Gabriel surveyed the ripped garment with some aversion. This was not the kind of idea he'd wanted Dorian to get of their home and life. How was he ever to make the boy trust him now?
He lifted Dorian's lithe body into his arms, making sure to hide the nakedness that the boy didn't seem to notice. His gaze became locked to Dorian's, and the human stared right back, looking as if he might say something but the words wouldn't come. Instead, he seemed content to be resting in Gabriel's arms, whereas before, he had kicked and screamed bloody murder. What had happened?
Gabriel was forced to tear his gaze away in order to fly as Ria locked his arms about his shoulders from behind. Their weight was nothing to him, though he found it difficult to concentrate on where he was going when out of the corner of his eye he could still see Dorian looking at him with that odd, awed expression.
He settled down on the balcony of Niko and Ria's loft where the red-haired Flyer emerged with a curious expression. Taking one look at the black-haired boy who lay in Gabriel's arms, Niko gave a slight smile and easily lifted is own consort from Gabriel's back as if Ria couldn't slide down by himself.
The Flyer's green eyes gently asked his condition. When Gabriel nodded in return, the other Flyer and his consort disappeared into the loft. Meanwhile, the blond carried Dorian to his own home.
He gently set Dorian, who was looking rather dazed and was frighteningly silent, on his feet.
The ruined garment dropped to the floor. The blond, despite his want for the mortal which burned deep down within him like a slow-building fire, shyly averted his eyes. He couldn't trust himself.
But the mortal boy had made no move to hide his bared skin any more than he had before. Instead, he looked at the door.
"You want me to leave-" Gabriel said, following Dorian's gaze. Dorian's eyes alighted on him once more but he still said nothing.
Dorian's lack of response heightened the Flyer's nerve. What was it about this human that had him feeling like a child? So...inadequate? When he'd spoken to the boy before, he'd been fortified by his certainty that Dorian would come around to accept his life when he saw how well he would be taken care of. Perhaps he'd hoped Ria, who had been here longer than any of them, would set an example for him.
But after this incident, he felt that Dorian would be different. Just by the way that he hadn't even shed a tear during the whole horrible thing.
That unnerving gaze was swept back to him. Dorian's blue eyes were softened but unreadable.
Gabriel took a deep silent breath and placed his fingers on Dorian's cheek, brushing the flesh softly. "I don't want to go," he whispered.
Dorian's eyes suddenly lost their vacant look and he could swear he actually saw the light come back into them. The human appeared to be fighting with himself, confused between his terror and anger of what had just happened and what was happening now, trying to somehow separate them.
The Flyer watched this struggle with fascination. It was then that he knew. This being, this youth would be the love of his life, the essence of his passion- the very center of his world. But only if-
Very slowly Dorian lifted his hand to touch Gabriel's fingers on his cheek and he whispered, "I don't want to be alone."
Skin, kisses, and heat.
Dorian writhed under the blond's lips, his eyes closed, his fingers entangled in Gabriel's hair. He couldn't get enough, he simply couldn't. Never had he known such sensations, or even dared to imagine them in his meager existence. Gabriel's lips found places on his body that he had never imaged could be so arousing. The Flyer kissed his entire body- moving from his lips to gently suck his fingers, then placing fluttering kisses in the insides of his elbows and even moving right down to kiss the sensitive flesh behind his knees. There was no place on him that Gabriel didn't want to touch.
It was as if hours had passed before the Flyer finally sat up a bit and licked his lips. Dorian lay tangled in the bed sheets, spent once already but charged still for more.
"Do it now," he breathed, running his burning fingers over his own shiny chest. Gabriel looked at him for a long time, his eyes dark, his beautiful face almost unsure. "Gabriel!" Dorian hissed at his slowness. It was the first time his consort had called him by name.
Gabriel leaned down to kiss him again, long and deep, silencing Dorian's cries with his lips and hands. Gods, he wanted to explore the Flyer's body as had already been done to him. Time for that would come later.
He understood now what Ria had spoken of. This wasn't just a union of bodies. No, not at all. Something in his mind had changed too and it spread into his body down to his very soul. This creature, strong and beautiful, was a part of him now.
They lay entwined afterwards. Gabriel had rid himself of his wings during their lovemaking but had conjured them up again to wrap around his lover as they lay together quietly. The white plumage was as soft and heavy and warm as skin to the touch.
Dorian had laid his head on Gabriel's chest, his fingers playing absent-mindedly with a few strands of the Flyer's hair. The warmth of the body beneath him and the feathery heat of those magnificent wings around him had him already dozing off.
Gabriel stared at the ceiling, his chest rising and falling under Dorian's head with his breathing.
"How long will it be?" Dorian asked softly, breaking the comfortable silence.
"A few months." Gabriel answered lazily. "You should save those questions for Ria. He's had three already. It's about to be four."
"He's carrying now."
Dorian raised his eyebrows. He remembered the very slight heaviness in Ria's belly. Now he knew though, that there was a life growing there, a life that would live and breathe and eat and sleep and make love.
Gabriel's hands moved in comforting patterns on Dorian's lower back. "I was a fledgling when Niko's father died, just like Niko was. We grew up together. Niko took Ria as his own consort about the time that my parents died, and they had Sephria. It was the strangest thing in the world when I saw him born."
Ah, so there was another Fledgling hidden here somewhere.
"Your parents haven't been gone that long?"
"No," Gabriel said softly, falling back into his memories. My father was chosen for the raids and he didn't come back. My hostling...threw himself from the balcony." He was silent for a while. "The day he died was the day I first saw you," he added quietly.
Dorian laid his head back down on Gabriel's chest. "Do you miss them?" he asked softly, remembering the death of his own mother.
"Very much so."
"How is it done? I mean...birth?"
Gabriel was quiet for a moment. "You're body's only changed on the inside enough to accomodate a fledgling, not to bring it into the world." He paused. "We'll have to take it out of you."
Take it out? Cut him open? Dorian closed his eyes and swallowed the fear that had risen. He let a long silence go by before asking, "Was Ria in a lot of pain?"
Gabriel laughed outright, shaking off his sadness. "I seriously don't think he even remembers the actual birth he was so loaded with painkillers, which you will be too. It is always that way."
There was silence for a long time before Gabriel sighed and spoke up again. "Do you love me?
The boy sat up a bit to look down at him. Their bond was forged; there was nothing that would break it. He pondered how quickly he had become entrapped in it, but in the end, it only made him more fascinated. What sweet poison had the Flyer used on him?
He kissed Gabriel's lips softly and drew back minutely to smile down into his eyes. He kissed him a little harder. Just a day ago he had feared this creature more than anyone in the entire world but now... He nuzzled closer and felt safer and more comfortable than he ever remembered being before.
A few weeks later, Dorian woke up from their spousal bed with such pain in his belly that he decided that he'd rather die than go through with it. This was going to be hell. He couldn't do this! What had he been thinking? Now some god was going to punish him for attempting the unnatural-
Then Ria had come in, hearing Dorian's piteous whimpers through the closed bedroom door and helped his charge to lay back on the pillows, his head resting on Gabriel's chest. Ria had commenced to rub his belly down with oils, gently massaging, his delicate fingers strong and kneading.
During his massage, Gabriel and Ria talked of things, occasionally including Dorian, who didn't care one way or the other; he was half asleep under Ria's experienced fingers and was hardly paying attention to anything except the gentle rise and fall of Gabriel's chest and the occasional rumble of his lover's voice in his throat when he spoke. The words weren't important, just that his tone was soothing his consort very much like a wild animal.
Meanwhile, Ria's belly was growing quickly. The swelling had not started to show on Dorian yet; it was too soon.
Ria, like any pregnant human woman, became more and more irritable as his belly grew and he was increasingly and infinitely aware that he could not do as much as he normally could. They all treated him with respect, however, for he had gone through this three times before and truly was the eldest of them all.
As Dorian had surmised before, life here without Ria would be impossible. Ria was his sanity, his connection to what he was and who he should strive to be. He was an example to be followed, like a father, or mother actually, and brought with that image soft hands and words that comforted Dorian in times that his consort was away.
In the quiet times when Niko and Gabriel would go off together, Dorian would sit with Ria and read to him while brushing and braiding his hair, rubbing his resilient skin with oils, or simply talking with him. Their relationship was quickly becoming interminable. If their mates were gone late, he and Ria would even fall asleep together, perhaps their hands clasped gently, Dorian's head on Ria's chest, listening to the slow beat of his heart.
Ria was play-wrestling with his mate on the floor. Niko humored him and let him win every once in a while, despite his 'impediment' of an oversized belly which made him move slowly and tire easily. It was good that he was moving around and in good spirits. It was good that he was happy, and Dorian soon learned that Niko would do anything to keep Ria so.
Dorian and Gabriel watched the spectacle from a safe distance, laughing. Ria was taunting his mate as if he didn't know he was being victorious only because Niko was letting him. He pulled the Flyer's hair and planted kisses on his cheeks.
"Ria," Niko warned as the boy scurried away from him in attempt to keep from being tackled. "Be careful-"
"Oh, hush, Fledgling," Ria chirped, getting to his feet with some effort. His breathing was hard as he held his belly and lifted his other hand to brush his hair from his face.
Gabriel laughed outright. If there was anything Niko hated being called, it was something that denoted how young he was in comparison to his consort. Oh, but Ria would get his in the end.
"I think he's actually glad to be incapacitated," Gabriel said into Dorian's ear. "He knows he'd be flat on his back about now otherwise."
But Niko wasn't going to let him get away. He stalked his prey as Ria straightened his clothing, oblivious. His mate spun around and backed against the wall in mock fright.
"Oh what will you do to me, you beast!" he cried melodramatically. "Beat me? Hurt me?" His eyes narrowed as Niko drew closer with a sly look. He reached out and pushed faintly against the Flyer's shoulders. "Ravish me perhaps?" he said with a smile.
Dorian fell back against Gabriel in laughter and felt the Flyer's arms around him, sliding over his growing belly, inside of which was the fledgling they had conceived of more than a month or two ago.
But instead of play-fighting and wrestling with Niko as expected, Ria suddenly leaned back against the wall. He slid to the floor, doubling over and groaning. Niko fell to his knees beside him, grabbing his hands and holding them to his chest. In the back room, Sephria had suddenly started to cry.
"Now, Ria?" Niko said, his hand reaching to Ria's perspiring brow. His consort nodded as he struggled to breath. Seph's crying became louder.
Niko growled, "Get him, please!"
"I'll get him," Dorian said, snapping out of his fixation on Ria and getting up from the bed. Gabriel went to help Niko with his laboring consort.
He raced into the next room and gathered up the little form standing at the guilded bars of the cradle. Seph was bigger now, his childish beauty more refined yet he was still just a toddler. His tears ceased and he smiled when Dorian lifted him and braced him to rest on his hip. The little fledgling reached out to play with a strand of Dorian's hair.
"Hush, your papa and hostling don't need your crying right now." Seph laughed again, his pretty face all with the glee of not understanding a word of what Dorian said.
Dorian rocked the Seph until the fledgling finally lay his head on Dorian's shoulder and fell back asleep. As gently as he could, he returned the child to the crib and raced back into Niko's room, anxious to see.
They had stripped Ria down and laid him on the bed. At regular intervals, his groans would become harsher, more strained. Something like human contractions? Niko was giving his consort something to drink and Ria winced in swallowing. He coughed and turned his face into the pillow.
Gabriel had met him at the door and now stood behind him, holding him by the shoulders.
"That's the drugs," Gabriel whispered in his ear. Ria's breathing had become painfully heavy and he was sweating, his bangs matted to his forehead. "Go tie his hair back," Gabriel said to Dorian. "It might get in the way."
Dorian obeyed and, pulling pins from his own hair, he bound Ria's hair up and away from his face. Niko was talking softly to his consort, his face calm, utterly collected. Of course. He'd gone through this before. Dorian could imagine the nervous wreck he must have been the first time.
There was nothing else to do. Niko kissed Ria's sweating forehead and Ria hissed at him. "Never again I tell you. Four already! This fledgling factory is closed!"
Gabriel chuckled and whispered, "That's what he said last time."
"Get Rhazel, Gabriel, it's time," Niko said urgently, squeezing Ria's hand. Dorian had never seen him so serious. Gabriel left the room.
During the time that he was gone, Ria, in the midst of his contractions as he was thrashing and bucking on the coverlet, had grabbed Dorian and pulled him close. "Do you actually think these damn painkillers are going to work?"
Niko tried to settle him down. "You'll feel them in a moment, love. What more do you want us to do?"
"Kill me!" Ria screamed.
Gabriel came back, followed by a rather wraith-like boy. He, like Ria, seemed older despite his young appearance. Perhaps he'd been here for a long time. What was clear was that he was to be the 'midwife', as Dorian's people would have called him. He would deliver the fledgling.
Dorian wondered if he had delivered the other three of Ria's children as he went right up to the boy on the bed and placed a hand on his perspiring forehead. Ria had calmed down amazingly at the sight of him. Or perhaps it was the drugs kicking in?
Rhazel asked, "How are we feeling?"
Ria lolled deliriously in the pillows. "Like hell," he mumbled. "Just get it out!"
Dorian felt Gabriel pulling him away. They were to leave now. For no special purpose but Dorian was sure that it was because Gabriel didn't want to frighten him. He was strangely shivering when Gabriel led him back to their own rooms in their own loft. The evening was cold, bitterly cold.
Gabriel sat back on the bed with a sigh and rubbed his face with his hands. His halo of bright hair was a bit tousled. He looked tired and there were dark circles under his lazy eyes.
His consort stood away from the bed, rubbing his own belly and feeling the ever-growing roundness of it. Ria's painful screaming was echoing through his mind.
"He'll be all right," Gabriel said softly behind him, as if reading his thoughts as usual. "Apart from slight discomfort and being generally pissed off, he'll be his old self again in the morning."
Dorian smiled. They all had become quite a foursome. Sure, he had met other Flyers and their consorts; everybody here seemed to know each other, but he never became quite as attached to them as he was with Niko and Ria.
Sighing, he lay down with Gabriel on the bed. They had not made love in a long time because with his growing belly, it caused Dorian discomfort. He couldn't help but notice that the lack of loving was showing in Gabriel's face. He had been becoming irritable within the last few weeks as Dorian's gestation period lengthened. Dorian had noticed the same behavior in Niko during Ria's pregnancy. It hurt to see him so depressed and withdrawn.
He stripped off the robe he wore and leaned over Gabriel, who had laid back on the pillows. "What are you doing, love?" Gabriel asked, his arms folded under his head.
"Do you reject the idea of making love to a fat boy?"
Gabriel brought his hands to Dorian's belly and he moved himself down under his consort and pressed his ear to it. "Not fat," he said, listening. "Just full."
His consort laughed and fell to the side to let Gabriel cover him. "Mmm. Just be gentle, okay?"
Dorian paced around the room, gently bouncing the newborn in his arms, murmuring all sorts of nonsense to it as it laughed and tried to grab his hair.
Gabriel watched him fondly, then turned back to Ria. "How are you feeling now?" he asked. The boy opened his eyes again and smiled. Niko kissed his temple and went back to stroking his hair.
"Like I've inhaled every possible drug there is that didn't kill me," he answered.
They smiled and Gabriel stood up. Dorian was absolutely entranced with the child and he was making a fool of himself the way he cooed at it. Their lovemaking last night had brightened both their moods considerably. Gods, he thought, watching his beautiful consort nuzzle the little child's nose with his own. Was there life before him?
Dorian felt his stare and he looked up, smiling wistfully. Niko coughed to break the intimacy of their stare as he moved from Ria's side to take the child from Dorian's arms. Gabriel smiled at his best friend and led Dorian out to leave Niko, Ria and their new addition alone.
As soon as they were in their own rooms, the tall Flyer took his consort into his arms. He kissed the boy all over his face, stroking his hair and running the fingers of one hand down to the small of his back.
Dorian pulled away a little to look up into Gabriel's eyes. "What was that for?"
"Oh, I don't know," Gabriel sighed, embracing him again. "I just saw you standing there I thought on how much I loved you and I felt, and probably always will, that I just haven't showed you that."
Dorian stood up on tiptoe to reach the Flyer's lips. When he pulled away, his face no more than a finger's width apart from his consort's, he sighed softly. Contentedly.
Gabriel smiled and they sank down to the floor. Dorian straddled his consort's lap and Gabriel bent to listen to his belly for a moment. He looked back up. "You know, love, I think that if you get any bigger, I'm going to have to carry you everywhere."
Dorian placed his hands on his belly. "Not for very much longer," he said, leaning his head on Gabriel's shoulder and breathing in the unique scent of him. This was the time he loved most- just being close. Simple touches without the fervor of passion, but the steady thrum of his love. Such happiness couldn't possibly exist in his world Down Below. Sometimes he still felt as if he were in a dream; due to wake up alone in his small bed as these visions and emotions faded away to be forgotten like dreams often were.
"If what you see by the eye doesn't please you, then close your eyes and see from the heart. Because the heart can see beauty and love more than the eyes can ever wonder..." Please add me up in Facebook, Friendster, and Twitter, email@example.com . Thanks!
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