2004 Stories

Contains stories depicting real-life public figures engaged in completely fictional, false and untrue activities. Nothing in it ever happened. Nothing in it ever will happen. These stories are a work of fantasy and satire which in no way professes to express the truth about the life, thoughts, feelings, desires, opinions, beliefs, activities or sexual orientation of any person mentioned herein.

Falls the Shadow

for epicanthus
by azewewish

Pairing: Sean Bean/Orlando Bloom (Viggo Mortensen)
Rating: NC-17
Summary: Orlando only wants one thing.
Notes: All quotes (and the title) are from Part V of “The Hollow Men” by T.S. Eliot.

between the idea and the reality

“Still mooning after our favorite King?”

Finally, Orlando thought. He scooted further in the booth and waited for Sean to slide in next to him. Their thighs bumped together, heat against heat, familiar and welcome. Sean would help him out. It's who they were, after all.

“Thanks for coming out,” he said, and gave Sean a small, grateful smile.

“Anything for you,” Sean shrugged. The motion stretched the tight fabric of his t-shirt across wide shoulders. “So...how may I be of service?”

Orlando flushed a little at the blatant innuendo in Sean's voice, but ignored it for the moment. Flirting with Sean was something he did as a matter of course. Something to pass the long, hellish hours between takes. Hone his skills, that sort of thing. And Sean was a master of the game. “Billy this week,” Orlando said instead, and cocked his head in the direction of the table in the middle of the pub.

“So I see.”

Orlando's gaze flickered, then settled on Viggo. Viggo, with his sweet smile and solid kiss on Billy's upturned lips, before laughing at something B.K. was saying. Viggo, with his perfectly elegant dent in his chin and his perfectly elegant slow drawl and his perfectly elegant tapered hands. Viggo, with his otherworldly presence and knowledge, man, so much of it. He knew everything, noticed everything.

Noticed everyone except Orlando.

“I'm getting fed up with waiting for it to be my turn,” Orlando sighed. “You've noticed, haven't you? That Karl's been coming 'round the bus quite a bit.”


“New bloke. Playing Eomer.”

“Ah, right.” Sean made a show of licking his lips. Orlando's eyes narrowed as he followed the movement. “Tall, dark and fun. Likes sport.”

“That's the one,” Orlando groused. And no, he couldn't hold it against Karl for being all of those things. But it wasn't like Orlando wasn't tall, dark and fun himself, right? Right. So, yeah, what the hell was Viggo's problem?

“He sometimes looks at you,” Sean said, and Orlando glanced at him in surprise. “Vig, I mean. Like he's trying to figure you out.”

“The hell he does. Man wouldn't notice me if I was dancing naked for him covered in honey.”

“I'd notice,” Sean winked.

“'Course you would, ya pervert.” But Orlando couldn't help the smile that turned up the corners of his mouth. Trust Sean...

Sean bumped Orlando's shoulder, and grinned that famous crooked grin of his. “Much better. You keep frowning and you'll just get pruny and Pete'll have to replace you for something prettier.”

“Fuck you.”

“Ah, which is precisely my point.” Sean finally got around to pouring himself a pint, and topped off Orlando's glass. Their corner of the pub was crowded, so Sean scooted closer, and dropped his voice. Orlando had to lean in to hear him. “Perhaps you simply need to learn to seduce him,” Sean murmured, breath tickling the hairs on the back of Orlando's neck.

“Sean...” The word was a drawn-out sigh. “Don't do this.” Not when he was already hard and aching and wanting.

Feather-light lips brushed his ear as a sinful voice whispered seduction. “You think he could give you what you need?”

Viggo. Remember the goal. And this was precisely the opening that Orlando had been seeking. He turned back to Sean, gazed into hooded green eyes. “I think you can help me with that.”

“What makes you think I would help you?”

“Why wouldn't you?” Orlando asked, blinking a little. “Still mates, yeah? Want me to be happy and all that.” He smirked, giving Sean's solid frame a slow once-over. “Sides, you're the sexiest man I know. Who better to teach me?”

“You really think he'll make you happy?”

There was something in Sean's voice that Orlando couldn't quite place. “Think he'll get as close as any.”

“The maybe I'll do it. For a small price.” Sean favored him with another crooked grin.

“How generous of you.”

Sean made a scoffing sound, and dropped a hand over Orlando's wrist, the heat a brand. “Not generous at all,” he said, and the force of his gaze was like a living, snarling animal.

Sean would have to go and bring up that night again. "That was a mistake."

"Was it?"

"We agreed. It happened, it's done."

“Did we?” Sean mused.

“Doesn't matter.” And fuck Sean anyway. “If you won't help, I'll just find someone --”

"Three nights."

Orlando sat back down. "What?"

"I want three nights with you. Or no deal."

"Sean, that's..." Orlando didn't even know what to say.

"Blackmail, yes. I know." Not that he looked especially repentant, but something that could have been regret flickered behind his eyes. "I'm being honest about it at least."

"There's a comfort."

"Not like you're not attracted."

'Course he was. Who wouldn't be, really? This was Sean bloody Bean in all of his dangerously sexy glory. But Orlando didn't want dangerously sexy. He wanted Viggo. "The attraction isn't the issue," he began.

"But you don't want me."

"Not like I want him, no."

“Don't worry, I'm not going to insist on sex.”

Orlando knew Sean well enough to know that he was a man of his word.

"Three nights,” Sean repeated. “Of my choosing."

"Why?" It came out as a whisper.

Sean leaned in, breath tickling the hairs on Orlando's neck. "Because this isn't about what you want."

between the motion and the act

Four days passed before Sean said anything, and Orlando had almost forgotten that they'd made the bargain. Until he'd walked into the bus and had seen the note sticking from his mirror.

Tonight. 8pm. Your place.

“Hot date?” Viggo joked, unbuckling his sword belt from around his waist. He immediately picked up the camera from his table and idly fired off a few off-focus shots of the mirror.

“Hardly.” Orlando crumpled the paper in a tight fist, and turned from the mirror, giving Viggo what he hoped was a light grin. “It's nothing.”

The sour mood only intensified on the way home. Stupid bloody Sean, attracting Viggo's attention like that. Wouldn't that just be the kicker -- if Vig thought that there was someone else?

Orlando pounced on the door the second Sean came strolling inside, all casual elegance and smirking grin. “Why'd you have to leave the note?” Orlando glowered. “Vig saw it.”

“Got jealous, did he?” Sean laughed. He tossed his jacket over the back of the chair. Orlando wondered exactly how many tight t-shirts the man owned...not to mention form-fitting jeans.

“Not exactly. But he was curious.”

“Good. The seed's been planted. Got any beer?”

Right. Of course. Orlando left Sean in the living room, and grabbed two cold bottles from the refrigerator. When he came back, Sean was already comfortably sprawled on the sofa, taking up far more space than any one man had a right to. He always did. “Here,” Orlando said, and shoved a bottle into Sean's outstretched hand.

“Have a seat.” Sean patted the miniscule space next to him. “I promise not to bite. Yet.”

“Right.” Orlando knew better. You could dress a wolf up, but he was still a predator. Always good to remember that. He gingerly sat in the small space, heat racing through him at the feel of Sean's thigh nestled solidly against his. Memories of a cold night and scorching heat slammed through him. How'd he manage to forget that? And why the hell had Sean brought it up?

“Relax. I'm not going to hurt you.”

"I know. I trust you." Things between him and Sean were...well, they just were, is all. He could tell Sean anything at all, and know that Sean would keep it secret. Sean was a good 'un like that, knew the value of privacy. It was nothing to find Orlando at Sean's house in the middle of the night, letting himself in with the key Sean'd had made for him, crawling in beside a warm body and strong arms. And it was nothing for Sean to drop by at all hours, 6-pack in hand, ready to sprawl on the sofa and watch telly 'til they were curled around each other, dozing until they were needed on set. “Still mates,” he added.

"Except when we weren't."

“Sean...” A low warning, but Orlando forced his shoulders to drop, and rolled his neck. Immediately, he felt better. Yeah, Sean was a wolf, but a relatively tame one. Orlando could handle this, long as he focused on the ultimate goal.


“Better,” Sean smiled. “Can't go off acting like some cock-up. Never get Viggo that way.”

“Very funny.”

“I'm not laughing.” Sean waited a beat. “Tell me why you want Viggo.”

Orlando shrugged, the movement shifting him closer to Sean, who threw an arm around his shoulders and pulled him close. Better, Orlando thought, and curled around Sean's side. The heat was there, but slow-burning, wasn't threatening to incinerate him the way it had been threatening to a few moments ago. “What's not to want?” he said, and tilted his head to nuzzle at the soft spot just below Sean's jawline. Nice. Sean still tasted faintly of some dark spice.

“Need a better reason than that.”

Orlando pondered the question for a few moments. “I'm not sure I can describe it.”

“Alright, then. Tell me what you feel when you're around him.”

“Like...he's just so...earthy, y'know?” Orlando snuggled closer, warming to his subject. “He knows so much, but he's so...it's like...he...like he's looking for inspiration, someone to take care of him and be what he wants.”

Long fingers cupped Orlando's chin, and Orlando found himself staring into unfathomable green eyes. “And what about what you want?” Sean asked.

Orlando's lips parted. Heat, so much of it, cascading between them, and the tenor of the evening changed again. “What about it?” he rasped, dropping his eyes to stare at the glistening tip of Sean's tongue when it peeked from behind closed lips.

“That's what we're here to find out. Now, close your eyes.” Sean's every breath seemed inordinately loud, and the heat of him once again threatened to burn Orlando from the inside out.

Relax, Orlando told himself, and tilted his head for the expectant kiss. And almost opened his eyes in shock when, instead of feeling Sean's lips, he felt roughsilk fingertips ghosting over his lips. “Nice,” he murmured.

“Shh.” Sean's voice was a low hum in his ear. “No talking.”

Orlando wondered for a moment what all this had to do with trying to get Viggo's attention, but the thought was fleeting. Easier to concentrate on every careful brush of fingers across his cheeks, forehead, neck and chin. He sighed -- exhaled -- slumping back on the cushions. And offered his face to more warm touches, more gentle slides across needy skin. He hadn't felt so relaxed in ages.

“Open your eyes.” The murmur was a soft, rough burr. Orlando's lashes fluttered as jade green eyes swam into view. “Just so you know who's doing this to you,” and before Orlando could even think form a thought, Sean's lips were on his, demanding and hard.

Fucking hell.

The kiss was worlds away from the touches -- there was nothing gentle, nothing soft in it. It was searing, blazed hotter than the sun, and Orlando moaned -- a low, desperate sound -- when Sean's tongue tangled with his, then plunged deep, fucking his mouth with a voracious hunger that laid waste to sense and reason. Orlando could only open his mouth and clutch at strong shoulders. He didn't even attempt to keep up. Just gasped and moaned and writhed, drowning in heat and need until there was nothing in the universe except --

Abruptly, the lips and tongue were gone. Orlando choked a little as he tried to suck air into deprived lungs. Christ on a fucking pogo stick. This time when he opened his eyes, Sean was standing above him. The light haloed his body, shadowing his expression. “Night, Orlando,” he said, and dropped a kiss to the top of Orlando's head.

He was gone by the time Orlando opened his mouth.

between the conception and the creation

Another four days passed. Orlando assured himself he wasn't counting the days or anything, because that would be absurd. Just because Sean was avoiding him these days, Northern Bastard that he was. Pussy is what he really was. To let a little hotscorchingmelting kiss affect their friendship. But it wasn't like he actually missed Sean or anything.

Well, maybe just a little. He'd kinda gotten used to the late night visits and footie matches and crawling in Sean's bed for a bit of a snug. But it wasn't like he needed it or anything.

What he needed, he thought, were answers. And some of those lessons in sexiness that would win him Viggo's attention.

“You've been avoiding me,” Orlando accused, later that afternoon.

Sean didn't even have the grace to look ashamed. “Have I?”

“You know you have. You mind telling me what the fuck is going on?” Orlando asked in a furious whisper. He kept one eye on Viggo, who was going over a few last minute details with Peter. Be just his luck if Viggo wandered over and overheard the conversation.

Sean stretched his legs in front of him, thighs bunching with the movement. His wig partially hid his eyes when he looked at Orlando. “What'd you mean?”

“You didn't...” Orlando struggled to find the right words. “You didn't do anything that night. Just...”

“Left you haunting and wanting more?” Orlando couldn't decipher Sean's tone.

“Pissed me off is what it did.” Pissed him off and left him aching. Orlando had tossed and turned all that night (and subsequent nights), and the ferocity of the want had surprised him. All he could think about was the hard press of Sean's tongue in his mouth. But he wasn't about to tell Sean that. Cheeky bastard would just think he'd won something.

“Well, that was the point,” Sean shrugged. “Now, act natural, Vig's on his way over here.”

“You owe me an explanation,” Orlando muttered out of the corner of his mouth.

“No,” Sean replied, and Orlando was shocked enough to ignore Viggo's progress to turn his head. Sean wasn't smiling. “What I owe you are lessons,” Sean said. “I never promised to explain anything. Hey, Vig, how's it going?”

“Fine.” Viggo glanced back and forth between the both of them, small frown marring his features. His fingers were streaked with a mixture of ink and dirt. Looked like he'd been either scribbling something in his notebook or playing in the mud again. Man definitely needed a keeper, Orlando thought.

“Well, best be heading to my spot, then,” and Sean managed a smile at both Orlando and Viggo before leaving.

“What was that all about?” Viggo asked, staring down at Orlando.

“I've no idea.” Orlando found it odd that he could lie to Viggo with a totally straight face.

between the emotion and the response

“Well, what do you think?”

Orlando bit the inside of his lip and tilted his head to study the painting. Viggo's studio smelled strongly of turpentine and linseed – not an unpleasant combination. “It's...”

“You don't like it.”

“It's not that.” Christ, he was going to fuck this up before he'd even started. Focus. “Just don't think I understand it is all. Explain it to me?”

Viggo's eyes lit up at the prospect of talking about his favorite subject. This week it was the history of weaving text into paintings to create a more 3-dimensional work of art. Or whatever it was he was rambling about. Orlando didn't really care; he just liked to hear Viggo's voice. It was nice, soothing, a pleasant balm after a long day.

Quite unlike Sean and his smoldering presence and sidelong glances at all hours. He was completely going to drive Orlando barking mad. Between the weight of glittering eyes upon him every time he went near Viggo and the heady, sick anticipation of the next night (whenever it would occur), it was no wonder Orlando wasn't getting much sleep. And there were still no late night visits or full-bodied hugs or much in the way of lazy flirting.

Not that Orlando really missed it.

The second note came a week later, this one more discreet than the last. A carefully folded slip of paper folded inside a book of obscure Spanish poetry Viggo'd insisted on loaning him.


One lousy word. A week of waiting and all Orlando got was one lousy word. He slammed the book closed. Fucking bastard.

“You don't seem happy.”

“I'm just wondering what the hell is going on.” Fuck manners, Orlando wanted answers. He closed the front door behind Sean and followed him into the living room, determined to get them.

“Are you still on about last week?”

“No.” Liar.

“You been obsessing over it like you always do?”

“Maybe...” Definitely.

“Then I'd say it was a successful lesson. Now lose the shirt.”

“Nice to see you, too.” Orlando's eyes narrowed in speculation, but he obeyed. Pick your battles, as his mum used to say. “No wonder you and Vig get on so well,” he mumbled, shivering a little when cool air caressed his chest and arms. “Always with the cryptic and never to the point.”

“If you're looking for answers, that's your misfortune. Life rarely provides them.” Sean's expression was shuttered, indecipherable. Was a little disconcerting. Orlando was used to being able to read Sean like a dog-eared comic.

“If you're looking for a reason, you may want to pay attention,” Sean continued, and Orlando had no idea what that meant. Of course he was paying attention, and he wanted to tell Sean that, but Sean was still speaking in the same low, controlled voice, eyes as black as a winter's night.

“And if you're looking for honesty, all I can tell you is what I see.”

“And what is that?”

“You,” Sean replied simply. “I've never wanted to touch anything as badly as I want to touch you right now.”

Orlando's throat closed, skin prickling, almost as if Sean was actually caressing him. It was like the last week had never happened. “Sean, I...”

“You have the most perfect skin, like the rough side of velvet. Every time I put my hands on you, I want more.”

Each word hammered into Orlando's skin, and his breath actually stuttered. “Sean...”

“Sometimes when we used to fall asleep together, with you all curled around me, it was all I could do to not to press you against the mattress and fuck you until we were both screaming. I wanted you to wake up with me already inside you, pulsing and hard and taking.”

“Christ...” It was barely more than a sigh.

“You remember that night?” Orlando could feel Sean circling around his trembling body, almost, but not quite touching him. “Remember the way we moved together, how desperate we were, how you clung to me, how I licked the sweat from your neck and stroked your cock with my hands?”

Orlando could only make another small noise. This wasn't supposed to be happening.

“Put your hands behind your back.”

Gone was the patient, amiable seducer from last week. Gone was the light flirtatious banter that had been a staple of their friendship. This was... this was something else altogether. Something Orlando wasn't certain he was ready to handle.

Relax, he told himself. Sean promised. He flexed his wrists under Sean's touch as Sean wrapped a strip of silk around them, loosely tying his hands. “I've never...”

“I know.” Sean brushed Orlando's eyelids with his lips, closing them with a gentle touch. “Are you relaxed?” he murmured.

“Y-yeah,” Orlando lied. His every nerve was attuned to Sean, to his movements, every synapse firing in rapid succession, waiting only for Sean's command.

“Kneel for me.”

This wasn't... They'd said no sex. He'd remembered that part in particular. “Sean, I --”

“Don't make me repeat it.”

He had no real idea of what Sean would do to him for disobeying, but Orlando found he had no real desire to learn. Not with the dangerous mood Sean was in. So he clumsily went to his knees, thankful for the plush carpet. He kept his eyes closed, thought it might help keep the reality of what was about to happen at bay. This wasn't -- this subservient/dominant role -- it wasn't him. Wasn't them.

Sean had promised.

And instead of the hard nudge of a cock against his lips, he felt Sean cradle the back of his neck with a soft touch and urge him forward to nuzzle at Sean's inseam. The intensity was unbearable, untamed and rare.

“Do you feel me?” Sean asked, and Orlando nodded, not trusting himself to speak.

“You feel how hard I am for you?”

Orlando nodded again. The heat started spiraling through him, crescendoing until he could feel the dark beat in every breath. Almost of their own volition, his lips parted to moisten raspy denim. This was nothing like last time, with their fumbling, drunken handjobs and clumsy, vodka-flavored kisses.

“Want to suck me off, don't you?” And Orlando couldn't help it. He moaned his assent, felt the heat of Sean's cock through the layers of fabric like they were nothing, felt Sean pulsing, hot and heavy between his open lips. A ghost-memory that never was.

“Speak up, Orlando, I can't hear you.”

Sean sounded far away, god-like, and the idea of Orlando kneeling like an abject worshipper had him --

“I want to suck you,” he answered, and nuzzled Sean's cock again. He wanted flesh, wanted to taste and tease and devour. Everything outside their small bubble ceased to matter. The fact that he didn't want this ceased to matter. Everything except the taste and feel of Sean around him ceased to matter.

“I want to suck you, what?”

“Sean,” Orlando managed, kneeling up to press an open-mouthed kiss to the hard press of Sean's cock through the denim. “I want to suck you, Sean.”

“That's perfect, love. Just...fucking beautiful.”

Orlando whimpered in protest when Sean stepped back. “Please...” The word sounded like it was coming from somewhere outside his body.

“Don't.” Gentle hands helped him back into a standing position. Soft lips imprinted themselves across Orlando's in a fleeting caress. “Open your eyes.” Orlando shakily obeyed, and surged forward the instant Sean freed the bind around his wrists. “Please,” he moaned, twining his arms around Sean's neck. Didn't matter that he was pleading. All that mattered was that Sean was the only one that could make the heat bearable.

“You sound pretty when you're begging for my cock,” Sean whispered, and their lips brushed together again. “But I don't want your servitude.”

Orlando frowned when Sean extricated himself from Orlando's hold. “Why're you doing this?” he asked, still humming, buzzing, aching, desperately seeking rules for a game he wasn't even sure he wanted to play. It occurred to him, not for the first time, that he was completely out of his league. That maybe he'd been out of his league since stepping foot on this island. “Why?” he asked again, when Sean stayed silent.

“Because Viggo will.”

between the desire and the spasm

The next morning, a hollow-eyed Orlando walked into the bus, eyes narrowing when he caught sight of Sean leaning over Viggo's shoulder. Both of them were studying a photo, it looked like. Neither of them noticed his presence, even though he hadn't been all that quiet.

“Am I interrupting something?” he asked peevishly, taking savage satisfaction in the way they sprung apart and stared at him. Mine, he thought, and he was scared to realize that he wasn't certain which one he meant.

This had to fucking end.

“Wrong side of the bed,” Sean smirked, and patted Viggo on the shoulder once. The door slammed once behind him as he left.

“Fucker,” Orlando swore, and reversed course, taking off after Sean with quick, angry strides. He'd about had it up to his ass with being ignored.

“Need to fucking talk to you,” he called, when he finally caught up with Sean in the stable.

Sean didn't even look over at him. Just continued to murmur soothing words to the horse, running the brush in slow circles over a glossy coat.

“I'm serious.”

“And I'm listening.” The horse nudged Sean's shoulder playfully, and Orlando momentarily forgot his anger at the sight of Sean's open smile. Odd that...he hadn't seen Sean smile in days. More than a week, really. Ever since the night at the pub when they'd struck their devil's bargain.

“What the hell kind of game are you playing at?”

“I'm not,” Sean replied, low and even. He pressed a kiss to the horse's muzzle and stepped out of the stable, casually brushing stray bits of straw from his shoulders. He looked relaxed, friendly, like they were just having a normal bit of conversation. Like he hadn't kept Orlando up again, tossing and churning, trying to figure out why his body missed something it'd never really had.

“You're playing at something,” Orlando insisted. “And I want to know what.”

“No, I'm not.” Sean sat on one of the low benches, and started dabbing ointment on one of the saddles. The horses whinnied and shuffled in their stalls. The scent of hay and horse overpowered almost everything else, but Orlando still fancied he could catch a trace of Sean's scent. Something masculine and raw, so unlike Viggo. Viggo, who smelled of the earth, of sunshine and light.

Orlando straddled the other side of the bench, watching in silence for a few moments while Sean rubbed a cloth into the leather of the saddle until it gleamed. “Remind me why we're doing this,” he finally said.

“Because you want something.”

“And what about what you want? Because I don't think this is it.” Although Orlando wondered why the hell he cared.

“What's it matter what I want?” Green eyes glittered when Sean lifted his head. “It's not me you're after.”

between the potency and the existence


Orlando pivoted, shading his eyes as Viggo jogged up to him, all smiles and crinkled eyes. Tall and rangy and light, everything Orlando wanted. “Hey,” he said, forcing a smile to his face.

“Got a minute?”

“Yeah, sure.” Orlando shoved his hands in the pockets of his jeans, and peered at Viggo through partially lowered lashes. At this angle, Viggo seemed a little like something out of a fairy story -- like a knight of old; scruffy, but hiding a kingly heart. Much like his character, really. Orlando wondered how much was fiction.

“Listen, I've been thinking.” Viggo smiled again, a depreciating gesture, and shook his head. He flashed a hint of dimple, and Orlando glowed at the idea that he was the cause. Everything about Viggo was sunshine and light and soft warmth. Everything about Viggo was easy. Nothing at all like the dark heat of Sean's crooked grin.

Well, Orlando didn't want heat, and he didn't want Sean.

“That's my line,” he replied, but his smile came easier.

“More Sean's I think, but that's not the point.”

“Alright.” Orlando didn't want to talk about Sean, didn't want to think about Sean. He'd been doing far too much of that lately. “So what is?”

“Just thinking that I haven't seen too much of you lately is all. Wondering if you wanted to come by the studio tonight.”

A movement caught the corner of Orlando's eye as Sean came out of the trailer, in full costume and makeup. Speculative green eyes flickered between them for a moment before Sean started to walk towards the set. “I'd love to come by,” Orlando quickly replied, pitching his voice to carry. Sean didn't even break stride.

“Great.” Viggo's eyes crinkled again when he smiled, but Orlando didn't return it.

"Kiss me."

Viggo blinked. "Orlando, maybe we..."

"Just do it." He buried his fingers in Viggo's hair and tugged him forward, desperately seeking the warmth and promise. Viggo's lips parted obediently, and his tongue swept over Orlando's in a gentle caress. Light and warm and safe and soft, everything that Orlando had dreamed.

"That was nice," Viggo breathed when it ended.

"Very nice," Orlando replied. And wondered why it felt like something inside him was breaking.

"Been wanting to do that," Viggo continued, smiling that same little shy smile.

"Have you?" Now it was Orlando's turn to blink.


When Viggo's lips closed gently over his the second time, Orlando ruthlessly shoved all other thoughts of heat and ruthless and searing to the background. This was what he wanted. All he'd ever wanted.

between the essence and the descent

“What're you doing here?”

“Just let me in,” Orlando said, glancing past Sean to the living room. “Unless...you got anyone in there?” He'd kill whoever it was.

“No.” Sean opened the door wider, and Orlando brushed past him, shivering inwardly when he felt the brief press of Sean's chest against his arm.


Orlando turned and cocked his head, studying Sean in the muted light of the lamp. “You're wondering why I'm here.”

“Not really.”

Liar. “I was with Viggo last night,” Orlando stated, stepping into Sean's space. From this close, he could count every wrinkle across a weathered face, count every fleck of gold in green eyes. Missed you.

“Was it everything you wanted?” Sean asked. His voice was calm.

“Yes.” Another step closer, chests barely brushing. Sean didn't move.

“Then I'm happy for you.”

“You're not,” Orlando breathed, inhaling Sean's scent until he fancied it was grafted on his skin. “You're not.”

“What're you...?”

“No,” Orlando whispered, and ran the tip of his tongue along his lips. He almost smiled when Sean's eyes tracked the movement. “You're not.”

“Orlando, you're not making any sense."

Yes, there it was. Faint, but there -- in the slight tremble in Sean's voice, in the rigid way he was holding himself still. All of the answers Orlando had been seeking. "You're not what I want," Orlando replied, and closed the distance between them.

for thine is
life is
for thine is the


List of 2004 Stories