time.”

“Then have your way with me,” he pleaded, starting to stroke Hubert’s shaft in return.

Perhaps it was cheating, but when he reached the tip he gently rubbed the spot right underneath, knowing how sensitive Hubert was there - which then caused Hubert to yelp. 

"You little minx…" But Ferdinand was pleased to realize that Hubert was starting to sound just as impatient as he was. “Do I need to prepare you first? It has been a while for you… hasn’t it?”

Only able to focus on his immediate need to have Hubert inside of him, Ferdinand didn't even notice the trepidation in Hubert's question.

“It is all right,” Ferdinand assured him. “I have… prepared myself.”

Hubert raised an eyebrow. “Did you? … And you call me the planner?"

“The lubricant is in the drawer of the nightstand,” Ferdinand told him, but Hubert was already reaching for it, even before he spoke.

“Well, I think we’ve both waited long enough then,” Hubert drawled after it was applied, grinding his hips against Ferdinand’s cock. “God, I can feel you throbbing for me, Ferdie…”

Despite Hubert's evident eagerness, he paused for a moment to kiss Ferdinand - a hungry and possessive kiss, one that Ferdinand was quickly becoming lost in - although, his ongoing ache prompted him to lift his pelvis until his cock was pressing against Hubert's abdomen.

“Fuck, Ferdie,” Hubert moaned.

“I love you,” Ferdinand breathed in return.

Hubert froze.

Oops. Well, he definitely wasn’t supposed to say that.

But Hubert only chuckled again.

“Such a romantic.” Hubert brushed his thumb against Ferdinand's cheek, the look in his eyes unreadable. He then leaned down to speak into Ferdinand’s ear. “Tell me… do you miss your husband, then? Is it him you want fucking you tonight?”

Ferdinand shuddered. “Yes…” he admitted.

“… As you wish. Turn around so that you can't see me, then.”

Obeying the command, Ferdinand changed positions so that he was facing away from Hubert, propping himself up on his forearms and knees in the process.

… Well, he may have also wiggled his ass a bit to entice Hubert not to linger much longer. And when he heard a sharp intake of breath in response, Ferdinand smirked in triumph.

“Now imagine I’m your husband, Ferdinand,” Hubert commanded, running those tantalizing hands along Ferdinand's protruding backside, and Ferdinand couldn't help but whimper with need. “Think only of how much I love you.”

Do you? he wanted to ask.

… Or was this only another layer to the fantasy?

Yet, the thought - all thought - disappeared as Hubert thrust himself inside him, the first moments of pain quickly turning to pleasure once Hubert was in deep enough. And with the expert maneuvering that only someone who knew him intimately could accomplish, Hubert rubbed against Ferdinand’s most sensitive area each time he pushed inward and then retreated, creating such a sense of euphoria that Ferdinand was certain he’d go mad from the pleasure.

Their bodies moved together in perfect rhythm for several minutes, bodies that were closely familiar with each other even though they pretended otherwise, and Ferdinand could feel his ass jiggling in tandem with the hypnotic rhythm. When Hubert’s hands then began to run along his chest in a rather doting way, as if the desire to fondle him was superseded by the desire to hold him close, Ferdinand only felt treasured… cherished. In the vestiges of his remaining conscious thought, Ferdinand wasn’t even sure if Hubert was enjoying this as much as he was until Hubert grabbed at his hair, yanking it backward somewhat roughly as he groaned.

“Please, I am so close,” Ferdinand begged as Hubert’s rhythm slowed, feeling the most amazing sense of torture as Hubert unintentionally edged him in order to prolong his own stamina. Bringing his hand to his own cock, Ferdinand started to stroke himself with no small amount of urgency, moaning fitfully as Hubert increased his pace again.

Hubert tugged on Ferdinand’s hair once more, kissing the curvature of his neck, followed by his earlobe.

“Come for me, Ferdinand,” he then whispered into his ear.

It was Hubert’s voice - God, did he have the sexiest voice - that finished Ferdinand, culminating with the sensations of Hubert’s thrusts into one of the most violent orgasms of his life, one that he felt throughout his entire body before it rippled up his shaft. For a moment he was frozen, but then his back arched and he could feel the spend releasing on his cock and stomach. But ultimately the pleasure was too great for Ferdinand to remain quiet, and as he cried out he turned his head toward Hubert, his cheeks reddening from the sudden warmth flowing within him.

“Fuck! Ferdinand,” Hubert groaned, burying his face in Ferdinand’s hair as he then came himself. And once he felt Hubert spilling into him, Ferdinand closed his eyes, wanting to revel in the bliss of their lovemaking forever.

Yet it wasn’t forever - rather, it was only a few minutes that they remained like that, panting as they caught their breath, before Hubert removed himself. They both collapsed onto the bed, and Hubert began to play with Ferdinand’s hair.

"That was…" Ferdinand started, but then he trailed off.

That was everything. You are everything. 

“It was," Hubert agreed, but the words almost stung, as if they were only a taunt in response to Ferdinand's silent thoughts. "Are you all right?”

“Yes,” Ferdinand assured him. “Are you?”

Hubert didn’t answer, and he had the strangest expression. Almost as if he seemed… worried? Or afraid? But when Hubert began to pepper Ferdinand with kisses - on his chest, his shoulders, his jaw, his neck, his hair - Ferdinand assumed that he'd only misread him.

I love you, Ferdinand thought, and although he didn’t dare to say it again tonight, he was certain that he saw the sentiment reflected in Hubert’s own eyes, which were hardly ever as soft as they were in that moment.

“I will, um… be right back,” Ferdinand told him instead. He then slipped to the bathroom to clean himself up and brush his teeth, and when he returned to the bedroom, Hubert left to do the same.

But already while he was gone, Ferdinand was growing heavy with sleep, and when Hubert returned, his heart started to pound with panic, knowing what tomorrow would bring once he woke.

“Hubert… stay?” he then asked, wishing he didn't sound so utterly pathetic.

Yet Hubert grinned, seeming unbothered by the question, and Ferdinand's eyes tarried on his naked form as he got into the bed.

“If you'd like.”

“No, I was not referring to this-… I meant…” Ferdinand swallowed hard. “Never mind. I know that tonight, I am not supposed to-”

“It’s all right.” Hubert brushed a light kiss atop his forehead, and Ferdinand’s eyes fluttered closed in response. “Just go to sleep, Ferdie.”

Perhaps it was childish, but Ferdinand turned and held onto Hubert tightly before finally letting himself succumb to sleep, even though he knew it wouldn’t be enough to keep him from leaving.

And when he heard Hubert tell him that he loved him, he wasn't sure if he was still awake, or if it was only part of a dream.

When Ferdinand awoke, he immediately reached for Hubert - but instead, his arm merely landed on empty bedding.

Well, of course he was gone. Ferdinand had known he would be. Besides, by now he really should be used to waking up alone…

Burying himself under his comforter, he sighed and let himself dwell on the previous night, trying to prolong the fantasy until he could motivate himself to take a much needed shower.

“Still asleep?”

Ferdinand popped his head out of the covers.

“… Hubert?”

“Were you expecting someone else? … A stranger, perhaps?” Even though he was teasing, his voice was completely deadpan, and Ferdinand practically beamed at him while he sat up against the headboard.

“Here, I made you some tea.”

Hubert was fully dressed, this time with navy pants, a white button down, and a crimson tie. As was usually the case, he looked sharp and professional - but, regrettably, that of course meant that there were no undone buttons, nor had he rolled up his sleeves.

While approaching the bed Hubert carried two mugs, and Ferdinand’s heart flip-flopped a little when he saw that Hubert’s wedding ring was back in its proper place.

“Thank you. But I need to get my-”

“On the nightstand,” Hubert told him, and surely enough, Ferdinand’s own ring was waiting there for him.

Slipping it on effortlessly, he reached for one of Hubert’s mugs.

“That one’s my coffee…” But Ferdinand ignored him, pulling gently at the mug until Hubert surrendered it, before putting it on the nightstand. He did the same with the other one, and then tugged on Hubert's tie, pulling him downward until he was close enough to kiss.

Heavens… but the strange combination of coffee and freshly brushed teeth was so enticing, so domestic, so… Hubert.

“You are… entirely too tempting,” Hubert murmured, eyeing Ferdinand's uncovered upper body as he sat on the edge of the bed… some residual desire from the night before, perhaps?

“And you are wearing far too many clothes."

“Is that so? And here I thought that you rather enjoyed undressing me…”

“Oh, I do. But…” Ferdinand sighed. “Well, is there time? You are usually gone when I wake up. What time is your flight?”

Hubert's eyes softened. “I cancelled it.”

For a moment, Ferdinand thought he might faint from the shock.

“You… what?” There. That seemed like an idiotic, but more importantly, safe thing to say.

"You asked me to stay, didn't you?" Ferdinand bit his tongue to keep from pointing out that that had never stopped him before. ”It's only Sunday, after all. I’ll rearrange my meetings and have Linhardt fly out tomorrow instead. There’s nothing he won’t be able to handle.”

“Linhardt? … Well, he will not be happy about that,” Ferdinand noted, hating how awkward his ensuing laugh sounded.

“I could give a damn about Linhardt’s happiness,” Hubert practically growled, reaching for him. “It’s your happiness that I care about, Ferdinand… Ferdie.”

“You…” God help him, but he was blushing again. “You do not need to call me that any longer if you do not wish to. Our night of role-playing as strangers is over.”

“Perhaps. And yet… I think I’ve been more of a stranger to you during these last two years than I was last night.”

There was an uncomfortable pause. “That is not-”

“Ferdinand.” The word had just enough scolding in it for him to stop talking. Hubert then cleared his throat and looked away, but Ferdinand could easily read the tension in his body.

“Hubert?” Ferdinand inquired, tentative despite how unbearable the lingering silence was starting to feel. “Are you all right?”

More silence.

“… I found the divorce papers.”

Ferdinand’s heart felt as if it suddenly plummeted into his stomach.

Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck.

“When?” he asked, his normally boisterous voice now sounding so empty, so small. And maybe it wasn’t the right thing to say in response to Hubert’s reveal, but it’s the only thing he could even manage to say.

“The last time I was home.”

Ferdinand quickly did the calculations in his head. That was almost two weeks ago… fuck.

“I can explain.” His words were hurried, desperate, but he could not seem to slow them. “It… it is not what you think. It was Lorenz’s idea, and he would not leave me alone until I agreed to meet with a lawyer to - as he put it - understand my options. The lawyer drew up the papers, but I did not sign them, nor was I going to ask you to sign them. Honestly, I should have just thrown them out…”

“… And yet, you didn’t.”

Hubert finally looked at him again, and God, Ferdinand wished that he hadn’t.

“Please do not assign any meaning to that. I do not wish for us to divorce, Hubert. But, I…”

Why was it suddenly so hard for him to speak?

“At the same time… I do not know how much longer things can continue on as they are.” It hurt to admit that… to say out loud that maybe, just maybe, they wouldn’t make it… but he grabbed Hubert’s hand and held onto it tightly, as if to emphasize his desire to hold onto what they had.

Hubert gripped his hand just as tightly, if not more so.

“Ferdinand, I don’t want to- I… can't lose you. You are the only thing in this world that is irreplaceable to me."

The vehemence in Hubert's voice startled him - truthfully, for the last few months, he'd been starting to wonder if Hubert still cared for him at all - and Ferdinand could feel his eyes starting to sting as moisture began to gather within them.

"I know that things have been difficult lately, and that I haven't been… well, I haven't been the husband you deserve," Hubert continued, bringing a hand to Ferdinand's cheek to wipe away a falling tear. "But, I love you. And I promise that going forward, I’ll arrange to be home more often. Linhardt can travel more in my place - or, if he isn’t up to the task, then we’ll hire someone new."

“… Thank you."

Ferdinand swallowed tightly, willing himself to keep his composure. He wanted so badly to promise Hubert that things would be fine now, so that they could just put this all behind them and move on… and yet, he knew that he was just as responsible as Hubert for things getting to this point, that he should have never hidden his feelings from Hubert to begin with.

"Hubert, look… I know that you are trying. But if you meant what you said last night - that you wish I were more honest with you, and not always just telling you what you want to hear - then I… I fear that your efforts will not be enough.”

Hubert's gaze snapped to his, and Ferdinand had never seen him look so afraid.

“Ferdinand," his voice caught. "Please…”

“I am sorry, Hubert, but I cannot be just another problem that you seek to fix… I need more than that, more of you than that. Perhaps it is vain of me, but I need you to want to be with me. To want to be with me and to… want me."

Something in Hubert's eyes flashed, but thankfully he didn't interrupt.

"Which is why I need you to tell me what it will take to accomplish that," Ferdinand continued, although he almost feared what Hubert might say. "I suggested that we try role-play last night because I thought something new could help us… - I mean, it had been so long since we last… - but in any case, we both seemed to enjoy it. So, if it is role-play that excites you… if you need to pretend that I am someone else to desire me, then perhaps we can continue to-”

Hubert laughed, as if incredulous. “You must be joking. You actually think I don’t want you?”

Ferdinand looked away, gathering the blanket closer to him. “You are rarely here anymore, and when you are, you do not touch me. What am I to think? Unless…” He then gripped comforter with everything he was worth. “Lorenz suggested that it might be because there is… someone else.”

“There isn’t.” Hubert pulled one of Ferdinand's hands away from the bedding and squeezed it reassuringly. “Never. Fuck, Ferdie.” His eyes then darkened. “But aside from pushing for divorce and suggesting that I’m cheating on you, does Lorenz have any other remarkable insights into our marriage that I should know about?”

“Do not be angry with him, Hubert. Lorenz is my friend, and is only looking out for me.”

Hubert closed his eyes and brought a hand to his temple, letting out a long breath.

"You're right. I suppose I have only myself to be angry with." When Hubert's eyes opened again, he grabbed a strand of Ferdinand’s hair and started to play with it, twisting it deftly through his fingers. “But for you think I don't want you - as if the thought of fucking you isn't on my mind at every waking moment…"

Ferdinand swallowed, eyes widening. "I-"

But Hubert's lips cut him off, crashing down onto Ferdinand's with no small measure of desperation, and Ferdinand wrapped his arms around Hubert's shoulders in return. Bringing his mouth to Ferdinand's neck, Hubert then not-so-gently sunk his teeth into it, causing Ferdinand to yelp and arch his head backward. Hubert trailed down his newly arched neck until his lips reached his chest, and only then did Ferdinand seem to remember that he was entirely naked.

"I wonder how you could possibly think anyone wouldn't want you," Hubert muttered, grabbing one of Ferdinand's hands to place it firmly on the evidence of his desire.

With a gasp, Ferdinand instinctively squeezed, and Hubert moaned in return. But the moan was soon muffled by Ferdinand's nipple, which Hubert began to flick with his tongue, teasing it until it was hard… and then taking that as an invitation to suck on it instead.

"H-Hubert… wait. S-stop…" Ferdinand pleaded, despite his own emerging erection. 

Hubert grunted with frustration as he complied with the request, but leaned his forehead against Ferdinand's chest for a long moment, waiting until he caught his breath before lifting it. And the pure, unadulterated lust that Ferdinand saw in his eyes almost took him aback.

"I… I am sorry, but before we continue, I just need to understand." Ferdinand shook his head, trying to make sense of it all. "If neither your feelings nor your desire for me have waned, as you claim - and, trust me, you have been quite convincing - then why do you never want to be with me? Surely you realized before today that you could have Linhardt travel occasionally in your place?"

Hubert remained silent, his eyes guarded once more.

"… Do you really want to know the answer to that?" he finally asked.

"I…" There was something in Hubert's tone that put Ferdinand on edge, and he reflexively tensed. Yet still, he nodded.

"The truth is I rather like being at work, because I enjoy being needed there." Hubert then laughed, but the sound was so bitter that Ferdinand flinched. "Unlike in this marriage, where I seem to be nothing more than an albatross hanging around your neck."

Of all the things he imagined Hubert might say, this was certainly not one of them.

"… What?" he eventually managed to choke out. "I never once said-"

"You didn't have to," Hubert hissed. "But whenever we went out together, you always felt the need to babysit me, lest I be left alone in some corner by myself. Then, when I tried to rectify this by simply declining to join you out, you only felt obligated to stay in as well and keep me company at home.

"… Fuck, Ferdie. It was starting to feel as if I’d caged some beautiful bird, as if I were nothing more than a shadow always looming over you, shrouding all of your light… as if I were smothering you. So, as Edelgard's business began to grow and the opportunity arose for me to travel more often, I thought it would be for the best - that you would finally thrive once more in my absence.”

Ferdinand felt his jaw working, but he seemed wholly unable to speak.

"The truth is that if you had any sense, Ferdinand, you would divorce me," Hubert then added, and Ferdinand jerked backward, as if he'd just been slapped.

“You… you idiot!" he finally fumed, so angered by Hubert's admission that he wrenched away from him completely. "God, Hubert… did it never even occur to you that I actually like spending time with you? That it was my choice to remain by your side, whether we were out or at home, and not an obligation?”

Hubert seemed legitimately surprised.


"And in any case, you were wrong, you know." Ferdinand huffed. "You thought that I would thrive without you, but had you even bothered to notice, you would have seen that I was only wilting. Because the truth of the matter is that I have no idea how to be happy without you anymore… you have completely ruined me, in that regard. So in that sense, yes, I need you, Hubert, because I am completely and utterly miserable without you… I need you very much. Do not ever doubt that."

Hubert must have been stunned into silence, as he was doing little more than blink. But, after an incredibly painful and awkward pause, he actually started to laugh.

Ferdinand couldn't believe Hubert's utter gall, as that hardly seemed to be an appropriate response. But when he opened his mouth to give Hubert a piece of his mind, he strangely just found himself laughing along with him.

After all, the foundation that they'd built their entire relationship on hadn't disappeared, as Ferdinand had once feared. It was still there - perhaps with some new cracks, yet continuing to hold strong. And as long as that was the case, then they could get through this, through anything, together.

Once the laughter abated, Hubert brought his hand to the side of Ferdinand's face, using his long thumb to repetitively reach across his cheek in a gentle caress. Such a loving gesture only relaxed Ferdinand, releasing any leftover tension that the laughter hadn't dissipated, and as if he were nothing more than a spoiled house cat, he nestled further into Hubert's palm. 

"I truly can't fathom what I've done to deserve such devotion from you… but I won't question it again," Hubert promised. "… As long as you won't ever doubt how precious you are to me in return."

"I will try not to… and if I do, I will not hide my feelings from you. Truthfully, had you not found those papers and confronted me, I do not know how long my pride would have let me continue to run from you…"

"That burden is not yours to bear alone," Hubert assured him. "If I hadn't seen last night how much my absence has been hurting you, I might not have had the courage to even bring up those papers. But, regardless, I realize now that I should have just spoken to you from the start, rather than making my own assumptions about what was best for you."

"You are right about that," Ferdinand agreed. "I suppose that we were both stubborn for foolish reasons."

But everything just felt so much lighter now, as if a massive weight had been lifted from Ferdinand's shoulders, and feeling very nearly giddy, he wrapped his arms around Hubert's neck. Their foreheads pressed together before Ferdinand closed the gap separating their lips, and when they finally stopped to regain their breath, Ferdinand sighed contentedly as Hubert pressed his lips once more into the side of his head.

“So, then… what next?” Hubert inquired, the adoration in his eyes so potent that Ferdinand considered cutting their conversation short to kiss him again… but, he settled instead for playing with the hair at the back of Hubert's head.

“Well, in addition to you rectifying your relentless travel schedule, I think we should take a much needed vacation - one where neither of us does any work.”

“Vacation, hm?" Hubert smiled. "Perhaps you could define the word? I’m afraid I don’t know its meaning."

Ferdinand pouted, inciting Hubert to lean down and press a quick peck to his lips, as if he could kiss the pout away.

“All right, Ferdie," he then agreed. "I can’t pretend that spending time away with you would be a hardship. Where would you like to go, then?”

“I do not care," Ferdinand insisted, resting the side of his face on Hubert's chest. "Anywhere that I can have you all to myself… Antarctica, maybe.”

Ferdinand’s eyes closed as he felt the slight rumble of Hubert's laughter, smiling at both the physical sensation and the resulting melodic sound.

"If you'd like. But there is, of course, one other problem we haven't yet resolved…"

Opening his eyes at Hubert's deep sigh, Ferdinand looked up at him warily. "And what is that?"

"Well… not one minute of this damn conversation has passed where I've forgotten that you're completely naked under that blanket."

"Oh… am I?" Ferdinand then not-so-innocently threw the comforter aside, baring himself fully. "Hm, look at that. I suppose you are right…"

"Ferdie…" Hubert warned, and Ferdinand felt his heart starting to race from the way his husband was unabashedly looking at him.

"The trouble is that I really need to shower - you see, a handsome stranger fucked me very thoroughly last night, so I am quite filthy. But, perhaps you would like to join me in there?"

Hubert looked at him with half-lidded eyes. "Yes, all right - let's get you clean while I dirty you up yet again…"

"Promise?" Ferdinand pouted once more.

But when Hubert moved to kiss his protruding lips, Ferdinand escaped his grasp and hopped out of the bed - perhaps shaking his ass a bit more than necessary to ensure that Hubert would be following closely behind. 

Although, this time, there was never any cause to doubt… nor would there be ever again.