‘Let my skill with a bow be judged when the stars flare and die, for I have shot arrows at all of them’
~Argusto Conquillas, The Art of Hunting
Silver and Green Fire
The night was hot. Hot enough that the window had been opened to entice a cool, brine-scented breeze into the room. The figure on the bed was naked, the sheet pooling at his waist, back speckled with sweat, muscles shifting under skin as he stirred uncomfortably in his sleep, trying to escape the heat.
As he shifted, the low light caught on the manacles encasing each ankle and wrist, and the collar around his throat. Fine filigree edged in silver, caught starlight shining in the carved runes.
The man – for he was still a man even though he had not aged, just as Conquillas had not – had been traded by the powers. Sent through the rift at the beginning of the war. Conquillas forgot what the Unmer had promised in return.
The first time he had seen him, Conquillas called him little god as he was shorter by at least a head and wielded powers beyond anything they had expected, even when drained. And really, was that not what he was? What his people, the last remenants of a dying universe were? The name had stuck and travelled through the Unmer ranks. The powers from whence he came called him Betrayer. They seemed to believe that with him gone, their survival would be assured. That without him, their death could not come.
But this was not who he was. The man, his little god, had whispered his true name into Conquillas’ ear in the dead of night months later, sweat-damp skin pressed together as their lungs searched for air.
He had had powers of his own. A banished god. Older than Conquillas had first thought by decades, centuries, millennia. Older still than their entire world. And the Unmer were desperate at that time. Not that they thought they would lose, but desperate to the thought that they couldn’t lose and (in that steady, throbbing beat of their hearts) what it would mean if they did. Desperate enough for some of them to unmake themselves and others into dragons. Desperate enough to take that banished god, and the shackles that were created for him, and enslave him in Unmer sorcery.
They lost. Unthinkable but true. And now they were trapped, their powers bound. Stuck working, living, waiting, hiding in this disgusting ghetto and other places until the time their jailers failed and they could retake what was rightfully theirs.
Argusto Conquillas stepped lightly into the room, his leather sandals whisper soft. Padding his way towards the bed, he passed in front of the windows. The pale light glinting on the jewels studded on his black jerkin; throwing light, for that one brief moment, into the dark recesses of the corners.
Reaching his destination he carefully sat, mattress dipping only slightly at his weight. The man in his bed shifted again, turning his head towards him. Conquillas felt possessiveness shoot straight through his body at the unconscious action.
Slowly Conquillas stretched out his hand. Starting at the very top of his neck, where the ruffled mass of hair tapered to a sharp point, he traced the curving dimpled spine, dipped between the muscles either side. He didn’t touch, just brushing the very tips of the fine, invisible hair, but he could see the line of goose-bumps that trailed in his wake. Another shot of possessiveness arced, heating his blood.
In the small of the man’s back, a few drops of sweat had gathered in the hollow. Unable to resist, he dropped his fingers at last and rested them upon the smooth skin. The muscles under his fingertips stiffened as the man immediately woke.
Conquillas didn’t move as the man turned over, causing his fingers to graze across his hip, and coming to rest on the dark line of hair that trailed from belly button to groin. The blanket had dragged with him, caught underneath as he turned, drawing it tight until the shadows outlined every dip and curve of his lower body pressing through the thin sheet. He looked at Conquillas from his place sprawled across the pillows. His bright green eyes, open and accepting, waiting.
They could probably take back their land if they freed their little god.
Conquillas could feel his stomach muscles tense with desire but he refused to be the hunter tonight. If his little god wanted anything it would he who would have to make the first move.
The man seemed to realise this as the corners of his lips curled up in a sultry smile. He lazily pushed himself up, chest bared, tempting Conquillas with its expanse of skin. By the time Conquillas had perused the image in front of him and dragged his eyes back up, the smile had turned into a taunting smirk.
Conquillas hadn’t moved, so his hand had slipped down and now he could feel his little god’s wakening interest. He watched as he shifted again, crossing his legs under the sheet, and reached for Conquillas’ face.
Conquillas closed his eyes at the first touch skimming across his cheek bones. The pads of his little gods thumbs brushing over the rouge. Then there was the touch of magic dancing across his skin, sinking beneath to spark against nerve endings.
He let out his breath on a shaky exhale as he opened his eyes. He knew his pupils would be blown wide with desire in his violet eyes, the expression mirrored in green, just as he knew his face would be clear of the powder and rouge he used.
Conquillas almost wanted to laugh at the absurdity of it. Of all the things his little god could have done with the meagre amount of power the cuffs allowed him to access, and he chose to do such menial tasks. He could have figured out a way to escape and gain revenge against his enslavement by now. He could have conquered the world.
Those that still remembered worried at what he would do for retribution. It was why they refused to release him. They valued their mortal lives too much to sacrifice them for their world and freedom. They were not like their ancestors and the Unmerians of old.
Fingertips brushed once, twice, across his bottom lip before lifting away, reaching around his back to grab and undo his braid. Hands running through his hair, burying themselves in the strands of silver. Fingernails scratching lightly across the back of his neck, drawing shivers.
Conquillas didn’t care about what others thought. He was the Lord of Herica and the Sumran Islands. He’d watched the very stars flare and die. They were cowards, waiting to be freed but taking no steps to gain it themselves. Five hundred years. How far they had fallen.
He could feel the heat from his little god’s skin across his face and lips. So close. So tempting to lean that extra few centimetres and taste. But he restrained himself, even as he began to tremble. His breath hitched as nail ran across the pulse point in his throat and, oh so slowly, down to the fastenings of his jerkin.
He opened his eyes when the hands paused, briefly wondering just when he had closed them, to see fingers caressing the jewel fastening over his heart. The jewel he knew was the exact shade of his little gods eyes because he had spent years searching for it.
Green eyes locked with his own, filled with such tenderness that it almost took his breath away.
He covered his little gods hand with his own. Entangling their fingers together. Watching as his little god leant forward to gently brush their lips together in a chaste kiss before pulling away and undoing the rest of the fastenings, tugging on the platinum coloured sash around his waist.
Conquillas smirked slightly at the impatience. It was, more often than not, like this.
Fingers, fumbling in their haste, tore the rest of his clothes from his body, throwing them into a heap on the floor. He would protest but lips were crushing his own, a tongue forcing his mouth to open; desire tinged with desperation.
He didn’t try to fight as he was manhandled into position against the cushions. Nails scratching down his chest, causing him to arch, his spine bowing in a replica of the weapon he always carried. Magic brushed against him and suddenly he was bare.
His lips parted as his little god moved over him, mapping out his body with eyes, tongue and teeth. A man’s strength, tempered by the barest hints of sorcery, pinning him to the mattress. He buried his hands in that black as night hair and held on as patterns were traced against his skin, unmeaning words in an alien language. His eyes fluttered shut, mouth dry, as words were hissed into the shadows between his muscles. Taking him to the brink and keeping him there for what seemed like hours.
He opened them again when his tormentor moved back, hands falling to twist in the sheets as his little god shifted further up, knees pressing on either side of Conquillas’ hips. From this angle most of his face was hidden in shadow. Light only catching on the edge of the collar and in his eyes; silver and green fire.
Conquillas’ breath left him at the sight and he stared with wide eyes as the man slowly sank onto him, encasing him in heat. He choked, eyes wide as he watched his little god take his pleasure; teasing himself to new heights, even as he held Conquillas on the very edge.
Almost insensible, Conquillas felt his hands being lifted and placed on hips. His breath coming in pants, he gripped tightly but didn’t try to direct in any way. Instead he watched, as his little god sped up, head tilted back, face slack with pleasure, hands planted on his stomach for balance. Light shone brightly from the runes on his collar and cuffs, keeping his magic bound as he let out a wordless cry, shuddering and clenching around Conquillas.
Then he kept going, teasing Conquillas until he considered begging, even though it would spoil the game they were playing. Fortunately his little god seemed to understand and soon Conquillas found himself arching helplessly as he was finally allowed to tip over the edge.
Black clawed at his vision and when he next awoke it was to too bright green eyes watching him. Head pillowed on crossed arms. He raised his own arms and hugged the man closer, fingers stroking down his spine and ignoring the cold burn of the cuffs and collar against his sweat-drenched skin.
The little god was his.
“Argusto,” the man murmured, breaking their self-imposed silence, lips pressed against Conquillas’ chest, right over his pounding heart.
Argusto Conquillas smiled into the dawn. “Harry.”