Chapter Six

Chapter Six

A Chapter by Ari McLeren

Gerard froze, processing the implications of those words.  Kolblim must have been a town of at least two hundred, possibly more.  How was it possible that such a small percent of the people had survived this disease?  His heart began to pound for the fate of his family in Devresh. 

                Levi knew without words what Gerard was feeling and ached for his partner’s pain.  He wanted nothing more than to comfort him and let him know things would be ok, but he would never be able to do that out in the open.  Instead, he began walking into the room, taking in all of the people as he passed, until he was some distance in front of the men.  He turned back to face them, and as Gerard’s eyes scanned the room once more, frantically trying to take it all in, they stopped on Levi, and their eyes locked.  Levi was able to read all of the pain and fear that had been amplified since that messenger had arrived in the middle of the night, threatening to wash away his tenuous calm façade.  Levi just watched and allowed Gerard to use him as a focal point, offering strength as Gerard worked to return his thoughts to order. 

                A few more moments passed in silence as the men continued to take in the situation, and the people of the room stared at them in return.  Finally, a young woman stood up from where she was sewing next to the large fire in the center of the room, her eyes darting back and forth between Gerard and Levi.  She ultimately turned to address Levi.  “My name is Marin.  Who are our guests?”

“I am Vice Commander Levi, and we are soldiers in the King’s Army,” he replied, watching her eyes widen in wonder. 

“Thank the heavens!” she cried.  “The King is finally sending aid!”  At her words many of the people began speaking jubilantly all at once, some coming to stand before Levi with happy, expectant expressions. 

Levi was frozen by their hopefulness, feeling the weight of all their expectations resting on his shoulders.  He looked to Gerard for guidance, not wanting to tell these people something that wasn’t true.  He was relieved to see that the people’s response had snapped Gerard’s thoughts back to the present, and he nodded, understanding without words what Levi was trying to ask him. 

Levi returned a small nod and turned back to Marin.  “Yes, we have been dispatched to observe the situation and call for the appropriate aid.”

The excited chattering grew almost fervent until Marin raised a hand for silence.  “We have waited many nights for someone to come.  We will tell you whatever you need to know, but first, let us offer you whatever hospitality we can.  I fear you must have traveled hard to reach us so soon.” 

“We would appreciate whatever you can offer us.”

Marin nodded and called two of young men in the room over to her.  After a few whispered words, she said aloud, “These are Mik and Tam.  They will take you to rooms that you may use for the duration of your stay.  Please take some time to rest.  We will be ready to meet once you are done.” 

“Thank you,” Levi responded graciously.  “There are three more of us being led down by Emma.  Will you please send them to us once they arrive?”

“Of course,” Marin nodded.  With that, Mik and Tam lead them out of this chamber through a tunnel in the far wall.  The boys were quiet as they walked, but more than once Levi noticed them looking over their shoulders in curiosity. 

After far fewer turns than the path they took into the central chamber, Mik and Tam stopped at the end of a long hallway.  “There are two chambers here,” Mik said, holding his torch up so they could see the doors across the hall from each other.  “There is also one more room farther down on the left.”

Levi opened the door on the right and glanced inside.  It was a medium sized room with four low beds and a small table.  “These will do nicely,” Levi said, turning back to the boys. 

Mik and Tam looked ready to dart back to the room, but Tam hesitated.  “Um…should one of us stay here?  I mean to take you back,” he asked in a rush.

Levi gave a small smile.  “No, thank you.  We should be fine.” 

Tam nodded hastily, his cheeks reddening, before both boys turned and all but ran back the way they’d come. 

Once they were out of earshot, Gerard turned to his men.  “Take an hour to rest and recuperate.  After that, we will learn as much about this place and what has happened as we can.  Use these rooms here.  We will set up the room farther down the hall as commander’s chambers.  Do not hesitate to find one of us if anything happens.” 

The guards nodded understanding and entered the door on the right while the commanders walked down the hall to the third room offered to them.  Gerard opened the door to a room very similar to the one Levi had inspected, and they stepped inside.  Both were intensely aware this was the first time they had been alone in a week, and Levi closed the door and then slid the lock home with a decisive click. 

The air practically simmered with the need that suddenly filled the room.  The need to talk, the need to comfort, the need to touch and hold, the need simply to be together, it washed over them like an insistent wave.  Unsure which he needed most, Gerard forced himself to walk across the room and set his bags on one of the beds.  He fiddled with the clasps as he heard Levi setting his things down on the other side of the room, but when the noises stopped, he couldn’t help but turn around.  Levi was standing with his arms at his sides, watching him with an intensity that caused Gerard’s breath to catch.

“I’ve missed you,” Levi uttered in a hoarse whisper, green eyes locked on Gerard’s blue ones. 

Gerard took a single step forward as if he were pulled by the words.  “I’ve missed you, too,” he responded softly. 

Levi also took a step forward, eyes slowly sweeping Gerard’s tall form before returning to his gaze.  “I’m right here.” 

Gerard felt a shiver of anticipation run down his back.  “So am I.”

With unspoken agreement they each took the few steps left between them, and Gerard let out a sigh of relief when he was in his partner’s arms once more.  It had been far too many days since he had been allowed this one simple pleasure. 

Levi had no words as he gripped the other man tightly and buried his head in Gerard’s neck, and they stood in silence, thankful to just hold and be held after all they had seen.  They both knew they would have to talk about it, and sooner rather than later, but this time where it was just them, where they could ignore the world and its trials for a few sparse moments, was pressing in its own right. 

Slowly, Levi lifted his head from Gerard’s shoulder, and Gerard did the same, blue eyes meeting green.  Levi cupped his cheek lightly so he could guide his lips to Gerard’s in a lingering kiss.  When he pulled away, he watched Gerard’s eyelids lift slowly as if in a drugged haze. 

“Why did you stop?” Gerard asked hoarsely. 

“I don’t know,” Levi replied honestly.

“Don’t stop,” Gerard whispered.  It was both a command and a plea as he lifted his hands to grip Levi’s head and brought their lips together in their second kiss in far too long. 

What started as a simple caress turned into a prelude to far more when their tongues tangled in a heated mix of desire and passion.  Hands that had been still began to explore, slowly at first, and then with more purpose.  When one of Levi’s hands sipped under his shirt and the other stroked his erection through the front of his pants, Gerard eased from the kiss and placed his lips along the rim of Levi’s ear.  “I need you,” he whispered, feeling a thrill at the shiver that raced through the man in his arms. 

Levi began to undo the buttons of Gerard’s overshirt with deft fingers.  In one smooth movement, he slipped both garments over Gerard’s head, tossing them hastily to the ground.  Rather than waiting, he ripped off his shirts as well.  Gerard gave a small smile at his partner’s rush but didn’t waste any time running his hands over the smooth planes of Levi’s chest and stomach.  Levi gripped Gerard’s hips, pressing his lower half into Gerard.  Gerard let out groan, able to feel just how much Levi wanted him, too. 

“Take off your clothes,” Levi ordered in a rough whisper, his lips tantalizing Gerard’s earlobe.

“You first,” Gerard teased back, and he was not disappointed.  Levi stepped from Gerard’s embrace and began undoing his belt.  The soft hiss of leather through the buckle and the promise of being able to make love to this man once more had Gerard yanking off his belt and pants as well.  All thoughts of the outside world, of family and disease and war, were completely, if momentarily, eradicated.  This is what they needed.  They needed to talk, needed to comfort, needed to touch and hold.  They needed simply to be together.

Sometime later they found themselves collapsed in a bed together, the warm skin of Levi’s back pressed into Gerard’s chest.  Gerard wrapped an arm securely over the blond man’s form, and Levi brought his right hand to rest over Gerard’s arm.  Slowly, they settled into a state of pure contentment, not quite sleeping, but still relaxing far better than they had since leaving the northeast. 

Unfortunately, they couldn’t keep the world at bay forever, and Gerard’s thoughts were inevitably drawn to the impending situation.  Levi felt the satiated calm slowly drain out of the man behind him, but he remained quiet and still, giving Gerard the time he needed.

“I’m scared.”  The soft whisper tore at Levi’s heart, and he slowly rolled over to gaze into his partner’s troubled eyes. 

“I am, too,” he admitted softly, “but whatever happens, we will face it together.” 

“Even if the worst should happen?”

“I am not going anywhere.”  



© 2012 Ari McLeren


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Added on December 18, 2012
Last Updated on December 18, 2012
Tags: fiction, gay, marriage, responsibility, romance, royalty, slash


Author

Ari McLeren
Ari McLeren

San Diego



About
I am a 25 year old Southern California girl. I do math and science for fun, I like practicing my Spanish and I can quote Shakespeare, Austen and Rowling. Basically I'm a walking contradiction, and I.. more..

Writing
Prologue Prologue

A Chapter by Ari McLeren


Chapter One Chapter One

A Chapter by Ari McLeren


Chapter Two Chapter Two

A Chapter by Ari McLeren