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Dirty Wings

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There wasn't anything happening in the town that night. It was as boring and deserted for the nighttime as it could be. Excluding the very few people at the inn, of course. There was always someone at the inn, even if they were the people maintaining it and the shadier regulars who did not go home.

The winged one was not a regular. None of the Avians were, except the young adult ones sneaking in to look at the courtesans and sometimes, rarely, paying for a night. Avians considered themselves better than that. They worked, they hunted, they protected the Law and generally had no time for anything this low.

Still, they were not forbidden from drinking or gambling, or sex.

The Avian present that night was just drinking and even that was going slow and he couldn't possibly be actually drunk, nursing one glass for an hour or so.

Magnus thought he was interesting. Beautiful, of course, as all Avians were, but this one happened to particularly appeal to Magnus's senses – and curiosity.

Anyone could see that the man was tired and most people knew why- the Avians had hunted down a dangerous man this afternoon and although the townsfolk usually avoided talking about them in positive ways, they were very much grateful for having the problem solved. They had been plagued by a series of murders and arson, and they'd struggled to defend themselves.

The Avian's wings were dirty. They were large to fit his body, pitch-black at the top and slightly lightening to dark gray at the tips. The lighter color on them was from dust and dirt, and they were speckled with dried blood. Magnus was pretty sure that was blood.

The Avian sat at the bar, the one glass in front of him, his head in his hands. He rested his elbows on the bar counter as he leaned forward.

No one disturbed him and Magnus watched him.

Magnus was sitting in the corner by the fireplace and before the Avian appeared, he'd been wondering what to do with the rest of his night, since he wasn't going to have any clients. At first, he wasn't going to do anything about the rare patron but the more time passed, the more curious Magnus became and the man made a sadder sight.

Finally, Magnus rose from the chair by the fireplace and walked over, his steps light, and approached the Avian.

He had to speak to get his attention because without it the man didn't change his position.

"There are more comfortable places in this inn to pass the night, you know. Especially for someone who looks like they could use something softer than the hard bar to rest on."

At that, the man straightened just enough to look at Magnus. It was only a glance before he turned away again.

"I don't have an interest in what you're offering. Nor the money for it."

"I'm not asking for money, I wanted to offer you a bath."

The Avian looked at him again.

"Do I smell?"

"No, you don't. You are tired and dirty, and this is an inn where you can solve both those problems."

"Like I said, I don't want to buy any service."

"It will be free of charge because of what you are. Look, I know Avians are paid but let us show a little gratitude on our own. At least today, after what you've done."

The man gave Magnus a long look. At least it wasn't a cold look nor was it disapproving of what Magnus was.

The Avian had bright eyes. He was more beautiful up close, with his face framed by dark brows and hair.

"I don't take anything for free," he said.

Magnus wanted to roll his eyes.

"I'll use the really good soap, then, and you'll pay me for that, another day. Room, water and my hands are free of charge."

The man shifted on the bar chair and froze briefly. Dirt that had been wet before was no longer that and it became gritty between the feathers, Magnus guessed. He didn't have wings but he had the imagination to know how that'd feel, especially if one wanted to fly all the way home like that. Reading the Avian's body, Magnus knew the moment he won and the other man decided to agree.

"Follow me upstairs, tired boy."

The Avian was not Magnus's 'client' but Magnus gave him the best treatment. That included the sway in his hips as he went up the stairs, leading the way. He didn't overdo it because he was too experienced not to know that it would have only served to discourage the over-serious Avian.

He already knew he's got his whole attention, anyway.

It was up the stairs and the corridor to the right.

Magnus opened the door to his room wide and let the guest step inside first. He closed and locked it behind them. It was a relatively large room and although Magnus would have liked a bigger one, he knew he was already lucky with what he got.

His bed was to the left of the door, half-covered with a canopy of deep blue, light fabric. Magnus liked having many pillows on it. Then there was the wall with the window, where his desk and vanity stood. Magnus had windchimes and little decorative circles made of colored glass which filtered the sunlight falling into the room. They were gifts from his regulars back in the big city and Magnus brought them here when he'd moved. Now, long after sunset, they reflected the flames of his fireplace.

To the right, there was a nook with a wooden bathtub and then, nearest to the door on the right side, there was a wardrobe.

Under Magnus's bed, there were suitcases in which he kept his many books but that wasn't visible to the Avian from where they stood.

"You can look," Magnus said and smirked. "You can even touch."

Light from the fireplace wasn't enough so Magnus lit two of his lamps- one by the bed and the other over the bathtub.

The avian stood awkwardly in the middle of the room while Magnus opened a valve on one of the two pipes coming out of the wall and after a little while warm water began falling into the tub from the cistern in the attic.

"That is fancy," the Avian noted.

"Here, it is indeed. In the city, that's normal."

"Not for everyone, though."

"No," Magnus agreed. "Here, we need this luxury to keep clients happy. Imagine you had to wait for the serving ones to carry hot water up from the kitchen."

"I imagine that might be a drawback. Especially if they pay by the hour."

"Well, it's more complicated and more fair than hourly pay."

"Like fancy soap payment?"

"Like fancy soap payment," Magnus grinned.

Water kept filling the tub while he gathered the things he'd need to take care of his guest. He paused for a while over his soap collection, to consider the best choice for wings. He didn't have Avian items because Avians weren't his clients but Magnus wanted to do his best as always and not accidentally damage any feathers.

He did pick one bar for the skin and hair, and another one for the wings and put them on the little table next to the tub. He gathered a fresh sponge and towels, and a jug to pour the water later to rinse the soap off.

Magnus fiddled with his rings as he thought. A little oil for the water but not much. Less was more with the Avian who stood there with his hands behind his back, his eyes gliding over the furniture and returning to Magnus before straying to the window and back to Magnus.

It was flattering.

Magnus took all his rings off and put them aside on a silver plate he kept for that purpose before dipping his hand in the water to check it. Then, he turned to his guest and walked up to him.

The Avian's eyes tried to read him, read his face while Magnus looked back at him. Then, his eyes strayed lower, to the first line of short necklaces on Magnus's neck and lower, to the pendants which were the only thing to cover his skin there. The deep blue tunic Magnus wore, one of his favorites, was open almost to his navel and it closed before it reached his black silky pants.

"Would you like me to help you undress?" Magnus asked and the man's eyes snapped back up to his face.

"No, uh, no. That's not necessary," he replied, already moving to begin taking his shirt off.

"May I at least watch? It's only curiosity, you see, how are your Avian clothes made."

"Oh. It's nothing strange, I think. Just buttons," the Avian said, continuing.

He had to reach back to undo said buttons and Magnus circled him to see, so that he may one day be of help to someone. Seeing Avians walk around town in their shirts was different than seeing the garment actually undone.

The shirt was off on one side and the man was twisting to get the other end off when he hissed. It was involuntary and he winced not because of whatever made him hiss, but because he hadn't wanted to show it. Of course, Magnus did not leave it ignored and he was there in a second, his hand closed over the Avian's to stop it from moving.

"Let me help," Magnus said but did not intend to wait to be allowed. He pushed the hand back to stop the Avian from trying to do it himself. It was so much better for Magnus to pull the shirt off where he could see all of it and he could also see the deeply bruised place that caused the pain. The shirt fell in a heap and Magnus left it there.

Next, he reached for the belt. It was leather, made of interwoven strips and made to be useful: hold up swords and daggers strapped to it, and possibly vials with medicine or poison.

"Where's your sword, pretty boy?"

"Another from my unit took it after the battle. We don't go into town with large weapons," he said matter-of-factly. It was the unwritten rule or courtesy maintained by the Avians. Of course, they still carried daggers or if they didn't, a smack from a wing was painful enough. Magnus knew they didn't carry large weapons because he's never seen them in town.

He couldn't undo the belt standing behind the Avian, so Magnus moved around him but when his hands reached out to the belt, the man finally realized what was going on and stepped back.

Magnus's brows rose. "Are you getting in the tub in your pants?"

"No," he replied firmly and then fell quiet, which amused Magnus.

"Turn around," he said and Magnus chuckled.

"Alright, pretty boy."

Magnus stood and admired his own canopy, listening for the sign that the man got in the water already. When the light splash came, Magnus turned around and walked over there.

With the wings, the avian had to sit down the other way in the tub, so that he was facing the wall and his wings had room around the tub.

Magnus tapped his lips with his finger, thinking. Then, he pulled out some of the older towels and rags to put on the floor under the wings to soak up the water later.

He was pleased to see the Avian lean back as much as he can and tilt his back head lightly. This was what Magnus intended, among other things, to have the man stop brooding at the bar and relax a little.

"How's the water?"

"Perfect."

"Good. Enjoy it while I have to leave you for a minute, I'll be right back."

Magnus unlocked the door to walk down the corridor to another room and knocked. It was quite late but the girl liked reading as much as Magnus did and he was almost certain she wasn't sleeping yet. Indeed, she came to the door and she looked at him with a question in her eyes. She was a daughter of the man who looked after the stables which stood right next to the inn and they lived in the staff wing just like Magnus did.

"I'll give you my ruby earrings if you do something for me right now. I need these washed," he said, presenting her the Avian's clothes that he gathered from the floor.

"When you do that, just put them on my door-handle on a hanger, I'll dry them by the fireplace. And I need a bit of food. Nothing fancy, just bread and ham, and cheese."

She leaned on her doorframe, tilting her head.

"Is that all? You can ask me something else in exchange for those earrings."

Magnus chuckled. "Yes, that is all, but it's important to me. Make sure to wash those well."

"You've got a guest," she smirked.

"Yes, a special guest, who's waiting for me. Thank you," he said and left her with the clothes.

When he returned to the room, he walked over to the tub and since he'd already prepared what he needed, he could get to work. The Avian was comfortable, lying back. His wings were like large shadows on each side of him in the slightly dim room.

"I'm going to touch your right wing so please don't knock me down with it," Magnus said.

Knowing this was going to take a long time, Magnus made himself comfortable sitting down on a little stool. He picked up a sponge, dunked it in the tub and began cleaning the wing from the top. It was cleaner there and became dustier in the lower parts, especially the tips.

At first, he didn't talk. He wanted the Avian to relax properly and if he needed it, quiet his mind. Magnus was no medium to know what he was thinking, but it didn't take a medium to see the way he'd sat alone, drinking. That behavior wasn't caused just by a long battle.

"You need to tell me when I do something wrong, pretty boy. I'm being careful but I don't have feathers of my own to know how they feel."

"It's fine. Don't pull at them or twist them and that's all."

"What if they're already twisted?"

"I'll have them fixed when I get back."

"I'm right here, already touching all of them," Magnus pointed out. "I can groom them."

There was silence, but then the Avian replied: "You have to make them lie flat in the pattern of others around them… sometimes they can't be fixed and have to be removed but those I can usually feel because they hurt."

"Alright. I'll do my best."

Magnus kept working on cleaning but he watched for crooked feathers. There weren't any near the top arch of the wing and most were short and soft, the fluff shrinking when it got wet. Magnus scrubbed the darker spots with a bit of soap and spend the most time getting the sand and dirt out of the long flight feathers without pushing it deeper between them. He straightened the crooked ones as he went and thought the Avian might tell him to stop but he relaxed when Magnus didn't hurt the wing and let him work.

It took a good while before he was ready to rinse the wing off. It was large, fitting its owner, and Magnus didn't rush. He enjoyed looking at the pitch-black feathers made shinier by the water.

In the meantime, the Avian scrubbed himself down with the other sponge lying nearby.

"Why are you so nice?" he asked Magnus at some point.

"You mean, why I said this is for free?"

He nodded.

"You needed it. I wanted to do something for you. Everyone knows what you and your friends were doing today. No matter how one might complain about your kind, everyone's relieved that it's over… that you killed the killer. I already told you downstairs, I wanted to add something to the payment."

Magnus stood up from the stool to grab a towel to press the water down out of the wing.

"I've seen you before, from my window. Walking in the street."

"And?"

"You were kind to the little girl who tripped and fell. I know her. Now, I'm not saying I trust you because you were nice to a kid once. I'm only saying I think you might be a good man."

"We don't think of ourselves like that," the Avian said. "We do what's needed to be done and we stop the law from being broken."

"Hmm."

Magnus moved the things he needed to the left side of the tub. Before he wet the wing, he allowed himself to touch it while it was dry to feel the soft parts under his fingertips. It was nice.

Magnus was pretty sure a shiver ran through the Avian when he was touching the middle of the wing, but the man said nothing, so Magnus moved on with the washing.

"Besides," he said, "I'm not desperate for money. I know you thought about it."

One feather stood out to him so Magnus put away the sponge and gently fixed the problem before continuing.

"I can afford to have guests instead of clients, you know. If the inn burned down or maybe I fell sick, I would not starve right away."

"Good. That's good," the Avian said neutrally.

"I think this town is lucky," Magnus added. "It has the same issues as everywhere else but it has fewer problems."

The Avian tilted his head.

"I think I know what you mean by that."

It truly wasn't bad. They had a medic who could be talked into helping for free sometimes, they had families willing to look out for each other. The courtesans weren't hurt or afraid of losing everything in one day, as Magnus had said. And on top of that, Avians lived nearby. No one attacked towns when Avians were there. Except for deranged killers and particularly vicious criminals.

As for Magnus himself, well, he had more talent than the others to take care of himself and make friends as well as money. Look at him, having talked an Avian into letting him give him a bath. The others wouldn't have managed that.

Magnus wouldn't have minded doing this more often. Grooming wings, that is. To him, it was a soothing work, repetitive and calm. Quiet. Magnus liked to talk but he also appreciated silences and this was one of those times when silence fit better than talking.

He knew the Avian was finally resting, unlike when he'd sat at the bar. Knowing this was what made Magnus better than the other courtesans.

The man even let his head rest on the edge of the tub, his eyes closed.

Magnus stole glances at the thick lashes and pale cheeks. Full lips.

"Are you with your family here?" Magnus asked.

"Yes, with my siblings. We chose to stay on a more permanent basis.

"It is better to know one's community to help rather than keep moving between strangers."

"We thought so."

"You can ask me questions if you want. I doubt you'll offend me."

The Avian turned his head to see Magnus at least from the corner of his eye.

"I don't need a fair exchange for your questions. You can just ask and at worst I won't answer."

Magnus sighed theatrically.

"Maybe I want to get to know you, which comes with wanting you to get to know me."

"Why?"

"Why anything? Why do people seek companionship and friends?"

"I'm sure you already have friends more interesting than I could be."

"Not prettier, though," Magnus answered easily and kept talking before the man could react. "My dear, warrior Avian, friends are supposed more than just interesting fun."

"Maybe but you're only curious about me. That's all."

"Aren't you curious about me?"

The Avian sat up straighter to be able to look at Magnus properly, forcing Magnus to move back when the wing he was sitting by pushed at him.

"Why are you so…"

"Charming?"

"Difficult."

Magnus grinned. "If you hate it, I promise to rinse you off quickly and let you go on your way without another word from my lips."

The Avian stared at him, then shook his head. Giving up, he slid back down into the water.

Magnus held the left wing and moved it to the position that was comfortable for him.

"My name is Alexander," the Avian offered.

"And I am Magnus."

"Why do you stay here?" Alexander asked. "You're from the city and with your looks – and your tongue – you must be able to do well for yourself there."

Magnus nodded even though the Avian could not see that.

"A good question. I did do well for myself and I do miss the comforts that haven't reached this place yet. Unfortunately, in a city, there are more rich people who… they became too convinced money buys you everything."

He paused but didn't stop washing the wing. Then, he continued talking.

"Here, there are people with money who work hard for it. They work, they earn, they feel free to go and spend an evening buying the best wine and the best courtesan because it's the end of the week. That's fair, in my opinion."

"I guess," Alexander said.

"The difference is that men and women here are paying for a night with me. They're buying their pleasure and fun, and conversation. All those things are what I'm offering. In the city, men and women think they can buy people. They expect to buy souls because they shake a money bag."

While his hands were on Alexander, Magnus could tell he tensed up a little.

"I suppose we know how that feels, in a way, as Avians. Some people do think they can buy us for their own goals."

"I thought you might be sympathetic," Magnus said softly.

"I like it here," he continued. "There's a number of annoying townsfolk but the good ones make up for it."

Alexander hummed.

"What do you do when you're not cleaning strangers for free?"

"Well, the truth is I do my share of chores because I was raised to do them and because it makes the cost of living here lower. I do all that in the morning. Then, I read or I go out."

"Do you have books delivered with the post and press?"

"Sometimes. I had a lot I brought with me when I came here and I haven't finished all of them yet."

"Oh."

Magnus wondered if Alexander was ignoring the fact that Magnus had finished washing the left wing and was petting it instead, or if he hadn't noticed yet. Magnus took full advantage of it, whatever the reason.

"Would you like me to wash your hair?" Magnus asked, noticing that after the Avian washed his skin, he didn't touch the hair.

"I was going to leave it dry, but… maybe I should get that done, too."

"You'll feel better when you're completely clean," Magnus said and moved to work. He liked those black locks. As he expected, they curled when wet. When he got the Avian to hum while he massaged his scalp, he smiled to himself. He used his favorite soap and scented oil for hair and spent more time than needed to rub it in because he could see how the Avian melted under his touch.

Magnus thought to himself he should try this on the wings the next time he had the opportunity. He'd been very careful the first time because he would have hated to cross a line or accidentally cause pain, but if there was a second time… he'd try something else. With hair, he had no hesitation. He knew what was good and what wasn't.

The water couldn't be as nice as it'd been after such a long time Magnus spent on the wings, even if it wasn't lukewarm yet.

"Come on up," he said when he was done rinsing the soap off. "I've got towels ready."

Not thinking about what he was doing, content and relaxed, the Avian forgot about his naked body and the way he'd told Magnus to turn around before… and he stood, first giving Magnus the sight of his backside and then he turned to the towels…

Magnus bit his lip. Dark chest hair that he's already seen went down to the treasure trail… and down to the nest of black hair…

Magnus liked what he saw. He'd hoped, based on the other characteristics…

He truly liked what he saw. Heat spread through his body, even his face, which usually was a sign of his real want.

Alexander snatched one of the nearest towels to cover himself.

Magnus considered his next step carefully. Then, he threw caution away.

"If you step out of the tub and come closer to kiss me, I won't be able to look down at the same time," Magnus said.

"What do you want?" the Avian blurted out and although he was genuinely confused, Magnus could see how his eyes darkened.

"You, obviously."

"Why?"

"You have to know everything, don't you? Let me spell it out for you then. You're attractive and I want to spend a night with you. Maybe because I've never bedded an Avian."

"Maybe?"

"I promise you I didn't lure you here for indecent reasons. The bath was the reason… still, a man could hope… What do you think about me?" Magnus asked.

Alexander looked at his face. Then at his pendants. He did not look lower like he had earlier.

"I think you're beautiful. I think I'd like to see you with less of the-" he made a gesture under his own eye.

Well, it was true that Magnus made the black lines around his eyes thicker today. Sometimes he went heavy with make-up, sometimes he was more moderate. He hardly could have predicted meeting Alexander tonight so he couldn't have planned his make-up ahead of time. That's something to consider for the future…

"I can always wash it off, you know."

"No. No, why, that's not what I meant-"

"Easy, Alexander, I know what you meant."

The Avian sighed.

"Why do you have to be so confusing?"

"Why do you have to ask so many questions? Just say you don't want to kiss me."

There was silence.

Magnus thought Alexander would say something but no, still with his feet in the tub, he pulled Magnus closer by the edge of his tunic and Magnus went easily, tilting his face up. His eyes closed on their own when their lips met. It was a peck, first, and Magnus already considered that a success.

It didn't stop there. As if encouraged by taking the first step, the Avian pressed his lips against Magnus's more insistently. It became an open kiss, with Magnus's tongue darting out to tease.

When the Avian put his hand on the back of his neck to hold him, Magnus put his hands on his bare chest.

He was warm, probably warmer than non-Avians were. Magnus liked the firmness of the muscles and how the hair felt under his hands.

"Shall we even out the odds?" Magnus gestured between his dressed self and the bare, still mostly wet body in front of him.

The Avian's eyes were still wide after the kiss. He nodded. Then, he stepped out of the tub onto the towels and shook his wings out.

Magnus was reminded of a black shaggy dog one of his friends owned for years. Of course, he did not say that out loud. Actually, there were fewer droplets falling than he'd expected and on closer inspection, when Magnus stepped closer to reach out to touch one of the wings, it was already drying.

"Hmm. I suppose you need them to dry fast so you're not weighed down."

"What? Oh. Yes, our feathers don't hold water in."

"That's great," Magnus says. "I don't appreciate having damp bedding, no matter how pretty the boy is."

Magnus noticed the Avian hesitating anew. He didn't want him second-guessing himself when he clearly was interested in what Magnus wanted them to do. What were the reasons, Magnus wasn't sure, but he knew there could be many.

"I think," the Avian began, "that you're expecting too much of me."

Magnus's eyes softened.

"I promise you, all I want is your attention and participation. I want your hands on me," he said, closing the distance between them to take Alexander's hand and put it on his hardening cock while he still wore pants.

"That's all your doing," he said.

The Avian licked his lips, his eyes darted to the side.

"Alright…" he said, though Magnus wasn't sure what exactly was going through his head.

"Help me out," Magnus said, pulling the edges of his tunic out of his pants. Alexander took the hint and pushed the garment off of Magnus's shoulders. It dropped down to stop at his feet. Next, Magnus stepped out of the pants, under which there wasn't anything else but his bare skin.

The Avian licked his lips again.

"Don't worry," Magnus said, taking him by the hand and walking backwards to the bed. "I'll prepare myself so you won't have to worry about hurting me."

The Avian's face went red at that because by some miracle it hasn't been red before.

When the backs of Magnus's legs touched the bed, he let go of Alexander's hand and crawled backwards so his back rested on the pillows. He was almost fully hard by now, eager and excited. He spread his thighs to show the Avian that.

He was still standing by the bed and wasn't joining Magnus on it, but oh, his attention was wholly focused on Magnus.

When Magnus got himself some of the oil from the bedside table and began to do what he said he'd do, he noticed the way the Avian's wings reacted- they quivered. It was the slightest movement, but they were a part of the Avian and they betrayed his reactions.

Magnus didn't touch his cock, he pushed his fingers inside himself the way he liked to do to be efficient. He wanted to give the Avian a show but not for long. He wasn't in a mood to tease because what he actually wanted was to get the man inside him.

Finally, Alexander unfroze and he put his knee on the bed, moving forwards on all fours until he was over Magnus and was able to kiss him again.

Happy with the development, Magnus kissed back eagerly and moaned into it when he touched himself in a particularly good spot. A shiver ran through him when Alexander's fingers touched his sensitive inner thigh. He wasn't looking, he was still kissing Magnus, but his fingers traveled over his skin from thigh to his entrance. Magnus pulled his fingers out and drew a sharp breath when the Avian's fingers very gently replaced his. They were hesitant, so careful.

It was always better to be touched by a lover than have to do it himself, no matter that he knew better what to do. And a sweet, careful lover was especially delicious.

Magnus spread his thighs further to make room for Alexander to fit between them.  

"Come on," he said, his roughened by arousal. "I need you, Alexander. Right now."

Blindly, he found the bottle of oil with his arm and pushed it into the Avian's hands. He got the message and slicked up his cock properly before finding the position to enter Magnus.

"Move slowly but steady."

The Avian drew in a long and shaky breath.

Magnus bit his lip when he moved deeper. Yes, that was exactly what he wanted. Sweet, sweet pressure and a promise of a proper lay – though that was maybe too crude a word for what Magnus felt about Alexander.

Magnus didn't tell him when he could stop going slow, he enjoyed the sensation to the fullest as it went on.

Then, when he bottomed out and began to pull back, Magnus moved to hook one of his legs over Alexander's hips. His hands went to Alexander's back and his fingernails dug lightly into his skin.

From there, the pace slowly changed the surer of himself the Avian became. He was hardly confident, but he saw he was doing the right things by reading Magnus's face and listening to the sounds he made.

He made plenty of sounds himself and it was music to Magnus's ears. He may not be experienced but he wasn't doing anything wrong at all and that was enough for Magnus because what he got was a good, thick cock in him which did exactly what it was supposed to.

It was nice, as well, that Magnus was getting kissed a lot instead of being used as just a hole. He appreciated that in lovers.

He'd never been fucked by someone with wings before. They were like a black canopy over him, creating a sense of… safety, a shadowy cocoon.

Alexander learned fast, even though he was clearly overwhelmed with sensations himself. He followed the hints of Magnus's noises and when his breaths hitched. More and more often, he got him to repeat those noises. Magnus's nails dug deeper and he left light scratch-marks on the back of his lover.

And then, Alexander's hips stuttered and he came inside Magnus.

Magnus didn't mind. He didn't move while his lover needed a while to gather his senses back, even though he was aching for his own release by then.

Finally, Alexander moved and began kissing his throat. Magnus bared it for him and when he arched lightly on the bed, the felt the softening cock still inside him.

He groaned and Alexander took the hint. He pushed himself up and back, slipping out of Magnus, and for a second, he knelt and sat back on his heels. He was flushed and lovely, his lips red from the kisses.

Magnus could almost hear him thinking even with the haze of pleasure that undoubtedly filled his head.

And then, he lowered himself so he could touch Magnus's cock with his lips. That was a great idea, Magnus thought when hot lips kissed him and then a tongue licked him. Yes, at that moment, Magnus had a lot of appreciation for inexperienced enthusiasm and willingness to please.

He came when Alexander used his hands to help himself when he didn't want to take him whole in his mouth and squeezed at the base of his length. He came over his lover's hands and was left boneless, content and spend, sinking heavier into his pillows.

The Avian moved, his weight shifting on the bed until he laid down on his side next to Magnus.

"Thank you," he said.

Magnus turned his head to look at him. "What for?"

"This," he reached over to touch Magnus's belly and traced circles on his skin with his fingertips.

"I don't… do this kind of thing," he said.

Magnus was tempted to tease him about it but he refrained. It wouldn't have been too kind to the shy man.

"It helped even more than the bath," the Avian added.

"Well, sex is great for relieving the pressure on you, even for a moment. It's good for forgetting, too."

"But just for a moment…"

Alexander laid his head down on his bent arm. His other hand was still touching Magnus. His wingtip was returning some modesty to him, covering his lower body from sight.

"I'm glad I could have helped," Magnus said. "It's what I meant to do since the moment I saw you, sitting there looking so sad."

"I wasn't sad," the Avian protested.

"You made a sad sight, then. You're making a much, much better sight now, pretty boy."

Alexander huffed.

"Stay there," Magnus said, pushing himself up to sit and then put his feet on the floor. He grabbed one of the damp towels to wipe himself down and then went to the door to quickly take the clothes hanger waiting for him as he'd asked. Back of a chair served as a drying rack. Next, he took the plate and brought it to the bed.

"I'm sure you haven't eaten for hours by now," Magnus said. "I had my evening meal before, so this is for you."

Alexander pushed himself up to rest on his elbow and took the offered food without pretending he wasn't hungry.

"Thank you."

"You're welcome."

Magnus let the water out of the tub into the pipes below it and then put out the fire in the lamp above it. He left the fireplace alone because it was set to burn out in the night.

With that done, he returned to bed and laid down as before, facing Alexander and watched him eat.

Alexander was careful not to get crumbs over the bedding and when he was finished, he picked up the plate and twisted around to set it on the other bedside table.

They lay together, looking at each other but not feeling a need to speak.

Magnus pulled a blanket over them, which proved to be a sudden problem of how to cover them both and the wings. Alexander put it over his legs and middle, and the rest of him stayed uncovered. He had his right wing over himself and his left behind him, hanging off the edge of the bed.

 

For the first time in his life, Magnus slept blanketed by a wing. It didn't start like that but he did at some point in the night become pressed to the Avian, his back to the Avian's front.

He woke to the weight of it on his side, the feathers so soft from being freshly washed. They touched his skin in a most comforting way.

"I thought you'd be gone in the morning," Alexander spoke from behind him.

"I thought the same of you," Magnus smiled to himself. "It's early, still. I don't usually get up for another hour."

"I don't like waking up early, either," Alexander admitted. "But I have to go."

"I know. I won't try to ask you to stay for breakfast."

The Avian pushed himself up to sit and Magnus rolled over. Alexander looked down at Magnus and Magnus enjoyed looking back at him in the light of day.

"Today, we'll be discussing yesterday's mission and there will be planning for the next week…" Alexander said. "I'll be back tomorrow."

Magnus blinked. "You don't have to-"

"I'll be back tomorrow," the Avian repeated.

He gave a stunned Magnus a kiss on the lips and then slipped out of the bed to get his clothes and get dressed to leave. He glanced back and said: "Have a good day, Magnus," and he was gone.

"Tomorrow, then," Magnus whispered to the empty room.