Lucius was gone when Severus awoke, but he didn't let that spoil his mood. Everything was falling into place, and his life was, all of a sudden, with a few proclamations, under control. Severus even smiled to himself when he thought of the way Lucius had made him come with only a few strokes. He had embarrassed himself, yes, but Lucius hadn't been angry. And his hands had felt so good on Severus' skin. He could hardly believe how truly lucky he was for Lucius to even look at him twice, and felt a moment of doubt when he wondered what the older man even saw in him. But he pushed that thought away and got dressed in the best robes Lucius' money had paid for. He combed his hair neatly and secured it with a velvet tie, from Lucius of course. Even his shoes were a gift and gleamed with the promise of a new life.

The common room and halls were alive with excitement on graduation day, and Severus couldn't help but feel a little pride at having completed seven of the longest years of his life. Even a last minute, final assault on his person by way of Potter and Black could not dampen his spirits, and he retaliated half-heartedly, straightening himself and proceeding to the seats outside where the ceremony was being held. He had no guests on this day, and his allotted seats were given to none other than James Potter's extended family, a final rub of salt into Severus' barely healed wounds.

He took his assigned seat and nearly dozed off as the headmaster spoke of their new lives, goals fulfilled, and talents cultivated. He sneered at nearly every single name called out, growing more and more despondent as he thought of the injustices perpetrated upon him by the now-alumni of this school. When his name was called, only the families who had no knowledge of him clapped, and this polite accolade was nearly too much for Severus, and he wished he was back in his room alone. He strode up the stairs of the platform and met Dumbledore in the centre. He was handed a diploma and his hand was summarily shaken. Dumbledore did not speak to him, only nodded gravely with something akin to respect. Severus was surprised at this look, but it was quickly replaced by twinkling mischief and Severus rolled his eyes. He strode offstage, ready to walk away, not sit back down for the rest of the names, when he saw Lucius standing at the bottom of the platform's stairs and off to the right. He was grinning widely and clapping softly and slowly with delight.

Severus again found himself unable to contain his grin as he walked to Lucius. He extended his hand for a greeting, but Lucius bypassed it and pulled him into a hug. "I'm so proud of you, little snake." Lucius held him for a moment longer than was proper, and placed his arm around his shoulders, guiding him far from the ceremony. When they reached the Apparition barrier, Lucius held Severus tightly and Apparated them both.

Severus blinked to find himself in Lucius' house—not the Manor, which would not belong to Lucius until Abraxas granted it to him—but Lucius' marital home. It was smaller but no less grand, and Severus felt dirty and insignificant next to the exquisite features of the home.

"Narcissa is at her sister's getting ready for the party tonight. I told her I would make an appearance later tonight, but I think I can be convinced to stay behind." Lucius grinned wickedly, and led Severus up the marble staircase, opening the door to the most opulent bedroom he had ever seen.

It was done in light grey, dark green and black, and looked foreboding in its massiveness. The bed was the centre feature of the room and stood on a dais, its large mahogany columns extending to the ceiling. The bedspread was black and adorned with pillows of varying shapes and shades of green. Lucius strode past him and jumped into the bed, settling himself on his back in the middle, with his hands behind his head and his ankles crossed.

"Come here," Lucius demanded authoritatively. Severus obeyed and moved to the side of the bed, not wanting to crease the bedding by sitting on it.

Lucius looked at him with a small smirk and said, "Get on the bed and sit beside me." His eyes closed and his voice left no room for argument. Severus climbed somewhat ungracefully onto the bed and knelt beside Lucius' prone form. Without opening his eyes, Lucius reached his hands out to Severus' hips and guided him so that Severus was straddling him, a leg bent on either side of him and sitting directly over his groin. Lucius smiled at the contact and pressed himself slightly up from the bed into Severus' behind, his hands still on those slight hips. Severus bit his lip and held back a whimper when he felt Lucius was hard beneath him.

Lucius opened his eyes and found Severus watching him, a curious expression on his face. Lucius smiled and reached up to stroke Severus' cheek. He leaned into the embrace and closed his eyes as Lucius petted his hair and ran his hand down over his chest, resting finally on his thigh.

"Severus, I need you to tell me something right now. I need to know if you will let me be your master. I promise I will take care of you and protect you. I care about you greatly. Every man has a master; few get to choose theirs." He looked solemnly into Severus' eyes and saw he was transfixed. He desperately needed Severus to officially accept his domination, for reasons he couldn't even begin to explore.

Severus drew a deep breath and said, "I choose you as my master, right now and forever." His words were spoken quietly but with force, and his face was unshuttered and earnest.

Lucius failed to quell his smile, and said only, "Thank you." Severus nodded in response and whispered the same words back.

Lucius grabbed the back of Severus' head and drew him down so he was lying against his chest. He took Severus' lips with a gentleness that belied his passion, and Severus accepted every part of the kiss. Lucius moved his lips slowly, slanting his head to deepen the kiss. He teased Severus' tongue and nibbled his lip gently before biting sharply and laving the hurt with his tongue. Severus' body quivered at the bite, and Lucius took his shoulders and guided him onto his back. He attacked Severus' neck and throat with his mouth, not bothering to sooth the bites he left, drawing flesh into his mouth and worrying it with his teeth. Severus moaned and writhed beneath him, looking for all the world like a complete wanton.

Lucius had them both undressed in minutes, and held Severus' wrists in his hands, holding them firmly on the bed beside Severus' head. He moved his mouth to Severus' chest, nipping and licking his nipples until Severus groaned and bucked his hips. Smiling, Lucius let go of his hands, but they stayed where they were placed. What a good little follower, Lucius thought. He kissed and suckled the inside of Severus' thighs, ghosting over his cock but never quite touching it.

Lucius knelt between Severus' legs and aligned his body against the smaller man's. Their cocks pressed together and both gasped at the contact, a spark flying between their bodies as Lucius' mouth crashed down against Severus' once more.

Severus could scarcely believe that this god of a man deigned to kiss him, that this personification of perfection was rubbing himself against his own scrawny form. He tried not to think about how little he deserved this, and concentrated on the rightness of what he was feeling.

Lucius moaned and pressed Severus harder into the bed, his actions becoming more aggressive as his desire took over. Severus pressed his eyes closed tightly and tried to stop his orgasm from escaping him again, like it had last time, but Lucius' noises were going straight to his balls and he whispered, "Lucius, please… I'm going to—"

Lucius immediately halted his motions, his breath coming shakily; sweat beading on his forehead from the effort to stop. He raised his body above Severus', still atop him but without touching, and kissed him gently. This kiss was different from the others because it was intended to calm, not incite. Lucius kept his tongue in his mouth and avoided Severus' efforts to draw it out with his own. He pressed gentle, close-mouthed kisses all over Severus' face, and worshipped him with kindness. Severus could feel the emotion behind the kisses and reciprocated, his hands lightly touching Lucius' back and chest, instinctively knowing that he was to avoid all erotic places so their bodies would calm.

Finally, Lucius let the heat in the kiss build up again, and rested his weight to the side of Severus, his thigh between Severus' legs. Lucius raised Severus' leg that wasn't trapped beneath his to a bending position and pushed it to the side. Severus was now exposed to him. While trapping his mouth beneath his, Lucius ran his fingertips between Severus' cleft and gently prodded his back entrance with the pad of his index finger. Severus moaned and Lucius swallowed it greedily, wanting more. He broke the kiss to murmur a lubrication spell and slid his finger into Severus slowly, twisting gently and sinking deeper. Severus was breathing heavily and Lucius moved to his neck, kissing softly, and then nipping firmly as Severus accepted a second finger.

When Lucius' fingers brushed against something inside him, Severus felt his whole body come alive with ecstasy. Lucius looked at him knowingly and brushed against his prostate again and again, drawing louder and harsher moans from his young lover. He scissored his fingers, stretching the younger man, not wanting to hurt him if he didn't have to. Finally, Lucius removed his fingers and settled between Severus' spread thighs, positioning himself at Severus' entrance. Severus looked slightly nervous but wildly excited, and Lucius kissed his lips softly, before pressing himself against Severus' body. He could sense the younger man willing himself to relax, and Lucius moved persistently until he felt the muscles give slightly and he thrust in, pulling out slightly before pushing harder until he was firmly ensconced in Severus' body.

Severus' eyes were closed and his face was impassive. Lucius needed to see his passion, so he demanded Severus to open his eyes. He did immediately, and Lucius was relieved to see a mad lust that nearly made him come from the sight alone. Severus' hands were moving up and down Lucius' back as they lay unmoving, and finally to his buttocks, where he pulled Lucius closer to him, desperate to get him to move.

Finally, Lucius did, gently at first but then with more passion, his movements becoming less rhythmic and more desperate as he thrust into Severus' willing body, both men crying out at the sensations. Lucius held the back of Severus' head with one hand, and the back of his knee with another, forcing Severus to look at him as he pounded into his body. He knew Severus must be sore from this but he couldn't, wouldn't, slow down. He pulled Severus' leg higher and his cock slid directly past Severus' prostate, causing him to shout out incoherently. His body moved in time with Lucius' and he could feel his orgasm coming quickly.

This time, he would ask.

"Lucius, can I come? Please, sir," his voice was shaky and quiet but Lucius looked so very pleased with him, and he was so glad he asked.

"Yes, Severus, my little snake. Come for me, now!" The vibrations from his words brought Severus over the edge finally and he shouted his completion, stiffening and losing his breath as his vision blurred and he had to close his eyes. He continued to make soft, mewling noises as Lucius pounded into his body, crying out as he poured himself into Severus' willing body for what seemed like an eon, his breath coming rapidly and his hair damp and stuck to his forehead.

They stayed together like that for a long time, Lucius slipping from Severus' body but not moving. Finally, Lucius rolled onto his side and pulled Severus with him, rubbing his back and kissing his face. Severus was barely able to believe how good Lucius made him feel, and tried to show him by kissing him rapidly and desperately, moaning and nearly crying his thanks. Lucius calmed him with soft kisses to his lips and throat and finally, the two men fell asleep in a tight embrace.

When Severus awoke a few hours later, he saw Lucius looking at him. He tried to smile, but felt worried at the apprehension in the blond's eyes.

"What's wrong?" Severus' voice was calm but his insides were in turmoil. Of course, he'd done something wrong! It couldn't have felt as good for Lucius as it did for him. Severus cringed when he thought of how needy he must have sounded, begging to come like a whore. He closed his eyes against Lucius' scrutiny and waited for the inevitable.

Lucius' hand rested on Severus' cheek, and he kissed him tenderly, then bruisingly, trying to own Severus with his mouth, not releasing him until he was satisfied.

"Nothing is wrong, little snake. Everything is just fine, just like I promised," he hesitated, knowing this wasn't the right time for this, but aware that their time together might be coming to a close for the evening. Severus looked right through him, knowing Lucius had more to say, and silently begging him to get on with it.

Lucius plunged ahead. "The man you'll be working for, Tom Riddle, is a very charismatic, strong man. He is like me in that he likes to be in control," Lucius paused here to make sure Severus knew exactly what he meant by this, and Severus did, so he continued, "He may want you to… follow him."

Severus looked surprised when he realized what Lucius was implying. He would never give himself to anyone else, ever! What was happening here?

"Calm down for a second, for Merlin's sake," Lucius snapped, annoyed. "I'm not saying for you to submit to him or anything. Just don't… piss him off. He is very particular, and likes his followers to be humble. Do you understand what I'm saying?"

Severus thought so, and said as much. Lucius nodded. "Good. Do what he asks, and we will all get along just fine." He smiled reassuringly and Severus looked placated.

They lounged about for a while, and were just deciding to get dressed when Narcissa Floo called to say she was staying with her sisters and would be back tomorrow afternoon. Lucius acted disappointed, and Severus' stomach clenched when he heard his lover end the conversation with an, "I love you, too." It's just for show, he told himself, pressing back into the bed, and cursing himself for being so weak.

"We have the night all to ourselves, lover," Lucius teased Severus, and crawled back into bed. "Let's use our time wisely and go to sleep." Severus was disappointed to not be granted more of what they had just shared, but he comforted himself by saying there would be many more instances for that.

Lucius kissed him goodnight, and Severus revelled in the domestic feel of this situation. He immediately knew he would be begging Lucius to spend as many nights as possible with him once he had his own home. He rested contentedly against Lucius' shoulder, resting his palm flat on his broad chest, and sighed. Lucius' arms wrapped around him and held him firmly.

Both men fell asleep, feeling that for the first time in their lives that everything was exactly as it should be.

When Severus awoke the next morning, feeling completely sated and whole, he stretched out in the massive bed and writhed in the silk sheets like a cat. Unused to such comforts, he rubbed himself on the bed and practically purred his contentment. When he stilled, he heard voices coming from down the hall. It sounded like two men, and he could hear Lucius deferring to him, which he only did to those he respected. It must be Severus' new boss. He quickly got up and dressed in yesterday's clothing, grateful that it looked to be unwrinkled and clean.

He was just fastening the last button on his coat when Lucius walked in, a wide grin and look of pride on his face. He crossed the floor to Severus and took his shoulders gently in his hands, caressing his arms and finally taking Severus' hands in his.

"Come. There is someone I want you to meet."