So, here's the last chapter of this story, folks. It's, um, a lot hotter than the other chapters (at least to me), so you need to be of a mature age or mentality to read this. And no bashing reviews... It's Irial's POV again. I might write another story dealing with these two and other events of RS, but that's not certain since I'm still focused on my other story, Darkest Demise. Anyhow, I don't own Wicked Lovely or any of these characters, Melissa Marr does, but I love writing with them. Thanks for all of the great reviews guys. And I'd appreciate it if you review for this one too so... review please.

Irial was reading a book to keep his mind off of Niall. Books took his mind to places unexplored, to the lives of others whose feelings were more joyful than his own. Books provided an escape, and his current book, a romance novel, gave him a glimpse of a happy relationship that was not his. The heroine, a stoic redhead longing for love, captures the attention of a man who unleashes her deeper emotions. Of course they fall in love. Irial found that the redhead reminded him of the Queen of Reason, Sorcha, unwilling to exploit her emotions for the sake of feeling.

Unless I exploit them for her, he thought with a smirk.

Irial knew that the book itself wasn't a masterpiece- far from what he preferred to read- yet he was strangely content with its clichés and lack of depth.

Gah! he thought. Have I been reduced to reading trash because of my infatuation with Niall?

To ensure that he wasn't, Irial closed the book shut and sat staring at the fireplace. The sofa was warming from the crackling sandalwood in the hearth, yet Irial remained cold. He couldn't get his mind off of Niall or over what his King had told him before he left. Niall seemed to not mind that they had sex only on occasion, but Irial did. Niall seemed to mind if they did or didn't feel an emotional connection, but Irial did not.

When Irial invited Niall to his room that first night, he had no intention of obsessing over his King the way he was. Yes, admittedly he'd wanted to claim Niall as he had long ago, and yes he had been highly aroused, but the flame that engulfed him as their bodies met was totally unexpected. It was as if spending 1,200 passionless years without his Gancanagh had finally taken its toll, and now all he could do was obsess over the short-lived passion they shared.

Irial considered reading his romance novel again to take his mind from the consequences of his rash actions, but stopped short when Gabriel silently came to stand beside him.

When Irial's surprised eyes met Gabriel's gaze, the Hound plopped down on the suede couch beside his former King. For a moment there were no words spoken between them, just the sound of fire logs burning in the flame of the hearth, then Gabriel said, "You should talk to Niall again."

Irial met his gaze from the corner of his eyes, his lips pursed. Again? How was he aware of the first conversation we had? What else had he seen? Heard?

"Were you spying on my King and I?"

"Not spying, but I overheard some things. And I think you should talk again."

Irial's voice came out low, with an edge of menace. "Do you really want to discuss this, Gabriel?"

Gabe shrugged an said, "I just noticed how melancholic you've been lately. And I know that your… er, issues with Niall are the reason." He paused briefly and continued, "Mayhaps speaking to him again will change his mind."

Irial met his direct gaze and said, "And you've come to counsel me on relationships, Gabe?"

Gabriel allowed the bristling tone in Irial's voice to ride over him as he said, "I do know one thing: I've watched the two of you deny feelings for each other for far too long. Something needs to happen, or the two of you'll live in this house in misery."

Without saying much else Gabriel stood up, grumbled something, and left Irial alone in the living room looking much too guilty.

Irial dragged his gaze away from the fire and stood up, leaving the book behind. He was in no mood to read or speak for that matter. Approaching the door to his bedroom, Irial stopped when he felt his feet crunch on a piece of paper at the foot of the door. As he unwrinkled the paper, it read:

"My room. 7:00."

That was it. The handwriting didn't immediately strike him as Niall's, but it didn't seem like it couldn't be Niall's either. Feeling conflicted, Irial folded the piece of paper and hid it in his pocket for safe keepings. Could the letter be any less descriptive?

He believed that Niall was the author of the note, but it was so vague that he was working only on assumptions. Gods, he noticed, it'll be 7:00 in a half hour. It was short notice for such a short note, but Irial decided that if this indeed wasn't a practical joke, and if indeed there was even the slightest chance Niall would be waiting for him when he arrived, he would look his best and be punctual.

Entering his room, Irial chose a silk vest that buttoned up the front. With a wicked grin, Irial left the last three buttons at the top of the vest unfastened, revealing several of his tattoos and the new piercing he got on his left nipple. Running his fingers along the black torque on his throat, he then chose charcoal colored trousers that fit snug on his waist. He'd chosen against shoes, since he was in his own house, and instead focused on styling his hair in the lazy way he always wore it, short, layered, and messy.

When he looked at his watch, it was only 6:55, but he didn't see any reason not to come early. He left the room, keeping the note crumbled in his pants pocket, and sought out Niall's bedroom.

It was quiet when he arrived, but based on the note he was given, Irial hadn't bothered to knock first before entering his King's chambers. He crept in with stealth far beyond the capabilities of someone no longer the Dark King and looked around the quiet bedroom. There was no one in sight, but Niall's bed was made, the black throw pillows fluffed invitingly.

Then confusion settled in as Irial took in the solitude. Irial thought back to the note. Surely this isn't a mistake, he thought, beginning to worry. Then he heard the gentle sound of splashing water coming from the bathroom and approached the sound. The closer he got to the sound of water, the more exotic smells filled his nose; fragrant oils, spice, and rose petals, the faint smell of the scented candles he favored so much. Cinnamon.

Irial followed the delectable scent to the two ornate wooden doors that matched that of the room's closets. Irial slowly slid open one door and stepped into the room so as not to make a sound. The floors were black marble, and the domed ceiling was a stark white like the walls. Candles adorned most of the crevices of the room, casting a warm glow on the walls and floor. The vast marble bathtub sat amidst the candles and Irial now remembered sharing it with Niall many times in the past. It too was as dark as the floor.

In the tub sat Niall, who was reclining with his arms on the sides of the tub, his head resting delicately on the edge of it. His eyes were closed, which relieved Irial, and Niall's brown hair, damp with water, fell softly to his shoulders. The candles cast an angelic glow to his fey-pretty face, and Irial stilled.

Irial stood there for a long moment, admiring his Gancanagh- and King.

Then Niall's eyes opened as he sensed Irial's presence, and he froze. Irial could see words working at the muscles in his throat, but nothing came out. Niall swallowed and finally said, "What are you doing here?"

Irial smiled in spite of himself. Niall didn't tell him to leave yet, which meant that he might be staying, and what pleased him even more was that Niall didn't bother trying to cover his prone body from Irial's eager eyes.

Irial's smile became a smirk as he said, "I could ask you the same, but I won't. I received a note implying that I meet you here."

Niall's looked suspicious as he arched a brow. "Implying?"

"It didn't actually say that you wrote it, but-" Irial stopped himself and reached for the paper in his pocket. Irial read the note aloud to his King in time to hear him say, "I did not write the note."

Irial was stunned. Is this a joke of some sort? His throat was caught on a response that failed to make sense. All he could manage was, "Oh."

When Niall didn't give him a reply to such a taciturn statement, Irial bowed to his King and turned toward the door, feeling somewhat mortified. He was foolish to have believed that Niall would accept his affection after their conversation yesterday. "I'm sorry to have disturbed you, Niall."

Irial's hands clutched the door handles before hearing Niall's melodic voice. His actions were quickly terminated by a commanding, "Halt."

Irial stopped where he was standing, curiously spinning around to meet his King's gaze. Niall looked positively in control even sitting in the tub, his eyes unwavering as they bored into Irial's. Like a king.

"Is there something wrong, My King?" Irial asked innocently with a grin.

Niall grinned back, but allowed the silence to stretch on indefinitely. Finally he said, "Only that you have too many clothes on for my taste."

The comment was so direct that Irial could feel the desire washing through him and through Niall, who was staring at him hungrily.

Watching Irial very carefully, Niall wet his full lips, and then issued his next command. "Remove your shirt first. Slowly."

Irial was enjoying this game, even if it was a bit too slow for his liking. With somewhat shaky fingers, Irial unbuttoned the rest of his vest, sliding it off his shoulders with slow deliberation, watching Niall watching him.

Absently, he ran a finger from the crest to one nipple to his abdomen, stopping at the barrier of his pants. Niall's eyes followed his finger slowly before his King said, "Close your eyes."

Irial did as he was told, although he was tempted to peek. When he heard Niall get out of the tub, it strained his arousal further in his pants, and Niall chuckled.

Then Irial sensed him very close to his body. So close that Niall was running his fingers along Irial's spine, moving them back to his chest, where his thumbs gently stroked his nipples. Irial held back a moan.

Niall's lips met his then, starting with a warm, chaste kiss and transforming into a tangled mesh of mouths as his tongue was introduced. Irial could feel Niall's hands slipping further down his body as they kissed, until finally, Niall's hands were on Irial's ass, holding him tighter as Irial let out a pleasurable sound.

By then, Irial was beyond aroused, his hands flying blindly to the zipper of his trousers, his lips tasting Niall's fervently. Niall caught his hands and whispered, "Not yet, Irial", and resumed sucking his lower lip.

Instead, Niall kissed Irial's throat, licking a line down his chest and encircling his nipples- suckling the one that was pierced with a slow, deliberate motion- and then made a beeline down into the "v" of his abdomen. Niall hands fingered the zipper of Irial's pants, where he cupped Irial with one hand as he unzipped the trousers with the other.

Irial's eyes were wide as he watched his King kneel and roughly tug his pants down with a hunger in his eyes.

Niall glanced up at him then, smirking, and said, "No underwear. Oh, Irial, you must have been expecting more than just a meeting…" His word trailed off as he nipped at Irial's throbbing manhood, gently sucking until Irial grabbed a fistful of Niall's still wet hair. Niall interchanged between licking in slow circles to squeezing gently with his mouth. Irial could barely stand as he felt Niall take more of him, feeling the warm, damp cavity of his Gancanagh's throat more than too much for him to bear. When he felt that his knees would buckle beneath him, Niall grabbed his hips and pushed him against the nearest marble wall with a strength that said a lot and did a lot to Irial's hard member.

Irial, leaning on the wall for support, moaned, fisting his hand into Niall's hair more than he thought possible, absently rocking his hips in tempo to the way Niall moved his mouth.

A foul curse escaped his lips as Niall moaned with him, moving his lips in a vibration that sent all the blood in Irial's brain to one part of his body. With Niall's hands trailing along his bottom and the wetness of Niall's mouth, Irial couldn't suppress the cry he let out as he came. His eyes closed as his body shuddered from the aftershocks, and his grip released on Niall's hair.

Managing a slump on the cool wall, Irial enjoyed opening his eyes to see Niall's swollen lips kissing up his over-heated body, making his way to Irial's lips. They kissed again in a fit of passion, Irial stepping delicately out of his pants in order to tighten his arms around Niall, subconsciously backing him toward the huge marble tub. Niall nipped at Irial's lips, even biting one with his teeth, and Irial groaned. Grinding his hips into his King's evident erection emitted a low moan from Niall that promised Irial more nights filled with lovemaking.

Feeling the need to hear more of Niall's mewls, Irial lightly kissed the scar on Niall's face, and then ran tender kisses along his Gancanagh's throat, skipping over his muscled torso to sink to his knees in front of him. His tongue ran along Niall's shaft as his hand sensually stroked him in time with his tongue. Niall growled low in his throat, stroking Irial's head approvingly, and Irial continued to suck him with cool, deliberate patience. His hand continued to run along the length of his King in a steady motion. Niall's hips were gyrating, his fingers trailing over Irial's dark head of hair, massaging his scalp. Irial heard Niall whimper as he squeezed tighter on his member, watched Niall shudder as Irial's teeth grazed him lightly.

Before Niall could orgasm, however, Irial stood back up and met his lips with a brutal kiss, devouring his own taste from Niall's lips. Niall growled low in his chest when Irial bit his lip hard enough to draw blood. Niall's hands tightened on Irial's waist, and when Irial broke the kiss Niall could barely contain his hungry gaze. He reached for Irial again, and Irial removed his hand, grinned wickedly. Then Irial moved toward the tub to dip his fingers in the bowl of lilac scented oil beside it. Watching Niall's eyes, he began to stroke himself, his fingers glistening with oil. He tasted Niall's hunger as his he wet his lower lip, tasted Niall's fear and excitement at the thought of Irial entering him.

Like old times.

The last time he entered Niall had been rough, while pleasurable, but was proof of how long it had been since they engaged in such activities. Now that they were both comfortable with their feelings and bodies around each other, Irial wanted to add to that comfort by leaving Niall better prepared.

Niall, eyes heavily lidded, watching Irial's magical fingers lubricate himself, felt his mouth go dry. After seeing the desire in Irial's eyes, Niall bent over the edge of the tub, supporting himself with his hands on either side. Irial moved closer to his ass, spread his legs with his thigh, and with one deft motion slid into his King, emitting a low moan from both he and Niall.

Bracing himself, one hand snaked around Niall's waist while the other fisted into his hair, he began a slow tempo by circling his hips. To silence Niall's mewls, he slanted his lips over his King's, swallowing his pain with his tongue. As Niall's body became more accepting, and as he grew intensely more aroused, Irial increased pace, thrusting into Niall faster and harder. His Gancanagh's cries of pleasure and pain were lost in their kisses until Niall cried out severely when Irial struck at the right angle.

And so Irial watched the mirror that stretched along the wall of the room with wide eyes, watching himself thrust into his King, watching his King watch him as he ravished his ass. He saw Niall's face contort beautifully as he moaned, which gave Irial the incentive to push harder, deeper, and at a better angle. His hand tightened in Niall's silky brown hair as they neared their climax, his hips working fast to keep the hot feeling in his loins evident. The sound of skin on skin frazzled his mind into a crescendo of moans and tempo. Soon Niall's words were stutters of what sounded like gibberish. But one thing stood out for certain; Niall was moaning Irial's name.

"Iri… Iri… Iri…"

And when Irial released the hand secured around Niall's hip to stroke the Dark King, he knew that they would come shortly after. And indeed, with a cry they both did. Irial's hands tightened on Niall's hair and hip as he rode his orgasm and Niall himself went so limp with pleasure that Irial had to support him. They held each other for a long time, their breaths ragged.

Afterwards, they both reemerged themselves in the steamy water of the vast tub, Irial's hand gingerly massaging Niall's shoulders with lilac oil as the Dark King lay cushioned between his legs. Irial felt the damp tendrils of Niall's hair touching his chest, the back of Niall's head on his shoulder.

After a long period of silence, save for the sound of the water and steam, Niall whispered, "I'm tired, Irial."

Rubbing slow circles over the muscles of Niall's shoulders, Irial smiled smugly. "You should be, Gancanagh, seeing how hard we just fu-"

Niall shook his head hastily. "Not in the physical sense. Emotionally I am tired. Tired of pretending with you."

Irial continued rubbing, but his voice was hesitant. "I wasn't aware that we were pretending. Were we pretending just now?"

Niall took a breath. "No. But I feel as though I tell you one thing about how I feel toward you in one moment and then tell you something else in the next."

Irial let out a breath he realized he'd been holding. "Well, how do you feel about me, Niall?"

Niall ran a hand through his hair for a moment before saying, "Sometimes, I hate you. For your choices. For my own peace of mind. Other times I wish to change you." Niall's jaw became taut. "You can be a pain in the ass at times. You hide things from me, insult my Kingship with your lack of obedience. Your sarcastic quips are frustrating." Just as Irial was about to defend himself from the accusations, Niall finished quietly, "But most of the times, I love you, Irial. Most days your presence is welcomed."

Irial thought about that for a long moment before saying, "You are kind, Niall. Truly." Then, with his lips curled into a smile, close to Niall's ear, he said, "But I've never hated you. Even when you fled the Dark Court, even when you hit me, even when you'd chosen the Summer King over me, even when you refused my letters and offers of acceptance. I've always loved you, Niall."

Niall didn't respond to Irial's statement, and Irial couldn't see the expression on his face, or read his emotions- since Niall was cloaking them well- but Irial hoped that whatever Niall felt was good. As the silence stretched on and Irial poured more oil on his King, Niall asked, "Who wrote your note? It was different from the note I received."

Irial stilled. "You received a note? When? What did it say?"

Niall took a breath as he recalled the lines of the brief message from memory. "'My King, towels have been added to your bath, as well as those candles you favor.'"

When Irial gave him a puzzle look Niall continued. "I'd been training with the Hounds all afternoon, and I was sore. I'd also complained last night about needing more towels, so the note seemed both convenient and reasonable." Suddenly he laughed, and it was unrestrained and free. It was such a soothing sound that Irial laughed too. "Of course I would be lured into a trap by the promise of a hot bath."

"And that I would be lured by the promise of meeting you", Irial admitted, inhaling Niall's spicy scent. As his thoughts clouded and his mind went quiet, he closed his eyes and sighed. Then he was all curiosity, thinking about the peculiar notes. Who arranged this meeting, and why?

As if sharing the same mind they both answered in union, "Gabriel."

Niall sighed harshly. "I cannot say that I regret his arrangement"-his voice grew more serious- "but he and I are going to have a serious talk about interfering with my duties."

Irial placed a hand on his arm in a placating gesture. "Gabriel is only fulfilling his obligations, Niall. He is to do what is right for the Dark King and the Dark Court when necessary. Our union was necessary to please both you and the court."

Niall pondered that quietly and leaned into Irial's chest before saying, "Let us discuss these matters some other time. I need to rest, as I'm sure you do."

Irial quietly assented as he and Niall stood up from the tub, found the clean stack of towels, and dried themselves off. Then Irial watched as his King returned to his bedroom, all grace and lean muscle, and thought back to his romance novel lying on the ottoman in the living room. With a smirk he realized he wouldn't be needing it after all.