As Anubis walked back to his temple, his thumb absently ran across the cloth. He replayed the conversation he had just been a part of moments ago. The very first conversation he had with the woman who brought him into this world. Now he could see the puzzle pieces fit in their rightful places. It made sense now on why she avoided him at meetings in Ra's temple, why Set loathed him so, and why Isis had always been overprotective of him throughout his life.

Once he made it inside, he used his memory to guide himself through the darkness to his bedroom. Slowly he settled on the edge of his bed as a long sigh escaped him. Golden eyes scanned the room a moment before they landed on the figure curled up on the pillows.

Ven lay there, huddled between the hounds for warmth. An eye opened at the sound of movement and it settled to look at his master. Neither of them spoke, but Anubis was the first to break the eye contact. He stood and untied the linen around his waist to prepare himself for bed. The cloth from his childhood lay across a table with the gold embroidery glinting in the faintest trace of moonlight.

The god was fluid and soft in his movements, it seemed even his aura was peaceful. This caused Ven to smile, though he was not sure exactly why. He did not question his urge nor did he let his curiosity get the better of him. Instead, he settled back down on the pillows and let his master enjoy his peace.

The jackal god laid down finally with a sigh of contentment and let his eyes close for well needed rest. Even with himself in good spirits, his mind continued to analyze the conversations and events that had recently passed. This caused the god to have slight difficulty falling asleep, just as he always had.

The difference was the nightmares never came.

The next morning, Ventus woke up bright and early, as he routinely did since he came to the realm of gods. Quietly he stood and dressed himself before he turned to look at his reflection in a nearby mirror. Once his eyes focused on his appearance, however, his nose scrunched in slight disgust. His face was dirty and his hair was more of a mess than usual. Perhaps it was time he asked Anubis permission for a bath.

As he thought that, his gaze ventured to his master in bed. The god was curled under his sheets, the pillow almost over his face, though he was peaceful. The blond let the brunette sleep and tip toed out to the hall. There was no use in just twiddling his thumbs, so he decided to prepare his master's bath for when he awoke. Once he deemed the area worthy, he returned and sat down on a cushion and waited for his master to wake.

It was an hour or so later the god finally seemed to indicate he was awake by a long stretch of limbs. The servant suppressed a giggle at the sight of a mighty god almost seeming reluctant to wake up. A small realization crossed Ven's mind: this was the latest his master had ever slept since he had arrived. This opened the door to his curiosity, he almost ached to know where the jackal god had gone last night.

The teen was jolted out of his thoughts as the form in the bed finally sat up and a clawed hand rubbed at the tanned face. Once Anubis deemed himself awake enough, he began the task of untangling himself from the sheets. Sometimes it was a pain to know that he moved a lot while he slept.

"Good morning, Master. I hope you slept well," Ven spoke in a slightly cheery voice. He received a half-hearted grunt in reply as the god freed himself and slid out of bed. The mortal jumped to his feet and gestured to the door, "the bath is ready for you, master."

Anubis glanced to the boy before he silently padded out to the hall and towards the bathing area. He did not bother to cover himself up, there was no one around to see him. He mindlessly walked into the huge area before he made his way down the steps into the water. The brunette settled on an underwater bench and sighed softly, the water seemed to make him more alert.

Ven moved to the edge of the pool and knelt down. "Would you like any assistance with bathing?" He waited as the other washed his own face and arms. Anubis shifted to glance to him a moment before he gave the faintest nod of his head. "Just with my back."

"Of course, master." The servant got up and undressed himself before he stepped into the water. The blond picked up the washcloth he had set by the edge earlier and wet it. The human then tenderly ran it over the god's skin. Anubis gave a soft groan at the feeling and tilted his head forward. Ventus took the moment to wring the cloth out so warm water poured over Anubis' back before he dipped it once more and began his task.

The brunette closed his eyes as he let the other work. It was then his mind suddenly recalled what Nephytys had said. Even though his heart was not ready to accept her as his true mother, her words shook him to the core. And the statement that rattled him the most was about the very servant that was in the bath with him right that moment.

Ventus did not notice the slight change in the god's posture; instead he just hummed softly as he worked. It was not a hymn that Anubis was so fond of, but rather a tune the teen came up with on his own while in the human realm.

The song was cut short as Anubis suddenly grabbed the boy's wrist and pulled the smaller body around so it was in front of him. For a minute, all the god did was stare down at him, as if there was a missing clue on the pale skin that he had overlooked. Ven gave the smallest of gasps when he was suddenly stopped and moved. He feared he had done something wrong at first, but once he looked up to the golden orbs, the question of what he did died on his lips.

The servant gazed at his master with a sudden shyness due to the intense stare he received. The hand released the blonde's wrist and trailed to one of the fading marks on the pale skin. A clawed finger traced its shape with a feather light touch. The blond stood there and let the immortal male do as he pleased, although he could not help the light shiver that ran down his spine at the gentle touch.

The digit slid up from the mark to trace from the jaw down to the seemingly perfectly shaped chin before it curled and rested under it. Anubis' eyes softened lightly as his lips parted, "what is it the others see that I cannot?"

The human swallowed a moment before he could answer the powerful being. "I do not know what others think of you, Master. All I know it that I think you are a strong, noble, merciful," his voice lowered at the last part, "and hypnotic being."

Anubis felt his chest tighten at the answer before the hand moved to stroke a strand of the blond hair. Ven felt a bit more secure, so he continued. "I am glad- no, honored, to be your servant."

The words stirred something in the god's chest and he suddenly pulled the boy close. As he wrapped his muscled arms around the smaller form, he inhaled the scent from his neck. The jackal god felt the urge he had felt before return, but the urge to do what? The brunette still had no answer, but he knew it was not the thirst he had originally pined over.

The blond in his arms relaxed after a moment and took in the scent of his master as well. Instantly he felt safe and secure. They stayed in the embrace for what seems like years before the god brushed his lips against a patch of pale skin. Ventus gave a soft inhale of surprise, but the action was not exactly unwanted. He opened his blue eyes to look up at the strong features of Anubis.

"What do you do to me to make me feel like this?" came the whispered inquiry before he gently nipped at his servant's skin. The action was not harsh, the intent was not to harm, but to touch and taste the teen. Ven was unable to stop the soft moan as he tilted his head back. "I do not know, master."

"You should, considering it is you that makes me do this." The voice was not stern in the slightest; the god did not want to frighten his servant. His lips continued to slide over the flesh as he drew the other in as close as possible.

"I swear, I..ah- I am not trying to do anything."

A soft snort was the response as another nip was given. Anubis was rewarded with another noise of pleasure before Ventus spoke again. "I promise, I am not."

"Then why do I feel like this when I am alone with you? Why does everyone hint that I should do something with you, but what, no one will say?" The god switched to nibble at the opposite side of the neck. Ven shook his head, "I do not know, Master. I wish I could tell you." The blond continued to shiver and mewl in Anubis' arms as he prayed the other would not notice his arousal.

Anubis pulled back and looked down at the human, who returned the look with a slight confusion. The god seemed a bit confused himself, yet he held the air of determination to find the answered he desired.

Slowly, he slid a hand up his servant's side as the blond shivered and pulled him close once more. Ven's face heated up at the mere thought of what this might look like to someone else, but he did not voice a complaint. They stayed in that position for a while until the smaller male felt he needed to speak. "Master, you make me feel as if nothing can harm me."

The jackal god felt his stomach lurch and his heart beat faster at the confession and his arms tightened around the body. "I do not want any harm to come to you."

"I will always be your devoted servant, no matter what Ptah tries." Anubis squeezed the boy lightly and rested his chin on the blonde's head. The silence returned, but only for a moment.

"Master, do I make you happy?"

"Yes." Anubis spoke without a second thought as he stroked the teen's back. Ventus smiled brightly and he nuzzled the god's bare chest. The brunette was quiet as he stroked the blonde's back softly. The human looked up once more, shyly. "I hope I am not being too forward, but I had a dream about this."

"A dream?" Anubis pulled back to look at the blond once more. Ventus nodded softly, "yes, it was a different setting but very similar actions."

"Explain."

The servant turned bright red and quickly looked down. "Uh, well, we were holding each other… in the bedroom, among other things." Anubis gave a soft hum of acknowledgement before he spoke. "Did you enjoy it in your dream?"

"…Yes, very much so." Ven hid his face in the strong chest of the god from feeling foolish. The jackal god did not yell or even seem upset. In fact, the chest jerked softly as a chuckle escaped past his lips. "I dream of things no servant ever should think about his Master."

"Why do you say that?" For a moment, Anubis felt his playful side emerging for the first time in centuries. What made it better was the fact that Ven did not notice in the slightest.

"Well, they…I mean, I uh. They have not been the most innocent of thoughts." Anubis shifted slightly, the feeling to tease him still around. "Now, why would my little servant think things like that?" Even though the god could not see his face, he knew Ven's cheeks turned a dark red as he pushed his nose against the toned chest more. "B-because, I've seen you undressed many times. It sets off my imagination."

The brunette suppressed his urge to smirk. "Being in a state of undress should not make someone think 'non-innocent' thoughts."

"B-but, you see, I'm at the age where…well, you are a God! Kind of an attractive one, so, one could not blame…oh!" Ventus groaned and shook lightly in frustration. Anubis was unable to stop the soft laughter that bubbled from his lips as he watched the blond.

"…may I ask something?"

"Yes."

Ven shifted lightly before he looked up to the brunette. "Your mouth was on my neck, yet, you did not bite. Why?"

"I did not wish to."

The servant looked down and fiddled with his fingers a moment. "Oh, I see," came the murmur. Anubis rose a brow, "You almost sound disappointed." Immediately the teen shook his head. "No, it is not that. I was curious is all."

The brunette nodded and relaxed a bit. As much as he did not want to admit it, he did not want to return to the human realm today. In fact, all he wanted to do was pull the mortal back to the bedroom and hold him all day. The jackal decided that Ma'at and Osiris were probably busy enough anyway; they didn't need an overflow of souls. His thoughts were interrupted as Ven spoke up again.

"Master, with your permission, may I bathe myself?"

"Ah, yes. I forget mortals get dirty as well, go ahead." Ven bowed and started to scrub himself clean. Anubis tilted his head slightly, "you do not need to ask for permission to perform personal tasks."

"I bathed once without the Pharaoh's permission. It was a huge mistake. Ever since then, I asked." The blond sighed softly as he ran a washcloth over his own skin to remove the dirt.

Anubis frowned at the remark. "Am I so much like him?" Ven dropped the cloth immediately, "No! No! It's just, I developed habits from serving him."

"You are not in his domain anymore."

"I'm sorry. I will try harder, I promise."

Anubis gave a soft nod and leaned back and watched as the servant continued to bathe. Soon his golden hues slid shut and he just enjoyed the warm water. The blond finished washing quickly and waded over to his master. He then leaned in and lifted a hand to graze the god's cheek.

The jackal's eyes opened to mere slits, though he made no move to stop him. Instead he watched the fingers make their way down to his collarbone then down his chest. The blond stepped closer as his confidence rose. The god's eyes opened further as he tried to stay still, curious to what the boy would do next.

The mortal had always wondered what his Master felt like. The texture of his skin, the tight muscles, even the shape of his body, and here it was, open to touch. The servant's shaky fingers slid back up to his neck and touched the hairline at the nape. Anubis sighed softly, fully relaxed by now.

Ven smiled softly and carefully straddled his master, just as he had before. His fingers roamed over the tanned skin and he tried to remember the feel of every inch of the flesh and muscle. The god glanced up to the one in his lap and gently smiled. This drew a hand to his face, as a thumb ran over the jackal's lower lip. The tiers parted gently at the touch, his breath poured over the digits lightly.

The blond stared in slight awe over how soft the lip was, taken by surprise. He let out a sigh of happiness before he let his hand drop. "I do not think I have ever been this happy before."

"Is that so?"

He received a nod, "thank you." The brunette rose a slight brow at the words. "You made it so. You have given me things I never had before."

"I merely took you because of my own greed."

"But, I received protection, mercy, and friends in return," Ven argued with a frown. Anubis sighed softly as he wrapped his arms around the slim waist once more and pulled him in. "Mere side effects. However, I did not know how precious of a human you truly were when I came to my selfish decision." He leaned in slightly as his tilted his head up towards the teen's face.

"Do you still want my soul?"

The question threw him off and he stopped short. Then it dawned upon him, not just the question's meaning, but the answer he had been looking for. Golden eyes snapped up to stare right into the big baby blues. "No, not the way I originally wanted."

Ven gave a confused look and tilted his head, "then how?"

"When the times come, you will know."

The blond had not a clue what the god meant, but he nodded anyway. "Yes Master."

Anubis just smiled.