Apple Of The Earth

Soft music floated down the hall from the ball room, winding around feet and faces and legs, drifting into ears and through flesh to curl in his room, giving the golden room a golden glow, turning the slight summer breeze caressing his brocade drapes into a sweeping gale. The slight flames of the candles flared and then danced, urging him out into the den of lions to be devoured for supposed beauty.

Not yet though. Not until he was perfect.

He hummed, puzzling over his complection in the mirror, studying his blue too blue eyes. The upward curve of his nose at the tip, the width of his mouth, the soft pink color of it. The sweep of his pale brows, the curls of his nearly translucent lashes. All these thing about him that made them want.

"I knew I would find you here." His eyes flicked up for only a moment when he spotted liquid emeralds in the corner of his vision. Green. Consuming, infecting, devastating green that seemed too green. Luring him with enchantments. He denied that he would ever want to disappear into those eyes, into that tan and worn body, into the quirk of his grin or the flash of his fangs.

A quick fuck. A kiss or two here and there. Words whispered in the throes of passion, half blinded by the constant dull ache of need that those green eyes readily fed.

"You accepted my invitation." he said lightly, fixing the ruff of his collar and wincing at his own pale skin. Arthur frowned at him in the mirror, arms crossed over his chest, as he rubbed his cheeks with red powder, giving his face a respectable and attractive glow, inspecting himself and the too blue of his eyes.

Arthur huffed and took a seat in the plush velvet settee, sinewy limbs lounging as though to tease. Watched Francis with eyes too green and too calculating, not really knowing what his gaze did. How deeply it cut. Francis placed a star patch on his right cheek and ignored that he didn't have any blemishes. He was too careful with his skin for that. He didn't look satisfied even after a final flourish of perfume that clogged and choked and announced that he was a horrendous fake.

He hated, he hated, he hated until he couldn't think.

"Have you ever considered that you're pretty enough?" Arthur drawled from the settee, twirling a strand of hair around his finger. The green gaze flickered to him, hid things, shouted things, told him things and assured him of things. But he couldn't see it. Too blind. Couldn't see that those engulfing green too green eyes were all too willing to be engulfed in turn.

"I'm never pretty enough." Francis said assuredly, inspecting himself and hating what he saw but knowing that the others, the nobles, would adore it. Would compliment him on his impeccable clothes and his flawless laughter and his perfect perfection. They would love him, and it was worth it.

Arthur sniffed at him, saw his thoughts and hated them. Hated the nobles. Hated the fake. Hated what his lover, friend, enemy, ally, had become more than Francis himself did.

He stood, wandering over to the mirror, and dragged his fingers over the make up, smearing the powders and the colors despite Francis's cry of protest, watched as some how, Francis was instantly more beautiful than anything that had graced the earth. More stunning when his blue too blue eyes shone with unabashed desire. Francis looked into the mirror and did not see what he was seeing.

Did not see the destruction that wreaked havoc over his flesh, the chaos that painted his cheeks, the impure anarchy that made him look precious, gorgeous, blinding. Did not know that while he was busy cultivating grace effortlessly, perfecting his own perfection, he was a gorgeous monster, a beast on the inside. And Arthur wanted it so bad he had to smear out the perfect and show him.

Arthur picked up the silver handled brush, brushing the hair until it was spun gold and reflected the anarchy, reflected the tempest inside him, the tiger that he adored. Francis was silent, watching Arthur and hating how loving his enchanted eyes seemed.

He didn't want to believe them.

"You're so beautiful you make me cry." He smoothed his fingers over that mouth, smearing the red paint, yanking back the spider web fine gold hair, pressing their lips together, wanted Francis to know that he needed the monster. Needed that hideous creature. Not this pathetic worm. He wanted the Francis who snarled, the Francis who screamed in rage and drove daggers into his gut up to the jeweled hilt. He wanted the Francis who wasn't capable of tears.

He wanted that sort of sick twisted beauty.

"You're lying." Francis murmured, closed his eyes so that he wouldn't look into the too green and drown. Arthur smirked, pressing their lips together, tasting him inside and out and loving the fingers that clawed at his back instead of clenching submissively.

"Am I?" His smile was too dark. "Tell me the same thing after I've eaten you whole."