Well-crossed Threads

Well-crossed Threads
by templemarker

Notes: Spoilers for “Kushiel’s Scion” ahoy. This story will make little sense if you read it prior to reading the book. Imriel/Lucius. What I imagine more people than just me wanted from the book, and is therefore both fluff and somewhat wishful thinking. Still, it begged to be written.

***

In truth, Imriel had not expected to see Lucius Tadius ever again. The ways of politics and travel were often at odds with one another; and, too, he could hear the quiet, shore-lapped call of Alba waiting for him, a betrothal made.

And yet, when word by courier was sent to his home in the City of Elua, that his old ghost-touched friend waited in hope to see him in Marsilikos, he was not of a mind to say no.

He rode out with two of Montreve’s men-at-arms, from the company that had followed them to the city; Phedre had but touched his face once, briefly, and sent him off with love and her betimes enigmatic smile. Joscelin had been more open about his merriment, but there was solemnity in his tone as he grasped Imriel’s hand and bid him to be wary of drinking too much; yet Imriel heard the love even in that warning.

The journey to Marsilikos was swift, and though Imriel had a letter to bear from Phedre to the Lady of Marsilikos, he chose instead to go directly to the inn Lucius had written of in his message.

He had scare walked through the door when he saw Lucius, raising a class to his lips and that same smile curving his face. Imriel’s heart leapt to see him, hale and well, if perhaps aged somewhat. As Imriel looked at him, saw the lightened temples and strong curve of his shoulder, Lucius looked up to the doorframe and saw him in return.

Lucius, rising to come to the door, was met by Imriel halfway and they embraced. “It has been a long time, my friend,” Lucius murmured into Imriel’s ear, and Imriel whispered something back, he knew not what. When Lucius pulled away, Imriel saw a glint of amusement in his eye, overshadowed by pleasure at seeing Imriel again, and behind that, desire that mirrored Imriel’s own.

Imriel was near ready to just haul him off to the bedchamber right now.

But Lucius saved him that by pulling him to the table he had been sitting at, calling for refreshment and a meal. He talked about Lucca, about the alliances re-forged with Tiberium, of the news of the Tiberium senate and the continual unrest of the Restorationists. Imriel did not hear a word. Lucius’s leg found itself close to his, and he was hard-pressed to remember how to eat with the sound of blood beating in his ears.

Finally, after so long a wait, Lucius made to exit and Imriel, lost in thought and only aware enough to bid his men stay the night in the inn, trailed after him. Lucius opened the door and Imriel followed, breath quickening as he crossed that threshold. Without delay, Lucius pushed him against the closed door and put his lips to Imriel’s.

It was not a kiss of great artistry, but it did not need to be. Lucius kissed with a passion conceived out of shared blood and not a little insanity. Imriel returned with a haunted desire and uncertainty. They were not ill-matched, the two of them, and soon Imriel’s hands stole up Lucius’s shirt, pulling it from his breeches and pushing his fingers against hot, welcoming flesh. Lucius’s breath caught against his lips, and he made to further compel Lucius, though the arts of love he had been taught fled him now admist the rising tide of desire.

The wanting swelled within him now; and if it felt ready to burst, hidden behind a much-scarred wound, so it was sweeter when he felt it released. It was as though he was sixteen again, scared and desirious and defiant all at once. He did not relish the feeling; but used somewhat of what he had learned of control to push Lucius back a little. Lucius, whose eyes were half-closed and whose hands were fisted in Imriel’s traveling-shirt.

“Ah,” Lucius murmured as Imriel’s hands came up to frame his face, “the gods of your country are indeed mighty, if they call even Luccan lords to their shores in search of love!” That smile Imriel so loved came once again to his face; and, unbidden, came thoughts of Baptiste, whom Imriel might have been, and of Mavros, who encouraged Imriel to seek that which compelled him.

Well, and so: if Imriel had not known a kind hand from men in the acts of love before, he did not begrudge the gift given to him now. That was then, and now, Imriel, a man of some-twenty years, saw before him a gift granted by Elua himself.

Elua’s priest had said that he would love and lose, again and again. So be it: for now, he chose love.

Imriel walked them backwards toward the bed, kissing up Lucius’ jawline as they did so, and a half-choked laugh escaped from Lucius’s throat as he said, “And so we use this bed that was rather dearly bought! Coin well-spent, I say,” and all Imriel could do was laugh with him.

He learned much that night, things he had but speculated at, fearful and idle, before.

The morning came again, before he was ready to greet it.

“You look fresh-tumbled, as though you came from your Blessed Elua’s stories yourself,” came a wry voice from the vantage of the chaise, causing Imriel to lift his tired head from his pillow.

“How in the seven hells are you awake? And in good humour?” Imriel said grumpily, rolling over in the rumpled sheets and glaring at Lucius where he stood naked, leaning against the sideboard.

Lucius grinned at him. “Admiring the view. I came a long enough way for it.”

Without meaning to, Imriel huffed laughter, and Lucius came over to crawl into bed next to him, kissing him softly and welcoming Imriel’s arm around his shoulders and neck. “Good morning,” he said, and Imriel could not help but smile.

“Yes,” he said, thinking of nothing but the morning, the bed, and his friend, “it is.”

Leave a Reply