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[M] Busted || Stace & Kao ||

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Offline Kāo

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His mouth was still open, searching, when Nathaniel pulled away from him. Ira still looked heavy-lidded when he looked upon Nathaniel's sweet face. "All right," he murmured with a reluctant smile.

His hands moved back to Nathaniel's hips and squeezed gently, letting the moment linger as his gaze traveled slowly over Nathaniel's features. Finally, Ira bowed his head and turned away to cross the room, gathering the paper pad and pen from the side table. He wrote his full name, the telephone for his room and his theater and his cell phone, and a small message. He folded the paper into quarters and handed it to Nathaniel with a distantly sorrowful smile. "Please be safe in this city, Nathaniel. Wherever you go, be safe."

He stood near the door, hesitant to open it for him lest breaking its seal would also break the moment. But the moment, he had to admit, was over. "I hope to see you soon."

The note read:

I beg for a moment,
a lingering eternity in your grace.


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Nathaniel waited politely while Ira scribbled on a piece of paper. It made sense that it was some sort of contact information, even if it did seem like he was writing way more than just a name and a number. He took the folded paper from him, and without reading it, put it into his pants pocket, after a few attempts at shakily finding it with his fingertips first.

"Thank you. It's been lovely," he said. With some reluctance he crossed the threshold back into the hallway, but then stopped and turned around to look at Ira.

"I really do mean it," he said, looking Ira's face over in earnest. "Very lovely." He lingered for a moment, then nodded and gave a very small, very shy smile and left.

He had to go all the way back to his car. Which wasn't a terrible walk, but it did take some time, and he was still rather drunk. By the time he'd waddled to the car, he took a moment to plop into the driver seat and just sit in the parked car. His nerves had eased since he'd been at Ira's hotel room, but he realized now that he was going back to that very same hotel and that he wasn't sure he had the emotional capacity to go back.

But where else could he even go?

Nathaniel licked his teeth and stared out at the street in front of him, watching cars drive by two-by-two. He blinked with uneven eyelids, and he knew he'd either have to wait, or he'd have to brave his insobriety and drive anyway. It really was a very short drive, but... why put anyone in danger? He licked his teeth again, this time sucking on them until he rediscovered the paper in his pocket and unfolded it to read it.

He read over the name, and then the number, but he was surprised by the extra lines. He read them over multiple times, trying to make sense of them. No, not of the words really, he realized. For some reason, he knew exactly what those were about. So... why were they familiar? He dredged up a few poets in his memory and tried to match the lines to a poem he'd read. Or maybe a song he'd heard.

He set the paper down and stared on the window while he tried to figure it out. And then he remembered—

He needed to get inside before the sun came up. Nathaniel took a look at the horizon and clumsily shoved the paper back into his pocket, exchanging it for his car keys. Then, with no more time to worry about others, he drove himself to the hotel and casino, and he finally checked into his room only to fall into bed fully dressed.
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Ira sat alone in his room, using the ottoman from the writing desk as a pedestal to preen upon. He could see his reflection in the glass of the picture frame on the wall. He was looking quite good, very handsome, undeniably charming. But miserable.

When he'd last laid eyes upon Nathaniel Wheelwright, Ira was sure he'd never fall in love with another man in his life; he was certain of this even as a child, and could still place himself in that spellbinding moment when he'd realized he'd been visited by a genius. For the twenty years since then, he sought to prove himself wrong but couldn't; no one soul, no one feeling, no one spark ever compared to the way he'd felt then. So alive. So right. How could he have allowed Nathaniel to slip so easily through his fingers?

His vacant gaze stared at the door through which his great love left him.

This was no good. Soon he would begin to spiral. It was an act of intervention on his own behalf that he rose and crossed the room to the refrigerator and bar. Another one of those cocktails—perhaps far less dry—would do nicely as a night cap to put his troubled mind at ease.

In the morning, Ira read the paper with a bloody mary in his hand on the balcony beside the glass door. The morning sun poured over him in his marlot-colored velvety robe. He took a sip, flipped a page, and was startled by the icy drip of a sweating glass. The drink was weak and running low.

He'd run out of ice in the room and had to trek all the way to the elevators in his robe to find the machine. Lucky for the hotel, the ice was free, or he might have entertained the idea of filing a complaint; how hard could it be to provide a machine for every room? Most standard refrigerators came with that sort of equipment built in—no reason why the miniature ones couldn't adapt.

Holding the large plastic pail from the room to the machine's spluttering mouth, Ira turned his bored gaze to the hallway and stared absently, reciting to himself under his breath. "Doubt thou the stars are fire; doubt that the sun doth move; doubt truth to be a liar; but never doubt I love."

Then as if by some form of conjuring, a brown-locked, green-gazed {handsomeassmotherfucker} came strolling towards the elevators—and Ira.

To quote Hamlet act III, scene Iii line 87... Ira muttered a bewildered, "No." followed by an overjoyed, "Nathaniel?"

Ice poured onto the floor.


Offline Stace

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Nathaniel woke gently to the feel of kisses on his neck, a hand firmly, but not too roughly tugging his head aside by the hair. He reached back to grip the man's hip, needing to feel him closer. Despite the fact that they were both still fully dressed, Nathaniel groaned softly at the motion slowly working up speed, groin to ass, a good dose of early morning frottage. The man, a stranger, groaned in his ear while the bed rocked. Breathing hard, Nathaniel gripped at the man's hair and moaned, louder and louder, until it was a girly yell.

Something thudded hard against the wall behind the bed, and Nathaniel sat bolt upright, pulling at his own hair, drenched in sweat and in the clothes from last night. His bed still rocked, but he realized quickly there was no one else there, unless the thumping of the hotel neighbors' bed against his wall counted as company. He was relieved to learn the girly moans had actually come from next door and not himself, but he found it unsettling to be fully erect to the sounds of strangers getting it on.

In a hurry to shake the uncomfortable feeling, he stood up and wiped the sweat from his brow, squinting against the painful rim of sunlight that radiated from the corners of the curtains. It wasn't enough to hurt him, so long as he stayed out of the direct beams, but his eyes certainly complained.

And so did his head, and he had to wonder if it was the sunlight, the lack of sleep, or all the drinking he'd done last night that caused it.

Finally, he unbuttoned his yellow bumblebee shirt and stripped it off, dropping it carelessly onto the floor next to his suitcase. He found an Avenged Sevenfold t-shirt and some sweatpants and changed in the bathroom, hoping that his bed would be safe to return to by the time he got back. When he found that it was, in fact, still in motion, he sighed and picked up the ice bucket. He still felt sweaty, and uneasy, and he thought perhaps he could cool himself down by getting some ice—and escaping the room entirely. He just had to hope that there were no open windows.

Braving the potential sunlight, Nathaniel opened the door cautiously, hiding behind it until he could be sure no direct beams of sunlight would be stopping him. There was one window to the outdoors at the very end of the hall, but for now it had its curtains closed, and he had to have faith it would remain that way until the sun was on the other side of the building. With bare feet, he stepped out onto the short carpet of the hotel hallway, shoving down his shame at being so underdressed in public so that he could put some space between himself and his neighbors.

Bucket in tow, he made his way sleepily to the ice machine, eyes tracing the strange pattern on the carpet. Hearing his name, he looked up to find Ira, and then looked back down to see all the ice that just landed on the floor.

"Oh. Good morning," he said, not sure what else he possibly could say. Something made him  put a hand on his head and slide it forward to flatten his hair. He didn't even know how it looked and he hoped he hadn't managed to make it look worse. His heartbeat sky-rocketed at the run-in. He hadn't been too drunk to remember the details of last night, but he hadn't yet reflected on the kiss he and Ira had shared. Until that moment. When he'd run back into him.

He cleared his throat while he wrestled with the urge to stoop down and pick up the ice for him. He'd wonder later if his brain was even actually working at the time.

"I, uhm. I hope you slept well." His face was turned toward Ira, but his eyes stayed fixed on the door across the hall, trying not to look at the ice on the floor. He didn't want to embarrass Ira by drawing attention to the mess he assumed Ira had just made.
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Offline Kāo

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The machine spit cubes straight ahead. Some bounced off the overfilled pail in his hands, and Ira himself, scattering in several directions to the floor. A few landed at Nathaniel's feet. "Oh, dear!"

Ira drew the pail away and the machine immediately ground to a halt with an exasperated sigh. "Yes, very well, thank you. The beds are very comfortable for an insomniac." He crouched with his knees spread apart. The leafs of his robe peeled open to reveal a swath of tanned thigh, no hint of cotton garments, barely blocking out... the rest of him.

"Would you be so kind?" Ira gestured to the scattered ice by Nathaniel's bare foot and held out his hand. He lifted his chin and fixed him with a keen smile. "I like the yellow one better," he said about the shirt. But more pressingly, he wondered about his lack of shoes. "Where... have you come from?" 


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"Hm? Oh." Nathaniel dropped into a squat and set the ice bucket aside right away. "Of course." He scooped up a handful of ice and passed it off to Ira before taking a glance at the man and his... robe. Definitely just his robe.

Nathaniel focused on picking ice cubes off the tile, collecting a few in his hand while he avoided looking at Ira again. He wasn't sure what Ira meant by "the yellow one," too flustered to put much thought to it.

"Just down the hall," he answered. He gestured with his ice-filled fist and then offered it to Ira to take. "My neighbors seem to be particularly energetic this morning." He had to try hard not to roll his eyes. Gaze glancing over Ira's peculiar tan, Nathaniel stood up again and crossed his arms over his chest. He debated the chances of his room being still and quiet if he went back now. He was entirely prepared to abandon his ice bucket there and set off at a sprint. Thoughts continuously drifting back to last night, he was beginning to think the date had set him off on an irreparable state of sinful thoughts he would deny himself the pleasure of indulging in fully for months, if he could help it.

But the need to feed was upon him, and he would have to find someone to eat from soon. More sinful thoughts, really. He needed Sam.

"Well, it was nice running into you again. Enjoy your day." He stepped back out into the hall just in time for a housekeeper at the end of the hall to pull back the curtain. From instinct, he leapt backward into the nook for the ice machine, knocking into Ira in the process. "Sorry. Sorry." He felt his face and his arms, looking for any signs that the sunlight had hurt him.
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Offline Kāo

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"Nothing like a joyous round of cardio to jump-start your morning," Ira replied with a mockingly disgusted scoff, then a smile. Quietly, he thanked Nathaniel and took the melting cubes, but passed them off into the tiny plastic garbage bin beside the vending machine. No way was he going to put that floor-contaminated ice into his bucket.

Just as Ira was blotting his hands on his robe and preparing a witty remark about cardio + their date last night + that scrumptious good-bye kiss, Nathaniel ducked his head and turned to go, seemingly eager to be rid of him. Ira's jaw flashed and his green gaze stared after the man's back, brain straining—for once—to come up with something to say. But then he was laughing, catching himself with a hand to the floor after being bowled into.

"I forgot how difficult that lifestyle is to maintain," he said good-naturedly after a moment, getting to his feet with his bucket. He put the ice on his hip and eyed Nathaniel's exposed arms and hands for any sign of damage; that startled expression, the trembling hands, and the elevation in that slow, albeit nervous, heart rate forced him to reach a conclusion.

"I suppose this means you haven't heard." His voice was low and close, standing so near to Nathaniel that his chest pushed into the back of his arm. He looked at Nathaniel's face from over his shoulder, hovering as the angelic/demonic voice in his right ear. "You don't have to live in the night any longer, Nathaniel." For shocking illustration, Ira licked his sharp teeth, then proudly thrust his splayed-out hand into the open shaft of warm, morning sunlight, putting swirls in the drifting dust motes. As further evidence, Ira turned his back to the light and stepped backwards into it, eyes fixed eagerly on Nathaniel, letting it wash over him until his eyes closed and face turned upwards, soaking in it. He spread his arm like a wing in the oversized robe sleeve. Shadows carved out the other half of his face, defining his nose, eyelashes, jaw, and throat—as well as a tiny corner of his smirking lips.

When he looked at Nathaniel again, his pupils constricted in a flash. He came closer to him again, pressing closer and closer until he had Nathaniel backed up to the far wall of the ice-machine alcove. "You're a dirty bird, sneaking out on me last night. We could have taken a trip to your room if it was so 'late' and you had 'other obligations' to get back to." Pointedly, Ira slipped his hand down and brought Nathaniel's right hand up with it. "Did you put him to work after our kiss?" he said, in that in-between voice that was almost a whisper, but lower and not so refined. He wet his lips, then smiled. In his normal volume he announced, "I have something to show you. Come, come."

Ira ducked his head into the room where the maid had opened the blinds and kindly asked her to draw them again for a moment to let his sickly friend pass by unharmed. She spoke no English. He made due with some pidgin Spanish, and soon the coast was clear. He all but dragged Nathaniel back to his room, (hopped inside first to shut the curtains,) then closed the door tightly behind them.

He went to the fridge for the syringes he kept there. The ice was forgotten.

"Sit down, sit down. Nobody ever stood up while making history," he said absently. Soon he had a filled, plastic-capped syringe in his hands and he rolled it gently between his palms. "This... this is freedom in a vial, darling."


Offline Stace

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Nathaniel kept missing Ira's jokes, too anxious to really even concentrate on anything Ira had said. Stuck between the sunbeam and the ice machine with Ira, he didn't have much space to turn and help him up, though he did repeatedly reach forward cautiously to offer to assist him.

And then Ira's voice was in his ear, sweet and sultry, and Nathaniel was all too aware of the feel of Ira's body pushing up against him, even if it was just his arm. He didn't know what Ira was talking about, but knowing the effect of sun on vampires, reached out to stop him before he could submerge his hand in the sunlight. But he had to withdraw, and Ira didn't, and nothing happened except for the bright illumination of Ira's...remarkably tanned skin and the pain that came along with the reflected sunlight in Nathaniel's eyes.

His mouth fell open and he fought the urge to squint as he tried to make sense of it. Was Ira not actually a vampire? With alarm, he watched Ira back into the sunlight and close his eyes. He rubbed his own chest, trying to massage the knot out of it. How could this be?

And then Ira was looking directly at him again, and between the pain of straining through the sunlight to look at Ira's handsome face, and the extreme discomfort of looking someone else in the eye, Nathaniel turned his gaze away, blinking furiously to fight the sting. But in his neglect to keep his eye on Ira, he found himself chest-to-chest with him once more, and he backed up to the wall, turning his face to Ira's now because he did not know what to expect. Was this an attack?

Nathaniel swallowed hard, turning to look at his hand as Ira lifted it. "Him? Who—No, of course not!" He ripped his hand from Ira's grasp, unsure what to make of his teasing. It honestly wasn't unlike Sam's teasing, and he found it both familiar and unsettling. He frowned at him, but Ira was already off and speaking in clumsy Spanish to the housekeeper. While Ira was away, Nathaniel put a hand on his hip and paced the tiny space, shutting his eyes tightly and trying to come up with an escape plan. He wasn't going to get out of the hall without Ira's help. And now Ira fully understood that he was only just down the hall from him. There was not really any escape but to play along.

And it didn't help that he was now being ushered into Ira's room. With a longing look down the hall at his own room, he wondered why he had to leave it in the first place, and he stepped inside Ira's room yet again. It felt odd to be visiting him wearing... what either of them was wearing. He swallowed again and watched Ira warily.

He did not sit while he waited for him to return.

Nathaniel's eyes went straight to the syringe  Ira held onto. "Freedom? As in the sun?" His hands shook, and in an attempt to make it less obvious, he smoothed the front of his shirt repeatedly. "It's very wonderful that you've found a way to live life normally. I really could use some more sleep, though. I'm sure the neighbors have gone to breakfast by now."
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Offline Kāo

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"Freedom to reclaim some of what you had lost," Ira said. "Freedom to enjoy the best of both your human nature and your... alterations. Be strong, be quick, but don't give up your God-given inheritance to the sunlight, darling."

"I'm sure they have," he said about Nathaniel's neighbors. "And if you trust me... trust your own good judgment... you and I could be out taking a stroll this very moment. The sun kissing your skin, warming your bones; the light would no longer sting your pretty eyes. You could see the flowers in bloom again. And feed pigeons, and watch clouds, and see airplanes glinting in the sunshine. When's the last time you've gotten to see an air balloon that wasn't in a picture? Or a sunset reflected on an office building? Or little old ladies walking their poodles? Little old ladies never go out at night." Ira gave his most winning, sincere smile and concluded softly, "I would very much like to offer you one day of pure, wholesome goodness. Think of it as collection on that raincheck you promised me last night."

He turned the syringe for Nathaniel to take it from him. The needle's long plastic cap pointed at Ira neutrally.


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The sound of the term "God-given" caused Nathaniel to flinch and it sullied his thoughts for the duration of Ira's speech. He breathed in and out too quickly while he listened, eyes falling distantly on Ira's chest. He'd never seen a hot air balloon in person. He could remember blue skies with white clouds, that feeling of warm son on cold skin. He remembered the day he gave up trying to catch glimpses of reflected sunsets.

Arms over his chest, he stared at the syringe when Ira held it out to him, and only the expectation that he should take the item Ira was giving him spurred him on, with hesitation, to reach out and wrap his hand around it with slow, tentative fingers.

Nathaniel pulled the syringe closer to examine the liquid inside, his eyebrows tilted in in deep concentration. He weighed the item in his palm while he weighed the decision now set before him in his mind, hand open while he stared at it.

His lower lip quivered as his throat tightened up. He closed his hand around the syringe and squeezed his eyes shut, quiet tears dripping down while he put the middle knuckle of his clenched fist to the space between his eyes. The next breath in shook his whole body, and his eyes and mouth popped open as he pulled his fist away. He offered the syringe back to Ira.

"I'm not meant for it," he said. "I have no right. Please. Take it back." 
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Offline Kāo

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Ira waited with a patient, satisfied smile and kept his eyes trained on Nathaniel's young face. He shifted on his feet and folded his hands behind his back. It wasn't all that long ago that he'd been faced with the same opportunity, however his reaction had been completely different than Nathaniel's; straight after becoming a vampire, Ira spiraled so lowly into depression that if he'd been presented with a golden pistol and a magical bullet for his brain, he might have considered accepting the gift.

"What?" Ira stared at the syringe, then examined the other man's face with a frown. He didn't blame Nathaniel for a lack of enthusiasm when offered a suspicious hypodermic, but did find it unusual that he gave up entirely. "No right? Whatever you think that means, it's nonsense. Pure, nonsensical nonsense."

Ira took the syringe, but uncapped it in a slow and nonthreatening motion. "My dear Nathaniel. There is not one person alive who deserves the gift of life, yet all of Earth sees the sun for a little while; it shines upon the cheaters, liar, murderers, and thieves alike. And also the holy, the devote, the loving. There is no such thing as no right to the sun."

Ira held out his empty hand for Nathaniel's wrist. "This is my gift to give. I wish to give it to you."
« Last Edit: July 01, 2019, 03:03:55 AM by Kāo »


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Nathaniel listened, dropping his head in shame when Ira called him out for nonsense. He did not believe it was nonsense, but Ira's rebuttal did make him rethink his position.

When Ira held his hand out, Nathaniel lifted his head again, and after more hesitation, he swallowed and slowly rose his hand so that Ira could grab on as he pleased.

He still didn't deserve it. No matter what Ira had to say about it, however charming and seductive his words and voice were. Nathaniel would never deserve to see the sunlight again. How could he? Who was he to claim that right? He'd forfeited it long ago. He wasn't some helpless victim to a vampire. He had chosen to live in exile from the sun. He had decided to hide in the night for forever from the wrath of a deity whose name he could no longer speak, though he could think it and he could think it and he could think on it over and over and still choke on the word as he tried to speak it and still be seared by the touch of the cross and sickened by the presence of a church or even a mosque or any temple to a singular divine entity. Nathaniel knew very well what life should look like for him.

Nathaniel watched the needle, and wondered if it would burn as though the cross had been injected into his bloodstream, and surely if that was not the case then the serum would upon him be defunct, and today he would die in the light of the Lord who did not want him. Today was a good day to end his life, he thought.

A new tear ran down his cheek toward the corner of his mouth. He squeezed out a tight-lipped smile for him. He found his eyes with his own.

"Thank you," he said softly.
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Ira took the hand Nathaniel relinquished to him and used it to guide him to the nearest chair. There he knelt at his feet and turned his wrist over to look at the bluish lines one the tender underside. Glancing up at Nathaniel's renewed tears, Ira scoffed lightly. "Pish-posh," he said, but smiled softly at him.

He couldn't possibly understand all of what was going through the other man's mind and heart, though he could tell there was a great deal of pain broiling on the surface; it warmed him to realize he was loosening the damning bonds of heartache for Nathaniel, if only for a little while.

"This will hurt at first." Ira massaged a vein inside Nathaniel's elbow and made him ball his fist until the vein rose to the surface, fat with slow-going blood. "The pain will subside, but it may feel as though it is burning you. That will pass. I'll feed you my own blood—or the maid's blood—to snap you out of anything that may look like an emergency." He lifted his face with that same soft smile and gave him a wink. "I am not anticipating an emergency. Ready? One, two..." Ira pushed the needle in on 'one' and withdrew by 'three.' He pushed his thumb over the entry site and pressed firmly. With his free hand, he expertly capped the syringe again and threw it underhanded to the bed, where it bounced once.

Ira studied Nathaniel's face and murmured reassurances to him.


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Nathaniel nodded while Ira explained the process to him. So it would hurt. It was a comfort to know it in advance, he supposed.

Ira's blood? The maid's blood? Nathaniel knew that either would trigger events Ira could not be aware he might have to face. But he said nothing, despite the urge to beg Ira to let him die, knowing this man would not accept his argument that his life was not worth the maid's life and that if he did indeed feed upon her, he would make sure that she died in one way or another. He knew it seemed out of his character. And it was. Except that it wasn't, not when the taste of blood touched his lips.

Nathaniel sat in the chair and watched Ira's strong, but tender hands as they positioned and prepared him for the injection, and his eyes were on the needle while it penetrated his skin.

He sucked in a sharp breath while the sting spread beyond just the point of injection and through his veins. For a moment he felt his whole body aflame, but as Ira had said, it was very brief, and whatever Nathaniel had prepared for, this was not that. The pain dissipated, the final bits of lingering ache remaining in his fingertips which he now stared at as though they might somehow answer whether the remedy would work.

Ira's reassurances were most welcome, though in truth, Nathaniel was so consumed with the experience of the injection and the following pain and the myriad thoughts that accompanied it that he was hardly aware that Ira was the one speaking.

When he finally did notice, he looked Ira in the face. "Did it work?" he asked, voice trembling, not unlike the way his hands now did. "Is it instant? Must I wait?" He didn't know if he was excited or scared, and it never occurred to him that he could feel both at once.

He glanced over at the curtains where the light seeped in as a rectangular halo glow of morning from without. Did it not sting? Or was he hopeful? Was this the placebo effect at work? He waited for Ira's response before he stood, now entranced by the window and the internal debate of whether to step in slowly or to plunge in headfirst and get it over with.
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"There is no wait," Ira told him, smiling.

When he was sure there would be no bleeding from Nathaniel's inner elbow, he lifted his thumb off the injection site. Standing to his feet, he rested his hand on Nathaniel's shoulder and admired the rectangular shaft of light with him. "Wait a moment -- take these." Ira found the pair of sunglasses he'd been wearing on the balcony and handed them over. "It won't blind you any longer, but the sun is still as harsh as it was when we were merely humans; those will help you to adjust."

The moment Nathaniel had the dark lenses covering his eyes, Ira snatched at the curtain and yanked it aside roughly. The curtains screamed softly on the rail and a floodlight of morning sun engulfed them. Grinning madly, Ira led him onto the platform outside the door. He kicked the foot of the chaise lounge he'd been sprawled upon so that it turned more toward the shifting sun high in the sky, then gestured for Nathaniel to take a seat; looking down upon a sun-drenched world from the eighth floor could be rather jarring to all those unaccustomed. "This. This. Is a life worth living." Ira sat beside him and gazed down through the glass-paneled railing. He leaned his shoulder into Nathaniel's side and patted his back.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2019, 12:18:19 AM by Kāo »