Author's Notes:

The smut kicks in in this chapter. In fact, except for the short sections at the beginning and end, this chapter is pretty much entirely smut. Read at your own risk, skip if you so choose. This is the final chapter.

Love Bites

Part III

Fai decides the only way to stop this disturbing chain of events is to frighten the boy.

At first, he's not sure how to go about it. Through his clone's memories, this Syaoran experienced many terrors. Fai isn't sure how to frighten a boy who knows he will not be harmed. Or, rather, he does know how, but the thought of scaring the boy that way sickens him. And ultimately, that method might be more dangerous than his instinctive desire to lure his prey closer.

Still, the idea floats around in the back of his mind, and by the time a week has passed without any fresh blood or alternative ideas, Fai knows he's out of options.

His back hits the wall with enough force to knock the wind out of him. Dazed, Syaoran stares up at the single yellow eye that has both eased his nightmares and tainted his dreams. "What—" he begins. The sound of seams shredding apart interrupts him. Cold air rakes across his chest, and he looks down, shocked.

Fai gives him no time to recuperate or question. The vampire yanks him forward, then throws him down so he lands on his mattress, chest exposed. He feels Fai's hunger, knows the man hasn't fed in over a week. His own body pulses, aching. Over the past few days, Syaoran has considered removing the blades from the razors in the bathroom and slicing into his skin. Not because he believes in self-harm—he doesn't—but because he knows his only escape from the ache in his body is to bleed. And if Fai won't feed from him, he will relieve that pressure on his own.

But now Fai stands over him, and the pulsing sharpens into something else. Syaoran quivers on the mattress. "What are you . . . What are you going to do to me?"

The magician says nothing, but drags his claws over the remainder of Syaoran's shirt, shearing away the last bits of fabric. Long nails trail harmlessly over his chest, raising hairs on the rest of his body. He squirms, but Fai pins his arms above his head and holds them there. The blond straddles him, keeping him from rolling to either side. With a jolt, Syaoran realizes he is trapped.

"Last time I fed, you bit your lip on purpose," Fai says. "Why?"

Heat rises to his cheeks. "I . . . You needed the blood. I needed you to take some."

The magician tenses. His voice softens. "That's the only reason?"

Syaoran hesitates. Then, cheeks reddening, he shakes his head.

Silence. Fai's grip loosens, but Syaoran doesn't try to free himself. Part of him craves this. His body knows what should happen under these circumstances, and though that's too much to ask and too much to hope for, his cheeks flush even brighter at the thought.

He can feel his pulse. And it's racing.

Sharp fingernails trail across his abdomen. This time, one draws a thin line of blood. Fai repositions himself, tongue moving from Syaoran's navel to the dark stub of his nipple. He shudders, the pulsing growing stronger. His whole body feels flushed, as if he's radiating heat.

Another slice, this one in the opposite direction. Pain flares wherever Fai's fingernail goes, yet Syaoran feels no compulsion to move away. Quite the opposite: the pain only intensifies the pleasure he's unconsciously allowed himself to feel.

The next cut is deeper, the one after that deeper still. Fai's tongue explores each, his hands never moving from Syaoran's wrists. In a way, his hands are like manacles. Syaoran can't free himself from the vampire's grip, nor can he move the rest of his body too much without straining against those iron-strong hands.

Fai presses his mouth against the lacerations, lapping up blood as he goes. A soft whine escapes Syaoran's throat as Fai carves a new gash just above his waistband. "Fai-san, please," he begs, unsure if he wants this to stop or if he wants something else. An instant later, Fai's mouth finds his.

Fai's lips taste like blood.

Syaoran whimpers and moans, blood sliding down the sides of his waist and staining his shorts. Fai seems to have forgotten about the blood, however. Fai attacks his lips, his tongue, his cheeks, his neck. A spasm shoots down Syaoran's body, his arms jerking as if he could break Fai's death-grip on his wrists.

The blood keeps flowing down his abdomen. The sheets, he thinks, unable to voice his concern as Fai's teeth pierce the inside of his lip. More pain. It feels someone's wrapped barbed wire around his chest and pulled it taut.

"You're afraid," the vampire whispers.


"Of me?"


Fai releases his wrists and draws back, his fervor seeming to die away as quickly as it had come. Syaoran pulls his limp arms down, so they rest at his side. His chest heaves, lungs trying and failing to pull in enough oxygen to calm his racing heart. Fai slides off the bed, standing up and brushing himself off. He starts for the door.

Syaoran snatches his hand. "Wait."

Fai half-turns, but won't meet his eyes. Breathless, Syaoran tugs him closer. "Wait. Aren't we going to . . . finish this?"

The magician tenses, finally looking at him. Syaoran blushes scarlet, wondering if he's misjudged the situation, however unlikely that seems. "Finish what?" Fai asks quietly.

"Weren't we . . . Weren't you going to . . . you know?"

Fai's single eye widens. "I . . . Do you want to?"

The question gives him pause. He shouldn't want this—his Sakura is still out there somewhere—but they've already started, and it's rather pointless to hide the fact that there's more than a simple blood bond at work here. Besides, he's been wondering about this for a while. About what it would be like to be intimate with someone. He knows most people go through multiple lovers before they find the right one.

And, though part of him argues against it, he supposes he wouldn't really be cheating on his Sakura, since they never committed to anything. They've never even kissed.

"Yes," he says. "I want this."

Fai stares at him a moment more. Then, in a blur of movement, he resumes his previous position, pinning Syaoran's arms to the mattress while straddling his abdomen. He sits there for a moment, then snatches a sheet from where it's crumpled up at the edge of the bed. His hands move too quickly for Syaoran's eyes to trace, but he sees the end result taking shape. In less than thirty seconds, Fai has turned the sheets into a makeshift rope and tied Syaoran's wrists to the headboard. "Um . . . Fai-san?"

The vampire scrapes his nails down Syaoran's ribs, slicing the skin open. Blood flows down his sides, caught by Fai's tongue before it can stain the sheets. Syaoran gasps, pulling instinctively at the restraints and finding his hands immobile. Fear sinks in, and he fidgets, sliding away from the vampire's probing tongue. "Fai-san . . . Oh." His eyelids flutter as the man runs his tongue across the sensitive stub of his nipple. "That's . . ." He trails off, unable to think of a proper description for the cool, teasing suction on his chest.

The sensation vanishes. He opens his eyes to see Fai staring down at him, his face a mixture of desperation and uncertainty. Syaoran tries to lift a hand to the man's face, but the cloth ropes won't allow him the freedom of movement. So he just says what he's thinking instead. "Why am I tied to the bed?"

Fai blinks(winks?) and cocks his head to the side. "Are the bindings too tight?"

"Well . . . no, but . . . I mean . . ." He sighs, closing his eyes. "Never mind."

The magician's touch gentles. His claws retract, allowing his blunt fingertips to trace circles across Syaoran's bloodied chest. His speed varies, fingers sometimes moving supernaturally fast, and sometimes lingering over one spot for a few seconds, almost as if massaging each muscle on his torso. Syaoran lays back, accepting the contact. Relishing it.

No one's ever touched him like this.

"Tell me if you want me to stop," Fai says, and Syaoran can't imagine why he would possibly want this to stop until he feels his shorts sliding off his hips. A sense of reality returns, and again, he strains against the makeshift ropes. Why has Fai tied him up like this? Is it about power? Dominance? Is there a practical reason?

All his musings fade when Fai peels his underwear away and leaves him vulnerable. Their eyes meet as Fai's hands explore the inner curve of his thigh, trailing farther and farther upward . . .

Heat rushes through Syaoran's body. His back arches. A soft mewl escapes his throat as Fai's hand closes around him and tugs. The initial jerk startles him, stirring feelings he's only felt when alone behind the veil of a locked door. His vision goes spotty.

Another tug. Already, Syaoran teeters on the edge. Teeth gritted, he lets out a moan. "Fai-san . . ."

Again. Everything starts to dissolve in a haze of sensation, but he still feels the pressure inside. This is it, he thinks, waiting for the next tug, knowing it will bring him to that sweet release, though it embarrasses him to let go so soon. But the release doesn't come. His legs squirm as Fai lets go of him. "Please," he begs, hips twitching upward. "Fai-san, please."

"Not yet." Fai's lips graze his ear. His delicate hands skim his upper arm, making him struggle against the bindings again.

"Please . . ."

He can't see Fai's face, but he hears the smile in his voice. "And do for you what you can do on your own? No."

Syaoran's body wriggles, but Fai has positioned himself so he can't reach anything that will bring him to the peak. After a few frustrated moments, his body relaxes. Fai slides away from him, standing up and leaving him tied to the bed. His eyes fly open. "You're not going to leave me like this, are you?"

Fai chuckles, grabbing his shirt by the bottom and pulling it over his head. It flutters to the floor, followed a moment later by his pants, then his undergarments. On the bed, Syaoran fidgets, unable to look away as Fai approaches. The vampire's hands trail across the side of his neck. Instinctively, Syaoran tilts his head to the side, exposing his throat. Despite the earlier bloodletting, the pressure's still there, under the surface. He wants the vampire to take more. To take everything.

Perhaps Fai senses his need, or perhaps he's just as desperate. Either way, the white-hot pain shoots down Syaoran's body as fangs bury themselves in his neck, making him tingle all over. He gasps, then moans.

He will never say it aloud, but he likes being bitten.

Still sucking on his neck, Fai climbs on top of him, his weight settling over Syaoran's hips and shifting back and forth across those sensitive spots. But it's not enough. The break between the earlier stimulation and this friction means that he's not sitting at the edge anymore. This feels good, but he can't reach for that greater pleasure.

Another pain shoots through his body as Fai's index finger slips inside him. Automatically, his body tenses, and a sharp sting sears the side of his neck. The balance of pleasure and pain tips to one side. His next moan reverberates with anguish.

Fai withdraws, running his tongue over his neck to help seal the wound. Syaoran lies limp, dazed by pain and blood loss. Fai continues licking his neck, repairing the damage. After a while, the licking turns to nuzzling, and most of the discomfort recedes. Syaoran turns his head, the tip of his nose brushing the vampire's cheek. Fai freezes, then kisses him. A blush creeps across Syaoran's cheeks, so perhaps he hasn't lost too much blood after all.

Fai slips his finger inside the opening at the base of Syaoran's tailbone. He tenses, closing up, then forces himself to relax, trying to enjoy the sensation despite the discomfort. The magician slides in and out, finding a rhythm. After a few minutes, he slips a second finger inside, stretching him further. Syaoran groans, but does not complain.

A third finger follows, and this one hurts. He whimpers, pulling hard against the sheets tethering his arms to the headboard. But instead of withdrawing, Fai pushes deeper, making him squirm. Sure, a little pain adds to the excitement, but this seems like a bit much for the small glimmer of pleasure it brings. Maybe he just enjoys seeing me in pain, Syaoran thinks, gritting his teeth. A moment later, Fai lays his head on his chest. "Just relax. You're too tight. It's going to hurt worse if you don't relax."

"Too tight? I don't think this is the intended purpose for that body part."

Fai stares at him for a long moment, then bursts into laughter, pressing his face against Syaoran's chest. The vibrations do odd things to his body, especially since it's currently being invaded from below. The spark inside him starts to burn again.

"True," Fai allows, and he hasn't sounded this happy since before Tokyo. So Syaoran ignores the pain, hoping it will pass. A moment later, Fai withdraws his fingers and repositions their bodies, coaxing Syaoran to bend his knees. He obeys, wary.

Fai's expression softens, the humor fading from his gaze. Uncertainly, he plants a kiss on the side of Syaoran's neck, right over the healing puncture marks. "This will hurt," he says.

"I know."

"I want you to look into my eyes."

Syaoran doesn't point out that Fai only has one eye now—to say so would be rude. Instead, he tilts his head back, meeting Fai's gaze. There's something there, beyond the intensity of the moment, beyond the anxiety, beyond even the pleasure. Something haunted. Something desperate.

Fai pushes inside him. Syaoran surrenders, back arching. The blond's hands explore his ribs, his chest, his shoulders, his neck. Finally, they frame his face, holding him so he can't look away. Dazed by the onslaught of sensation, Syaoran can barely keep his eyes open. Everything hurts, but pleasure jolts up his spine with every thrust, and his arms have grown numb to the pain of being restrained. Considering their relationship, it seems right that he should endure a little pain in exchange for this pleasure.

Sex is not so different from being bitten, in the end.

Fai closes his eye. An instant later, hot liquid burns inside Syaoran's body, making it slick, reducing the discomfort even further. A shudder runs through Fai's body. His remaining eye flutters open. Syaoran waits for the man to collapse atop him—his own body always seems to cease functioning at this point, so he knows what to expect. What he does not expect is the other man's final, powerful thrust. Fai strikes a cluster of nerves buried deep inside him, pushing him over the edge.

Streaks of white obliterate his vision. His ears ring. A sound escapes his throat, though he cannot identify what sort of sound it is—it's not a shout, a whimper, a sob, or a laugh, but some combination. Pleasure plows through him, stripping away all control, and he doesn't even think to warn the other man before his seed spills between their bodies.

They lie there, the minutes slipping by too fast and too slow. Heat pours off their skin, slinking away into the cold room. Silence falls, disrupted by their ragged breathing, their pounding hearts.

Fai pulls out, leaving him cold, empty, aching. Quick hands unwrap the bindings around his wrists.

This time, when Fai walks to the door, Syaoran doesn't stop him.

It wasn't a mistake.

Fai realizes this later, sitting on the rooftop in another world. Two weeks ago, they left Clow, left Sakura. And Fai has recovered his magic and his eye, which means he no longer requires Syaoran's blood to live. He supposes he has Yuuko to thank for that, though he doubts she can hear his thanks, no matter how loudly he shouts it.

They've fallen into a peaceful world. Trains criss-cross the countryside. Cumulus clouds float through the air. Grass ripples in the wind.

It's been months since he slept with Syaoran. Fai doesn't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing. Perhaps the passage of time, the survival of their friendship, proves it was not a mistake. Either way, Fai is content. They are no longer at odds with each other.

Sometimes, he catches Syaoran watching him from a distance, only to have the boy look away, blushing, as soon as Fai returns the look. Sometimes, Fai wonders what it would be like to lie with him again. But he understands the line between dreams and reality.

The boy will always love his princess. Fai accepts that. They have lost and found people worth protecting. They have felt pain and joy over failures and triumphs. They have loved and been loved despite constant struggles. They have lived.

It is enough.