Title: 867-5309 Renji (For a Good Time Call)
Warnings: gratuitous swearing... oh gosh, I think there might be a little bit o' sap in this one too...
Spoilers: for the Zanpakuto Arc... (can you spoil for a filler?)
Summary: Renji is a part-time phone sex operator. Byakuya is a high powered CEO, all alone (mostly) in a foreign country... they cross lines.
A/N: Whew!... okay last chapter! Hope you guys enjoy it. Thanks to all of you who have followed this story, and were so encouraging!
Chapter 7 - Finale.
"Rukia, I need to head back home to take care of some business, personally."
She thought her brother looked annoyed. Must be the Board again... Only they would be able to pull him away from this project that was so close to completion. Lately he had seemed more relaxed, at ease; but not today.
"The grand opening for the Senbonzakura is scheduled in less than three months. The caterer chosen for the event has cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. Would you be able to find a replacement while I am away?"
"Yes, of course, Nii-sama. I'd be happy to take care of it. Leave it to me!"
"Ohhh..." Rukia flopped into one of the open seats at the redhead's kitchen table, "For the last two weeks I've been trying to find a caterer for the hotel's opening... and so far everyone's either booked, or I'm not interested in what they have to offer."
"Yeah?" Renji responded, while getting both himself and the brunette a beer out of the refrigerator, offering another one to the bodyguard shadowing the doorway, "what kind of food are you looking for?"
"The impossible..." Ichigo snorted, waving the beer away.
"Oh, you know.... something eclectic, un-ordinary; enigmatic... like Nii-sama. It needs to represent elegance and still be unique, and most of all it's got to taste good. I want something... oh I don't know... something..." she was grasping at straws, hands out in front waving through the air, unable to find the right words...
"Something that screams 'Byakuya'..." Ichigo chimed in for her.
Done that a few times already....
Renji smiled secretly, but instead replied, "You know its just food, right? Who're you trying to impress anyways?"
Rukia huffed. "Everybody who's anybody-- and their mother. It's the Big Show! The CEO's of the largest corporations... the investors in Kuchiki Industries… they're all attending this event." The brunette threw her arms out above her head in mock dismay.
She turned towards him, "You too, Renji. You'll have lots of exposure for your art with this event-- global exposure."
"Yeah?" the redhead perked up, "Cool."
"Pfft," Rukia snorted, "not simply 'cool' Renji... this could set you up for life. It's that big. Nii-sama's got connections that important."
"Awesome." The redhead responded calmly.
Rukia rolled her eyes.
"Hey," Renji's eyes alighting in inspiration, "I know just the person for you... let me give her a call!"
"Renji... did I wake you?" Obviously he had; the redhead's voice was nice and muzzily, like right after a night of hard fucking, where they were both struggling to stay awake... like that last night they'd had together.
"Mmm... Byakuya. I can't find a better thing than waking to the sound of your voice. Unless it's waking up wrapped around you," Renji responded sleepily. "Are you close to coming back soon?"
"No, unfortunately not. It is... quite messy over here. The Board will meet tomorrow, I will know more after that." Byakuya's voice too, was a little slurry. Renji could hear the swallowing of liquid refreshment flowing down the elegant throat. It sounded like it was not the first drink of the night either…damn, was it even nighttime over there?
"Renji..." the pause seemed to last a second longer than usual, "would you consider flying over here?"
"Huh?..." the redhead was wide awake suddenly. They had talked briefly of Byakuya's 'status' in his homeland, how every move the man made was almost front page news. Renji thought a male lover would probably turn the Kuchiki dynasty on it's head. "I'm not sure you'd want that in your current position, Byakuya. Rukia told me the Board is trying to oust you as CEO... something about not liking the direction you're taking the company in?"
Rukia.... "Yes, the current Board is composed of a few old men who guard their wealth like pimps guard their whores. They do not appreciate a change in business landscape, even if the change to the bottom line is minimal. Kuchiki Industries is set to become the leading charitable foundation focusing on improving the lives of orphans and bettering the environments they live in. It takes money to do that. Money that does not earn money in return. Charity, as it is defined."
"Yes. Although many of the Board members already do side with me, it may be an extended fight to force out the others who are attempting this coup." Another deep swallow was heard over the line, "In any event, I care not what others will say, I would prefer you with me than not."
"No one fucks with this Kuchiki," the bitterness in that whiskey smooth voice was a little disconcerting.
Now Renji knew that Byakuya had to have been a little drunk for that kind of outburst, and felt bad for the strain he must be under.
Still, he couldn't pass it up... "Well, I know a man who's fucked that Kuchiki," Renji dropped his voice into a sultry purr, Byakuya needed a lightening of his mood anyways, "...and that Kuchiki loved it."
Renji heard a dry snort and a quiet, if not slightly drunk, laughter... he grinned widely at achieving that response. Yes!
"My. My. You will keep me sane, after all." A deep sigh filled the line, as well as the sound of a glass being put down. "Well, if I cannot persuade you to come to me, at least talk to me Renji... if I cannot have your mouth on me, at least I can have your words..."
"You know I'd gladly fly over, Byakuya... to hell with gossips and jealous harpies on your Board or wherever they may be. As it is, I have a few outstanding commitments for a grand opening of a particularly lavish hotel coming up in a few weeks; and I really can't let down the commissioner of those pieces."
"... that would be the Senbonzakura?" A soft exhale whispered through his ear, "then it cannot be helped. Indulge me, Renji... with that wicked tongue of yours."
"Anything for you, Byakuya..."
It was close to midnight when Renji finally made it back into the apartment. He was excited and exhausted at the same time, having never felt more satisfied with the work he produced. He hoped Byakuya would be pleased was well, with the items he planned to present to the discerning CEO. When the fuck was he coming back, anyways?
Toeing off his shoes and heading for his room, Renji was surprised to see Ichigo sleeping on the couch with his head in Shuhei's lap, both men being watched by the television.
"Oi!" he muttered softly, nudging the man in his shoulder, "Don't you have a body to guard?"
"Huh?" Ichigo sat up suddenly, jarring Shuhei awake at the same time, "What?"
"I said, don't you have a job watching over a different brunette? What's it been, three nights this week already?"
Ichigo yawned loudly, stretching. "Yeah... she gave me the night off again. She's been hanging out with that caterer you introduced her to."
"Yeah, that one," Ichigo replied. "They hang out at her suite at the hotel together; Rukia knows that's the only way I can leave her. Geez, I've been around them a few times too..." the younger man scratched his head, "Who knew there was so much to say about things you stick in your mouth?"
Two sets of eyebrows rose at that observation; Renji let loose a soft laugh as his roommate raised his hand.
Taking up the too easy reply Shuhei chuckled, "There's a lot I can say about the stuff I put in my mouth, but with Renji here... " gesturing to the redhead with his thumb, "…I don't think you'd be comfortable with it out in the open like that."
Ichigo glared, fighting the flush creeping up his cheekbones…and ha! winning this time… "You're such a perv..."
"Don't you forget it..." Shuhei smugly replied.
"How would you have me?"
"On all fours… Renji."
The redhead's breath lodged in his throat; they hadn't progressed that far in their relationship… yet.
"Yeah?..." He couldn't help the breathiness of his response, nor the underlying excitement.
Byakuya had not been surprised by Renji's consequent admission that he would be the redhead's 'first' in every aspect of their 'quality time' together. The astute hotelier had already deduced that fact from their interaction in his office. Renji's inexperience with men didn't bother him in the slightest, quite the opposite, it made the redhead even more charming to the billionaire CEO.
And now, Byakuya was finding more than a bit of pleasure in seducing Renji through words; encouraging the outgoing redhead to participate in fantasy, to allow to sculptor to get used to the idea of a different kind of pleasure, to get caught up in anticipating… penetration. He wouldn't be insistent or result to pressuring the younger man by action; Byakuya wanted Renji to come to him willingly. He would tap into to Renji's uninhibited nature, assure the redhead of the pleasures Byakuya could wring out of his body.
"I want you in my bed, Renji. I want to run my tongue over every one of those sinful tattoos on your back, sink my teeth into the sensitive nape of your neck… I want to run my fingers through the hair at your scalp… and pull back on it until your neck is taut, where it is just shy of painful pleasure…"
The hypnotic timbre of Byakuya's voice washed into and through Renji's ears. He had the ear buds in tonight, upgrading from the headset so that he could hear the sensual purr inside his head. It was as if Byakuya was right there with him, right behind him… that if he could just lean back, he'd feel those hands on him. And fuck it all, if what Byakuya was saying wasn't turning his insides into a molten mess of hunger and untended to need. Renji moaned, wanting and deep, his hands moving on himself to the direction of the voice in his head.
Renji had never been in this position before; the idea of being submissive was totally foreign to him… but damn, if that voice in his head wasn't making him want it. The wicked pleasures being promised sent waves of lust coursing through him… he was being tempted by Byakuya's voice. It resonated within him, touching a part deep inside that wanted all that was being offered... because it was Byakuya.
"I am going to stroke your thigh as I lean down over you… I can feel you, thrumming with need… and I run my tongue up your spine..." a deep gratifying groan filled his head, echoing his very own into the empty room, "…you feel so good, Renji, your skin is on fire. I can only imagine how hot you burn on the inside."
"Byakuya…" the redhead swallowed shakily, his mouth open as he struggled for breath, "I- I want you… want you to…"
Too much… too much…. Renji visualized himself pinned to the bed, Byakuya kneeling, covering him from behind… and fuck...pushing into him…
With a high keening moan, Renji came in his hand harder than he ever had before… Just the thought of Byakuya doing those things to him triggered something so… so... damn!
"Oh hell, Byakuya..." Renji struggled to catch his breath, "... you're coming back soon, right? I gotta touch you."
He couldn't see it, but he felt the diminutive smile curve the pristine lips, " Yes, Renji..."
Renji looked up into the fierce countenance of the marble sculpture he had spent the last six months extracting out of it's stone prison. Tomorrow, he would be transferring the creature to the lobby of the Senbonzakura, and he felt both a surge of pride and a twinge of regret. He'd miss having the nue in his studio; it was like having someone protective around, watching over him and his stuff...
"I'll miss you, big guy..." Renji spoke to the statue, "but I know you're going to a better place. I hear there's a lot of classy big shots over there," the artist started chuckling, "… and you'll get to hob-nob with the beautiful people."
"I hear some of the 'big shots' are actually quite ugly..." came a soft droll response.
"Byakuya!" Renji turned, the brunet stood just inside the doorway of his studio. "You're back… I wasn't expecting you for another couple of days."
"I was able to conclude business in a more than timely fashion," he replied, walking over to where Renji stood, "I wanted to return here as soon as convenience allowed..." to you.It had been almost two months since he'd seen the busy CEO... they had barely started whatever they were doing together before he'd had to leave for his extended trip.
They had continued their relationship by telephone; it was easy, seeing as it was the way they had met in the first place. Back when they had first started, Renji was the seducer, it was his job to help Byakuya relax and unwind; but lately, the tables had turned. Byakuya was the one whispering dirty little thoughts into Renji's ear, encouraging him to voice guilty pleasure and dark wants… it was Byakuya promising to fulfill those pleasures… and Renji had found he wanted.
Now, for perhaps that same reason, Renji suddenly found himself feeling a little bit awkward, and tried to divert attention away from himself, if just for a minute.
"He's called Zabimaru," Renji introduced, focusing Byakuya on the mystic nue, "and he's going to be the landmark piece in the lobby of the Senbonzakura."
Byakuya looked up at the creature carved out from the marble, he was again impressed with Abarai's skill as an sculptor; the intense strength and inherent beauty of the nue was wondrously displayed. The fierce gaze that conveyed intelligence, the barreled chest and proud stance imbued with a barely-there restraint; and then there was the contrasting sinuous snake tail that appeared to have been frozen in mid-flight.
"He is magnificent... the Senbonzakura would be honored to have him."
Renji laughed a little self deprecatingly, "Well, I just hope he doesn't scare anyone away... Rukia insisted he be in the main lobby."
"He is as unique and beautiful as his creator, and deserves nothing less."
Renji could feel his face flush at the compliment, he had never been told he was beautiful... it brought to the forefront, again, what kind of relationship he actually had with the brunet.
Seemingly, Byakuya was done with pleasantries, as Renji suddenly found himself pushed back against the cool marble. Pocketed in the juncture of Zabimaru's shoulder and fore leg, the redhead was pinned chest to chest with Byakuya as soft lips pressed against his own.
"I have missed you..." the redhead barely registered hearing, before his own desires quickly rose to drown out his other senses. It had been silly of him to have shied away from Byakuya. One touch brought everything back into crystal clear focus. One touch; and it was like Byakuya had never left at all.
Byakuya seized Renji's mouth like someone starving, tasting him, drinking of him… like a man gone too long without sustenance. Their mouths and tongues met and moved together, blindly seeking the other to an ever increasing passion.
Byakuya made a low wanting sound, deep in his throat; Renji was surprised to hear a soft needy reply echo out of his own. He felt the crush of Byakuya's body press against him, felt fingers and hands find their way under his shirt to traverse bare skin… he shivered as he felt those fingers dip into the waistband of his jeans and rub at the sensitive skin over his hip bone, then they were expertly popping open the metal tabs at his fly. Renji had to bite back a whimper as that knowing hand found and extricated his hardening cock and began a mind-altering stroke.
Breaking away from Byakuya's mouth, Renji moaned, lowering his forehead to the brunet's shoulder, hot breaths expelling rapidly. He nipped at the arch of Byakuya's neck, eliciting a shiver; his tongue leading the way as he dipped into the hollow of his throat.
"Hah…" Renji panted, "… if you don't slow down, I'm gonna embarrass myself soon."
"It will be my pleasure to see you lose control…"
"Well then…" Renji replied conspiringly, "I just can't play all by myself here…" as he reached for the buckle of Byakuya's belt.
Before Byakuya's pants hit the floor, the brunet reached into a pocket and pulled out a small tube of lubricant.
"Oh fuck, Byakuya… you carrying that around is so damn hot, I don't even…"
The brilliant CEO merely smirked back at him.
Renji stopped the hand stroking at him; he pulled it away and twined their fingers together, giving himself a second to get his breath back. At Byakuya's curious look, Renji leaned down to meet those steel-grey eyes, "Hey, I've been thinking about this a lot… I want you to do me this time."
Surprise lit up the CEO's eyes, and Byakuya smiled; a gentle upward slope to his elegant mouth that liquefied the silver in his gaze. Grabbing the redhead around the neck, Byakuya kissed him with a dedication he had never experienced, as a spike of unexplainable contentment, hotter and sweeter than anything he had ever tasted rolled across his tongue.
"There is nothing I want more than you, Renji…" Byakuya breathed into his mouth, "but not tonight. I want to savor you for something special… and right now, my patience is at a near end."
At that, Renji gave him an unrepentant salacious grin.
Renji ended up lifting Byakuya onto his hips; long alabaster legs wrapping around the muscular waist. He turned them around so that Byakuya would have some leverage. The redhead hissed as Byakuya enclosed his cock in a lubricated fist, his hips pivoting into that hand bestowing heavy strokes; a delicate twist of the wrist nearly buckled his knees. Not to be outdone; Renji, too, prepped his partner. He stoked the fire with long, strong fingers until he had Byakuya humming and vibrating above him.
Then he shifted and slowly sheathed himself, groaning as he slid into Byakuya, his crimson head falling forward onto the brunet's shoulder. Renji pressed his open mouth against the wildly beating pulse at Byakuya's throat… and pushed himself deeper. He cried out quietly at the soft embrace sucking him in; losing his thoughts, his physical being… his heart. He gripped Byakuya's hips to hold him still so that he could grind and thrust into him, to give pleasure to the man who gave him so much in return.
Byakuya found himself biting at Renji's neck, at his shoulders… hands delved into and pulled at the wild ruby hair in reckless abandon. Delicious sounds were being expelled from the graceful throat; every plunge into his willing body wrenched another reflexive moan. Powerful hips and thighs rocked and lunged, as Renji used one arm to hold the brunet up and one arm to brace them both against the stone shoulder of Zabimaru.
The cold marble at Byakuya's back was a welcome contrast to the heat of the man burning him from within… he could feel it; the pressure building and building inside to an almost unbearable peak. This time... this time when he came undone, he wasn't sure he'd be able to put all the pieces of himself back together again. This redhead had gotten to him, had been able to breach past the barriers Byakuya had built to keep others at a distance. With Renji, those walls had been disassembled with ease.
His skin felt too tight, the heat was too stifling, he thought he couldn't take it anymore… he groaned, achingly… and heard a tender growl in response… and then his world exploded.
"Is it always going to be this good?"
A soft nuzzle at his throat made Byakuya smile.
"Congratulations, Byakuya. The Senbonzakura Kageyoshi is truly a Grand Hotel as its namesake implies."
"Thank you, Sosuke. Your company's contributions and embellishments have greatly facilitated in that endeavor."
"Well, I look forward to continuing our association with you, Byakuya," Sosuke smiled warmly.
Byakuya tipped his head in acknowledgement, "As do I." He saw a flash of orange in his periphery. "Excuse me, please," he murmured to his colleague, and moved in the direction of the familiar head of hair.
Four of them were all milling about the dessert table; Kurosaki, Rukia, the bubbly caterer, and as Byakuya remembered, the curiously tattooed roommate of Abarai's.
"Nii-sama!..." Rukia smiled up at him, "how are you enjoying the food?"
"It is aesthetically beautiful and equally delectable as well," he replied, glancing over at the blushing caterer, "Thank you for your arduous endeavors this evening."
"It was my pleasure, Mr. Kuchiki," the young woman gushed, "I'm so happy you are enjoying the hors d'oeuvres I've created. It's really been exciting for me to cater such an extravagant event… and Rukia has been such a great help! She's been so patient and understanding… and so encouraging to me to try new creations… and tasting them for me, too!" Orihime's eyes sparkled, grabbing Rukia's hand in hers in excitement as she spoke.
Rukia pinked, insecure at being the center of attention. She coughed into her tiny hand, the one not being held, and tried to change the subject, "Uh… anyone seen Renji?"
"Yeah," Shuhei smiled, pointing in the direction of the front part of the lobby, "He's holding center court with a handful of very fine looking ladies..." the brunet glanced over at Byakuya, "...and gentlemen as well. Looks like he's generating a lot of business for himself."
"The man is talented…" Ichigo nodded in agreement.
Byakuya let his eyes travel over the shoulders of the enormous marble beast staking a claim in his lobby; past that to hone in on the flicker of red just beyond, "…quite."
The Kuchiki strode across the magnificent room, filled with wealthy businessmen and women, clients, and the publicity reporters as well. Centuries of old money filled the grand foyer, along with the nouveau riche of software moguls and internet prodigies. Byakuya moved past all of them, his target -- a tall and ruggedly handsome orphan, gifted beyond measure… and all his.
Out of the corner of his eye, Renji saw Byakuya approaching… but instead of stopping, the errant CEO merely sent a sideward glance to the redhead and continued on towards the opposite end of the room. Smirking, a delighted spark ignited in the artist's amber eyes; taking his cue, Renji concluded his business with his future clients at hand.
He followed the path the brunet had taken. The lobby, entryway, grand foyer... whatever you wanted to call it, was almost the entire ground floor. Renji had lost sight of the hotelier, and had wandered into a different section, no less extravagant, but with a lot less people. He turned to head back, and finally saw the man off to the left, looking up at the water color Renji had done as a surprise gift courtesy of Rukia. They had showed it to him earlier, but it looked like Byakuya was studying it in detail, again.
Done in a traditional Japanese water color style, the picture featured a samurai warrior in full armoured regalia, standing beneath the canopy of a large sakura tree. The samurai stood proudly; it's helm held under one arm, his sheathed sword grasped in the hand of the other. His face was tipped up and angled to one side, his eyes were closed; it was done in three quarter profile, and the serenity and peaceful calm on the samurai's face was exquisite. Thousands of soft sakura petals filled the air around him and the earth beneath…
"This is beautiful, Renji." Byakiuya didn't think anything more could be said, words could not describe what he felt upon seeing this picture.
"Thank you," Renji replied quietly, as he slipped his hand into Byakuya's and squeezed lightly, "when Rukia requested a painting of 'something that embodies Nii-sama's true character', I honestly thought I was stumped. But after more than a few conversations with her and my own ideas about you, I came up with this guy. You embody the samurai spirit-- honor, respect, benevolence, rectitude, courage, honesty, and loyalty..."
A dry chuckle interrupted, "Do not put me up on a pedestal, Renji. I am an ordinary man. Fallible."
Renji turned so that they were facing each other, an impish smirk on his face, "Now don't be bursting my romantic bubble here; I'm taking a bit of artistic license." Then he leaned in to whisper seductively into Byakuya's ear, "… and don't worry, I don't want you standing on a pedestal, I want you naked and lying in my bed."
Byakuya's breath hitched… to hell with propriety… he had been watching Renji all day during this grand opening; unable by circumstance to touch the charismatic redhead. He'd had to watch as others fawned over the artist, shaking his hand in a more than business like manner, touching his shoulders, he even saw the looks (of both the men and the women!) that some of the bolder investors sent Renji's way. Needless to say, the CEO had not been pleased.
Byakuya tipped his head back and captured Renji's lips in a searing kiss. His lips tugged up a little as he realized he had caught Renji off guard, as the redhead stiffened beneath him, thinking Byakuya wouldn't kiss him out in public. Taking advantage of the compliant mouth, Byakuya's tongue laved at the plumped bottom lip before darting into the hot mouth for further domination. Byakuya wrapped his hand around the back of Renji's head to hold him in place as he tried to coax the redhead into a response with lips and teeth and tongue.
Renji was stunned. What was Byakuya doing? There were all kinds of people here… the press was here. It wasn't so much for his sake either, he didn't care in the slightest, he was a nobody. Byakuya was the one watched by too many people, by too many uptight Kuchiki Industry Board members.
Mmm... but that tongue was calling his out to play, and Renji liked to play. Breaking into a wide smile, Renji hummed in approval and finally got his mouth into the game.
"Oi! So there is entertainment in addition to all this food!"
A low growl emanated from a throat, Renji wasn't sure if it came from his own or Byakuya's.
When he turned four sets of eyes were headed their way. The set of violet ones way bigger than any other.
"Shuhei…" Renji threatened, "this is off the record for today's event, got that?"
"Dude, no worries… of course I won't put any of this in the article," a gleeful smile broke out on Hisagi's face, "… but geez Renji, you were kinda leaving the guy hanging there for a bit."
Renji sputtered, "…Hey! I was blindsided... and trying to hold back so assholes like you wouldn't get the wrong idea."
"Well, I hate to be the one to break it to you, but there was no other idea going on here…"
"Byakuya," Ichigo spoke up, "it looks like that guy over there may have gotten a picture of you two." The bodyguard thumbed in the direction of the main lobby, where a man with a press tag was hastily scribbling into his notebook. "You want me to get it back?"
"No, it is not necessary."
"Byakuya?..." Renji's concern for him apparent.
"I will not hide myself or you from the public, Renji. Who I socialize with does not change the businessman I am. If other companies decide that Kuchiki Industries is not who they want to affiliate with, based on that, it is fine by me," there was a steely edge to his voice. "Our portfolio will speak for itself."
"Damn, you are pushing all kinds of buttons for me with that voice..." Renji smiled, comforted to know Byakuya didn't want to hide them away, either.
"What about the Board?" Rukia had been quiet up to now, "Won't they try and cause you more trouble, you know how they are with 'appearances'."
"Really?..." she had to ask, curious as to why they'd finally leave him alone after all the incidences she'd been privy to for the last ten years. The Board had always tried to influence Byakuya's tenure as CEO, "Why not now?"
"Because as of two weeks ago, I am now the owner of 51% of Kuchiki Industries," Byakuya announced nonchalantly, only a imperceptable gleam in his platinum eyes indicated how satisfied he was with this outcome.
"Cool," Renji replied.
"Awesome," Ichigo agreed.
Rukia rolled her eyes at the overly subdued response for such a mind boggling accomplishment. She beamed happily at him, "Congratulations, Nii-sama!"
She glanced over at Orihime, standing happily at her side, and grabbed her hand again and smiled at her reassuringly as she stood in front of Byakuya, "Nii-sama, I know we only planned to stay until the grand opening of the Senbonzakura... but I would like to stay here longer, if that's okay."
Byakuya gazed at Rukia, appearing happy at finding friendship and perhaps a little more; at Ichigo looking relieved at Rukia's announcement, standing a little too close to that other brunet; and then at Renji giving his roommate a triumphant 'thumbs up'.
He was still a stickler for good manners, seeing as he hadn't yet introduced himself to the other guy, "Byakuya Kuchiki," he said, holding out his hand, "looks like we will be seeing a lot of each other in the near future."
"Shuhei Hisagi," the other replied, "... you are a very lucky man," he smiled, indicating the redhead as the subject.
"Indeed, I am." Byakuya did feel fortunate. He could feel the heat of Renji's body against his back. Reassuring and warm.
Renji leaned down to whisper into his ear, "I wouldn't have let you leave me, Byakuya. I'd have chained you to Zabimaru if I had to."
"I told you I would make time for us, Renji. I plan on fulfilling that promise," Byakuya replied; he reached back to slip his hand into Renji's, his heart taking flight as his palm was stroked by an affectionate thumb.
To say he was content was an understatement.
"I think we will both stay for a long while, Rukia."