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[M] Busted || Stace & Kao ||

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Offline Kāo

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you spoke as one
who fed on poetry

I fell in love with
the world inside you.





Nathaniel Wheelwright
St. Louis, MO
The St. Louis Gateway Arch



Okay, fine it wasn't an outburst. But it certainly wasn't normal. Anxiety had always found a way to be destructive in Nathaniel's life. Ira scooped up his arm and surprised him, but Nathaniel allowed it, taking a buzzed stroll through the St. Louis streets on the way to the gorgeous Arch.

The lift ride to the top was cramped, but they rode alone. Once they reached the top, with a bit of a smile, feeling much more relaxed to be somewhere that was not crowded, he leaned onto the bit of wall between them and the tiny window and peered out. The town's beauty helped him relax, despite the heights, despite the fact that he was on a date and he didn't really know how to date. He looked over at Ira who appeared legitimately impressed, wide-eyed and amazed. He admired Ira's childlike awe, but as always, attempting to envision Heaven brought him some pain, weighing on his chest in the same way that ever-disturbing anxiety did.

"Perhaps a little. In the sense that you can look out and see so much at once. But I imagine much of the joy of being in Heaven is from the relief felt when released from your years of suffering on Earth. A sense of accomplishment and pride." He smiled, eyes on Ira's face. He propped a hand up on the wall he leaned on, body bent over it. "But all I feel up here is the alcohol swimming in my skull."



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Offline Kāo

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a boy with too much to say
Ira Flick


Had Ira known that his choice of topic was triggering any sort of negative reaction within Nathaniel (besides the obvious dose of pessimism in the man's tone of voice,) he would have avoided it altogether. But as it was, he looked at the other man curiously, not bothering to filter the judgement trickling through from his thoughts into his expression. Relief? Years of suffering on the Earth? Was Nathaniel gazing down upon the same nostalgia-inducing old town as he was? Ira felt the insatiable urge to wax poetic. He would first push Nathaniel's attention to the grandest features of the city; he'd deepen his tone to a true Storyteller's timbre, pump his fist to the triumphs and anguishes of St. Louis and its people, and cry foul for all the unheard stories its poorest had endured.  And then, like a master woodworker with a fine needle tool, he would carefully whittle out the very smallest delights this magnificent Arch alone had to offer.

Yet he paused just long enough to study Nathaniel's wise eyes in his soft youthful face and think, No...I don't believe any of that is lost on him. So, remarkably, he said nothing.

Yes, there was something quieter, more tragic to Nathaniel's musing than mere human pessimism, Ira concurred with himself. It was the kind of soul-baring insight one may exhume only after several glasses of Cabernet Sauvignon—the life juice of philosophers. Rather than offensive, his sentiment became beautiful in the most devastating way. Relief, he thought again. Yes, relief is the only word precious enough for Heaven.

Ira's expression lightened and with a soft, sympathetic laugh, he eased closer to Nathaniel once again. "I believe you are either experiencing a very trying moment in your life, or you have not yet begun to live," he  said quietly. He kept his eyes turned to the river, but leaned his shoulder gently into Nathaniel's. "For a man who only encounters suffering on Earth does not yet know what joys the Earth has to offer him." Boldly, but with fine-tuned grace and patience, Ira wove his fingers into Nathaniel's. He kept his voice quiet, and naturally it deepened to a murmur meant only for Nathaniel. "Love, for instance... is a rare joy for us. Isn't it? Sometimes tainted with nearly unbearable suffering. ...I think that may make it the most valuable of joys; best not to turn it loose too early." Ira tilted his head toward Nathaniel, but still avoided catching eyes until the very last word of his next sentence.
"Will you walk me to my hotel?"


« Last Edit: May 07, 2019, 01:25:50 AM by Kao »


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I beg for a moment,
a lingering eternity in your grace,
denouncing the cyclical revolution of my own
desires, unearthed:
a soul for one more day of spineless perpetuation,
joyless survival colliding with the blazing
forest He made and yet will not Himself quench.
                 softness, n. d.  wheelwright


Nathaniel did not yet know just how remarkable Ira's lack of response to what he'd just said really was, but he did enjoy the brief quiet between them as he looked out over the city again. Truly he did feel the alcohol swimming in his skull, feeling a little unsteady—or was that just the Arch swaying in the wind? He did not know. Either way, it added a dash of fun to just standing around.

He turned his face to Ira with heavier eyelids than before, though he remained quite capable of accessing his wits, but what Ira said stunned him into further silence. It gave him something to think on—something he was quite reluctant to think on considering he was in no rush to admit he'd wasted centuries of his time not living. He glanced down over his own cheeks at their shoulders as they touched, and then moved his gaze to Ira's profile while the other man still looked out at the river. His lips parted with a shaky breath in when Ira wove his fingers into his. His breathing became quicker and he tried not to sound like he was having a panic attack. He wasn't, not this time, though the tension was certainly there. By now, however, the alcohol had done its depressant effect, and the lack of inhibitions had become clear. Holding another man's hand felt nice. This was so lovely, gosh dang it. And Ira got it. He completely understood him, what it meant to be a vampire. That's what he was saying. Love was hard for their kind. Nathaniel admired that they didn't have to bring up what they were to each other. Somehow conversations with other vampires always came to an explicit declaration that each person was, indeed, a vampire and not human please don't bite me.

Nathaniel closed his grasp on Ira's hand and rubbed the base of his thumb from the base of Ira's thumb and up past his knuckle and slowly back down, causing some gentle, twisting friction between their palms that stirred something deep in his gut. He licked his lips, looking Ira in the eyes now that he finally could look at him. He felt victorious when he didn't feel the need to look away—well, not immediately anyway. He nodded with a subtle up and down motion of his head and a slightly growing smile.

"Absolutely," he said, with just enough volume that Ira would be the only one who could hear him. His gaze dropped to his lips, but even with this much alcohol in his system, he abandoned that thought quickly, and stepped back from the wall, moving aside so that Ira could lead.
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Offline Kāo

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It was nearly too good to be true. To have found a man so beautiful, so lovely, and so willing to share his company... well, it was poetry. Just then, Ira could have easily sat down and begun to write a sonnet in celebration of this gift from God. But he did not. Because there was no paper, the lighting was all wrong, and he was on a mission.

"Excellent," he said. "This way, dear boy."

Ira led him to the large casino-hotel with the blue fleur-de-lis on its side. An old building newly renovated and under fresh management. Inside, a security guard watched from behind the front desk as they passed and Ira flashed a hotel key card. The ride to his room, somewhere near the top floor, involved a change of elevators; the first stopped at a sky bar while the second required a guest key and gave entry to the floors with rooms. Everything was cream, pure white, rich blue, or purple, with gold hardware on every door hinge and sink basin.

"Here we are," he announced once they were inside of his room. He gestured grandly to the bed, the chairs, the whole of the elegant room "Feel free to bask in the glory. And take anything you wish from the mini-bar."
« Last Edit: May 25, 2019, 04:19:09 PM by Kao »


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They took the tram back down to ground level, and it was just as anxiety-inducing as the first time, despite the alcohol. Nathaniel found himself wondering if maybe he should find some liquor and have just one more shot to really get rid of his nerves. But then again, would that even do the trick? He'd probably find himself passed out before it actually managed to free him from the anxiety he'd been living with for centuries.

What did help was the cool, but humid, summer night air. It was lovely, and so was the view of the river and the glowing moon overhead. Every person they walked past smell ten times more delicious than they normally did, yet with Ira, his new friend or... whatever he might be, at his side, he felt anchored for now—again, despite the alcohol that might have otherwise rubbed out some of his inhibitions. Perhaps the one inhibition that it was truly affecting at this point, was the one that kept him from getting close to people. He couldn't not begin to obsess over the fact that he'd made a friend in a vampire in... such a short period of time.

Nathaniel thought that when Ira had asked him to walk him to his hotel that he might leave him in the lobby, or maybe the elevator, or at most, at the door to his hotel room. And he found that as he passed each of those landmarks, he grew more and more anxious again. Certainly, he'd understood the question right? This was the end of the night, wasn't it? And so why was he standing in a strange man's hotel room. He looked a bit dumbstruck as he looked around the room, though perhaps for different reasons than Ira, who was telling him to bask in the glory of the beautiful hotel room, might have guessed at.

Realizing his mouth was hanging open, Nathaniel shut it and wet his lips before swallowing. "I-it's lovely," he said. He hesitated in taking another step forward. "It's also late. I should... I can't really be here."
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Offline Kāo

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"Oh, but you must!" Ira rushed to Nathaniel in long, graceful strides to take up his hands in his own. His eyes, green and lively but not so fiercely colored as Nathaniel's, danced over the other man's face before glancing upon his lips, still damp from being licked. Feeling the compulsion to also wet his own mouth, Ira stopped himself short of doing so. He did swallow, however. Something clicked in his parched throat. "Just another drink. A little company in dim lighting, a little thrill of soft voices. Please?"

Ira lifted Nathaniel's hand to his own cheek. After a brief press of skin on skin, he turned his head to kiss the man's soft palm. "It has been a very long time since I've enjoyed such lovely company," he said softly, and he meant it. "Come to the couch. I won't dare to presume you would be comfortable resting on the bed, though it is far more comfortable than the over-stuffed furniture... Follow, follow."

Ira began to walk backwards, leading Nathaniel by both hands. After a few steps, when he was sure the man would trail behind him, he let go of one hand and turned to walk straight ahead until they arrived beside the long, velvety sofa and cluster of matching chairs. Ira sat first, then gleefully tugged Nathaniel down with him, almost into his lap. "See, darling? We'll have a grand old time; you only need to endue a little trust in the power of the Unknown and I'll do the rest. Wine? Or something... stronger?" After stealing a quick, gentle kiss on the cheek, Ira flashed his nice, even teeth at him, wider than he had all night so that Nathaniel could clearly see his sharp canines. He eased away and stood to collect their drinks from the refrigerated bar.

"The problem is, an opportunity like this comes so rarely in a lifetime, you're almost forced to act upon it whenever it gifts itself, lest you miss out forever. As a matter of fact, this very evening could be each of our Last Chance and we would be none the wiser. Isn't that so?" Ira continued on without a need for reply. He gathered glasses and poured drinks. "The last time I felt this enthralled by a man, I was six, and he'd handed me the first poem I'd ever read. It was on a napkin. He signed it N.W. All my life I've tracked down his works, and all my life I've aspired to be half the wordsmith that man is. . .Would you like ice in your bourbon, N.W.?"


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Everything with Ira seemed to happen in a blur. They'd gone so quickly from Arch to hotel room, and now, with his heart beating out of his chest, Nathaniel found himself seated up against Ira on a (fantastic) velvet sofa in the span of a single heartbeat, or so it felt. He wasn't prepared for the thrill of soft voices, for more kisses to his palms, or to his cheek. He rubbed his palms against the velvet when Ira got up, at first to wipe his hand dry of sweat, but he found the softness comforting and highly enjoyable. With his eyebrows playing bumper cars on his forehead, Nathaniel watched Ira and wondered how he had not managed to walk out when he felt so uncomfortable. It wasn't that he didn't find Ira intensely charming; he just didn't want to. Romance was a complication on its own, but in his situation...

He didn't have time to think  about his situation when he replayed what Ira had just said to him in his head. He'd been so caught up in his own thoughts that he wasn't even really listening to his host.

"Bourbon? Y-yes, please. Ice would be lovely," he said. He drifted back off again into thought, looking Ira over more analytically than before while he was still some distance away. "As a boy you became enthralled by a man with a napkin?" he asked, trying to figure out what was really intriguing him about this story. "Do I remind you of him? I'm sorry I haven't any poems on napkins for you today."

He glanced at the door, then at the time on a wall clock. Sam would be looking for him soon, for certain. "Just one more drink," he said to Ira when he took the bourbon from him with a trembling hand. "I truly can't stay long." He tried to look apologetic while he lifted from the sofa to seat himself farther from Ira as the other vampire tried to sit.
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Offline Kāo

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Hmm. Perhaps he had over-estimated his childhood memory of that handsome, youthful face and vivid eyes. . .Ira had been sure this Nathaniel was the very same he'd met all those years ago in the crowded Boston restaurant; that strange man he'd watched sit through an entire meal, waiting for him to take a bite of the food he'd ordered, only to have it doggy bagged. And Nathaniel wasn't the only one given to such proclivities, it seemed, for his companion at the time followed suit. The memory of that dastardly blond man who'd gripped him too tightly and spoke too firmly could raise Ira's hackles when he pictured it. Ira still remembered hopping off his own chair, crossing the room, and giving that bastard a piece of his mind. Darling roses are meant to be held, not crushed.

"Mm, you remind me of him very much indeed," he said, handing off the glass and taking his spot on the sofa once again. That Nathaniel shifted away from him was not lost on Ira, but he pleasantly ignored it. "Do you have somewhere to be, Nathaniel?" His tone was easy, gentle. "Please pardon my attention to detail; I couldn't help but notice the way you glanced at the time. Fervently, almost. Is someone... waiting for you?" He sipped his whiskey, then let the glass rest on one crossed knee. His slender arm stretched out along the back of the couch, reaching toward Nathaniel but never touching him.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2019, 11:44:46 PM by Kao »


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Nathaniel lifted his glass to his lips, but when Ira pointed out his "attention to detail," he lowered it again, putting his attention back firmly on his words and where the other man cast his gaze. With an air of shame, he dropped his eyes to the glass, taking it in both hands and turning it between them.

"There's no one waiting for me. I just—it's just late," he said, finally putting his eyes on Ira again, but this time on his chest. He licked his teeth, his upper lip bulging with the shape of his tongue, and then he finally took a sip of his drink. "I've really enjoyed the evening." He gave a tight smile in Ira's direction and then stood, smoothing his pants and his "bumblebee shirt" as Ira had seemed to enjoy calling it.

The irony of him trying to leave was that he actually was staying at this same hotel. He just hadn't actually checked in yet. "I just... I left my car parked far away, and I should really bring it back..." he looked Ira over, reluctant to say "here." He didn't want to give the impression that he had any intention of staying in this room with Ira. He was neither interested in doing so, nor interested in imposing himself upon Ira even if for some reason he really did want to stay with him.
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Ira remained in his seat and followed Nathaniel with his gaze. He listened, head on a gentle tilt, and waited but heard no legitimate excuse for the hasty departure. "Forgive me... But if no one is expecting you home, and you have been enjoying yourself as much as I have been, and your car, being an inanimate object is perfectly fine on its own..."

He finally rose to his feet, set aside his glass. His expression was soft and his voice beseeching. "Nathaniel, please, are you... afraid of me? Made uncomfortable by my... advances? Please, dear boy, excuse me if I have misread the chemistry I believe I have felt this evening. But if I was correct in presuming you want this as much as I do..." Ira took Nathaniel gently by a wrist and a hip and reeled him in. "Please don't deny either of us this moment. It doesn't have to be anything more than that; a moment to talk quietly, to touch, to laugh, share thoughts. Nothing more. Not if you don't want it." He hovered very near, but did not glance down at Nathaniel's soft mouth.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2019, 01:02:17 AM by Kao »


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His argument was already getting all kinds of holes punched in it, and his trembling continued, now more noticeably. Nathaniel took a step back, closer to the exit, but found himself being reeled in, drink still in hand. He stared at Ira's chest, unable to glance up at his face. He shook his head slightly.

"I just have other obligations. That's all," he said quietly. He glanced at his drink and turned away, gently placing an arm across Ira's chest and easing out of his grasp and into taking a long drink of bourbon. Stooping down briefly, he set down the glass, now with nothing but cubes of ice in it. "I appreciate the lovely evening. I really do. It's not..." he glanced over his shoulder, but not far enough to actually look at Ira.

He was hardly sure what he was saying. It didn't help that he didn't know what he wanted. He wanted to be here, sure, but he also wanted to not hurt Sam or give Sam a reason to nitpick him or to lie to Sam and say he hadn't spent the evening with a lovely stranger. Which he'd already done, but... A number of reasons crossed his mind why he shouldn't stay, and one of them was the fact that he wanted to. He wasn't used to getting what he wanted, or perhaps he wasn't used to allowing himself to enjoy what he wanted. Sam was his comfort zone. Sam was a good excuse to not stay. Sam was a good person to turn to when he felt unsure of himself. Sam was the only person he could depend on. And Sam was always there for him to fall back on—and so Nathaniel never grew, not really.

"Another time. Would that do well? Just not...tonight."  He spoke quietly, almost ashamed of himself, and he had to wonder why that part of him that was able to look Ira in the eye earlier had disappeared now in this moment when he needed most to stand his ground.
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"Other obligations. I see," Ira muttered more to himself than Nathaniel. His disappointment could not have been more evident; the drop of his shoulders, the slope of his lips, and the dimming of his eyes. He released the other man without malice, allowing him to push away and finish the alcohol he'd poured for him but all the while, Ira battled a tightness in his throat. It was ridiculous, really, but he could not remember a time when he'd felt so genuinely rejected. It was an utterly novel, distasteful experience.

"Tomorrow, then?" he asked hopefully, following Nathaniel even as he ebbed slowly toward the door. On a last venture to coax him into staying, Ira touched Nathaniel's shoulder and pressed close to his side. Lowly he murmured, without quite looking him in the face, "My soul will ache if you leave now. May I have a small kiss to ease its suffering?"


Offline Stace

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Nathaniel could already feel his face flushing as Ira pressed up close—but then he asked for a kiss!

His heart practically vibrated against his chest. His soul will ache. It may not have been an effective line to a sober Nathaniel, but drunk, longing-but-guilty Nathaniel really fell prey to it.

And what part of him didn't want to kiss this extremely handsome, attractive, obviously attracted man?

His mouth moved open and closed while he tried to conjure the words he knew he needed to say to turn him down, but instead of managing that, he found his eyes on Ira's lips and his neck and then his lips again, wetting his own lips without thinking about it. He swallowed thickly. The gravity of Ira's mass so near his pulled him in. He lifted his chin. His mouth opened, tongue shifting forward in his mouth, his body very ready for something he knew he'd regret tomorrow. His lips brushed Ira's mouth without committing to a kiss.

"Just a small kiss," he whispered, tasting their combined breath while he hesitated, but he was too close to stall any longer, and he let his mouth press to Ira's, too happy to give Ira control over the moment if he was willing to take it.
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Ira stood very still as he let Nathaniel come nearer, closing the space between their wanting mouths. His eyes, too, flowed from Nathaniel's green gaze to his sensual damp lips in a slow-moving circuit, his breathing shallow but soft. The distant sound of sparse traffic through the ajar balcony door and the occasional, muted thump on the wall from the room next door were the only anchors he had to a sense of place, and of time moving, for it felt as though it had stalled entirely, stretching endlessly for this one stolen moment to exist.

"Just a kiss," Ira whispered back in a dreamy, dazed voice. A very small part of this moment was an act to him. But that very small part was merely acting more chill than he felt inside.

Ira shut his eyes before taking control of the kiss—he had to block out anything that would make him lose what little composure he had in hand. But any of his unease melted away as his lips pressed gently to Nathaniel's and his tongue made way inside his warm mouth to taste him. His hand found Nathaniel's waist and gripped him tighter, tugging him flush to his body with his own groan of surprise. His hands worked for themselves, one sliding up into the longest part of Nathaniel's hair while the other kept him anchored to the spot.

Lowly, he hummed, breaking the kiss for only a moment before attempting to go in for more.


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Perhaps it was a good thing that Ira gripped him so tightly, so passionately... because he might have swooned. It had been a long time since he'd had an evening such as this one, and perhaps just as long since he'd been engaged in kissing with a man. And had he mentioned yet that he was a very charming and handsome man?

Nathaniel hummed a few times throughout the kiss. The first time was when Ira's tongue made it into his mouth, and humming was the only thing he could bring himself to do in order to object aside from abruptly grip at Ira's shoulders and let the kiss continue. He hummed again a second later when that part of him that knew he should be cutting the kiss off just wasn't strong enough to voice its opinion. And then one more time, as Ira's lips vibrated against his in his own hum, and then their lips broke apart. He took a breath, partially ready to go back in, but the break in the kiss was enough for him to clear his head just long enough to pull his head back, mouth closely pursued by Ira's.

"This is more than a small kiss," he said with a nervous chuckle, though he couldn't bring himself to move any farther away from Ira just yet. He let his hands relax and slide down Ira's arms to rub the fronts of them appreciatively.

"I have to go," he said, with the least amount of conviction he'd managed to muster all evening. "I have to go." The second time was more for himself than Ira.
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