Title: Murderer's Touch

Author: I_nv_u50

Rating: PG13

Disclaimer/Claimer: same old, same old…

Warning: Slash!! Whee!!

Author's Notes: Er… It seems to be a bit later than I thought it would be O.o;; My excuse (and proud of it XD) is Harry Potter. (wink wink nudge nudge say no more?) course, me having absolutely no life that rates up to the importance of Harry potter, I have finished the book T.T so now I have a few years to wait for the next one, but that's okay!! Cause there's lots of nice slash fics on the net as well XD … that said and done, this chapter was a bugger to write. I realized I could probably have just left it off at the end of last chapter, but I promised another chapter, so here it is O.o;; added to the fact that I wanted it nice and even :D … So this chapter takes place a couple of days after the last one. If you don't particularly feel like reading this one, you're probably not missing much, but I suggest you do anyway, because I'm not sure what will come up in the sequels O.o;;; that said…

The Golden Dragon  ~  heh heee… camp sounds like fun. I only ever went to one once O.o; mainly cause school trips don't count… it's strange how you miss those things when you don't do them anymore XD Anyway, returning from that short and pointless trip down memory lane… none of my muses could ever be saddled with the adjective 'sane' but there might be one along one day, so I'll keep your generous offer in mind if you don't mind :D For pictures, I'm going to try and sneak a link down in the lower general AN O.o;; hope you enjoy this chapter!! ^^ Thanks for reviewing the entire story, and I hope you carry on with the sequels :D (I'm working my way up to the finale =P)

Maischeph-Vanscrilla-Black  ~  That sucks O.o;; I hope you're all right now O.o;; A new level of patience sounds like fun :D Any idea where I can buy it? I'll probably need it in a while… lol I'm delighted you liked the last ending :D I had a feeling more people would prefer the slightly-sappy-but-with-no-particular-cliffhanger bit XD Thanks for reviewing the story, I hope you stick around for the sequel :D

psycho tabby cat  ~  Bugger!! I love that word!! :D Ranks right up there with Crikey (read: craiokeeeeee!!) XD! Er… anyways O.o;; And yea, HP fics are coming back soon now because I've been inspired (cue the light) … was waiting for this book to come out before I carried on :D (just as conveniently forgetting everything else I'm writing XD) Thanks for reviewing the story, 'cya' in the sequel! ^^ Which should come out reasonably quickly because now the stupid Companion won't leave me alone .

ola  ~  lol. Hope you start feeling more charitable to kylan soon XD cause now he and brynn get along famously! Like a house on fire!! XD which is a great thing, depending on your outlook . I bet it's nice in the clouds O.o;; is it raining up there? Cause it's raining down here… think I'll have to borrow your idea and head up myself XD Next chapter on fp.com should be up by Wednesday… other than that, thanks for reviewing the story, and I guess I'll cya in the sequel XD

etcetera-cat  ~  Heh. ^^ wondering where you were :D congrats on moving ^^ betcha never want to see another box O.o;;; and I'm glad you liked the last few chapters, cause surprisingly, they were the hardest to write O.o;;; specially this last one… strange world O.o;; anyway, thanks for reviewing the story, and I hope you stick around for the sequels when they come out ^^

So, the sequel will hopefully be posted by Tuesday or Wednesday at the lastest… Other than that… there are some pictures of kylan and brynn up at my deviantart account, two (bad) profile-esque pictures, and one plushie!brynn&chibi!kylan picture :D there will be better versions of the profiles pictures up in a while, but I guess the writing will have to come first cause that's a lot more work to be done… The address is (remember, no www.; just http://) i-nv-u50.deviantart.com

And hopefully this time it will show up :D

Read, enjoy, review, and stick around for the sequel! Please XD

Brynn attempted to stifle a yawn and failed miserably, reaching up to rub his eyes absently with a hand before returning his attention to his bondmate, who was currently trying to groom Firefly despite his still stiff wounds.

"I'm really not sure if it's a good idea for you to be going somewhere so soon," Brynn tried again. Devoni nudged his shoulder blades silently.

Kylan twisted around from the waist and grinned at him. "But you'll be with me, right? So what could possibly go wrong?"

"You're jinxing it," Brynn reminded the younger boy, who merely pulled a face at him and turned back to the mare. Brynn hid a sigh.

:Astral told you to go, Chosen. It'll be good for both of you, especially after Kylan's temper tantrum yesterday.:

Brynn smothered a laugh before it could escape. The blonde boy had taken the news that he was expected to go to classes with a severe lack of tolerance to the idea. But both Astral, who seemed to have acquired a personal interest in the younger boy, and Brynn had insisted.

Kylan started classes the next day, and Brynn was not entirely enthusiastic about his bondmate's reactions to the classes. Nor was he entirely certain that the trainees would accept him as easily as he would prefer them to.

The first class Kylan was to have though, was the orientation class that Brynn had been supposed to teach a few days earlier. Still more trainees had arrived, and the Collegium had extended the classes to allow the newly Chosen to fit in as well.

Brynn was almost concerned about the amount of people so recently Chosen, but he found it slightly easy to ignore those worries, because there was no definite proof of anything that might or might not have been the reason. Besides, it was, without a doubt, easier to focus on Kylan.

Devoni butted him again. :Chosen, you're dreaming. Let's go, the boy's ready and so are we.:

Brynn refocused his wandering attention on Kylan again, who was grinning at him pleasantly, eyebrows slightly raised in question. Brynn smiled back. "What?"

"Done day dreaming?" Kylan asked instead of answering.

Brynn shrugged and walked forward, resting a hand lightly on the mare's bridle. "Is there any certain place you want to go? Astral said we could go anywhere, so long as we got out."

"Do they want me out so badly?" Kylan asked, his voice low.

Brynn blinked down into blue eyes, a little surprised by the question. "That's not it. After yesterday's display," he smirked a little in response to the sneer that involuntarily crossed Kylan's face. "Well, after that, they just want to make sure you're able to handle it. It's already going to be hard and everything with the other trainees, so you might as well be as relaxed as you can get before you start."

"I don't want to," Kylan replied sulkily, and he gentle moved Firefly past the Herald before Brynn could respond.

Brynn merely grinned, as the behaviour was getting more typical for the blonde with each passing day. Kylan seemed far less sullen and defiant than he had been before he had snuck out, and Brynn was beginning to suspect that it was the younger boy's real nature showing through.

Devoni cocked his ears at him. :Chosen! Honestly, where are you lately? Come on, the boy's waiting and so am I.:

Brynn blinked, and grinned, smoothly mounting his Companion before walking unhurriedly after the chestnut mare that was already well on her way to the main gate.

"Sorry," he told Devoni. "Was just thinking."

"Obviously,: Devoni quipped dryly. :It's all you've been doing since you woke up this morning.:

Brynn shrugged and watched Kylan wave him faster without making the slightest movement to listen to the blonde. "He's changed."

:So have you,: Devoni surprised him with the answer, and Brynn blinked down at the ears. Devoni turned his head to stare at the Herald from one dark eye.

"How so?" Brynn asked, curious.

Devoni shrugged mentally. :In ways that you didn't know you had before. I can't tell you about how you've changed, because you never fully realized how you could.:

"I guess that makes sense," Brynn said slowly, ignoring the way Kylan was frantically and very exaggeratingly motioning him forward. "In an odd sort of way."

Devoni snorted in amusement, although whether it was aimed at him or at his increasingly frustrated bondmate, Brynn wasn't sure. The Companion didn't reply, and merely started trotting, leaving Brynn to ponder what Devoni had meant in silence.

"It's about time," Kylan told him huffily, swatting the air by Brynn's shoulder playfully as the Herald drew up alongside him. Firefly snorted uneasily, and Kylan dropped his hand to her neck, patting her. "What took you so long?"

Brynn shrugged and grinned innocently. "Nothing. Was just thinking."

Kylan eyed him, a suspicion that was more playful than wary showing clearly in the amazing blue eyes. "Whatever," he grinned eventually. "Let's go into the country."

"How far?" Brynn asked automatically, riding past the gate guard with a distant nod, ignoring the looks the guard was giving Kylan, who remained seemingly oblivious.

"Take me home," Kylan answered, once they were out of the guards hearing. "I want to visit my parents."

Brynn paused, looking across at Kylan. "What are you planning to do there?" he asked, deceptively pleasant.

Kylan grinned at him toothily. "Nothing too serious."

:Discuss it once we get out the city, Chosen.: Devoni told Brynn. :Just in case he is planning to kill his father, it would be best if no one heard either of you arguing about it.:

Brynn pondered the reasonable statement, and agreed. "We can talk about it later."

"You'll let me then?" Kylan sounded astonished. He probably was.

"No," Brynn quickly replied, his tone brisk and short. "We'll discuss it outside the city."

Kylan shot him a wry grin. "Argue about it, you mean."

Brynn didn't reply.

They made it out of the city reasonably quickly, and rode a little ways away from the main road, where the daily bustle of people going to and from the capital wouldn't hear them.

"What do you want to do when you're at home?" Brynn asked, getting right to the point.

Kylan sulked silently for a moment. "I'm not going to kill him," he mumbled sullenly. "I just want to see if he's near any condition that he's going to die."

"And if he's not?" Brynn asked dryly, half unable to believe that he was even having this conversation. "Are you planning to help him out?"

"I would if he asked me to," Kylan grinned briefly, an abrupt display of humor.

Brynn scowled silently, and Kylan's grin faded into a slight pout that was more a sulk than anything else.

"I won't! Promise. Swear on my life I won't kill him!"

"I believe you," Brynn replied smoothly, before Kylan could work himself into another bout of furious screaming. The murderer was extremely ancient in some ways, yet in others, he was still remarkably childish. Personally, Brynn thought it was because the gang leaders had never encouraged independence and maturity from anyone they taught, unless it helped the aims of the band. Brynn continued after a short second, to let that fact sink in. "But why tempt fate?"

Kylan looked unsure about whether to feel this was a good thing or not. He changed the subject instead. "You believe me?"

"When you tell the truth," Brynn replied honestly.

That old, cynical expression entered Kylan's eyes, an expression Brynn knew he didn't really like.

"I believe you would," Kylan said softly, and looked away to watch Firefly, who was cropping the grass beside them.

Brynn stared at his bondmate for a while. :Why's he all quiet and reflective now?:

:He's not sure how to trust you, I think. He knows he does,: Devoni continued before Brynn could protest. :He just isn't sure on how to do it.:

Brynn thought for a moment, then rested his hand gently on Kylan's shoulder, careful of the bruises and still healing wounds that still lay underneath the soft cloth.

Kylan jerked his head around to stare at the Herald, his 'old' look fading as he blinked at the older man. "What?"

"Trust me," Brynn said softly. "Promise me you'll trust me."

Kylan's face crumpled, and then froze in mid motion before the younger boy whirled around and went to mount Firefly. Brynn blinked at the other's back, discouraged. :Should I even be trying?:

:Of course, Chosen. Without him, you'd be devastated.:

Brynn turned to stare at his Companion, who was browsing the grass a little way away. "Do you know something I don't?"

:No,: Devoni replied smartly. :Well, yes, actually, but none of it is what you need to know yet. Importantly, you'd have to look at your own reactions to him to confirm what I just said. And we'd better get going, he's waiting for us again.:

The Companion started making his way towards Brynn, and Brynn met him halfway, impulsively scratching between Devoni's eyes as he passed. "He's going to spend the rest of his life waiting for us."

Brynn had mounted, and they were already riding towards the younger boy, who was very obviously staring distantly off in the opposite direction, when Devoni replied.

:He'll spend the rest of his life waiting for us to hurry up, that's true enough. And he'll love every minute of it.:

Brynn grinning at the blonde as they approached hearing distance, merely sent back wordless agreement. Devoni was right, after all.

"I think I might grow to love you after all," he said conversationally, once they had started riding again.

Kylan flushed so quickly it was a wonder he hadn't burst a blood vessel. "I-I… I… You're not too bad yourself…" The murderer finished hesitantly, and studied Firefly's withers as if they held the secret to gaining real magic again. Then he looked up again suddenly, his face still more crimson than usual. "Thank you."

Brynn blinked, slightly surprised. "What for?"

Kylan smiled shyly and looked straight ahead again. "For making the effort. I won't kill my father. Promise. I won't kill anyone ever again. I can't promise about not craving blood, but I suppose I can try that as well… I… I'm not very eloquent, but you know what I'm trying to say, right?"

To his surprise, Brynn did. He sent a brief word of command to Devoni, and took hold of Firefly's reins, pulling her to a stop when Devoni obeyed his request. "Look, all you can do is try, right?

Kylan glanced down at the Herald's hand holding the reins, and then back up, his shy smile growing into a grin. "Get off. Dismount."

Brynn pushed back his surprised confusion, but obeyed, going to stand next to Kylan. "Are you all right? What's wrong?"

The blonde rolled his eyes skyward, positively beaming by now. "Take the initiative, would you? I don't want to ask again."

Brynn frowned slightly. "Ask for help? That's silly, you know you have it from me."

Kylan merely shook his head. "No, you've got it all wrong."

The brunette raised an eyebrow. "Really. You expect to do it without any help at all?"

Kylan laughed, a short chuckle of delight. "Lord and Lady –"

Brynn, honestly not having a clue about what his bondmate was rambling on about, his mind still firmly stuck on the same path of worrying, only barely managed to hide his astonishment when Kylan threw his arms around the older boy's neck.

"Take the initiative," Kylan murmured, and lifted his face hintingly. Brynn clued in and kissed him, involuntarily making a soft noise when Kylan responded eagerly.

There was a world of mystery in the younger boy's kiss, intoxicating and enticing and promising more to come, but also promising rewards and benefits that Brynn had never dreamed of before. Ignoring Devoni's sniggering in some distant, back part of his mind, Brynn abandoned himself, surrendering to the murderer's touch in just the same manner as Kylan surrendered to the Herald's.