Author: Ciissi
Fandom: Star Ocean III: Till the End of Time
Pairing: Albel Nox x Fayt Leingod
Disclaimer: I do not own Star Ocean III. It belongs to Square Enix, may they do lots of more good games. The song "Gravity of Love" belongs to Enigma. I am not a linguist, so I might claim very weird things about languages changing and also because I am not native English speaker my terms might be wrong.
Warnings: NC-17. Contains yaoi meaning at least two males having sex together. And author's – not Albel's or anyone else's – language
Author's Note 1: I was trying to update quickly. But then I entered in to NaNoWriMo at the beginning of the November and everything was blown to hell. I have no timetable for the next update. Most like there will be no update even on December, because I am going to Japan for Christmas and the New Years and two weeks are most likely not enough to write a chapter. Well… we shall see closer to that date.


Part Two – Chapter Three: The Love (I'm NOT going to say IT!)
Turn around and smell what you don't see
Close your eyes… it is so clear
Here's the mirror, behind there is a screen
On both ways you can get in.
Don't think twice before you listen to your heart,
Follow the trace for a new start.
What you need and everything you'll feel
Is just a question of the deal.
In the eye of storm you'll see a lonely dove
The experience of survival is the key
To the gravity of love.

~Enigma: Gravity of Love~

Albel Nox of the famous Airyglyphian Household of Nox kept his vigil over his younger lover for few hours. He sat on the side of the bed, took care of the snoozing swordsman and when he was not admiring his lover's peaceful face, he was observing the steady change in the light which poured into his room from the window. Somewhat half-heartedly he listened to the voices and the noises of the slowly, rabidly waking Royal Castle, until he knew that the time for breakfast was almost upon them. Albel himself did not really care about the joint breakfast with the King but he knew that his lover cared a lot about the silly things like a proper behavior and a common courtesy.

The proper behavior and the common courtesy also included leaving one's room at least partially, but preferably fully, clothed.

Albel stood up doing his best to not to disturb the youth still sleeping in his bed. He walked across the room to the chair on which he had discarded their clothes last night. With efficiency of years in army he picked up his undergarments and the long, royal purple stockings. Albel dressed up quickly, but suddenly the movement in the corner of his eye caught his attention. He straightened and slowly turned to face a tall mirror standing on the floor. His blood-red eyes roamed over his reflection critically before he dismissed whatever he was seeing as irrelevant and turned away to continue his dressing up for the new day.

Albel stopped, stiffened and turned back to his reflection. Slowly he neared the mirror as his eyes observed more thoroughly his reflection. Standing before the mirror Albel ran his right hand over the bruised, bloody bite marks on his shoulder. The marks neared his neck, but not once they appeared over the sensitive skin of throat. Those marks of possession and pain mesmerized the Elicoorian Captain. Never before had he allowed a bed mate mark him this clearly without violent retaliation. But then again Fayt Leingod was different from those useless maggots and too willing whores whom belonged into noble families. Albel desired Fayt, wanted everything that the green-eyed boy would give to him.

Suddenly a pair of strong arms wound around Albel's waist and a warm, lean, naked body pressed itself against Albel's back. A chin found a comfortable place between Albel's shoulder and neck. Contently relaxing into the hold Albel placed his left, burned arm on the paler arms on his waist and his right hand wandered to touch lightly the strong right thigh. He tilted his head and rubbed his cheek against the soft, silky hair. Through the mirror Albel's eyes met the drowsy, sage-green eyes of his new lover.

Fayt blinked his eyes slowly, still half-asleep. He inhaled Albel's scent and murmured in some sort of happy torpor. But whenever his eyes opened with the blinks the clarity in them told Albel that the youth was not really that sleepy. His body was warm and pliant in its drowsiness, but his mind was sharp and alert in its wakefulness.

Albel rather liked it. This contradiction, which his lover was. So he pulled the blue-haired youth from behind his back to stand in front of him. For a moment Albel observed the naked form before he pulled the intelligent boy into his embrace wrapping his arms around the slender waist. He felt their muscles relaxing into the warmth and the closeness of the other familiar body.

The newly formed pair of lovers nuzzled into each other and basked in the shielding pleasure of safety and shared secrecy. Slowly their heads turned and their lips melted into a long, assuring kiss. They did not have that sureness which came from the longtime relationship. Their hands wandered over the planes of bodies, over the skin to make sure that the other one was real and what happened few hours ago had been real too.

Fayt smiled gently to Albel and rubbed his face against his darker lover's shoulder. He wanted to stay like this forever with Albel. Suspended in time within Albel's arms. Yet at the same time he wanted to move forward to see what else the two of them could have. And Fayt settled to step forward towards the future: "Good morning , Albel", he whispered and placed his hands all over the older man's back with his fingers spread, doing his best to touch as much as he could his lover.

Albel stared at the mirror over Fayt's shoulder and marveled the picture, which the two of them formed on the reflecting surface. His youthful lover was clearly at ease with – or not thinking about – his nakedness under the older swordsman's sharp eyes. The paler skin covered smoothly the well-formed back and leg muscles. The beauty of that strong body was only broken by the darker skin of Albel's arms. His left arm had found its favorite resting place on Fayt's waist and the palm of his right hand was over Fayt's spine pressing the Earthborn man closer to Albel. Fayt's greeting words brushed, tickled against Albel's shoulder and broke him out of his reverie. The Elicoorian male hummed thoughtfully and pulled his lover closer himself if that was possible. "Good morning", he answered with happiness burning in the pit of his stomach, but his eyes did not stray from the reflection of the tall mirror.

Fayt frowned at Albel's distracted greeting, but his annoyance was mellowed by Albel's act of trying to get their bodies even closer. He turned his head and pressed his right cheek against Albel's left shoulder so he could observe the Glyphian man without painfully craning his neck or breaking the pleasant embrace. Fayt realized soon after that his lover was looking directly at something behind Fayt's turned back. Whatever it was, it was not upsetting the volatile swordsman. Fayt had never before seen Albel's face so relaxed and content. So whatever it was, it was something enjoyable and soothing for his lover.

But Fayt could not see, what was behind his back and it was making him very curious. "What are you looking at?" he finally inquired his natural curiosity getting the best of him.

Albel's head jerked back and towards Fayt and for a long moment his face stayed utterly blank, like he did not understand the question. Then a fire ignited into his blood-red eyes and the expression which rose on his face alarmed Fayt for incoming trouble which only Albel the Wicked could create or cause. Expect that not before that expression had been laced with pure sexual desire.

Usually Fayt's curiosity was just a bane upon Albel and his privacy and past, but now he could appreciate that trait in the viridian-eyed swordsman. Curiosity had gotten Fayt and the rest of his team of world-saving companions into trouble or sidetracked many times in the past, but Albel suspected that 'trouble' had never before included situation like this. So the Wicked One smiled deviously and bent his neck to kiss his baffled lover. "Do you really want to know?" he murmured against those delicious lips he was devouring. His left hand abandoned the pale waist and moved downwards to mold over Fayt's right buttock.

Fayt moaned into the kiss, when Albel's hand cupped his butt and pressed his groin slightly more firmly against the taller body. And he wondered, was there any other answer than the affirmative one to his lover's question. If there was, it was not Fayt's answer. "Yes, I want to know", he said when he was able to pry his mouth free. After all Fayt yearned to know everything there was to know about Captain Albel Nox of the Black Brigade of the Kingdom of Airyglyph.

Suddenly Albel changed his hold on Fayt, separated their bodies and rolled Fayt over to meet the unobstructed reflection in the mirror.

Fayt's eyes widened and his mouth opened in amazement. His face gained a light pink coloring as Albel's bold hands wandered over his naked skin and those ruby eyes stayed fastened on the mirror and what it reflected. And just like his lover Fayt could not remove his eyes from the reflecting surface to his shock. He looked at the young, green-eyed man in the mirror breathing in irregular gasps of air and arching shamelessly into the touch of a pair of mismatched hands. The other hand with sun-kissed skin and its companion with the mesh of red and white burn-scarring. Yet they were so gentle in their caressing touches. Fayt watched entranced as the blue-haired youth in the mirror raised his hands, moved them backwards and sank his fingers into the freely flowing, fine hair of his long-haired lover. Fayt's breath hitched more clearly than before as the mirror image of his gorgeous lover allowed his hands to travel lower and to touch the coarse, darker patch of blue hair.

"Do you see, what I see, Fayt?" the man in the mirror, the man behind Fayt asked and his words rumbled in his chest and against Fayt's bare back. "Mine", Albel rasped possessively and watched as his image in the mirror bent down to nibble its lover's ear. "Mine to have. Mine to keep."

Fayt tilted his head to the side as in an offering and rubbed his fingertips against Albel's scalp. "Yes…", he purred and pulled his left hand off the two-toned hair placing it atop of the scarred hand which fingers combed his pubic hair teasingly. "Mine to have. Mine to keep", Fayt repeated Albel's words and turned to kiss the older man firmly. "Mine to love", he added roughly after the kiss and moaned in desire as Albel's hold on him tightened. "I love you, Albel Nox."

They both were able to feel and to observe, how they were coming aroused by the touches, by the words.

A series of firm knocks against the thick, wooden door of Albel's chambers surprised both of them. Both men froze and stiffened still entangled together. Fayt turned at first bright red in embarrassment and then pure white in horror as the door started to slide open. In panic he turned around and clutched on Albel. It was not a big deal if some servant saw his naked ass, but he would die from mortification, if anyone, aside Albel, his lover, saw his state of half-arousal.

Albel swore strongly, loudly and turning his head towards the door he snarled. "What the fuck is it, maggot?!" It had been awhile since his tone of voice had held so much scorn. Quickly he snagged a forgotten wool blanket from a nearby chair and wrapped it around Fayt's naked body. The smaller male in his arms was shivering and hugging himself and trying to make himself as tiny as possible so no-one could see him from the door.

The door stopped its slow movement of sliding open as the unsuspecting servant froze in fear. It was clear that the servant had not expected Albel either being in the room or being awake. Albel's temper was legendary everywhere insides the borders of the kingdom of Airyglyph and especially in the Royal Castle. It was a small miracle that there was a person able to forget that legendarily ill-temper during Albel's shorts absence from the Royal Court and the borders of his home kingdom.

Albel gently guided Fayt to sit on another chair before he turned sharply, picked up his left hand glove and pulled it over his burned hand. After that he stalked to the door growling and snarling in irritation and anger. "I asked a question from you", he hissed maliciously as he wrenched the door open and revealed the neatly dressed male servant. "Now… Where's my answer?" he demanded and his eyes narrowed viciously, full of hate. He placed his body between the door and the doorframe so that the servant could not see into the room from the corridor and the Elicoorian Captain loomed over the quivering man his blood-red eyes flashing in the uncovered anger.

The man swallowed and tried to look confident in front of the tall, slender nobleman. "His Royal Majesty, the King, sent me. He expressed his desire to have his breakfast with Lord Leingod and his companions", he reiterated from the memory nervously. "Lord Leingod was not in his room", the servant admitted and noticed how the Captain's demeanor darkened. "Clearly he had woken up earlier and gone somewhere, so aside from him and you, lord Nox, everyone else of your companions is awake and waiting for you and lord Leingod to them at the breakfast", servant explained hastily and tried to appear as unoffending as possible. Yet he could not turn his gaze from this strong nobleman in front of him.

It was true that the young lord of Nox was very violent man in many ways, but that did not stop the rumors from circulating among the servants of the Royal Castle and the capital of Airyglyph. He was different from many other nobles of the country. Even though he was violent and ill-tempered and cynical he was still remarkably fair and righteous with his actions towards those who were in weaker position and less fortunate than him. Everyone in the kingdom knew the Captain of the Black Brigade valuated his privacy very much. So he cleaned after himself like many other career military men. His legendary strength was balanced by his rather high intelligence, which was often proved by his sharp and malicious tongue and words. The servants, who had ever served, helped him, knew that the lord Nox saw and heard many things which other noble lords and ladies did not see or hear. Just like his worshipped late father Glou Nox, Albel Nox held fidelity in high regard and did not sleep around pointlessly or carelessly.

This servant knew the rumors about the nobleman in front of him and he did not dare to meet those gleaming, intelligent eyes. With a startle he only now noticed that the young lord was only partially dressed. The nobleman's long, strong legs were clothed into a pair of purple stockings and half-hidden by his usual purple loincloth. His left arm was covered with a matching purple glove which rose high up his upper arm and the servant guessed that it concealed the old burn scars. And he did not dare to stare the arm too much, but the nobleman had no shoes in his feet, no upper garments whatsoever, his long hair was flowing freely around his slender-muscled form and the complex belt – the sign of his status – was absent. But what really took all of the servant's attention was a really nasty, bloody biting mark on his shoulder which was too bad to be a… 'love bite'.

Albel swore profoundly long and loud as the servant's eyes locked onto his shoulder and the man's eyes widened. Albel knew without doubt, what the misshapen servant was staring at, but he decided to fake ignorant. "What?" he spat out furiously and leaned forward to tower over the frightened man.

The servant saw his immediate death descending over him and tried to mend the situation by apologizing several times and muttering something ambiguous in between.

Albel inhaled between his teeth making a sinister hissing sound and opened his mouth to tell the noisy maggot, what he really thought of prying, useless, waste-of-space worms around him. He knew from the previous experience, that no matter, what he would do, there would be a new rumor about him circling amongst the servants before the breakfast was served. He just tried to do some damage control.

"Let the servant go, Albel", a pleasant, melodic voice of a youthful man suddenly intercepted and the servant's eyes widened in surprise once again. The man did not recognize the voice and he was too scared to even think about trying to peek further into Lord Nox's chamber.

The head of Captain Nox turned violently and he glared murderously over his shoulder, but surprisingly for the poor servant he said nothing. The man was awed by what he was seeing. The younger male in the room clearly was not scared of the temperamental nobleman.

There was an impatient rustle of fabric further inside the room, probably from the other male's clothes. "He most likely has lot to do and we've not yet ended our conversation." The voice was patient and fearless. It sounded to the servant that the youth who owned that gentle voice had had this same conversation with Lord Nox more than once before in one form or another.

Lord Nox sneered at the youth and used few very improper words to describe, what he thought about the entire situation. But he straightened, waved the servant to leave them be and closed the door.

"You really should consider doing something to your bad habit of using obscene words whenever you're upset… or losing", were the last words that the servant was able to hear before the heavy, oaken door shut fully trapping the rest of the words, of the conversation inside the four walls of Lord Nox's chamber.

Inside the bedroom Albel leaned against the door and crossed his arms over his chest emanating superiority. He stood there and observed his lover thoughtfully. He quickly concluded that aside the initial fright and shock the blue-haired youth was not ashamed of being in Albel's bedroom almost entirely naked.

Fayt had recovered from the unwanted interruption. He was now – and it was uncertain how long he had been – sitting in the chair which Albel had pushed him into before opening the door. His back was straight and he was clearly relaxed. As soon as the door closed he allowed the blanket slip off his shoulders and open from the front to display his naked form to Albel's pleasure. He was exuding a peculiar kind of celestially blessed royalty as he sat there his head held high, boldly like he belonged into the room, like he had every right to be there. Fayt's skin was practically glowing in the morning sunlight, his jaw was set stubbornly and his emerald, beryl eyes were looking directly at the slender swordsman.

Albel did not say a word and just admired his lover. He knew from Fayt's body language that there was something the younger one wanted to say, but had not yet found the correct words to communicate his thoughts. So Albel waited unexpectedly patiently and savored the delicious sight of his lover.

Fayt shifted in the chair slightly and took a deep breath to center himself and his thoughts. He studied the changing tones of red in his Glyphianborn lover's eyes and found no suspicion behind that shamelessly direct gaze. "I am not ashamed, what we have", Fayt asserted forming every word carefully, explicitly. He drew breath, closed his eyes and opened them as the stood up leaving the woolen blanket on the chair. "I'm just not ready", he explained as he walked slowly towards Albel naked, bare, exposed, alluring, "to share these feelings… these sensations… with the rest of the world right now", Fayt confessed and stopped in front of Albel. "I too can be selfish."

Albel uncrossed his arms, adjusted his stance and reached out to pull his charming – yet sometimes a bit too chatty – lover in to his embrace. "This time I agree with you", he said keeping his voice steady. Fayt's confession meant lot to him, to the man who thought himself unlovable, undesirable. "Perhaps on later date?" he inquired carefully and arranged his arms around Fayt's waist.

Fayt melted into Albel's embrace, pressed his cheek against Albel's chest and listened to the steady beat of Albel's heart motionlessly. He wound his arms around the long-haired man's neck and beamed happily to his lover. With all that apparent cruelness of the Elicoorian Captain even Fayt sometimes forgot, that judging a book by its cover could be highly stupid and even more hazardous. "When this hoodlum is over and we think we're ready… then we'll share our mutual lives with outsiders." He stretched up and kissed Albel firmly. When they separated, Fayt was a bit breathless and aroused. "I love you, Albel Nox", he reminded the older man. "I want these feelings to grow and to turn into something strong and permanent. You're my best friend. I trust you. I want you. I need you." His eyes burned brighter with every word he said and his inner convictions were clearly etched in his expressions.

Albel's eyes widened at Fayt words and he felt unfamiliar sting behind his eyes and in the corners of his eyes. His hands rose to frame Fayt's face and he brought their foreheads together. "I desire you, Fayt", the said coarsely his voice embellished with countless, unknown feelings and he gulped with difficulty. "You and only you I desire", Albel vowed emphatically. "I've no need for anyone else in my life. You're my friend, my companion and my equal. You're perfect partner for me", he said looking deep into Fayt's green eyes to highlight his every word. "To you I give my trust. I want you. I desire you." Albel straightened and with dreadful fascination his right hand fingers touched the twin trails of tears on Fayt's face. "Why are you crying?" He was astonished by his discovery and felt suddenly unsure about his standing in Fayt's life. "I don't think, what I said was so horrible enough to make anyone cry…" Carefully Albel did his best to wipe away the wet droplets and the glossy blemishes leading to them.

Fayt smiled shakily and enjoyed the gentle touches of Albel's ungloved fingers on his face. He moved his left hand and cupped Albel's jaw and stroked the cheeks darker skin lightly, caressing the man with all affection he had to give him. "I'm not sad and horrified. I'm happy, that you're giving a chance for 'us', to have you as mine, to be yours… That's all I can ask for now", he confessed and laughed lightly, joyously. "And I'm not the only one shedding tears." Fayt's eyes shone brightly as he raised his right hand and with the side of his bent forefinger he swept away the single tear, which had escaped from Albel's eye, from his lover's left cheek. Fayt brought his index finger to his lips and his dark blue eyelashes fluttered against his pale skin as he reverently sucked that drop of precious liquid into his mouth. He tasted the salt on his tongue before it vanished and was swallowed along his own salvia.

Albel reached out to touch his cheek which tingled under the unfamiliar fact that he, Albel the Wicked, had cried. So perhaps it was only one tear, but he still felt unsettled. At least the tear fell for Fayt and because they both were happy. Albel became aware of Fayt keenly studying his face with a worried, speculating frown. Which the younger swordsman should not have been doing, because he was still naked.

"Let's get you clothed, before Arzei sends someone else look for us", Albel suggested, turned his lover around and playfully smacked him on his ass. Afterwards he sniggered and gave the youth a firm nudge towards the chair on which their clothes were neatly folded.

Fayt gave Albel an admonishing glare over his shoulder and rubbed his bum but did not protest in any other way. As he sat down on the other chair near the one with the clothes, he yawned passingly and stretched is body languidly. Only after that he sorted out his clothes and begun to dress up.

Fayt's yawn reminded Albel about something he had earlier wondered passingly. "Earlier… Did I wake you up, when I started dressing up?" he asked curiously just as Fayt slipped into his underwear.

Fayt pulled his underwear to cover his private parts before he showed any sign of hearing Albel and raised his head towards his lover. A weird, quirky smile flickered passingly over his lips as he looked at the older man and after that he grabbed his trousers and begun to pull them on. "I didn't hear you keeping any kind of disturbing or loud noises, if that's, what you mean by waking me up", he said as he efficiently pulled up the zipper and buttoned up the waist band. Fayt crooked his head pensively and his eyes were moving quickly over Albel and then throughout the room like looking for something. Then something changed in his eyes so maybe he found, what he was looking for.

Albel relaxed slightly at Fayt's words like he had heard something important implied behind the ordinary string of words. But they did not drive away the raising feeling of suffocation at the back of this mind and the very real, physical pressure inside his head, between his ears. He could hear a rush like a big storm in the ocean waves in his ears. Perhaps that was why abruptly he could not hear a thing and only observe detachedly Fayt approaching him with sure steps of a person who was confident about himself and his feelings.

Fayt placed his hands on Albel's upper arms and squeezed them reassuringly. "Listen to me, Albel", he demanded shaking the older man lightly. "You haven't lost your edge. You were very silent, when you stood up and got clothed. Like you always are." His eyes were once again looking for something this time from Albel's eyes. Slowly he started to become worried and agitated. The signs of alarm were plainly observable on his face and his green, green eyes were darting around in distress. "I woke up, when you left the bedside and suddenly I was alone. Your presence wasn't there anymore. I could no longer feel your touch, you warmth or hear your breathing and that disturbed my sleep. I can't explain it in any other way." Fayt's words were rushed and jumbled and everything in him told the story of high level of agitation. "Please, believe me, Albel!" he screamed almost hysterically and with his left hand he seized his lover's hands which were dreadfully ice-cold. His pupils were dilating from the stress and terror and his dark pine-green irises reflected a sudden surge tread and doom. His fingers were losing strength and his face was losing color rabidly. "A-Albel…?" His voice was so tiny, so desperate, but still he tried to hold onto Albel. It sounded like his world was collapsing around him and he was losing everything.

Albel watched at his lover's mouth to move but he could not hear anything through the roaring in his ears. The roaring was like a pack of enraged dragons and Albel was unable to communicate his inner plight, the prison of his mind he was locked in and incapable of escaping. Albel raised his trembling arms and wound them feebly around his lover's shoulders. 'His lover'… He felt the smaller man to press his body more tightly against his freezing body. Even in his mental loss of self Albel was able to sense the Earthborn youth's panic and that he was speaking, but he could not react in any way outside his mind. He wanted to react to his lover's distress. His strong, beautiful lover, who was able to feel and show his emotions fearlessly. Who was undamaged. Who could give Albel so overwhelming feeling of happiness and trust and safety that for the first time almost a decade Albel Nox had cried. From happiness. From relief.

Without warning Albel's legs lost all the feel and strength on them and he crashed to the floor dragging his green-eyed lover with him. 'His lover'… Albel blinked his eyes several times as his brains connected the dots and drew the clarifying picture. Only then he was finally able to turn to look at the boy nestling in his arms. His lover was shaking gravely from the fright and the youth was scrambling with all of his might to sit on Albel's lap. A tear was running down his face slowly and Albel could taste his anxiety in his mouth.

"You're my lover", Albel said simply and studied his lover's face. For some reason he found his lover's tears beautiful and the inscrutable noise in his ears begun to subside.

Then and there Fayt's face was flooded with relief, when Albel opened his paled lips and spoke to him with precise words. The taller warrior had just suddenly frozen, his heartbeat had been too frantic to be normal and his eyes had been staring at Fayt without really seeing him. To Fayt Albel's behavior had felt like a belated rejection, like Albel's mind had finally caught up with him and it was not able to accept, what had happen during the last hour. The confessions, the promises. And then Fayt's lover had collapsed and somehow everything had become even more discouraging. So Albel talking to him was an enormous improvement in Fayt's books even though his lover's words did not make any sense to him. At least imminently. That was, why Fayt opted to agree tentatively with his Elicoorian lover.

"My lover…", Albel repeated still in some kind of shock or daze. Suddenly all the murky fog was gone from his sanguine eyes and he really saw Fayt in his embrace. "I desire you", he stated unwaveringly cementing the thought permanently to his mind and dragged Fayt, his lover, his fool close, closer so he could kiss him without any restraint.

After a long, passionate and revitalizing kiss two young men separated to regain some of the lost air. Fayt's eyes this time were really intense, when he examined the man on, whose lap he was sitting. And Albel was feeling very smug and showing it openly to his lover.

"I don't understand you", Fayt groused infuriatedly and smacked Albel playfully with his open palm to the left shoulder. Then he hugged his lover soundly like his world was ending and rose up. He wandered back to the rest of his clothes and muttered anything admirable under his breath about his lover.

Albel covered his self-satisfied smirk as he picked himself up from the floor. He admired his lover's rippling muscles and felt very accomplished. In the society, where arranged marriages were normal, it was rare to have a companion – for life, for passing sexual relief –, who was one's equal. Albel was teetering on the edge of the revelation that he had no idea, how true that concept was on many levels. Albel did not shy away, when Fayt turned to gaze at him interrogatively. They both knew that it would take long time – nothing short of eternity – before the black-and-gold haired swordsman would explain, what had gone through his mind few moments ago.

Fayt sighed, closed his eyes for a moment and shook his head dismissing all the complications and questions he wanted to ask from his lover. Instead he concentrated on getting his shirt on and now that he thought about it, why his shirt had a zipper instead of row of buttons. He looked at his reflection and scowled at the absurdity of the matter. When the reflection of Albel's back joined his reflection in the mirror Fayt had unexplainable desire to kick his lover's ass just for being there and acting like, like Albel. Momentarily Fayt acknowledged that he was acting irrationally, but it did not stifle his urge to kick the Elicoorian Captain's conceited ass.

It was then, when Fayt was mulling over his out-of-nowhere irritation for the first time he truly saw Albel's back and the long and unreasonably deep wounds from short, neat fingernails. Even when the half-shirt Albel called 'an upper body garment' obscured the wounds partially, Fayt knew that doubtlessly he had made those jacked scratched last night. When he thought more closely he remembered the awful wound, which had been formed by his teeth.

On Fayt's lover's shoulder. On Fayt's lover's back.

Fayt experienced a sudden revelation and he suspected that it was the same one Albel had gone through just a few moments before. "You're my lover", he said trying to keep his inner turmoil out of his voice. His eyes attached to the bruised bite mark on Albel's right shoulder which his shirt did not conceal.

Albel had stepped towards the door, but now as he heard the quivering voice of Fayt, he stopped his steady progress out of the room and glanced at the youth over his shoulder. His face did not show any apparent emotion, but his moves communicated his confusion. Albel turned to face the blue-haired youth and raised his other eyebrow mockingly as he turned to face his lover, crossed his arms and shifted his weight from one leg to another. "Are you a parrot now?" he wanted to know. Albel exhaled exasperatedly and moved his hands on his hips. "That's, what I said, Fool. What of it?!" He showed the clear signs that the Wicked One was not amused or in a mood for constructive criticism about his actions or words.

Fayt walked to Albel and rubbed his arms trying to soothe that active, explosive mind inside his lover's head. He did not say a word or stopped the massage until Albel grudgingly gave up, wrapped his arms around Fayt's waist and pulled him against his body, but the agitation of his mind and body did not really decline. Fayt sighed contently basking in the familiar and calming warmth and scent of his lover and snuggled closer slipping his arms to encircle his definitely male lover's waist. "I wasn't mimicking or talking about your words", he purred happily and blushed lightly. "I guess I just realized that you really are my lover. And there are no better words for it." Fayt shrugged his shoulders and tried to look for the correct words to tell his lover, what he meant and what it meant to him.

Albel stared downwards at his blue-haired lover and resigned himself to not understand, what was going on inside Leingod's head. Was Fayt… regretting? The younger male had sounded so sure of himself, of everything, when he had said that he loved Albel. Had that been… a lie, a mistake? Was Fayt trying to tell him that now, after careful thinking? But Albel could not see any kind of trickery or uncertainty in those honest, green eyes.

Fayt saw Albel's inner confusion and belatedly he remembered that his long-haired lover was not exactly an expert, when it came to dealing with non-violent feeling. "Let's put it like this", he started his fumbling explanation as he was not sure how to bring out his jumbled thoughts. "We both have made it clear that we have deep feelings for each other. By confessing and comforting our feeling, we're showing our mutual willingness to exam and to discover together, where these feelings might take us, will take us." He was aware that he was stalling and coldly categorizing something were important, which should not be and most likely could not be scientifically classified. "Declaring that we're each other's lovers in an act of commitment. Right, Albel?" Fayt was stumbling and scrambling with his words and he was very afraid that they would not reach to his lover. "It just took some time from me to fully understand the depth of our commitment, that you are my lover. My only lover. Just like I'm yours." He pressed a chaste kiss on the corner of Albel's mouth and allowed his hands to wander all over his lover's hard-muscled, lean body. When those callused hands answered to his searching touch, Fayt shivered in pleasure and relief as they drew that familiar, yet still unrecognizable pattern on his cloth-covered right thigh. He entered in second and third kiss and soon they were not so chaste.

Kissing Fayt was something Albel could do endlessly. It was almost as satisfying as fighting, but in different way, in different level, just like sex. Talking with the youth was always interesting. What Albel was able to decrypt from the youth's stories and actions the people from the culture from, which Albel's lover came, seemed to not think, how careful one should be, before calling someone their lover. And it honestly bothered the Glyphian warrior. When he had been alive, Glou Nox had taught to his only son that, while being lovers was not as binding legally as being engaged or married the relationship itself should be treated with the same amount of respect and devotion. By the time he was twenty-years-old Albel Nox was disgusted and disillusioned and painfully aware that amongst the nobles of the kingdom of Airyglyph his beloved father's and mother's ideals – now embedded in their half-mad, mentally unstable and warmongering son – were not the normal standard. It was like nobility had never heard of fidelity towards one's life-companion, male or female, husband or wife, spouse or lover. Because of his violent nature and high requirements for a companion, Albel by the age of twenty-one had resigned to stay alone the rest of his – most likely – short and deadly life. Now at the age of twenty-four years he had found this otherworldly youth and acquired the most glorious companion for the battlefields and after last night for the bed too. The companion so glorious and innocent that Albel had to wonder time to time if the boy was real and not just a figment of his affection-starved mind. He still questioned that.

Fayt pulled away from the kisses with lingering sweeps of lips over Albel's jawline. He rubbed Albel's shoulders carefully and slowly placed his palm on the deep, bruised bite mark. When Albel gripped his chin and turned him to look at the older man's face, Fayt's eyes were lightly overcast with sadness and pain. "You're my lover", he said forlornly, "and I hurt you, when we-"

Before Fayt was able to finish his sentence, Albel snorted dismissingly and pressed their mouth together into an open-mouthed, forced kiss with from little to none tenderness. Aggressively he went to conquer his bedmate's mouth, the mouth which even now softly welcomed his tongue. Albel enjoyed the wrestling dance of two tongues in Fayt's wet, warm mouth. Just like few hours before the younger swordsman was submitting, but still an active participant in the violent kiss and answered Albel's every touch, every move with one of his own. With Fayt submission was an illusion. Albel felt himself accepting and soaking up every caress from his lover. And then Fayt went and ruined the soulful kiss by punching the taller man to the middle of his chest with his closed fist.

Albel freed his lover and glowered at the youth condemningly.

Fayt's answering glare was as fiery as his lover's. "Don't you ever again try to distract me from the topic at hand by kissing me!" he gritted through his teeth and smacked the Elicoorian male again his chest.

Albel looked like he had just eaten something exceptionally sour and bad tasting. His eyes narrowed and flamed and his outer appearances turned aggravated and furious. His fingers clamped to the front of Fayt's shirt and he yanked the shorter one up and close to his face. "I hate your goody two-shoe martyrdom", he hissed venomously and his powerful fingers wrinkled the fabric of the once pure white shirt. "So you scratched me a little. So what?" he accosted and brutally nibbled his lover's lips drawing some blood. "You've wounded me more severely during training. Last night was nothing compared, when me and my father-!" Albel's mouth snapped close and his jawline tightened considerably. "I wished you… Blah! Why am I even trying to-?" he wondered to himself bitterly and his words were cut off by Fayt's hand over his mouth.

"You're way too quick to draw conclusions without having any patience to wait the end of my explanation", Fayt sighed remembering, how many times before they had had this conversation. His beryl eyes gleamed eerily and he smeared the little blood, which had oozed from the corner of his mouth, over his lips. He moved his hand for Albel's mouth, covered his impetuous, beloved lover's fists with his hands, rose to his tiptoes and pressed his bloody lips on Albel's. His actions made the Elicoorian Captain gasp. As his lover's hot tongue lapped his lips Fayt's mouth cambered into a grin. "You're one to bitch about hypocrisy, Albel the Wicked", he whispered enticingly against, into Albel's mouth. "I might have not realized it back then, but I know that it aroused you. Little pain and blood to heighten your pleasure." Daringly, without permission Fayt forced his tongue into Albel's mouth. It was with that trespassing move that he learned that no matter what Albel would not shun or deny Fayt's aggressiveness, but took as much pleasure from it as from Fayt's bit more passive and gentle acquiescence. Fayt understood that his lover wanted all of him, not only the pretty parts, but also the ugly and imprudent ones. He withdrew from the kiss and smirked smugly at the older one's slightly dazed look.

Albel recovered, sneered at his younger lover and let go of the white shirt abruptly.

Fayt burst in to laughter as the Glyphian noble all but pouted openly and he directed the taller male to sit on the nearest chair. Crouching in front of the chair Fayt laid his right hand on Albel's knee and studied the bruised bite, then his mirth died away and he soberly gazed in to the ruby-red eyes. "Remember how we earlier talked about keeping this relationship under the wraps until the later?" he asked and imperceptibly rubbed his lover's stocking-covered knee calmingly. When Albel after a long while nodded grudgingly, Fayt flashed a quick, pleased smile. "Aside from the pain, which we don't talk more about right now, the marks I left on you, will raise questions. Questions we'll find hard to answer without telling the entire truth about our situation."

Flinching Albel covered the bite on his right shoulder with his gloved left hand. He considered the nail scratches on his back. He had not seen them but the way they had throbbed and smarted during his early morning vigil, he knew that even a half-blind person would notice them. And many of their fellow travelers – especially the women – were very perceptive and utterly shameless, when quenching their curiosity. The mere thought of being bombarded by complex question was nightmarish for Albel.

The horror on Albel's face told Fayt everything he needed to know. The older man was all ears for any idea his younger lover might have. The Glyphian was as involuntary as Fayt to face the music. "We really should heal those scratch marks on your back and that bite on your shoulder", he stated outright without trying to sweeten his words or to be tactful.

Albel did not grumble even passingly as he took off his shirt and turning sideways on the chair he revealed his back to the Earthian symbologist.

The first thing, which Albel noticed after Fayt's hands landed on his back, was that they were warm. Not because of the magic, but from his normal, inner warmth. His lover was not nervous but calm and collected. The second thing was that the palms and fingers of those strong hands were callused, the right hand more than the left one. His lover wore fingerless leather gloves, but even they did not prevent calluses from forming from his sword handle. Albel could tell the difference between calluses, which came from handling swords and those, which came from somewhere else. Fayt had both kinds in his hands. Albel closed his eyes as the healing powers of runology started to work their miracles and thought, what he knew about his gentle-spirited lover. With his mind's eye he could see the blue-haired youth sitting in the library of the Royal Castle Aquaria leafing through the ancient books his reading glasses rested on his nose. Albel's lover was also a scholar. The tiny, hardly there scars on his fingertips from the numerous paper cuts were made by the pages and the indurations at the sides of his right hand fingers were from pens and pencils. The hands of both the warrior and the scholar in one. And suddenly Albel remembered the old legends, which his mother and father had told, when he had been hardly older than toddler. The ancient myths from the ages before the kingdom of Airyglyph or the kingdom of Aquaria excited and the wise and benevolent Scholar-Warrior Kings ruled over the peaceful land with mercy and justice.

Albel relaxed entirely as the new wave of healing magic washed over him. In his mind he saw his gorgeous lover dressed in to the full regalia of an ancient king ruling over his people compassionately and firmly. Idly he wondered, if that glorious, celestial king would have accepted the violent, unpredictable man like Albel as his lover and life-companion. When the next Healing-spell came, Albel forgot the sentiments about ancient kings and groused Fayt's tendency to be way too meticulous, when curing his wounds. One spell should have been enough, but noooo… Just like when Albel had mashed that mirror… and it had happened it this very same room.

It was curious, how things played out.

Albel became aware of his surroundings, when Fayt's hands left his skin and he found the younger man squatting in front of the chair after he had corrected his sitting position. The fair-skinned male's expression told Albel that he was uncertain, how to bring up some subject up.

Fayt revered silently Albel's long hair. The color of the hair was unusual and exotic for a Glyphian, but then again so was Fayt's own for a natural color of a human. Now that long hair was unbound to the typical two hair-tails, it reached to taller swordsman's mid-thigh and surrounded him like an expensive cape made out of the finest silk threads. The hair fascinated Fayt, but he knew that it had to be wrapped in to the two long ropes with white cloth strips so it would not be in Albel's way on the battlefield. "Your hair…", he begun hesitantly. He reached out with his hand, snatched a hold on few tresses and wound them around his fingers. He admired who the light reflected and shone on the healthy hair. "Do you want to dress it up before the breakfast? If you do… Can I help?" he asked shyly and kissed the tresses over his fingers.

Albel was uncertain, how to react on Fayt's request. It was not unreasonable, but he had used to do it all himself and he was quite efficient in it. He knew that his long hair combined with his slender form and his violate nature and high position in the army and in the nobility of Airyglyph fascinated many people. But only a few had dared to be forward about it. Fayt's fascination however seemed to be a bit different kind of interest. Albel's new lover was not only captivated by the long hair, he almost worshipped it. And that had been clear way before they became lovers. Albel studied the lean fingers surrounded by his fine hair and the strained face of the younger man.

The longer the silence between the two of them, the more anxious and renounced Fayt became. His head dipped down and his short hair – no less fascinating to Albel than the long hair was to him – covered his face. When he raised his head, the excited shine in his eyes had faded away. The smile on Fayt's lips was so forced and faked that it hardly could be classified as a smile and not even as a grimace. Swiftly, but still carefully, he begun to disentangle the hair around his fingers.

"I'm sorry", Fayt mumbled and tried to do his best to not to show too openly his uncertainty. The close intimacy in their relationship was so new that neither of them knew for sure, what was allowed and what was not. "I really shouldn't have…" His voice cracked and died away and he wondered, when his fingers had become so clumsy and entangled to Albel's hair that it was almost impossible to separate the hair from the fingers without a help of pair of scissors. Albel would kill him if would have to cut his fingers free.

Albel leaned forward and sank his right hand in to Fayt's short hair. When he ran his hand through the silky hair, he was astonished by how many different shades of blue the short hair in reality held. The color was not solid like a dyed hair but Albel had never before observed his lover's hair so attentively. It was also added plus that Fayt's hair smelled rather good. "I… like my hair", Albel confessed finally his fingers still in Fayt's hair and the green-eyed Earthling froze before he scrambled even more frantically to untangle his fingers. "I like my hair even more, when you're touching it", he confessed and inhaled the spicy, earthy smell of Fayt's skin and hair.

Fayt's face shot up his eyes wide in confusion and inner conflict. He stopped trying to unwind Albel's hair around his fingers. He just crouched there in front of Albel and looked a little bit lost. The two-toned tresses of hair slipped off his fingers.

"I'm fond of your hair as well", Albel admitted unexpectedly. "It's highly unique like you. If I remember correctly, your honored father's hair was… brown?" His memories of Robert Leingod were vague at best. "Did you inherit your hair color from your honored mother?" Albel asked genuinely interested. As far as he could remember, Fayt had never talked or shown any pictures about his honorable mother, when Albel had been present.

"My mom would kick your ass if she ever heard you referring her as 'honored mother'. She doesn't like to be reminded of her age." Fayt's smile was bit sad, when he thought of his mother. "I don't think I inherited my hair color from my mom", he said after thinking a while. "Her hair was really dark blue, almost black in some light."

Fayt's admission and uncertainty left Albel stunned and he checked again the blue hair. But there were no deep dark blue tresses.

"Her hair might've been dyed. I don't know." Fayt fiddled nervously his fingers. "I think… I've come to conclusion that my hair color might be what it is because of the genetic manipulation", he explained and gently tugged his fringe. "I mean… Maria also has blue hair and it's almost the same shade as mine."

Albel had never understood this thing called 'the genetic manipulation'. He understood, what 'manipulation' was, but 'genetic' was beyond him(1). The combination of words, the concept and the process itself were unfamiliar to him. Albel let go of his lover's hair and leaned backwards against the back rest. "If I've understood correctly this… genetic manipulation", he begun carefully, "you and Maria Traydor could be a sister and brother, you'd be twins most likely." Albel saw nothing harm at pointing out this detail, which was rather appeasing to him.

Fayt blinked few times and his mouth melted in to a gentle, wishful smile. "Yeah… I think I'd like that to be true", he confessed and stood up restlessly. He glanced at his lover. "What do you think about the idea of having Maria as your sister-in-law?" he asked and his eyes twinkled playfully.

Albel had not really thought about it like that, so the green-eyed swordsman's question felt like a blow from a sledgehammer to the back of his head. He could see that his lover was joking, but he decided to take the question more seriously. His lover's body was relaxed and he was watching down to Albel amusedly. "There's a hairbrush on my table. Go get it", he ordered with a flick of his wrist towards the table in question and bought some time to himself to mull over, how he would feel if the blue-haired woman really would be his sister-in-law. It opened a whole new way for Albel to view the commitment of being in a long-lasting relationship. Because without doubt Maria Traydor would shoot him, if Albel would make Fayt unhappy. Now that he thought about it, those two were definitely way too much alike to not to be siblings.

Fayt cast a strange look on Albel, but soon after he shrugged and went to fetch the hairbrush. It was not hard to find as the table was almost devoid of anything else. When Fayt turned for returning back to where Albel was sitting, he found that the older man was now sitting on the backless stool beside the unmade bed. Fayt blushed slightly at the sight of thoroughly messed bedlinen, but braved the embarrassment and walked to Albel's side. He considered his lover's new seat, but dismissed it as insignificant and offered the brush for the Elicoorian warrior.

Albel passingly glanced at the offered item before he turned his back to Fayt. It was the only sign of permission and Albel swore that if the Earthborn man did not get the hint, he would hit the boy with his claw. Hard. Lover or not. "My honored Mother had a long, blond hair with these strange reddish tips. So I inherited my hair mostly from her. That was something my honored Father often spoke of after her death", he told and stated the gray stonewall in front of him.

Fayt stared for a while Albel's turned back before he connected the dots. When his lover told him about his hair, he smiled in overwhelming feeling of trust and happiness. He warned Albel that it had been a long time since he had brushed someone else's hair and Albel should tell him, if he made mistakes. Albel just snorted uncaringly and Fayt really, really wanted to whack him with the hairbrush. But he refrained from being childish and begun to brush the long hair which Albel Nox had inherited from his mother and father.

The long, companionable silence stretched between the two men. Fayt concentrated on mastering the skill of brushing gently a very long hair which had been unbind when slept. He learned that it was impossible to do it without yanking the tangles and that Albel was familiarized by the fact very well. Albel stayed mostly quiet and deep in conceit.

"If Maria would really be your twin sister… Yes, I'd like to have her as my sister-in-law", Albel concluded abruptly. "I know that my father would've been ecstatic to have you as his son-in-law." He made vague sign with his hand. "You're good with your sword and quick witted", Albel explained. "And I hope", he continued turning to face his confused lover and looked deeply in to the green eyes, "that so would have my laudable mother."

Fayt was touched and moved by Albel's well-considered words. He knew that the taller man did not like to bring up his parents. His lover had loved – and still did – his parents very much and losing both of them so young had to be traumatizing experience even without the tragedy around the death of one Glou Nox.

Fayt cleared his throat and momentarily stopped his attempts to resume brushing Albel's hair as he wrapped his hands loosely around his lover's neck pressing his body against Albel. "I'm honored that you think so highly of me", he said his voice full of emotion. Fayt shivered when his lover slipped his hand under the white shirt and caressed the younger one's lower back while humming in understanding. "They sound wonderful parents. It's regrettable that they aren't no longer here with us", Fayt continued carefully, when Albel turned back to face the wall and stiffened at his words, "but I have you and that's all I can ask for."

Albel relaxed, when the even strokes of the brush resumed. "I don't think my venerable parents would be happy about the way I turned up." His words were completely blank and lacking any kind of emotion.

Fayt hummed thoughtfully and separated a tangle from the mass of the two-colored hair. "You regret being loyal and an excellent warrior, among the strongest of you homeland?"

Albel snorted. "Violent, unstable and unpredictable more so than loyal."

"You're 'the Wicked One' to your enemies and the enemies of you homeland", Fayt noted, set the brush on the bed and sank his fingers deep in to the fine, tangleless hair. "You're a nobleman", he continued and raised the tresses to his face, "who takes only one lover at the time, because you despise cheating and sleeping around." Fayt released Albel hair, when the Glyphian noble turned to see his face. He slid carefully to sit on his lover's knees wrapping his arms and legs around the strong form. "If you say that the honorable, faithful man, who embraced and loved me last night only exist inside these four walls of granite, I'll shed my clothing", he whispered into Albel ear, "lie down to that bed and spread my legs to you. I'll do my best to seduce you until you have no other thought or choice but to bury yourself so deeply, pleasurably into me that we won't be able ever to leave from this room." Fayt's breath was hot against Albel's skin and his body undulated lightly in desire, yearning for his lover's lustful touch.

Albel saw the resolve in Fayt's viridian eyes. And the desire. He was unable to answer that lustful call in his lover's eyes. Albel licked his lips and reached to nibble the younger male's lips. "That sounds like you want to have sex with me again… and as often as possible." He was not entirely opposed to the idea, but it had a fatal flaw. "You do realize that in reality that's impossible. And that we'd get bored in a year or two?"

Fayt laughed merrily at Albel's words and grinded their groins together. "Yeah, yeah. I know, I know, but I still could try to do it with you."

"And they call me insane…" Albel muttered. He craned his neck to kiss his lover passionately, firmly and ended the kiss before smacking Fayt on his buttocks with open palm. "Move your lazy ass. At first I thought that my parents had the better deal with their son-in-law than yours", he remarked, "but I'm not that sure any more", Albel mumbled to himself when Fayt stood up from his lap and he got to his feet.

Fayt's face darkened as his lover sauntered lazily, alluringly to take the white strips of cloth from the table so he could tie up his brushed hair. "Did you listen to a word, what I said?!" he demanded to know and crossed his arms on his chest irritably.

Albel stood in front of the tall mirror as he twisted the white sash around the other of the equally divided sections of his hair. His cardinal eyes met passingly the dark jade ones through the mirror surface. "Yes I did. I concluded that you're full of bullshit, Leingod."

"What?!" Fayt recognized immediately that he was subjected to the infamous 'Nox Logic'. "I am not!" His felt his blood pressure rising with an alarming rate. "I'm trying to explain-!"

"And therein lies the problem, if you ask of me", Albel groused ignoring Fayt's hissed correction that he was not asking Albel's opinion and his fingers nimbly covered the long hair with the fabric. "Blah, blah, explaining. All these 'what if' scenarios are nice and cute and whatever, but they aren't real. And I for one rather go on with our lives and actually see and experience, what will really happen."

Fayt was speechless for a moment. His arms dropped to his sides. "Oh! Well…" He scratched the back of his head a bit miffed that he could no longer be irritated to his lover. "When you put it like that…"

Albel was feeling smug and with the help of the mirror he observed his lover giving up and moving towards him. "As I've pointed out before, Fool: My way is the better way." He flung the first ready hair-tail over his shoulder triumphantly.

Fayt froze half way to Albel's side and his face took an incredulous look as he watched at his lover's self-satisfied face. A long, icy silence fell to the room as Fayt tried to stare down his overly smug lover. "Don't think that just because I love you, I won't kick your sorry ass at the first possible moment", he said his right eyebrow twitching warningly.

"Uuu", Albel sounded gleefully and finished the second hair-tail. "Foreplay already, Leingod?" he inquired turning around. He leaned against the tall mirror arms crossed over his chest.

Fayt's glare could have frozen entire Urssa Lava Caves – dragons and all – in seconds. "I hate you", he hissed as he stopped in front of his lover.

Albel burst in to an honestly amused laughter and leaned over to kiss his seething lover's lips. "I desire you", he said after the kiss and watched, how his lover tried to stay irritated with a little success. It was then, that Albel realized, how little had changed between them after the last night, becoming lovers and all the confessions. He straightened and watched closely his peeved lover, who was muttering to himself and most likely plotting for Albel's early demise.

Fayt sighed, let go of his irritation and stepped into Albel's warm embrace. "I love you", he reminded the older man, "even though you can be a total asshole."

Albel could only chuckle at his lover's quite true complaint. But he was not that interested in being an asshole, when he had this desirable blue-haired warrior in his arms. He hunted for the other's pale lips and as they kissed he decided that for the first time after his venerable father's death he was truly happy to be alive. He pulled away from the kiss so he could see his lover's face. "I desire you, Fayt Leingod."

A strange expression rose to Fayt's face and suddenly he was highly concentrated on something. "I'd like to test something", he said without any preamble, but for Albel's relief he did not pull away from their embrace either. "Of course only if that's alright with you?" His head bent interrogatively to the other side.

"You sure as Hell know, how to pick you moments to be weird, Leingod", Albel muttered under his breath and rolled his eyes.

"Hmm? Did you say something, Albel?" Fayt asked and looked disgustingly cute. Guys, who ruined Albel the Wicked's good buzz, should not look cute. And be his lover.

"It was nothing important", Albel evaded and observed, how his lover beamed back at him happily. "I'm alright with your test. What do you want me to do?" he asked and almost choked at Fayt's reaction to his favorable words. 19-year-old, lethal-with-swords males should not sparkle. There had to be a law against it somewhere in the vast universe.

Fayt smiled with a bashful edge in it. "Just hold me like this", he requested pressing his cheek against Albel's collarbone. "Everything else depends how things evolve."

Great. An experimental, never-before-tested thing from Fayt Leingod's questionably wired brain. Just… fucking perfect… At least it did not sound too bad – yet – to Albel. He fixed his hold around his lover's waist and placed his cheek to rest against the blue mop of hair. Albel's red eyes followed curiously as Fayt dug his communicator out of a pocket of his pants.

Fayt took the communicator into his hands and showed it clearly to Albel. "Do you know, what the main reason I use this apparatus is?" he asked seriously from Albel. He wanted to be extra sure that his lover knew, what was going on so the older man would not freak out. The look on Albel's face told Fayt that the taller warrior recognized the palm-sized device but did not know its exact function. "It has an inbuilt program which translates our spoken words in to languages we can understand." Fayt saw the understanding dawning in Albel's eyes. "I can't speak your language", he confessed feeling a bit silly, "and I would not understand your words without the help of this device and its programs."

Albel frowned in thought. "But you can read our books and write with our alphabets", he pointed out. "I've seen you even read and write the Aquarian language."

Fayt laughed self-mockingly. "To be able to read and write are separated from being able to speak and understand, what you are hearing." He shook his head in regret. "I can't pronounce a word of your native language, Albel, nor can I understand the spoken words." Fayt's eyes wandered momentarily around the room before they returned back to the small, metallic device in his hand. "It also goes vice versa", he told with a tiny voice.

Albel's eyes were enlarged. He had never really thought about, why he was able to communicate with his otherworldly travelling companions without any problem. After all it had taken years of studying before he had been able to communicate fluently with the Aquarian language. It was rather eye-opening revelation. Albel's ruby eyes fell on the small thingamajig on his lover's hand. "So if that gadget would broke…?" he asked in sudden horror.

"We wouldn't be able to communicate with each other", Fayt finished the sentence nodding firmly. His green eyes locked with Albel's and his anxiety was clear. "I want to learn to speak with you with you native tongue and without needing to rely on the communicator." His face was resolute.

Fayt's idea sounded good to Albel, but a little bit one-sided. He grinded his teeth and resigned himself for the pains of slowly learning a new language. "After this mess with 4D Universe is clear, we learn together", Albel said solemnly. "I want to learn to speak with the words of your native language."

Fayt had not expected Albel to share his secret wish that they both would learn each other's languages. He was able to convert his gratitude only by squeezing his lover's digits and kissing his still collarless throat. Fayt opened the lid of the communicator and showed unobstructedly to Albel, what he was doing. "I'm now turning the translating program off for a moment."

Albel did not want to admit it, but he was nervous. He was rather grateful that Fayt stayed safely in his arms. He saw the colorful lights of the gadget blinking and the small screen flashing with symbols Albel did not recognize, but from his lover's reactions he deducted that they had to be characters of the Earthen language. Then Fayt was looking at him and Albel wanted to ask if the translator was off, but he could not bring himself to speak.

"Albel?" Fayt asked if the older man was alright using only the name and the tone to convert his thoughts now that they did not have a common language to communicate with correct words.

Albel was slightly taken back the way his name sounded. The accent of Fayt's native language gave it rather exotic sound. It did not sound bad, just strange, but none the less it was still clearly Albel's name. He inhaled deeply. "Albel Nox", he said correcting gently the pronunciation of the letter L and the accent. He listened to his lover as the younger man repeated his name until he got it right and then looked at him expectantly. Albel hesitated for a moment. "Fayt Leingod", he pronounced carefully and watched in distress as his lover's eyes widened and his cheeks turned pinkish. Albel could only wonder, what kind of obscene phrase he had just said to his lover.

No-one had ever said Fayt's first name like his lover just had. He wondered how embarrassing it would be to have a hard-on merely from hearing his Elicoorian lover to speak his name. The way Albel said the name, reminded Fayt of having sex with the long-haired swordsman. The emphasis was exactly the same which Albel had used, when he had buried himself deep into Fayt's warm body. Fayt cleared his throat and from the way Albel was looking at him, he knew his face was flushed. "Fayt Leingod", he said correcting the pronunciation patiently just like Albel had done with him and just like him his lover repeated his name until he got it right. But for Fayt's charging – and secret enjoyment – the dark, velvety emphasis stayed in his name. Fayt prayed that it was solely Albel's quirk with his name, the extension of his feelings and not a universal tendency with everyone's name.

Albel was clearly making some mistakes with his lover's name, but for the death of him, he could not figure the mistake out. It could not be that bad mistake because the shorter male was not turning on his translator and explaining it to him. He watched his lover swallowing several times and wondered what Fayt was up to now. Then Albel realized the first time that he could protest as much as he wanted and Fayt would not understand a word. The thought upset him, but when he heard the worried tone as his lover said his name, he knew that there was no reason to worry. Albel kissed his lover's temple to signal that everything was fine and he could continue his testing. With fascination he watched and listened to his lover.

Fayt pointed himself and said a word, which Albel interpret meaning 'I'. When his lover touched Albel to the middle his chest and said a different word, which meaning the older man guessed being 'you'.

Albel nodded to relay his comprehension and went through the same steps to teach those two person-related words to his lover. He knew that they were not really studying or communicating, but plainly there was something his lover wanted to profess to him with his mother tongue and Albel was curious to find out, what it was.

Fayt inhaled and exhaled few times before he looked into Albel's eyes and said clearly three words.

Albel quickly decrypted the first word as 'I' and the last one as 'you'. But the middle one left him in total loss. Fayt seemed to understand his problem and repeated the three words again, but it did not help Albel. Suddenly Fayt reached out with his hands and brought Albel's mouth close to his. Albel's young lover whispered those three words again, kissed Albel with all of the emotion he had and after the kiss he repeated the words once again.

And Albel understood, what his lover was saying to him. Fayt was using his native language to tell Albel that he loved him.

Fayt observed, how Albel's eyes widened and his pupils dilated and he knew that his precious lover realized, what was said to him. The older man's lips moved to form a silent version of 'love'. It was kind of heartbreaking that as in its current language it meant nothing to Albel. 'Love' was just a word without real meaning or emotion to the Elicoorian Captain. So Fayt just watched his lover and waited the judgment for his trial. He raised the communicator in question, but Albel placed a hand over it and shook his head forbiddingly.

And Albel opened his mouth and said four words to Fayt.

Fayt knew, what they meant immediately. Not because he recognized all the words, but because the tone of voice his lover used. 'I desire you, Fayt.' Those were the words Fayt had wished to hear from his lover at his mother tongue. Not 'I love you', because Albel would never say it, but this clearly special 'desire'. So Fayt repeated the word over and over until he was sure he could not forget, how it was pronounced.

Fayt kissed Albel on the cheek as a thank-you and turned the translator back on. He met Albel's eyes without fear of embarrassment. "Thank you for allowing this nonsensical test to me. It means lot to me. I know it must've been really strange for you, but-"

"It wasn't that weird", Albel interrupted, "because you do lot of weird things. And most of them are way weirder one than this test." Fayt made a face and Albel squeezed his lover closer to his body. "Let's just hope that thingamajig of yours won't spontaneously break."

Fayt tilted his head and cast a puzzled look to Albel like he could not comprehend what was going on inside the older man's thoughts. "There's no reason to worry, Albel", he reassured his lover. "We have several spare ones back onboard the Diplo", Fayt reminded and smiled brightly.

Albel rolled his eyes in mild exasperation which often accompanied him, when he talked with the Earthborn youth. Rather uncharacteristically he was not really interested in picking a fight with his youthful lover even though the verbal disputes with Fayt often proved to be almost as entertaining as physical spars so he released the other male from his hold. Albel turned to pick up his shirt and pulled it on. He sat down to don his shoes and listened with half an ear the blue-haired youth to mutter very likely something less than flattering about the older swordsman under his breath. Albel hated it, when Fayt decided not to express his opinion on Albel or Albel's behavior out loud, but instead resorted on muttering nasty words which Albel never seemed quite hear entirely. Albel was almost perfectly sure that the Leingod son knew that it irritated Albel and did it on purpose.

Albel raised his head between the shoes and observed directly his lover, who behaved like everything was fine and dandy and Albel had never ever done anything that might have annoyed the green-eyed scholar. Albel decided that it had to be he lover's calm, pretty face, why the ridiculous idea even popped to his mind in the first place, because the malachite-eyed swordsman was just standing there the trousers and the once pure white shirt on, but no socks or shoes in his feet, like he had all the time in the world to waste away. Albel stopped everything, what he was doing, straightened and stared pointedly at his lover's – his lover, his – bare feet while frowning disapprovingly. Walking around the severe winter weather chilled stone floors of the Royal Castle of Airyglyph was not smart thing to do. At all. Albel had held this hope – which now seemed to disintegrate into thin air – that this youth – which he had taken as his sole lover – would show at least this much brainpower. But alas…

Albel sighted sufferingly. As you sow, so shall you reap. Albel's lover, Albel's problem.

Fayt glared viciously at Albel. "You carried me here without my shoes or socks, so this is not my fault. At. All", he pointed out bad-temperedly even though Albel had not said a word. "If my current problem is anyone's fault, my finger's pointing at you, Albel Nox", Fayt sneered and crossed his arms over his chest.

Albel blinked for a moment his mind numb. 'As you sow, so shall you reap' indeed, but not exactly in the way he had originally thought. He silently withdrew his earlier assertion about his lover's intelligence and reminded himself that Fayt Leingod could be as scalding as Albel when it was required. Rather pointedly Albel ignored his seething lover and concentrated more than needed on donning his other shoe on. He stood up, picked up the sword of Crimson Scourge and strapped it on its normal place at his side, but left his protective claws off. Eating with the claw was not very graceful affair because it severely restricted his left hand fingers range of movement. Albel glanced at Fayt and seeing that his lover was still boiling an unpleasant, unnerving smile twisted his lips gruesomely. "Want me to carry you back to your room?" he asked nauseatingly sweetly and stretched his arms above his head.

Expression on Fayt's face seemed to petrify for a moment from the shear horror, irritation and humiliation. Then it came clear that irritation won as an ugly, toothed sneer rose to his pale red lips. He made a rude gesture with his middle finger, which message was more along the lines of 'Go to Hell, Nox' rather than 'Fuck you, Nox' and he stormed out of Albel's room slamming the heavy, wooden door behind him so hard that Albel honestly expected it to fall apart.

Albel could hear a door-muffled scream of frustration of Fayt's. It sounded like the scream was filled with several unflattering names for the Elicoorian warrior. Albel was very self-satisfied and almost preened to the empty room. He definitely leered. Ah, the joys of having a strong and temperamental lover like Fayt Leingod. Albel was very pleased with himself until he saw the gloves Fayt had forgotten in his fury peeking from under a chair. The smile was wiped away from his lips and he suddenly remembered that Fayt had been wearing his gloves last night, while reading most likely because of the cold weather and freezing temperatures inside the Castle walls. In his – somewhat – righteous fury the Earthian warrior had not checked or remembered, what he was wearing now and what he had been wearing last night. Albel swore and dived at the pieces of clothing just as the second servant knocked timidly at his door to – most likely – deliver the second summons from the king Arzei.

Albel Nox could vow that he heard the Crimson Scourge laughing hysterically at him at the back of his mind. Suddenly the Captain of the Black Brigade remembered the saying that 'the payback is bitch'.


A day or so later Nel Zelpher found her comrade Fayt Leingod in a small, dusty and rather little used library in the mansion of the Lord of Kirlsa, Count Woltar reading studiously. She was surprised to find him there, because there were better libraries in the kingdom of Airyglyph. She quickly noted a dozen or so different, leather-bound domes on the table and the scraps of paper littering all flat surfaces filled with characters she guessed were the signs used in his native language. The youth was chewing the end of a pencil, his hair was in horrible disarray from threading his hands through it and his expression was one of ultimate frustration. He was muttering something under his breath as he furiously leafed through the books with the efficiency and swiftness of a person, a scholar who was used to handle books.

Nel stopped to the doorway and observed the young man silently. She still remembered, how surprised she had been, when she had seen him in the reading glasses at the Peterny Workshop. Back then the strange boy had looked in her eyes more mature and more innocent at the same time and she had thought that he really had to be an engineer from Greeton. Now she had used to the glasses even though the blue-haired youth did not use them that often and she had once asked about them from him. Fayt had explained to her that he needed them, when he was reading small or ambiguously written text or he would be suffering the rest of the day the headaches or in bad case of migraines.

Nel cleared her throat and Fayt raised his face quickly showing, how startled he was to find her there. She smiled at him as she was the ink and charcoal stains on his arms and face. Fayt looked adorable like that. "Sorry to bother you, when you're busy", she apologized smiling minutely as she stepped into the room. "May I inquire, what are you doing?"

Fayt smiled warmly at the red-haired woman and removed his glasses from his nose. "I'm just checking something that's been bothering me for some time now", he answered truthfully and gestured the Aquarian stealth expert to sit to the chair opposite of him.

Nel slid to sit on the chair and took one of the books to her hand. She checked its cover, slowly leafed through some of its pages and raised her eyebrow questioningly. "My, my… These are rather old dictionaries", she pointed out and carefully placed the ancient, valuable dome back to the table.

Fayt nodded at her. "Yeah, I know. I checked out at first the newer dictionaries, but the sage Osman, who was helping me out, told me that, what I was looking for could not be found in the new dictionaries." He shrugged his shoulders surprisingly belittlingly for the thought, how much work he would have to go through to find at least a few of those old books. "Lord Woltar happened to hear our conversation and offered me an access to his personal collection here in Kirlsa Mansion."

"So that's why we took this trip so suddenly", Nel commented and she sounded a bit disapproving.

Smiling cryptically Fayt put his glasses on and returned to read the same book he had been reading, when Nel had come in. "The access point to Gemity in the 4D-space is located near Kirlsa in the Kirlsa Hills", he reminded Nel gently without taking his eyes of the dome. "As it is, we're not doing any kind of detour."

Nel admitted that Fayt had a good argument on his side. But it seemed to her that the green-eyed scholar's research was not going anywhere fast. "This… 'thing' you're checking out… Maybe I could help you with it?" she suggested carefully. After all she did not really know, what Fayt was looking for and it could be too hard for her to help with. "That way you might find, what you're looking for quicker."

Fayt raised his eyes off the book and regarded Nel silently. "That sounds like a good idea", he said after thinking a while. He placed the dictionary to the table, intertwined his fingers and leaned forward. "How efficient you're at the Airyglyphian language?" Fayt asked observing the short-haired warrior.

Nel was slightly taken back by the blue-haired Earthlings question. If the young Earthborn had questions about the language they used in Airyglyph, why he did not pose those questions to the Wicked One? Fayt's face did not give any hints to Nel, what was going on inside his brain. "I'm fluent in it", she answered simply knowing, when asking more information would not help her to solve the situation.

Fayt nodded solemnly and grabbed his communicator from somewhere beneath the papers. He squeezed the smallish gadget in his hands like a lifeline. "I detected a… glitch in the translation program of the communicator", he explained slowly staring the slivery device in his hands. "It couldn't translate… correctly a certain word and now I'm looking for the meaning for that word." Fayt was talking calmly, but he was obviously antsy and angry at the failing piece of technology.

Because the young swordsman did not want to dwell on or explicate his behavior, Nel did not ask about, even though she wanted to. "Do you remember, how that word was pronounced?" she inquired without any high hopes. If the green-eyed boy had heard the once or twice it was very unlikely that that he could pronounce the word so that Nel might be able to recognize it. Curiously she watched as Fayt did something to his communicator, looked Nel in the eyes and opened his mouth.

To the Aquarian woman's shock the word, which came from Fayt's mouth, was perfectly pronounced and without any interference from the communicator. Not only the word was pronounced correctly, it also held a cadence with was typical for the Glyphians, who lived in the southern and the south-western area of the Kingdom of Airyglyph. The area, which the Wicked One and many of his closest officers in the Black Brigade hailed as their home fiefdom and was governed by the Nox Household. And the word itself amazed Nel and her expression most likely told that to Fayt.

Fayt looked at the violet-eyed woman with concern and said her name questioningly. When she did not react, Fayt said something else. He frowned and turned his attention momentarily back to the communicator.

Before this, Nel had never heard Fayt speaking a word in his native language. When she had become familiar with the concept of a gadget, which made them understand each other's languages, she had thought that their native tongues had to be very similar. Nel could not have been anymore wrong. The way the young Earthian spoke had been nothing like any Elicoorian languages Nel had heard.

"Nel?" Fayt asked anxiously. "Are you alright?"

Nel blinked and centered herself quickly. "I'm alright, Fayt, no need to worry", she convinced quickly. "I just…" She was at the loss of the words. "Where in the name of Apris did you hear that word?" she could not help but to ask. To Fayt hear such a rare word…

Fayt blushed strongly and casted his eyes down. "I don't want to talk about that", he mumbled and even his ears turned red. "Why are you asking?"

"It's just so rarely used word nowadays, that I didn't expect you to hear it anywhere any more", Nel explained taking a pity on the young man, whose blush was beginning to turn painful looking.

"Artificial?" Fayt asked frowning in displeasure. "From dead language?"

"No, not artificial or from dead language", Nel hurried to correct, "just old and rarely used in contemporary Airyglyphian language."

Fayt nodded thoughtfully and leaned backwards to recline against the back rest of the massive chair in which he sat. Patiently he set his hands on the arm rests, tilted his head and expected Nel to continue her explanation.

Nel was not sure, how she would be able to explain the somewhat complicated meaning of the word to her otherworldly friend with all the historical and cultural weight behind it. "'To desire' is originally a really old word. I think it goes back as far as to the era of the ancient Scholar-Warrior Kings ruled over the combined land area of Aquaria and Airyglyph." She thought for a moment. "It could be even older than that. I don't think that anyone really knows." Nel shrugged showing her uncertainty over the matter. "The Aquarian word 'to love' is traceable back to the word 'to desire'.' She licked her lips. "You might say that in my native language we have downgraded the original meaning of 'to desire'. In its meaning 'to desire' is a feeling above love. The meaning embraces and redefines person's entire existence." Nel's face turned grave. "'More than loving, more than needing, more than anything in this world you mean to me, you are everything'", she quoted from the well-known ancient text and averted her eyes from Fayt's stricken face.

"So that is 'to desire'", Fayt said softly an unreadable expression on his face.

"My goodness, lord Leingod, I did not know that you have been at the Granah Fiefdom."

Both Fayt's and Nel's heads whipped around to see the Lord of Kirsla, Count Woltar standing at the doorway.

"What do you mean, sir? I don't remember visiting any place called the Granah Fiefdom", Fayt said frowning lightly. "I remember passing through the Granah Hills to the training facility south of Kirlsa."

"Oh", lord Woltar sounded in surprise and stepped into the room closing the library door behind him. "The Granah Fiefdom lies approximately to the south-west-south of Kirlsa and my minor fiefdom around it." The old man sighed tired and sadly. "Unfortunately I am still honored with the title of the Lord Regent of Granah", he lamented and glanced at Fayt slyly. "That area if not that big fiefdom when it comes down to land area, but it is the most fertile and thus a very rich and influential fief."

Fayt relaxed back to his chair and gazed at the old lord searchingly. "You said that you're 'the Lord Regent of Granah'… Where's the real liege of the fiefdom?" he asked so bluntly that Nel almost chocked to her own spit. "Are they under-aged? Unfit to rule?" Fayt guessed.

Lord Woltar smiled sadly, so very, very sadly. "Glou Nox died many years ago and his only heir had shown only a little interest in the affairs of his fiefdom. He seems to think that for some reason it is the best for the Granah Fiefdom if I am ruling it instead of him." He was clearly bitter about the situation. "The people of the fiefdom want their rightful liege at the reins, not some 'usurper'."

Fayt's eyes widened and his mouth fell open. "Albel has a fiefdom? A rich fiefdom?" he accosted in disbelief and appeared very much dazed.

Lord Woltar seemed genuinely surprised. "You did not know, lord Leingod? That boy had not told you?"

Fayt slumped in his chair. "Did you know about this, Nel? I always wondered, why Albel seemed to have more influence than his position as the Captain of the Black Brigade should've given to him…" The rest of his thought disappointed into an incoherent mumble. His brows furrowed. "I'm going to kick his sorry ass."

Fayt's disgruntled and passionate declaration made lord Woltar to chuckle warmly and gently. "I thought that he had told you about his… assets, when I happened to hear you to ask the meaning of 'to desire' from lady Zelpher." He appeared to be sorry about something.

"What that word had to do with the Granah Fiefdom?" Fayt asked returning back to the topic.

Lord Woltar finally pulled out a chair from under the table and sat down sighing in relief. "The Granah Fiefdom has abundance of different sized ruins. Many of those ruins are from the era, when the Scholar-Warrior Kings ruled over the lands. The legacy of that past glory and culture are very strongly present in the Granah area. The ancient ways are indeed strong in there." The old man stared Fayt hard under his bush-like eyebrows. "Do not tell me that you have neverwondered Albel's choice of attire."(2)

Nel and Fayt glanced at each other before Nel spoke: "I used to wonder it, but during the war it became only a handy way to recognize the Wicked One and stay clear from his path." She waved her hand uncertainly. "The Granah Fiefdom's separated from Aquaria by the mountains and the sea. Our people have practically no direct contact with them. So honestly, I thought it was his personal quirk", she admitted and Fayt nodded agreeing with her.

Lord Woltar laughed heartily and deeply. "Oh no. That attire is a copy of the garments which the Scholar-Warrior Kings' personal guards used to wear and it is a tradition, which the current Granah area has honored for centuries. All the knights, who come from the Granah Fiefdom, have formal attire similar to Albel's. As the current leader of the Knighthood of the Granah, Albel Nox wears the formal clothing every day. The Nox Household is one of the few remaining noble households in Airyglyph which can be proved have being in the King's Guard in the past. The collar around Albel's neck symbolizes his unwavering and loyal servitude towards the giver of said collar. King Arzei gave that collar to Albel personally, when he was merely 15-years-old boy and in training to become a Granahian knight under the tutelage of his father Glou."

Nel and Fayt looked at the old nobleman thoughtfully.

Fayt sighed and it seemed that for a moment he turned inside. "Thank you for your time and knowledge, lord Woltar", Fayt commended and bowed his head deeply to the older, wiser man. He stood up and Nel followed the suit.

"Just a moment, lord Leingod", Count Woltar suddenly spoke out and prevented the young man leaving the room. "There is something else I need to talk with." He glanced at Nel. "In private, if possible."

Once again Nel and Fayt looked at each other, before the Aquarian woman left the library room after bowing deeply in respect to the Lord and Ruler of the Kirlsa Fiefdom of Airyglyph. The thick, wooden door shut soundly and soundlessly after her form passing the doorway.

Fayt stood staring at the door and waited for a moment to be sure the red-haired woman was gone. He had the feeling he really did not want to Nel to hear whatever lord Woltar wanted to speak with him. "What can I do for you, lord Woltar?" Fayt asked politely and sat back down to the same chair he had sit in before.

Lord Woltar straightened his back and posture and his dark eyes observed the blue-haired destroyer sharply, keenly and not missing a single detail. "Who is the man, who said those words to you, lord Leingod?" he demanded to know with the authority he had not shown ever before in front of Fayt.

"Excuse me?!" Fayt asked sharply and stared the old lord puzzled. "If I may inquire, from where does this question raise?"

"Lady Zelpher clearly did not understand the implication, but I certainly understand it", the old lord stressed watching like a hawk every move that the youth made. "The way you conjugated 'to desire' implied that a man had said it to another man. Who said it to you? Who taught to you, how to say it?" Count Woltar demanded answers again and he would be demanding them until the young man would cave. He was merciless at his attacks for the sake of the promise he had given to a friend.

Fayt was slightly taken aback by the intensity of the questions. He did not divert his eyes from the older and darker ones, but stayed silent analyzing the old Elicoorian man. Fayt repeated the questions in his head and came to conclusion that the old man did not care that a man had confessed to him. Lord Woltar was clearly more interested in the identity of Fayt's confessor and it was like he was trying to protect someone or something. Fayt's body relaxed and he leaned against the back rest of the chair. Lord Woltar did not seem too happy about his continued silence, but Fayt had agreed with Albel that they would not tell anyone until this mess with the 4D-space would be over. But Fayt could see the lord of Kirlsa appearing very distressed and sad under his authoritative demeanor. "I'm sorry, lord Woltar, but I can't tell you", Fayt said shaking his head regretting the anxiety the denial of the answer would cause to the old nobleman. "It was a promise we made to each other", he told and tried to figure out the way to tell while avoiding to say directly the name of a person he was talking about. "When the time is right I'll introduce him to you personally", Fayt promised and stood up.

Lord Woltar slumped in his chair. He had gone with a risky gamble and he had lost. He felt immense despair for his good friend's son, who so clearly to him was infatuated and almost smitten by this otherworldly youth whose friendship meant to that boy a lot.

"Lord Woltar… You must understand. Right now he's my lover in every meaning of the word. So I swear to you, that no matter what, I won't allow anything bad to happen to my lover's wicked spirit", Fayt said and not looking back at the old Glyphian he tilted his to the side as a goodbye. He pushed the door open and without looking back the departed.

In the old, dusty library Count Woltar, the Lord of the Kirlsa Fiefdom gave a small smile tainted with tears of joy and thanked the greater spirits of leading Fayt Leingod to the path of one Albel Nox.



Author's Note 2: ARG! Please somebody tell me, why I am constantly writing Glou Nox's name as 'Glow Nox'. Who the hell my brain thinks he is? Sir Glou 'the Blingbling' Nox?!

I am writing a kind of sequel for 'The Sentimental Feelings' as my NaNoWriMo-project… I was wondering, if you would be interested in seeing it posted on FFnet after I have finished 'The Sentimental Feelings'…? Tell me, what you think about the possibility of uploading it here. I am not sure, if I should bother you with it…

(1) The existence of genes was first suggested in late 19th century by Gregor Mendel, but he did not use the word 'gene'. 'Gene' and 'genetic' are from the early 1900s. The genetics are 20th century discovery.

(2) My question to you is the same: Have you never wondered Albel's outfit? I have. It makes no sense to me to dress like Albel in the climate like Airyglyph's: Fucking cold. Why, you might ask. My counter: Have you ever tried to stand or walk or do something outside only in your underwear or swimsuit, when there is -20oC or -30oC? I have. I assure it is painful. Fucking cold and shitty situation to be in swimsuit (I did this voluntarily). Why do you think that we Finns have saunas, where the temperature is between +80oC and +120oC? So we can get warm (and clean) after stunts like bathing in snow or water near freezing point. That is why. Otherwise it is called 'trying to get hypothermia'.

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