Author's note: I wrote this entirely for myself, but feel free to enjoy it. I'm rather used to writing for Pharaun as I enjoy role playing him on LiveJournal, but I've not written Ryld before. Any help on characterization would be appreciated just as much as loving comments. It is my sincere hope that this will silence my Pharaun muse's desire for interaction with a Ryld at Taedium Vitae. If you want the full, porn-filled version of this, you can find it on AFF under the same title and author name.

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After leaving the comfort and relatively secrecy and safety of the baths, Pharaun thought it might be a good idea to get some rest before either Greyanna caught up to them, or they managed to successfully murder a patrol and were, in theory, whisked away by the boys they had invested so much time in searching for and uncovered the Prophet's master plan. Even the strongest of dark elves could go only so long without taking Reverie, and after spending several hours avoiding the hunt as well as the hunted in the Braeryn, Pharaun was more than ready for a bit of rest. Their bodies were clean now, and their muscles relaxed from the combined heat of the water and wine. With the excitement gone, the Master of Sorcere could feel the beginnings of fatigue creep around the buzz in his mind created from their—his, really, for it was difficult to convince Ryld to drink much so early in the day—early morning celebratory drinking. Thankfully, near to the baths was an inn that, while not particularly lavish, was not necessarily unpleasant. The wizard knew from experience that the staff there was rather good at keeping secrets for the right price, and the rooms were always comfortable.

So it was that Pharaun soon found himself enjoying the feeling of wrapping spider-silk sheets around his freshly scrubbed skin as he lounged on the only large Reverie couch in the last of the inn's vacant rooms. The decor in the room, though reasonably elegant, was refreshingly sparse as though the decorators had sought to avoid overloading the senses of their esteemed guests. After their long run through the Stenchstreets and the bombardment of unpleasant sights and even more unpleasant smells, Pharaun could not complain about the sudden scarcity of things upon which to gaze.

Letting out a dramatic sigh that cause Ryld to raise an eyebrow at him curiously, the Master of Sorcere closed his eyes and flopped back against the pillows, looking relaxed (at least by drow standards). "And I thought that long soak felt good. It feels as though I haven't properly stretched out to rest in a tenday!"

Ryld shook his head, watching Pharaun bask in the comfort of the warm, soft blankets. Pharaun caught the movement and raised an eyebrow. "Well, aren't you going to join me?"

With a sigh, the warrior shifted to stretch out on the sheets next to the smaller male. It had not been so much a request as a demand if the expectant look on Pharaun's face was anything to go by. If Ryld did not comply willingly, the mage would find a way to get him to do it anyway. At least the Reverie couch was not too fancy and overly comfortable. Certainly, it was less garish than the wizard's usual tastes, and that alone made it more bearable to Ryld.

"Oh, don't look so reluctant," Pharaun scolded. He gave Ryld a look of exasperation. "It's not as though I'm asking you to curl up in a bed of demanding high priestesses."

A fleeting look of horror and a shake of his head at the thought were the first responses Pharaun received for his efforts. "One high priestess at a time is more than enough. I can't—I don't want to—imagine what being in a bed full of them would be like."

"Exhausting, to say the least," Pharaun replied with a chuckle. The warmth emanating from Ryld felt good, and Pharaun absently shifted closer to him, to the heat of his naked skin. "I have never known a priestess—especially a high priestess, mind you—to be anything less than perfectly strict and controlling in bed. Imagine having to grovel to three or four of them makes me..."

The wizard let himself trail off as his alcohol-laden mind absently drifted back to the time he had been arrested for blasphemy. Being used against his will by eight vicious high priestesses—and some of them were not even the slightest bit good-looking—had hardly been an experience Pharaun would label as enjoyable even under the best of circumstances, which that was not. Next to him, Ryld waited patiently for Pharaun to continue. When it became clear by the look in his eye that the wizard was lost in his own thoughts, Ryld reached over and gently shook Pharaun's shoulder, hoping to bring his life-long companion back to reality. Suddenly, the smaller male looked up, startled out of his private memories by the warrior's warm touch.

"What is it?" Ryld asked, his neutral tone masking his curiosity at Pharaun's uncharacteristic slip into silence.

Pharaun gave him a cheerful smile, careful to not reveal any emotions with his face. The alcohol buzzing through his head made it difficult, but he felt he managed rather well, all thing considered.

"Oh," he said, "it's nothing."

"You stopped talking," Ryld pointed out. "In the middle of a sentence no less. It has to be something."

Pharaun added some more charm to his smile, even as his eyes hardened and the lines around the outside tightened, a silent warning to Ryld to drop it. "So I did."

The wizard's companion rolled his eyes, and Pharaun took the opportunity to look away. "I was merely contemplating my own past experiences with our lovely females." It was part of the truth, at least, and it could not hurt to throw Ryld a bone and share at least that much information.

Ryld grimaced a little, perhaps remembering a time or two of his own when he had been the unfortunate object of a female's lust. Pharaun reached out to pat Ryld's arm, missed the first time, and gracefully recovered and managed it on the second attempt. As his hand made contact with the other male's skin, he noticed that Ryld had still not removed his hand from Pharaun's shoulder. It was fuel on the fire of an idea that had been growing since the moment their clothes had started to come off in the public baths, and the alcohol only seemed to make it easier to think about. Perhaps now was a foolish time for such things, but the thought of sharing an embrace with Ryld instead of one of the city's princesses was a terribly tempting thought.

Pharaun had never been very good at resisting temptation when the benefits of giving in outweighed the results of resisting.

He gave in to it.

"Thankfully," he murmured as his fingers lightly caressed Ryld's arm as they had so many times before, "there are other options available in our great city."

The warrior, ever observant but skilled at being intentionally dense, snorted. "You're not suggesting we go buy and share a whore, are you?"

With some effort, Pharaun resisted the urge to smack his intentionally obtuse friend upside the head. Instead, he shifted closer in the bed to Ryld to make his point. The movement was a familiar one, something he had done on many occasions with the warrior before, and he knew that Ryld would recognize it for it was—an invitation to release and enjoyment. He pressed his lithe, graceful body against Ryld's harder, thicker form, and slid his fingers from the warrior's arm, up over his shoulder, to trace teasing circles on the back of Ryld's neck. The warrior closed his eyes and shivered slightly, and Pharaun smirked. He had Ryld right where he wanted him, and they both knew it.

"There are, after all, better, more... convenient options right here," Pharaun continued. His tone was low and sultry, his eyes lowered in an invitation that matched the press of his body.

Ryld sighed—to Pharaun, it sounded almost annoyed—but wrapped his arms around his companion anyway. "You're suggesting we lower our guard completely."

"We're already letting our guard down to take Reverie," Pharaun pointed out. "That's why I warded the room and you laid traps at the door, remember?"

"We should be resting for tomorrow."

"Why can't we rest after?"

"We'll be more vulnerable if we do--"

Ryld never got the chance to finish his sentence, for as he spoke, Pharaun rolled his eyes and pressed their lips together, effectively silencing the warrior. As he kissed the other male, he pressed his body completely against Ryld's and tangled their legs together. After a moment, he had to pull away for air.

"Oh, for Lloth's sake!" he breathed, hands already sliding everywhere over Ryld's dark, soft flesh. "Would you just stop complaining and just kiss me?"

After a moment, the Master of Melee-Magthere complied, crushing Pharaun to him as he slammed their lips back together.. The wizard trembled slightly under the force of the harsh, unrelenting kiss and his fellow instructor's firm grip. A quick shift of his weight, a graceful repositioning of limbs, and Ryld had Pharaun pinned beneath him. His weight kept his fellow instructor in place, though Pharaun would not have tried to squirm away even without it. This was, after all, more or less what he had asked for, and now he was determined to enjoy it.